SLAVE MOTHER'S PRAYER
Thou, who hear'st the feeblest prayer,
The humblest heart dost see,
Upon the chilly midnight air
I pour my soul to thee!
I bend a form with ceaseless toil
Consuming all the day;
And raise an eye that wets the soil,
As wears my life away.
I lift a hand that's only freed
Until to-morrow's task;
But how, O God, does nature bleed
Upon the boon I ask!
How wretched must that mother be,
(And I'm the hapless one,)
Who begs an early grave of thee,
To shield her only son!
I would not that my boy were spared
To curse his natal hour;
To drag the chains his birth prepared
Beneath unfeeling power.
Then, ere the nursling at my breast
Shall feel the tyrant's rod,
O lay his little form at rest
Beneath the quiet sod!
And when before thine awful throne
My master shall appear,
A naked spirit, to atone
For all his dealings here;
If pardoning grace can be bestowed,
And Heaven has pity then,
For him, who here no pity showed
Towards his fellow-men,
Thou'lt spare him, in thy mercy, Lord,
The sinner's fearful doom-
The wages, for his just reward,
Of death beyond the tomb.