Your door is shut against my tightened face, And I am sharp as steel with discontent; But I possess the courage and the grace To bear my anger proudly and unbent. The pavement slabs burn loose beneath my feet, And passion rends my vitals as I pass, A chafing savage, down the decent street; Where boldly shines your shuttered door of glass. Oh, I must search for wisdom every hour, Deep in my wrathful bosom sore and raw, And find in it the superhuman power To hold me to the letter of your law! Oh, I must keep my heart inviolate Against the potent poison of your hate.
Claude McKay - 1889-1948
I must not gaze at them although Your eyes are dawning day; I must not watch you as you go Your sun-illumined way; I hear but I must never heed The fascinating note, Which, fluting like a river reed, Comes from your trembing throat; I must not see upon your face Love's softly glowing spark; For there's the barrier of race, You're fair and I am dark.