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

Sarah Collins Fernandis, "Our Colored Soldiery" (1918)


They're marching, marching, marching-
   Here you the tramping feet
On cool sequestered roadside
    And city's teeming street?

Freedom's insistent drum beat
   Has swung their souls in line,
And they are marching forward,
   Heeding her call divine.

Brave hearts and clean, hard bodies-
   Full measure of man power-
They bring to help give battle
   To win her triumph's hour

O, men with dusky faces,
   Yet hearts as true as steel,
Filling your fighting places,
   You make a strong appeal

For a new, human justice
   That knows no color line,
When Freedom's dawn triumphant
   Over our world shall shine.

Published in Southern Workman, October 1918

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