The sixties brought a clash of arms—
The mem'ry of it thrills and charms—
While Negro slaves for freedom prayed,
Till Heaven bowed to give them aid.
The God of nations—God of right—
Kept back success within the fight,
Till Lincoln vowed on bended knee,
To set the Negro bondsmen free.
The first of January, see!
In eighteen hundred sixty three,
The first Emancipation Day,
When mad oppressors lost their sway,
The sun of freedom rose that day,
The night of bondage drove away,
When sainted Lincoln did decree,
That slaves forever should be free.
As years of time have come and gone,
For each the Negro race has borne,
Abundant fruit in freedom's name,
That will not bring the nation shame.
Emancipation Day, so great!
With joy we meet to celebrate,
The Sun of Righteousness we hail,
Who died that freedom might prevail.