"Lines Dedicated to Claude McKay."

by Ethel  Trew  Dunlap

  1. Your notes shall ring when mine are still,

  2. Live on when mine the casket claim,

  3. But let them come to weep by mine,

  4. For pity is a part of fame.

  5. So sweet their tears will be, that, lo!

  6. Their watering bloom might restore

  7. And wake my dreaming thoughts again

  8. To dwell on earth with yours once more.

  9. You made ecstatic flights above

  10. And starland robbed of virgins fair

  11. To bear the children of our brain

  12. That you have given to our care.

  13. And then in chilly depths you plunged

  14. Where weirdness mingled with the groan

  15. Of water devils to imbue

  16. Your song with wonder or with moan.

  17. I did not soar as high as you:

  18. I cannot sing of realsm beyond;

  19. And, from your hand, all travel stained,

  20. I would not steal the bloom or frond;

  21. But gaze on them with gladdened eye.

  22. Just grateful for the dews that drip

  23. From their fair foliage on my hand—

  24. Their petals soft as woman's lip.

  25. Your spirit braved the Artic zone

  26. Of thought to give expression glow.

  27. The midnight sun lends eerie charm

  28. Unto thy song as to the floe.

  29. From tropic climes of mind you bear

  30. Strange fascinations that enslave

  31. My fancy like the wind that binds

  32. The shackle to the blue-veined wave.

  33. Your soul explored the realms all dark,

  34. Or fair, that makes my pulse beat high

  35. When from your lips the story falls

  36. In accents soft as fairy's sigh.

  37. Sing on the song that you have learned

  38. From siren raptured by your call

  39. That chanted in thine ears alone

  40. The strain with power to entrall.

  41. Strike on the harp you stole away

  42. From dreaming Fancy's loving arms.

  43. The numbers that have power to lull

  44. To rest with notes of dulcet charms.

  45. And I shall never, never tire,

  46. For I have waited long in vain

  47. For song ethereal like thine

  48. To wake joy and banish pain.


Dunlap, Ethel Trew. "Lines Dedicated to Claude McKay." The Negro World (May 27, 1922).


Text of this poem taken from microfilm held by Michigan State University Library, made available through the magic and generosity of interlibrary loan.


Harlem Shadows (1922)

Additional Poems by Claude McKay

Contemporary Reviews

Supplementary Texts