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John Simkin

Slavery

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Frances Harper was a black woman who taught in Columbus, Ohio, but in 1853 became a travelling lecturer for the American Anti-Slavery Society. She often read her poetry at these public meetings, including the extremely popular Bury Me in a Free Land.

Make me a grave wher’er you will,

In a lowly plain, or a loft hill;

Make it among earth’s humblest graves,

But not in a land where men are slaves.

I could not rest if around my grave

I heard the steps of a trembling slave;

His shadow upon my silent tomb

Would make it a place of fearful gloom…

I would sleep, dear friends, where bloated might

Can rob no man of his dearest right;

My rest shall be calm in any grave

Where none can call his brother a slave.

I ask no monument proud and high,

To arrest the gaze of the passers-by;

All that my yearning spirit craves,

Is bury me not in a land of slaves.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USASharper.htm

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