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

Julius C. Wright, "Poetic Diamonds" (full text) (1906)

Poetic Diamonds
 Written for the Interest of the Afro-Americans and all Concerned
 A Youth of Twenty Years, Who Never Spent a Day in College


AS to whether or not it is wisely or timely done, I have put my leisure time and many lonesome and weary hours of the past nights in preparing* this little volume for the ' 'Public, " and my purpose for so doing is: that it may be a help to the  thousands of teachers who are to-day struggling so hard and faithfully to rise from supine and bring out from behind the dark veil of life the thousands of young ''Afro- Americans" who can be made useful to-day and are much needed. And, too, that it may help them to close their proogressive schools with happy, pleasant and cheerful concerts. 
 Whether or not the contents of this little volume will suit you I can't tell. But I have put forth my best efforts to compose something to please everybody — 
 The Saint and the sinner, 
 The looser and the winner, 
 The great and the small. 
 The low and the tall. 
 So I have pulled wide the throttle to let it go, and ask you to keep your eyes upon the rails that it may be widely and publicly circulated. And I truly hope that it will find a useful field of labor instead of filling an early grave in the cemetery of forgetfulness. 
 The Author. 

 Montgomery, Ala., 1906. 
 My Dear Young Friends: 
 We are the generation being reared up in this country to succeed those gone and going on before us. We must prepare, and we can't prepare too early. 
 The first place for us to begin is at home, by loving and giving our aid to take care of it, and doing our best to make it pleasant. Home is the place where all foundations must be laid whereupon prosperity can be built and energy forever stand. Home stands inviting where all others are denying. So a home well cared for will prove a success for the builder. 
 The next place is in the school-room, the source of knowledge, and knowledge is the key to honest and rapid success. Some of us have better chances to secure an education than others. But I believe that every parent of this "black race," in this * 'enlightened" age have and are doing their best to educate their sons and daughters. And I feel that I speak the desire of every one when I say that they want to see us "famous." These dear ones that are with us to-day carrying on these great works, trying to save us from hell and destruction; those who are laboring so faithfully to save us from life's ruin and desolation, and to show us a brighter day in the future, that we may see our welfare, so that we may win for ourselves a seat upon the highest stage of life, will some day pass away. Their places must be filled and we must fill them. Since we are to succeed them we should and must do greater works than they have done. So it behooves us to get ready for the work, as this is a day of big things. Don't forget to be a true Christian, and ask the Lord, the creator of the world, to help us in our struggles. For we have associates that must be called from the field of ruin, who need to give the saloon-keeper a vacation, and need to let the "dice, the pool and billiard ball" be still, and come and do something to uplift this long down-trodden race that will bring knowledge and "fame" in the future. 

 After a struggle of over two years, when at the midnight hours, with nothing to accompany me but the crowing of the roosters, the hooting of the old swamp owls, or the singing of the crickets in the fruit trees (in the garden) , I have managed to hand 
 to you the test of my talent. And I hope, among you, it will make hours of pleasure and sunshine. Let us pull together, with this our motto: ''Envy no man who progresses honestly, but earnestly strive 
 to oppose those who oppress. " 
 I pray God's blessings upon you. 
 Yours, known and unknown, 
 Julius C. Wright. 

 There is a large crowd of young folks 
 Hurrying down the road; 
 They are going to have a picnic now, 
 And spread the news abroad. 
 They are wearing beautiful boquets, 
 And carrying bright tin dippers; 
 New straw hats are waiving high, 
 And patent leather slippers. 

 Their hats are made of fine chiffon, 
 And decorated too. 
 There will be plenty of goodies 
 For your friends and for you. 
 They will have a big barbecue. 
 And a lot of other stuff. 
 They are going to eat and drink 
 Till everybody puff. 
 They will have cakes and candy by the heaps, 
 And ice cream pressed in cake; 
 Peanuts parched fresh and hot, 
 And a lot of fine milk shakes. 
 They will have fish croquets by the bushels, 
  And cocoanut jumbles too; 
 They are going to feed their friends and foes 
 And have enough for you. 
 They are going to have a big dance 
 And have a jolly time. 
 They want to show their handsome looks 
 Because they look so fine, 
 One barrel or two of lemonade, 
 Mixed all through with ice;^ 
 Lemons cut and thrown therein^ 
 Gee ! it's awful nice. 

 Of all the fun and jolities, 
 And all the places of rest, 
 Just go to an old picnic ground; 
 They tell me that's the best. 
 (Have a pallet made near and sitting in a chair, 
 God bless the man who invented noble sleep; 
 Bless his noble eye. 
 Bless him that he didn't keep 
 His wonderful invention, nor try* 
 May the Lord bless him; yes, I say, 
 Lord, bless his soul. 
 Invented almost the greatest thing. 
 And was never told. 
 (He stretches and cries, 0, ho! ho!! ho!!!) 
 We must make him up a handsome sum, 
 And I declare we must, 
 And give him for his noble work. 
 For in his sleep we trust. 
 So we might bring up a lot of cash 
 And give this noble man 
 Letting others sleep while he went around 
 Telling of his plan.  
 (Throws his head about in a sleepy condition. ) 
 I hate to see the sun come up. 
 I am glad to see it set. 
 I know it's almost sleeping time, 
 And I am glad, you bet. (Nods his head. ) 
 When the sun is setting I am awful glad, 
 The time for sleep is coming. 
 I declare I'm feeling awful good. 
 That bed keeps on compelling. 
 (Stretches again and cries, 0, ho! ho!! ho!!!) 
 When the sun is down I am getting glad, 
 And I feel proud, you bet; 
 I'll soon be on that good old bed (points to it) 
 Where I will sleep and never fret. 
 'Tis sleep that makes a man feel good: 
 'Tis joy, peace and rest. 
 Of all the pleasures that I have. 
 Old sleep is the best. 
 I just can't bear to sit and look 
 At that good bed any more; 
 So I am off to sleep. One, two, three ! 
 Look and see me go. (Jumps on the pallet. ) 
 I accompanied my father once 
 To a railroad station near: 
 It was the greatest joy to me, 
 Those funny things to hear. 

 I stood in the office door a while, 
 And what to see and hear? 
 I heard some clucks and clicks; 
 I wondered without fear. 
 Then to my father I quickly ran 
 To find out what it was. 
"'Tis telegraph/' he answered, "son. 
 And then my courage rose. 
Who made it, papa? then I asked 
 In a low and trembling voice. 
 Then he quickly answered, "Son, 
 'Twas Samuel F. B. Morse." 
 Then to a city with him I went 
 And saw many attractive things; 
 Into a little fellow's mind 
 Many wonders bring. 
 To see the street cars dashing by, 
 There my attention laid. 
 "What's that pa ?" my question was.  
 "An electric car," he said. 
 "Are those lights electric too?" 
 I quickly asked of him. 
 He quickly answered, saying "yes." 
 That filled my heart with vim. 
 "What did they make them with ?" 
 Was my question next.  
 He said, "Franklin caught the hghtning, son; 
 Now listen to my text." 
 "Men took it and put it in 
 The use of many things. 
 Here, too, the men of our land 
 Brought many attractive things." 
 They put it in those moving cars, 
 And in those pretty lights, 
 And brought to the world and men 
 Many wondrous sights."


 When you are dissatisfied and can't be pleased 
 Going around with very little ease,  
 Only stop, take time and think, 
 Let down your bucket, draw up and drink. 
 Drink things that fill the heart with cheer, 
 And make you say I am glad I am here. 
 Catch the idea from a wink, 
 Let down your bucket, draw up and drink. 
 Thirsty people can always find 
 Something somewhere to fill their mind, 
 They find a well and without a blink 
 Let down their buckets, draw up and drink. 
 Some will drink of evil^ things, 
 Afterwards no good it brings, 
 See what you want, take time to think, 
 Let down your bucket, draw up and drink. 
 Let down for good, then bring it up, 
 Be sure to get full, a brimming cup, 
 Then before in a chair you sink, 
 Let down your bucket, draw up and drink. 
 Whenever 3^ou drink of evil things, 
 Send them from you as if they had wings. 
 And if they try to make you sink 
 Just let down your bucket, draw up and drink. 
There was never a man who arose for good, 
 What evil didn't hinder him if it could; 
 And every time it tries to make you sink 
 Let down your bucket, draw up and drink. 

 I am going to leave the dear old farm 
 It is so rich and firm, 
 I am going into the world so wide 
 Perhaps to never return. 
 Farewell to the green, shady grove, 
 You have comforted me so much, 
 I may never see you again, 
 It's only a chance for such. 
 I am no longer here a farmer's son. 
 Tilling up the dust, 
 I'll drag the old plow under the shed 
 And lay down my hoe to rust. 
 Be still old hoe and rest. 
 You have cut the choking weed, 

 You have killed the serpent under my feet,, 
 0! you are valuable indeed. 
 My hunting dog now you may rest^ 
 My gun lay in the rack, 
 My book of game laws I will hang 
 Up with my hunting sack, 
 You have done your work for me 
 And I will let you rest; 
 You guided me in time of sport,, 
 And you have stood the test. 
 I will walk down the long and Ionesom,e lane, 
 Down to the neighboring creek, 
 And there to my old fishing place 
 A farewell I will greet. 
 Good-bye to the adjoining fields 
 Where I used to plow and hoe, 
 I am going away I can not tell, 
 I may never see you any more, 
 Other boys will till you up 
 For I am going away, 
 I may chance to see you again 
 In some future day. 
 'Tis sad to leave my old, old home, 
 But I declare I must, 
 Farewell old home, farewell old farm, 
 I am gone in God to trust. 
 I went to .school in my 'childish days 
 And went on later still, 
 But where I learned my alphabet 
 Was in the school house on the hilL 
 T'was a shabby little cabin 
 With a chimney of dirt and sticks. 
 Not only our lessons were we taught 
 But learned many tricks. 
 We had no one to bring us word, 
 And the weather was very cold; 
 We went out in the fields for it 
 Just as we were told. 
 Our teachers were so good and kind 
 Our hearts with joy did fill, 
 0! if I could spend a day 
 In the school house on the hill 
 We played all up and down the brook 
 And would run base over the fields. 
 To bat the ball to the foot of the hill 
 We would €heer like thunder peel. 
 Over the hills we played around, 
 Sometimes to Kelley's mill, 
 But we always got back in time, 
 To the school house on the hill 

 We gathered flowers from the fields. 
 We chased the rabbits around, 
 Just hear us break out through the woods. 
 It was a jolly sound, 
 boys and girls that used to play 
 Over to Kelley's mill, 
 We would be happy to meet again 
 In the school house on the hill. 
 Our dear teacher is cold in death, 
 The school house is torn down. 
 The plowman labors over the spot 
 Breaking up the ground. 
 T'was sad to hear the news go around 
 That our dear teacher was dead, 
 Just think how kind he was to us. 
 But gone to his dark, low, bed. 
 The scholars now are scattered too 
 Into the world so wide, 
 Some have left the school. 
 Gone away and died. 
 1 want to see my dear schoolmates. 
 And yet perhaps I will. 
 If not I never will forget 
 The school house on the hilL 

 There is a mulberry over the well. 
 Has stood for many years; 
 It shaded me in time of need, 
 And watched my many tears. 
 Day after day the old tree stood 
 To shade the old wash place. 
 It seemed to comfort those it could, 
 And give a smiling face, 
 Many play houses did I build; 
 Decorated them with its leaves. 
 I'd played I was farming 
 And bringing in the sheaves, 
 The plow boys from the fields would come 
 To get water from the well, 
 And fall beneath the pleasant shade 
 And stories begin to tell. 
 Many times was dinner served 
 By fishermen under the tree; 
 They boasted of the pleasant shade 
 Furnished cool and free, 
 There never was a shade so pleasant 
 And so satisfying to me 
 In ail the days of my childhood 
 As that of the mulberry tree. 

 They would meet at the neighboring wash place 
 On Friday set apart, 
 They gathered there bright and soon 
 To be the first to start. 
 Then all day long a noise is up 
 Handing jokes around, 
 Adding more than it is 
 Just to make it sound. 
 When one would say "Pll beat you through, 
 The others say "you shant." 
 Then the one that started first 
 Gives out a bold "you can't." 
 The wash day seems jolly, 
 With scrubbing, rubbing and tugging. 
 All day long busy work, 
 Just see the water blubbering. 
 As the sun sinks fast you hear them sing 
 Most done in the evening cool; 
 Hanging the clothes out on the line 
 Finished by a rule. 
 The clothes get dry, they take them in^ 
 The day is almost done. 
 "Who got through first?" they asked around 
 The wash day race she won. 

 Things are getting peculiar, 
 Man is hard to please, 
 No matter what kind of a season comes 
 It gives but very little ease. 
 When it starts to raining 
 There is some fault to find, 
 For there is not a day 
 He is satisfied in mind. 
 When he has one thing he wants another, 
 So he's sure to complain; 
 Just let it be dry for a week 
 He is wondering, "Will it ever rain?" 
 When the crop is grassy he wants it clean, 
 So his family can rest, 
 He is tired of seeing them work so hard 
 And looks out for their best. 
 When the crop is clean he is displeased. 
 Go hobbling on a crutch; 
 He wants his folks to be at work. 
 They are around the house too much. . 
 "When it's dry he wants it wet. 
 When it's wet he is sure to fret, 
 When it's cold he wants it hot, 
 Always wanting what is not." 
 "My cotton is in the field" he says, 
 *'My corn I must haul up," 
 When this is done, then he says, 
 "J wants a new-ground cut." 
 Hell and destruction is never full, 
 Take the "Bible" and decide; 
 So are the eyes of mortal man 
 Never satisfied. 


 'Tis where I spent my childhood days. 
 At the old home on the swamp; 
 You never saw a happier boy, 
 More pleasure I never did want. 
 I went to fishing on the brook, 
 And on *'Eufauba" creek, 
 All up and down the "hedge rows" 
 Upon little birds would sneak. 
 I used to carry breakfast 
 To my brothers in the field, 
 As I nearer to them got 
 I am coming! I will yell. 
 Sometime I would carry my hook along 
 Or whatever I did want. 
 For I was living a happy life 
 At the old home on the swamp. 

 To hoe and plow was my crave, 
 But I was rather small, 
 The answer that they gave me was, 
 ' 'Wait, grow strong and tall. ' ' 
 I desired to learn of many things, 
 But that I sure did want 
 To aid me in my pleasure 
 At the old home on the swamp. 
 When a little larger I wanted a gun^ 
 But father said "too poor;" 
 The consolation that he gave. 
 Was 'wait a few years more, 
 "Then I will get a gun" he said 
 "For that is what you want, 
 "T'will be a lot of service son 
 "At our old home on the swamp." 
 Not many years had past 
 Before a gun I owned. 
 And every time I got a chance 
 Away I went to roam 
 With gun and dogs across the hills, 
 For game I sure did want; 
 That was my chief delight 
 Hunting on the swamp. 
 Now the old home I have left, 
 But goes back now and then, 
 No more ideas of living there. 
 If sol can't tell when; 
 No matter where in the world I be. 
 To see it I will want, 
 I never will forget the days 
 I spent down on the swamp. 

 Never was a thoug-ht any g-ood 
 Unless it was put to use, 
 No prisoner ever was so glad 
 As the day he was turned aloose. 
 Some people never realize 
 What it takes to carry them through, 
 Always can be a thinking 
 But never get to do. 
 Standing still and gazing- 
 At the distance far away„ 
 Never makes you reach it 
 Nor gives you any pay. 
 But only strive to reach it 
 That's the best for you, 
 Never be still a thinking 
 But think, get up and do. 
 While you are thinking do some. 
 That's the best for you; 
 While you are sitting idle around 
 Think, get up and do. 

 Be kind to everybody. 
 Speak gentle to every one, 
 To make our lives loving and happy 
 These things must be done. 
 Be kind and j^ou will be treated 
 In likeness of the same; 
 Speak gentle, you will be honored 
 For the goodness of your name. 
 Gentle words addeth honor. 
 Kind deeds addeth love; 
 You will always be happy 
 With blessings from above; 
 Never was kindness shown in vain, 
 Nor a gentle word spoken 
 That some weary soul didn't cherish it 
 And used it as a token. 
 There is always something to be done 
 And in the kindness way; 
 Gentle words need to be spoken 
 In life day by day. 
 No matter how stony the heart may be. 
 No matter how deaf the ear. 
 Some kind deed it will feel, 
 Some gentle word 'twill hear. 
 Kind deeds will touch the hearts of stone. 
 Gentle words will make it feel, 
 Twill touch the heart of the vilest man, 
 Though hard as flint and steel; 
 'Gentle words settled the greatest quarrel. 
 Have called the laborer to rest, 
 Have brought peace in time of war, 
 Gentle words have stood the test. 
 Kind deeds are the foundation 
 Upon which stands the wall, 

 Gentle words are the helpers 
 On which broken hearts can call. 
 Gentle words will cheer them up, 
 Kind deeds will mend them back, 
 They will kelp the wounded upon the field, 
 The weary racers on the track. 
 Scatter kindness along the path 
 As you travel day by day, 
 That may help some weary soul 
 That struggles along the way, 
 Speak gentle to the kind, 
 To the cruel speak the same; 
 So those of the future can say, 
 You aided them to fame. 
 When my recollection came to me 
 I was living on a farm; 
 I didn't try to do any good, 
 Nor to do any harm. 
 Soon I was running all about, 
 Me in mischief you would find. 
 Or you would find me asleep 
 Or doing something kind. 
 How my two brothers would take little me 
 And ramble over the fields 
 To pick wild berries and see the birds, 
 How jolly I would feel. 
 To play among the green-growing grass 
 And over the farm so hilly, 
 Rambling over the meadows green 
 My brothers George and Willie. 

 Down where we used to fish 
 On the Httle neighboring brook. 
 When the fishes didn't bite to suit 
 I would stop, stand up and look 
 When they began to catch them 
 I would put my hook back in. 
 Then to renew my luck 
 To see if I could win, 
 As the day dawned from the east 
 I would rise to meet the light, 
 Greeting the sunbeams as they danced 
 Merrily in my sight 
 Then I would go to the sandy yard. 
 There to begin my play, 
 While the sun beams merrily danced 
 And cheered me on the way, 
 And afterward I went to school 
 But I didn't like it well, 
 Because I couldn't be at play 
 And school-news I couldn't tell, 
 I was not in any way suited 
 'Twas a place I didn't like, 
 Among those strange boys and girls 
 Always ready to fight 
 But soon I got familiar 
 And was a jolly boy, 
 Learning all my lessons 
 As if they were a toy. 
 We would play our merry game 
 With always one debater, 
 Just wait awhile and let me think, 
 I'll tell you more later. 

 Just a small piece of metal 
 With letters and dates thereon 
 Can do a lot of good 
 And then a mighty harm. 
 The dollar can be invested 
 In a thriving little place; 
 It will boom a business 
 To gaze in future's face. 
 The dollar shines so bright. 
 Its power is so great; 
 Here among these earthly things 
 The dollar is in the bet. 
 The dollar has got the world running. 
 And all that man can start; 
 And then to keep up with it 
 A fellow must be smart. 
 The dollar can do wonders; 
 Mighty debts 'twill pay; 
 Has caused men to be prison bound; 
 Led many beings astray. 
 There was never a business started 
 Without the dollar in it; 
 And if you are not intuitive, 
 The dollar is sure to win it. 

 Truth is the foundation 
 Upon which character stands. 
 Speak the truth and mean it; 
 It is our God^s command. 
 Truth is what shines 
 In all the heaven above, 
 And the one that tells it 
 Is in our father^s love. 
 Be true to all your friends 
 As through life we plod, 
 And the best thing we can do 
 Be true to trust in God. 
 He is the one that made us 
 And put us in the world: 
 He is the one that spares us 
 While through time we whirl 
 If we want God's blessings 
 In all things we may do, 
 Do what is good with kindness 
 And always be true. 
 Whiskey! Whiskey!! Whiskey!!! 
 Drink after drink. 
 Leads a man to ruin 
 Before he stops to think. 
 Whiskey is not a friend 
 To any true lover of honor. 
 To use it in a disgraceful manner 
 Will bring a shameful rumor. 

 Whiskey has made the rich man poor. 
 Has made the high come low. 
 And taken awajr some dearest friend 
 To never return any more. 
 Whiskey has caused men to die; 
 Whiskey has caused men to He, 
 And has caused men to perish, 
 And forever groan and cry. 
 Whiskey has hurled men to ruin, 
 In that dreadful lake to burn. 
 Because he clung to the damnable cup 
 While conscience bade them turn. 
 Whiskey has caused men to swear; 
 Whiskey has caused men to bear 
 The lowest name of all the earth 
 That rings out through the air. 
 Whiskey has caused men to pay 
 Dollars in the most lavish way: 
 Because they let it guide them 
 As they travel day by day. 
 Watch! Watch! For the cup is coming! 
 Keep it far away from you. 
 Never be beguiled by it, 
 Then you will make it through. 


 Though small in population 
 In our Southern land, 
 Tuskegee stands up for herself 
 In the education band. 
 She holds her noted institutes 
 For both her white and black; 
 When all the towns are boasting, 
 Tuskegee is in the pack. 
 Let her stand the pride of the South 
 In these progressive years; 
 Let all of her people gladly talk 
 Of the noble name she bears. 
 Hurrah! Hurrah! Tuskegee, 
 Where education lies! 
 Of all the rulers and noble men, 
 Tuskegee has caught their eyes. 
 She has sent out her noble ones 
 To spread her fame abroad. 
 To tell of her noble work 
 In the South, and her reward. 
 Among the smart, noble workers, 
 You will find her competent sons, 
 Teaching and showing the noble work 
 That great Tuskege'se done. 

 Long may she survive, 
 Her sons and daughters live. 
 That they teach the useful things 
 That noble Tuskegee gives. 
 I once had had opportunities 
 To build me lasting fame. 
 But now the golden chances have passed 
 And here I stand ashamed. 
 Opportunities by the hundred 
 That I let pass me by. 
 Now all the world does laugh at me 
 And upon me the burdens lie. 
 In all my years of learning 
 I loafed from place to place. 
 Now all those opportunities 
 Doth stare me in the face. 
 Now I must lie here under foot 
 Of all those that surpass 
 Me in the days of my youth 
 And have got beyond my class. 
 On the street corner day after day 
 So merrily there I stood, 
 Into all tricks and funny jokes 
 And all that wasn't good. 
 I would not be instructed 
 About anything 'twas good; 
 Whenever one would try for such 
 I would scorn him all I could. 
 I would not read a book or paper, 
 I would not go to school; 
 Now all I have to offer 
 Is a history of a fool 
 It breaks my heart now to think 
 Of chances that went by. 
 Now the on\S thing that I can do 
 Is live a fool and dia 
 I must leave this world some day. 
 What can I leave behind? 
 Not one good deed that I have done 
 In all of my life time, 
 I only have a life of shame, 
 A blemished character through; 
 No good example have I laid: 
 My savings are of few. 
 What can I offer to the world? 
 What example can I lay? 
 I can not show one life progress 
 To travelers on the way. 
 No one will take my advice. 
 "Look at his life," they say, 
 I could not tell one to come, 
 For I have not prepared the way. 
 The whole world laughs at me 
 And points a finger of scorn, 
 To see me grown up a heathen 
 And all opportunities gone. 
 Young friends, be ever watchtul, 
 Be willing to go to school. 
 And when you give don't let it be 
 A history of a fool. 

 For I now ask you earnestly, 
 And for your noble name; 
 And don't live as I have lived 
 And have a life of shame. 
 1 spent my life in folly, 
 In places of disgrace; 
 Now all my sins and worthless deeds 
 Come before my face. 
 When one of my old friends 
 I would chance to meet, 
 Nothing then would please me more 
 Than set him up a treat. 
 0, take a drink on me! 
 I would beg him in my name. 
 Then into the next saloon 
 I would go and do the same. 
 My life is far spent, the world gaze on me, 
 Man excuse me not; 
 How sad it is for me to think, 
 Must die, be buried and forgot. 
 There is a mighry time to dread, 
 When I will be numbered with the dead; 
 To hisaven or hell then I must go, 
 And for which place I have laid my store, 
 Strive to be useful, 
 For many chance there be; 
 I ask you, for heaven's sake, 
 Live not a fool like me. 
 Work for God as well as man, 
 And keep yourselves from sin; 
 When you die the world will mourn, 
 And God will take you in. 

 We are moving on upon the stage of life, 
 The down-trodden race are we; 
 Still stniggling as we journey 
 On a higher seat to be. 
 Unfit for citizens, 
 The talk is ringing stilly 
 But let us get what is due, 
 And by our works we will 
 We are climbing up the ladder. 
 Reaching for success, 
 Some we have, but yet we are 
 Trying to get the best. 
 Let us join together 
 And keep on climbing still. 
 Still advancing round by round, 
 By each others help we will. 
 Let us move by next mile stone. 
 We are up from supine. 
 Not a day to tarry here, 
 Must move on with the time. , 
 Glad the day has now approached 
 And we are progressing still, 
 Uniting as one living the same, 
 By noble deeds we will. 
 Sometime the world is fuM of joy 
 And then gets full of strive, 
 It makes a fellow laugh sometime 
 And then cry out his life. 
 Sometime a fellow's home's all right, 
 Sometime a quarrel is up, 
 Sometime the wife wears loving- smiles, 
 Sometime she turns things up. 
 Sometime a fellow is living fine. 
 Sometime he's all in tough, 
 Sometimes the road is straight and smooth, 
 . Sometime 'tis crooked and rough. 
 Sometime the weather is warm and dry. 
 Sometime 'tis cold and wet, 
 Things are sure to turn around 
 So a fellow needn't fret. 
 Sometime a fellow is happy. 
 Sometime he is very sad, 
 Sometime he is feeling very good^ 
 Sometime be is feeling bad. 
 Sometime a fellow goes courting. 
 Having the swellest of swells, 
 Sometime his sweetheart turns him off. 
 Then he does fairly welL 
 Sometime a fellow is living high, 
 Sometime he is living low. 
 Sometime he has the best of health. 
 But things must change you know. 

 An old plow lays under the shed, 
 Covered with ruin and rust, 
 The farmer has put it aside, 
 No longer in it to trust. 
 It served it's term years past and gone, 
 Turning up the soil, 
 As the plowman stoutly held 
 It in it's daily toil. 
 Good work the plow did do, 
 Suitable to the farmer's sight; 
 While he merrily plowed along, 
 Singing with delight. 
 The old plow did the noble work. 
 That brought the farmer's grain; 
 All things must change we all well know 
 So there it couldn't remain. 
 By and by the useful tool 
 Began to give away; 
 The iron wore out, the wood-work broke 
 And could no longer stay. 
 It was dragged up to the house, 
 And placed under the shed; 
 Ruin had caused its decay. 
 And rust has turned it red. 
 It has served its term of labor 
 And now must lay to rest. 
 Others now must do the work 
 For it has stood the test. 

 The evening- was still and cool, 
 The wind had ceased to blow; 
 Around the home was still and quiet. 
 All in the valley below. 
 The twinkling- stars were shining* bright. 
 The silver moon hung low; 
 In all the neighborhood around 
 Was the saddest eve of yore; 
 And up the lonesome road that led 
 To the silent home of the dead. 
 The weeping- friends sent abroad the news 
 That their dear friend was gone; 
 A veil of sorrow was over them. 
 That they must grieve and mourn. 
 The friends around the fireside sat, 
 The night was calm and sad; 
 O, if the deceased could just return 
 They would be only glad. 
 Still hours of the night passed on, 
 The hour of midnight went, 
 As about the loss of a friend by death 
 The sad news had been sent. 
 The day dawned as with sorrow 
 And seemed to sympathize. 
 Oh, if they only could 
 Bid the deceased arise! 
 The clouds were drifting slowly by. 
 The sun shone dim and pale, 
 And seemed to mourn for the home 
 Where sorrow did prevail. 

 When sunshine fills the heart with joy 
 When you feel as gay as a lark, 
 Share it with some lonely friend ) 
 Whose path seems cold and dark. 
 Don't keep all good things for yourself, 
 You can't enjoy them right; 
 But let them shine in lonely homes 
 Brighter than radium light. 
 When pleasure is your occupation 
 And others are toiling hard, 
 Share with them and they with you 
 And get the great reward. 
 Care not for the proud who laugh. 
 Care not for the sluggards who rest, 
 But speak cheering words to some broken heart 
 In deep and dark distress. 

 If your house is filled with plenty, 
 And some friend is destitute. 
 Share then your plentiful store 
 And greet the warm salute. 
 Share what you think will help. 
 And will be pleasing too; 
 'Tis God's blessing that you have it. 
 And all wasn't meant for you. 

 Share with the sick, share with the poor, 
 Share with the humble, share with the low; 
 God smiles on him who will divide, 
 For the cheerful giver God will provide. 

 The Master gave you what you have; 
 In a moment He can take it; 
 No matter what is your lot, 
 'Tis your duty to share it. 

 'Tis very shocking when we think 
 How well a man can be, 
 But next he is cold in death's embrace. 
 We wonder, where is he? 
 The fireman of the G. & A. 
 Left home on duty soon, 
 Not aware of things ahead. 
 But in life's full bloom. 
 He left his home in his spirit's pride. 
 He bade his wife adieu: 
 He did not know that death was near. 
 Nor know his hours were few. 
 He stepped upon his engine 
 As he had done before, 
 Kindled a fire in the proper place 
 And put coal in the door. 
 Soon the steam was rising high. 
 The time was coming on 
 When he must move on to death 
 Without a sign or warn. 
 The time came on, the train moved off, 
 Thundering on its way; 
 .No man ever worked more cheerful than he. 
 The fireman of G. & A, 
 The train moved on at rapid speed, 
 He singing on the way; 
 -But in the jaws of death he was. 
 The fireman of the G. & A, 
 He speeded over iron rails 
 And over trestles deep; 
 Left all at home full of joy, 
 But soon they all shall weep. 
 Nearing a curve just ahead, 
 The speed wasn't checked: 
 But soon the dreadful shock of all 
 'Twas in a dreadful wreck. 
 The fireman made efforts to escape. 
 But his chances were of few; 
 The engine caught his body 
 And cut it right in two, 
 The rest of th-e crew escaped death. 
 Left him the debt to pay; 
 Let us remember the one who died 
 Was the fireman of the G. & A, 

 (on the farm.) 
 'Twas the first day in the Christmas all over the place, 
 A smile was on every body's face; 
 The pigs jumped and hopped, the calves ran and played; 
 Everybody in the neighborhood had got up and prayed ; 
 Thanked G^>d that they were living and were not 
 taken away 
 To the everlasting beyond, the debt of death to pay. 
 Glad to see the morning dawn with the Christmas 
 Thanked God for His mighty power that kept them 
 through the night. 
 'Twas the first day in the Christmas; they couldn't 
 frolic much, 
 For 'twas surely Sunday and the people went to 
 There they sang and prayed; to sin they never dared; 
 Giving praises to their God, glad they had been spared. 
 * 'Good morning! Christmas give!" the sound could 
 be heard 
 Ringing over the neighborhood like the song of a bird. 
 The chickens all seemed gay, the turkeys all seemed  glad 
 That they had missed the Christmas pot that every family had. 
 The dogs played with glee and barked out the same. 
 Even the milk cow seemed proud of her name. 
 'Twas the first day in the Christmas; every body seemed glad; 
 Things went on lovely and nothing happened bad. 
 Fire crackers shot seldom, Roman candles laid still. 
 Everything was gay from the village to the mill. 
 The children all were merry and talked of Santa Claus, 

 Showing all their presents, telling of their joys, 
 For he sure had been to see them and left them many things; 
 There they had toy birds, some had little wings; 
 Different kinds of goodies, all things that were sweet; 
 Some had pretty dolls dressed nice and neat, 
 Some riding ponies, some on bycicles, 
 Some crying "funny boys! 0, how it tickles!" 
 'Twas the first day in the Christmas; every body was merry, 
 Every little tot's face seemed bright as a cherry. 
 Some went to church, some visited friends, 
 Some w^ent to weddings, some just coming in. 
 Good news coming from everywhere; 
 Good things scattered here and there. 
 The happy holidays passed so bright; 
 Left every one's heart full of delight. 
 Some journeyed far away, some stayed at home, 
 Some went to come again, some went to roam; 
 Said they would return after the holidays, they bet. 
 It still must be Christmas, for they haven't got back yet 
 The morning dawns so bright and fay% 
 The greeting of Christmas goes through the air. 
 'Tis Christmas to-day in every land; 
 'Tis Christmas to-day w^ith every mam 
 'Tis Christmas to-day where the Eskimos dwell; 
 'Tis Christmas w^here the fairies live in the delL 
 To the wilds of Africa far away, 
 All over the land, 'tis Christmas ta-day. 

 "Tis Christmas where the fruit grows sweet and fine, 
 Tis Christmas where the people are cruel and kind; 
 'Tis Christmas in the land of war and peace, 
 Whether a poor man's lamb or a rich man's feast. 
 'Tis Christmas in the land where the snows never melt, 
 'Tis Christmas in the land where it is never felt; 
 'Tis Christmas all over the Ashman's bay; 
 In every home 'tis Christmas to-day. 

 Death is a mighty monster 
 That passes through every land; 
 He has no certain place to go, 
 No fear for any man. 
 The desperado stands out bold. 
 The sheriff fears to go near; 
 But death without a sword or gun 
 Goes tripping without fear. 
 With one touch of his dreadful hand 
 Lays man cold and still; 
 He fails to resist and knows it not 
 While death does a will. 
 He creeps into the "palace" of kings 
 And takes the Prince away; 
 He goes to the homes of the humble 
 And glooms the brightest days. 

 Into the homes of the milHonaires, 
 Who lived and hves to-day, 
 He stole and steals the precious souls 
 Of mortal men away. 
 He visits the homes of the high and low, 
 He visits the homes of the rich and poor. 
 He stands not off for silver nor gold, 
 Nor for pity and woe. 
 He robs parents of their darling babe. 
 And children of parents dear; 
 Kindred of kindred all over the world, 
 Without a sign of fear. 
 Upon the dreadful battle-ground. 
 Among the shot and shell, 
 And there he does his mighty work 
 For heaven or for hell. 
 "Main Entrance!" Yes, the sign reads plain; 
 "Main Entrance" to what? It don't explain. 
 But it hangs over the door of a licensed saloon. 
 Where boys hang out late and men gather soon. 
 "Main Entrance" to the table where the billiard balls 
 Where the card-decks are cut and swearing untold. 
 The "prides of life" enter before they will heed. 
 Then some mother's heart is made to bleed. 
 "Main Entrance!" But it seems that few understand 
 That it is the pathway to poverty of man. 
 Where King Alcohol reigns with a smile on his face. 
 Inviting some youngster to a pit of disgrace. 
 "Main Entrance." Alas! But it don't half tell 
 How dreadful the destiny, so miserably in hell. 
 Some dear mother breaks down in despair 
 When she hears that her darling son entered there. 
 "Main Entrance" to the throne of the Whiskey God; 
 That means your heart will soon cease to throb. 
 If dead ones could teach, and living ones could learn, 
 The sign would explain "Main Entrance" to ruin. 
 "Main Entrance" to disgrace, where few return, 
 Swept away by the tyrant before they can learn. 
 If those who have entered could now tell it right, 
 'Twould explain "Main Entrance" to an endless 
 Help us Lord is our daily plea. 
 Bless us Thy people, Thy people free! 
 Help us Lord, this African race, 
 Down trodden, but to Thee we give our case. 
 Help us to learn the way of Thy Cross. 
 Least, by millions we are lost; yes, yes. 
 Help us show to our young men 
 The path of the righteous, they who walk in sin. 
 Before our young women let our lights so shine. 

 That they be won, and ever be Thine. 
 Help us to conquer the loafer by trace, 
 That he bring not upon us shame and disgrace. 
 Help us to gain him for Thee in Thy name, 
 And ever be Thine, for himself make fame. 
 Destroy the drunkard's appetite we pray; 
 Alas! Some wife is perishing to-day. 
 May he throw away that, from the Devil it came. 
 Or his poor children will sink into shame. 
 We pray a friendly co-operation 
 With every race and every nation. 
 Help us to help each other we pray, 
 And fulfill our promises along the way. 
 Help us to lift up this down-trodden race. 
 With noble hearts to fill the place 
 That now stands open for the capable man 
 Willing to receive whosoever can. 
 Help us in this struggle to win 
 We earnestly ask of Thee. Amen! 
 If the Lord would summon me to-day 
 To the judgment bar, what could I say, 
 But Lord here am I? 
 Trembling with fear before his face. 
 Pleading for pardon by His grace, 
 Or forever left cry. 
 I wonder when this soul of mine 
 Will be forever snatched from time? 
 Can I say. 
 Lord, with Thy infinite power 
 I am ready at this hour; 
 Take me away? 
 Will my soul ascend its heavenly flight. 
 Or share the gloom of an endless nighty 
 Where the wicked only trod? . 
 Shall I dwell in heaven above, 
 Or with the demons who have no love? 
 I will trust in God. 

 Don't lose time to stop and wish 
 That you were away up high ; 
 Only strive by honest toil 
 To get there by and by. 
 Don't wish to be the greatest, 
 Or in some famous land afar. 
 But decide to do your best 
 And be useful where you are. 
 When time comes to decorate. 
 The cedar upon the hill won't do; 
 So they go down into the valley 
 And get the lily too. 
 So 'tis not always the high 
 That leaves the door of hope ajar; 
 'Tis those who work with courage 
 And are useful where they are. 
 Since time and tide wait for none, 
 Man has not a moment to loose; 
 Duty always calls him on 
 To win the goal if he choose. 
 The journey is hard and easy, too, 
 With difRcults to mar. 
 If you mean to meet success. 
 Just be useful where you are. 

 Hot! Aint it?" is the question asked 
 By nearly all who meet. 
 Every body mingles where the air do stir 
 And seldom on the street. 
 ^'Hot! Aint it?" says the teamster, 
 As his panting team walks along. 
 He throws perspiration from his face 
 And chants his merry song. 
 "Hot! Aint it?" says the merchant 
 "Yes," they all agree, 
 "This heat has withered my vegetables up 
 And hardened my green peas," 
 "Hot! Aint it?" says the butcher, 
 "Things don't work so nice; 
 For the past few days I use 
 Double my daily ice," 
 "Hot! Aint it?" says the farmer. 
 "Aint seen the like since I been born; 
 The heat has killed my melons out 
 And parched my upland corn," 
 "Plums and berries aint fit to eat. 
 No honey from the bees; 
 Since this hot weather has set in, 
 Green leaves are parching on the trees," 

 When the babe first sees the hght of day, 
 Nobody knoWvS 
 Whether he will die young or Hve to be gray- 
 Nobody knows. 
 Be great or small, 
 Low or tall, 
 Make friends or foes. 
 Nobody knows. 
 He plays around his mother's knee; 
 Nobody knows 
 What his future years will be, 
 Nobody knows. 
 Be good or bad, 
 Make glad or sad, 
 Or share with the heroes, 
 Nobody knows. 
 As his childhood days pass swiftly by 
 Nobody knows 
 Will he respond to the needy cry, 
 Nobody knows. 
 Will poverty or prosperity 
 Be his lot, 
 With joy or woes? 
 Nobody kno'ws. 
 Day is breaking from the eavSt and driving away the night; 
 The sun is rising warra and clear, bring things to light. 
 Things almost the same every day in the week. 
 The raccoon do^* is barking all mp and down the creek 
 How the rooster crows, and the setting hen do cluck. 
 The old turkey gobbles at the quacking of the duck. 
 The old man wakes up and clears up his throat 
'Time ter git up now, day is don broke." 
 Gets up and gets his hammer, goes to knocking on 
 the tools, 
 "Hi dar, git up boys, go and ketch dem mules." 
 "De sun is risin, time yawl wuz in de feal; 
 <jit dat smok house key dar honey, go and git some 
 Birds are singing with the rising of the sun, 
 "Hu rah dar honey, ain't you got datbreakfusdone/' 

 Life is as sweet as sweet can be, 
 So let us live it right; 
 This time will soon pass away, 
 These days be changed to night 
 Let us do something here in life 
 And mark the stone of time, 
 To aid those who struggle 
 With earthly toil and mind* 

 Let us live when we are deacL 
 Let those who survive us say,. 
 They were so honest and noble 
 We wish for them to-day, 
 Let our Au-to-Biography be 
 Upon the hearts of men, 
 That they may help for our Lord above 
 Some precious soul to win. 
 Life is but a stage of action, 
 Then man must pass away; 
 Others succeed and so it goes 
 From the creation ^till to>-day. 
 There are deeds that we can do- 
 To heJp soul's along the way, 
 Only a short time here in life, 
 Then man m;ust pass away. 
 When chances for honor come, 
 Push them. 
 When chances come to strike sin d'umb5^ 
 Push them. 
 Everything must be pushed, 
 Whether good or bad. 
 Can't suit all by an act; 
 Some left glad and some left sad^ 

 When detrimental things appear, 
 Push them. 
 To some dark and forgotten rear, 
 Push them. 
 Push everything that appear. 
 Be sure to push them right. 
 Push all good things to success; 
 Push bad ones out of sight. 
 When knowledge gets in front of you, 
 Push it; 
 When the evil mind begins to woo, 
 Push it. 
 With infinite vigor push them all; 
 Push all where they belong; 
 Push energy to highest point, 
 Push hard against the wrong. 
 Push enables men to be wise; 
 Push helps men to realize 
 The great fortune of the future day, 
 Gained by pushing through the right way. 
 Push puts start to success, 
 Push puts better into best. 


 Only a measure of duration. 
 Then it will be blotted out; 
 To be no more forever. 
 No happenings brought about. 
 And during- time things will change
 Time passes men away; 
 Time carried yesterday. 
 Time brought to-day. 
 Time allows storms to rise, 
 Then allows them to cease;' 
 Time allows wars to break out^ 
 Then time to sign for peace. 
 Time allows nations to rise, 
 Time allows them to fall; 
 Time is the cause of happenings. 
 Time is the cause of all. 
 Time allows improvements. 
 Better and better still ; 
 Time allowed men with sense 
 This whole round world to fill. 
 With knowledge and with skill 
 That almost impossible seems, 
 But still 'twas done in time by men, 
 And thought of as midnight dreams. 
 There have been some noble inventions 
 That came in human's mind, 
 Nothing allowed it but 
 The measure we call time. 

 Uncle Sam says they are useful. 
 That's why he holds them fast. 
 In the hottest of the battles 
 They stood until the last. 
 They fought; they charged to the front; 
 Their excelsiors were of few. 
 Uncle Sam gave honor 
 To the colored heroes in blue. 
 From the Revolution to date 
 The colored heroes stood stout. 
 No advancing foe 
 Has ever turned them out. 
 Ever since when war broke out 
 Uncle Sam said they would do. 
 Honor to the noble sons — 
 The colored heroes in blue. 
 In Uncle Sam's uniform, 
 To aid him in his fate, 
 Marching bravely to the front, 
 And braver still of late. 
 Dying and trying, killing and spilling, 
 Ever brave and true; 
 Honor to the undefeated 
 Colored heroes in blue. 
 Every body speaks high of them. 
 How they mingled with the band 
 When they sheared the Spanish-American 
 And charged at San Juan; 
 How they saved the Rough Riders. 
 The Spaniards they withdrew 
 When they saw the angry faces 
 Of the colored heroes in blue. 

 Born a slave under the lash of the whips, 
 Not a word of protection could fall from his lips; 
 Full of ambition and childish vim, 
 Wondering if there was any freedom for him. 
 Days came and went, time passed away. 
 Until the joyful news was heard," 'tis freedom to-day!" 
 Up from slavery he bounded like a flash. 
 Educated himself and gave ignorance a crash. 
 Let welcome cry from every land. 
 To greet the coming of such a man. 
 The great and small have made the confession, 
 No other black man with such a possession. 
 Praised by the old, boasted of by the young. 
 Now deemed honorable by every tribe and tongue. 
 The driving-wheel of education swift 
 Stooped down his brother to uplift. 
 The greatest black man under the sun. 
 The rulers and noblemen greet him when he come. 
 Willingly helping his people free. 
 We feel proud of Booker T. 
 His teachings can't fade from human mind, 
 His works will last as long as time. 
 He well deserves the name he has won. 
 Honor to the greatest Washington ! 
 Give ample time and ample space 
 To mention the greatest poet of the race. 
 With his poetic talent no joys to mar. 
 We praise the noble Paul Lawrence Dunbar. 

 Proud of a man with a boon like him. 
 Once stricken with poverty, but infinite vim^ 
 Proud of our poet and the work he has done, 
 Now upon human hearts like diamonds in the sun, 
 His writings have covered his native land, 
 He wrote something to please every living man; 
 Over oceans deep in lands afar, 
 They read the books of Paul Lawrence Dunbar. 
 Dropped from his pen, caught like a whirl. 
 The poems of Dunbar have covered the world. 
 Loved his talent, and the world did show, 
 Like the faithful Paul of long ago. 
 Plucked from nature's woes 
 By the hands of the monster death 
 Our poet went 
 His pen winds no more in his feeble hand, 
 But we hope he has joined the heavenly band 
 For which he was sent. 

 Honor to our Philosopher, 
 Of noble deeds he is a tiller, 
 We praise the honored and noble hearted 
 Professor Kelly Miller. 
 Every black man who knows of him feels encouraged. 
 How he brightened up the blots 
 When he answered Thomas Dixon (Jr.) 
 As to the Leopard's spots. 
 He defends well his race, 
 Fills well his place, 
 And don't hide his face, 
 But stands bold for the rig-ht. 
 He held up our fame 
 When the down-trodders came, 
 And didn't deny his name. 
 So he made our future bright. 
 God bless him! may he live 
 Long such answers to give. 
 To cast prejudice its lots. 
 All intruders he can fix 'em 
 Like he did Thomas Dixon 
 When he wrote the Leopard's spots. 


 1 . 
 Three farmers' chaps. Bud, Babe an Hunn, 
 Gwine ter ketch er possum now, 
 Or make de raskul run, , 
 Toot de horn fer Mollie; see where she is at. 
 Us want a big: un now, hanging down wid fat. 
 Hear Mollie barkin' loud; she wouldn't fool us if she  could; 
 De bes' ole possum dog in all de neighborhood. 

 Mollie is done treed him, Bud would declare. 
 Den through de woods youl'd see three little fellows 
 Hoopin' loud ter Mollie, iaughin' as us run; 
 Hope hit is a big un; now look lack us see him done. 
 Fallin' over logs, making hit de pass; 
 After jumpin' ditches us reach de tree at las'. 
 He is gone up a saplin, lack all big uns tries; 
 Bud done got his litered torch, try in' ter shine his eyes. 
 Bud can't see em, so he makes a clam, 
 Shakin' as he go up, and down he falls, blam! 
 Mollie is done got 'em, shakin' him lack a sneck. 
 Den us gits de axe handle; gwine ter break his neck. 
 10 ' 
 Got er great big fat un now; drap him in de sack. 
 Hupee! hi, Mollie! us gwine back. 

 (Written for Thanksgiving Day. ) 
 The land to*-day is full of peace, 
 And still no talk of war; 
 On this Thanksgiving Day we have 
 Everything to be thankful for. 

 Be thankful to-day for the bread we eat; 
 Be thankful to-day for our portion of meat; 
 Be thankful to-day for the clothes we wear; 
 Be thankful to-day for our Saviour's care. 
 Be thankful that we are spared to see 
 Our people advancing, our people free; 
 That we have been left by the mercies of God 
 A few more days this earth to trod. 
 Be thankful for this enlightened day, 
 That we can send missionaries far away 
 To the wilds of Africa to tell of Christ, 
 Be thankful, be thankful, be thankful thrice. 

 Aim high on the road of life. 
 Though your station be low; 
 Strive hard to win the prize 
 That nature has in store. 
 Let your ideal be the Lord, 
 Your aim His Kingdom to eoffie. 
 In coming days you can smile 
 Upon your work well done. 
 Aim high; work for noble things; 
 Struggle to gain the same; 
 And in the future days rejoice 
 Over a high and accomplished aim. 
 Aim high to be with noble men 
 Who national reputations have won: 
 Labor to sit with the famous 
 Who noble deeds have done. 

 (Written on the day after the visit of President 
 Roosevelt to Montgomery in October, 1905. ) 
 Montgomery looked uncommonly nice 
 In red, white and blue, 
 To warmly welcome the President 
 As he was coming through. 
 From the Union Station to the old State House 
 The flags waved thick and true, 
 As if to smile upon the President 
 While he was passing through. 
 Cannons thundered when he arrived; 
 His greeters were not of few; 
 Just to m.ake him happy 
 As he was passing through. 
 School children got hold of flags, 
 To greet him they did do. 
 To honor the nation's chief 
 As he was coming through. 
 Farmers came from far and near, 
 They wanted to see him too; 
 The long heard of Roosevelt, 
 As he was coming through. 

 Fair Easter, so warm and bright. 
 We greet thee with untold dehght. 
 We love thy name; 
 We love thee for our risen Lord, 
 Thy noble name we spread, 
 Let nature repeat the same. 
 Fair Easter time has fixed it so, 
 That you were here one year ago, 
 Met nature's welcome voice, 
 We have waited patiently but not in vain. 
 And time has brought you back again, 
 Let us rejoice. 
 Fair Easter, with spring and flowers sweet, 
 You challenge us this day to meet 
 Let us say; 
 Happy hearts that long for thee, 
 Now rejoicing here are we 
 This blessed day. 
 Fair Easter, with our risen Christ, 
 With happy hearts we greet thee twice, 
 Listen to this; 
 Cheering with our earthly power, 
 We celebrate thee at this hour 
 With life-long bliss. 
 Happy Easter, joy for all, 
 Bright spring time of the year; 
 Mothers and fathers merrily sing 
 With joy glad Easter is here. 
 The children throng the busy streets, 
 The farm boy sings it clear; 
 The infant in its mother's arms 
 Smiles happy Easter is here. 
 The sunbeams dances round about, 
 The forest seems to cheer; 
 The birds in the tree-top sings away, 
 Welcome Easter here. 
 It makes us think of long ago, 
 When the grave gave up its dear; 
 Now thanks returns from every source 
 Glad with Easter here. 
 He whistles as the morning breaks, 
 Arising from his bed, 
 Whistling as the sun comes up, 
 And shakes his thoughtful head. 
 The day grows old, he whistles still, 
 Perfect in his boon, 
 Whistling on this, whistling on that, 
 All without a tune. 
 He whistles at the noonday. 
 The sound continues drizzling: 
 Almost forgot what he is about. 
 But still he keeps on whistling. 

 He whistles in the evening late, 
 Upon his gift he is feasting; 
 He whistles as the sun goes down, 
 And still no sign of ceasing. 
 The evening shade steals slowly on, 
 His task is finished soon; 
 While he continues whistling, 
 Still without a tune. 

 As man breathes the breath of life, 
 He dreams of joy, he dreams of strife. 
 And wins what he can; 
 Death leaps out an invisible form, 
 Passing amidst the raging storm. 
 To get the son of man. 
 Born to die, though to sin he yielded, 
 Death awaits him on the battlefield 
 While fighting the foe; 
 As his body falls lifeless upon the ground. 
 Death so greedily upon him bounds; 
 Man must go. 
 Drifting like leaves before a mighty wind. 
 Hasting to a land where he knows no kin, 
 Ever to stay; 
 Passing through this mortal age. 
 Caught in snares like birds in the cage 
 And borne away. 
 Goes from time to never return, 
 In heaven to rest or in hell to burn, 
 Gets justice for all; 
 Going from friends, going from foes, 
 Passing from nature's troubles and woes, 
 Answers the call. 
 Dream no longer, sons of men; 
 If you are not righteous, why linger in sin? 
 Why hold to your folly? Do cast it away; 
 Death is ready for your summons to-day. 
 Turn like a flash, your sins down-cast. 
 Or the demon will whisper your chance has passed. 
 While death creeps upon the mortal being, 
 Life like a flash from it is fleeing; 
 Life is the past, 
 'Tis judgment at last, 
 Then to Eternity the soul must go. 
 Then death with pride ends his trace, 
 Man sees the last of human race; 
 'Tis come at last. 
 His chance has passed. 
 As we struggle against the coming tide, 
 Time will soon make us nature's pride; 
 We who labor for our people free. 
 Must say what the coming negro will be, 
 May we labor through faith and grace, 
 And show to the world a well made race. 

 Because my Savior loved me 
 He spoke me into time, 
 And because he loved me still 
 He gave me a poetic mind. 
 Because I love my gift 
 I have begun to write; 
 The same I mean to cheerish 
 Till my day is changed to night. 
 Because I love my people, 
 The race of the Africa man, 
 I hand out this little volume 
 To every greeting land. 
 Because I thank my Redeemer 
 For the talent that He give, 
 I will hand out my poetic bliss 
 So long as he lets me live. 

 Preface 5, 6, 7 
 Going to the picnic 8 
 Glad to sleep 9 
 My questions 10 
 Let down your bucket, draw up and drink 12 
 Fare well to the farm 13 
 The school house on the hill 15 
 The old mulberry 17 
 Wash day 18 
 The dissatisfied farmer 19 
 The old home on the swamp 20 
 Think, get up and do 22 
 Be kind, speak gentle 22 
 When I were a child 24 
 The dollar 26 
 Truth 27 
 Whiskey 27 
 Tuskegee 29 
 A fool's auto-biography 30 
 We will 33 
 Some time 33 
 The old plow 35 
 Around the dead 36 
 Share it 37 
 The fire-man of the G. & A 38 
 The first day in the Christmas 40 
 'Tis Christmas 41 
 Death 42 
 Main entrance 43 
 The prayer of Afro-American 44 
 Thinking of the last day 45 
 Just be useful where you are 45 

 Hot weather . 47 
 Nobody knows 48 
 A summer morning on the farm 48 
 Life L 49 
 Push 50 
 Time 51 
 The colored heroes in blue 53 
 Booker T. Washington 54 
 Paul Lawrence Dunbar 54 
 Kelly Miller 55 
 Hunting Possums on the farm 56 
 Be thankful 57 
 Aim high .___ 58 
 He was coming through 59 
 Fair Easter 60 
 Easter is here . 60 
 The tuneless whistler  61 
 Living and passing of man 62 
 The last chance 63 
 My plea 63 
 Because 64