Then call me traitor if you must,
Shout reason and default!
Say I betray a sacred trust
Aching beyond this vault.
I’ll bear your censure as your praise,
For never shall the clan
Confine my singing to its ways
Beyond the ways of man.
No racial option narrows grief,
Pain is not patriot,
And sorrow plaits her dismal leaf
For all as lief as not.
With blind sheep groping every hill,
Searching an oriflamme,
How shall the shpherd heart then thrill
To only the darker lamb?
Countee Cullen born Countee LeRoy Porter, was a prominent African-American poet, novelist, children’s writer, and playwright during the Harlem Renaissance.