Verse > Anthologies > James Weldon Johnson, ed. > The Book of American Negro Poetry
James Weldon Johnson, ed. (1871–1938).  The Book of American Negro Poetry.  1922.
Time to Die
Ray G. Dandridge
BLACK brother, think you life so sweet
That you would live at any price?
Does mere existence balance with
The weight of your great sacrifice?
Or can it be you fear the grave        5
Enough to live and die a slave?
O Brother! be it better said,
When you are gone and tears are shed,
That your death was the stepping stone
Your children’s children cross’d upon.        10
Men have died that men might live:
Look every foeman in the eye!
If necessary, your life give
For something, ere in vain you die.


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