Songs of Jamaica (1912)

De Days Dat Are Gone

I T’INK of childhood days again,
An’ wish dat I was free
To res’ me baby head once more
Upon me mudder’s knee:
If we had power to change dis life
An’ live it back again,
We would be children all de time
Nor fret at childhood’s pain.

I look on my school life of old,
Dem sweet days dat are pas’,
An’ wonder how I’d wish[1] to see
Those dear times en’ at las’:
It was because I was a boy,
An’ knew not what b’en good;
All time I tas’e de supple-jack,[2]
Bein’ I was so rude.

An’ o’ de marnings when I woke,
‘Fo’ you can see you’ han’,
I mek me way on to de spring
Fe full[3] me bucket-pan:
I t’ought ofttimes dat it was hard
For me to wake so soon;
Dere was no star fe light de way,
Much more[4] de white roun ‘ moon.

Still, childhood pain could neber las’,
An’ I remem ber yet
De many sorrows ‘cross me pat’[5]
Dat neber mek me fret:
But now me joys are only few,
I live because I’m boun’,
An’ try fe mek my life of use
Though pain lie all aroun’.

  1. I could wish
  2. A cane
  3. Fill
  4. Less
  5. Across my path


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