poem index


William Stanley Braithwaite

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William Stanley Braithwaite, born December 6, 1878, was a poet, literary critic, editor, and anthologist. His books include Selected Poems (Coward-McCann, 1948), The House of Falling Leaves with Other Poems (John W. Luce & Co., 1908), and Lyrics of Life and Love (Herbert B. Turner & Co., 1904). Braithwaite was awarded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Arthur B. Spingarn Award for his achievements in literature. He died in his home in Harlem, New York, on June 8, 1962.

by this poet

To feed my soul with beauty till I die;
To give my hands a pleasant task to do;
To keep my heart forever filled anew
With dreams and wonders which the days supply;
To love all conscious living, and thereby
Respect the brute who renders up its due,
And know the world as planned is good and true—
And thus —because
LO, a house untenanted
Stands beside the road of Time;
They who lived there once, have fled
To some other house and clime.

Towers pointing to the sky
With long shadows on the ground,
Never shade a passerby,
Never echo back a sound.