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James Weldon Johnson, ed. (1871–1938). The Book of American Negro Poetry. 1922.

After the Winter

SOME day, when trees have shed their leaves,

And against the morning’s white

The shivering birds beneath the eaves

Have sheltered for the night,

We’ll turn our faces southward, love,

Toward the summer isle

Where bamboos spire the shafted grove

And wide-mouthed orchids smile.

And we will seek the quiet hill

Where towers the cotton tree,

And leaps the laughing crystal rill,

And works the droning bee.

And we will build a lonely nest

Beside an open glade,

And there forever will we rest,

O love—O nut-brown maid!