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!
They heard the South wind sighing A murmur of the rain; And they knew that Earth was longing To see them all again. While the snow-drops still were sleeping Beneath the silent sod; They felt their new life pulsing Within the dark, cold clod. Not a daffodil nor daisy Had dared to raise its head; Not a fairhaired dandelion Peeped timid from its bed; Though a tremor of the winter Did shivering through them run; Yet they lifted up their foreheads To greet the vernal sun. And the sunbeams gave them welcome, As did the morning air— And scattered o’er their simple robes Rich tints of beauty rare. Soon a host of lovely flowers From vales and woodland burst; But in all that fair procession The crocuses were first. First to weave for Earth a chaplet To crown her dear old head; And to beauty the pathway Where winter still did tread. And their loved and white haired mother Smiled sweetly ’neath the touch, When she knew her faithful children Were loving her so much.