Hannah F Gould

The Black at Church

God, is thy throne accessible to me-
Me of the Ethiop skin? May I draw near
Thy sacred shrine, and humbly bend the knee,
While thy white worshippers are kneeling here?
May I approach celestial purity,
And not offend thee with my sable face?
This company of saints, so fair to see,
Behold! already shrink from the disgrace!
Yet, in thine earthly courts, I'll gladly bow
Behind my fellow-worms, and be denied
Communion with them, will my Lord allow
That I may come and touch his bleeding side!
In that blest fount have I an equal claim
To bathe, with all who wear the stain of sin?
Or, is salvation by another name
Than thine?-or, must the Ethiop change his skin?
Thou art our Maker, and I fain would know
If thou hast different seats prepared above,
To which the master and the servant go
To sing the praise of thine eternal love!
There will my buyer urge the price of gold,
Which here, for this uncomely clay he gave,
That he my portion may appoint, and hold
In bondage still, the helpless, trembling slave?
Or, will the dearer ransom, paid for all,
A Saviour's blood, impress me with the seal
Of everlasting freedom from my thrall,
And wash me white and this crushed spirit heal?
Then, will I meekly bear these lingering pains,
And suffer scorn, and be by man opprest,
If at the grave, I may put off my chains,
And thou wilt take me where the weary rest!