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

Thomas Millard Henry, "Countee Cullen" (1924)

Countee Cullen

On Pegasus you've flown into a sheen —
A glorious passion has possessed your tongue.
You moved old doctors with your lispings, strung
Harplike, awaking melodies serene.
Though in this moon when conscious song seems lean,-
And bends to prose, your steed with wings outflung,
Veils the Plebeian quills ;—wreath-hemmed while young
As Byron was, or Dunbar, at nineteen.
Your diapasons fill Apollo's skies;
Yet, when his restless Nine encircle you,
For pennyroyal sinks your hooked line,
You tonic us mid pleasure and surprise . . .
So I one of your patients credit you
For songs like meat, like medicine, like wine.

Published in The Messenger, October 1924

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