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Ages, ages have departed

Ages, ages have departed

Author: James Montgomery
Published in 3 hymnals

Full Text

Ages, ages have departed,
Since the first dark vessel bore
Afric’s children, broken-hearted,
To this far-off western shore;
She, like Rachel,
Weeping, for they were no more.

Millions, millions have been slaughtered
In the fight and on the deep;
Millions, millions more have watered,
With such tears as captives weep,
Fields of labor
Where their wasted bodies sleep.

Mercy, mercy, vainly pleading,
Rends her garments, smites her breast,
Till a voice from heaven proceeding
Gladden all the waiting west:
“Come, ye weary!
Come, and I will give you rest!”

Tidings, tidings of salvation!
Brothers, rise with one accord,
Purge the plague-spot from our nation,
Till, unto their rights restored,
Slaves no longer,
All are freemen in the Lord!

Source: A Book of Hymns for Public and Private Devotion (15th ed.) #439

Author: James Montgomery

Montgomery, James, son of John Montgomery, a Moravian minister, was born at Irvine, Ayrshire, Nov. 4, 1771. In 1776 he removed with his parents to the Moravian Settlement at Gracehill, near Ballymena, county of Antrim. Two years after he was sent to the Fulneck Seminary, Yorkshire. He left Fulneck in 1787, and entered a retail shop at Mirfield, near Wakefield. Soon tiring of that he entered upon a similar situation at Wath, near Rotherham, only to find it quite as unsuitable to his taste as the former. A journey to London, with the hope of finding a publisher for his youthful poems ended in failure; and in 1792 he was glad to leave Wath for Shefield to join Mr. Gales, an auctioneer, bookseller, and printer of the Sheffield Register newspap… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Ages, ages have departed
Author: James Montgomery


Ages, ages have departed. J. Montgomery. [Anti-Slavery.] Published in his Poet’s Portfolio, &c, 1835, in 4 stanzas of 6 lines as No. 3 of his "Songs on the Abolition of Negro Slavery in the British Colonies, Aug. 1, 1834” and entitled "Slavery that was.”

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)