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TUSKEGEE, A CITY HIGH ON A HILL

William Carver Lennard

Poet Laureate City of Tuskegee


There is a city,

High on a hill,

A place of magnolias and singing pines,

A place of running streams;

A place of beauty, a place of joy,

A place where life is still.

A place where robins stroll the verdant green,

Where balmy days become fair and sunny,

Where tables are filled with milk and honey,

Where loving is easy, and living? Smooth as butter and cream.

There is a city,

High on a hill;

TUSKEGEE, our hope, our love, our home, our own.


Generals have tried to give you a name;

Presidents have crossed the threshold of your domain.

Many have tried to claim you,

Still others have tried to tame you,

Yet you remain a leader of world fame.

Re-live our history if you dare,

There are greats here and everywhere,

Woodward, Adams, Washington, Moton, Campbell, Patterson,

Carver, Foster, Ford, Dubois, Osceola, Payton, King,

Jackson and Gibson;

Presidents?  McKinley, Taft, Roosevelt, Reagan,

Ford and remember Richard Nixon.

Don’t forget F.D.R., Truman and Bush.

Who would have thought these footprints

Would lead into the land of Cush.

In the city, High, high on a hill;

TUSKEGEE, our hope, our love, our home, our own.


Your deeds, your fame, is not in skyscrapers

Entertainments, factories, or malls,

Yet, you are the teacher, the leader,

The fairest of them all;

You are the mother of lives and precepts taught,

Standing, standing, still standing tall.

You are a builder of women and men,

Who makes dreams and aspirations come true.

Your strength is the force, the foundation, the pen,

The boiling pot and not the stew.

You are the producer of architects, farmers, pilots,

Entertainers, Olympians and politicians too;

Not to mention educators, pioneers, artists and scientists

Many with shades of light, others with darker hue.

Yes! There is a city,

High on a hill;

            TUSKEGEE, our hope, our love, our home, our own.


Your beacon of light has pointed the way,

Through the darkness of despair, to the brightness of day.

You’ve taught us welding, plumbing and masonry well;

Our eyes are open to engineering, astronomy, chemistry, even the arts; Heaven’s Bell.

You have educated our hands, our heads and our hearts,

But most of all, our souls, the sum of these parts.

Tuskegee, you are the twinkle in our stars,

You are the rays in our sunlight,

You are the notes in our song.

Thoughts of you make moments of dimness bright,

When we come into your healing light;

Yet the half of your works is still not known,

In this CITY,

High, high on a hill;

TUSKEGEE, our hope, our aspiration, our own.


When the skies have lost their tint of blue,

When the sounds of the crickets are no longer true;

When the songs of the Whippoorwills are faintly heard,

And silence is greater than the music of your melodious bird;

Give us a place where the Zenith of our dreams,

Meet the apex of our ambitions.

A place of joy where life is redeemed,

Where happiness is within our grasps, bursting at the seam.

A place of peace, a place of trust,

A place where there is love and spiritual lust.

A place where God’s heavenly gifts are on loan,

Where realities are born and dreams are sown.

In the city,

High, high on a hill;

TUSKEGEE, our trust,

Our resting place,

Our own.


William C. Lennard

1993 – Copyright Pending