A Billet Doux by George Moses Horton (b. 1798), the "Black Bard of North Carolina," was offered by Poets.org's Poem-A-Day on February 23, 2013. The piece begins as a beautiful prose-poem love letter and ends with an equally beautiful, 15 line rhyming love poem.
Mr. Horton could have kept pace with any lyric poet of his era. What makes his achievement so amazing is that, according to his bio, he was the first African-American to publish a book and the only one to do so while still a slave.