This poem also appeared in The Liberator (March, 1920): [*] Claude McKay My Mother The Liberator (March, 1920): 24 . The version appearing in The Liberator lacks numbers for the stanzas.
Reg wished me to go with him to the field,;*
I paused because I did not want to go;,*
But in her quiet way she made me yield
Reluctantly, —*for she was breathing low.
Her hand she slowly lifted from her lap
And, smiling sadly in the old sweet way,
She pointed to the nail where hung my cap.;*
Her eyes said: I shall last another day.
But scarcely had we reached the distant place,*
When o'er the hills we heard a faint bell ringing;,*
A boy came running up with frightened face;,*
We knew the fatal news that he was bringing.;*
I heard him listlessly , without a and made no* moan,
Although the only one I loved was gone.
The dawn departs, the morning is begun,
The trades come whispering from off the seas,
The fields of corn are golden in the sun,
The dark-brown tassels fluttering in the breeze;.*
The bell is sounding and the children pass,
Frog-leaping, skipping, shouting, laughing shrill,
Down the red road, over the pasture-grass,
Up to the school-house crumbling on the hill.
The older folk are at their peaceful toil,
Some pulling up the weeds, some plucking corn,
And others breaking up the sun-baked soil.
Float, faintly-scented breeze, at early morn
Over the earth ,* where mortals sow and reap—.*
Beneath its breast my mother lies asleep.