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O Word I Love to Sing

by Claude McKay, 1922

O word I love to sing! thou art too tender
  For all the passions agitating me;
For all my bitterness thou art too tender,
  I cannot pour my red soul into thee.

O haunting melody! thou art too slender,
  Too fragile like a globe of crystal glass;
For all my stormy thoughts thou art too slender,
  The burden from my bosom will not pass.

O tender word! O melody so slender!
  O tears of passion saturate with brine,
O words, unwilling words, ye can not render
  My hatred for the foe of me and mine.

Published in Harlem Shadows

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