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Posts Tagged ‘slavery’

Ole Abe (God bless ‘is ole soul!)
Got a plenty good victuals, an’ a plenty good clo’es.
Got powder, an’ shot, an’ lead,
To bust in Adam’s liddle Confed’
In dese hard times. 

Oh, once dere was union, an’ den dere was peace;
De slave, in de cornfield, bare up to his knees.
But de Rebel’s in gray, an’ Sesesh’s in de way,
An’ de slave’ll be free
In dese hard times.

 

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America, it is to thee,
Thou boasted land of liberty, –
It is to thee I raise my song,
Thou land of blood, and crime, and wrong.
It is to thee, my native land,
From which has issued many a hand
To tear the black man from his soil,
And force him here to delve and toil;
Chained on your blood-bemoistened sod,
Cringing beneath a tyrant’s rod,
Stripped of those rights which Nature’s God
Bequeathed to all the human race,
Bound to a petty tyrant’s nod,
Because he wears a paler face.

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mifqfg6

Do wrong so long, and practiced ways
Are habits that the slave obeys.

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photo by Lars Sundstrom at
http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/mifQfG6/Rusty+Chains

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© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2017.

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My ole Mistiss promise me,
W’en she die, she’d set me free.
She lived so long dat ‘er head got bal’.
An’ she give out’n de notion a dyin’ at all. 

My ole Mistiss say to me:
“Sambo I’se gwine ter set you free.”
But w’en dat head git slick an’ bal’,
De Lawd couldn’ a’ killed ‘er wid a big green maul. 

My ole Mistiss never die,
Wid ‘er nose all hooked an’ skin all dry.
But my ole Miss, she’s somehow gone,
An’ she lef’ “Uncle Sambo” a-hillin’ up co’n. 

Ole Mosser lakwise promise me,
W’en he died, he’d set me free.
But ole Mosser go an’ make his Will
Fer to leave me a-plowin ole Beck still. 

Yes, my ole Mosser promise me;
But “his papers” didn’ leave me free.
A dose of pizen he’ped ‘im along.
May de Devil preach ‘is funer’l song.

 

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King dreamed that he would say (when chains were past
Or strands so thin and few), these words long overdue,
“Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Though Egypt was behind, her reach was vast.
And like the wind, he blew winged words that fell like dew.
King dreamed a dream when all the chains were past.

His voice was Gabriel’s mighty trumpet blast;
The march began on cue, toward Canaan’s words and view,
“Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

His dream? – by hate and pharaohs not harassed;
Men judged, not by their hue; a future bright and new.
King dreamed a dream when all the chains were past.

Upon the farther shore, his people massed,
The sea returned and blue, they’d shout because they knew,
“Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Let go the broken chains! Away, them cast!
The speech and dream came true, for all who dare and do.
And now men say, since all their chains are past:
“Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2016.

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rebel flag

I never was a master or a slave,
Though maybe one, or both, is in my blood.
By kinsmen past is not how I behave
If in me now by drop or even flood. 

What’s gone before is but a sketch that’s pale,
While I am busy now with paint in hand
With all the colors of my present tale
To make my life a masterpiece that’s grand. 

If all my colors clash, there’s none to blame –
Not ghosts or genes or skin or governments.
I am the one responsible for fame
Or failure, not the long ago, or once. 

That some take umbrage at a distant flag
Shows chains of slav’ry that their minds still drag.

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.

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She told the story, and the whole world wept
At wrongs and cruelties it had not known
But for this fearless woman’s voice alone.
She spoke to consciences that long had slept:
Her message, Freedom’s clear reveille, swept
From heedless hovel to complacent throne.
Command and prophecy were in the tone
And from its sheath the sword of justice leapt.
Around two peoples swelled a fiery wave,
But both came forth transfigured from the flame.
Blest be the hand that dared be strong to save,
And blest be she who in our weakness came –
Prophet and priestess! At one stroke she gave
A race to freedom and herself to fame.

 

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Should you, my lord, while you pursue my song,
Wonder from whence my love of Freedom sprung,
Whence flow these wishes for the common good,
By feeling hearts alone best understood,
I, young in life, by seeming cruel fate
Was snatch’d from Afric’s fancy happy seat:
What pangs excruciating must molest,
What sorrows labour in my parent’s breast?
Steel’d was the soul and by no misery mov’d
That from a father seiz’d his babe belov’d.
Such, such my case. And can I then but pray
Others may never feel tyrannic sway?

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The sale began – young girls were there,
Defenceless in their wretchedness,
Whose stifled sobs of deep despair
Revealed their anguish and distress. 

And mothers stood with streaming eyes,
And saw their dearest children sold;
Unheeded rose their bitter cries,
While tyrants bartered them for gold. 

And woman, with her love and truth –
For these in sable forms may dwell –
Gaz’d on the husband of her youth
With anguish none may paint or tell. 

And men, whose sole crime was their hue,
The impress of their Maker’s hand,
And frail and shrinking children, too,
Were gathered in that mournful band. 

Ye who have laid your love to rest,
And wept above their lifeless clay,
Know not the anguish of that breast,
Whose lov’d are rudely torn away. 

Ye may not know how desolate
Are bosoms rudely forced to part,
And how a dull and heavy weight
Will press the life-drops from the heart.

 

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………Confederate Graves

They fought and died and this is left –
The narrow space that’s for them cleft,
The ground they won while rest was lost
And this long rest is what it cost. 

The markers mark where men were placed,
Since memories of each erased
As mourners lived remaining years,
Remembering, with bitter tears. 

Then, like a distant cannon’s roar,
Their flowers faded, were no more,
E’en letters on the stones wear ‘way
With weather and the passing day. 

It was a life men could not bear
To part with, yet, they parted there
With slaves that were the warring cause.
And though there was the slightest pause,
Most men went on to live quite well,
Less why men suffered shot and shell.
Less men who suffered shot and shell.

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photo by rkirbycom (Roger) at http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/nVrgvTE/Confederate+Headstone

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2013.

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