Deep in the Black experience, and in Black Liberation Theology, is a longing for the home of our ancestors. Significance comes from both place and belonging: to be fully embraced in place that is truly home. This poem, written in 1890 by Bishop T. D. M. Ward, voices this longing.
By Bishop T. M. D. Ward.
We stand on life’s receding sands,
To lay our tribute at the feet
Of brothers who, in brighter lands,
We humbly hope to clasp and greet,
Whose sons stand up in distant climes,
And lay their honors at their feet;
The churches, with their thousand chimes,
Ring out their praises, rich and sweet
And millions on that blissful shore
Await the coming of our sires,
To meet when all life’s toil is o’er,
And stand amid the judgment fires.
Redeemed they stand, true to their Lord–
A saintly train, bright, strong and fair
Let all the land, with one accord,
With songs of triumph fill the air.
And distant Afric! from thy main,
With sea-girt islands, join the song,
And wild Atlantic swell the strain,
And tell of love than death more strong.
Published online by the Ohio History Connection