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Herman Melville: Formerly A Slave (Poem)

  

Formerly A Slave

The sufferance of her race is shown,
And retrospect of life,
Which now too late deliverance dawns upon;
Yet is she not at strife.

Her children’s children they shall know
The good withheld from her;
And so her reverie takes prophetic cheer–
In spirit she sees the stir.

Far down the depth of thousand years,
And marks the revel shine;
Her dusky face is lit with sober light,
Sibylline, yet benign.

Herman Melville
(1819 – 1891)
Formerly A Slave

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