Published on Academy of American Poets (

If You Should Go

Love, leave me like the light,
The gently passing day;
We would not know, but for the night,
When it has slipped away.

So many hopes have fled,
Have left me but the name
Of what they were. When love is dead,
Go thou, beloved, the same.

Go quietly; a dream
When done, should leave no trace
That it has lived, except a gleam
Across the dreamer’s face.


This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on June 28, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“If You Should Go” originally appeared in the June 1922 issue of The Crisis.


Countee Cullen

Born on May 30, 1903, in New York City, Countee Cullen was one of the most important voices of the Harlem Renaissance

Date Published: 1922-06-01

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