James Weldon Johnson was a Renaissance man. He was an author, a songwriter, one of the organizers of the NAACP, an editor and poet. But most of all he was gifted with words. This is probably one of my favorite Johnson poems because of its rich lyrical texture. I love the feel of it as I speak the words as much as I love reading them.
I dreamed that I was a rose
That grew beside a lonely way,
Close by a path none ever chose,
And there I lingered day by day.
Beneath the sunshine and the show’r
I grew and waited there apart,
Gathering perfume hour by hour,
And storing it within my heart,
Yet, never knew,
Just why I waited there and grew.
I dreamed that you were a bee
That one day gaily flew along,
You came across the hedge to me,
And sang a soft, love-burdened song.
You brushed my petals with a kiss,
I woke to gladness with a start,
And yielded up to you in bliss
The treasured fragrance of my heart;
And then I knew
That I had waited there for you.