Back to the breast of thy mother,
Child of the earth!
E'en her caress can not smother
What thou hast done.
Follow the trail of the westering sun
Over the earth.
Thy light and his were as one—
Sun, in thy worth.
Unto a nation whose sky was as night,
Camest thou, holily, bearing thy light:
And the dawn came,
In it thy fame
Flashed up in a flame.
Back to the breast of thy mother—
Long hast thou striven;
Dared where the hills by the lightning of heaven were riven;
Go now, pure shriven.
Who shall come after thee, out of the clay—
Learned one and leader to show us the way?
Who shall rise up when the world gives the test?
Think thou no more of this—
Paul Laurence Dunbar
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