Why ask to know what date, what clime?
WHY ask to know what date, what clime?
There dwelt our own humanity,
Power-worshippers from earliest time,
Feet-kissers of triumphant crime,
Crushers of helpless misery,
Crushing down Justice, honouring wrong,
If that be feeble, this be strong.
Shedders of blood, shedders of tears,
Fell creatures avid of distress;
Yet mocking heaven with senseless prayers
For mercy on the merciless.
It was the autumn of the year
When grain grows yellow in the ear;
Day after day, from noon to noon,
That August's sun blazed bright as June.
But we with unregarding eyes
Saw panting earth and glowing skies.
No hand the reaper's sickle held,
Nor bound the bright sheaves in the field.
Our corn was garnered months before,
Threshed out and harvested with gore;
Ground when the cars were milky sweet
With furious toil of hoofs and feet;
I, doubly cursed, on foreign sod,
Fought neither for my home nor God.
May 13, 1843.