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About this Poem 

“To Joseph Lee” was published in the Boston Evening Transcript on November 11, 1908. 

To Joseph Lee

How strange, how passing strange, when we awake
        And lift our faces to the light
To know that you are lying shut away
        Within the night.

How strange, how passing strange, when we lie down
        To sleep, to know that you are quite
Alone beneath the moon, the stars, the little leaves,
        Within the night.

How strange, how passing strange to know—our eyes
        Will gladden at the fine sweet sight
Of you no more, for now your face is hid
        Within the night.

Strange, strange indeed, these things to us appear
        And yet we know they must be right;
And though your body sleeps, your soul has passed
        Beyond the night.

Ah! friend, it must be sweet to slip from out
        The tears, the pain, the losing fight
Below, and rest, just rest eternally
        Beyond the night.

And sweet it must be too, to know the kiss
        Of Peace, of Peace, the pure, the white
And step beside her hand in hand quite close
        Beyond the night.
 

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

Angelina Weld Grimké

Angelina Weld Grimké

Angelina Weld Grimké, a journalist, playwright, teacher, author, and poet, was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1880. She was one of the first African-American women to have one of her plays publicly performed, and was a prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance. She died in New York City in 1958.

 

by this poet

poem
Twilight—and you
Quiet—the stars; 
Snare of the shine of your teeth, 
Your provocative laughter, 
The gloom of your hair; 
Lure of you, eye and lip; 
Yearning, yearning, 
Languor, surrender; 
Your mouth, 
And madness, madness, 
Tremulous, breathless, flaming, 
The space of a sigh; 
Then awakening—remembrance,
poem

Still are there wonders of the dark and day;
The muted shrillings of shy things at night,
So small beneath the stars and moon;
The peace, dream-frail, but perfect while the light
Lies softly on the leaves at noon.
These are, and these will be
Until Eternity;
But she who loved them