Post more comments

James Montgomery

(4 November 1771 – 30 April 1854 / Irvine in Ayrshire)

A Cry from South Africa


On building a chapel at Cape Town, for the Negro slaves of the colony, in 1828.


Afric, from her remotest strand,
Lifts to high heaven one fetter'd hand,
And to the utmost of her chain
Stretches the other o'er the main:
Then, kneeling 'midst ten thousand slaves,
Utters a cry across the waves,
Of power to reach to either pole,
And pierce, like conscience, through the soul,
Though dreary, faint, and low the sound,
Like life-blood gurgling from a wound,
As if her heart, before it broke,
Had found a human tongue, and spoke.

"Britain! not now I ask of thee
Freedom, the right of bond and free;
Let Mammon hold, while Mammon can,
The bones and blood of living man;
Let tyrants scorn, while tyrants dare,
The shrieks and writhings of despair;
An end will come -- it will not wait,
Bonds, yokes, and scourges have their date,
Slavery itself must pass away,
And be a tale of yesterday.

"But now I urge a dearer claim,
And urge it by a mightier name:
Hope of the world! on thee I call,
By the great Father of us all,
By the Redeemer of our race,
And by the Spirit of all grace;
Turn not, Britannia, from my plea;
-- So help Thee GOD as Thou help'st me!
Mine outcast children come to light
From darkness, and go down in night;
-- A night of more mysterious gloom
Than that which wrapt them in the womb:
Oh! that the womb had been the grave
Of every being born a slave!
Oh! that the grave itself might close
The slave's unutterable woes!
But what beyond that gulf may be,
What portion in eternity,
For those who live to curse their breath,
And die without a hope in death,
I know not, and I dare not think;
Yet, while I shudder o'er the brink
Of that unfathomable deep,
Where wrath lies chain'd and judgments sleep,
To thee, thou paradise of isles!
Where mercy in full glory smiles;
Eden of lands! o'er all the rest
By blessing others doubly blest,
-- To thee I lift my weeping eye;
Send me the Gospel, or I die;
The word of CHRIST's salvation give,
That I may hear his voice and live."

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: africa, hope, freedom, despair, father, power, children, sleep, heaven, night, death, light, smile, wind, child

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (A Cry from South Africa by James Montgomery )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Recessional, James Thomas Miller
  2. Poverty Streets, Darren David Weaver
  3. Destiny, Jesus James Llorico
  4. Another Sunset, Jesus James Llorico
  5. Time and Distance, Michael Mira
  6. A JUNKYARD WAR حرب الخردة, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  7. Demon Eyes, Jeri Martindale
  8. Monsoon magic: Green Scene, Roann Mendriq
  9. Monsoon magic: Rain of tears, Roann Mendriq
  10. sPeLLed - NO SIGHN OF BLUNT FORCE, sEaN nOrTh

Poem of the Day

poet Ambrose Bierce

Weather
by Ambrose Bierce

Once I dipt into the future far as human eye could see,
And I saw the Chief Forecaster, dead as any one can be--
Dead and damned and shut in Hades as a liar from his birth,
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

911
by Albert Ahearn

[Hata Bildir]