To a Poet

  1. There is a lovely noise about your name,

  2. Above the shoutings of the city clear,

  3. More than a moment's merriment, whose claim

  4. Will greater grow with every mellowed year.

  5. The people will not bear you down the street,

  6. Dancing to the strong rhythm of your words,

  7. The modern kings will throttle you to greet

  8. The piping voice of artificial birds.

  9. But the rare lonely spirits, even mine,

  10. Who love the immortal music of all days,

  11. Will see the glory of your trailing line,

  12. The bedded beauty of your haunting lays.


Harlem Shadows (1922)

Additional Poems by Claude McKay

Contemporary Reviews

Supplementary Texts