The Prayer-Meeting of the Contrabands.

Dublin Core


The Prayer-Meeting of the Contrabands.


Night unfurled her sable banner, gemmed with many a starry ray;
Silence, too, her gentle sister followed where the shadows lay;
Weary men were calmly sleeping, men who in the conflict dire,
Through the anxious hours of daylight wrought with hearts of fire.

Wearily the watchful sentry paced beneath the fortress wall,
Musing how the land was troubled, how the brave and good must fall;
Thinking that perhaps his mother, in the home, so far away,
Kept the lamp at midnight burning, while she waked to pray.

Then he turned his head to listen, for the strange notes of a song
On the silent air of evening rose with cadence full and strong.
Many voices, wild, yet mournful, mingled in its plaintive flow;
This the burden of the anthem—"Let the people go."

How Jehovah led his people, safely through the parted wave,
When the mighty host of Pharaoh, mid the billows found a grave;
How the cloud and fiery pillar went before them night and day,
And the angel of his presence ever led the way.

Thus they sang, and Israel's story seemed like a prophetic strain,
As their voices rose triumphant, in the loud and bold refrain—
"Let the people— go no longer we can bear this weight of wo,
God will break the chains which bind us—let the people go."

Ceased the song, and yet the sentry paused another song to hear,
Words of praise and earnest pleading fell upon his listening ear.—
"We have waited—still are waiting," cried the voice; "How long, O God,,
Ere Thou ope the house of bondage , break the oppressor's rod!"

Then they sang of Christ arisen, of that land beyond the grave
Where no master, stern and haughty, in God's presence holds a slave
Still the choral notes triumphant answered every closing strain—
"Let the people go! for Jesus soon will break our chain."

Then the holy hush of silence fell upon the midnight air,
Over tent, and tower, and bastion lay the moonbeams cold and fair.
Yet the wakeful sentry listened, slowly pacing to and fro,
For he heard a voice still crying—"Let the people go!"

Over city, town, and hamlet: over mountain, plain and glen,
Rang the wild notes like a war cry, bursting on the hearts of men;
And he knew that God was speaking, as He spoke so long ago,
When he said to haughty Pharaoh, "Let the people go!"




1:36, p. 4




From the Morning Star


V.G.R., “The Prayer-Meeting of the Contrabands.,” Periodical Poets, accessed June 15, 2024,


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