Black History Month: Frances Harper—Words for the Hour
Men of the North! it is no time To quit the battle-field; When danger fronts your rear and van It is no time to yield. No time to bend the battle's crest Before the wily foe, And, ostrich-like, to hide your heads From the impending blow. The minions of a baffled wrong Are marshalling their clan; Rise up! rise up enchanted North! And strike for God and man. This is no time for careless ease; No time for idle sleep; Go light the fires in every camp, And solemn sentries keep. The foe you foiled upon the field Has only changed his base; New dangers crowd around you And stare you in the face. O Northern men! within your hands Is held no common trust; Secure the victories won by blood When treason bit the dust. ['T]is yours to banish from the land Oppression's iron rule; And o'er the ruined auction block Erect the common school. To wipe from labor's branded brow The curse that shamed the land, And teach the Freedman how to wield The ballot in his hand. This is the nation's golden hour, Nerve every heart and hand, To build on Justice as a rock, The future of the land. True to your trust, oh, never yield One citadel of right! With Truth and Justice clasping hands Ye yet shall win the fight!
In celebration of Black History Month, we will post an inspirational cultural item each day.