• Editorial Notes ?

References to Poem ?


A Roman Holiday1

  1. 'Tis but a modern Roman holiday;

  2. Each state invokes its soul of basest passion,

  3. Each vies with each to find the ugliest way

  4. To torture Negroes in the fiercest fashion.

  5. Black Southern men, like hogs await your doom!

  6. White wretches hunt and haul you from your huts,

  7. They squeeze the babies out your women's womb,

  8. They cut your members off, rip out your guts!

  9. It is a Roman holiday, and worse:

  10. It is the mad beast risen from his lair,

  11. The dead accusing years' eternal curse,

  12. Reeking of vengeance, in fulfilment here.

  13. Bravo Democracy! Hail greatest Power

  14. That saved sick Europe in her darkest hour!


Harlem Shadows (1922)

Additional Poems by Claude McKay

Contemporary Reviews

Supplementary Texts