Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


To Keep the Memory of Charlotte Forten Grimké

Still are there wonders of the dark and day:
   The muted shrilling of shy things at night,
      So small beneath the stars and moon;
   The peace, dream-frail, but perfect while the light
      Lies softly on the leaves at noon.
         These are, and these will be
             Until eternity;
But she who loved them well has gone away.

Each dawn, while yet the east is veiléd grey,
   The birds about her window wake and sing;
      And far away, each day, some lark
   I know is singing where the grasses swing;
      Some robin calls and calls at dark.
         These are, and these will be
             Until eternity;
But she who loved them well has gone away.

The wild flowers that she loved down green ways stray;
   Her roses lift their wistful buds at dawn,
      But not for eyes that loved them best;
   Only her little pansies are all gone,
      Some lying softly on her breast.
         And flowers will bud and be
             Until eternity;
But she who loved them well has gone away.

Where has she gone? And who is there to say?
   But this we know: her gentle spirit moves
      And is where beauty never wanes,
   Perchance by other streams, mid other groves;
      And to us there, ah! she remains
         A lovely memory
             Until eternity;
She came, she loved, and then she went away.

Credit


This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on August 24, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem


“To Keep the Memory of Charlotte Forten Grimké” was published in the December 1914 issue of The Crisis

Author


Angelina Weld Grimké

Angelina Weld Grimké, a journalist, playwright, teacher, author, and poet, was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1880. She was one of the first African-American women to have one of her plays publicly performed, and was a prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance. She died in New York City in 1958.

 

Date Published: 1914-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/keep-memory-charlotte-forten-grimke