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Humanities Libertexts

8.19: Hughes, Langston "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" (1921)

  • Page ID
    14730
  • I’ve known rivers:
    I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
         flow of human blood in human veins.

    My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

    I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
    I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
    I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
    I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln 
         went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy 
         bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

    I’ve known rivers:
    Ancient, dusky rivers.

    My soul has grown deep like the rivers.