The dawn of his life was a humble one,
never able to enjoy his mother’s presence,
probably the child of his master,
but raised only by misery.
He and other children were given few clothes,
much less beds or blankets.
The cold served as punishment,
for the wretched children of slavery.
Much too young, he was a witness to whipping,
to the cruel face of his condition.
He then passed through a blood-stained gate,
into a world made for the hopeless.
His fellow slaves often sung,
their songs said to show contentment.
Rather, they were an expression of greatest sorrow,
of a life entirely without happiness.
Fate gave this boy a chance,
through deliverance to Baltimore.
Even if he was still a slave,
this new opportunity was kindly met.
Here, over the course of time,
the young slave learned to read.
From it he expected freedom,
it led him to regret.
For years his life was hell,
as he wished to be a freeman.
And his masters wished to whip from him this will,
but he made it known; he had not submitted.
Finally he managed to secure freedom,
in a manner he will not detail.
To do so would darken the pathway for others;
a more fiendish transaction he could not have committed.
To this cause he gives his life,
the cause of ceasing this barbarity, this disgrace.
But until the day slavery was made a crime,
He wanted nothing but deliverance for those in its hands.