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

Thomas Millard Henry, "Three Poems" (1924)


The Song of Psyche

Hark this message I bring, in this carol I sing,
From a song that I heard in the park.
'Twasn't trammelled in word, for it came from a bird ;
'Twas divined from the notes of a lark

Dreams Are the Workman's Friends

Dreams are the workman's friends. Their rapture can
Awake his spirits better than old wines ;
To 'waken him to beauty is their plan;
They bring him rubies from remote confines.
   Dreams are the workman's friends.

I daily hang my latchstrings out of doors
For them. They throw conditions to the winds.
They find me lighting lamps or tinting floors ;
And yet they greet me like old-fashioned friends.
   Dreams are the workman's friends.

Forsooth, the elves of limbo leave my camp,
They jostle in confusion in retreat.
My rapture drives them onward like a lamp
Drives on the dark before the pilgrim's feet.
   Dreams are the workman's friends.

They bring me mingled rapture o'er the crest,
That once behind horizons hid away.
Their gift of rapture burns within my breast
Like twilight beams that love the dying day.
   Dreams are the workman's friends. 

My Motive

Should you who listen to my flute
Conclude 'twere best if I were mute,
Or should you doubt that I have won
The wreath of praise, the glad "well done" ;
If you some better verse have read,
My soul would still be comforted :—
For though I limitations feel.
Love, strangling judgment, made me kneel, —
Constrained by reverence, not conceit —
To vent my soul at Beauty's feet.

Published in The Messenger, January 1924

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