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 Slave Auction
The sale began—young girls were there,
Defenceless in their wretchedness,
Whose stifled sobs of deep despair
Revealed their anguish and distress.
And mothers stood with streaming eyes,
And saw their dearest children sold;
Unheeded rose their bitter cries,
While tyrants bartered them for gold.
And woman, with her love and truth—
For these in sable forms may dwell—
Gaz'd on the husband of her youth,
With anguish none may paint or tell.
And men, whose sole crime was their hue,
The impress of their maker's hand,
And frail and shrinking children, too,
Were gathered in that mournful band.
Ye who have laid your love to rest,
And wept above their lifeless clay,
Know not the anguish of that breast,
Whose lov'd are rudely torn away.
Ye may not know how desolate
Are bosoms rudely forced to part,
And how a dull and heavy weight
Will press the life-drops from the heart.