Claude McKay

Here you will find the Poem Adolescence of poet Claude McKay


There was a time when in late afternoon 
The four-o'clocks would fold up at day's close 
Pink-white in prayer, and 'neath the floating moon 
I lay with them in calm and sweet repose. 

And in the open spaces I could sleep, 
Half-naked to the shining worlds above; 
Peace came with sleep and sleep was long and deep, 
Gained without effort, sweet like early love. 

But now no balm--nor drug nor weed nor wine-- 
Can bring true rest to cool my body's fever, 
Nor sweeten in my mouth the acid brine, 
That salts my choicest drink and will forever.