The Walls of Jericho

Jericho is on the inside
Of the things the world likes best;
“We want in,” the dark ones cried,
“We will love it as the rest.”

“Let me learn,” the dark ones say.
They have learned that Faith must do
More than meditate and pray
That a boulder may fall through
Making one large man size entrance
Into wondrous Jericho.
They have learned: forget the distance,
Count no steps, nor stop to blow.

Jericho still has her high wall,
Futile barrier of Power. . . .
Echoed with the dark ones’ footfall
Marching around her every hour;
Knowledge strapped down like a knapsack
Not cumbersome, and money
Not too much to strain the back. . . .
Dark ones seeking milk and honey.

Over in the city staring
Up at us along the wall
Are the fat ones, trembling, swearing
There is no room there for us all!
But there’ve been too many rounds
Made to give the trip up here.
Shout for joy . . . hear how it sounds. . . .
The very walls echo with cheer!

From Caroling Dusk (Harper & Brothers, 1927), edited by Countee Cullen. This poem is in the public domain.