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

The Tired Worker

O WHISPER, O my soul!—the afternoon

Is waning into evening—whisper soft!

Peace, O my rebel heart! for soon the moon

From out its misty veil will swing aloft!

Be patient, weary body, soon the night

Will wrap thee gently in her sable sheet,

And with a leaden sigh thou wilt invite

To rest thy tired hands and aching feet.

The wretched day was theirs, the night is mine;

Come, tender sleep, and fold me to thy breast.

But what steals out the gray clouds red like wine?

O dawn! O dreaded dawn! O let me rest!

Weary my veins, my brain, my life,—have pity!

No! Once again the hard, the ugly city.