Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Raid

October 16

Langston Hughes

Perhaps today
You will recall John Brown.

John Brown
Who took his gun,
Took twenty-one companions
White and black,
Went to shoot your way to freedom
Where two rivers meet
And the hills of the North
And the hills of the South
Look slow at each another—
And died
For your sake.

Now that you are
Many years free,
And the echo of the Civil War
Has passed away,
And Brown himself
Has long been tried at law,
Hanged by the neck,
And buried in the ground—
Since Harper's Ferry
Is alive with ghosts today,
Immortal raiders
Come again to town—

Perhaps you will recall
John Brown.

Volunteer for Liberty (Oct. 14, 1937), p. 16