Prayer of the Abolitionist

Original Text: 
The Anti -- Slavery Poems of John Pierpont. Boston: Oliver Johnson, 1843; Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Literature House, 1970: 53-54.
1WE ask not that the slave should lie,
2  As lies his master, at his ease,
3Beneath a silken canopy,
4  Or in the shade of blooming trees.
5We mourn not that the man should toil;
6  'T is nature's need -- 't is God's decree;
7But, let the hand that tills the soil,
8  Be, like the wind that fans it, free.
9We ask not 'eye for eye' -- that all,
10  Who forge the chain and ply the whip,
11Should feel their torture -- that the thrall
12  Should wield the scourge of mastership --
13We only ask, O God, that they,
14  Who bind a brother, may relent:
15But, GREAT AVENGER, we do pray
16  That the wrong-doer may repent.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2004
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