1. When first your glory shone upon my face

  2. My body kindled to a mighty flame,

  3. And burnt you yielding in my hot embrace

  4. Until you swooned to love, breathing my name.

  5. And wonder came and filled our night of sleep,

  6. Like a new comet crimsoning the sky;

  7. And stillness like the stillness of the deep

  8. Suspended lay as an unuttered sigh.

  9. I never again shall feel your warm heart flushed,

  10. Panting with passion, naked unto mine,

  11. Until the throbbing world around is hushed

  12. To quiet worship at our scented shrine.

  13. Nor will your glory seek my swarthy face,

  14. To kindle and to change my jaded frame

  15. Into a miracle of godlike grace,

  16. Transfigured, bathed in your immortal flame.


Harlem Shadows (1922)

Additional Poems by Claude McKay

Contemporary Reviews

Supplementary Texts