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
Do Not Cheer, Men are Dying
"Do not cheer, for men are dying," said Capt. Phillips in the Spanish-American War
Do not cheer, for men are dying
From their distant homes in pain;
And the restless sea is darkened
By a flood of crimson rain.
Do not cheer, for anxious mothers
Wait and watch in lonely dread;
Vainly waiting for the footsteps
Never more their paths to tread.
Do not cheer, while little children
Gather round the widowed wife,
Wondering why an unknown people
Sought their own dear father's life.
Do not cheer, for aged fathers
Bend above their staves and weep,
While the ocean sings the requiem
Where their fallen children sleep.
Do not cheer, for lips are paling
On which lay the mother's kiss;
'Mid the dreadful roar of battle
How that mother's hand they miss!
Do not cheer: once joyous maidens,
Who the mazy dance did tread,
Bow their heads in bitter anguish,
Mourning o'er their cherished dead.
Do not cheer while maid and matron
In this strife must bear a part;
While the blow that strikes a soldier
Reaches to some woman's heart.
Do not cheer till arbitration
O'er the nations holds its sway,
And the century now closing
Ushers in a brighter day.
Do not cheer until the nation
Shall more wise and thoughtful grow
Than to staunch a stream of sorrow
By an avalanche of woe.
Do not cheer until each nation
Sheathes the sword and blunts the spear,
And we sing aloud for gladness:
Lo, the reign of Christ is here,
And the banners of destruction
From the battlefield are furled,
And the peace of God descending
Rests upon a restless world.