APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTH!
Published in 1855, I present "The Dark-Skinned Boy," written by GYPSEY.
THE DARK-SKINNED BOY
’Twas dark-skinned boy, yet so beautiful,
With his tender, large, soft eye,
And the bright blood shone in his dusky cheek,
And his forehead was broad and high;
And his red lip dimpled with baby glee,
As he danced and crowed on his mother’s knee.
The sunlight skimmered through swinging vines,
On a girlish figure bowed ;
For the mother sat with weary soul,
Whilst her young boy laughed aloud,
And her mournful eyes on his face were bent,
Whilst his ringing voice to her heart core went.
The sunbeams lit on his jetty hair,
And wove him golden crown,
An he called to her, "look at the yellow gleams,
How the vine leaves shook them down."
But she started, and turned from his beaming face,
And brought him away to a shadowy place.
How he lifted in wonder his pleading eyes,
But he saw that her look was sad ;
Then his bright lip curled with kindred grief,
And the child was no longer glad.
Such a baby he, and still closer crept,
And nestled his head on her heart and slept.
The long, black lash, like silken fringe,
On his warm cheek drooped so soft ;
And the bright tears twinkled amid his locks,
For the mother shed them oft.
Oh! those bitter tears could they wash the stain
From that dusky brow t’were not all in vain.
He was free, and so bright, and so beautiful,
Then why did that mother weep ?
And why did she sit with such lifeless lips,
Looking down on his blessed sleep ?
And say, do ye ask for that mother’s joy ?
Oh, God! he is naught but a "darkey boy !"