John Pierpont

(1785-1866 / the United States)

Hymn For The First Of August - Poem by John Pierpont

Where Britannia's emerald isles
Gem the Caribbean sea,
And an endless summer smiles,
Lo! the negro thrall is free!
Yet not on Columbia's plains,
Hath the sun of freedom risen:
Here, in darkness and in chains,
Toiling millions pine in prison.

Shout! ye islands disenthralled,
Point the finger, as in scorn,
At a country that is called
Freedom's home, where men are born
Heirs, for life, to chains and whips,-
Bondmen, who have never known
Wife, child, parent, that their lips
Ever dared to call their own.

Yet, a Christian land is this!
Yea, and ministers of Christ
Slavery's foot, in homage, kiss;
And their brother, who is priced
Higher than their Saviour, even,
Do they into bondage sell;-
Pleading thus the cause of Heaven,
Serving thus the cause of hell.

Holy Father, let thy word,
Spoken by thy prophets old,
By the pliant priest be heard;
And let lips, that now are cold,
(Chilled by Mammon's golden wand!)
With our nation's 'burden' glow,
Till the free man and the bond
Shout for Slavery's overthrow!

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, September 15, 2010

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