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  The Cry Of The Karens  

 

A voice from the distant East--
    A voice from a far-off shore--
A voice from the perishing tribes of Earth
    Has wandered the blue seas o'er!
It comes with a lingering cry,
    With a wail of anguish and pain,--
"O brothers,--our brothers!--why
    Do we look for you still in vain?

"We are weary,--we droop,--we die!
    We grope in the deepening gloom!
We look above with despairing eye!
    We drop in the yawning tomb!
Our children stretch their hands
    Far over the waters blue,
And vainly cry from our darkened lands--
    Alas, how long--for you!

"Brothers! do ye not keep
    Our law of the olden time,
For which, through ages of woe, we weep
    In darkness, and sin, and crime?
There are sails from the distant West
    Dotting our waters blue,
And the feet of strangers our shores have pressed,
    But they came not, alas, from you!

"We know there's a God above,
    We know there's a land of rest,--
But there's naught that whispers of pard'ning love
    To our spirits by guilt oppressed!
We call to the earth below,--
    To the calm, unanswering heaven,--
But no voice replies to our cry of woe
    That can tell us of sins forgiven!

"And yet we look and wait,
    With sorrowing hearts and sore,
If haply we may behold, though late,
    Your sails from the western shore;--
O, come with that precious word
    We lost in the far-off years,
And tell us the voice of woe is heard,
    And God has beheld our tears!"

       - Mrs. J. C. Yule


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