Published on Academy of American Poets (


Yes! Ethiopia yet shall stretch
    Her bleeding hands abroad;
Her cry of agony shall reach
    The burning throne of God.

The tyrant's yoke from off her neck,
    His fetters from her soul,
The mighty hand of God shall break,
    And spurn the base control.

Redeemed from dust and freed from chains,
   Her sons shall lift their eyes;
From cloud-capt hills and verdant plains
    Shall shouts of triumph rise.

Upon her dark, despairing brow,
    Shall play a smile of peace;
For God shall bend unto her wo,
    And bid her sorrows cease.

'Neath sheltering vines and stately palms
    Shall laughing children play,
And aged sires with joyous psalms
    Shall gladden every day.

Secure by night, and blest by day,
    Shall pass her happy hours;
Nor human tigers hunt for prey
    Within her peaceful bowers.

Then, Ethiopia! stretch, oh! stretch
    Thy bleeding hands abroad;
Thy cry of agony shall reach
    And find redress from God.


From Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects (Merrihew & Thompson, 1857) by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper. This poem is in the public domain. 


Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper was born on September 24, 1825, in Baltimore, Maryland. She was a prominent abolitionist and temperance and women's suffrage activist, as well as a poet. She authored numerous books, including the poetry collections Forest Leaves (1845) and Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects (1854). She worked at Union Seminary in Ohio, and died on February 22, 1911 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Date Published: 1987-01-01

Source URL: