A Rallying Cry.

A poem by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Oh, children of the tropics,
Amid our pain and wrong
Have you no other mission
Than music, dance, and song?

When through the weary ages
Our dripping tears still fall,
Is this a time to dally
With pleasure's silken thrall?

Go, muffle all your viols;
As heroes learn to stand,
With faith in God's great justice
Nerve every heart and hand.

Dream not of ease nor pleasure,
Nor honor, wealth, nor fame,
Till from the dust you've lifted
Our long-dishonored name;

And crowned that name with glory
By deeds of holy worth,
To shine with light emblazoned,
The noblest name on earth.

Count life a dismal failure,
Unblessing and unblest,
That seeks 'mid ease inglorious
For pleasure or for rest.

With courage, strength, and valor
Your lives and actions brace;
Shrink not from toil or hardship,
And dangers bravely face.

Engrave upon your banners,
In words of golden light,
That honor, truth, and justice
Are more than godless might.

Above earth's pain and sorrow
Christ's dying face I see;
I hear the cry of anguish:--
"Why hast thou forsaken me?"

In the pallor of that anguish
I see the only light,
To flood with peace and gladness
Earth's sorrow, pain, and night.

Arrayed in Christly armor
'Gainst error, crime, and sin,
The victory can't be doubtful,
For God is sure to win.

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