When I have passed away and am forgotten,
         And no one living can recall my face,
When under alien sod my bones lie rotten
         With not a tree or stone to mark the place;

Perchance a pensive youth, with passion burning,
         For olden verse that smacks of love and wine,
The musty pages of old volumes turning,
         May light upon a little song of mine,

And he may softly hum the tune and wonder
         Who wrote the verses in the long ago;
Or he may sit him down awhile to ponder
         Upon the simple words that touch him so.

From Harlem Shadows (New York, Harcourt, Brace and company, 1922) by Claude McKay. This poem is in the public domain.