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

Ralph W. Tyler, "The Simple Rule" (1907)

Ralph W. Tyler, "The Simple Rule" (1907)

I know a little human weakness
   That hesitates man's best intention,
And since days of Eden, long ago,
   This weakness has caused much contention.

Covetiveness, cruel, cold and sordid,
   Blind men to needs of next door neighbor—
'Tis a weakness blighting many lives,
   Makes gold the end for which men labor.
I know a little rule for living,
    And since it first to me was given,
When yet but a child of tender years,
   This rule to keep have I ever striven.

Do ye unto others as thou wouldst
   That all men do even unto you
So runs this simple, blessed rule, best
   For the guidance of our whole lives through.

Published in Colored American Magazine, December 1907 

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