Angelina Weld Grimke


The want of you


You


Give me your eyes


Your eyes


Rosabel


A Mona Lisa


For the Candle Light


Naughty Nan


The Garden Seat


Caprichosa


A triolet


Evanescence


A winter twilight


At April


When the Green Lies Over the Earth


Grass fingers


The eyes of my regret


Trees


Tenebris


Vigil


El Beso


The Black Finger


The want of you
A hint of gold where the moon will be; Through the flocking clouds just a star or two; Leaf sounds, soft and wet and hushed; And oh! the crying want of you.
You
I love your throat, so fragrant, fair, The little pulses beating there; Your eye-brows' shy and questioning air; I love your shadowed hair. I love your flame-touched ivory skin; Your little fingers frail and thin; Your dimple creeping out and in; I love your pointed chin. I love the way you move, you rise; Your fluttering gestures, just-caught cries; I am not sane, I am not wise, God! how I love your eyes!
Give me your eyes
Give me your eyes. I do not ask to touch The hands of you, the mouth of you, Soft and sweet and fragrant though they be. No, lift your eyes to mine; Give me but one last look Ere I step forth forever; E'en though within that moment's crashing space I shall know all of life and death and heaven and hell.
Your eyes
Through the downiness of the grey dawn, Through its grey gossamer softness - Your eyes; Through the wonder-shine of the one star, Beautiful, solitary, in the East - Your eyes; Through the fierceness, the cymbaling of colors, Through the whitening glory of the springing sun - Your eyes; Through the chattering of birds, through their songs, Delicate, lovely, swaying in the treetops, Through the softness of little feathered breasts and throats Through the skitterings of little feet, Through the whirrings of silken wings - Your eyes; Through the green quiet, the hot languor of noon, Sudden, through its cleft peace - Your eyes; Through the slenderness of maiden trees kissed aflame by the mouth of the Spring, Through them standing against a slowly goldening Western sky, Through them standing very still, wondering, Wistful, waiting - Your eyes; Through the beautiful Dusk; through the beautiful, blue-black hair of the Dusk, Through her beautiful parted hair - Your eyes, Kissing mine.
Rosabel
I.
Leaves, that whisper, whisper ever, Listen, listen, pray; Birds, that twitter, twitter softly, Do not say me nay; Winds, that breathe about, upon her, (Since I do not dare) Whisper, twitter, breathe unto her That I find her fair. II.
Rose whose soul unfolds white petaled Touch her soul rose-white; Rose whose thoughts unfold gold petaled Blossom in her sight; Rose whose heart unfolds red petaled Quick her slow heart's stir; Tell her white, gold, red my love is; And for her,--for her.
A Mona Lisa
1. I should like to creep Through the long brown grasses That are your lashes; I should like to poise On the very brink Of leaf-brown pools That are your shadowed eyes; I should like to cleave Without sound, Their gleaming waters, their unrippled waters, I should like to sink down And down And down And deeply down. 2.
Would I be more than a bubble breaking? Or and ever-widening circle Ceasing at the marge? Would my white bones Be the only white bones Wavering back and forth, back and forth In their depths?
For the Candle Light
The sky was blue, so blue, that day, And each daisy white, so white; Oh! I knew that no more could rains fall gray, And night again be night. I knew! I knew! Well, if night is night, And the gray skies grayly cry, I have in a book, for the candle light, A daisy, dead and dry.
Naughty Nan
I
Naughty Nan If you can Tell me how your frowns and smiles, Sudden tears, and naive wiles, Linked into a glittering band Follow swiftly hand in hand? Tell me wayward April-born, Child of smiles and tears forlorn, Have you ever felt the smart Of a lacerated heart? Are you but a sprite of moods? Heartless, that fore'er deludes Tell me naughty Nan? II
Naughty Nan If you can Tell me why you have such eyes Gleaming when not drooped in sighs Or when veiled by falling rain? Haughty oft but never vain Sometime wistful orbs of brown, Sometimes blazing in fierce scorn But eyes that are never free From some glance of witchery. Tell me why you have such lips Tempting me to stolen sips Tender, drooping, luring, sad, Laughing, mocking, madly glad, Tell me naughty Nan? III
Naughty Nan If you can Tell me why you play with me, Take my heart so prettily In your dainty, slender, hands, Bruise its tender, loving, bands? Tell me why your eyes are brown Mock and glitter when I frown? Flitting, luring, little, sprite In a garb of moods bedight, Dancing here, and dancing there, Changeling strange, but ever fair You have caught me in your snare,- Naughty Nan.
The Garden Seat
And then I stole up all noiseless and unseen, And kissed those eyes so dreamy and so sad–I Ah God! if I might once again see all Thy soul leap in their depths as then So hungry with long waiting and so true, I clasp thee close within my yearning arms I kiss thine eyes, thy lips, thy silky hair, I felt thy soft arms twining round my neck, Thy bashful, maiden, kisses on my cheek My whole heart leaping ‘neath such wondrous joy– And then the vision faded and was gone And I was in my lonely, darkened, room, The old-time longing surging in my breast, The old-time agony within my soul As fresh, as new, as when I kissed thy lips So cold, with frenzy begging thee to speak, Believing not that thou wert lying dead.
Caprichosa
Little lady coyly shy With deep shadows in each eye Cast by lashes soft and long, Tender lips just bowed for song, And I oft have dreamed the bliss Of the nectar in one kiss. . .
A triolet
Molly raised shy eyes to me, On an April day; Close we stood beneath a tree, Molly raised shy eyes to me, Shining sweet and wistfully, Wet and yet quite gay; Molly raised shy eyes to me, On an April day.

A triolet is a one stanza poem of eight lines. The first, fourth and seventh lines are identical, as are the second and final lines, thereby making the initial and final couplets identical as well.
Evanescence
You are like a pale purple flower In the blue spring dusk You are like a yellow star Budding and blowing In an apricot sky You are like the beauty Of a voice Remembered after death You are like thin, white petals Falling And Floating Down Upon the white stilled hushing Of my soul.
A winter twilight
A silence slipping around like death, Yet chased by a whisper, a sigh, a breath; One group of trees, lean, naked and cold, Inking their cress 'gainst a sky green-gold; One path that knows where the corn flowers were; Lonely, apart, unyielding, one fir; And over it softly leaning down, One star that I loved ere the fields went brown.
At April
Toss your gay heads, Brown girl trees; Toss your gay lovely heads; Shake your brown slim bodies; Stretch your brown slim arms; Stretch your brown slim toes. Who knows better than we, With the dark, dark bodies, What it means When April comes a-laughing and a-weeping Once again At our hearts?
When the Green Lies Over the Earth
When the green lies over the earth, my dear, A mantle of witching grace, When the smile and the tear of the young child year Dimple across its face, And then flee, when the wind all day is sweet With the breath of growing things, When the wooing bird lights on restless feet And chirrups and trills and sings To his lady-love In the green above, Then oh! my dear, when the youth's in the year, Yours is the face that I long to have near, Yours is the face, my dear. But the green is hiding your curls, my dear, Your curls so shining and sweet; And the gold-hearted daisies this many a year Have bloomed and bloomed at your feet, And the little birds just above your head With their voices hushed, my dear, For you have sung and have prayed and have pled This many, many a year. And the blossoms fall, On the garden wall, And drift like snow on the green below. But the sharp thorn grows On the budding rose, And my heart no more leaps at the sunset glow, For oh! my dear, when the youth's in the year, Yours is the face that I long to have near, Yours is the face, my dear.
Grass fingers
Touch me, touch me, Little cool grass fingers, Elusive, delicate grass fingers. With your shy brushings, Touch my face - My naked arms - My thighs - My feet. Is there nothing that is kind? You need not fear me. Soon I shall be too far beneath you, For you to reach me, even, With your tiny timorous toes.
The eyes of my regret
Always at dusk, the same tearless experience, The same dragging of feet up the same well-worn path To the same well-worn rock; The same crimson or gold dropping away of the sun The same tints, – rose, saffron, violet, lavender, grey Meeting, mingling, mixing mistily; Before me the same blue black cedar rising jaggedly to a point; Over it, the same slow unlidding of twin stars, Two eyes, unfathomable, soul-searing, Watching, watching, watching me; The same two eyes that draw me forth, against my will dusk after dusk; The same two eyes that keep me sitting late into the night, chin on knees Keep me there lonely, rigid, tearless, numbly miserable – The eyes of my Regret.
Trees
God made them very beautiful, the trees: He spoke and gnarled of bole or silken sleek They grew; majestic bowed or very meek; Huge-bodied, slim; sedate and full of glees. And He had pleasure deep in all of these. And to them soft and little tongues to speak Of Him to us, He gave wherefore they seek From dawn to dawn to bring unto our knees. Yet here amid the wistful sounds of leaves, A black-hued grewsome something swings and swings; Laughter it knew and joy in little things Till man’s hate ended all. –And so man weaves. And God, how slow, how very slow weaves He— Was Christ Himself not nailed to a tree?
Tenebris
There is a tree, by day, That, at night, Has a shadow, A hand huge and black, With fingers long and black. All through the dark, Against the white man's house, In the little wind, The black hand plucks and plucks At the bricks. The bricks are the color of blood and very small. Is it a black hand, Or is it a shadow?
Vigil
You will come back, sometime, somehow; But if it will be bright or black I cannot tell; I only know You will come back. Does not the spring with fragrant pack Return unto the orchard bough? Do not the birds retrace their track? All things return. Some day the glow Of quick’ning dreams will pierce your lack; And when you know I wait as now; You will come back.
El Beso
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; You mouth, And madness, madness, Tremulous, breathless, flaming, The space of a sigh; Then awakening-remembrance, Pain, regret-your sobbing; And again, quiet-the stars, Twilight-and you.
The Black Finger
I have just seen a beautiful thing Slim and still, Against a gold, gold sky, A straight cypress, Sensitive Exquisite, A black finger Pointing upwards. Why, beautiful, still finger are you black? And why are you pointing upwards?




Angelina Weld Grimké was born in 1880 in Boston,
the only child of Archibald Grimké and Sarah Stanley.
Her father was the son of a white man and a black slave,
and her mother was from a prominent white family.
Her parents named her after her great aunt Angelina
Grimké, a white abolitionist and women's rights advocate.
She worked as a gym teacher until 1907, when she
became an English teacher. She continued to teach until
her retirement in 1926.
She wrote fiction, poetry, reviews, and biographical
sketches. She became best known for her play entitled
"Rachel". Only some of her stories and about a third
of her poems were published.
Angelina's journal, letters and poetry reveal her lesbian
tendencie. She kept her lesbianism closeted throughout
her life, trying to live up to her father's idea of morality.
Angelina cared for her father during his final illness.
After his death, she left Washington DC for New York,
where she lived a reclusive life in Brooklyn. She never
published again.
Angelina Weld Grimké died in 1958.





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