- AS a quiet little seedling
- Lay within its darksome bed,
- To itself it fell a-talking,
- And this is what it said:
- "I am not so very robust,
- But I'll do the best I can;"
- And the seedling from that moment
- Its work of life began.
- So it pushed a little leaflet
- Up into the light of day,
- To examine the surroundings
- And show the rest the way.
- The leaflet liked the prospect,
- So it called its brother, Stem;
- Then two other leaflets heard it,
- And quickly followed them.
- To be sure, the haste and hurry
- Made the seedling sweat and pant;
- But almost before it knew it
- It found itself a plant.
- The sunshine poured upon it,
- And the clouds they gave a shower;
- And the little plant kept growing
- Till it found itself a flower.
- Little folks, be like the seedling,
- Always do the best you can;
- Every child must share life's labor
- Just as well as every man.
- And the sun and showers will help you
- Through the lonesome, struggling hours,
- Till you raise to light and beauty
- Virtue's fair, unfading flowers.
- Paul Laurence Dunbar
HARRIET BEECHER STOWE
She told the story, and the whole world wept
At wrongs and cruelties it had not known
But for this fearless woman's voice alone.
She spoke to consciences that long had slept:
Her message, Freedom's clear reveille, swept
From heedless hovel to complacent throne.
Command and prophecy were in the tone,
And from its sheath the sword of justice leapt.
Around two peoples swelled a fiery wave,
But both came forth transfigured from the flame.
Blest be the hand that dared be strong to save,
And blest be she who in our weakness came—
Prophet and priestess! At one stroke she gave
A race to freedom, and herself to fame.
Paul Laurence Dunbar
Printed from Uncle Tom's Cabin & American Culture
© 2006 the University of Virginia
Stephen Railton; Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities; Electronic Text Center
- And here is one more for one of my heroes!