Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge!

The Song of the Highway

I am the Highway,
Long, white, winding Highway,
Binding coast to coast
And people to people;
I am the spine of the earth.

Over the hills I glide
And then, come swooping down
To some deserted spot.
Over river and lake I stride-
Through farm and field, and town,
Through desert sands, white-hot.

I laugh when the brooklets laugh,
And weep with wayside trees
So bent-so broken by the wind.
Sometimes the birds and flowers
Fill my path with song and bloom;
Sometimes a fragrant breeze
Leaves me drenched with faint perfume.

I hear the sounds of earth-
The low of cattle on the plains,
Clatter of hoof, sound of horn,
Rustling fields of rye,
Of wheat, of tassled corn;
Sweet sounds, so dear-
As through the year
Life marches on.

I am old-sad things I know,
Ache of road-worn travelers,
Lonely hours; the tragedy of pioneers
Who trudged through scorching lands,
Through rain-and snow,
Who bartered with famine-thirst-
And death-to give me birth.

But I go on in silence,
For those who know my life
Will sing my song,
Song of the Highway,
Long, white, winding Highway.
New York, 1931

Written by Pauli Murray (1910-1985)


Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge