Booker T. Washington

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Booker T. Washington
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
In the 1913 collection of his work, The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar

          BOOKER T. WASHINGTON

The word is writ that he who runs may read.
What is the passing breath of earthly fame?
But to snatch glory from the hands of blame—
That is to be, to live, to strive indeed.
A poor Virginia cabin gave the seed,
And from its dark and lowly door there came
A peer of princes in the world's acclaim,
A master spirit for the nation's need.
Strong, silent, purposeful beyond his kind,
  The mark of rugged force on brow and lip,
Straight on he goes, nor turns to look behind
  Where hot the hounds come baying at his hip;
With one idea foremost in his mind,
  Like the keen prow of some on-forging ship.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.