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The Souls of Black Folk


of the massed millions of the black peasantry, and in another have
sought to make clear the present relations of the sons of master and
man. Leaving, then, the white world, I have stepped within the
Veil, raising it that you may view faintly its deeper recesses,—the
meaning of its religion, the passion of its human sorrow, and the
struggle of its greater souls. All this I have ended with a tale twice
told but seldom written, and a chapter of song.
Some of these thoughts of mine have seen the light before in other
guise. For kindly consenting to their republication here, in altered
and extended form, I must thank the publishers of the Atlantic
Monthly, The World's Work, the Dial, The New World, and the
Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.
Before each chapter, as now printed, stands a bar of the Sorrow
Songs,—some echo of haunting melody from the only American
music which welled up from black souls in the dark past. And,
finally, need I add that I who speak here am bone of the bone and
flesh of the flesh of them that live within the Veil?
W.E.B Du B. 
A T L A N T A , G A ., FE B . 1, 1903.
I
Of Our Spiritual Strivings

A ll night long crying w ith a
mournful cry,
As I lie and listen, and cannot understand 
 The voice of m y heart
in my side or the voice of the sea,

O w
ater, crying for rest, is it I, is it I?

A ll
night long the water is crying to me.
Unresting water, there shall never be res
Till the last moon droop and the last
tide fail,
And the fire of the end begin to burn in the west; 
 And the heart shall be
weary and wonder and cry like the sea,
A ll life long crying w ithout avail, 
 A s the
water all night long is crying to me.

ARTHUR SYMONS.
O water, voice of my heart, crying in the sand,
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