Mudcat Café message #4094498 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #169413   Message #4094498
Posted By: Felipa
23-Feb-21 - 05:00 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Song of the Fugitive (slave song)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Away to Canada (slave song)
Away to Canada
By Joshua McCarter Simpson
       Adapted to the case of Mr. S.,
         Fugitive from Tennessee.

Iím on my way to Canada,
That cold and dreary land;
The dire effects of slavery,
I can no longer stand.
My soul is vexed within me so,
To think that Iím a slave;
Iíve now resolved to strike the blow
For freedom or the grave.

       O righteous Father,
          Wilt thou not pity me?
       And aid me on to Canada,
          Where colored men are free.

I heard Victoria plainly say,
If we would all forsake
Our native land of slavery,
And come across the Lake.
That she was standing on the shore,
With arms extended wide,
To give us all a peaceful home,
Beyond the rolling tide.

       Farewell, old master!
          Thatís enough for meó
       Iím going straight to Canada,
          Where colored men are free.

I heard the old-soul driver say,
As he was passing by,
That darkeyís bound to run away,
I see it in his eye.
My heart responded to the charge,
And thought it was no crime;
And something seemed my mind to urge,
That nowís the very time.

       O! old driver,
          Donít you cry for me,
       Iím going up to Canada,
          Where colored men are free.

Grieve not, my wifeógrieve not for me,
O! do not break my heart,
For nought but cruel slavery
Would cause me to depart.
If I should stay to quell your grief,
Your grief I would augment;
For no one knows the day that we
Asunder might be rent.

       O! Susannah,
          Donít you cry for meó
       Iím going up to Canada,
          Where colored men are free.

I heard old master pray last nightó
I heard him pray for me;
That God would come, and in his might
From Satan set me free;
So I from Satan would escape,
And flee the wrath to comeó
If thereís a fiend in human shape,
Old master must be one.

       O! old master,
          While you pray for me,
       Iím doing all I can to reach
          The land of Liberty.

Ohioís not the place for me;
For I was much surprised,
So many of her sons to see
In garments of disguise.
Her name has gone out through the world,
Free Labor, Soil, and Men;
But slaves had better far be hurled
Into the Lionís Den.

       Farewell, Ohio!
          I am not safe in thee;
       Iíll travel on to Canada,
          Where colored men are free.

Iíve now embarked for yonder shore,
Where manís a man by law,
The vessel soon will bear me oíer,
To shake the Lionís paw.
I no more dread the Auctioneer,
Nor fear the masterís frowns,
I no more tremble when I hear
The beying negro-hounds.

       O! old Master,
          Donít think hard of meó
       Iím just in sight of Canada,
          Where colored men are free.

Iíve landed safe upon the shore,
Both soul and body free;
My blood and brain, and tears no more
Will drench old Tennesse.
But I behold the scalding tear,
Now stealing from my eye,
To think my wifeómy only dear,
A slave must live and die.

       O, Susannah!
          Donít grieve after meó
       For ever at a throne of grace,
          I will remember thee.

Source: African-American Poetry of the Nineteenth Century (University of Illinois Press, 1992)
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/52474/away-to-canada