Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Gone under
By Cecil John
 
From “On the Edge”

ROB had ambition, came to Africa
To live the strenuous life and make a fortune.
He had energy, his mother’s money, and a boy’s high hope.
He met a planter—tobacco was the thing!—
Was offered shares.        5
He put in all he had;
He worked—God, he sweat blood
Rounding up niggers in the broiling sun,
Planting, digging, trying hard for sales!
Cigars were not two pounds the thousand lot.        10
His partner used to loll in a long chair
Groggy with whiskey, kissing his black girl.
Rob cleared out finally, picked clean.
He tried for jobs, had fever, lost his nerve….
Bubunde nursed him—cynical old chief.        15
Rob took his girl to wife to get her cows,
And grows his manioc on her fertile land,
And smokes his pipe and drinks banana beer.
Sometimes we chat of evenings—
But by day he keeps away.        20
 
 
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