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It's appearance in Four Negro Poets does not indent the second line.


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North and South

  1. O sweet are tropic lands for waking dreams!

  2. There time and life move lazily along.;#

  3. There by the banks of blue-and-silver streams

  4. Grass-sheltered crickets chirp incessant song,

  5. Gay-coloredcoloured# lizards loll all through the day,

  6. Their tongues outstretched for careless little flies,

  7. And swarthy1 children in the fields at play,#

  8. Look upward laughing at the smiling skies.

  9. A breath of idleness is in the air

  10. That casts a subtle spell upon all things,

  11. And love and mating-time are everywhere,#

  12. And wonder to life's commonplaces clings.

  13. The fluttering humming-bird darts through the trees

  14. And dips his long beak in the big bell-flowers,

  15. The leisured buzzard floats upon the breeze,#

  16. Riding a crescent cloud for endless hours,;#

  17. The sea beats softly on the emerald strands ,#

  18. O sweet for quiet dainty# dreams are tropic lands!


Harlem Shadows (1922)

Additional Poems by Claude McKay

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