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Poem by Claude McKay


There was a time when in late afternoon 
The four-oclocks would fold up at days close 
Pink-white in prayer, and neath the floating moon 
I lay with them in calm and sweet repose. 

And in the open spaces I could sleep, 
Half-naked to the shining worlds above; 
Peace came with sleep and sleep was long and deep, 
Gained without effort, sweet like early love. 

But now no balm--nor drug nor weed nor wine-- 
Can bring true rest to cool my bodys fever, 
Nor sweeten in my mouth the acid brine, 
That salts my choicest drink and will forever.

Claude McKay

Claude McKay's other poems:
  1. Enslaved
  2. Harlem Shadows
  3. Outcast
  4. Thirst
  5. Through Agony

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