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About this Poem 

“Quest” was published in The Heart of a Woman and Other Poems (The Cornhill Company, 1918). 

Quest

The phantom happiness I sought
   O’er every crag and moor;
I paused at every postern gate,
   And knocked at every door;

In vain I searched the land and sea,
   E’en to the inmost core,
The curtains of eternal night
   Descend—my search is o’er.
 

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

Georgia Douglas Johnson

Georgia Douglas Johnson

Georgia Douglas Johnson was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in the late nineteenth century. 

by this poet

poem

When I rise up above the earth,
And look down on the things that fetter me,
I beat my wings upon the air,
Or tranquil lie,
Surge after surge of potent strength
Like incense comes to me
When I rise up above the earth
And look down upon the things that fetter me.

poem
They have dreamed as young men dream
     Of glory, love and power;
They have hoped as youth will hope
     Of life’s sun-minted hour.

They have seen as other saw
     Their bubbles burst in air,
And they have learned to live it down
     As though they did not care.
poem

Oh, for the veils of my far away youth,
Shielding my heart from the blaze of the truth,
Why did I stray from their shelter and grow
Into the sadness that follows—to know!

Impotent atom with desolate gaze
Threading the tumult of hazardous ways—
Oh, for the veils, for the veils of my