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Claude McKay (1889-1948)

December, 1919


              1Last night I heard your voice, mother,
              2    The words you sang to me
              3When I, a little barefoot boy,
              4    Knelt down against your knee.

              5And tears gushed from my heart, mother,
              6    And passed beyond its wall,
              7But though the fountain reached my throat
              8    The drops refused to fall.

              9'Tis ten years since you died, mother,
            10    Just ten dark years of pain,
            11And oh, I only wish that I
            12    Could weep just once again.


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Harlem Shadows: The Poems of Claude McKay, with an introduction by Max Eastman (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1922): 29. PS 3525 A24785 H3 Robarts Library.
First publication date: 1922
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/4

Composition date: December 1919
Composition date note: presumably
Rhyme: abcb


Other poems by Claude McKay