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

Simon the Cyrenian Speaks by Countee Cullen

He never spoke a word to me,
   And yet He called my name;
He never gave a sign to me,
   And yet I knew and came.

At first I said, “I will not bear
   His cross upon my back;
He only seeks to place it there
   Because my skin is black.”

But He was dying for a dream,
   And He was very meek,
And in His eyes there shone a gleam
   Men journey far to seek.

It was Himself my pity bought;
   I did for Christ alone
What all of Rome could not have wrought
   With bruise of lash or stone.

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