African American Poetry (1870-1926): A Digital Anthology

Lucian B. Watkins, "These" (1917)



"Thirteen members of the 24th Infantry found guilty of complicity in the riot and mutiny at Houston, Aug. 23, were hanged on the military reservation at Fort Sam Houston, at 7:17 a.m. Tuesday.
"Without a tremor they stepped out with soldierly terad and singing a hymn they walked to their places.
"Resuming their song they stood erect and displayed the greatest fortitude while the ropes were adjustced." -- News item, December 11, 1917


7:17 A.M. December 11, 1917

Lord, these are Thing! With soldierly treat--
Without a tremor--they go their way--
Singing a hymn--they march ahead--
Singing a song-- of peace today!

Lord, these are Thing who pay their price
For what a freeman's soul is worth--
Whose madness is their sacrifice
that what they love may live on earth! 
Lord, these are thine!

Published in The Crisis, January 1918

This page has paths:

This page has tags:

This page references: