A Poem by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
We may sigh o’er the heavy burdens
Of the black, the brown and white;
But if we all clasped hands together
The burdens would be more light.
How to solve life’s saddest problems,
Its weariness, want and woe,
Was answered by One who suffered
In Palestine long ago.
He gave from his heart this precept,
To ease the burdens of men,
“As ye would that others do to you
Do ye even so to them.”
Life’s heavy, wearisome burdens
Will change to a gracious trust
When men shall learn in the light of God
To be merciful and just.
Where war has sharpened his weapons,
And slavery masterful had,
Let white and black and brown unite
To build the kingdom of God.
And never attempt in madness
To build a kingdom or state,
Through greed of gold or lust of power,
On the crumbling stones of hate.
The burdens will always he heavy,
The sunshine fade into night,
Till mercy and justice shall cement
The black, the brown and the white.
And earth shall answer with gladness,
The herald angel’s refrain,
When “Peace on earth, good will to men”
Was the burden of their strain.