African American Poetry (1870-1926): A Digital Anthology

Otto Bohanan, "Villanelle" (1915)



How dreary the winds shriek and whine:
    The trembling shadows grow chill.
O soul of my soul, wert thou mine! 

O where are the stars that did shine?
The moonlight that tinselled the hill?
How dreary the winds shriek and wine!

Despair ‘round my heart doth entwine,
Far soundeth my cry weird and shrill:
O soul of my soul, wert thou mine!

I’ve quaffed to the dregs the mad wine 
Of passion, but under my sill
How dreary the winds shriek and whine!

‘Tis thine, is the dream so divine,
That doth this vain yearning instil;
O soul of my soul, wert thou mine!

‘Tis mine, here to crave and to pine
For what thou wilt never fufill;
How dreary the winds shriek and whine!
O soul of my soul, wert thou mine!

Published in The Crisis. February 1915
Re-typed by Christian Farrior
 

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