When first my bosom glowed with hope, I gazed as from a mountaintop On some delightful plain; But oh! How transient was the scene-It fled as though it had not been, And all my hopes were vain.
How oft this tantalizing blaze Has led me through deception’s maze; My friends became my foe-Then like a plaintive dove I mourned; To bitter all my sweets were turned, And tears began to flow.
Why was the dawning of my birth Upon this vile, accursed earth, Which is but pain to me? Oh! That my soul had winged its flight, When I first saw the morning light, To worlds of liberty.
Come, melting Pity, from afar, And break this vast, enormous bar Between a wretch and thee; Purchase a few short days of time And bid a vassal rise sublime On wings of liberty.
Is it because my skin is black, That thou should’st be so dull and slack, And scorn to set me free? Then let me hasten to the grave, The only refuge for the slave, who mourns for liberty.
The wicked cease from troubling there: No more I’d languish in despair-The weary there can rest! Oppression’s voice is heard no more, Drudg’ry and pain and toil are o’er, Yes! There I shall be blest!
Published in The Liberator, March 29, 1834
George Moses Horton