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

James Weldon Johnson, "Father, Father Abraham" (1917)


(_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.

Published in Fifty Years and Other Poems (1917)

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