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

Countee Cullen, "Two Who Crossed a Line (He Crosses)" (1925)

He rode across like a cavalier,
   Spurs clicking hard and loud;
And where he tarried dropped his tear
   On heads he left low-bowed.

But, “Even Stephen," he cried, and struck
   His steed an urgent blow;
He swore by youth he was a buck
   With savage oats to sow.
To even up some standing scores,
   From every flower bed
He passed, he plucked by threes and fours
   Till wheels whirled in his head.

But long before the drug could tell,
   He took his anodyne;
With scornful grace, he bowed farewell
   And retraversed the line.

Published in Color1925

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