Textual History

This poem also appeared in Spring in New Hampshire 1920 [] Claude McKay I Shall Return Claude McKay Spring in New Hampshire London Grant Richards Ltd. 1920 27 and Cambridge Magazine Summer, 1920 [#] I Shall Return Cambridge Magazine Summer, 1920 58 .


  • Editorial Notes ?
  • Highlight Variants ?


I Shall Return

  1. I shall return again; I shall return

  2. To laugh and love and watch with wonder-eyes ,#

  3. At golden noon the forest fires burn,

  4. Wafting their blue-black smoke to sapphire skies.

  5. I shall return to loiter by the streams

  6. That bathe the brown blades of the bending grasses,

  7. And realize realise# once more my thousand dreams

  8. Of waters rushing down the mountain passes.

  9. I shall return to hear the fiddle and fife

  10. Of village dances, dear delicious tunes

  11. That stir the hidden depths of native life,

  12. Stray melodies of dim remembered runes1.:#

  13. I shall return, I shall return again,#

  14. To ease my mind of long, long years of pain.


Harlem Shadows (1922)

Additional Poems by Claude McKay

Contemporary Reviews

Supplementary Texts