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

The Wife-Woman

MAKER-OF-SEVENS in the scheme of things

From earth to star;

Thy cycle holds whatever is fate, and

Over the border the bar.

Though rank and fierce the mariner

Sailing the seven seas,

He prays, as he holds his glass to his eyes,

Coaxing the Pleiades.

I cannot love them; and I feel your glad

Chiding from the grave,

That my all was only worth at all, what

Joy to you it gave.

These seven links the Law compelled

For the human chain—

I cannot love them; and you, oh,

Seven-fold months in Flanders slain!

A jungle there, a cave here, bred six

And a million years,

Sure and strong, mate for mate, such

Love as culture fears;

I gave you clear the oil and wine;

You saved me your hob and hearth—

See how even life may be ere the

Sickle comes and leaves a swath.

But I can wait the seven of moons,

Or years I spare,

Hoarding the heart’s plenty, nor spend

A drop, nor share—

So long but outlives a smile and

A silken gown;

Then gaily I reach up from my shroud,

And you, glory-clad, reach down.