Bury Me in a Free Land
Make me a grave where’er you will, In a lowly plain, or a lofty 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 above my silent tomb Would make it a place of fearful gloom. I could not rest if I heard the tread Of a coffle gang to the shambles led, And the mother’s shriek of wild despair Rise like a curse on the trembling air. I could not sleep if I saw the lash Drinking her blood at each fearful gash, And I saw her babes torn from her breast, Like trembling doves from their parent nest. I’d shudder and start if I heard the bay Of bloodhounds seizing their human prey, And I heard the captive plead in vain As they bound afresh his galling chain. If I saw young girls from their mother’s arms Bartered and sold for their youthful charms, My eye would flash with a mournful flame, My death-paled cheek grow red with shame. 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.
Oh! crush it not, that hope so blest,
Which cheers the fainting heart,
And points it to the coming rest,
Where sorrow has no part.
Tear from my heart each worldly prop,
Unbind each earthly string,
But to this blest and glorious hope,
Oh! let my spirit cling.
It cheer’d amid the days of old,
Each holy patriarch’s breast;
It was an anchor to their souls,
Upon it let me rest.
When wandering in dens and caves,
In sheep and goat skins dress’d,
A peel’d and scatter’d people learned
To know this hope was blest.
Help me, amid this world of strife,
To long for Christ to reign,
That when He brings the crown of life,
I may that crown obtain
Thank God for little children,
Bright flowers by earth’s wayside,
The dancing, joyous lifeboats
Upon life’s stormy tide.
Thank God for little children;
When our skies are cold and gray,
They come as sunshine to our hearts,