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

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

What do you think this poem is about?



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..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Naked, Harold R Hunt Sr
  2. Control Freak, Chris Broast Broast
  3. Love Poison, Harold R Hunt Sr
  4. Mandatory, michael walkerjohn
  5. A Kiss for advice., Harold R Hunt Sr
  6. Sentence Bouquets, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  7. Love's Voice, michael walkerjohn
  8. On My Way To River, Fatima Nusairat
  9. Encompassing Wisdom, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  10. Pia Pium Sermo, michael walkerjohn

Poem of the Day

poet Sir John Suckling

Dost see how unregarded now
That piece of beauty passes?
There was a time when I did vow
To that alone;
But mark the fate of faces;
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Elizabeth Bishop

 

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. Poetry, Pablo Neruda
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  5. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  6. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  7. If, Rudyard Kipling
  8. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
  10. The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]