APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTH!
Published in Frederick Douglass' Paper on June 10, 1853, I present a poem written by E. P. Roger.
"Loosed from your moorings you are free;
But fast in chains am I;
You move before the gentle gale,
Beneath the scourge I lie.
"You fly around the mighty globe,
You swift-winged angels be;
I am confined in iron bands,
Oh, God, that I were free!
"Oh! that I were on one of you,
'Neath your protecting wing--
Upon your gallant decks no more
To feel oppression's sting.
"But ah! alas! 'twixt me and you
The turbid waves roll high;
Go on! go on! I'd gladly go
Could I but swim or fly.
"The ships are gone-they hid afar;
I'm left in hottest hell;
Why was I born to be a brute
With earthly friends to dwell?
"Why am I thus a wretched slave?
Oh God deliver me?
Is there a God? thy power vouchsafe,
And let me now be free.
"Oppression I will not endure--
I rather choose to die;
Come life, or death, I must be free,
God helping me I'll try."
When thus the mighty spirited yearned,
The chains could not confine;
Thou didst resolve to strike the blow,
And liberty was thine.