Verse > Anthologies > James Weldon Johnson, ed. > The Book of American Negro Poetry
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James Weldon Johnson, ed. (1871–1938).  The Book of American Negro Poetry.  1922.
 
The Teacher
 
Leslie Pinckney Hill
 
 
LORD, who am I to teach the way
To little children day by day,
So prone myself to go astray?
 
I teach them KNOWLEDGE, but I know
How faint they flicker and how low        5
The candles of my knowledge glow.
 
I teach them POWER to will and do,
But only now to learn anew
My own great weakness through and through.
 
I teach them LOVE for all mankind        10
And all God’s creatures, but I find
My love comes lagging far behind.
 
Lord, if their guide I still must be,
Oh let the little children see
The teacher leaning hard on Thee.        15
 

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