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

T. Thomas Fortune, "Diamond in the Clay" (1905)


The man who finds a diamond in the clay
And knows its worth from common glass
That others trod upon or blindly pass—
Their dreamful eyes uplifted from the way,
The people of that all too common class
Diogenes rebuked, as we may still, alas!
For wisdom's children yet are prone to stray
In nature's sunlight groping through life's day,
And holds it at its value true, howe'er
The common sort may taunt him for his faith,
Until it nestles in Fame's fickle ear,
Brilliant, compelling Admiration's breath,
   Is more to be esteemed of men by far
   Than they who praise the stone become a star.

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