Awake! arise! Oh, men of my race,
I see our morning star,
And feel the dawn-breeze on my face
Creep inward, from afar.
I feel the dawn, with soft-like tread,
Steal through our lingering night.
Aglow with flame our sky to spread
In floods of morning light.
Arise! my men, be wide awake
To hear the bugle call,
For Negroes everywhere to break
The bands that bind us all.
Great Lincoln, now with glory graced,
All God-like with the pen.
Our chattel fetters broke, and placed
Us in the ranks of men.
But even he could not awake
The dead, nor make alive,
Nor change stern nature's laws which make
The fittest to survive.
Let every man his soul inure.
In noblest sacrifice,
And with a heart of oak endure,
Ignoble, arrant prejudice.
Endurance, love, will yet prevail
Against all laws of hate;
Such armaments can never fail
Our race its best estate.
Let none make common cause with sin,
Be that in honor bound,
For they who fight with God must win
On every battle ground.
Though wrongs there are, and wrongs have been,
And wrongs we still must face,
We have more friends than foes within
The Anglo-Saxon race.
In spite of all the babel cries,
Of those who rage and shout,
God's silent forces daily rise
To bring His will about.
Our portion is, and yet will be,
To drink a bitter cup
In many things, yet all must see
The race is moving up.
Oh! men of my race, awake! arise!
Our morning's in the air,
There's scarlet all along the skies,
Our day breaks everywhere.
Published in George Marion McClellan, The Path of Dreams, 1916