To Principal Booker T. Washington of Tuskegee Industrial School 

To you who now so nobly do 
     A noble deed; 
Who now instill the virtues true
    To virtuous need; 
Whose mission is so truly good—
So full of kindly brotherhood—
Who live the life you surely should—
     A trusty lead; 

Who early saw that skillful head 
     And skillful hands
Should, surely, be in union wed 
    'Gainst life's quicksands—
For people whose unhappy state 
Was, surely, in the hands of fate, 
Would make a combination great 
    As iron hands. 

Long may your daring presence live 
     And works instill, 
Long may your kingly reasons give 
    A forceful will. 
Long may your glowing, useful days 
Shine forth their bright illuming rays, 
And to gloomy lives always 
    A happy thrill. 

This poem is in the public domain.