Having very little opportunity for formal schooling because of family conditions, J. W. Hammond is a self-taught poet. She was included in James Weldon Johnson's "Book of American Negro Poetry" as a ... [+]

Who would have the sky any color but blue,
Or the grass any color but green?
Or the flowers that bloom the summer through
Of other color or sheen?

How the sunshine gladdens the human heart—
How the sound of the falling rain
Will cause the tender tears to start,
And free the soul from pain.

Oh, this old world is a great old place!
And I love each season's change,
The river, the brook of purling grace,
The valley, the mountain range.

And when I am called to quit this life,
My feet will not spurn the sod,
Though I leave this world with its beauty rife,—
There's a glorious one with God!