African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Robert W. Justice, "The Heart's Desire" (1911)

Float ever by me
In countless numbers,
Like waves in the mighty sea,
Strange faces of alien gaze,
Hurrying on to and from daily strife,
This way, and now that, yet all, all
Foreign, unfamiliar–still I stand and call 
In hushed breath, and wait for one
Who passeth by, never.
Yet I fear to leave my lonely place–
My watch-tower of delight where with me
Dwell Hope and Patience;
The one–sweet counseling voice–
Make days grow short, and I rejoice
When Patience laves my distressed soul
With reason and points to the goal
Where, though faint and dim,
I shall stand face to face,
And in love’s sweet embrace,
Fine and know My Heart's Desire.

Published in The Crisis. August 1911

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