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

William Stanley Braithwaite, "Age and Autumn" (1926)

Where now is the blaze that hung intense
      Through summer days?
Transmuted into another sense
      By slanting rays?
Is it your keel, O Earth, with a turn sublime
       Which changes Time
And makes the sunshine weary and mellow
And the flowers wither, and green leaves yellow?

And man, is he a flower—or a green leaf
      Whose flourish is brief?
Old Earth, sailing so even and quiet.
      Stilling the riot
In the blood of youth, is yours the blame?—
      Or does Time play your game?
Are you one. or twain, that makes autumn weather
In the body of man, or do you work in the sere together?

Published in Palms, October 1926