The torrents of my blood whistled along the banks of my
During the night and the days more lonely than the night.
The dams and walls held fast against the treacherous weight,
Against the hammering; and there I was
Beating my head in despair like a disturbed child.
At a sign from my Guardian Angel, I said peace to my soul,
But what a fight without a trainer, and my whole body
With the diligence of a peasant, I filled away patiently
For the seventeen hours of the summer day, as when the
Had to be gathered under the threat of stormy skies.
The other morning – I’ve already lost track of time and
I felt the milk drops of truth on my cheek.
Outside, it was still night, and not a star shone from a
Little by little I was bathed by dawn and the wet, tender,
Of an unmistakeable softness. Raising my eyes
Above the sun, to the East, I watched the hovering stars
And I heard the hymn of peace.
Now freed from my prison, I miss already
The whole-grain bread and the weary sleepless nights.
The Collected Poetry
By Leopold Sedar Senghor