The place where they were born,
Where grows the cotton, silver-white
Tobacco, cane and corn--
I see your beauty, feel your charm;
I knew your ancient lure
For those dark earth-sprites, who for you
Did pain untold endure!
But now the cabin lonely stands
Beneath the spreading tree;
The old plantation echoes not
The weird slave-melody!
Gone! all are gone! how strange it seems!
I miss their gleaming eyes--
Their loud guffaws, whose hearty ring
Floats lightly to the skies.
What do they seek? Where have they fled?
Why do they roam afar?
They go to find the Promised Land,
With gates of Hope ajar.
Where schools stand ready to impart
The precious Rule of Three;
And high ambition may be served
To even the last degree.
Where aspiration soars aloft,
And self-respect may grow;
Where none would limit nor confine
The man who wants to know.
O Southland, that they loved so well,
The time will come when you
Wishing them back, will learn the truth
That faithful friends are few!