Textual History

This poem also appeared in The Liberator (April, 1922): [*] Claude McKay French Leave The Liberator (April, 1922): 27 .


  • Editorial Notes ?
  • Highlight Variants ?


French Leave1

  1. No servile little fear shall daunt my will

  2. This morning.,* I have courage steeled to say

  3. I will be lazy, conqueringly still,

  4. I will not lose the hours in toil this day.

  5. The roaring world without, careless of souls,

  6. Shall leave me to my placid dream of rest,

  7. My four walls shield me from its shouting ghouls,

  8. And all its hates have fled my quiet breast.

  9. And I will loll here resting, wide awake,

  10. Dead to the world of work, the world of love,

  11. I laze contented just for dreaming's sake ,*

  12. With not the slightest urge to think or move.

  13. How tired unto death, how tired I was!

  14. Now for a day I put my burdens by,

  15. And like a child amidst the meadow grass

  16. Under the southern sun, I languid lie ,*

  17. And feel the bed about me kindly deep,

  18. My strength ooze gently from my hollow bones,

  19. My worried brain drift aimlessly to sleep,

  20. Like softeningsoften* to a song of tuneful tones.


Harlem Shadows (1922)

Additional Poems by Claude McKay

Contemporary Reviews

Supplementary Texts