Harriet and the Promised Land

By Jacob Lawrence

 

Harriet, Harriet, born a slave,

Work for your master from your cradle to your grave.

 

Harriet, clean; Harriet, sweep;

Harriet, rock the child to sleep.

 

Harriet, hear tell about the Promised Land,

How Moses led the slaves over Egypt's sand.

 

How Pharoah's heart was hard as stone,

How the Lord told Moses, he was not alone.

 

Harriet, pray to the Lord at night

For strength to free your people when the time is right.

 

Harriet, grow bigger; Harriet, grow stronger.

Harriet, work harder; Harriet, work longer.

 

Then,,, Harriet got the sign that the time was right.

She cried, "Brothers! Sisters! I'll lead you tonight!"

 

The North Star shone to light Harriet's way

And they marched by night, and they marched by day.

 

Some were afraid, but none turned back,

For close at their heels howled the bloodhound pack.

 

A snake said, "Hiss!" An owl said, "Whoo!"

Harriet said, "We are coming through!"

 

A runaway slave, with a price on her head,

"I'll be free," said Harriet, "or I'll be dead!"

 

She said, "Believe in the Lord!" She said, "Believe in me1"

She said, "Brothers! Sisters! We're going to be free!"

 

They slept in the barn with the barnyard fowl,

And Harriet kept watch like a barnyard owl..

 

Good people gave them food to eat,

And a place to rest their weary feet.

 

They gave Harriet chickens to disguise

The runaway slave from spying eyes.

 

The the North wind howled like a bloodhound pack,

But none were afraid, and none turned back.

 

Harriet led them 'cross the snow toward the Promised Land,

As Moses led his people 'cross the burning sand.

 

They marched through the cold, they marched through the heat,

And the only sound was their marching feet/

 

Now they marched by day, now they marched by night.

Still the Promised Land was not in sight.

 

Now Harriet grew weary, and sick at heart,

And the Lord sent Harriet a chariot!

 

The chariiot was sent by the Lord's own hand,

And Harriet rode the chariot to the Promised Land!

 

Harriet, Harriet, born to be free,

Led her people to liberty!