First published in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's pamphlet Poems on Slavery, Cambridge: John Owen, 1842.
In Ocenn's widc domains, Half buriud in the sands, Lic skeletons in chains, With shackled feet and hnndi. Bcyond the fall of dews, Dceper tlinn jilummct lic, Float ships, with all their crowa, Ko more to si uk or rise. There the black slavc -sliip swimt, Freighted with human forma, Whose iettered, fleshless Iimbs Are not the sport of atorms. These are tlio boncs of slavcs; They gleam froni the abyss, 7'hey cry. from yawning wavea, "Wc are the Witnesscs!"Within Earth's wide domains Are markets for nien's Ã¼ves; Their nccks are gallcd with chains, Their wrists are cramped with gyvej. ,bead bodies, that the kito, ]n deserta, innkca its prey; iVIurders, that with affright Scaro schoolboyo Irom thoir play! All evil thoughis and doeds; Angcr, and lust, and prido; The foulest, rankest wecds, Tliat Chokc Life'a groaniny tidu! These are the woes of slaves; Tliey glare from the abyss: They cry frÃ³m unknovvn gravea, "We die the Witnesses!"