Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Colored Heroes, Hark The Bugle

DuSable Museum of African-American History

Colored heroes seek your standard,
 Know you not the foemen's near,
Know you not how they'll enslave you,
 You and yours, who are so dear.
Gather then, combine for freedom,
 Fight for that and bravely die,
Only cowards turn their faces.
 Cowards they, who turn and fly.

Colored heroes, hark, your masters
 Have combined and are as one,
They have sworn they will enslave you,
 Will you now the battle shun?
Gather then, combine for freedom,
 Wealth would claim you 'till you die,
Only cowards turn their faces,
 Cowards they, who turn and fly.

Colored heroes, get your armor,
 Each be worthy of the name,
Better far than be a coward,
 You be numbered with the slain.
Gather then, combine for freedom,
 They would crush you till you die,
Only cowards turn their faces,
 Cowards they, who turn and fly.

Colored heroes, hark the bugle.
 O'er the land sounds the alarm,
Bravely charge the foemen's trenches,
 On each breast there is a charm.
Gather then, combine for freedom,
 Prejudice will have to die,
'Tis but cowards turn their faces,
 Cowards they, who turn and fly.


Robert Charles O’Hara Benjamin


Also known as, Colored Heroes, Hark The Bugle (Political), this poem by Robert Charles O’Hara Benjamin (1855-1900) first appeared in the Pittsburgh Citizen in 1882. The author of many books on racial equality, Benjamin also produced a slender volume of poetry in 1883 Poetic Gems. Benjamin was murdered trying to register black voters in Lexington, Kentucky. His killer, Michael Moynihan, was set free under the pretense of justifiable homicide.