James M. Whitfield's America and Other Poems

  Table of Contents:
Cover Page
"Christmas Hymn"
"Lines on the Death of J. Quincy Adams"
"To Cinque"
"New Year's Hymn"
"To A.H."
"How Long"
"The Arch Apostate"
"The Misanthropist"
"A Hymn"
"Yes! strike again that sounding string"
"To -------"
"Prayer of the Oppressed"
"To S.A.T."
"Delusive Hope"
"To M.E.A."
"A Hymn"
"Ode for the Fourth of July"
"Midnight Musings"
"Ode to Music"
"Stanzas for the First of August"
"The North Star"
(text of all poems)

  Prayer of the Oppressed p1
"Prayer of the Oppressed"
close-up 1 | 2 | 3

OH great Jehovah! God of love,
   Thou monarch of the earth and sky,
Canst thou from thy great throne above
   Look down with an unpitying eye? ---

See Afric’s sons and daughters toil,
   Day after day, year after year,
Upon this blood-bemoistened soil,
   And to their cries turn a deaf ear?

Prayer of the Oppressed p2 Canst thou the white oppressor bless
   With verdant hills and fruitful plains,
Regardless of the slave’s distress,
   Unmindful of the black man’s chains.

How long, oh Lord! ere thou wilt speak
   In thy Almighty thundering voice,
To bid the oppressor’s fetters break,
   And Ethiopia’s sons rejoice.

How long shall Slavery’s iron grip,
   And Prejudice’s guilty hand,
Send forth, like blood-hounds from the slip,
   Foul persecutions o’er the land?

How long shall puny mortals dare
   To violate thy just decree,
And force their fellow-men to wear
   The galling chain on land and sea?

Hasten, oh Lord! the glorious time
   When everywhere beneath the skies,
From every land and every clime,
   Peans to Liberty shall rise!

  Prayer of the Oppressed p3 When the bright sun of liberty
   Shall shine o’er each despotic land,
And all mankind, from bondage free,
   Adore the wonders of thy hand.

Introduction Biography Contexts Critical Voices Teaching Approaches Bibliography