Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
A Dream
By Fenton Johnson
 
From “Two Negro Spirituals”

I HAD a dream last night, a wonderful dream.
I saw an angel riding in a chariot—
Oh, my honey, it was a lovely chariot,
Shining like the sun when noon is on the earth.
I saw his wings spreading from moon to earth;        5
I saw a crown of stars upon his forehead;
I saw his robes agleaming like his chariot.
I bowed my head and let the angel pass,
Because no man can look on Glory’s work;
I bowed my head and trembled in my limbs,        10
Because I stood on ground of holiness.
I heard the angel in the chariot singing:
      “Hallelujah early in the morning!
      I know my Redeemer liveth—
      How is it with your soul?”        15
 
I stood on ground of holiness and bowed;
The River Jordan flowed past my feet
As the angel soothed my soul with song,
A song of wonderful sweetness.
I stooped and washed my soul in Jordan’s stream        20
Ere my Redeemer came to take me home;
I stooped and washed my soul in waters pure
As the breathing of a new-born child
Lying on a mammy’s breast at night.
I looked and saw the angel descending        25
And a crown of stars was in his hand:
“Be ye not amazed, good friend,” he said,
“I bring a diadem of righteousness,
A covenant from the Lord of life,
That in the morning you will see        30
Eternal streets of gold and pearl aglow
And be with me in blessèd Paradise.”
 
The vision faded. I awoke and heard
A mocking-bird upon my window-sill.
 
 
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