The Fugitive's Wife.
It was my sad and weary lot.
To toil in slavery;
But one thing cheered my lowly cot--
My husband was with me.
One evening, as our children played
Around our cabin door,
I noticed on his brow a shade
I'd never seen before;
And in his eyes a gloomy night
Of anguish and despair;--
I gazed upon their troubled light,
To read the meaning there.
He strained me to his heaving heart--
My own beat wild with fear;
I knew not, but I sadly felt
There must be evil near.
He vainly strove to cast aside
The tears that fell like rain:--
Too frail, indeed, is manly pride,
To strive with grief and pain.
Again he clasped me to his breast,
And said that we must part:
I tried to speak--but, oh! it seemed
An arrow reached my heart.
"Bear not," I cried, "unto your grave,
The yoke you've borne from birth;
No longer live a helpless slave,
The meanest thing on earth!"
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper