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Song of the Son

 Pour O pour that parting soul in song
O pour it in the sawdust glow of night
Into the velvet pine-smoke air tonight,
And let the valley carry it along.
And let the valley carry it along.
O land and soil, red soil and sweet-gum tree, So scant of grass, so proligate of pines, Now hust before an epoch's sun declines Thy son, in time, I have returned to thee, Thy son, I have in time returned to thee.
In time, for though the sun is setting on A song-lit race of slaves, it has not set; Though late, O soil, it is not too late yet To catch thy plaintive soul, leaving, soon gone, Leaving, to catch thy plaintive soul soon gone.
O Negro slaves, dark purple ripened plums, Squeezed, and bursting in the pine-wood air, Passing, before they stripped the old tree bare One plum was saved for me, one seed becomes an everlasting song, a singing tree, Caroling softly souls of slavery, What they were, and what they are to me, Caroling softly souls of slavery.

by Jean Toomer
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