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


Samson, the chosen Nazarite, who ruled
The Jews for twenty years and judged their sins,
Snared in the web of flesh, by woman fooled,
Was captured by the hated Philistines.
But God remembered him in his downfall
And, in his blindness, gave him back his power,
Which nobly used he, at the gaoler’s call,
To save his soul in one grand crowning hour
O sable Samsons, in white prisons bound,
Wounded and blinded, in your hidden strength
Put forth your swarthy hands: the pillar found,
Strain mightily at them until at length
The accursed walls, reared of your blood and tears,
Come crashing, sounding freedom in your ears.

–Published in Workers Dreadnought, January 10, 1920. Signed as Claude McKay

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