Songs of Jamaica (1912)


DERE is a rest-place for de weary feet,
An’ for de bitter cup a conquering sweet:
For sore an’ burdened hearts dere’ll be a balm,
And after days of tempest comes a calm.

For every smallest wrong dere is a right,
An’ t’rough de dark shall gleam a ray of light:
Oppression for a season may endure,
But ’tis true wud, “For ebery ill a cure.”

Den let me not t’ink hard of those who use
Deir power tyrannously an’ abuse:
Let me remember always while I live,
De noblest of all deeds is to forgive.

This, not revenge, is sweet: this lif’s[1] de soul
An’ meks it wort’ while[2] in a empty wul’:
Far better than an old an’ outworn creed
‘Tis each day to do one such noble deed.

  1. Lifts
  2. Something worth


Icon for the Public Domain license

This work (Poems by Claude McKay by Claude McKay) is free of known copyright restrictions.