This poem first appeared in Pearson's Magazine (September, 1918): [§] Claude McKay Harlem Shadows Pearson's Magazine (September, 1918): 276 (under the title "The Park in Spring"). It also appeared in Spring in New Hampshire 1920 [†] Claude McKay The Castaways Claude McKay Spring in New Hampshire London Grant Richards Ltd. 1920 28 and Cambridge Magazine Summer, 1920 [#] The Castaways Cambridge Magazine Summer, 1920 58 . In its appearance in Pearsons, lines 2,4,6,8,10, and 12 are indented one level, and the concluding couplet is indented two levels.
The vivid grass with visible delight
Springing triumphant from the pregnant earth,;†§#
The And†# butterflies, and sparrows in brief flight
Chirping and dancing for the season's birth,
The And†§# dandelions and rare daffodils
That touch hold†§# the deep-stirred heart with hands of gold,†§#
The And†§# thrushes sending forth their joyous trills,—;†§#
Not these, not these did I at first behold!;§:†#
But ,§ seated on the benches daubed with green,
The castaways of life castaways of earth†# human derelicts§, a few some fast†§# asleep,
Some withered women desolate and mean, With here and there a woman wedged between,§ With many a withered woman wedged between,†#
And ,§ over all,†# life's shadows dark and deep.:†§#
Moaning I turned away, for misery
I have the strength to bear but not to see.