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

Georgia Douglas Johnson, "The Children's Manual" (1920)

SQUARE your, shoulders,
Lift your chest,
Make the present hour your best;
Dare to venture,
Spurn to please
Inclinations unto ease.
Life is waking,
Light is breaking,
Fare unto the further goal;
Wed ambition,
Proud fruition
Waits beyond the thunder's roll.
Doff the shy air,
Meet a glance fair,
Naught is gained by slavish fears;
Seek the star-ways,
Leave the by-ways,
Win the guerdon of the years!

Published in The Brownies' Book, July 1920

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