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Lucy Anderson's Lament

A Negro slave is all I’ve ever been
Since snatched, branded with a red-hot poker
Stripped bare and whipped aboard lying unclean
Fettered and chained with an iron choker
Oh, Sweet Jesus, the things that I have seen
My poor mother they damned nearly broke her
With their rapin’, gropin’ and molestin’
Laughing at her piteous protestin’

At each auction, we were put on display
Stark naked for inspection by white folk
In fine clothes, as they have the right, they say
To see what they might buy. They prod and poke
We’re whipped if we try to keep them at bay
So hard at times the whips themselves near broke
Mammy’s breasts all wet with my tears to see
They whipped her so bad she let go of me

Thirteen babies torn from my leaking breasts
I look back now in utter disbelief
How could they ignore my tearful protests
Only the Dear Lord understands my grief
Just hope they’ve a soft life amusin’ guests
Or if harshly treated a life that’s brief
This is what’s done when sold in slavery
Inhuman wickedness, lust and knavery

After, I never saw my babes again
I’d no option but to try and survive
But how can I forget horror and pain?
One gentleman roasted his slave alive
Another buck died of thirst hung in chain
Ears cut off, cooked, force fed us. We connive
Else punished as they deem appropriate
Burned slow, feet upwards or, if men, castrate

Now, I long for the misery to end
Hoping for a glorious salvation
In the Promised Land where memories mend
Away from the hell of this plantation
In the hope that Our Lord’s love will transcend
Evil deeds deserving of damnation
But will you forgive them as we’re told to -
Or do unto them as they’ve done to you?