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.
 
Oblivion
 
Jessie Fauset
 
 
From the French of Massillon Coicou (Haiti)
 
 
I HOPE when I am dead that I shall lie
  In some deserted grave—I cannot tell you why,
But I should like to sleep in some neglected spot
  Unknown to every one, by every one forgot.
 
There lying I should taste with my dead breath        5
  The utter lack of life, the fullest sense of death;
And I should never hear the note of jealousy or hate,
  The tribute paid by passersby to tombs of state.
 
To me would never penetrate the prayers and tears
  That futilely bring torture to dead and dying ears;        10
There I should lie annihilate and my dead heart would bless
  Oblivion—the shroud and envelope of happiness.
 

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