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Anti-Slavery Poems
Hymn: "O Holy Father! Just and true"

by John Greenleaf Whittier

Written for the celebration of the third anniversary of British
emancipation at the Broadway Tabernacle, New York, first of August,
1837.

O Holy Father! just and true
Are all Thy works and words and ways,
And unto Thee alone are due
Thanksgiving and eternal praise!

As children of Thy gracious care,
We veil the eye, we bend the knee,
With broken words of praise and prayer,
Father and God, we come to Thee.

For Thou hast heard, O God of Right,
The sighing of the island slave;
And stretched for him the arm of might,
Not shortened that it could not save.
The laborer sits beneath his vine,
The shackled soul and hand are free;
Thanksgiving! for the work is Thine!
Praise! for the blessing is of Thee!

And oh, we feel Thy presence here,
Thy awful arm in judgment bare!
Thine eye hath seen the bondman's tear;
Thine ear hath heard the bondman's prayer.
Praise! for the pride of man is low,
The counsels of the wise are naught,
The fountains of repentance flow;
What hath our God in mercy wrought?

Speed on Thy work, Lord God of Hosts
And when the bondman's chain is riven,
And swells from all our guilty coasts
The anthem of the free to Heaven,
Oh, not to those whom Thou hast led,
As with Thy cloud and fire before,
But unto Thee, in fear and dread,
Be praise and glory evermore.
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