James Weldon Johnson

(1871-1938 / Florida/United States)

Fragment


The hand of Fate cannot be stayed,
The course of Fate cannot be steered,
By all the gods that man has made,
Nor all the devils he has feared,
Not by the prayers that might be prayed
In all the temples he has reared.

See! In your very midst there dwell
Ten thousand thousand blacks, a wedge
Forged in the furnaces of hell,
And sharpened to a cruel edge
By wrong and by injustice fell,
And driven by hatred as a sledge.

A wedge so slender at the start--
Just twenty slaves in shackles bound--
And yet, which split the land apart
With shrieks of war and battle sound,
Which pierced the nation's very heart,
And still lies cankering in the wound.

Not all the glory of your pride,
Preserved in story and in song,
Can from the judging future hide,
Through all the coming ages long,
That though you bravely fought and died,
You fought and died for what was wrong.

'Tis fixed--for them that violate
The eternal laws, naught shall avail
Till they their error expiate;
Nor shall their unborn children fail
To pay the full required weight
Into God's great, unerring scale.

Think not repentance can redeem,
That sin his wages can withdraw;
No, think as well to change the scheme
Of worlds that move in reverent awe;
Forgiveness is an idle dream,
God is not love, no, God is law.

Submitted: Friday, April 02, 2010

Form:


Do you like this poem?
1 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Fragment by James Weldon Johnson )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Death is Nothing at All, Henry Scott Holland
  5. If, Rudyard Kipling
  6. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  7. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  9. Warning, Jenny Joseph
  10. The Character of a Happy Life, Sir Henry Wotton

Poem of the Day

poet Oliver Wendell Holmes

WHAT flower is this that greets the morn,
Its hues from Heaven so freshly born?
With burning star and flaming band
It kindles all the sunset land:
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. Life-death bicycle, gajanan mishra
  2. Broken Not Forgotten, Melissa Furey
  3. 2 ReaD A LinE Or 2 - Sh# ThaT they $mOkE.., sEaN nOrTh
  4. The Past, Sari Mavi
  5. winter clothes, Eric Ericson
  6. Sonnet11: 'Whose Mistresses These Are? '.., Pijush Biswas
  7. Deep in vogue, Stephen Brian Brady
  8. Deep into the Sea, Reagan A. Latumbo
  9. Save the girls, gajanan mishra
  10. Awaiting For Spring, Rimni chakravarty
[Hata Bildir]