The Burdens Of All

We may sigh o’er the heavy burdens 
     Of the black, the brown and white; 
But if we all clasped hands together 
     The burdens would be more light. 
How to solve life’s saddest problems, 
     Its weariness, want and woe, 
Was answered by One who suffered 
     In Palestine long ago. 

He gave from his heart this precept, 
     To ease the burdens of men, 
“As ye would that others do to you 
     Do ye even so to them.” 
Life’s heavy, wearisome burdens 
     Will change to a gracious trust 
When men shall learn in the light of God 
     To be merciful and just. 

Where war has sharpened his weapons, 
     And slavery masterful had, 
Let white and black and brown unite 
     To build the kingdom of God. 
And never attempt in madness 
     To build a kingdom or state, 
Through greed of gold or lust of power, 
     On the crumbling stones of hate. 

The burdens will always he heavy, 
     The sunshine fade into night, 
Till mercy and justice shall cement 
     The black, the brown and the white. 
And earth shall answer with gladness, 
     The herald angel’s refrain, 
When “Peace on earth, good will to men” 
     Was the burden of their strain.

       – Frances E. W. Harper


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