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

If Thou Shouldst Return (Clara Ann Thompson)

If thou shouldst return with the sweet words of love,
   So earnestly spoken that day,
Methinks that thy words, this sad heart would move,
   For my pride has melted away;
And I've learned how true was the heart that I spurned,
And I've longed for the face that never returned.
If thou shouldst return to claim me thy bride,
   How gladly thy fate would I share;
How gladly I'd spend my whole life at thy side,
   How honored I'd feel to be there;
Oh, I've learned to revere the heart that I spurned!
And I long for the face that never returned.
If thou shouldst return, ah, vain is the dream!
   I'll cherish the fancy no more;
Though dark and forsaken my pathway may seem,
I'll press bravely on as before;
   And trust in the One who forgives our mistakes,
And heals the deep wounds that our waywardness makes.

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