Georgia Douglas Johnson

G
Georgia Douglas Johnson
Your World
Your world is as big as you make it.
I know, for I used to abide
In the narrowest nest in a corner,
My wings pressing close to my side.

But I sighted the distant horizon
Where the skyline encircled the sea
And I throbbed with a burning desire
To travel this immensity.

I battered the cordons around me
And cradled my wings on the breeze,
Then soared to the uttermost reaches
With rapture, with power, with ease!
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Common Dust
And who shall separate the dust
What later we shall be:
Whose keen discerning eye will scan
And solve the mystery?

The high, the low, the rich, the poor,
The black, the white, the red,
And all the chromatique between,
Of whom shall it be said:
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My Little Dreams
I’m folding up my little dreams
Within my heart tonight,
And praying I may soon forget
The torture of their sight.

For time’s deft fingers scroll my brow
With fell relentless art—
I’m folding up my little dreams
Tonight, within my heart.
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The Return
Again we meet—a flashing glance,
And then, to scabbard, goes the lance,
While thoughts troop on in cavalcade
Adown the wide aisles time has made.

Back in the glow of yesterday,
With tender troth you rode away,
The sheen of rainbows in our eyes,
That swept the rim of other skies.

And now a writhing worm am I,
Beneath a doomed love’s lensing eye,
Let me but stagger, far from sight,
To hide my anguish, in the night.

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Foredoom
Her life was dwarfed, and wed to blight,
Her very days were shades of night,
Her every dream was born entombed,
Her soul, a bud,—that never bloomed.

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The Heart of a Woman
The heart of a woman goes forth with the dawn,
As a lone bird, soft winging, so restlessly on,
Afar o’er life’s turrets and vales does it roam
In the wake of those echoes the heart calls home.

The heart of a woman falls back with the night,
And enters some alien cage in its plight,
And tries to forget it has dreamed of the stars
While it breaks, breaks, breaks on the sheltering bars.

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The Measure
Fierce is the conflict—the battle of eyes,
Sure and unerring, the wordless replies,
Challenges flash from their ambushing caves—
Men, by their glances, are masters or slaves.

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Quest
The phantom happiness I sought
O’er every crag and moor;
I paused at every postern gate,
And knocked at every door;

In vain I searched the land and sea,
E’en to the inmost core,
The curtains of eternal night
Descend—my search is o’er.

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Smothered Fires
A woman with a burning flame
Deep covered through the years
With ashes. Ah! she hid it deep,
And smothered it with tears.

Sometimes a baleful light would rise
From out the dusky bed,
And then the woman hushed it quick
To slumber on, as dead.

At last the weary war was done
The tapers were alight,
And with a sigh of victory
She breathed a soft—good-night!

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