Lincoln's Way

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By: Wayne Brown

(My inspiration for this verse is drawn from the anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln and the remembrance of his efforts to right a listing ship and save a nation for all people.)



The blood, toil and sweat where prosperity rides


Does not always fill our American hearts with pride


For the dear freedoms sought from tyranny’s reign


We came to our world dragging a black man in chain



Large sailing vessels with galleys full of men for sale


Tied up in New Orleans; auction cries along the rail


Collared in chains and led away like sheep to slaughter


To pickin’ cotton bolls and fetchin’ white men water



They worked large fields; tended to all of life’s chores


Bowed heads in humility as white folks entered doors


Torn from their native lands and all their loved family


Bought and sold in a land called “the home of the free”



Lashes cut scars upon their backs; punishment to fear


A meager existence of being owned; no hope left here


A life doomed to base poverty and life-long daily toil


Looked upon as non-human; not worthy of this soil




Free men had argued and fought; bloodshed, lives lost


The long and bitter civil war froth with unbearable cost


Not really fought for whether men should be freed


But merely a political argument over the right to secede



It came down to a fight between the blue and the gray


As to who and what opinion might rule the future day


Men who were brothers donned weapons of death


While a torn nation stood watching holding its breath



The struggles; the stench of yet another bloody battlefield


How much more suffering and loss could ol’ death yield?


Gettysburg, Vicksburg in siege; Sherman burning the south


Hatred, violence, death spewed forth from the devil’s mouth



Then one rainy Virginia morning; General Lee held forth his hand


Asking that the fighting and killing be halted across this great land


Let peace come upon us; let our torn hearts begin their mend


And may we never take up arms brother against brother again



Abe Lincoln stood before a deeply bloodied and divided nation


Issuing forth a decree; his The Emancipation Proclamation


Trying to right things gone wrong to the way they should be


Declaring that God made all mankind with the right to be free



Lincoln declared freedom’s call in all his humble humility


Calling for healing and declaring the black man to be free


Throwing aside the enslavement; the cages and the chains


And begging all Americans to cast aside this ugly stain



Over 150 years later, there are still scars there to discover


Sometimes the ugly stain bleeds right through the colors


The fight for freedom continues into this modern day


As we as a nation still follow the light of Abe Lincoln’s way



©Copyright WBrown2013. All Rights Reserved.


12 February 2013


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Comments 32 comments

PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 3 years ago from Florida

President Lincoln is my favorite President. I read everything about him in Elementary school that was in our library. And I am still reading about him.

I will never understand how anyone lived through the difficult and mean times of our county when one man could enslave another.

An awesome poem. I am one of your fans.

Bobbi Hunter


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 3 years ago from Texas Author

@PurvisBobbi44...Thanks much, Bobbi. Lincoln never held himself in high regard but seemed to have a strong sense of what was right and just along with the courage to pursue it. All presidents would be blessed to have such a legacy associated with their name. Thanks much for a great comment. ~WB


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Excellent message, Wayne, about my favorite President. I don't think there was another leader in this country who had the problems that he faced. I was always amazed at his humility and like you mentioned, the fact that he did not hold himself in high regard. An amazing man for sure.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Thanks for this on this great day of remembrance. How can we now be stingy with our dedication and devotion to keep this nation strong? We are blessed to have come so long after, yet responsible for standing tall so that the memory and our land remain free.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 3 years ago from Texas Author

@billybuc...I think Lincoln must have had a great sense of what the Founding Fathers had laid before us and realized how it could not be lost over one issue. In one sense, those enslaved were winners but questionable winners at the time no less. In Lincoln's mind it could not have been about winning or losing so much as it was about the hypocracy of slavery in a nation launched on the freedom of man and the potential that such a fight would erode the very foundation of that nation. Thanks much, glad you liked it. ~WB

@Ericdierker...Lincoln must have been a "thinker" as he seemed to possess great wisdom in terms of the actions of mankind and the consequences of those actions. I cannot imagine the result of the Civil War had he not been President at the time. Thanks much. ~WB


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

This is a powerful poem, Wayne, and an appropriate tribute to one of our greatest presidents, a true hero. Like you, I cannot imagine the result of the Civil War (or the resulting direction of the U.S.) had he not been president then.

Voted Up+++ and shared

Jaye


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 3 years ago from Texas Author

@JayeWisdom....Thanks very much....glad you appreciate it. ~WB


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 3 years ago from Great Britain

Fabulous hub. I´ve been fascinated by the new film out, just called Lincoln. I´d love to see it if it´s accurate.

You brought him alive to me here. Thank you.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 3 years ago from Texas Author

@Dim Flaxenwick...Thank you. I want to see that film as well though I have heard that some struggled to get through it. So glad you enjoyed this one. ~WB


Vickiw 3 years ago

Hi Wayne, I enjoyed how you encapsulated so much history into the poem. That is a great achievement, and that you were able to convey the emotion at the same time is really an amazing skill.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 3 years ago from Texas Author

@Vickiw...Thank you! My first inspiration was the aspect of slavery so I just wove everything else around it. Glad you enjoyed it. ~WB


rfmoran profile image

rfmoran 3 years ago from Long Island, New York

Wonderful ode to a wonderful man. I saw Dandiel Day Lewis interviewed recently and he said that in preparing to play the role of Lincoln he couldn't help but love the man.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 3 years ago

Pres. Obama speaking on Lincoln's birthday almost seems lack blasphemy. This poem is awesome.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 3 years ago from Texas Author

@rfmoran...I can understand his sentiment. Lincoln came across as a humble man yet was quite capable at taking care of himself and his convictions. I think he might have been the example for "walk softly but carry a big stick. " Thanks much. ~WB

@breakfastpop...Thanks much, Poppy. All I can say to him is "You, sir, are no Abraham Lincoln!". ~WB


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Profound poem to a great president and man! Excellent.

Voted up +++++ and sharing

God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 3 years ago from Texas Author

@Faith Reaper....Thank much! ~WB


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

An excellent poetic tribute, Wayne, to one of the greatest presidents America has ever been fortunate enough to elect. I did see the film, 'Lincoln,' and Daniel Day-Lewis deserves an Oscar for bringing him to life. The film covers so much ground that many folks may see it as overlong. But it is still worthwhile viewing.


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 3 years ago from United States

Beautiful poem, Wayne.

I have heard good reviews about the movie, Lincoln. He was a great president that history could have so far...


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and awesome. One of the greatest presidents ever. Wonderful poetic tribute to Lincoln. Passing this on.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 3 years ago from Texas Author

@drbj...I definitely want to see the movie but I may opt for DVD or cableview so I can pause things if they go on forever. I still remember how long it took to sink the Titanic! LOL! Thanks, Doc! ~WB

@Ruchira...Glad to get a positive perspective on it. It seems like a movie that I would enjoy...historic in nature. Some folks do not care for that...but to each his own. Thanks much! ~WB

@Gypsy Rose Lee....I agree! Thanks much for the good words and the share. ~WB


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 3 years ago from Texas Author

@drbj...I definitely want to see the movie but I may opt for DVD or cableview so I can pause things if they go on forever. I still remember how long it took to sink the Titanic! LOL! Thanks, Doc! ~WB

@Ruchira...Glad to get a positive perspective on it. It seems like a movie that I would enjoy...historic in nature. Some folks do not care for that...but to each his own. Thanks much! ~WB

@Gypsy Rose Lee....I agree! Thanks much for the good words and the share. ~WB


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 3 years ago from Arizona

Well written and well said. One of our really great and caring president who was for the people. Things have definitely changed over the years. Thanks for this.Voting up and sharing.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago

There is no finer leader than Abe Lincoln Was ! Having read alot about his life and times , I can say that anyone that disses Abe aint worth spit ! Wayne you have got to see the movie with Daniel Day -Lewis ! Absolutely spelling binding !..Awesome +++++....Ed


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 3 years ago from Texas Author

@carol7777....Thank you, Carol. I agree! ~WB

@ahorseback...I will see it, I promise. The comments have definitely aroused my interest. Thanks much! ~WB


dragonflyfla profile image

dragonflyfla 3 years ago from South Florida

Wayne - I would encourage you to do some more research on Lincoln. He is not the man we have been led to believe. Three main points to explore:

1) He was opposed to political and social equality between whites and blacks. He wanted to send blacks to Hati, South America or Africa.

2) The civil war was not about slavery, but was about economics between the northern states and the southern states, tariffs in particular.

3) The civil war was also about centralized vs decentralized goverment. We now have a centralized government where as before the civil war we had a decentralized government.

I could go on, but I hope this will peak your interest to do your own research on Lincoln.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 3 years ago from Texas Author

@dragonflyfla....Could it be that Lincoln saw the a more humane possibility of sending the black people to their homelands as opposed to the challenge of assimilating them into the American society. Also, read the fifth verse again and I think it will be clear that I was not making the Civil War an argument over slavery. The confrontation revolved around States Rights and slavery was merely an issue fanning that flame. The issues of slavery, econonmics and centralization of power all fell under the States Rights argument. ~WB


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Lincoln was truly a great man and a complex figure. Part of his greatness lies in what he had to overcome during the years leading up to his presidency. His strong, moral indignation over slavery, what it would do to this country, and what it would say to rest of the world bothered him greatly. Lincoln was also one of the most astute politicians that ever lived. He knew when to wait, what to say and what not to say, and when to act decisively and swiftly when the timing was right in order to achieve what he knew must be done. I think that his few detractors missed the boat on this entirely.

You stated his reasons for abolishing slavery so beautifully, Wayne, in this wonderful peom, and what this exceptional man meant to our nation. Voted UABI and sharing. :-)


torrilynn profile image

torrilynn 3 years ago

Hi Wayne,

I really like the tribute that you have given to Lincoln I feel that it is amazing thing that you have done this. he was an amazing president who believed in everyone being treated fairly. well written and very organized. i respect your viewpoint and the information that you have presented here. thanks and voted up.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 3 years ago from Texas Author

@Genna East...I agree totally, Genna. So glad you enjoyed this one and shared it. Thanks much! ~WB

@torrilynn...Thank you for the great comment. So glad you liked it! ~WB


billd01603 profile image

billd01603 3 years ago from Worcester

Hi Wayne, Great poem. One thing people don't realize about him, he was one of the most hated President in his time. I have to laugh when people debate whether Bush or Obama is the most hated President of all time.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 3 years ago from Texas Author

@billdo1603....I do not see Obama or Bush ever having the platform of political separation so brought on by slavery as Lincoln faced. In Obama's case, if he were faced with the problem, I fear that he would broaden the division rather than attempt to bring a nation together. Lincoln's genius was his vision of a union united and self-supporting...that was worth the fighting and the bloodshed to save. In the process, the slaves received their freedom as well. Thanks much for the read and the comments! ~WB


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

What alternatives existed to fighting the Civil War?

There was the Underground Railroad; public and private education. With time social consciousness changes.

What would Jesus do in Lincoln's place? See Hub "How Would Jesus See The Gettysburg Address?"

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