Night Funeral In Harlem

Night funeral
In Harlem:

Where did they get
Them two fine cars?

Insurance man, he did not pay--
His insurance lapsed the other day--
Yet they got a satin box
for his head to lay.

Night funeral
In Harlem:

Who was it sent
That wreath of flowers?

Them flowers came
from that poor boy's friends--
They'll want flowers, too,
When they meet their ends.

Night funeral
in Harlem:

Who preached that
Black boy to his grave?

Old preacher man
Preached that boy away--
Charged Five Dollars
His girl friend had to pay.

Night funeral
In Harlem:

When it was all over
And the lid shut on his head
and the organ had done played
and the last prayers been said
and six pallbearers
Carried him out for dead
And off down Lenox Avenue
That long black hearse done sped,
The street light
At his corner
Shined just like a tear--
That boy that they was mournin'
Was so dear, so dear
To them folks that brought the flowers,
To that girl who paid the preacher man--
It was all their tears that made
That poor boy's
Funeral grand.

Night funeral
In Harlem.

by Langston Hughes

Comments (3)

The rational bidding of 'for' and 'ever' also stirs the emotional twinge when it grows as 'forever' in the end... And whomsoever to bind that, did it for a good reason I believe... A witty verbal repartee..! ! Great write! !
It is a wonderful analytical poem on the word - forever! Whether it is forever or for ever, it doesn't make any difference! Likewise there are words like sunrise, sunset, nowhere!
Very clever commentary on grammar by Mister Calverly - - perhaps we should rename him Cleverly. This piece is much more thought-provoking and less frivolous than it appears at first glance, and deserves a much higher rating than the 5.7 out of ten given by the 38 voters so far.