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To One Coming North

by Claude McKay, 1922

At first you'll joy to see the playful snow,
⁠  Like white moths trembling on the tropic air,
Or waters of the hills that softly flow
⁠  Gracefully falling down a shining stair.

And when the fields and streets are covered white
⁠  And the wind-worried void is chilly, raw,
Or underneath a spell of heat and light
⁠  The cheerless frozen spots begin to thaw,

Like me you'll long for home, where birds' glad song
⁠  Means flowering lanes and leas and spaces dry,
And tender thoughts and feelings fine and strong,
⁠  Beneath a vivid silver-flecked blue sky.

Published in Harlem Shadows

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