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

Lucian B. Watkins, "An Elegy to John Brown" (1907)

(The Would-be Liberator) 

Sleep on!  True martyr for your principle of right! 
True hero of the cause for which you fought! 
True life of lofty, grand, courageous might! 
Sincerity with manly motives fraught! Sleep on! 

Sleep on!  Your grand and noble presence here is done, 
Your noble heart revolted for sweet peace! 
Your noble march to victory was won 
When from embittered life you smiled release! Sleep on! 

Sleep on! Your choice was death! none would your life enthrall! 
You struck for liberty for all your clan 
Your enemies e'en at your scaffold's fall 
Looked and declared, "Here is in truth, a man!" Sleep on! 

Published in Voices of Solitude, 1907

This page has tags: