Words by Crary. Music by G. W. C.
At dead of night, when others sleep,
Near Hell I took my station,
And from that dungeon, dark and deep,
O'erheard this conversation:
"Hail, Prince of Darkness, ever hail,
Adored by each infernal,
I come among your gang to wail,
And taste of death eternal."
"Where are you from" the fiend demands,
"What makes you look so frantic?
Are you from Carolina's strand,
Just west of the Atlantic?
"Are you that man of blood and birth,
Devoid of human feeling?
The wretch I saw, when last on earth,
In human cattle dealing?
"Whose soul, with blood and rapine stain'd,
With deeds of crime to dark it;
Who drove God's image, starved and chained,
To sell like beasts in market?
"Who tore the infant from the breast,
That you might sell its mother?
Whose craving mind could never rest,
Till you had sold a brother?
"Who gave the sacrament to those
Whose chains and handcuffs rattle?
Whose backs soon after felt the blows,
More heavy than thy cattle?"
"I'm from the South," the ghost replies,
"And I was there a teacher;
Saw men in chains, with laughing eyes;
I was a Southern Preacher?
"In tasselled pulpits, gay and fine,
I strove to please the tyrants,
To prove that slavery is divine,
And what the Scripture warrants.
"And when I saw the horrid sight,
Of slaves by tortures dying,
And told their masters all was right,
I knew that I was lying.
"I knew all this, and who can doubt,
I felt a sad misgiving?
But still, I knew, if I spoke out,
That I should lose my living
"They made me fat, they paid me well,
To preach down abolition.
I slept — I died — I woke in Hell,
How altered my condition!
"I now am in a sea of fire,
Whose fury ever rages
I am a slave, and can't get free,
Through everlasting ages.
"Yes! when the sun and moon shall fade,
And fire the rocks dissever,
I must sink down beneath the shade,
And feel God's wrath for ever.
Our Ghost stood trembling all the while —
He saw the scene transpiring;
With soul aghast and visage sad,
All hope was now retiring.
The Demon cried on vengence bent,
"I say, in haste retire!
And you shall have a negro sent
To attend and punch the fire."