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

William Stanley Braithwaite, "October XXIX, 1795 (Keats' Birthday)" (1927)

(Keats’ Birthday)

TIME sitting on the throne of Memory
Bade all her subject Days the past had known
Arise and say what thing gave them renown
Unforgetable, ‘Rising from the sea,
I gave the Genoese his dreams to be;'
'I saw the Corsican's Guards swept down;'
'Colonies I made free from a tyrant's crown;
So each Day told its immortality.

And with these blazing triumphs spoke one voice
Whose wistful speech no vaunting did employ:
'I know not if 'twere by Fate's chance or choice
I hold the lowly birth of an English boy;
I only know he made man's heart rejoice
Because he played with Beauty for a toy!'

Published in Caroling Dusk1927

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