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The Barrier

  1. I must not gaze at them although

  2. Your eyes are dawning day;

  3. I must not watch you as you go

  4. Your sun-illumined way;

  5. I hear but I must never heed

  6. The fascinating note,

  7. Which, fluting like a river reed river-reed* ,

  8. Comes from your trembling throat;

  9. I must not see upon your face

  10. Love's softly glowing spark;

  11. For there's the barrier of race,

  12. You're fair and I am dark.


Harlem Shadows (1922)

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