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Scholarly Editing

The Annual of the Association for Documentary Editing

2013, Volume 34

"Will not these days be by thy poets sung": Poems of the Anglo-African and National Anti-Slavery Standard, 1863–1864

Edited by Elizabeth Lorang and R. J. Weir
page 1 page 2 page 3 page 4
Complete Issue: The Anglo-African (7 November 1863)
[Unsigned], "The Two Southern Mothers" The Anglo-African (7 November 1863): [1]View Poem Image
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Heard you not the din of battle, Cannon's roar and musket's rattle, Clash of sword and shriek of shell, Victor's shot and vanquished's yell?
Saw you not yon scene of slaughter, Human blood poured out like water; Northern valor, Southern pride, Stern resolve on either side?
Cheering on his flagging men, Rallying to the charge again, Comes a bullet charged with grief, Strikes the brave Confederate chief.
Down he falls, amid the strife, Horses trampling out his life; Scarce can his retreating force Find and save his mangled corse.
Home they bore him to his mother— He was all she had—none other: Woful mother! who can borrow Words to paint her frantic sorrow?
As she mourned her slaughtered brave, Came and spake her aged slave— Came and spake with solemn brow: "Misses, we is even, now.
"I had ten, and you had one; Now we're even—all are gone; Not one left to bury either— Slave and mistress mourn together.
"Every one of mine you sold Now your own lies stark and cold: To the just Avenger bow— Missis! I forgive you now."
Thus she spoke, that sable mother; Shuddering, quailed and crouched the other. Yea! although it tarry long, Payment shall be made for wrong![2]


  1. "The Two Southern Mothers" appeared in the Continental Monthly of November 1863. The poem was unsigned in its Continental Monthly printing, but the cumulative index to volume 4 of the journal (July–December 1863) identifies Isabella Macfarlane as the poem's author.Go back
  2. The final two lines of the poem are possibly a biblical allusion or an allusion to other religious literature; however, the source or reference of the allusion is unknown.Go back