George Moses Horton's "Departing Love" 

George Moses Horton was enslaved in Chatham County, N.C during the early and mid 1800s. His work, The Hope of Liberty, was the first book published by a black author in North Carolina and even the South when it was published in 1829. It remains the only book published by an individual during their enslavement in the U.S.

Before the publication of his book, Horton wrote poems and acrostics on commission and sold them to students at UNC Chapel Hill in an effort to earn enough money to buy his freedom. 

This poem, "Departing Love" was written by Horton and commissioned by Reverend Henry A. Dixon of Chapel Hill, N.C. to be given to his future bride, Martha Sugg. 

George Moses Horton's Poem "Departing Love."
Citation (Chicago Style): 

Horton, George Moses. "Departing Love." Separated Folder 1: Departing Love by George Moses Horton: Scan 1. Separated Folder 1: Departing Love by George Moses Horton: Scan 2.  1851. George Moses Horton Poem #04799-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. https://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/04ddd/id/451533/rec/4https://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/04ddd/id/450357/rec/1.

Transcript: 

"Departing Love"

With much delight I think of thee,
How'er far away; I crave no other than to see,
And thru my love betray I yet my early hopes retain,
Farewell, till hence we meet again.

O no, I never shall forget
My pleasures heretofore;
Thy beauties fly before me yet,
And hence I love thee more;
Sweeter is pleasures after pain
Farewell, until we meet again.

Lovers may languish when they part,
But shortly after meet;
'Tis pain to think and death to part;
Still love continues sweet;
No flight shall break affections chain,
Farewell, till hence we meet again;

I look back with a humid eye,
And drop departure's tear;
And from my bosom heave a sigh;
Fore our beloved so dear;
Greatest mistress of thy train
Farewell, till hence we meet again.

by Haughton "The colored bard
of N. Carolina"
August 1st 1851
Chapel Hill

Usage Statement: 

Public Domain

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