African American Poetry (1870-1927): A Digital AnthologyMain MenuFull Text Collection: Books Published by African American Poets, 1870-1927Author Pages: Bios and Full Text CollectionsAreas of Interest: Topics and ThemesThe Beginnings of the Harlem Renaissance: Overview and Timeline of Key EventsBlack Poetry Before the Harlem Renaissance: Overview and TimelinePeriodicals: African American Poetry Published in MagazinesAfrican American Poetry: Anthologies of the 1920sExploring Datasets related to African American poetryAbout This Site: Origins and a Mission StatementFurther Reading / Works CitedAmardeep Singhc185e79df2fca428277052b90841c4aba30044e1
Reg wished me to go with him to the field, I paused because I did not want to go; But in her quiet way she made me yield Reluctantly, for she was breathing low. Her hand she slowly lifted from her lap And, smiling sadly in the old sweet way, She pointed to the nail where hung my cap. Her eyes said: I shall last another day. But scarcely had we reached the distant play, When o’er the hills we heard a faint bell ringing; A boy came running up with frightened face; We knew the fatal news that he was bringing. I heard him listlessly, without a moan, Although the only one I loved was gone.
The dawn departs, the morning is begun, The trades come whispering from off the seas, The fields of corn are golden in the sun, The dark-brown tassels fluttering in the breeze; The bell is sounding and the children pass, Frog-leaping, skipping, shouting, laughing shrill, Down the red road, over the pasture-grass, Up to the school-house crumbling on the hill. The older folk are at their peaceful toil, Some pulling up the weeds, some plucking corn, And others breaking up the sun-baked soil. Float, faintly-scented breeze, at early morn Over the earth where mortals sow and reap─ Beneath its breast my mother lies asleep.
(Edited and Proofread by Joanna Grim) (From Harlem Shadows)