Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AUGUST, by ELINOR WYLIE

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AUGUST, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Why should this negro insolently stride
Last Line: Scarce warms the surface of the deepest pool?
Alternate Author Name(s): Benet, William Rose, Mrs.
Subject(s): African Americans; Flowers; Pain; Negroes; American Blacks; Suffering; Misery

Why should this Negro insolently stride
Down the red noonday on such noiseless feet?
Piled in his barrow, tawnier than wheat,
Lie heaps of smouldering daisies, sombre-eyed,
Their copper petals shrivelled up with pride,
Hot with a superfluity of heat,
Like a great brazier borne along the street
By captive leopards, black and burning pied.

Are there no waterlilies, smooth as cream,
With long stems dripping crystal? Are there none
Like those white lilies, luminous and cool,
Plucked from some hemlock-darkened northern stream
By fair-haired swimmers, diving where the sun
Scarce warms the surface of the deepest pool?

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