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

Maurice Corbett, "Secession and Sumpter" (1914)

Secession and Sumpter.

Secession's parliament was held,
Which sent out word the South rebelled
Gainst laws and customs, arms and rates
And flag of the United States;
Then set they up a government,
And chose Jeff Davis, president.
A statesman of much note was. he
Who championed human slavery.

On South Carolina's jagged coast,
The rebel chieftains led a host
Of well armed men, who made demand
Upon that little Spartan band
Who formed Fort Sumter's garrison,
That they surrender fort and gun,
Haul down the gallant stripes and stars,
And hoist instead the stars and bars.

The gallant Anderson refused
And then the dogs of war were loosed,
-The echo of a cannon shell
Upon the startled nation fell.
Slowly, did drowsy Justice wake,
And vengeance's cup in anger take,
And, of its wrath, pour out a flood
Till the sinful land was drenched in blood.

The fort received a leaden hail
Yet its defenders did not quail,
But answered rebel shell with shell,
Upholding country's honor well.
The rebels, increase force applied,
Nor would their leaders be denied
Till from the fort and its redoubt
With arms and flags those Yanks marched out.

Of Sumpter's fall the nation hears
And Lincoln calls for volunteers
To shoulder arms, from hamlet, town,
And state, to crush rebellion down;
And to his call, on every side,
Men came to camp, a steady tide,
Giving up daily occupation
To shed their life's blood for the nation.

Published in The Harp of Ethiopia, 1914

This page has tags: