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Dead Fires

by Jessie Fauset, 1922

If this is peace, this dead and leaden thing,
   Then better far the hateful fret, the sting.
Better the wound forever seeking balm
   Than this gray calm!

Is this pain's surcease? Better far the ache,
   The long-drawn dreary day, the night's white wake,
Better the choking sigh, the sobbing breath
   Than passion's death!

Published in The Book of American Negro Poetry

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