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

The Dominant White

God gave you power to build and help and life;
But you proved prone to persecute and slay
And from the high and noble course to drift
Into the darkness fro the light of day.
He gave you law and order, strength of will
The lesser peoples of the world to lead; 
You chose to break and crush them through life's mill
But for you earthly gains to make them bleed;
Because you've proved unworthy of your trust,
God—He shall humble you down to the dust.

You have betrayed the black, maligned the yellow;
But what else could we hope of you who set 
The hand even of your own against his fellow;
To stem the dire tide that threatens yet?
You called upon the name of your false god
To lash our wounded flesh with knotted cords
And trample us into the blood-stained sod,
And justified your deeds with specious words:
Oh! you have proved unworthy of your trust,
And God shall humble you down to the dust.

This pain you gave us nothing can assuage,
Who hybridized a proud and virile race,
Bequeathed to it a bastard heritage
And made the black ashamed to see his face.
You ruined him, put doubt into his heart,
You set a sword between him and his kin,
And preached to him, with simple, lying art
About the higher worth of your white skin!
Oh White Man! You have trifled with your trust,
And God shall humble you down to the dust.

You blinded go, afraid to see the Truth,
Closing your eyes to and denying Beauty;
You stultify the dreams of visioned youth
All in the prostituted name of Duty.
You place your Seers with madmen, fools and rogues,
Their words distort and twist, despise their creed;
You choose instead the little demagogues
That will uphold you in your shameless greed;
Because you've proved unworthy of your trust,
Oh, He shall humble you!—down to the dust. 

(Edited and Proofread by Amardeep Singh)

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