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

T. Thomas Fortune, "The Elsmeres" (1905)


Before the Ark on Ararat a lodgment found,
The Elsmeres dwelt in clouds of doubt and fear;
And, still, when Time has reached its closing year,
That doubt and fear the future's sky will bound.
No faith can make the hidden mysteries clear
That shroud the glories of the Eden where
Our hopes, through all the ages, circle 'round,
Like ships at anchor in a haven fair.
We fondly deem we know from whence we came,
And to what destiny at last shall go,
When vanish all of pomp and power and fame;
But, reason as we will, we do not know!
   And, so, like Elsmere, many pine and die,
   Victims of life's remorseless whence and why.

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