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The Easter Flower

by Claude McKay, 1922

Far from this foreign Easter damp and chilly
  My soul steals to a pear-shaped plot of ground,
Where gleamed the lilac-tinted Easter lily
  Soft-scented in the air for yards around;

Alone, without a hint of guardian leaf!
⁠  Just like a fragile bell of silver rime,
It burst the tomb for freedom sweet and brief
⁠  In the young pregnant year at Eastertime;

We'll turn our faces southward, love,
⁠  Toward the summer isle
Where bamboos spire to shafted grove
⁠  And wide-mouthed orchids smile.

And many thought it was a sacred sign,
⁠  And some called it the resurrection flower;
And I, a pagan, worshiped at its shrine,
⁠  Yielding my heart unto its perfumed power.

Published in Harlem Shadows

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