Sunday, April 24, 2022


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.

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