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

James Weldon Johnson, "Father, Father Abraham" (1913)


(On the Anniversary of Lincoln's Birth)

    Father, Father Abraham,
      To-day look on us from above;
    On us, the offspring of thy faith,
      The children of thy Christ-like love.
    For that which we have humbly wrought,
      Give us to-day thy kindly smile;
    Wherein we've failed or fallen short,
      Bear with us, Father, yet awhile.
    Father, Father Abraham,
      To-day we lift our hearts to thee,
    Filled with the thought of what great price
      Was paid, that we might ransomed be.
    To-day we consecrate ourselves
      Anew in hand and heart and brain,
    To send this judgment down the years:
      The ransom was not paid in vain.

First published in The Crisis, February 1913

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