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!
The Fugitive’s Wife
It was my sad and weary lot
To toil in slavery;
But one thing cheered my lowly cot—
My husband was with me.
One evening, as our children played
Around our cabin door,
I noticed on his brow a shade
I’d never seen before;
And in his eyes a gloomy night
Of anguish and despair;—
I gazed upon their troubled light,
To read the meaning there.
He strained me to his heaving heart—
My own beat wild with fear;
I knew not, but I sadly felt
There must be evil near.
He vainly strove to cast aside
The tears that fell like rain:—
Too frail, indeed, is manly pride,
To strive with grief and pain.
Again he clasped me to his breast,
And said that we must part:
I tried to speak—but, oh! it seemed
An arrow reached my heart.
“Bear not,” I cried, “unto your grave,
The yoke you’ve borne from birth;
No longer live a helpless slave,
The meanest thing on earth!”