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

Hope Deferred (Clara Ann Thompson)

Hope Deferred
“There’s light ahead!” Hope ever cries.
I onward press, in better cheer;
But when I reach the fancied goal,
I find, the wind blows fierce and cold,
The place is dark and drear.
I, falt’ring, sink, with courage gone;
But Hope cries ever, “Onward, on!”
I rise, and onward press again,
Still looking for the promised light;
The wind, the mist, the blinding rain
Come sweeping ov’er the barren plain,
And all is dark as night.
I grope—I cannot find the way;
Hope whispers of a brighter day.
So one, and ever on, I press,
With weary heart, and aching feet;
Hope strives in vain, to cheer the way,
With promise of a coming day,
When life will be more sweet.
I cannot listen to her song,
The night is dark, the way is long.
A bitterness comes o’er my soul,
I cry, beneath the gloom,
Oh Hope, thou seemest but a myth,
To lure us to our doom!

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