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

Omah Neal, "The Colored Girl" (1908)

OH colored girl of thee I sing!
Thy virtue like the sun and dew
Distill the sweets which to thee cling ;
Tho ' of dark race yet all the world,
Shall praises great to thee long bring.

Altho ' oppressed oh, dark race girl,
Be proud of thy high destiny ,
With wisdom clear thy flag unfurl;
And with increasing lustre shine;
Thy fame around the nations curl .

From depths of great obscurity
Thou comest clothed with beauty rare,
And good sense linked with purity,
Which takes us far on life's rough road ,
Where joins with womanhood duty.

None lauds thy name; few duty moves
To plead to cause; who honors thee
Sweet maid? Alas! it now behooves
Us hang our heads, because we have
Not done the things which duty proves.

Oppressed were Jews, in olden days,
When Pharoahs ruled; but since have come
Their Hannahs, Marys, their bright rays
Awaken Jewish men, gave them
A higher aim in many ways.

Can go we neither up nor down,
Where equal rignts are hard to find,
Or wear with fame or shame a crown,
Unless each step we have thee near,
With lovely smile or ugly frown.

Filled with the spirit of the sage,
With wisdom bathe our dauntless souls,
And with a knowledge of the age,
Remove the wrongs which clog our way
And which to-day so strong engage.

Published in Colored American Magazine, May 1908

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