The Poetical Works of Elizabeth Margaret Chandler/Our Father
- As the little fellow walked by the side of my horse, I asked him if there was any church that the slaves attended on Sunday. He said no, there was none near enough, and he had never seen one. I asked him if he knew where people went to when they died, and was much affected with the simple, earnest look, with which he pointed to the sky, as he replied, 'To Fader, dere.' —Adam Hodgson.
That dearest name! ay, even thou, poor slave, may'st lift thine eye,
Nor dread a chilling glance of scorn will meet thee from the sky:
Go bend the knee, and raise the soul, and lift thy hopes above,
The God of heaven is even to thee, a Father in his love.
The earth-worm, man, may crush thee down to slavery and shame,
And in his puny pride usurp a master's haughty name;
But He, Lord God Omnipotent, disdaineth not to bear
A parent's cherish'd name to thee, to yield a parent's care.
And thou, with childlike confidence, may'st spring to his embrace,
Nor shrink in shame before the glance of that paternal face;
Thou art not yet an ingrate vile—thou hast not, in thy pride,
Return'd him falsehood for his love,—his holiest laws defied.
Thou never like a thief hast spoil'd the nurslings of his fold;
Thou ne'er hast given thy brother's form to be enslaved and sold;
No wrathful thunders seem, to thee, to clothe his vengeful arm,
Nor fearful lightnings in his eye, awake thy wild alarm.
Our Father! oh how deeply dear that holy name should be—
How should we love the meanest one, who thus may call on Thee!
And yet—thou Just and Righteous God! if thou wert not our sire,
Long since we had been swept away by thy consuming ire.