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

Index to First Lines

A great swart cheek and the gleam of tears
Ah, how poets sing and die!
Ah’m sick, doctor-man, Ah’m sick!
And God stepped out on space
Applauding youths laughed with young prostitutes
As I lie in bed
Black brother, think you life so sweet
Brother, come!
Christ washed the feet of Judas!
Clean de ba’n an’ sweep de flo
Come, children, hear the joyful sound
Come home with me a little space
Cum, listen w’ile yore Unkel sings
Dar’s a lazy, sortah hazy
Del Cascar, Del Cascar
Des a little cabin
De winter days are drawin’ nigh
Dey is times in life when Nature
Dey was hard times jes fo’ Christmas round our neighborhood one year
Deze eatin’ folks may tell me ub de gloriz ub spring lam
Eternities before the first-born day
Ever and ever anon
Flushed with the hope of high desire
For the sun that shone at the dawn of spring
From a vision red with war I awoke and saw the Prince of Peace
From this low-lying valley; Oh, how sweet
Full many lift and sing
Garden of Shushan!
Gay little Girl-of-the-Diving-Tank
Ghastly, ghoulish, grinning skull
Gone are the sensuous stars, and manifold
Heart free, hand free
He came, a youth, singing in the dawn
Hello dar, Miss Melerlee!
He’s struttin’ sho ernuff
His spirit in smoke ascended to high heaven
I am glad daylong for the gift of song
I am so tired and weary
I am tired of work
If Ah evah git to glory, an’ Ah hope to mek it thoo
If this is peace, this dead and leaden thing
If we must die—let it not be like hogs
I had no thought of violets of late
I hear the halting footsteps of a lass
I heeard da ole folks talkin’ in our house da other night
I hope when I am dead that I shall lie
I kissed a kiss in youth
I’m folding up my little dreams
I’m out to find the new, the modern school
I must not gaze at them although
I think I see her sitting bowed and black
It was not fate which overtook me
I want to die while you love me
Jes’ beyan a clump o’ pines
Keep me ’neath Thy mighty wing
Lay me down beneaf de willers in de grass
Little brown baby wif spa’klin’ eyes
Lord, who am I to teach the way
Maker-of-Sevens in the scheme of things
Merry voices chatterin
O black and unknown bards of long ago
O brothers mine, take care! Take care!
O brothers mine, to-day we stand
O chillen, run, de Cunjah man
O, de birds ar’ sweetly singin
O, de light-bugs glimmer down de lane
O’er all my song the image of a face
Oh, for the veils of my far away youth
Oh little Christ, why do you sigh
Once I was good like the Virgin Mary and the Minister’s wife
One does such work as one will not
On summer afternoons I sit
On the dusty earth-drum
O, rich young lord, thou ridest by
O Silent God, Thou whose voice afar in mist and mystery hath left our ears an-hungered in these fearful days
O Southland! O Southland!
Out in the Night thou art the sun
Out in the sky the great dark clouds are massing
O whisper, O my soul!—the afternoon
Pray why are you so bare, so bare
Sandy Star and Willie Gee
Seems lak to me de stars don’t shine so bright
Seen my lady home las’ night
See! There he stands; not brave, but with an air
Sewanee Hills of dear delight
She danced, near nude, to tom-tom beat
So many cares to vex the day
Some day, when trees have shed their leaves
So much have I forgotten in ten years
So oft our hearts, belovèd lute
Staccato! Staccato!
Summah night an’ sighin’ breeze
The band of Gideon roam the sky
The Dawn’s awake!
The dew is on the grasses, dear
The garden is very quiet to-night
The heart of a woman goes forth with the dawn
There are no hollows any more
There is music in me, the music of a peasant people
These truly are the Brave
Think you I am not fiend and savage too?
This is the debt I pay
To be a Negro in a day like this
To dreamy languors and the violet mist
Too green the springing April grass
Turn me to my yellow leaves
Ur ol’ Hyar lib in ur house on de hill
Walk right in Brother Wilson—how you feelin’ to-day?
We are children of the sun
We trekked into a far country
We’ve kept the faith. Our souls’ high dreams
What dost thou here, thou shining, sinless thing
When ol’ Sis’ Judy pray
Wherefore this busy labor without rest?
Why do men smile when I speak
Would I might mend the fabric of my youth
Your voice is the color of a robin’s breast