Sarah Louisa Forten

The Slave Girl's Address to Her Mother

Oh! mother, weep not, though our lot be hard,
And we are helpless-God will be our guard:
For He our heavenly guardian doth not sleep;
He watches o'er us-mother, do not weep.
And grieve not for that dear loved home no more;
Our sufferings and our wrongs, ah! why deplore?
For though we feel the stern oppressor's rod,
Yet he must yield as well as we, to God.
Torn from our home, our kindred and our friends,
And in a stranger's land, our days to end,
No heart feels for the poor, the bleeding slave;
No arm is stretched to rescue and to save.
Oh! ye who boast of Freedom's sacred claims,
Do ye not blush to see our galling chains;
To hear that sounding word-'that all are free'-
When thousands groan in hopeless slavery?
Upon your land it is a cruel stain-
Freedom, what art thou?-nothing but a name.
No more, no more! Oh God, this cannot be;
Thou to thy children's aid wilt surely flee:
In thine own time deliverance thou wilt give,
And bid us rise from slavery, and live.