When Egypt said, 'Exterminate
The males among the Jews,
Fair Goshen's land make desolate
And bid them glad adieus:'
The darkest hour then was brought
Upon their slavery,
But God came down, with Egypt fought,
And made the bondsmen free.
No means of peace within the bout
Could pay the price—'tis plain—
The measure they had meted out
Was measured back again.
For blood of Hebrews had been spilt,
And justice did demand
Egyptian blood to cleanse the guilt—
The firstborn of the land!
America! how canst thou tell
Thy tale of bondage sore?
How blood as rain from Negroes fell,
Till many were no more!
The blood of Negroes cried so loud,
For vengeance from the ground,
Till clouds of sorrow wept and bowed
And heaven's anger frowned.
No peaceful means, 'tis understood,
Could end the dread affray;
For justice cried, 'Slave-owners' blood
In war the debt shall pay!'
The Negroes of the country now
Are held in open scorn,
To other peoples forced to bow,
Though often higher born.
To lynch a Negro is no crime,
The courts of justice say;
And so 'tis done at any time,
A mob may set a day.
The night is darkest near the dawn,
The voice of nature speaks;
The blood that's from the Negroes drawn
A retribution seeks.
'Revenge is mine, I will repay,'
The God of right declares.
The savage mob, with regal sway
A nation's curse prepares.
America! a warning take,
Repent! forsake the wrong!
Thine evil ways at once forsake,
Thy time cannot be long!
The morning star begins to rise,
The darkest night dispels,
Its ray of hope illumes the skies,
And precious dawn foretells.
America! rouse up! awake!
For God is living still,
Who will of wrong a sample make,
When sin has drunk its fill!
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Comments about this poem (Retribution by Lizelia Augusta Jenkins Moorer )
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