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Tonight!

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G. W. C.

Tonight the bondman, Lord,
Is bleeding in his chains;
And loud the falling lash is heard,
On Carolina's plains?

Tonight is heard the shriek
Of pain and anguish wild;
And one by one her heart-strings break,
As Rachel mourns her child!

Tonight, with stealthy tread,
While doors and locks are barr'd,
The slave devours the crumb of bread,
The dogs left in the yard!

Tonight, in swamp or brake,
The fugitive, Oh God!
Hears baying blood-hounds on his track,
Eager to drink his blood!

Oh, may no cloud arise
To hide the Pole-star's ray,
Which smiles, and beckons from the skies,
To cheer him on his way.

Whilst he pursues his flight
With bleeding heart and limb —
Shall we petition Thee, tonight,
And not remember him?

O God! do thou provide,
And sure assistance give;
And in thy dark pavilion hide,
The trembling fugitive.

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