When April Comes

Fenton Johnson

When April comes as April will
No more in eagerness my soul
Shall cringe and ask that thou shalt hear
My humble songs, my melody;
No more shall I go panting forth,
Close 'pon me wild hounds hot o' breath.
For in the April time my hour
Shall dawn, the hour of tranquil dusk;
And when the earth is all anew,
Revived by hope the springtime grants,
I know that I shall drift away,
Where poets have their holiday.

Oh, heavy is this life of mine,
And I, a broken reed 'mongst men.
I lived a plaintive melody,
Unsung, unloved, unknown, unwept.
I loved as every youth will love,
But she on whom I poured my love
Was not for me, — I know not why,
I dreamed as every youth should dream,
But all my dreams to air have changed,
And now that I am going forth
To break my wand I breathe a prayer
That those, my brothers of the dusk,
Shall not forget that I have lived
But in the tide of love shall drop
Upon my lonely grave a rose,
For one who lived his life for them.

Last updated September 21, 2022