Is it Worth While?

  1. Is it worth while?

  2. This question ever I ask

  3. As the eternal mile

  4. I trudge along.

  5. Sick of life's thankless task,

  6. My tongue too leaden for song—

  7. O God! is it worth while?

  8. Yet I must go on,

  9. Though wearily I fair

  10. Through the valley of despair.

  11. I must go on and make no moan . . .

  12. I would lie low in the clean, green grass and sleep,

  13. In the silent night and deep;

  14. But I must go, I must go on.

  15. On through the pushing stream

  16. Of mortals harsh and proud,

  17. On through the clamorous crowd

  18. That dissipates my dream.

  19. All alone,

  20. Through the splashing, lashing torrent,

  21. Along the eternal mile,

  22. I must go on

  23. With this thought ever recurrent:

  24. Is it worth while


Harlem Shadows (1922)

Additional Poems by Claude McKay

Contemporary Reviews

Supplementary Texts