To Certain Cultured Women

Open the window; the jungle calls;

(Searching winds in the grasses rank)

Your masters sleep in the silent halls.

(Breathe the wind, grown haunting and dank.)

Restless woman with magic eyes,

Jungle love is your heritage;

Deep in your soul it slumbers and lies,

Waking after an ageless age.

Men of your hue have drawn apart,

Climbing to heights you never can climb,

The jungle lies in your deep red heart,

Claiming you after a timeless time.

Men of your hue have turned away

From club and arrow and trail and cave—

Deep in your brain you long today

For the fires where the dancers leap and rave.

Open the window; there waits without

One who will sate your primal lust;

One who will grip you and strip and flout,

Humble your pride to the pulsing dust;

Make you a woman primal, debased,

Tame you as you wish to be tamed,

Waking the days when girls were chased

Hard through the reeking woods and shamed.

What do the men of your own race give?

Honor and wealth and tenderness—

What would you have to fully live?

Shame and pain and the whip’s caress!

Wild and ecstatic, burning pain,

Fingers that yield not to your plea—

Loins against which you strive in vain,

Blows and a brutal mastery.

Men may rise to the shining gates,

Out of the ancient bestial sea—

You are still, with your loves and hates,

Primal woman—and ever shall be.

Open the window; your masters sleep;

Wary and cautious; wake them not.

You feel the hot blood raven and leap,

Coursing veins that are passion hot.

Open the window; he waits without;

(Eyes agleam in the gliding gloom)

The jungle raises one gloating shout

As a black man glides in your moonlit room.