Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper was an African American abolitionist and poet. Born free in Baltimore, Maryland, she had a long and prolific career, publishing her first book of poetry at twenty and her first novel, the widely praised Iola Leroy, at age 67.
Early Life and Education
Frances Ellen Watkins was born to free parents in Baltimore, Maryland. After her mother died when she was three years old in 1828, Watkins was orphaned. She was raised by her maternal aunt and uncle. She was educated at the Academy for Negro Youth, a school run by her uncle Rev. William Watkins, who was a civil rights activist. He was a major influence on her life and work. At fourteen, she ... more »
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Frances Ellen Watkins Harper Poems
Bury Me In A Free Land
Make me a grave where'er you will, In a lowly plain, or a lofty hill; Make it among earth's humblest graves, But not in a land where men are slaves.
. I remember, well remember, . That dark and dreadful day,
Two little children sit by my side, I call them Lily and Daffodil; I gaze on them with a mother's pride, One is Edna, the other is Will.
God Bless Our Native Land
God bless our native land, Land of the newly free, Oh may she ever stand For truth and liberty.
Death Of The Old Sea King
'Twas a fearful night -- the tempest raved With loud and wrathful pride, The storm-king harnessed his lightning steeds, And rode on the raging tide.
Let The Light Enter
"The dying words of Goethe." "Light! more light! the shadows deepen,
Home, Sweet Home
Sharers of a common country, They had met in deadly strife; Men who should have been as brothers Madly sought each other's life.
The Slave Mother
Heard you that shriek? It rose So wildly on the air, It seemed as if a burden'd heart Was breaking in despair.
A Double Standard
Do you blame me that I loved him? If when standing all alone I cried for bread a careless world
Yes, Ethiopia yet shall stretch Her bleeding hands abroad; Her cry of agony shall reach The burning throne of God.
Thank God For Little Children
Thank God for little children, Bright flowers by earth's wayside, The dancing, joyous lifeboats Upon life's stormy tide.
Learning To Read
Very soon the Yankee teachers Came down and set up school; But, oh! how the Rebs did hate it, - It was agin' their rule.
Fishers Of Men
I had a dream, a varied dream: Before my ravished sight The city of my Lord arose, With all its love and light.
FIRST VOICE. I thirst, but earth cannot allay The fever coursing through my veins,
Comments about Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Bury Me In A Free Land
Make me a grave where'er you will,
In a lowly plain, or a lofty hill;
Make it among earth's humblest graves,
But not in a land where men are slaves.
I could not rest if around my grave
I heard the steps of a trembling slave;
His shadow above my silent tomb
Would make it a place of fearful gloom.
I could not rest if I heard the tread
Of a coffle gang to the shambles led,
And the mother's shriek of wild despair
Rise like a curse on the trembling air.
I could not sleep if I saw the lash
Drinking her blood at each fearful gash,
And I saw her ...