Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge!

My Baby (On Reading 'Souls of Black Folk.')

Who loves my baby ? Ah, who loves him not,
   My beautiful baby, who lies fast asleep;
His dimpled brown limbs softly press his white cot.
   And angels, God's messengers, guard o'er him keep.

Who hates my baby? Ah. merciful God,
   Thy children - his brothers whose faces are white;
"Black skin is a crime: pass thou under the rod,"
   They cry ! "This is our country, and might makes us right."

My baby ! immortal soul, dark tho' he be;
   Where shall I take him for safety and peace,
Where in this land of the brave and the free
   Shall baby and I find of terror surcease?

Justice, I ask for my baby is all,
   And freedom to grow and expand all his powers ;
Then right give the verdict - to stand or to fall -
   While Hatred of Race before Righteousness cowers.

Then, if my dark baby, unworthy be found,
   Incompetent, lustful, unfaithful or base,
I'll abide by the verdict and utter no sound
   Agree that beneath is my dark baby's place.

But glory to God! who my dark baby gave
   A mind, soul and being like unto his own
And sent his dear son my brown baby to save
   From the seeds of corruption the Tempter has sown.

Right my baby will place side by side with your child.
   And Right will erase from your heart that fierce hate;
Will you bide by the verdict of Right? Will the wild
   And ignoble prejudice die e'er too late?

For be thou assured, God's bright angels will guard
   My baby so brown, to the heavenly portal.
White soul, not white face, shall there gain its reward.
   For Right keeps the gate to the City Immortal.

Written by Carrie Williams Clifford (1862-1934)


Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge