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Afro-American Poets and Their Verse
			
              CHURCH REVIEW                      425

   Mrs. Harper has also rendered valuable aid to the
 temperance cause by verses written upon that subject.
   Altogether, we have great reason to be proud of our
 oldest living poet, and her declining years should be
sweetened by our great appreciation of her work.
   Had Alberry A. Whitman written nothing save that
remarkable poem entitled "The Freedman's Triumphant
Song," a World's Fair poem, read in Memorial Art
Palace, September 22, 1893, he would be established in
the minds of thinking people as a poet. No man with
Negro blood coursing through his veins can read this
poem without a feeling of pride, both in the author and
the composition. After describing the night of slavery,
he sings in exultant notes:

        But freedom came, thank God, at last,
        And broke the gates of iron caste !
        Then at his task the bondman heard
        The call that equal rights conferred,
        And rushed to where the cannon's boom
        In broken ranks had made him room,
        And there in his uncovered might,
        On liberty's eternal height,
        With glory's sunshine on his head,
        He trod where none but heroes tread,
        And flying the old flag full and fair,
        He held it high and waved it there.

        Through all the city's streets there poured a flood,
        A flood of human souls eager, intent;
        One thought, one purpose, stirred the people's minds,
        And through their veins its quickening current sent;
        And when at last our country's saviours came
        In proud procession down the crowded street,
        Still brighter burned the patriotic flame
        And loud acclaims reached forth their steps to greet."

  This is only a small portion of the whole poem which
abounds in graceful metaphors, and contains an easy
flow of words. This poem I consider one of the best




			
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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 14, Num. 4

Afro-American Poets and Their Verse

Davis

Volume:  14
Issue Number:  04
Page Number:  421
Date:  04/1898


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