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T. Thomas Fortune, the Afro-American AgitatorA Collection of Writings, 1880-1928$

Shawn Leigh Alexander

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780813032320

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813032320.001.0001

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(p.xlii) Prescript

(p.xlii) Prescript

Our Fortune

T. Thomas Fortune, the Afro-American Agitator
University Press of Florida

  • Great warrior, seared and battle scarred
  • By conflicts rife, prolonged and hard,
  • Why sheathe thy sword?
  • But now we hear the distant peal,
  • And see the awful flash of steel
  • Of servile hordes.
  • Emboldened by the painful pause,
  • Of thy great work in freedom's cause;
  • For thee they feared.
  • In thee they saw a master mind,
  • Too brave to cringe and stand behind
  • A hireling herd.
  • When yellow journals's torrid breath,
  • Surcharged the sulphurous air with death,
  • We did not fear.
  • We could exclaim, although the blast
  • The old ship threatened shroud and mast:
  • “Fortune is there!”
  • A helmsman seasoned, true as steel,
  • Who never quakes in woe or weal;
  • We'sll not despair!
  • Blow wind, let waves leap mountain high;
  • High;
  • Let lightnings flash athwart the sky;
  • “Fortune is there!”
  • The Saxon had no task to lead
  • His own; in duty bound to heed
  • His stern commands
  • To rise, and in one solid band,
  • Unite to keep their native land
  • In Saxon hands.
  • (p.xliii) ’Twas thine the work to educate,
  • And lift thine own from low estate—
  • From bondage free.
  • Fetters of unbelief to break,
  • Race pride and courage to awake,
  • Thy worth to see.
  • The NEW YORK AGE from age to age
  • Must live; a legacy each page.
  • Although thy magic pen may rust,
  • The hand which grasped it turn to dust,
  • Thy heroic service, manner, bold,
  • In grateful hearts shall ne'ser grow old.
  • A crown of glory be thy need.
  • With Dana, Godwin, Greeley, Reed,
  • Thy name upon the deathless scroll
  • Must live till ages cease to roll.
  • “Jack Thorne,” Brooklyn, November 6, 1907, New York Age, November 7, 1907