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1865 Washington, D.C. Celebration by the Colored People's Educational Monument Association in Memory of Abraham Lincoln


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Current Saved Transcription [history]


The stronger savage, aye, his task will shirk,

And make the weaker woman do his work.

The conquering soldier came, in time, to yield

Part of his trophies of the battle-field;

Money, not mercy, prompted him to save

His captive’s life, and sell him as a SLAVE !

Hence feuds were fanned to flame, and wars were waged,

Hosts rushed to conflict and the battle raged,

Not that each chief his foeman’s blood might spill;

His aim to capture, rather than to kill.

The victor spared the foe he might have slain,

Tied him with thongs or bound him with a chain,

And kept him toiling in his filed or fold,

Or to another gave him up for gold.

Thus Slavery came, by God and Man abhorred,

Its ugly parents—avarice and the sword.

Its only office, that hard work he shun,

Whereby all glory, all true wealth are won.

To real greatness man is never born.

Nor yet do idle hands fill Plenty’s horn.

The leaky craft, just on destruction’s brink,

Says to the seaman, “Work your pump or sink !”

The frozen field, beneath whose surface lie

Undug potatoes, says “Root hog, or die !”

And the first law by God imposed on man

Which, we have seen, in Paradise began,

Imposed to shield the race from want and vice,

And which, obeyed, makes earth a paradise,

Is clearly stated by the Apostle Paul,

In terms that must be understood by all;

And which, in one line we will here repeat:

“Who will not labor, neither let him eat.”

Slavery, reversing this divine command,

Lifts to insulted heaven her lily hand,

Waving her sword or brandishing her dirk,

And swears that she will neither starve nor work;

And hence has striven this ordinance to fix,

For all the last four thousand of the six

Of our bright planet’s periods around the sun,

Since man on earth his race began to run,

Namely: “Regardless of the right or wrong,

“The weak shall labor to support the strong.

“Who labors not shall live on finest wheat,

Who labors not shall feast on fattest meat.

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