Home > Uncategorized > “Bury Me in a Free Land” by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper – posted 10/1/2021

“Bury Me in a Free Land” by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper – posted 10/1/2021

I wanted to share this poem written by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) who was an abolitionist, an Underground Railroad conductor, a writer and cofounder of the National Association of Colored Women.

Make me a grave where’er you will,
In a lowly plain, or a lofty hill;
Make it among earth’s humblest graves,
But not in a land where men are slaves.

I could not rest if I heard the tread
Of coffee gang to the shambles led,
And the mother’s shriek of wild despair
Rise like a curse on the trembling air.

If I saw young girls from their mother’s arms
Bartered and sold for their youthful charms,
My eye would flash with a mournful flame,
My death-paled cheek grow red with shame.

I ask no monument, proud and high,
To arrest the gaze of passers-by;
All that my yearning spirit craves,
Is bury me not in a land of slaves.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. October 1, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    This is beautiful, but sad- as she died in a time when slavery was still a way of life for far too many. Thank you for writing about this amazing woman. Do you know where she is buried?

    • October 1, 2021 at 8:39 pm

      Thanks for writing. I do not know.

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