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  A Story Of The Rebellion  

 

The treacherous sands had caught our boat,
     And held it with a strong embrace
And death at our imprisoned crew
     Was sternly looking face to face.

With anxious hearts, but failing strength,
     We strove to push the boat from shore;
But all in vain, for there we lay
     With bated breath and useless oar.

Around us in a fearful storm
     The fiery hail fell thick and fast;
And we engirded by the sand,
     Could not return the dreadful blast.

When one arose upon whose brow
     The ardent sun had left his trace,
A noble purpose strong and high
     Uplighting all his dusky face.

Perchance within that fateful hour
     The wrongs of ages thronged apace;
But with it came the glorious hope
     Of swift deliverance to his race.

Of galling chains asunder rent,
     Of severed hearts again made one,
Of freedom crowning all the land
     Through battles gained and victories won.

"Some one," our hero firmly said,
     "Must die to get us out of this;"
Then leaped upon the strand and bared
     His bosom to the bullets' hiss.

"But ye are soldiers, and can fight,
     May win in battles yet unfought;
I have no offering but my life,
     And if they kill me it is nought."

With steady hands he grasped the boat,
     And boldly pushed it from the shore;
Then fell by rebel bullets pierced,
     His life work grandly, nobly o'er.

Our boat was rescued from the sands
     And launched in safety on the tide;
But he our comrade good and grand,
     In our defence had bravely died.

       - Frances E. W. Harper


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