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

The Daily Gleaner



Year o' eighteen thirty-four,
When the cullud folks be'n freed,
In dis Island I appeared,
Furnishin' a long-felt need.
Jes' a tiny bit o' thing,
Jes' a tiny bit o' sheet,
But I'm in de forefront since,
An' I never can be beat:
Read by white man, read by nigger,
Every day I'm growin' bigger. 

T'rough all sort o' pestilence,
T'rough de sweeping hurricane,
T'rough de famine an' eart'quake,
T'rough de sun an season rain,
I am climbin' right along,
O' me kinsmen far ahead,
An I mean to keep de front
Tell our Islan'-wul' go dead:
Never fearin', climbin' gaily,
Me Jamaica's leadin' daily.

I am free from petty strife,
For de envious I don't care,
An' I feel so high above,
Dat I ha' no cause fe fear.
Kinsmen dear have come and gone, 
I ha' gladly hailed dem all: -- 
Climbin' wid unenvious eyes,
I have watched dem rise an' fall.
An' continue, each day greener,
Leadin' all -- The Daily Gleaner.

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  1. The Daily Gleaner