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

Peters Sisters, "War Poems" (1919)

This text was formatted, edited, and proofread by Sarah Thompson in June 2024 based on page image scans from HathiTrust. In a couple of instances where there were obviously typos or printers' errors, we have silently corrected them. -AS

 Copyright 1919 
 All Rights Reserved. 
 MAY 1919
 1. Our War With Germany, A. T. P. 
 2. Under The Stars and Stripes, E. P. P. 
 3. Boys on to France, A. T. P. 
 4. Old Glory's Recognition, E. P. P. 
 5. The Slacker, A. T. P. 
 6. Do Your Best Boys, E. P. P. 
 7: The Negro's Right to Fight, A. T. P. 
 8. The Right Direction, E. P. P. 
 9. The Better Part, A. T. P. 
 10. With the Colors, E. P. P. 
 11. Triumph of the Tuscania, A. T. P. 
 12. Sammies Christmas Gift, E. P. P. 
 13. Sammies Christmas Dreams, A. T. P. 
 14. Pearls Unrecognized, E. P. P. 
 15. A Daughter of Ham, A. T. P. 
 16. A Spiritual Awakening, E. P. P. 
 17. Father of His People, A. T. P. 
 18. Paul Lawrence Dunbar, E. P. P. 
 19. A Slaves Dying Prayer, A. T. P. 
 20. The Negro's Progress, E. P. P. 
 21. The Cost of Repentance. A. T. P. 
 22. Defender of Right, E. P. P. 
 23. Sons of W. V. I., A. T. P. 
 24. Musing, E. P. P. 
     It is the very great pleasure of the writer to introduce to the poetical world Misses Ada Tress Peters, and Ethel Pauline Peters the only two daughters of Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Peters, of Beckley, West Virginia. 
     These young ladies will be known to the poetical world as "The Peters Sisters." 
      Always seen together, and always do ing nearly the same thing at the same time, and seldom, if ever talking about any subject, unless it be poetical, is one of the peculiar features of these two young ladies. 
      Miss Ada Tess is eighteen years of age while Miss Ethel Pauline is only seventeen years; though the younger, yet the elder in the poetical world, having start ed poetry writing while not yet nine years of age, and while confined to bed in a hospital. Miss Ada started to write three years later, and ever since that time each of the girls has been from time to time placing before the public some work on poetry. 
     The Peters Sisters have had very limited education. Each of them spent one and one half years in high school at Institute. West Virginia, under Prof. Byrd Prillerman. 
                                                       Courteously Yours, 
                                                                   WM. F. DENNY. 

* * *  

      The first poem written by Miss Ethel Pauline Peters while in Hospital and not yet nine years of age. 
 When I get an old lady, 
      I tell you what I'll do, 
 I'll patch my apron, make my dress 
      And hoe the garden too. 
     The first poem written by Miss Ada Peters. 
 Little birds up so high, 
 Who has taught you how to fly. 
      How to sing and how to play, 
      All the hot summer day? 

 God has taught us how to sing, 
 Early in the lovely spring, 
      He hath taught us how to play, 
      In his own glorious way. 
* * * 

     The sole intention of the Authors in writing these poems is to show the Negro's loyalty to the Stars and Stripes, in the war with Germany; and to show the need of unity of all men in the fight for democracy. 
                                                             The Authors. 

* * * 

 Original Poem by Ada Tessibel Peters. 
 America and her Allies are now engaged 
      In a war that freedom might live, 
 That all nations may not be enslaved 
      Giving as all True Americans would give 
 Fighting lest Germany's Kaiser should spread 
      The spirit of feudalism over the earth, 
 That the Sons of Liberty may not be led 
      Captives from the land of their birth. 
 While foreign field were strewn with dead 
      With folded arms we merely looked on 
 'Till the wronged people believed and said 
      "They are gamblers, in search of coin." 
 We became apoligist for our neutriality 
      While an uncivilized war waged on 
 Devoid of all principle and morality 
      Urged on by brutes in human form. 
 When the country of Belgium was invaded 
      And It's inhabitants tortured and slain 
 When other defenseless towns were raided 
      And mines in neutral waters were lain 
 When the smoldering ruins of France we saw 
      The home of the world's greatest arts 
 Then Humanity forced us into this war 
      For America too, must do her part. 
 The Imperial German Government smiled 
      When the Sussex, and Lusitania went down 
 Unwarningly murdering American lives 
      While on peaceful missions bound 
 Should not this wicked and hideous crime 
      That sent our friends to watery graves 
 Help more close our hearts to bind 
      And strengthen us on our rugged way? 
 Some of History's cherished monuments 
      Have wantonly and maliciously been destroyed 
 While plots that outrage man's common sense 
      By German Seditionist have been em  ployed. 
 Like cowards they secretly tried to bribe 
      Our friend and neighbor country Mexico, 
 Those same conspirators and spies 
      Are sneakishly lurking within our doors. 
 Have not their deadly bombs been dropped 
      In Hospitals of our wounded boys? 
 Killing helpless ones upon their cots 
      Playing with American lives as with toys 
 With tear dim eyes we have heard,
      Women and children victims crying for help 
 While these destructive missiles are hurled 
      Upon them in the jaws of death. 
 If the policy National Necessity is sustained 
      Treaty Obligation '11 be buried in the past 
 For the royal castle will again reign 
      Oe'r the common people's village at last 
 Thus the covenants that have been kept 
      As a tie of friendship that binds 
 Is forgotten in Germany's World Conquest 
      A vile insult to all man-kind. 
 Boys you're fighting to preserve American Rights 
      To proteat the homes of the brave. 
 And we're with you in this fight 
      Till Autocracy lies within her grave 
 The Red, White and Blue, will be borne 
      As a true emblem of justice to all 
 For it gives the weary traveler a home 
      Then how could such a government fall? 
 We are struggling in a Common Cause 
      With only one purpose in our hearts 
 And that purpose is freedom for all 
      Made sacred by the blood of patriots 
 Young men how proud you must feel 
      To know you're defending a Noble Cause 
 That your life you owe to Liberty 
      To your countrymen and to your God. 


 We see your bosom swells with pride 
      With love for the mother that gave 
 Her flesh, her blood, her only pride,
      That the Star Spangled Bannner, might wave 
 We know again the respect you had 
 When your Dear Old Father firmly said, 
 "Be another George Washington, my lad 
 And sleep in an honored Martyr's grave." 
 When some of you beyond the clouds 
      With iron nerves are fighting at dizzy heights, 
 And on earth the cannon's roaring loud 
      Proclaims your comrades are in the fight
 While the brave boys on the briny deep 
      Are sailing on blood-stained waves 
 But in the air on land or sea 
      You're fighting that Old Glory, might wave. 
 When you're in "No Man's Land." 
      Far from home annd friends you adore 
 Seek shelter in the hollow of God's hand, 
      'Till the tempest of war is oe'r, 
 "O God, may our brave boys return, 
      Bearing Freedom's Flag from over there 
 While men repenting to Thee shall turn 
      And Peace and Democracy reigns everywhere! 

* * * 
 (Dedicated to President Byrd Prillerman) 

 There are many in every nation 
      That scorn those in the mire, 
 But few are fathers of inspiration 
      Like the President of W. V. I. 
 The black Leader of the free 
      Bade me strive to be the best 
 But Honorable Byrd Prillerman helped me  
      To travel the road to success. 
 Unlike those who seek to charm 
      The world with their selfish aims 
 He's guarding Ethiopia on the farm 
      For the good that might be gained. 
 West Virginia has given most 
      Of her sons to liberty 
 But she shall never boast 
      Of a Nobler Teacher than he. 


 For when peaceful Uncle Sam 
      Was troubled by Belgium's cry 
 Ready to fight in foreign lands 
      Were those trained at W. V. I. 
 So could a race of civilization 
      Own a greater man than he 
 A Father of Inspiration 
      And a leader of people free. 
 May God grant when our President 
      Has crossed the swelling tide 
 That his deeds be living monuments 
      To those whom he inspired. 
 And may Ethiopia profit by 
      The standard he hath placed 
 And sons of W. V. C. I. 
     Be a credit to our race. 
                     —By Ethel Pauline Peters. 
      God bless you, I share your thought, your President is indeed an able and noble man. Long may he live. 
* * * 
 (By E. P. Peters.) 
 April the sixth, Ninteen and seventeen, 
 Under the stars and stripes. 
 We were forcibly drawn 
 In a war for our rights. 
 We would be neutral no longer,
 And hear humanity's plea, 
 Nor behold our vessels unwarningly sunk 
 By submarines at sea. 
 Freedom shall ever be 
 In the country where Glory waves, 
 And the golden land of Lafayette 
 Shall not be enslaved. 

 Boys make Kaiser's poison gas  
      Unnable to kill American's power. 
 Feudalism shall not spread 
 Oe'r this free country of ours. 
 We'll help you show Germany's rulers 
 Feudalism can not defend, 
 Cultured civilized people, nor the 
 Rights of free born men. 
 Rulers that disregard treaties 
 And cause bloody wars in laud 
 Shall never reign on libertys soil 
 To execute their plans. 

 Germany's strong aviation corps 
 Like winged birds sail the air 
 Dropping 'missies, taking innocent lives 
 In her brutish warfare. 
 She for many years prepared 
 Her selfishness to unfurl  
 With out warning or reason, to
 Conquer and rule the world. 
 O, God help us to fight 
 For Democracy on foreign strands 
 That we might be delivered from 
 Our enemies wicked hands. 

 By spreading sedition through states 
 Kaiser struck patriotism a blow 
 Pretending to be our friend. 
 Intriguing with Japan and Mexico. 
 Our enemie's destructive pretense 
 On its deathly mission scuds 
 While America was being raided 
 With spies of German blood. 
 Her schemes can not make 
 Enemies of people that gave 
 Their prayers, lives, and all 
 That Old Glory might wave. 
 Victory by Germans would mean 
 Enslavement to the human race, 
 While once fair fields 
 Of France and ours lay waste. 
 America's cities would not stand 
 As homes of the free. 
 New York would lose her friend 
 The statue of liberty. 
 The dear flag would be destroyed 
 By a savage race, 
 And the richness of our country 
 Would be the Kaiser's estate. 
 But to win this war, we 
 Can not all take arms 
 Some must help Uncle Sam's boys 
 By buying Liberty Bonds. 
 Send lots of letters 
 For joy in them they'll find. 
 Save food for our boys 
 In France on firing lines. 
 Encourage them in camp 
 And they'll be proud to go 
 To fight for freedom, as 
 Their fathers fought years ago. 
 Democracy long hath reigned 
 In the land of the brave. 
 The cherished banner of Betsy Ross 
 Long o'er us hath waved. 
 T'was providence that directed 
 Us in the path of right. 
 Enabled us to live peacefully 
 In war helped us to fight. 
 Gave us Washington, Father of 
 Our country to help defend 
 The rights and freedom 
 Of his rising fellow men. 
 All in self defense boys 
 Your part you must play 
 Just as your friends are 
 Doing, on French soil today. 
 We are waiting and praying, 
 For you patriots and braves 
 To bring the glad news back 
 From Autocracy we're saved. 
 While in service, if your 
 Tasks seem hard to do, 
 Cheerfully do your best boys 
 For the red, white and blue. 

* * *
 (Original Poem by Ada Tessibel Peters) 
 Sons of America, do you not hear 
      The roaring of Germany's guns? 
 Get up and be busy; war is near 
      We must face Kaiser Wilhelm. 
 Just as our fore-fathers years ago 
      Against the Red Coats, made their stand 
 So to France, you must go 
      And protect the honor of our Native Land. 
 If God's on our side, we need not fear 
      For His Cause, has always won 
 Fight on though the price seems dear 
      Push forward, 'till the race is run. 
 Mothers you too, must do your part 
      In the impending strife 
 Clasp not the son to your heart 
      But give him to the Cause of Right. 
 Show him you're willing to give 
      All in life you possess 
 Giving that Freedom might live. 
      And mothers they'll do the rest. 
 For their souls will then swell 
      With that Holy Divine Strength 
 That only Americans have felt 
      As from it's Fountain they drink. 
 Black Boys, Uncle Sam is calling you too, 
      Calling you men of African Birth 
 Will you to America be true? 
      And in the struggle prove your worth? 
 Boys, you may think it unfair to fight 
      That it's hard to have a patriotic zeal 
 For a country that denies us our rights 
      That pushes us back though we're free. 


 But do good for evil we've learned 
      In the Book of Ever-lasting life 
 That in Heaven, a home, we might earn 
      Where Blessed Peace reigns and not strife. 
 Old Glory, you triumphantly wave 
      O'er the Land of the Free 
 Yet from the mobs we're not saved 
      To whom, for refuge must we flee? 
 Is it right hotheaded men should take 
      The law of the land in their hands? 
 Can innocence be proved at a burning stake? 
      No, then why not give us a chance? 
 But boys of African Blood be true 
      Ready and willing the Cause to defend 
 Then may the Red, White and Blue 
      Forget color and recognize men. 
 Dear Flag, we've proved ourselves Masters of Art 
      Great inventions to the world we've 
 Yet in the government we take no part
      Then why are we to war driven?
 If in jim crow cars we must stay 
      Too illiterate to ride with the whites 
 Are we to sleep in a soldiers grave 
      Or, illiterate stand by your side and fight?

 Columbia, when on the battlefield 
      Our soldiers, dying whisper, "I thirst" 
 Let this woman attend to their needs 
      She's a dark skin, Red Cross Nurse 
 Give us the chance and we'll show 
      The skill and bravery of the fairer-sex 
 How we'll face the enemy's blow 
      Though we know the stand means death. 
 O, God, could a stronger race do more 
      For American Freedom to gain 
 Than my people who bore 
      The curse of slavery's chains 
 When across the waters you're borne 
      Boys, to the Land of Some-where 
 You're defending Our Homes 
      And "God Bless you," is our prayer. 


 Some day the war'll be o'er 
      In triumph Old Glory'll be borne  
 Back to American shores 
      Back to Home, Sweet Home 
 '"Till then boys, we bid you adieu 
      Yet in the government we take no part
 Then why are we to war driven? 
      Each one of you play well the game 
 And may God be with you 
      'Till we all meet again. 

* * * 

 (By E. P. Peters.) 
 Prom the cotton fields or Georgia, 
      Where our grand parents were slaves, 
 Comes a freedom we can welcome, 
      When the flag of justice waves; 
 While o'er the land is floating 
      The Red, White, and Blue, 
 The black boys are rising 
      To the old flag they'll be true, 
 They are willing to die for Liberty, 
      They hate the cursed revenge. 
 For Old Glory's crushing prejudice. 
      And recognizing her slaves' freed men. 

 We have sought for knowledge 
      From the great that we have found, 
 And are earnestly striving to regain. 
      Our lose heritage of renown. 
 It was not slavery's cruelties 
      That made black patriots in the land, 
 But the fifty years of progress 
      And the rights we did demand. 
 The black brains that were trampled 
      Now helping hands will lend, 
 For Old Glory's crushing prejudice, 
      And recognizing her slave freed men. 
Clouds of difficulties rose 
      When four million the Old Flag faced, 
 But with civilization's birth 
      The black people of earth, 
 Have once more become a race. 
      Hewers of wood and drawers of water. 
 For many years we've been; 
      But now with education's light, 
 We are a people again. 
      Boys remember that we are rising, 
 In a country that we'll befriend, 
      For Old Glory's crushing prejudice, 
 And recognizing slave freed men. 
We are a patriotic people;
     We're proud to see the colors wave, 
 That signifies justice to all, 
      In a free land of the brave; 
 That acknowledges there is black brain; 
      For God to all deals fair, 
 And Uncle Sam is growing greater, 
      For liberty we too can share. 
 We are steadily growing to success, 
      And helping all men to ascend, 
 While Old Glory's crushing prejudice 
      And recognizing slave freed men. 
 Old Glory, 'twas fifty years or more 
      We prayed hard to deliver 
 Thy black people from burning stakes, 
      To rights that God gives her. 
 Just as we on thy fertile fields. 
      Fought bravely to be free. 
 We will fight and die for thee. 
      O, flag for thy liberty. 
 We'll keep your colors floating. 
      And your rights we will defend 
 For you are crushing prejudice 
      And recognizing slave freed men.  
* * *
(Original Poem by Ada Tessibel Peters) 

 God forbid ere man was born 
      To crush honor beneath his feet 
 That the light of day should dawn 
      Upon one, who from duty flees 
 While on Freedom's Bleeding Altar, 
      His Noble Comrades have bled 
But he stands idle a slacker 
     Disgraced before living and dead.
 Friends is there one among you  
      Who has shunned the Righteous Cause 
 Spurned the Red, White and Blue?
      That stands for justice to all
 How can you silently sit 
      When Liberty hangs in the scale? 
 Where is the spirit of seventy-six? 
      That you would be enslaved. 
 Do you deem your life greater 
      Than the just rights of man 
 Then you're a fool and traitor 
      Exiled in your Native Land, 
 Rough and steep is the way
      Leading to the victory we seek 
 But death and a coward's grave
      Is what the slacker will meet.


 For dead must be the soul
     That slumbers while Humanity Calls
 And beholding his brother's foes 
     Cries, "Give me peace and not War"  
 O, Slacker what fate awaits thee 
     How shamefull will be thy end 
Unless thou fight to free 
     All races and colors of men.

 How can you bear to see 
     Christianity laid in the dust? 
 By one, who hates Democracy 
     And the God, whom we trust 
 One who has boastingly debased 
      The virtue of true womanhood 
 That poligamy takes the place 
     Where Sacred Rights once stood. 
 And though you were not born 
      In the Land of the Free 
 And your kindred at home
     Is far away oe'r the sea 
 Eternal Allegiance you swore 
      To the Stars and Stripes 
 When you stepped on our shore 
      To enjoy equal rights. 

 To our protection you fled 
    As a bird seeks its nest
 With mercy we pillowed your head 
     That the wanderer might rest
 Drinking from the cup of kindness
     Administered by loving hands
 Your eyes lost their blindness 
     As you saw the Spirit of Man.

 And now the flag needs you
     Will you stand like a man 
 Or, do you feel, as slackers do 
     I must help the Father Land 
 Let conscience be your guide 
     And it will lead you a'right 
 To Columbia's bleeding side 
      'Neath Liberty's burning light. 

 It's true we all can't go 
      To the land of Somewhere 
 But we can strike a blow 
     By helping those, Over There 
 Thus the German Kaiser'll know 
     He cannot enslave free men 
 And that every American Soul 
     Will fight him to the end. 
 So when the Victory is won 
     And the world is at peace 
 When the shedding of blood is done 
      And mankind again is free 
 Uncle Sam, if giving up life 
     For the deliverance of men 
 Does not give all, equal rights 
     Who will be, the slacker then? 
* * *

 (Original Poem by E. P. Peters.) 
 Do the best you can, boys, 
     In Uncle Sam's call to arms.  
 Fear not the Boches' bluff noise; 
     Be ready, brave, true and calm. 
 Keep the dear old banner flying 
     With your bayonets its rights demand, 
 Show the world you're upward striving, 
     And doing the best you can. 

 O, loyal citizens go not unheeded, 
     To the call humanity makes. 
 Your money and help is needed, 
     To keep the United States. 
 The appeals to you sons of Liberty, 
     And to those from foreign strands, 
 To protect those who protected thee, 
    By doing the best you can. 
 Your eyes opened at freedom's touch, 
     So come now, do not wait. 
 Show Wilhelm you're with us. 
     For the welfare of our state. 
 Let not your hearts be confined; 
     Let feuds die with the past. 
 Strengthen us in this perilous time. 
     Ye of all races, colors and class. 
 Though scant your purse may   be, 
     Keeping you from giving your best. 
 Explaining, you can make others see.  
     The need of buying W. S. S. 
 For the Red Cross' noble work, 
     We humbly ask your aid again, 
 Pray do not from duty shirk. 
     But do the best you can. 

 We know its far away boys 
     To a strange land you go, 
 But fight to keep home's joy 
     From destruction of the foe. 
 Yes they will make it warm. 
     For you in No Man's Land. 
 But remember that you are American born 
     And do the best you can. 
 If you get blue and lonesome 
     Forget it all and smile, 
 Be proud that you're saving home, 
     If its only for awhile. 
 To your countrymen be true, 
     Hold high the rights of man; 
 Fret not at what you're told to do 
     Just do the best you can. 
 When you hear your comrades grumble, 
     Pat him kindly on the back, 
 Tell him right must not tumble. 
     Because some fellow grows slack. 
 If you try this simple plan, 
     Courage's spark you can renew. 
 And Sammies will realize their stand. 
     For the Red, White and Blue. 

* * * 

 When shells fall fast around you, 
     And perhaps you would like to hide, 
 Think what great things we do, 
     By working without growing tired. 
 Boys don't mind the war cloud, 
     Fight for your people and land. 
 We of you patriots are proud. 
     So do the best you can. 
 O, ye men of African Creed, 
     America is our home 
 We were born among the Free 
     Though bondage claimed our own, 
 I know we have forgiven 
     All the wrongs done a race 
 And as American Citizens 
     Are ready to take our place.
 Boys we were right to fight 
     For how oft have we prayed 
 For justice and Equal rights 
     Yea, for this trying day 
 Ethiopia sends forth her Herald 
     In answer to our prayer 
 Crying Freedom for the World 
     And Democracy everywhere. 
 Noble Comrades 'tis our black hands 
     That will bear Old Glory across 
 The fields of No Man's Land 
     To Humanity's Bleeding cross. 
 There we will wrestle with death 
     Till the great Victory is gained 
 And when we are laid to rest 
     God grant we die not in vain. 
 Out of this war will rise 
     Not the black man of old 
 But one who fought and died 
     The true American Negro.
 So boys every one should fight 
     To preserve a Just Cause 
 It's only fair and right
     To give our lives, our all.


For when Belgium was robbed 
    Of life and years of toil 
Faster beat our heart thobs
    Warning us that duty calls. 
And then we saw France struggle 
    In the conflict just begun
As she called her Black Brother’s 
    To help conquer the cruel Huns.  

Boys as a Brother to Man 
    We've proved loyal in the past 
Thus winning the right to stand 
    And defend the Stars and Stripes. 
So friends, we'll keep the trust 
    That swells our bosom with pride  
And She'll never trail the dust 
     While we are by Her Side. 
Uncle Sam we are with you 
    For you are with the Right 
And with hearts that are true 
     We'll help you win this fight 
We stand ready at your command 
     For you seek not personal prize 
With the enemy hand to hand 
    We'll save that principal or die. 

 Brave Warriors, when we leave  
     For the trench and fireing line 
 Our hearts will ache with grief 
     To leave loved ones behind 
 But there is a Greater Love 
     That leads us on and on, 
 Leads us through flames and floods 
     To the "Great Awakening Morn." 
 Look boys as Old Glory waves 
     We behold the spirits of man 
 Lincoln and Douglas from the grave, 
     Guide us as to foreign strands 
 They salute the Stars and Stripes 
     These Honored Myrters, side by side 
 Showing us we've a right to fight 
     As they nobly fought and died. 

* * * 

 (Original Poem by E. P. Peters.) 
 In nineteen I was grieved to hear,
     The murmur of many strange tongues, 
 That told in a struggle near, 
     Liberty would sacrifice her sons. 
 Strong, weak, and innocent will perish 
     Until the right cause is won. 
 For man's life is not cherished 
     By the beastly, heartless huns. 
 And as I sat busy thinking, 
     How to help protect the stripes, 
 I saw my black brother drinking 
     From the cup of disfranchised rights. 
 I saw sons of honest toil. 
     Robbed of life and protection. 
 Yet they are answering Democracy's call 
     And striving in the right direction. 
 The black mothers of Tennessee, 
     Are giving their blood to France, 
 And only asking of people free. 
     That they be given a chance. 
 From the blood hounds thirsty flight, 
     They are asking to be saved. 
 For men should enjoy equal rights 
     Where the Star Spangled Banner waves. 
 Just as God rained down manna,  
     And the children of Isreal fed; 
 He'll give sons of Louisiana, 
     The rights for which they've pled. 
 For we're not fighting for possession. 
     Nor wishing that others should fall 
 But traveling in the right direction. 
     To a home that welcomes all. 

  So remember that we've not protested, 
     To do a loyal citizens part, 
 Though the memory of Houston, Texas, 
      Is still burning in our hearts. 
 Our duty is to Glory, boys, 
     No matter what falls our lot. 
 That Democracy may not be destroyed, 
     And that the paths be not forgot. 
 I saw Ethiophia Slowly rise,
     In the midst of scornful men, 
 Guided by power from on high. 
     And deserted by earthly friends. 
 But her voice is not still, 
     Nor hid is her black face, 
  For her patriots of San Juan hill, 
     In history have no place. 
 And though our tongues were bridled 
     Because we were sons of Ham, 
 "We could not stand by idle, 
     When needed by Uncle Sam. 
 With heart sympathy we listened, 
     To innocent mouths crying for bread,
 Still unseen we have risen 
     That the hungry might be fed. 
 Old Glory you have many friends, 
      But we have proved the truest. 
 Although you've failed to defend 
      Your sons of East St. Louis, 
 From poverty and oppression, 
     The weary wanderer of night, 
 Starts in the right direction 
      To help win the perilous fight. 
 Mother when clouds sweep before you. 
     And your sons you sacrifice, 
 Be proud brave Ethiophia, 
     Is still dying for the right. 
 Dropping college books and professions, 
      Leaving an Educational chance, 
 We follow in the right direction, 
      To help our brothers in France. 
 To preserve Christianity, 
     We did not ponder or wait. 
 And fought to save humanity.
     While our comrades burned at stake. 
 But boys hold high the Stripes, 
     Give them your strong protection, 
 For you shall inherit eternal life 
     That strive in the right direction. 
 So let us forget our trials, 
     Though like pilgrims we roam, 
 But thank God we're not exiles, 
     And America is our home. 
 Let the spirit of sixty-five 
     In every bosom swell, 
 For Democracy ever strives 
     That in paradise all will be well. 
 No longer we're patient or humble, 
     For the barbaric crimes we see, 
 Shall not cause justice to crumble. 
     Nor enslave old Liberty. 
 So black sons of rejection, 
     Be loyal, be brave, be true. 
 Go forth in the right direction, 
     Defend the Red, White and Blue. 

* * * 

 (Original Poem by Ada Tessibel Peters) 
 On Boston soil in 1775, 
     When America fought to be free 
 Crispus Attucks a Negro 'didst die 
     'Didst shed his blood for Liberty; 
 Though slavery's yoke was upon him 
     Though his people had no voice 
 A heart beat for his fellow-men 
     And Freedom or death his choice. 

 His body in shot torn rags 
     Fell beneath the Stars and Stripes 
 Lifting his eyes saw the Flag 
     For which he gave his life 
 To that Celestial City, went forth 
     The soul of the Black Patriot, 
 As he gave up the ghosts 
     We chose the Better Part. 
 When Spain fought her Cuban Brothers 
     Crushing the rights of a weaker race 
 Our hearts in sympathy were troubled 
     As we saw Humanity disgraced 
 Our boys said to Uncle Sam, 
     "Is not this war our war? 
 Then give us power to stand 
     And help defend the Cause." 
 In the charge up San Juan 
     When the rough riders faced defeat 
 When lost victory before them dawned 
     And behind them a scorned retreat. 
 It was then the True Soul 
     Of the black troops were tried 
 And the story we all know 
     Of how they fought and died. 

 Through facing the Spaniards fire. 
     Through Our Blood, that was spilled 
 Old Glory was placed on high 
     On the summit of the hill. 
 Such deeds have buried the tomahawk 
     Healed the wounds of bleeding hearts. 
 Together the White and Black walk 
     To choose, The Better Part. 
 Thus the two races, in union 
     Toiled along the road of life 
 In a brotherly communion 
     Free from hatred and strife 
 When from far o'er the sea 
     Came Humanity's Call for help 
 Came groans of people bereaved 
     In a struggle of Freedom and Death. 
 We saw German Soldiers Kill 
     Siberia's peace loving Sons 
 Saw blood of innocent ones spilled 
     In the mouth of murderous guns, 
 Heard the cries of women and children 
     Beholding their humble homes afire 
 Then into dark slavery driven 
     Like cattle, to perish and die. 
 Bleeding Belgium, cried to live 
     As she struggling gave all 
 That earthly mortals could give 
     To preserve the Righteous Cause. 
 France stretched forth her hand 
     The hand that proved our friend 
 Pleading from, "No Man's Land" 
     For the Freedom of Men. 
 Old Glory, your Black Boys 
     Long to see. Democracy reign. 
 For Freedom's fully enjoyed 
     By those, who have worn chains. 
 Uncle Sam, we're by your side 
     Fast within beats our hearts 
 And when we say goodbye 
     We will choose, The Better Part. 
 A black mother pressed her son 
     To the bosom that nursed him 
 For the parting hour had come 
     To help defend his countrymen. 
 Looking into his eyes she said, 
     "On the altar of thy heart 
 Burns a spirit that has led 
     You to choose, The Better Part. 

 I who have watched o'er thee 
     From the very moments of birth 
 Feel the patriotism you feel 
     Knowing my boy'll prove his worth. 
 If this be the last time 
     To press you to my heart, 
 Die fighting on the firing line 
     And choose, The Better Part. 

 His countenance now bore 
     A greater love, a greater pride 
 For the Uniform he wore 
     And the woman by his side. 
 "Mother he said, Thy Sacrifice 
     Is not made in vain 
 For the Stars and Stripes 
     Shall wave in peace again. 

 I fear not, the cruel Huns 
     Nor their horrible deeds and threats. 
 For is it in my people born 
     To cringe, from a Noble Death? 
 Then mother, wipe away thy tears 
     And kiss me 'ere I start 
 For I cannot linger here 
      And choose, The Better Part." 

* * * 

  (Original Poem by E. P. Peters.) 
 Faded is the light of day, 
      When I have finished my task, 
 And in a land far away, 
      Your memory holds me fast. 
 For it seems but yesterday, 
      I held you on my knee, 
 Never thinking that you would play 
      In the game for Democracy. 
 But my son I am glad 
      My feeble fingers can knit 
 For patriots of the service flag. 
      Who are proudly doing their bit. 
 I'm sacrificing when I stay,
      At home where you have been, 
 And toiled daily that you may. 
      Help the right cause win. 
 Vacant is thy room above me, 
      And empty is thy chair, 
 But onward, for 'tis victory, 
      Awaiting those playing fair. 
 And though silver is my hair, 
      I'm still your faithful mother; 
 World freedom is my prayer 
      For I am with the colors. 
 We the mothers of the free
      Are proud that we toiled not alone 
 In the fight to keep Autocracy 
      From the heart of Liberty's home. 
 All nations are in a stir, 
      For mankind's being slaughtered 
 By the hands of German Kultur, 
      Who has no excuse to offer. 
 Brutality in our face is slamed, 
      Morality they've tried to smother, 
 But fear not dear Uncle Sam, 
      For I am with the colors. 
 We will preserve Democracy, 
      No matter what it may cost, 
 We're servants of the Almighty, 
       And followers of the cross. 
 In the dreaded war zone 
      Where man seeks not for rest. 
 Loyalty and bravery is shown. 
      By aid of the fairest sex. 
 Red is the cross they wear. 
      They're helping our wounded brothers 
 We cherish them as gems rare 
      Who are serving with the colors. 

 In the Y. M. C. A. 
      Brave Sammy takes a part, 
 For 'tis encouragement by the way, 
      And peace to our troubled heart. 
 The sun of eighteen and nineteen 
      Is smiling on them over there,
 And though no longer they're seen 
      We're helping them everywhere. 
 Foreigners, strangers, black and white, 
      Are working with each other. 
 Striving, dying to win the fight, 
      Forgetting race class and color. 
 Greater is the spirit of today, 
      Than that of seventy six 
 For fuedalism can not stay 
      Where Democracy doth exist. 
 The Lusitanian victims we saw, 
       But still loyal we stand, 
 'Till o'er is the bloody war, 
      And safe is our native land. 
 To Berlin we will gladly go,
      And if it need be further,
 Just to let the whole world know 
      That we are with the colors. 

* * *

 (Original Poem by Ada Tessibel Peters.) 
 America drops a Laurel 
      On the Tuscania's dead 
 While war's cold wind howl 
       O'er our uncovered heads. 
 Though silent now the tongue 
      Of that brave gallant host 
 The race is yet to run, 
      The prize is not lost. 
 We still hear them sing 
      Awaiting the water's call 
 As if death was a thing 
      Welcome to us all. 
 Asleep in a watery grave 
      Thy Noble Spirits still live 
 As to Freedom Thou gave 
      In like manner we give. 

 Mother your son slumbers 
      While his unfinished work 
  Is carried on by numbers 
      Whose duties will never shirk. 
 Falling your son gave all 
      That human heart could give 
 To save the Righteous Cause 
       And his country from ill. 
 Then mothers do not cry 
      For thou suffereth not alone 
 Comfort others that must die 
      For their flag and home. 
 When America is safe 
      From the Barbaric Huns 
 And Kaiser finds his place 
      Is not in the sun. 
 When Autocracy is crushed 
      By the hands of right 
 And Feudalism's doctrine hushed 
      From those seeking the light. 
      Then the Tuscania's Boys 
      Shall triumph in the grave 
 For their comrades loyal 
      Fought and saved the day. 

* * *

  (Original Poem by E. P. Peters.) 
 When the merry Christmas day, 
      Dawned in No Man's Land, 
 And Christmas boxes from home,
      Given Sammies on foreign strand; 
 All heads bowed low, 
      While Old Glory was raised, 
 Giving thanks to man,
      And to the Christ Child praise. 
 When prayer had been offered, 
      Happy, two trenches did depart,
 All save one remained 
      With bowed head and aching heart. 
 As the old flag rippled, 
      He cried, May she live,
 Always for the right, but 
      Oh, God, what can I give? 
 To my kind people in 
      The land of the free, 
 Who has sacrificed to 
      Send this box to me, 
 Oh, what can I give 
      For the cause of right. 
 But his cries was hushed 
      In the command to fight. 
 With pride he fought, while 
      Bursting shells filled the air, 
 Smiling faced the enemy. 
      Tried not his life to spare.
 Stood while comrades fell beside 
      Him, fighting with wounding hand, 
 To keep the cursed Autocracy 
      From retgning in the land. 
 But as the battle grew hotter, 
      The Sammies filled with fear. 
 For in death their Captain lay 
      With the enemy near. 
 At last from out the smoke, 
      The wounded hands did raise. 
 "Boys on to victory, be 
      Brave and fight," he cried. 
 Then fighting like true Americans, 
      The battle was on again,
 The enemy retreated leaving fieldm
      Of sleeping and suffering men. 
 Dying their leader cried, pointing 
       To the Stars and Stripes, 
 "Boys I've given all. 
       To help you win the fight." 

 "Don't retreat in battle, fight 
      On till all is well. 
 Till the right has won. 
       And peace on earth dwells. 
 When you fight hardest, pray 
     God will help you give 
 Your life to old Liberty 
      That free people might live. 
 So boys meet me when 
      Your country you have saved. 
 Goodbye all and Old Glory 
      May she ever wave." 
 When the sun hid its face, 
      Behind the snowy hills, 
 When the battle field was cleared, 
      And thundering cannons stilled,
 The stars from their firmanent 
      Gave forth their brillant light, 
 Guarding as they did the 
      Shepards, sleeping Sammies through night. 
 The old flag still waved,
      Though torn in the fight. 
 Cheering patriots dead and 
      Dying for Democracy and it's rights. 
 When Christmas night was o'er, 
      From a long sweet repose, 
 Boys of Red, White, and Blue, 
      Sad but bravely rose. 
 Each man performed his duty, 
      Each offered a morning prayer. 
 Bugles summoned to mess hall. 
      In the land of somewhere. 
 Their hearts beat with patriotism 
      While grieved countenance showed respect 
 To the comrade who saved them 
      From captivity and death. 
 When the spot was chosen,
      And the opening waiting there, 
 Sammies marched with tearful eyes, 
      While music filled the air. 
 The old flag was borne 
      And waved slowly over head, 
 While the patriot was lowered 
      Into a country martyr's grave. 
 And the epitaph was written, 
      Love for, Stars and Stripes 
 Could not be greater than 
      The man that gives his life. 

* * * 

 (Original Poem by Ada Tessibel Peters.) 
 An American rises on Christmas Day 
      In the dawn of coming manhood 
 Falling upon bended knee to pray 
      As his teachings bade him do 
 Humbly asking his God to guide 
      Him in the paths of right 
 When absent from his mother's side 
      To make his way in life. 
 Begging for strength lest he fall 
      Discouraged by the way 
 Ready to help Humanity's Cause 
      Of those, who've gone astray. 
 Pleading for the girl and boy 
      That drifting with the tide 
 Seeking only pleasure and joy 
      Losing self respect and pride 
 Change their hearts 'ere they meet 
      The doom that will surely come 
 Though tears of regret they weep 
      Is useless when life is done. 
 When their hair is fading gray 
      May from repenting lips be told 
 Dear Jesus passed by the way 
      And saved my dying soul. 
 For the sinful father he prays 
      That craves and begs for rum 
 Sending his wife to her grave 
      From the shack in the slums. 
 Leaving two little blue-eyed girls 
      To make their way in life 
 Ignorant of the sinful world 
      Of it's temptations and strife, 
 O, God may thy Guiding Angel 
      Lead these little Maidens fair 
 Out of earthly harm and danger 
      To Thy Holy House of Prayer. 
 Again 0, God, I beseech Thee 
      To bless my Native Land 
 Divided may we never be 
      For only united we stand. 
 If cruel war should ever come 
      In the Land of the Free 
 May I proudly shoulder a gun 
      And die for Liberty. 
 May we forever fight. 
      That Democracy might win 
 Ever live the Cause of Right 
       Is my Christmas Prayer, Amen. 
 Then slowly he raises at length 
      Refreshed in his morning's prayer 
 His face radiant with Divine strength 
      That God's messengers planted there. 
 From this brave lad we gleam 
      A lesson for young and old 
 That'll make life a pleasant dream 
      Unmarred by sin and woe. 
 For how happy we'd all be 
      Instead of thinking of self 
 If we'd give others in need 
      Helping those, in distress.
 Sisters and brothers clinging to him 
      They join the family fire side 
 Mother and Father greeting them 
      Their only jewels, there only pride. 
 Suddenly on the air there falls 
      The chiming of Christmas Bells 
 Shaking the ancient church walks 
      As joyfully the good news tell 
 Their voices in harmony blend 
      In the old fashioned pew 
 Singing to the Sons of Men 
      A song of Love and Truth. 
 He hears the white haired priest 
      Tell the story of our Christ 
 Of the babe that would teach 
      Men the way of Eternal Life 
 How in a manger he lay 
      Close to his mother's breast 
 Upon a lowly bed of hay 
      To pay man's sinful death 
 An example for us to be 
      Meek and lowly of heart 
 Seeking not the front seat 
      But satisfied with our lot. 
 While the shepherds by night 
      Watched their flock of sheep 
 They saw a wonderful light 
      A great star in the east. 
 A loud noise was heard 
      An angel stood before them 
 Saying "Peace on Earth, 
      Good Will to Men." 
 When the child was found 
      They gave thanks to God 
 Who's Son to earth came down 
      And filled tile world with Love. 
 As Christ toiled day by day 
      The blind saw, the dumb talked, 
 And to a cripple he said, 
      "Take up thy bed and walk." 
 Thus man's soul was redeemed 
      For Christ the mortgage payed 
 His blood the sinful world cleaned 
      And taught us how to pray 
 On the cross with thorn clad head 
      To his promise still was true 
 "Father, forgive them," He said, 
      "They know not what they do." 
 Floating in the morning's breeze 
      The old flag, silent and serene 
 Awakens Sammie from his sleep 
      From his happy Christmas Dream. 
 Then Sammie saluteing the Stars and Stripes 
      With swelling breat exclaimed 
 I've pledged you honor and life 
      That world Democracy will reign 
 As this brave soldier sits 
      Smiling in his trench Over There 
 Lo, a sonff falls from his lips 
     His Country's National Air. 
* * *

(Original Poem by E. P. Peters.) 
Oh wandering pilgrims of Virginia, 
    Who made you noted men. 
Whom was ever your defender. 
    And proved old Glory's friend. 
Was it not back in sixteen 
    For slaves of your selfish will. 
When your unfree tongues were still, 
    You ignorantly bought pearls unseen, 
In vales and on historic hills, 
    Where your gallant heroes sleep, 
Once Ethiophians your soil tilled, 
    From dawn till sunset peace. 
Raised grain and your cattle fed, 
    In your business planned and advised, 
Without place to lay their heads 
    Your own pearls unrecognized. 
From tobacco made you wealthy,
    Your cruelty was humbly borne 
Slave cooks made you healthy,
    Black boys protected your homes,
With maimed bodies and chained hands, 
    Died to make your sons free, 
Rare gems in a slave land. 
    Robbed of rights and liberty. 
 Mother Nature doth sadly gaze 
     On the sunlit southern plains, 
 Pityinng hands forced to raise  
     Crops for their masters gain. 
 Tilling fields of cane and cotton 
     That you heartless masters rest, 
 And your home builders you've forgotten 
     Laid foundations for your success. 

 Scarred backs of unpaid toil, 
     Motherly rocked your brave sons,
 While their black faces spoiled 
     All good things they'd done. 
 For two hundred and forty years 
     Served you faithfully as a friend, 
 Unpitied dwelled in want and fear, 
     Four million helpless uncounted gems. 
 Naked on the auction block, 
     You separated mother and child, 
 At their pleadings only mocked. 
     On their pitiful condition smiled. 
 Forgiving humanity toiled patiently on. 
     Sacrificing for your boys and girls, 
 While poverty on the cabins dawned,  
     Of the uncared for hated pearls. 
 From whipping posts of plantation, 
     Rose innocent cries of man. 
 Music of a southern Nation, 
     Execution of their commands. 
 Still loyal with heart aches, 
     They came eager to your aid 
 Pearls that perished at burning stakes, 
     You a leading people made. 
 While wealth made you able, 
     To do other honerable deeds, 
 The crumbs from your table, 
     Were left for those in need. 
 Honored by Ethiophia's children,
     Served by their willing hands, 
 You forgot you once were pilgrims,
     And crushed the rights of man. 
 Your words were deemed great, 
     As proud emperors of Rome, 
 Sowing earless seeds of waste,
     Unthankful of having a home. 
 In ignorance gloom kept a race, 
     Taught them to steal and fraud; 
 Morality shamefully did debase, 
     Told them nothing of a God. 


 Loved ones their only pride,
     Rags their physical protector,
 Independence spark slowly died 
     In hearts humiliation melted. 
 Brave gems from their people sold,
     Tried hard to forget their pain, 
 Noble emotion blossomed in their souls,
     Reminding them black sons have brains. 

 The long uneducated minds, 
     Gradually in wisdom grew broad, 
 Soul salvation they did find, 
 In a true forgiving God. 
 When through the night they prayed, 
     That their sons might be free. 
 Asked forgiveness for those who made, 
     Slaves of pearls and humanity. 
 Low bowed heads snowy white, 
     Stood in every vabin door, 
 Thankful that the bloody night, 
     God suffered to pass o'er. 
 Tear stained cheeks smiled with pleasure 
     Of being in a revolutionized world. 
 For Freedom their long lost treasure 
     Returned to unrecognized pearls. 
* * *

 (Original Poem by Ada Tessibel Peters.) 
 A little maiden left home and friends 
     To brave the storms of life's sea 
 Filled with ambition for Great Things 
     With hopes of a Race just free 
 Born with a longing desire to help 
     Humanity regardless of color or creed 
 Made her the Sunshine, where ere she dwelt 
     To the friendless, and those in need. 
 Purity of thought, blinded her eyes 
     To the world and it's selfish aims 
 Of men and women daily beguiled 
     In search of favor and fame 
 Crushing people because of birth 
     Because of blood flowing in their veins 
 Thinking not of the soul and it's worth 
     Nor recognizing the power of brains. 

 Little did the Noble Child realize 
     Of disappointments not afar off 
 Of opportunities to be denied 
     And battles that must be fought 
 I see her as she smilingly bade 
     Childhood's happy scenes adieu 
 And turning sought the untrodden way 
     That led to friends and foes anew. 

 Behold our heroine makes her way 
     Through the 'midst of the city's poor 
 As she walks we hear her pray 
     For the victims of poverty and woe 
 Suddenly across the path there falls 
     A form motionless at her feet 
 While to her ear comes a faint call 
     "Give me food that I may eat." 


 Thus two earthly mortals take leave 
     And start on life's journey refreshed 
 "When I lie hungry by the road 
     Thou gavest me bread to eat 
 Lightening the burden, of a weary soul 
     With a spirit so humble and meek 
 Though cursed thy dark skin be 
     Continue to feed God's Lambs 
 And good will, shall follow thee 
      Thou Faithful Daughter of Ham." 
 One because of the blessing received 
     The other saved from hunger and death 
 They shall meet in that Holy Land 
     When the sea gives up it's dead 
 Our Beloved Daughter of Ham 
     And the hungry that was fed. 
 She has labored for many days 
     Helping alike both Saints and thieves 
 And with eager hands, to them gave 
     All she had, even to her need 
 The body fatigued and careworn 
     Cries out for bread and jam 
 For Humanity's burden daily borne 
     Grew heavy to the Daughter of Ham. 
 When despairing of her quest 
     She heard voices happy and gay 
 And saw people richly dressed 
     Entering a door by the way 
 Hoping here to find her goal 
     Footsteps are turned to the crowd 
 Where a servant fills the door 
     With a king's air so proud. 
 "Pray what can I do for you?" 
     Said the servant, to the maid 
 "I'm starving give me food" 
     Our little pilgrim said. 
 Then the servant, with a ghastly stare 
     Hastily replied, "I'm sorry mam 
 You are forbidden to eat in there  
     For you are a Daughter of Ham."
 Then passing into the night 
     She offered to heaven a prayer 
 That some one would bear the light 
     To sinning men and women fair 
 Lo, as the stars gave forth 
     Bright light o'er all the land 
 To God's Throne marched the soul 
     Of the dying Daughter of Ham. 
 Sons of men why hurl 
     Hate and scorn at one another 
 When Christ died for the world 
    And not for race or color 
 He dying shed his blood 
     That we all might live 
 In unity and love 
     Ever ready to forgive 

 On the face man look 
     And if it pleases the eye 
 We blindly shield a wolf 
     Oft times a thief and spy 
 But God seeth the heart 
     And judges us thereby 
 Thus all can own a part 
     In a home on high 

 When our eyes grow blind 
     With the veil of years 
 May we leave behind 
     A record honored and dear 
 So both rich and lowly 
     Remember the Bleeding Lamb 
 And forget not the story 
     Of the Daughter of Ham. 

* * * 

 Upon the long hard frozen ground, 
     Snow flakes lay thick and white; 
 And twilight scarcely its way found,
     When it was lost in night. 
 In a palace of wealth and beauty, 
     Happy was wife, husband and child, 
 Forgetting faith and Christian duty, 
     Following vanity, fame, and style. 
 Suddenly from out the silence came, 
     A loud rap upon the door, 
 And before them with unknown name,
     Stood a frail form covered with snow. 
 Then husband ordered bread and wine, 
     To redden the pale guests face, 
 While a servant was commanded find 
     The weary stranger a resting place. 
 The food of the very best, 
     Pilgrim was invited to eat, 
 And slowly as one in distress,
     He rose upon his aged feet. 
 "You are very kind he said, 
     To lend me a helping hand, 
 You shall for all be paid, 
     For you are a brother to man." 

 Clothed in a costly evening gown,
     The proud wife before them stood; 
 With upright head and scornful frown,
     Looked upon the begger of food. 
 "Have I not seen you before?" 
    Of the stranger she inquired. 
 "Yes," he answered, "among the poor, 
     You've "Seen and passed me by." 
 Taking innocent children from unknown friend 
     Wife left blinded to mankind's plea, 
 But husband followed Pilgrim to defend, 
     The cause of suffering humanity. 
 With Pilgrim who long had borne 
     The burden of a sinful world,
 Husband entered a drunkard's home. 
     And rescued his friendless girl. 
 Clothed in his coat of fur. 
      The unpitied was sheltered from cold 
 Into his rich home took her. 
     To teach her of the soul. 
 "I've brought Alice a playmate" 
      Said husband to his wife. 
 But she proudly refused to take 
      The poor into her child's life. 
 So innocent children ignorant of class. 
     Became devoted to each other. 
 While o'er them was passed, 
      The cruel sentence, of Alice's mother. 
 "She must not stay here John," 
     She said, "You must go alone, 
 And take away the low born,  
     You unthinkingly brought into our home." 
 "It is God's will," he replied, 
     "I'll fight till the victory's won, 
 Never again will I drift with the tide, 
     For I'm needed in the slums." 
 At wife's request, clergymen talked, 
     To husband how he was losing, 
 The dignity of their Christian walk. 
     With the poor they thought amusing. 
 Husband in silence had remained 
     Until his friends ceased to come. 
 Then from the pulpit he exclaimed, 
     "Duty calls me in the slums.”
 Taking with her their only child, 
     Wife joined her society friends; 
 Charmed by luxury and style. 
     And blinded to her sin. 
 On bended knees at night fall, 
     When mankind goes to rest,
 Christian on the Savior called 
     To strengthen him in distress. 
 His life was deprived of sunshine,
     Or all he had was gone. 
 But Pilgrim came the second time 
     And guided him from wrong. 
 So again in the narrow path, 
     Teaching sons and daughters of men,
 Christian helped the downtrodden class, 
     To come out of their sins. 
 Saloon keepers, bartenders, gamblers, 
     Vile men that swear and curse,
 Willingly stopped their sinful ramble 
     And became a part of Christian's church. 
 When told of his childs death, 
     Christian grieved not nor mourned, 
 For he'd sacrificed pleasure and wealth. 
     To join her round God's throne. 
 Though bent with toil and grief, 
     His work the world was demanding, 
 He lived to tell of a peace, 
     That passes all understanding. 
 Smiling upon his friends with pride, 
     He bade them meet him there, 
 And entered his chamber and died, 
     With the Holy book of prayer. 
 As the prodigal son returned home, 
     So unto her husband did wife,
 Finding God had claimed his own,
     And given him eternal life. 
 In grief kneeling down by husband,
     She looked heavenward to pray 
 When before her stood Pilgrim 
     The street beggar she'd turned away. 
 Pilgrim's countenance became bright and pure. 
     His worn rainment spotless and white 
 "Now," she cried, "I know you. 
      You are the truth and light." 
 She saw as a shepard sees, 
     That cares not for his fold, 
 The child she hoped to be, 
     Left hungry, penniless, and cold. 
 "O, John, what shall I do," 
     She cried, "I've scorned humanity."  
Child whispered, "God will save you, 
    For He saved Pa and me." 
 At last forgiveness had come, 
     Upward strived child and wife. 
To meet their sleeping loved ones 
     When the soul seeks its flight. 

* * *  

 (Original Poem by Ada Tessibel Peters.) 
 In the year 1858 
      On a Virginian Plantation 
 Was born a babe who someday 
      Would walk and talk with nations 
 In his veins flowed the blood 
      Of Ethiopia's Noble Hearted Sons 
 Born 'midst slavery's mire and mud 
      A great leader of men had come. 
 In a rough hewn board hut 
      Booker saw the light of day 
 Blessed with a kind mother's trust 
      In her arms he fondly lay 
 His childish eyes did not gaze 
      Upon fine paintings on the wall 
 But watched little pickanninies play 
      While water in the kettle boiled. 
 The child of Nature boasted not 
      Of proud ancestory or titled kin 
 For bondage had fallen his lot 
      And four million of his fellow men 
 Deep in the heart of that boy 
      A spark of independence burned 
 Early losing the thrill for toys 
      Longing for a chance to learn. 
 Just before the dawn of day 
      When the world's lost in dream 
 The lad heard his mother pray 
      And there the truth was gleamed 
 From then was waged a battle 
      From then his life work begun 
 To enlighten the Human chattels 
      When 'ere the hour should come. 


 At last God heard the pleas 
      Of the four million humble souls 
 And suffered them to be free 
      To serve their God of old. 
 With the North and South's decision 
      The slave child's hope was realized 
 Going forth to prepare his mission 
      He bade his lowly habitat Goodbye. 
 Toiling through sunshine and rain 
      Working patiently in the salt mills, 
 Took unto himself a name 
      The proudest that history could give. 
 An unseen eye, saw a day 
      Drawing near; when the world's readers 
 Beholding his works would say 
      "He too, is Father of His People." 
 As in the days of old 
     Brave Romans with armors of steel 
 Met in the arena their foe 
      Either to kill, or be killed. 
 So with his schooling completed 
      Booker Washington, now went forth 
 To conquer or to be defeated 
      True to his boyhood oath. 
 His helmet the Word of God, 
      Freely given to those that ask 
 His sword a heart of love 
      And Divine truth, his only mask. 
 Thus clad in this court of mail 
      That protects the souls of men 
 On life's stormy sea set sail 
      To battle against fog and wind. 
 Ever in the quest of Knowledge 
      Took up the study of law 
 Entered the famous Hampton Institute 
      Preparing to stand in Congress Hall. 
 But providence had a Nobler Cause, 
      For this young man to pursue 
 Throwing down the books of law 
      Sought his works in fields anew. 
 It was then Tuskeege called him 
      At last had come the Morn, 
 To teach and defend his fellowmen 
       For which work he was born. 
 His soul urged him to go 
       He was filled with new zeal 
 Determined his Brothers should know 
       What it means, To Be Free. 
 Ever Onward, to reach higher ground 
       Helping 'all People to greater aim 
 The world in admiration now found 
      Dr. Washington, rightly chose, name. 
 Instructing the Negroes to buy land 
      To study the advantage of soil 
 Proving his theory with his hands 
      Showing the profit of honest toil. 
 In the pleas for his race 
      A great Orator, was made known 
 Sought not for a political place 
      Ever striving to help his own 
 Respected in courts of fame 
      Daily honored by rich and poor, 
 Popularity never made him vain 
      But was loved as, "Booker," of old. 
 Then God called his servant home 
      Called the Great Educator to rest 
 Leaving his friends to fight alone 
      To live forever with the Blest, 
 A lasting monument is left 
      In hearts of young and feeble 
 And though parted by death 
      He still is. Father of His People. 

* * *  
 In eighteen seventy one, 
      Two freed slaves met in life; 
  Joshua Dunbar, Matilda Murphy's love  won, 
      And were united as husband and wife. 
 Matilda from a little child, 
      Was a lover of poetry and art;  
 And always in a manner mild, 
     She dealt with cruel hearts. 
 So it was the following year, 
      A son to her was born; 
 The black face, the infant dear, 
      Who gave the world book and song. 
 At seven years of age,
      New ideas entered his life; 
 His mind in best thoughts engaged, 
      And his dreams he began to write. 
 By birth, a genius and poet. 
      By writing, won world wide fame, 
 The black author lived to know it; 
      Paul Laurence Dunbar by name. 
 Literature, spelling, and grammer, 
      Were his favorite studies in school. 
 He was modest and timid in manners,
      And obedient to the rules. 
 He edited the High School Times, 
      Which contents interesting found. 
 By diligence he did climb, 
      To success and future renown. 
 But at last the time had come, 
      To launch out and labor find. 
 Graduating in eighteen ninety one, 
      Leaving schoolmates and friends behind 
 His color was against all he'd done, 
      Every one to him seemed greater. 
 An elevator boy's task he begun; 
      Looking for recognition later. 
 Few flowers in his path were strewn, 
      But there were many thorns. 
 His determination was not to ruin, 
      The talent that was in him born. 
 A quaint philosophy was breathed, 
      In his dialect poems and prose; 
  Some were thoughts he achieved, 
      And others gleamed from stories told. 
 One evening Dunbar entered home,
      With a smile on his face, 
 The first difficulty he had won, 
      For his people and his race. 
 His "Oak and Ivy poems" printed,
      Made wide his reputation; 
 And though of African decent. 
      He was generous to all nations. 
 The poet was defender of his race; 
      His life work did devote her, 
 And his soul contents we trace. 
      In his Ode to Ethiophia. 
 To Chicago to the world's fair,
      He must go aid his brother; 
 Alone the burden was hard to bear; 
      He hated to leave his mother. 

 But by special Providence, 
      He found work and friends, 
 Who always came to his defense, 
      With willing aids to lend. 
 Honorable Fred Douglass said, 
      He's a promising Colored man; 
 To him tribute should be paid, 
      For the place that he demands. 
 In congress in Washington, 
      He became efficient in literary work. 
 Though hardest blows he'd overcome, 
      Never would be duty shirk. 
 His fourth book, "The Lyrics and Hearth side." 
      Was dedicated to Alice, his wife, 
 His wise counsellor and guide, 
      And the sunshine of his life. 
 Of the shadows of Rocky Mountain, 
      In broken health the poet cried, 
 "Once I drank from thy fountains, 
      And sat on thy rugged side. 
 Once I was young and strong, 
      A healthy robust lad, 
 I admired the bird songs, 
      I smiled when I was sad. 
 All men held the poet dear, 
      For he lived a life worth while; 
 Although his end was drawing near, 
      He was happy, calm, and mild. 
 He gazed on the flowers sent him, 
      To give his pains relief, 
 But in a few days left them 
      And was numbered with the deceased. 

 Doctor H. T. Tobey, of Toledo, 
      Mourned the loss of his friend. 
 He regretted the Great must go, 
      As the other sons of men. 
 Ethiophia long shall weep,
      And shall always honor give, 
 For though the poet now doth sleep, 
      His work shall ever live. 

 * * * 

 (Original Poem by Ada Tessibel Peters.) 
 In the year 1619 a Dutch vessel 
      Sailed the waters of the Black sea 
 With the angry waves it wrestled 
      Traveling to a land called the Free. 
 Thirty Negroes trembling with fear 
      Hovered in a dark and dingy hull 
 Many strange tongues they could hear 
      While fast faded the land they loved 
 Though they were heathens yet they prayed 
      With the conquering spirit of their race 
 To the God of stone, who ruled the day 
      While hope beamed on every face. 
 At last the vessel landed at Jamestown 
      With it's cargo of Human Souls 
 Naked they stepped on slave cursed ground 
      And like beast of the field were sold. 
 For two hundred and fifty years 
      Our people knelt in the dust 
 Robbed of all a race holds dear 
      To satisfy the white man's lust 
 The tender ties of mother, father and child 
      Were crushed beneath feet of heartless might 
 They were hunted like creatures wild 
      Their moans were bird songs of the night. 
 The thought of Independence burned 
      On the Sacred Altar of their Heart 
 Though humiliated and spurned 
      They were ready to play their part. 
 Engulfed in poverty, they could see 
      The cloud of a long and bloody strife 
 Stronger grew the desire to be free 
      To stand like men and pay the price 
 In the starless night of ignorance 
      A just God showed them the way 
 He gave them patience and endurance 
      For a God of mercy heard them pray. 
 The slaves wept and prayed for joy 
      When on April the twelfth 1863 
 Was fired the guns of the Civil War 
      In the struggle to set us free. 
 The Blue and Gray alike upheld 
      The cause they thought was right 
 They bravely fought and fell 
      Sacrificing honor and life. 
 In the game of Freedom and Death 
      The fearless Negro dashing and brave 
 Urged on by memories in his breast 
      Died to redeem the Human race. 
 Abraham Lincoln, who believed 
      In the equal rights of man 
 Said, "To save the union I will free 
      All slaves through out the land." 
 Lincoln on January the first 1863 
      Issued the Emacipation, Proclamation 
 Declaring, the Negroes are set free 
      From cruel slavery and degradation. 
 Thus penniless, but free we left 
      Our old plantation homes 
 Facing starvation and death 
      Knowing not whither we roamed. 
 But providence was our guide 
     Along the rough and thorny path 
 Little by little we strived 
      To overcome the dreadful past. 
 Before the bar of justice the Negro stands 
      As the grand champion of his race 
 Begging and pleading for the Rights of Man 
      Forgetting his kinky hair and black face 
 In the Medical profession he longs 
      To lengthen and enoble life 
 Healing the wounds of the wronged 
      A bearer of the Sacred Light. 
 The Black Poets, doth write 
      Of their beloved Dixie Land 
 Singing of the picturesque sights 
      Of the hot and scorching sands; 
 Though poverty attended the Negroe's birth 
      Industry has been his home 
 In tilling the soil he's proved his worth 
      Regardless of the trials he's borne 
 Through sorrow and toil may be 
      Our humble and lowly career 
 Let us thank God we're free 
      For rest lies beyond the veil of tears. 

 An old slave mammy who's hair 
      Is covered with snow, that never melt 
 Smiling prayed this dying prayer 
      In the land of her humble birth. 
 "O, God, I shall soon be with Thee 
      In a land where all is love 
 My prayers are answered, I die in peace 
      To join the Heavenly Hosts above, 
 My body shall soon return to dust 
      Beneath the cold and damp sod, 
 How sweet in death to have trust 
      In a true and living God. 
 Just as death in his chariot will come 
       To still my heart and bear me away 
 So will the prize we seek be won 
      When some of you sleep, beneath the clay 
 At last the hour has come 
      And she bids us a parting farewell 
 She has kept the faith, her work is done 
      And all is well, all is well." 

* * * 

From the roaring cannons of sixty five, 
     From the hour the Negroes were alive; 
 They thankfully thanked the God of peace 
      Who them from bondage did release. 

 Departing from ones that once knew success, 
      Helpless, launched out to do their best 
 And in the struggle to be recognized, 
     They were oft defeated on every side. 
 But with sincerety that cannot be stilled, 
      They, educational schools begun to build; 
 Making progress, but failed to know it, 
      Until Literature welcomed its black slave poet. 
 As famous actors, they played their part; 
      They demanded fame in the world of art; 
 From Colored papers can be traced, 
      The progress of a short freed race. 
 Coming from poor farmers our songsters found 
      The door of progress opened to renown; 
 Our graduates of college sought no rest, 
      Until the world had received their best. 
 Blacksmiths and carpenters were in demand. 
      Lawyers and doctors each took their stand. 
 Slave orators, the people did address 
      Telling them of the black brother's progress. 
 From the pulpit they learned of God; 
     By reading books their minds grew broad; 
 They were honest and loved one another, 
     And never forgot their weaker brother. 
 For they by the aid of Providence, 
      Their missionaries to African shores sent,
  To teach them of their own accord, 
      To worship the true and living God. 
 Thus many have crossed the reckless sea 
      And seek knowledge of people free 
 To learn, that others they might reach, 
      To return home and their kindred teach. 
 With helping hands go to their defense,
      That their hearts then might be con tent. 
 In school they've learned to be clever; 
      They are taught to stick together 
 They have musicians and chorus bands,
      They organize lodges throughout the land; 
 Work in factories of every kind; 
      Being industrious, they'll always labor find. 
 Own nice homes and large fertile farms 
      With modern conveniences to multiply their charms. 
 Run hotels and stores in every state, 
      Work on boats, passenger trains and freights. 
 In prominent banks they are clerks; 
      For firms they're doing real estate work; 
 Our specialists and dentists are having success, 
      Ranking like the whites, with the best. 
 Our editors of papers and magazines, 
      In writing have proved to be serene; 
 Colored stenographers hold positions that pay; 
      Chauffers are hired by months and days. 
 Elevator boys are paid by the week; 
      Black cops are bravely guarding their beats; 
 Contractors and plasterers do efficient work; 
      Bankers and business men are thous ands worth. 
 Lecturers tell how the black race rose; 
      How great leaders among them were choose; 
 How the bleeding backs from slavery's chains, 
      Rose up to be a people again. 
 Clouds of darkness and then shown light 
      That awaken minds to opportunities of life. 
 If this be true why not stand, 
      And demand all rights due to man. 
 For though progress we've made 'tis true 
      There is still greater work to do. 
 There should be love for one another; 
      Love that envieth not its brother. 
 But delights in mankind's success, 
      That strives in life to be best. 
 When we stand as great men stood, 
      And as a people unite in brotherhood. 
 We'll not by other race be passed; 
      Or with the ignorant ones be classed. 
 We'll not in the rear be shoved; 
       We'll not be dispised but loved. 
 We'll not be Jim Crowed or scorned; 
      Or hate the day that we were horned. 
 We then can realize education's worth. 
      We'll know how to appreciate free dom's birth. 
 We can face the difficulties of life; 
      Can be true to the stars and stripes. 
 Then gladly our enemies we'll befriend. 
      We will help the sons of men. 
 And through the land the message send; 
      "We're rising through love and not revenge. 
 We're rising with praise and jubilee song 
      We're rising to righten the wrong." 
 "We're rising for we could hot rest. 
      Until the black boys had made progress 
 Rising to praise the ruler of all. 
      Who caused bondage's strong chains to fall. 
 Rising as pilgrims of the night; 
      Rising to defend the right; 
 Rising till Ethiophia stretches forth her hands. 
      And claims her people of the land. 

* * *
 (Original Poem by Ada Tessibel Peters.) 
 As the Sun sank behind the mountain 
      And the flowers bowed their heads 
 Earth was watered from Heaven's Fountain, 
      While I mourned with my dead. 
 Through the window the stars gazed 
      Upon my mother's form, 
 Listening they heard me pray 
      For all I had was gone. 
 Upon her calm face I read 
      My future destiny 
 Her soul had fled 
      Into Eternity. 
 "Mother," I cry, 
      But she hears me not 
 For motionless she lies 
      Upon my childhood cot. 
 Deep wrinkles I carved 
      Upon her once fair face 
 I've sinned against God  
      Behold the price I pay, 
 Her eyes now closed in sleep 
      With tears I often filled 
 It is now my time to weep 
      For the heart I broke is still. 
 A vision rose before me 
      Revealing my deeds of the past  
 From that scene, I tried to flee 
      But memory held me fast. 
 I saw my comrades dance 
      Down a broad and smooth road 
 At first I thought them emigrants 
      But on their baclcs, they bore no load, 
 Just ahead these words I beheld 
      In letters large and bold 
 "The road that leads to hell 
      To shame and endless woe." 
 I see my people 
      In the gambling dens 
 Squabbling and cheating 
      As they lose and win. 
 Some child is crying for bread 
      Some poor form trembles with cold 
 It's father to this den is led 
      While poverty knocks at his door. 
 His wife haggard and worn 
      On the verge of death 
 For years this burden has borne 
      Longs for rest, sweet rest. 
 To my pleadings they payed no heed 
      While cruel death lay in wait 
 But with merry and dancing feet 
      Stumbled on to meet their fate 
 Hark I hear Cries of distress 
      Wails and shrieks of woe 
 Prayers of agony ascend for help 
      They are prisoners of the foe 
 Lo, a gulf opens 
      And head long in they fall 
 The dying words that are spoken 
       "Hide me from an, Angry God." 

 My comrades on the ball-room floor 
      Are dancing the dance of death 
 Vile men lurk within the door 
      Garbed in the best of dress, 
 Some mother's daughter is deceived 
      As she partakes of wine 
 Her partner's false words are believed 
      For he's attractive and kind. 
 Ah, if she could have read 
      The motive in his heart 
 From his clutch would have fled 
      While her fair name bore no blot. 

 I had followed but yesterday 
      This fatal and sinful crowd 
 I found myself trying to pray 
      Pleading with a merciful God 
 I have spurned God's Saints 
      And his words put to scorn 
 Fighting for worldly fame 
      Trying to live alone 
 Mother's prayer has saved me 
      From an early grave 
 My soul from sin she freed 
      Her life for me she gave. 
 When my youthful days are o'er 
      And my hair is faded gray 
 When my steps are weak and slow 
      And my form is bent with age, 
 Mother welcome will be 
      That long and sweet repose 
 To live once more with thee 
      In thy blest abode 
 Life's journey'll be ended 
      But friends j'ou'll not forget 
 Humanity's cause I defended 
      When my eye lids are closed in death 

* * * 

 On the lonely bank of Nolin creek, 
      The full moon looked down and smiled 
 While the bubbling waters tried to speak 
      Of the new born loved cabin child. 
 The tall green shaggy forest pine, 
      Round the little log cabin swayed, 
 And seemed to whisper to eighteen nine, 
      We're proud of the sun you gave, 
 Song birds from their lofty height, 
      Sang to sleep the farm house babe, 
And the watch dog through the night, 
     Guarded the crib of sleeping Abe. 

 But time fast on its journey sped, 
      Never tiring of its weary load; 
 And to Indiana Abe Lincoln led, 
      To help find a new abode.  
 The Lincoln family near Gentryville 
      Ceased their long tiresome roam. 
Aided by King forest timber to build, 
     They soon entered their new log home; 
And though unprotected from the cold, 
     Was the rude log planked shelter. 
 Young Abe lived without fret or scold, 
      Till Providence gave them better. 


The healthy robust country lad, 
     In making new furniture took pride,
For thoughts of living made him glad, 
     In a cabin of four strong sides. 
'Twas in that cabin loft at night 
     Mid the hum of birds and bees,
Our hero dreamed of bonfires bright, 
     On his bed of sweet smelling leaves. 
When restless cattle in their stalls, 
      Lowed for their meal of hay, 
Lincoln went forth to his daily toil, 
      And forgot his dreams of play. 
 Suddenly in the midst of childhood joy, 
      Came Death, the unwelcome brother. 
 And took from the happy country boy, 
     His kind, loving, faithful mother. 
 The grieved, young, brave loyal heart 
      Beat slow through the hour of pain, 
 Left alone to play a Christian's part 
      Till they'd meet to ne'er part again. 
 When the world was lost in gloom, 
      And mankind was fast asleep 
 Abe wept besides his mother's tomb,
      Till his soul in prayer found peace. 

 Ever upward in life he was reaching, 
      His just debts he always paid, 
 And true to his mothers teaching, 
      He was rightfully called Honest Abe. 
 As a flower comes from its bud, 
      To make the gloomy pathway bright, 
 So the poor son of noble blood 
      Came to cheer man in his strife. 
 Though tired by the fire at night, 
      He would not from duty shirk, 
 But learned how to read and write, 
      Thus preparing for lifes great work. 
 In the wild forest of Illinois, 
      With no company save his ax, 
 Unaccustomed to life's luxury and joy, 
      He split rails to clothe his back. 
 And though stronger were his brawny arms 
      Than any of the shrewd school lads,
 He was never known to do them harm, 
      For a kind loving heart he had. 
 Ever ready to help those in need, 
      But I want you to understand. 
 He could help a drowning pig, 
      As well as his fellow man. 
 And as old time grew faster 
      This bare footed boy so free, 
 Became a surveyor and postmaster. 
      And a lawyer honored for honesty. 
 Faithful in little things among the few, 
      There came to him a greater call; 
 Elected four times to State Legislature, 
      And from there to Congress hall,
 But this tall, green, awkward, man 
      Was not ready yet to stop, 
 He was needed for a greater stand, 
      For his place was at the top. 
 So the rail splitter's time had come,
      And all that he'd hoped to be; 
 Beneath the stars of sixty one, 
       Stood as President of the free. 
 The loyal defender of Union and Right, 
      Saw a rising struggle mid the brave; 
 While on each side man gave life, 
      He pitied the four million slaves. 
 To preserve the Union was his stand,
      And to protect the Stars and Stripes. 
 But he could not rest while man 
      Was robbed of freedom and right. 
 In the cherished year of sixty three, 
      Lincoln performed and act of bravery. 
 And his fellow men set free, 
      Forever from the pangs of slavery. 
 Thus the welcomed year of sixty five, 
      Untold joy to mankind brought, 
 Making humanity proud and alive, 
      For the freedom they long had sought. 
 And as ye journey sons of Ham, 
      Forget not how the cause was won,
 By our loyal martyr, God's chosen man, 
      Our true, honored, loved, Abraham Lincoln. 
* * * 

 SONS OF W. V. I. 
  (By Ada T. Peters.) 
 Uncle Sam we give Our Sons 
      The sons of W. V. I. 
 To the struggle just begun 
      That World Freedom may not die. 
 Though we're from the mountains 
      From the valley and the dale, 
 We drank from Liberty's Fountain, 
      That flowed freely, by the way. 
 President Prillerman taught us 
      While infants, in student life, 
 To place our love and trust,
       In the good old Stars and Stripes. 
 The sons of W. V. I. 
      Each persued his daily task 
 When we heard Humanity's Cry 
       And saw war clouds rising fast. 

 "Boys, 'tis Duty that has called, 
      Rang on the Institute lawn 
 Books and tools began to fall 
      As the truth, slowly dawned. 
 So farewell W. V. I. 
      We must leave you now 
 We go to fight and die 
      That justice may be found. 
* * * 

 (By E. P. Peters.) 
 I sat by my window at eventide, 
      While the sun sank in the west. 
 I was far from home. 
      And my heart was sad 
 And filled with a keen unrest. 
 I sighed for the days that passed.,
      Like pleasant dreams of night, 
 Tears of sadness coursed 
      Down my cheeks, 
 As the sun sank from my sight. 
 I thought of all the happy hours, 
      I had spent round the dear home fire, 
 With lessons to learn, 
 And nuts to crack, 
 Not more did my heart desire. 
 I longed for the food my mother prepared 
      That now I seemed to taste, 
 I longed for the crumbs,
 From the cubbard shelves,
 That once I used to waste. 
 I sighed for the friends I loved so well; 
      But my sighs seemed all in vain; 
 I turned towards the skies,
 And prayed this prayer, 
 "Lord let me get home again." 
 "Home where my mother and father dwell 
      Home where abides peace and rest. 
 For I felt like a bird, 
 In a cold strange land, 
 Far from Its native nest. 
 Home to the ones that love me; 
      To the friends that never grow old; 
 Who think of me kindly,
 Wherever I am,
 Though others to them grow cold. 
 I sit and dream and deeply grieve, 
      For the scenes that are no more; 
 For the sound of my mother's loving voice,
 As she called me,
 From the door. 
 I see again my father's face,
      As he called me to his side, 
 And bade me live a noble life, 
      Whatever might betide. 
 He bade me in my life at school, 
      What ever else took place,  
 To live for God and fatherland and 
      The honor of my race. 
 O, God, do grant my humble cry, 
      And help me on my way; 
 Help me to help my fellow man, and 
      Cheer him on his way. 

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