Women of the Early Harlem Renaissance: African American Women Writers 1900-1922


They brought in the brine-crusted drift-wood,
   And heaped it high on the hearth,
For the snow, outside, was falling fast,
   And the winter wind was wroth.

I watched the bright flames leaping upward,
   As the drift-wood flashed and burned,
And I mused on the fate of those who sailed
   In the ship, that ne'er returned.

My fancy then wrought out two stories,
   And one was sad and drear:
Of lashing waves and struggling souls,
   And piercing cries of fear.

The other was bright and hopeful:
   For the wild waves lost their prey,
When a stately ship came gliding by,
   And bore the crew away.

Then, musing on my fancies,
   I wondered which one bore
The truer tale of the good ship, cast
   As drift-wood, on the shore.

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