Folk Song Of The American Negro - Online Book

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other men whose thoughts, languages, and lives; whose very God were all strange and unknown. The whole panorama was so stupendous that these simple-minded children were cruelly crushed beneath its awful-ness. Welcome the spears of the enemy; welcome the savage wild beasts of the forests! They groped through the darkness toward the faintest gleam of light. To us, the sons of these pitiable heathen, who have seen greater miracles than the parting of the Eed Sea, the falling manna, the feeding of the five thousand, and the raising of the dead; to us who have seen the wrath of men praise Him, it is all plain. They wept and sowed in the darkness; we rejoice and reap in the light. Many of His ways are past finding out, but with the .question, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" we leave it all with Him, for�
"Deep in unfathomable mines,
Of never-failing skill, He treasures up his bright designs, And works his sovereign will."
Those broken-hearted strangers soon accepted the situation they could not change, and unlike the ancient Hebrews who hung their harps upon the willows and sat weeping by the rivers of Babylon, they, through their bitter tears sang a sweet song, a weird song, a new song in a strange land.
Why these men who had just cause for rebellion against a fate so cruel and whose struggle for freedom would have been applauded by all who believed in right and justice; why these men who through centuries of living with nature and amidst perils had grown mighty of limb and of courage, chose to sing and not to curse, from a human standpoint is akin to miracle. It is one of those psychic phenomena which show the inscrutible workings of the Creator. Whatever the force that led them to bless and curse not, one thing we do know; the New World heard his song, listened, wept, and rejoiced as the strange musician play a sympathetic accompaniment upon the heart�strings of human kind. When the Trojans fled from their burning city to make a new home in Italy, they left all save their household gods. When the Hebrews went into captivity they could not sing, but they wept when they remembered Zion. They carried Jehovah their God into a strange land. When the Africans were snatched away to the new world to fell the forest and cultivate the fields, they 2