Bury Me In A Free Land Poem by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Bury Me In A Free Land

Rating: 2.8

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.

M Asim Nehal 02 November 2015

A thoughtful poem, touched the bases of cruel society and its discriminating ways....Loved it, Madam.

5 1 Reply
Alfred Barna 02 November 2015

Freedom is an awesome and powerful thing, and when laid down next to cruelty and bondage, is like an open wound, festering to the soul.

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Seema Jayaraman 02 November 2015

Superb poem speaking against the cruelty of slavery.. a re-emergence in the form of human and child trafficking syndicated crime seen in recent years where the mighty prey on poverty and the helpless and hapless.. thank god slavery was abolished.. i would shudder like the poetess if i were ever to witness the snatching of a baby from his or her mother's breast in the name of bonded slavery.. readers of this poem, I invite your attention and review comments to a recent write of mine against human trafficking All Trussed Up- Ready For Delivery. thanks

4 1 Reply
Nia Riz 11 October 2008

beautiful! ! .......

3 2 Reply
Alfred Barna 02 November 2015

Freedom is an awesome and powerful thing, and when laid next to cruelty and bondage; it's ugliness is like an open wound to the soul.

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Susan Williams 23 June 2017

This staggered me with its strength, its love, its principles- -this woman is so impactful.... this is the best poem I have read in months! I must read more of her poetry..

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Kay Staley 02 November 2015

Wow. I wish that I had been given the honor of reading this poem earlier in my life. How beautifully and painfully she describes the unimaginable hardships of slavery. With such a simplicity and without feeling remorse for wanting out of that world, the author portrays her only wish.

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Chukwuemeka Ezeamalu 02 November 2015

One of the finest poem ever written! So, emotional and humbly demanding a right that's in the first place free for all.

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Susan Williams 02 November 2015

Uncle Tom's Cabin set to verse. The emotional draw is rightly choreographed by the harshest ugliest aspects of slavery.

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Edward Kofi Louis 02 November 2015

Burial! A place of rest. But, peace comes from the place of love. Nice work.

3 0 Reply
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