What awful brain compels His awful hand. (12)
Funny how God was good and inscrutable and now He's "awful"? What's up with that? Not only is God a contradiction, but now the speaker is starting to contradict himself. The speaker could be saying that we can't understand God's goodness, so, at times, He appears to be awful. We see unfortunate things in life and are confused about why God would make them that way. On the other hand, if the speaker is being ironic, he could be joking about a God that is so "awful" he makes "a poet black." In other words, the speaker could be snubbing the popular American prejudice at the time that African-American's weren't capable of becoming sophisticated artists in America.