James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938 / Florida/United States)
Before a Painting
I knew not who had wrought with skill so fine
What I beheld; nor by what laws of art
He had created life and love and heart
On canvas, from mere color, curve and line.
Silent I stood and made no move or sign;
Not with the crowd, but reverently apart;
Nor felt the power my rooted limbs to start,
But mutely gazed upon that face divine.
And over me the sense of beauty fell,
As music over a raptured listener to
The deep-voiced organ breathing out a hymn;
Or as on one who kneels, his beads to tell,
There falls the aureate glory filtered through
The windows in some old cathedral dim.
James Weldon Johnson's Other Poems
- A Banjo Song
- A Mid-Day Dreamer
- A Poet To His Baby Son
- An Explanation
- And the Greatest of These Is War
- Beauty that Is Never Old
- Before a Painting
- Brer Rabbit You's de Cutes' of 'Em All
- Dat Gal o' Mine
- De Little Pickaninny's Gone to Sleep
- Deep In the Quiet Wood
- Down By the Carib Sea
- Father, Father Abraham
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