African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Angelina W. Grimke, "To the Dunbar High School (A Sonnet)" (1917)

And she shall be the friend of youth for aye;
Of quick'ning youth whose eyes have seen the gleam;
Of youth between whose tears and laughter stream
Bright bows of hope; of youth, audacious, gay
Who dares to know himself a Caesar, say,
A Shakespeare or a Galahad. The dream
To him is real: and things are as they seem,
For Beauty veils from him the feet of clay.

How holy and how wonderful her trust--
Youth's friend--and yes, how blest. For down the west
Each day shall go to the sun, and time in time
Shall die, the unborn shall again be dust;
But she with youth eternal on her breast,
Immortal, too, shall sit serene, sublime. 

(First published in The Crisis, July 1917)

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