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

W.E.B. Du Bois, "The Song of America" (1926)

I doom, I live, I will,
I take, I lie, I kill!
I rend and rear
In deserts drear I build and burrow well.
With wrack and rue
I hound and hue
On founding stones in hell;
My temples rise
And split the skies.
My winged wheels do tell
The woven wonders of my hand.
The witch-work of my skill!
I writhe, I rave.
To chain the slave
I do the deed, I kill!
Now what care I
For God or Lie?
I am the great
      I WILL. 

Published in Palms, October 1926