Claude McKay

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 trembing 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.

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