Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)
On The Dedication Of Dorothy Hall
TUSKEGEE, ALA., APRIL 22, 1901.
Not to the midnight of the gloomy past,
Do we revert to-day; we look upon
The golden present and the future vast
Whose vistas show us visions of the dawn.
Nor shall the sorrows of departed years
The sweetness of our tranquil souls annoy,
The sunshine of our hopes dispels the tears,
And clears our eyes to see this later joy.
Not ever in the years that God hath given
Have we gone friendless down the thorny way,
Always the clouds of pregnant black were riven
By flashes from His own eternal day.
The women of a race should be its pride;
We glory in the strength our mothers had,
We glory that this strength was not denied
To labor bravely, nobly, and be glad.
God give to these within this temple here,
Clear vision of the dignity of toil,
That virtue in them may its blossoms rear
Unspotted, fragrant, from the lowly soil.
God bless the givers for their noble deed,
Shine on them with the mercy of Thy face,
Who come with open hearts to help and speed
The striving women of a struggling race.
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