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

Charles D. Clem, "Things to Remember" (1902)

Things to Remember

Don't frown upon my able face
Because it's not ruddy like thine.
rmember that water, though colorless,
Is more precious than sparkling wine.

Don't look upon this crispy hair
With scornful eyes, nor jest.
Remember t'was nature that made it thus,
And she knew what was best.

Don't look at color and caste of hair
As an index set apart,
But look instead at principle
To read a person's heart.

Don't look at man's exterior,
For true it has been told,
That 'neath fine moss and rugged rock
Is found the precious gold.

Despise no one, however poor, 
Tho' his clothes be old and worn;
Remember that the Prince of Peace 
In poverty was born. 

Published in Rhymes of a Rhymester, 1902
Also appears in Feb. 2, 1902 edition of Oklahoma State Capitol

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