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For fields of duty, opening wide,
Where all our powers
THE SLAVE IS OURS !
Ours by traditions dear and old,
Which make the race
Of Christian grace.
And we may tread the sick-bed floors
Where strong men pine,
The oil and wine.
Who murmurs that in these dark days
His lot is cast ?
God's hand within the shadow lays
· Shall rise at last.
Turn and o’erturn, O outstretched Hand!
Nor stint, nor stay ; The years have never dropped their sand On mortal issue vast and grand
As ours to-day.
Already, on the sable ground
Of man's despair
Upraised in prayer.
O, small shall seem all sacrifice . And pain and loss, When God shall wipe the weeping eyes, For suffering give the victor's prize,
The crown for cross !
THE tent-lights glimmer on the land,
1 The ship-lights on the sea ; The night-wind smooths with drifting sand Our track on lone Tybee.
At last our grating keels outslide,
Our good boats forward swing; And while we ride the land-locked tide,
Our negroes row and sing.
For dear the bondman holds his gifts
of music and of song: The gold that kindly Nature sifts
Among his sands of wrong;
The power to make his toiling days
And poor home-comforts please ; The quaint relief of mirth that plays
With sorrow's minor keys.
Another glow than sunset's fire
Has filled the West with light, Where field and garner, barn and byre
Are blazing through the night.
The land is wild with fear and hate,
The rout runs mad and fast; From hand to hand, from gate to gate,
The flaming brand is passed.
The lurid glow falls strong across
Dark faces broad with smiles : Not theirs the terror, hate, and loss
That fire yon blazing piles.
With oar-strokes timing to their song,
They weave in simple lays
The hope of better days, –
The triumph-note that Miriam sung,
The joy of uncaged birds : Softening with Afric's mellow tongue
Their broken Saxon words.
SONG OF THE NEGRO BOATMEN.
0, praise an' tanks! De Lord he come
To set de people free ;
An' we ob jubilee.
He jus” as otrong as den;