A Hymn to the Peoples

by W. E. B. Du Bois

O Truce of God!
And primal meeting of the Sons of Man,
Foreshadowing the union of the World!
From all the ends of earth we come!
Old Night, the elder sister of the Day,
Mother of Dawn in the golden East,
Meets in the misty twilight with her brood,
Pale and black, tawny, red and brown,
The mighty human rainbow of the world,
Spanning its wilderness of storm.

Softly in sympathy the sunlight falls,
Rare is the radiance of the moon;
And on the darkest midnight blaze the stars—
The far-flown shadows of whose brilliance
Drop like a dream on the dim shores of Time,
Forecasting Days that are to these
As day to night.

So sit we all as one.
So, gloomed in tall and stone-swathed groves,
The Buddha walks with Christ!
And Al-Koran and Bible both be holy!

Almighty Word!
In this Thine awful sanctuary,
First and flame-haunted City of the Widened World,
Assoil us, Lord of Lands and Seas!

We are but weak and wayward men,
Distraught alike with hatred and vainglory;
Prone to despise the Soul that breathes within—
High visioned hordes that lie and steal and kill,
Sinning the sin each separate heart disclaims,
Clambering upon our riven, writhing selves,
Besieging Heaven by trampling men to Hell!

We be blood-guilty! Lo, our hands be red!
Not one may blame the other in this sin!
But here—here in the white Silence of the Dawn,
Before the Womb of Time,
With bowed hearts all flame and shame,
We face the birth-pangs of a world:
We hear the stifled cry of Nations all but born—
The wail of women ravished of their stunted brood!
We see the nakedness of Toil, the poverty of Wealth,
We know the Anarchy of Empire, and doleful Death of Life!
And hearing, seeing, knowing all, we cry:

Save us, World-Spirit, from our lesser selves!
Grant us that war and hatred cease,
Reveal our souls in every race and hue!
Help us, O Human God, in this Thy Truce,
To make Humanity divine!



SOURCE: Du Bois, W. E. B. "A Hymn to the Peoples," African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 28, Number 2, October 1911; reprinted in Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1920).


W. E. B. Du Bois on Religion

Race, Equality of Intellect, & the History of Civilization
(extract from From “Superman” to Man)
by J. A. Rogers

First Universal Races Congress, London, July 26-29, 1911: Selected Bibliography

Black Studies, Music, America vs Europe Study Guide

Atheism / Freethought / Humanism / Ethical Culture / Rationalism / Agnosticism / Skepticism / Unbelief / Secularism / Church-State Separation Web Links

Offsite:

W. E. B. Du Bois on Reason & Society blog

Darkwater : W E B Du Bois . org


Home Page | Site Map | What's New | Coming Attractions | Book News
Bibliography | Mini-Bibliographies | Study Guides | Special Sections
My Writings | Other Authors' Texts | Philosophical Quotations
Blogs | Images & Sounds | External Links

CONTACT Ralph Dumain

Uploaded 5 February 2011

Site ©1999-2011 Ralph Dumain