Friday, June 19, 2009

George Moses Horton: The Black Bard




THE SLAVE'S COMPLAINT



Am I sadly cast aside,
On misfortune's rugged tide?
Will the world my pains deride
Forever?

Must I dwell in Slavery's night,
And all pleasure take its flight,
Far beyond my feeble sight,
Forever?

Worst of all, must Hope grow dim,
And withhold her cheering beam?
Rather let me sleep and dream
Forever!

Something still my heart surveys,
Groping through this dreary maze;
Is it Hope?--then burn and blaze
Forever!

Leave me not a wretch confined,
Altogether lame and blind--
Unto gross despair consigned,
Forever!

Heaven! in whom can I confide?
Canst thou not for all provide?
Condescend to be my guide
Forever:

And when this transient life shall end,
Oh, may some kind eternal friend
Bid me from servitude ascend,
Forever!


by: George Moses Horton (c.1797-c.1883)

Sources: poetryarchive.com and unc.edu, and ncarts.org
Happy Juneteenth Everyone!

9 comments:

get zapped said...

Eloquently spoken.

Yes, summer is almost officially here!

Peace to you ~

Stephen Bess said...

getzapped-
Peace to you as well and all the ancestors who were emancipated on this day in 1865. Although the Proclamation was made in 1862, Enslaved men and women did find out about until 3 years later in Galveston, Tx.

Muser said...

Thanks for this one. His poetry is really interesting.

Ruthibelle said...

effective repitition...

"Bid me from servitude ascend,
Forever!"

That is nice.

Christina said...

How amazing.
I thought of you and your sweet wife, while I worked the festival.
Hugs

Guyana-Gyal said...

Such sorrow, written in an understated manner:

And when this transient life shall end, Oh, may some kind eternal friend
Bid me from servitude ascend...

...which makes it even more effective.

Writer on Board said...

Happy Juneteenth, B.B.! Thank you!

Peace...

barbie said...

I liked the post Stephen. We should all remember, were it not for the prayers of the countless, nameless ancestors, none of us would be here. Knowing this is one source of strength.
Showers of blessings to you and yours.
Barbie

blissraine said...

Great poem. Reminds me of some of Claude Mckays poems.......