By Claude McKay
There was a time when in late afternoon
The four-o'clocks would fold up at day's close
Pink-white in prayer, and 'neath the floating moon
I lay with them in calm and sweet repose.
And in the open spaces I could sleep,
Half-naked to the shining worlds above;
Peace came with sleep and sleep was long and deep,
Gained without effort, sweet like early love.
But now no balm--nor drug nor weed nor wine--
Can bring true rest to cool my body's fever,
Nor sweeten in my mouth the acid brine,
That salts my choicest drink and will forever.