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

The Barrier

I MUST not gaze at them although

Your eyes are dawning day;

I must not watch you as you go

Your sun-illumined way;

I hear but I must never heed

The fascinating note,

Which, fluting like a river-reed,

Comes from your trembling throat;

I must not see upon your face

Love’s softly glowing spark;

For there’s the barrier of race,

You’re fair and I am dark.