Online Texts for Craig White's Literature Courses

  • Not a critical or scholarly text but a reading text for a seminar

Langston Hughes


"The Negro

Speaks of Rivers"




The Negro Speaks of Rivers

I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human rivers
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.                                                                3

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.                                      6
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset

I've known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.                                                                                            9

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.