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

Leslie Pinckney Hill, "The Teacher" (1911)

This poem was first published in The Crisis (January, 1911)

The Teacher

LORD, who am I to teach the way
To little children day by day,
So prone myself to go astray ?

I teach them knowledge, but I know
How faint they flicker and how low
The candles of my knowledge glow.

I teach them power to will and do,
But only now to learn anew
My own great weakness through and through .

I teach them love for all mankind
And all God's ceatures, but I find
My love comes lagging far behind.

Lord, if their guide I still must be,
Oh let the little children see
The teacher leaning hard on Thee.


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