This poem also appeared in The Liberator (January, 1922): [*] Claude McKay Futility The Liberator (January, 1922): 23 .
Oh,* I have tried to laugh the pain away,
Let new flames brush my love-springs1 like a feather.
But the old fever seizes me to-day,
As sickness grips a soul in wretched weather.
I have given up myself to every urge,
With not a care of precious powers spent,
Have bared my body to the strangest scourge,
To soothe and deaden my heart's unhealing rent.
But you have torn a nerve out of my frame,
A gut that no physician can replace,
And reft2 my life of happiness and aim.
Oh what new purpose shall I now embrace?
What substance hold, what lovely form pursue,
When my thought burns through everything to you?