The Slave's Prayer
His fire grew red, and dim, and soonWe parted with the glorious sun,
To welcome in the silvery moon;The starts shed down their lustrous light
Upon the face of earth serene -The bright, majestic queen of night
Shed her proud glory o'er the scene.
The peasant, wearied with the day,
Retired to his lowly cot;The children, tired at their play,
In sleep their troubles soon forgot;All slept, save one - his burning brow
In vain sought for refreshing rest;Sleep is a stranger to him now,
And hope's no longer in his breast.
He rose, and with a troubled sigh,
Left his sad hut and walked abroad,To gaze upon the spangled sky,
And think upon the Christian's God;For he has one whom grace had changed
From sin to mercy from above,Nor had the cares of life estrang'd
Him from his heavenly Father's love.
His face, though tinged with Afric's dye,
Was formed in manhood's perfect mould;A tear that glistened in his eye
Evinc'd his feelings were not cold.And as he gazed upon the sky,
The hour of midnight's solemn tollAwoke him from his reverie -
He spake the feelings of his soul:
O must I toil from sun to sun,
And suffer all these stripes and pains -My weary labor never done,
My only wages, whips, and chains?Shall things like these be always borne,
To grind me to the very dust?Shall slavery's chain be always worn -
My fondest hopes forever crushed?
Shall wife and children, from my side,
At my stern master's bid be torn,To gratify his lust or pride,
And I in sadness left to mourn?While others on the earth are free,
Must I always a slave remain?The boon of freedom kept from me.
To groan beneath the lash and chain?
Yet, heavenly Father, let thy will
Be done, and I remain content;Thy promises thou wilt fulfill,
Thy kind relief will soon be sent.O let me than with patience bear
The hard hand of affliction, God,Until, in answer to my prayer,
Thou take'st me to thy blest abode.