Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

(September 24, 1825 – February 22, 1911)

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 babes torn from her breast,
Like trembling doves from their parent nest.

I'd shudder and start if I heard the bay
Of bloodhounds seizing their human prey,
And I heard the captive plead in vain
As they bound afresh his galling chain.

If I saw young girls from their mother's arms
Bartered and sold for their youthful charms,
My eye would flash with a mournful flame,
My death-paled cheek grow red with shame.

I would sleep, dear friends, where bloated might
Can rob no man of his dearest right;
My rest shall be calm in any grave
Where none can call his brother a slave.

I ask no monument, proud and high,
To arrest the gaze of the passers-by;
All that my yearning spirit craves,
Is bury me not in a land of slaves.

Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003

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

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: mother, sleep, brother, despair, red, death, rose, friend, girl

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 (Bury Me in a Free Land by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper )

Enter the verification code :

  • Cheryl Earl (1/6/2009 5:13:00 AM)

    This poem made me cry for those who were enslaved. I have loved dearly a man (my childs Grandfather) who had been a baby born into slavery. Still through life & the short time we had him and his Mother they never once were angry at what had once been. (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. My Dear Sweet Kira, Michael McParland
  2. The Writing Competition!, Denis Martindale
  3. Daru Piyo, Talk To The Girl And Do Naxal.., Bijay Kant Dubey
  4. Love and Strange Horses—Intima', Nathalie Handal
  5. debris, oskar hansen
  6. Les Éventails, Portraits of Passion, Nathalie Handal
  7. The Hooked & Crooked Men As The Communis.., Bijay Kant Dubey
  8. Star chat........., SALINI NAIR
  9. Chicane, Col Muhamad Khalid Khan
  10. Just A Few Simple Words, Electric Lady

Poem of the Day

poet Sir John Suckling

Dost see how unregarded now
That piece of beauty passes?
There was a time when I did vow
To that alone;
But mark the fate of faces;
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Elizabeth Bishop

 

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  4. Sonnet I, Sir John Suckling
  5. Exposure, Wilfred Owen
  6. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  7. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  8. Talking Turkeys!, Benjamin Zephaniah
  9. Hero, Siegfried Sassoon
  10. O Captain! My Captain!, Walt Whitman

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]