Textual History

This poem also appears in The Liberator (August, 1921): [*] Claude McKay Jasmines The Liberator (August, 1921): 11 .


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  1. Your scent is in the room.

  2. Swiftly it overwhelms and conquers me!

  3. Jasmines, night jasmines, perfect of perfume,

  4. Heavy with dew before the dawn of day!

  5. Your face was in the mirror. I could see

  6. You smile and vanish suddenly away,

  7. Leaving behind the vestige of a tear.

  8. Sad suffering face, from parting grown so dear!

  9. Night jasmines cannot bloom in this cold place;

  10. Without the street is wet and weird with snow;

  11. The cold nude trees are tossing to and fro;

  12. Too stormy is the night for your fond face;,*

  13. For your low voice too loud the wind's mad roar.

  14. But ohOh*, your scent is here— —jasmines, *jasmines that grow

  15. Luxuriant, clustered round your cottage door!


Harlem Shadows (1922)

Additional Poems by Claude McKay

Contemporary Reviews

Supplementary Texts