Take sackcloth of the darkest dye, And shroud the pulpits round! Servants of Him that cannot lie, Sit mourning on the ground. Let holy horror blanch each cheek, Pale every brow with fears; And rocks and stones, if ye could speak, Ye well might melt to tears! Let sorrow breathe in every tone, In every strain ye raise; Insult not God's majestic throne With th' mockery of praise. A "reverend" man, whose light should be The guide of age and youth, Brings to the shrine of Slavery The sacrifice of truth! For the direst wrong by man imposed, Since Sodom's fearful cry, The word of life has been unclos'd, To give your God the lie. Oh! when ye pray for heathen lands, And plead for their dark shores, Remember Slavery's cruel hands Make heathens at your doors!
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper - 1825-1911
The Burdens of All
We may sigh o'er the heavy burdens
Of the black, the brown and white;
But if we all clasped hands together
The burdens would be more light.
How to solve life's saddest problems,
Its weariness, want and woe,
Was answered by One who suffered
In Palestine long ago.
He gave from his heart this precept,
To ease the burdens of men,
"As ye would that others do to you
Do ye even so to them."
Life's heavy, wearisome burdens
Will change to a gracious trust
When men shall learn in the light of God
To be merciful and just.
Where war has sharpened his weapons,
And slavery masterful had,
Let white and black and brown unite
To build the kingdom of God.
And never attempt in madness
To build a kingdom or state,
Through greed of gold or lust of power,
On the crumbling stones of hate.
The burdens will always he heavy,
The sunshine fade into night,
Till mercy and justice shall cement
The black, the brown and the white.
And earth shall answer with gladness,
The herald angel's refrain,
When "Peace on earth, good will to men"
Was the burden of their strain.