APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTH!
A Poet, a Lecturer, Teacher, Abolitionist, an Author, Writer, and Suffragist.
One of the first African-American to publish a short-story in ameriKKKa.
The first female instructor at Union Seminary.
The Co-founder of The National Association of Colored Women's Clubs (NACWC).
An only child of free parents. Frances Ellen Watkins was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1825. Frances went to live with her uncle William Watkins, after her mother’s death at an early age. There she attended the school her uncle founded and taught at, “The Watkins Academy for Negro Youth.” William Watkins was a minister and an abolitionist. His political activism shaped his niece’s social, religious, and political views. Influencing her writing. At 21 years of age. Frances E. Watkins wrote her first volume of poetry entitled “Forest Leaves.” Frances E. Watkins Harper poetry has appeared in The Frederick Douglass’ Paper, The Liberator, and many other abolitionist publications.
Without further ado, I present to you....
Yes, Ethiopia yet shall stretch
Her bleeding hands to God;
Her cry of agony shall reach
The burning throne of God!
The tyrant’s yoke from off her neck
His fetters from her soul,
The mighty hand of God shall break,
And spurn the base control!
Redeemed from dust, and freed from chains,
Her sons shall lift their eyes;
From cloud capped hills and radiant plains,
Shall shouts of triumphs rise;
Upon her dark despairing brow
Shall play a smile of peace;
For God shall bend unto her woe,
And bid her sorrows cease.
'Neath sheltering vines, and stately palms,
Shall laughing children play,
And aged sires with joyous psalms
Shall gladden every day!
Secure by night, blest by day,
Shall pass the happy hours;
No human tigers hunt for prey
Within her peaceful bowers!
The Ethiopia! stretch oh! stretch,
Thy bleeding hands abroad;
Thy cry of agony shall reach
And find redress with God.
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