National African American History Month, Day 26: President Lincoln’s Proclamation of Freedom by Frances E. W. Harper
IT shall flash through coming ages;
It shall light the distant years;
And eyes now dim with sorrow
Shall be clearer through their tears.
It shall flush the mountain ranges;
And the valleys shall grow bright;
It shall bathe the hills in radiance,
And crown their brows with light.
It shall flood with golden splendor
All the huts of Caroline,
And the sun-kissed brow of labor
With lustre new shall shine.
It shall gild the gloomy prison,
Darken’d by the nation’s crime,
Where the dumb and patient millions
Wait the better coming time.
By the light that gilds their prison,
They shall seize its mould’ring key,
And the bolts and bars shall vibrate
With the triumphs of the free.
Like the dim and ancient chaos,
Shrinking from the dawn of light,
Oppression, grim and hoary,
Shall cower at the sight.
And her spawn of lies and malice
Shall grovel in the dust,
While joy shall thrill the bosoms
Of the merciful and just.
Though the morning seemed to linger
O’er the hill-tops far away,
Now the shadows bear the promise
Of the quickly coming day.
Soon the mists and murky shadows
Shall be fringed with crimson light,
And the glorious dawn of freedom
Break refulgent on the sight.