An enslaved poet on slavery

An essay on Slavery, with justification to Divine
providence, that God Rules over all things
Written by Jupiter Hammon

1
Our forefathers came from Africa
Tost over the raging main
To a Christian shore there for to stay
And not return again.

2
Dark and dismal was the Day
When slavery began
All humble thoughts were put away
Then slaves were made by Man.

3
When God doth please for to permit
That slavery should be
It is our duty to submit
Till Christ shall make us free

4
Come let us join with one consent
With humble hearts and say
For every sin we must repent
And walk in wisdom’s way.

5
If we are free we’ll pray to God
If we are slaves the same
It’s firmly fixt in his [holy] word
Ye shall not pray in vain.

6
Come blessed Jesus in thy Love
And hear thy children cry
And send them smiles now from above
And grant them Liberty.

7
Tis thou alone can make us free
We are thy subjects too
Pray give us grace to bend a knee
The time we stay below.

8
Tis unto thee we look for all
Thou art our only King
Thou hast the power to save the soul
And bring us flocking in.

9
We come as sinners unto thee
We know thou hast the word
Come blessed Jesus make us free
And bring us to our God.

10
Although we are in Slavery
We will pray unto our God
He hath mercy beyond the sky
Tis in his holy word.

11
Come unto me ye humble souls
Although you live in strife
I keep alive and save the soul
And give eternal life.

12
To all that do repent of sin
Be they bond or free
I am their saviour and their king
They must come unto me.

13
Hear the words now of the Lord
The call is loud and certain
We must be judged by his word
Without respect of person.

14
Come let us seek his precepts now
And love his holy word
With humble soul we’ll surely bow
And wait the great reward.

15
Although we came from Africa
We look unto our God
To help our hearts to sigh and pray
And Love his holy word.

16
Although we are in slavery
Bound by the yoke of Man
We must always have a single eye
And do the best we can.

17
Come let us join with humble voice
Now on the christian shore
If we will have our only choice
Tis slavery no more.

18
Now [?] let us not repine
And say his wheels are slow
He can fill our hearts with things divine
And give us freedom too.

19
He hath the power all in his hand
And all he doth is right
And if we are tide [sic] to the yoke of man
We’ll pray with all might.

20
This the state of thousands now
Who are on the christian shore
Forget the Lord to whom we bow
And think of him no more.

21
When shall we hear the joyfull sound
Echo the christian shore
Each humble voice with songs resound
That slavery is no more.

22
Then shall we rejoice and sing
Loud praises to our God
Come sweet Jesus heavenly king
The art the son Our Lord.

23
We are thy children blessed Lord
Tho still in slavery
We’ll seek thy precepts Love thy word
Untill the day we Die.

24
Come blessed Jesus hear us now
And teach our hearts to pray
And seek the Lord to whom we bow
Before tribunal day.

25
Now glory be unto our God
All praise be justly given
Come seek his precepts love his works
That is the way to Heaven.

Composed by Jupiter Hammon
A Negro Man belonging to Mr John Lloyd
Queens Village on Long Island
November 10th 1786

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