Textual History

This poem also appears in Cambridge Magazine Summer, 1920 [#] To Work Cambridge Magazine Summer, 1920 56 and Spring in New Hampshire 1920 [] Claude McKay To Wor Claude McKay Spring in New Hampshire London Grant Richards Ltd. 1920 15 under the title "To Work."


  • Highlight Variants ?


Dawn in New York To Work#

  1. The Dawn! The Dawn! The the Dawn, the# crimson-tinted, comes

  2. Out of the low still skies, over the hills,

  3. Manhattan's roofs and New York's fantasic# spires and cheerless domes!,—#

  4. The Dawn! Mymy spirit to its spirit thrills.

  5. Almost the mighty city is asleep,

  6. No pushing crowd, no tramping, tramping feet.;#

  7. But here and there a few cars ,# groaning, creep

  8. Along, above,# and underneath the street,

  9. Bearing their strangely-ghostly burdens by, #

  10. The women and the men of garish nights,

  11. Their eyes wine-weakened and their clothes awry,

  12. Grotesques beneath Nodding under# the strong electric lights.

  13. The shadows wane. The Dawn comes to New York. On through the waning shadows of New York,#

  14. And I go darkly-rebel to my work. Before the Dawn, I wend my way to work.#


Harlem Shadows (1922)

Additional Poems by Claude McKay

Contemporary Reviews

Supplementary Texts