Verse > Anthologies > James Weldon Johnson, ed. > The Book of American Negro Poetry
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James Weldon Johnson, ed. (1871–1938).  The Book of American Negro Poetry.  1922.
 
Dead Fires
 
Jessie Fauset
 
 
IF this is peace, this dead and leaden thing,
  Then better far the hateful fret, the sting.
Better the wound forever seeking balm
  Than this gray calm!
 
Is this pain’s surcease? Better far the ache,        5
  The long-drawn dreary day, the night’s white wake,
Better the choking sigh, the sobbing breath
  Than passion’s death!
 

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