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

H.T. Johnson, "Wings of Ebony" (1904)

H. T. Johnson
Editor The Christian Recorder, Philadelphia
Author of
"The Divine Logos," " 0ix Nigrae Gentis,"
" Johnson's Gems," " Tuskegee Talks,"
" The Pulpit, Pew and Parish,"
Etc., Etc.
A. M. E. Book Concern

Copyright October, 1904
H. T. Johnson


Black Man's Burden, The 15
If I Were White 10
Man Burning 41
Race Chariots—Black and White, The 7
Song of Hope, A 12


Allen's Day 19
Bishop Daniel Alex. Payne, D.D., LL.D 30
Bishop William Fisher Dickerson 24
Emancipation Ode 34
Memorial Ode to Frederick Douglass 21
Richard Allen 17
Triste Vale 27


Allen University 46
Bishop L. J. Coppin, D.D 32
Bishop W. B. Derrick, D.D 49
Bishop A. Grant, D.D 31
Bishop Henry McNeal Turner, D.D., LL.D., D.C.L. 29
Bishop Chas. Spencer Smith 50
Bishop B. T. Tanner, D.D., LL.D 50
Booker T. Washington 30
Morris Brown College 46
President Theodore Roosevelt 5
W. D. Chappelle, D.D 5*


America's Seventh Wonder 38
Bad Black Man, The 48
Delivery From Oppression, For 47
Home 48
Look! J4
Macedonia 37
Wedding Anniversary of a Friend 32

B. F. I,ee, D.D., LL.D.
Evans Tyree, M.D., D.D.
L. J. Coppin, D.D.
M. B. Salter, D.D.
J. W. E. Bowen, Ph.D.
W. S. Scarborough, LL. D.
J. M. Henderson, A.M.
W. G. Alexander, D.D.
W. E. B. Du Bois, A.M.
J. H. Jones, A.M.
W. T. Vernon, A.M.
P. W. Walls, D.D.
and others who stand for the higher
literary life of the colored race-variety
these metrical trifles are respectfully
dedicated by the author.


President Theodore Roosevelt.

Not Lochinvar nor Sheridan
Thy horsemanship could beat,
Though each eclipsing record made
In great equestrian feat.
San Juan's heights and western wilds
Attest thy native skill,
And mettle rare and hardy frame
And stubborn, steel-clad will.
We've seen the prancing charger leap
And bite and paw the ground;
Beneath thy mount the mad mustang,
Has moved off at a bound.
Though steep the way and rough the
That duty bids thee take,
With bareback ride and rein of right
The upward goal thou'lt make.
In hot pursuit let others dash
The White House prize to win,
Thy measured gait will all outstrip,
Despite their cries and din.
Speed on, O knight of destiny,
Thou man of iron nerve,
Thy country bids thee keep thy place,
And still her welfare serve.
The Race Chariots—Black and White.
I saw two chariots in my dream,
Speeding the open plains,
In one a driver clad in white
Held tight the guiding reins.
The steeds that drew the foremost car
Were like the driven snow,
The coach was of the same fair hue,
The whip and lines also.
Another car close in the rear
Went bounding for the stand,
A sable coachman held the line
With dark whip in one hand.
The horses, coach and harness, all
Were black as shades of night;
The angry clouds by tempest chased
Ne'er made more darksome sight.
Good fortune opened wide the course,—
Each driver did his best;
The heated chargers sped through space
Each bending to the test.
The dust-cloud from the foremost wheels
Shut off the blacks from sight,
But presently the backward span
Sped by, with all their might.
Their heaving nostrils gasped for breath,
Their eyes flashed balls of fire;
The contest was for life or death,
And hence they dared not tire.
Grim Jove above the race track soared
With trident poised in air,
And pointed to the beck'ning goal
With visage stern and clear.
Spectators thronged in tiers mid air
The mighty race to scan,
And countless witnesses were there
To cheer the winning span.
"Drive Saxon, drive!" the thun'drous shout
From hills and woodland rung,
"Speed Negro, speed!" in deafening cheers
By ocean lips were sung.
The chariots turned the final curve
And for the victor's stand,
The foaming steeds bent neck and neck,
When the judge threw up his hand.
"Ye've both done well," the umpire said,
As the salvos died away;
"Would that I had a row of palms
To give ye both this day.
But since an only crown I have,
Instructed by the gods,
I hand to him who struggled here
In the face of the greatest odds.
The white of the other had the start
Two thousand years ago,
And tried his best to block the road
As all the world doth know."
And so the dark-skinned hero's brow
Received the crown that day,
While the plaudits rang through all the air
As the victor rode away.

If I Were White.

"If I were white—
My outerself I mean—
And that not quite,
My skin alone, I ween,
My teeth and eyes in part
Are white as fairest art.
"If I were white,
My whiteness I would boast,
And take delight
Despite all care and cost,
In skin untanned by heat
Or torrid suns that beat.
"If I were white,
My breast would proudly swell,
Nor fear nor fright
Could in my bosom dwell.
A link of flawless chain;
I will be proud and vain."
"Thou art not white,"
A silent voice replied;
Beings and forms more bright
Doth flourish far and wide;
Thy haughty boast and mind
Are lighter than the wind.
"If thou be white,
Rebuke the fleece-like clouds,
Tinged with the light
Or Summer's sable shrouds,
And change the Winter's snow,
And lilies' hue also.
If I were white
I'd pray to be like gold,
Of dross rid quite,
And inner worth unfold,
And hold as base and cheap
The white that's but skin deep.

A Song of Hope.

The race is onward marching
No matter what they say,
The morning light is breaking,
The dawn not far away,
From distant cloud-capped hilltops
To Africa's distant way,
The light comes shining brighter
And brighter every day.
We build our schools and churches,
Write books and ever toil,
With blood and brain and muscle
To bless our country's soil;
We're told this is but folly
For strive as best we may,
The world grows dark and darker
About us every day.
The clouds though thick and heavy,
Yet have a brighter side;
Remember so it was the day
When Christ our Saviour died.
Judge Lynch and vile oppressors,
Though terrible in sway,
Must fail, for God and right are
Gaining ground each day.
Think of the ills we suffer
With those our fathers bore
On Southern soil in slavery,
On Africa's bleeding shore;
Contrast their faith with ours,
Though storm cast was the way,
They trusted God and looked for
A better, brighter day.
Then to the winds our doubtings,
Our song shall rend the night,
For God and home and country
Most valiantly we'll fight;
God's word shall be our stronghold,
His will let us obey,
And bless His name for giving
Hope of a brighter day.
O for an inspiration
To thrill the mighty throng,
A bugle note of triumph
A Gospel wave of song.
A deeper consecration
Toward what we ought to say
And do for God who pledges
The better, brighter day.


Look up! for upward is hope's sunlight and thy God,
The parting clouds and radiant golden noon,
Or sombre shades of darkness, through which gleam
The shining stars or meteors bright.
Look up and thou'lt not see some threatening abyss,
Or yawning chasm verging thy footsteps,
Nor frightful forms uprising from beneath
To terrify thy thoughts and fill the soul with
apprehension's dread.
Look forward! for behind are prison walls,
Where inmates lurk with ever darkening
chains seeking thy bondage,
And graves of buried sorrows disentombed
shall yield their ghastly contents,
Or wolves of memory scenting thy foot tracks, thoul't not see
In mad pursuit chasing their victim.
Shouldst thou look forward nor behind e'er turn thy gaze,
Thy royal footsteps shall soon press the golden plains of life
And palm or crown forever thou shalt wear.

The Black Man's Burden.

Pile on the Black Man's Burden,
'Tis nearest at our door,
Why heed long bleeding Cuba
Or dark Hawaii's shore;
Halt ye your fearless armies
Which menace feeble folks,
Who fight with clubs and arrows
And brook your rifles' smoke.
Pile on the Black Man's Burden,
His wail with laughter drown,
You've sealed the Red Man's problem
And now deal with the Brown.
In vain you seek to end it
With bullet, blood or death,
Better by far defend it,
With honor's holy breath.
Pile on the Black Man's Burden,
His back is broad, though sore,
What though the weight oppress him
He's borne the like before;
Your Jim Crow laws and customs,
And fiendish midnight deed,
Though winked at by the nation
Will some day trouble breed.

Pile on the Black Man's Burden,
At length 'twill heaven pierce,
Then on you or your children
Will reign God's judgments fierce.
Your battleships and armies
May weaker ones appall,
But God Almighty's justice
They'll not disturb at all.

Richard Allen.

Fond freedom's bells, peal forth in merry chimes,
And ye loud anvil strokes, ring out your notes,
In gladsome echoes from departed times;
Thy tale to listening millions now unfold.
With brazen tongues or iron-volumed throats,
Proclaim our hero's deeds, a century old.
Of freedom from Great Britain's cruel power,
A land uplift from spite and foreign King.
Of him who in that peril-freighted hour,
Ventured his all and won—
George Washington,
Columbia's valiant son—
Thou needst not sing.
Our hero's arm, the gyves and shackles broke
That first his own form held, alike his mind,
Then Samson-like, from spell bound slumber woke,
Employed his strength to liberate his kind.
Thy chieftain's fame is known in every land.
Its magic spell remotest climes have felt;
Wherever praise with prayer go hand in hand;
Around this shrine they kneel—and long have knelt.
Our warrior bore no gun or blood-thirst sword;
Unlike thy soldier, scorned a path of gore,
His the dread weapon, God's enduring word
Whose tempered edges doth the right secure.
Immortal muse, thy well tuned viols bring,
Acclaim the news, resound this offering.
A people's incense in the name of truth,
Should burn and blaze
And still through coming days
Impart its fragrance to the unborn youth.
The nation's star let shine o'er empires waste,
But farther still truth's sun resplendent ray,
Whose touch the midnight pall of churchly caste
Caused to dissolve and break in Allen's Day.
The brightest orb that lit earth's Western skies,
Shines dimly in the light of Heaven's sun,
So when the chieftain's beams,
Like fleeting dreams,
Dissolve in night,
Our greater light whose lustre now begun,
In fadeless gleams
Shall greet admiring eyes.

Allen's Day.

What means this shout of "Allen's Day,"
This gladsome noise
Of men and women, far away,
And girls and boys?
Our Richard Allen's name be sung
By old and young, by every tongue,
He gave his people manhood's birth,
The noblest legacy of earth.
From bended knees as galley slave
By force updrawn;
He soared and left proscription's grave
And spied the dawn
Of coming ages in whose wake
Unfettered truth full orbed would break,
And Heaven's all protecting arm,
His Bethel shield from every harm.
In humbler lot was ever born
A nobler cause?
Did ever Satan's hoof or horn
Or gasping jaws
In maddened struggles seek to slay
The Babe incarnate in His day?
So Allen braved a thousand foes,
And battled down a thousand woes.
Where once reigned fettered hopes and tears
Now shines God light,
Forth from the gloom spring songs and cheers
And gospel sight.
One fatherhood in God above,
One universal Saviour's love,
One golden chain, one common blood,
Now binds us in man's brotherhood.

Memorial Ode to Frederick Douglass.

Both stately in form and noble in bearing,
Majestic in tread like some embassied lord;
Of leonine soul dread danger not fearing,
None braver than thou ever buckled on sword.
In fancy meseems to behold thee outsetting
For truth's sternest conflict and liberty's cause;
Of mien the Goliath of slavery fretting,
Disdaining his scorn and defying his laws.
Thine was not the armor of Saul, like another
Who thought to have vanquished the foe by his might;
The flame of thy zeal all thy foes could not smother,
So long as thy weapons were God and the right.
Titanic the soul that can win its own freedom,
Then turn to release others fettered with chain;
Such triumphs once marked the great victor from Edom
Who shouted his conquest o'er thousands of slain.
And thou too great hero of career now ended,
Didst free thine own self then with bravery rare,
Didst lift struggling millions and with them ascended
To heights high and strong kissed by freedom's pure air.
From lowliest depth of condition thou mountedst
And saw others mount from serfdom to the skies;
On wing as of light foul gloom thou discountedst
Till slavery's hell changed to man's paradise.
Yet on wage thy conflict illustrious wonder,
'Gainst wrong and oppression of whatever cast,
The keen-tempered lance of thy soul piercing thunder
Shall know no surcease while the struggle shall last.
Thy patience serene and thy faith's sweeping visions
Shall caste-fettered mountains view sunk out of sight;

The day is not distant though man's Indecision
Shouldst postpone its dawn and oft augur night.
Rest then wearied knight always true and victorious,
Thy helmet and plume lay aside for a crown;
In Time's starry expanse with lustre all glorious
Sunlike thou shalt shine with a radiance thine own.

William Fisher Dickerson, Bishop.

O, ye sable sons of Freedom,
Know ye not of Israel's loss,
How a mighty prince has fallen
From the king's advancing host?
In the prime of mortal vigor,
Ere life's sunset had begun,
Youngest, strongest, 'mong his compeers,
Far he seemed them all t' outrun.
Giant minded, nobly gifted,
With a soul that knew no bound,
On the race he quickly entered,
Heeding neither sight nor sound.
On he ran, the goal before him,
Up he looked with steadfast eyes;
Faint, pursuing, yet he ventured,
Till he grasped the outstretched prize.
Fare thee well, departed hero,
Life's stern conflict now is o'er;
Thou art gone where wars and tumults
Death or anguish come no more.
Fades the smoke from fields of carnage,
Cease the peals of mortal arms;
Peace sways wide its olive sceptre,
Victors shout triumphant psalms.
Error's hordes thou oft hast vanquished,
Sinful legions put to flight.—
Bold, courageous, and defiant,
Thou has won full many a fight.
What thine weapon and thine armor,
Let thy triumph loud proclaim;
With a sword divinely tempered
Hast thou battled in God's name.
Loth to give thee up, we sorrow
Great the loss we now sustain,
Yet we murmur not, but yield us
Unto Heaven's eternal gain.
On the plains of radiant glory,
In the saint's eternal rest,
Where robed millions tell the story,
Thou with Christ art ever blest.
Fare thee well, immortal hero,
Brother, leader, chieftain bold,
May we emulate thy virtues
And thy greatness yet untold.
Though God's valiant workmen perish,
Though they leave us one by one,
Still the work they deeply cherish,
On advances until done.

Triste Vale.

Gone from earth's home to yon mansions of brightness,
From the sphere of turmoil to much needed rest,
Gone where the wicked ne'er visit the tranquil,
Where no ripples of care reach the land of the blest.
Missed are the feet which trod errands of mercy,
Missed are the hands that have God's labors done;
O how much missed are those accents of sweetness,
The kind words and good deeds which so brilliantly shone.
Gone is a star from the home-circle firmament,
Plucked is a flower from the green field of time,
Gone, but to shine in the glory bright element;
Plucked, but transplanted in bloom more sublime.
Fled is a bird from its earth-bounded prison,
Sped is the spirit on wings swift as light;
Fleeing for freedom it rests on love's mountain,
It rests, sweetly rests on yon peak out of sight.

Bishop Henry McNeal Turner,
D.D., LL.D., D.C.L.

Far-famed and blest art thou beyond com¬
In stature robust, and in genius rare;
If cast in classic Greek or Roman mould
The ages long had writ thy name in gold.
Through royal loins or fabled ancestry,
Thy mettle must have coursed its onward
For 'tis not known in man's recorded time,
That blood like thine has veins in common
Fearless and brave, with soul of iron knit,
No lance thou shunest, but doth strike to hit;
The enemies of freedom and the hordes of
Shrink from the fury of thy trumpet's blast.
Thy people's cause or country's bugle call,
To fight or champion with the tongue or pen,
Thou'rt there to answer be it where or when.
Though trying years thy frame have palsied
The fires of knighthood still adorn thy brow;
And when the clarion call of church or race,
Or far off Afric's pall thine ear or vision
To leap the sovereign mark of time and sea
Thy spirit struggles though but fearlessly.

Booker T. Washington.

Most men depend on others for a name,
Thou for thyself hast wrought immortal fame.
Stooping to mother earth like birds that rise,
Thou'st gathered power to bear thee to the skies.
The wings that bear thee to posterity,
Owe not a feather to prosperity. 

Bishop Daniel Alex. Payne, D.D., LL.D.

No greater name than thine
Fair beacon light of thought,
Among the men who dreamt or wrought
To open learning's shrine.
Then to that God-sent seer
Daniel A. Payne and Heaven,
Our schools' transcendent pioneer
Be tireless honors given.

Bishop A. Grant, D.D.

Great hero from the everglades,
Of lowly birth, but lordly dreams,
Destined to rise above the shades
And shine where freedom's glory beams.
Thy feet which gyves of bondage wore
In childhood's morn to check thy gait,
The lofty heights of manhood's shore
Now press beneath their lordly tread.
Thy hand once fettered wields a wand,
More sovereign far than slavery swayed;
For when uplifted, thy command
Is heard with gladness and obeyed.
Thy neck now scorns the despot's yoke,
But greatly lifts thy people's cares,
Thy tongue from muteness long has woke
In answer to long uttered prayers.
Thy burning words and flaming speech,
Make captive listeners heed God's will;
Thou'st called to minister and teach,
And nobly dost thy mission fill.
Bishop L. J. Coppin, D.D.
Before church honors crowned thy brow,
Or greatness gave thee place,
Thou wert the same as thou art now,
True to thy friends and race.
Wedding Anniversary of a Friend.
One year to-day on Hymen's sea,
A youthful bark took sail;
The sky was bright, the air was free
From signs of threatening gale.
Clasped in each other's fond embrace,
Two hearts comprised the crew;
The wind and wave they dared to face,
Nor fear nor peril knew.
Freighted with love the ship sped on,
Manned by an unseen hand—
The silvery waves she bore upon
Pictured a scene most grand.
In joy's fond port of honeymoon,
Our youthful craft reclined;
Her upturned brow was bronzed by noon,
Her pennant kissed the wind.
The happy crew a landing made:
With zephyrs as their guide,
In flowery walks through love's arcade,
They roamed the Eden wide.
Till warned by touch of busy care,
Or roused by duty's call,
'Twere life to see the lovely pair
Or hear their accents fall.
But from this port of matchless joy,
Full twelve months less but one;
With anchor weighed, love's floating toy,
Its sterner voyage begun.
And still she glides with sanguine pride,
On life's uncertain deep,
While the Unseen Lord of Time and Tide,
Her crew I pray may keep.

Emancipation Ode.

Sons of Freedom, swell the chorus;
Ring the anthem loud and clear,
Break it forth from vale and highland,
Shout it that the Heavens might hear.
Better time than now to sing it,
Better time to vent ye praise,
God hath not dispensed to mortals,
Since the birth of cosmic days.
While the hills and dales are list'ning,
And the mountain tops are glist'ning
With the frigid fruit from Winter's tree—
While the merry sleigh bells jingle,
And yon vesper orbs doth twinkle
Sound the notes of Freedom's jubilee.
Deep in volume, let the compass
Of our freedom day refrain,
Indicate the depth of gladness
That inspires a nation's strain.
In a day is born a nation,
In a day from death to life
Truth transforms embondaged millions,
Lifts them through a bloody strife.
Ere heart-rending sighs were ended,
While to God man's cries ascended
With a purpose born of faith divine.
Ruler Lincoln snapped the fetters
As he wrote in golden letters,
Freedom's sun shall rise o'er Dixon's line.
Yet we lingered in the darkness
Of the night of grim old war,
But while groping in the dungeon
Caught faint gleams of hope afar.
Poised was justice on her pinions,
In her scales stood right and might,
While she drew from God's dominion
Truth's stern sabre strong and bright.
This she waved with firm decision,
Though might scorned and in derision
Hurled defiance at her plea for liberty;
Knowing that the Lord had spoken,
Justice hold could not be broken,
For the truth of God was pledged to make
men free.

Then grim might so gored and smitten
By the flaming sword of truth,
Sighed to know its doom was written,
Sighed, then sank to rise no more.
In the grave of vast oblivion
Buried is this ghastly dead,
Broken now the bondsman prison
And his fears forever fled.
Where stood drivers with their lashes
Drawing gore from dreadful gashes,
Where ran freely mortal crimson streams;
Now the school house and the college,
Golden streams from founts of knowledge,
Rich supply doth give to Freedom's dreams.
Now we'll drown the howling bloodhounds
With the shout of freedom's march,
And will dissipate the dark frown
From the brow of slavery passed.
With our mighty notes of gladness
From our famous jubilees,
Let us banish every sadness
Till the foe our triumph sees.
In our galaxy of great men
See our Douglass, Payne and Townsend,
With their compeers Bruce, and Price,
While beside these see our Arnett;
See our Elliott, Brown, and Garnett
Whom with Simmons late doth shine in


Through the pall of sin's midnight from the
verge of despair
Rings the cry of distress, the most pitiful
'Tis the plea of the millions enshrouded in
'Neath the weight of that sentence which
threatens their doom.
"Come over and help us, ye children of sight,
We grope in the darkness while ye boast the
Your footsteps are lighted with rays from on
While for want of salvation, we perish, we
O hear our entreaties and heed our distress,
From the ills of Sin's serfdom give Heaven's
Our fathers have wrought in Sin's temple for
Ourselves and our children are reaping the

America's Seventh Wonder.

Most mighty marvel, height of human skill,
Acme of genius, fruit of mighty will;
Colossus statue, nor Niagara's span
Thy praise can rival, earth's most wondrous plan.
Beneath thy arch in forms majestic glide,
Proud ocean monarchs, stemming wind and tide,
Mid tempests rage or wild cyclonic gale
Thy towering pillars never shake nor fail.
Midway thy breast strong engines swell in vain,
To test thy strength though endless be the train
Of mortal freight that always come and go
Though surges beat and angry tempests blow.
Ten thousand footmen sweep across thy plain,
Still oft returning come and go again,
While youth and maiden sit or stroll alone
Whiling the hours in gleeful talk or song.
Here lovers meet within thy stout embrace
And chase their phantoms o'er the water's waste;
Here rogues convene and blacklegs catch their game,
Or maddened dreamers leap in quest of fame.
Here, too, the man of science scans his prize
With knitted eyebrows and far-gazing eyes,
Untangling skeins of rich and knotty thought
Until his thread of gold is firmly caught.
Too, from thy towering form the poets gaze
Neath twilight's lure or sun or comet's blaze,
Descries his own creations with delight
And welcomes dull-eyed souls to share the sight.
Most modern marvel, do I thee behold,
In dreamy frenzy, dost thou not unfold
Some mightier plan which yet may man mature
To link our land with some great foreign shore?
As from thy brow Bartholdi's beams I scan.
And see this shining queen illumine man,
My hopeful vision hastens on the day
When earth shall glisten in a brighter ray.
From thy seed thought I see the the columns rise
With earth their base mount sightless to the skies,
Which shall two countries span and link in one
The mightiest nations neath the shining sun.
From Gotham's wonder and from Brooklyn's pride,
From sky-kissed columns and from where the tide
Sweeps Ocean's floors and lays the cable bed,
To force Creative, all my thoughts are led.

Man Burning.

Like hungry tigers for the prey
They raged and rent the air,
Then with a wild and maddened rush
Sent terror everywhere.
What cared the mob for law's decree,
Or honor's plaintive cry,
'Twas out for blood, and each man swore
The prisoner must die.
In mad stampede the Court they awed
With pistol fire and yell,
The Judge and Sheriff, tip-staves all
Soon caught a glimpse of—
The Judge was hustled from the bench
The Sheriff seized and bound,
While cruel hands the pris'ner gagged
And hauled him like a hound.
In noontide's glare they bore the wretch
In full view of the crowd,
And piled the wood and poured the oil
That shaped his tragic shroud.
"Stand back the crowd!" the leader bawled,
With weapon cocked in hand;
"Make room for ladies and young folks!"
Rang out the stern command.
"Come ladies, girls and boys," he said,
"Gaze on the helpless dog;
We've got him fast, although he squirms,
We'll roast him like a hog.
Before we start the deadly blaze
We'll give the wretch a chance,
To own his crimes and say his prayers,
While ye around him dance.
Say culprit, your last time has come,
Have you a word to say,
So own your guilt and make your peace
Or sing, or preach or pray."
The prisoner upward glanced his eyes,
Then scanned the heartless crowd,
And dealt a blow of deep surprise
In answer clear and loud.
"I have no fears to meet my God,
The crime you charge to me
Was done by him who led this mob
To hide his infamy.
I saw this red-faced bully here,
As he struck the blow and ran;
I heard the struggling woman cry,
0 save me, if you can!
No woman's cries e'er reach my ears
Unless I answer make;
If I must die for aiding her,
1 die for honor's sake.
Soon as I saw that she was dead
I gave chase to her slayer,
Who chased the wind in lightning speed
Spurred on by guilt and fear.
He met a crowd of roadside men
And to them told a tale,
When all at once they turned on me
And shouted, 'Give him hail.'
They opened fire, but missed the mark;
Then I began to shoot
In self-defense and got my man,
But not the guilty brute.
Now if for these brave deeds of mine
You mean my flesh to burn,
I have but this last word to say,
To-day, it is your turn.
But he who marks the sparrow's fall,
And numbers every strand,
Will pour his wrath in judgment dread
On all who round me stand."
They lit the fire and burnt his flesh,
And kicked his quivering frame
Until all left of mortal life
Had slumbered in the flame.
They scrambled mid the ashes pale
Before the heat had left,
And fought for bits of relics rare
Like curs of wits bereft.
The ladies laughed and children cheered
In joyous, ghoulish glee,
No circus train had brought such sport
For folks to hear or see.
But nature settles not like men;
She takes her own good time,
And turns the vial when 'tis full
On heads of blood-guilt crime.
Marked from that day with vengeance pen
Was each foul lyncher's head,
And God's true archers drew the arm
Which reckoned for the dead.
Within the space of one twelvemonth
From that man-burning day,
Each lyncher's soul was summoned hence
In some unnatural way.
As each lost spirit sped the bounds
Of the infernal gate,
God's vengeful demons waiting stood
To sink him to his fate.
The sure results of what he sowed
The lyncher now doth reap,
The fires he built for man on earth
For him will devils keep.
A genuine sheet of raging fire
Shall be the lyncher's bed,
And he who burnt his brother's flesh
Shall with hell-fire be fed.
So lynchers take a fool's advice,
And henceforth from this day
Let reason curb thy passion wild,
And justice have its sway.

Allen University.

Long live to bless the race and kind
Ennobled by thy name,
Within thy walls may thousands find
Learning and power and fame.
Morris Brown College.
In days long ago when the skies hung like
And curtained the hopes of a race bound in
Thy fame-titled namesake with far-reaching
Moved manfully northward to Freedom's
So, too, may this offspring of light-giving
Shed good cheer and hope to its long-
mantled race,
That oncoming ages may cherish the story
And sing of the fathers who gave thee thy

For Deliverance from Oppression.
Regard in tenderness, O Lord,
The ills thy children bear;
Do thou thy gracious help afford,
And answer this our prayer.
We trust not in the arms of flesh;
We lean upon thy word;
For thine own arm omnipotent,
Is mightier than the sword.
What care we for the midnight foe?
Or arrows winged with light?
Or pestilence's fatal touch,
Since thou, Lord, art our might?
We need not fear the cruel hate
Of those we've done no wrong;
We look to thee, our Advocate,
For weapons sure and strong.
In common Fatherhood above,
Thou reignest o'er the world;
The poor thou liftest from the dust,
The proud are downward hurled.


From the glory region a sunbeam sped,
A token of love it bore,
And on my home a lustre shed
From the garment of light it wore.
The family group it cheered with life,
And a rainbow of hope it wove,
To girdle the brow of the love-guided wife,
And the helpmeet she promised to love.
Though I journey afar from this love-haloed
Though distance our bodies divide,
I'll still with my loved ones in spirit be near,
And wake in my dreams at their side.
The Bad Black Man.
There's a bad black man,
And he causes lots of trouble;
He's like a pot from torment,
For he makes it bubble, bubble.
If it wasn't for this villain,
So I hear the white folks say,
There'd be a better feeling,
Than what exists to-day.
I wish this bad black fellow,
Had never seen the light,
But had tarried with the bad man,
In the region out of sight.
Bishop W. B. Derrick, D.D.
When cruel war her bugle note,
To far-off regions sounded,
Though but a lad in land remote,
Thy footsteps hither bounded.
'Midst screaming shells and whistling shot,
From belching gunboat broadside,
Through thickest fight and flinching not,
Thou battled till the foe died.
A sterner foe though made to face,
Thy courage knows no pallor,
Whate'er confronts the church and race,
Calls for thy ready valor.
Long may thy tongue its thunder claps,
Ring out against base treason,
'Till conquering like the valiant Japs,
The foe is taught to reason.
Bishop Charles Spencer Smith.
In silent grandeur 'neath yon southern skies,
Five stately stories to his honor rise,
To greet the rising sun and restful night,
And lift a rising people into light.
To Afric's field on equal service bent,
This valiant churchman has been lately sent,
Heroic toilsman in far-off woods or town
A nobler structure may his labors crown.
Bishop B. T. Tanner, D.D., LL.D.
A stream of light thy pen for years,
In radiance strong and clear,
Has shed across thy people's sky,
And drew the day dawn near.
In honor's fame thy place is won,
Thy church will fondly dwell
Upon thy worth in living thoughts,
That will for ages tell.

W. D. Chappelle, D.D.

Wielding the sword with all thy might,
Daring to battle for the right,
Content to face opposing foes,
Heroic as the conflict grows.
As royal as the knights of old,
Posing to meet the warrior bold,
Placid amid the raging crowd,
Easy when others thunder loud.
Long may thy mettled spirit burn,
Long may thy courage weakness spurn.