Textual History

This poem also appears in Cambridge Magazine Summer, 1920 [#] To O.E.A. Cambridge Magazine Summer, 1920 55 and [] .

In these other two appearances, lines 10 ("You are sea-foam...") and 14 ("But men will love...") are indented further, like lines 6 and 7, and line 13 ("Oh I love you...") is indented to the same distance as 2 and 4.


  • Editorial Notes ?
  • Highlight Variants ?

References to Poem ?


To O.E.A.

  1. Your voice is the colorcolour# of a robin's breast,

  2. And there's a sweet sob in it like rain—still rain in the night.

  3. Among the leaves of the trumpet-tree, close to his nest,

  4. The pea-dove sings, and each note thrills me with strange delight

  5. Like the words, wet with music, that well from your trembling throat.

  6. I'm afraid of your eyes, they're so bold,

  7. Searching me through, reading my thoughts, shining like gold.

  8. But sometimes they are gentle and soft like the dew on the lips of the eucharis1

  9. Before the sun comes warm with his lover's kiss.,#

  10. You are sea-foam, pure with the star's loveliness,

  11. Not mortal, a flower, a fairy, too fair for the beauty-shorn earth.,#

  12. All wonderful things, all beautiful things, gave of their wealth to your birth.:#

  13. Oh I love you so much, not recking of passion, that I feel it is wrong!,#

  14. But men will love you, flower, fairy, non-mortal spirit burdened with flesh,

  15. Forever, life-long.


Harlem Shadows (1922)

Additional Poems by Claude McKay

Contemporary Reviews

Supplementary Texts