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

Maurice N. Corbett, "Philippine War" (1914)

Philippine War.

On that auspicious first of May,
When Dewey, at Manila Bay
The nations of the world amazed,
And his loved country's prestige raised
By his unequaled victory
O'er hostile ships in open sea.
Black sailors were amongst hi 5 crew
And did their share of fighting too.
And through those military scenes
Enacted in the Philippines,
Where men who fought for liberty
From Spanish greed and tyranny,.
Their forces with the Yankees joined
To have their lands by them, purloined,
Their hopes of freedom cast aside,
Their chiefs, as traitors, crucified.

And now their very blood runs cold
When Negro soldiers they behold
Mongst their despoilers; this alone
Transforms their noble hearts to stone,
To see their brethren shot to death
By men just snatched from slavery's breath,
While fought they then, that they might see
Their lands from despotism free.

Published in The Harp of Ethiopia, 1914

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