‘The Negro Speaks of Rivers’ by Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes, 1902 – 1967

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.

euphrates-at-birecik-turkey-courtesy-dursun-yildiz

I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.

congo-river

I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.

178001-004-1cdc6202

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.

mississippi-river-sunset-don-schwartz

I’ve known rivers: Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

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