Frances E. W. Harper


"I would meet death awake."

THE strength that bore her on for years
Was ebbing fast away,
And o'er the pale and life­p;worn face,
Death's solemn shadows lay.

With tender love and gentle care,
Friends gathered round her bed,
And for her sake each footfall hushed
The echoes of its tread.


They knew the restlessness of death
Through every nerve did creep,
And carefully they tried to lull
The dying Queen to sleep.

In vain she felt Death's icy hand
Her failing heart­p;strings shake;
And, rousing up, she firmly said,
"I'd meet my God awake."

Awake, I've met the battle's shock,
And born the cares of state;
Nor shall I take your lethean cup,
And slumber at death's gate.

Did I not watch with eyes alert,
The path where foes did tend;
And shall I veil my eyes with sleep,
To meet my God and friend?

Nay, rather from my weary lids,
This heavy slumber shake,
That I may pass the mystic vale,
And meet my God awake.