African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Frank B. Coffin, "Maceo--Cuba's Liberator" (1897)

 Maceo Cuba's Liberator. 
 While Washington at Valley Forge, 
 Endured the winter's pest; 
 And while he was taking Yorktown 
 Dear Cuba was oppressed.

 When England tried the second time, 
 To rule this country great; 
 Brave Cuba, although in her prime, 
 Had not a ship of state. 
 When Winfield Scott took Mexico, 
 And captured Vera Cruz, 
 Brave Cuba and young Maceo 
 Were punished and abused. 
 When John Brown died that we might live, 
 When Lincoln called for men ; 
 Brave Cuba was surrounded with 
 The untold Spanish sins. 
 When Grant and Meade fought for dear  life, 
 When Lincoln said "you're free," 
 Brave Cuba, under Spanish strife. 
 Said "give me liberty?" 
 Thus time moved on, God was invoked, 
 And year succeeded year ; 
 Brave Cuba fought sometime with hope, 
 And sometime full of fear.
 But God who's always here with men, 
 Had Him a man in store; 
 And at the heights of Spanish sins, 
 He called forth Maceo. 
 When Maceo with courage strong 
 Took charge of battle fields ; 
 Like withered leaves in wintry storms, 
 The enemies did yield. 
 He gave this dauntless, brave command, 
 "We must have liberty 
 And in the name of God and man, 
 Our Cuba must be free!" 
 At this appeal the Island shook, 
 The natives said they would ; 
 And Maceo with anxious looks, 
 As firm as fossils stood. 
 The natives all were 'lectrified, 
 At sight of Maceo's form; 
 And they would stand and do or die, 
 At Maceo's alarm. 
 The Spaniards, anxious to succeed, 
 Discarded warring rules; 
 Resorted to the foulest deeds, 
 Of all the crim'nal schools.
 They used man's wicked, cunning ways, 
 They gave him friend's salute; 
 They falsified to ambush him, 
 They took his life like brutes. 
 But e'er he died he told his men, 
 That Cuba must be free ; 
 The death he died has given them 
 The price of liberty. 
 Arnold became his country's foe, 
 Judas betrayed his Christ; 
 The Spaniards entrapped Maceo 
 At manhood's sacrifice. 
 They crucified the Son of man. 
 His cause still moves the world; 
 They burned John Huss and yet he stands, 
 Before us as a pearl. 
 They killed good Abr'am Lincoln, 
 The cause for which he died 
 Still moves the world, still cheers men's hearts, 
 With men he still abides. 

 They killed the noble Maceo, 
 The world's in sympathy; 
 It says that foul yet implores 
 That Cuba must be free.

 The God of Israel's Maceo, 
 Of Lincoln's liberty. 
 Has written "let my people go," 
 Dear Cuba shall be free. 
 Dear Cuba, for a host of years, 
 "Queen of the Antilles," 
 Thy Maceo without a fear, 
 Has died to set thee free. 

Published in Coffin's Poems with Ajax' Ordeals, 1897

This page has tags: