English poetry

Poems in English

The Debt

This is the debt I pay Just for one riotous day, Years of regret and grief, Sorrow without relief. Pay […]

The Old Front Gate

W’en daih’s chillun in de house, Dey keep on a-gittin’ tall; But de folks don’ seem to see Dat dey’s […]

Little Brown Baby

Little brown baby wif spa’klin’ eyes, Come to yo’ pappy an’ set on his knee. What you been doin’, suh […]

The Barrier

The Midnight wooed the Morning Star, And prayed her: “Love come nearer; Your swinging coldly there afar To me but […]

At the Tavern

A lilt and a swing, And a ditty to sing, Or ever the night grow old; The wine is within, […]

A Negro Love Song

Seen my lady home las’ night, Jump back, honey, jump back. Hel’ huh han’ an’ sque’z it tight, Jump back, […]

To Dan

STEP me now a bridal measure, Work give way to love and leisure, Hearts be free and hearts be gay […]

When Malindy Sings

G’way an’ quit dat noise, Miss Lucy Put dat music book away; What’s de use to keep on tryin’? Ef […]

A Choice

They please me not these solemn songs That hint of sermons covered up. ‘T is true the world should heed […]

The Made to Order Smile

When a woman looks up at you with a twist about her eyes, And her brows are half uplifted in […]

My Little March Girl

Come to the pane, draw the curtain apart, There she is passing, the girl of my heart; See where she […]

The Haunted Oak

Pray why are you so bare, so bare, Oh, bough of the old oak-tree; And why, when I go through […]

The Lawyers’ Ways

I’ve been list’nin’ to them lawyers In the court house up the street, An’ I’ve come to the conclusion That […]

Frederick Douglass

A hush is over all the teeming lists, And there is pause, a breath-space in the strife; A spirit brave […]

The Unlucky Apple

‘Twas the apple that in Eden Caused our father’s primal fall; And the Trojan War, remember ‘Twas an apple caused […]

Old

I have seen peoples come and go Alike the Ocean’d ebb and flow; I have seen kingdoms rise and fall […]

The Paradox

I am the mother of sorrows, I am the ender of grief; I am the bud and the blossom, I […]

Merry Autumn

It’s all a farce,-these tales they tell About the breezes sighing, And moans astir o’er field and dell, Because the […]

Life’s Tragedy

It may be misery not to sing at all, And to go silent through the brimming day; It may be […]

Douglass

Ah, Douglass, we have fall’n on evil days, Such days as thou, not even thou didst know, When thee, the […]

Theology

There is a heaven, for ever, day by day, The upward longing of my soul doth tell me so. There […]

Encouraged

Because you love me I have much achieved, Had you despised me then I must have failed, But since I […]

Encouragement

WHO dat knockin’ at de do’? Why, Ike Johnson, yes, fu’ sho! Come in, Ike. I’s mighty glad You come […]

Song

Wintah, summah, snow er shine, Hit’s all de same to me, Ef only I kin call you mine, An’ keep […]

Common Things

I like to hear of wealth and gold, And El Doradoes in their glory; I like for silks and satins […]

If I Could But Forget

If I could but forget The fullness of those first sweet days, When you burst sun-like thro’ the haze Of […]

A Golden Day

I Found you and I lost you, All on a gleaming day. The day was filled with sunshine, And the […]

Howdy, Honey, Howdy

DO’ a-stan’in’ on a jar, fiah a-shinin’ Thoo, Ol’ folks drowsin’ ‘roun’ de place, Wide awake is Lou, W’en I […]

Confirmation

He was a poet who wrote clever verses, And folks said he had a fine poetical taste; But his father, […]

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