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by Claude McKay, 1922

Now the dead past seems vividly alive,
  And in this shining moment I can trace,
Down through the vista of the vanished years,
  Your faun-like form, your fond elusive face.

And suddenly some secret spring's released,
  And unawares a riddle is revealed,
And I can read like large, black-lettered print,
  What seemed before a thing forever sealed.

I know the magic word, the graceful thought,
  The song that fills me in my lucid hours,
The spirit's wine that thrills my body through,
  And makes me music-drunk, are yours, all yours.

I cannot praise, for you have passed from praise,
  I have no tinted thoughts to paint you true;
But I can feel and I can write the word;
  The best of me is but the least of you.

Published in Harlem Shadows

Any corrections or public domain poems I should have here? Email me at poems (at) this domain.