Claude McKay's Early Poetry (1911-1922): A Digital Collection

Passive Resistance

[Editor's note]

There'll be no more riotin'
Stonin' p'lice an' burnin' car;
But we mean to gain our rights
By a strong though bloodless war. 

We will show an alien trust
Dat Jamaicans too can fight
An' dat while our blood is hot,
They won't crush us wi' deir might.

Hawks may watch us as dey like,
But we do not care a pin;
We will hold 'the boys' in check,
There'll be no more riotin'.

We are sorry, sorry much
For the worry given some;
But it will not last for aye, -- 
Our vict'ry day shall come.

There are aliens in our midst
Who would slay us for our right;
Yet though vipers block the way
We will rally to the fight.

We'll keep up a bloodless war, 
We will pay the farthings-fare
An' we send the challenge forth,
'Only touch us if you dare!'

[Cited in Maxwell, Completed Poems, 13]

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