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

Travail


The crimson rides the universal wind,
​The raven spreads his pinions, follows after,
​The eagles, leaden-winged, are left behind:
​The old foundations shake from sill to rafter
Deal to the doubters' jeers, the weaklings' means.
​The toilers, tired of yielding and false giving
​Bend to the mighty task, with solacing groans,
​Of making the earth fit for human living.
​My ear is tuned unto new voices shrieking
​Their jarring notes of life-exalting strife:
My soul soars singing, with flame forces seeking
The grandest purpose, noblest path of life:
Where scarlet pennants blaze like tongues of fire,
​There—where high passion swells—is my heart's desire.

​--Workers Dreadnought, January 10, 1920. Signed Claude McKay
 

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