Sunday, September 11, 2011

Frances Harpe's poem about Ethiopia

Frances Harper was born in Baltimore on 24th September, 1825. Her mother died three years later and she was looked after by relatives. Frances was educated at a school run by her uncle, Rev. William Watkins until the age of thirteen when she found work as a seamstress.

Harper wrote poetry and her first volume of verse, Forest Leaves, was published in 1845. The book was extremely popular and over the next few years went through 20 editions.

Frances Harper, Ethiopia (1845)

Yes, Ethiopia yet shall stretch
Her bleeding hands abroad;
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 lofty hills and verdant plains
Shall shouts of triumph rise.

Upon the 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 and blest by day,
Shall pass her happy hours;
Within her peaceful bowers.

Thy bleeding hands abroad;
Thy cry of agony shall reach
And find the throne of God.

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