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

W.E.B. Du Bois, "In God's Gardens" (1912)

O mist-blown Lily of the north,
A-bnding southward in thy bloom,
And bringing beauty silver sown
And pale blue radiance of snows--

O fair white lily, bowin low,
Above the dream-swept poppy's mouth,
Athwart the black and crimson South--
Why dost thou fear--why dos thou fear? 

Lo! sense its sleep-sown subtle breath,
Where wheel in passioned whirl above
All lingering, luring love of love--
All perfume born of dole and death.

Cold ghost-wreathed Lily of the North,
When once thy dawning darkens there,
Come then with sunlight-sifted hair
And seek the haunting heaven of Night.

Where, over moon-mad shadows whirled,
The star-tanned mists dim swathe the sky
In phantasy to dream and die--
A wild sweet wedding of the World. 

This poem was originally published in The Crisis in April 1912.

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