After Nelson Mandela died in December, Maya Angelou wrote a poem to commemorate the life of her friend.
The poem — "His Day is Done" — feels especially meaningful now that Maya has also died.
Among the other beautiful lines, Maya wrote:
"We will not forget you, we will not dishonor you, we will remember and be glad that you lived among us, that you taught us, and that you loved us all."
Watch the full video to hear Maya reading her poem aloud:
His day is done.Is done.The news came on the wings of a windReluctant to carry its burden.Nelson Mandela's day is done.The news, expected and still unwelcomeReached us in the United States and suddenlyOur world became somber.Our skies were leadenedHis day is done.We see you, South African peopleStanding speechless at the slammingOf that final doorThrough which no traveler returns.Our spirits reach out to youBantu, Zulu, Xhosa, BoerWe think of youAnd your Son of Africa,Your FatherYour One More Wonder of the World.We send our souls to youAs you reflect uponYour David armed withA mere stone facing downThe Mighty Goliath,Man of strength Gideon,Emerging triumphantAlthough born into the brutal embrace of ApartheidScarred by the savage atmosphere of racism,Unjustly imprisonedIn the bloody maws of South African dungeons.Would the man survive?Could the man survive?His answer strengthened men and womenAround the world.In the Alamo in San Antonio, TXOn the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco,In Chicago's loopIn New Orleans Mardi GrasIn New York City's Times SquareWe watched as the hope of Africa sprangThrough the prison's doorsHis stupendous heart in tactHis gargantuan willHale and heartyHe had not been crippled by brutesNor was his passion for the rightsOf human beingsDiminished by twenty-seven years of imprisonmentEven here in AmericaWe felt the coolRefreshing breeze of freedomWhen Nelson Mandela tookThe seat of the PresidencyIn his CountryWhere formally he was not even allowed to voteWe were enlarged by tears of prideAs we saw Nelson Mandela'sFormer prison guardsInvited, courteously, by him to watchFrom the front rowsHis inauguration.We saw him acceptThe world's award in NorwayWith the grace and gratitudeOf the Solon in Ancient Roman CourtsAnd the confidence of African ChiefsFrom ancient royal stools.No sun outlasts its sunsetBut will rise againAnd bring the dawnYes, Mandela's day is done,Yet we, his inheritorsWill open the gates widerFor reconciliation and we will respondGenerously to the criesOf the Blacks and Whites,The Asian, the Hispanic,The poor who live piteouslyOn the floor of our planetHe has offered us understandingWe will not withhold forgivenessEven from those who do not askNelson Mandela's day is doneWe confess it in tearful voicesYet we lift our own to sayThank You.Thank You, Our Gideon.Thank You, Our David.Our great courageous manWe will not forget youWe will not dishonor youWe will remember and be gladThat you lived among usThat you taught usAndThat you loved usAll!