Jeremiah Eames Rankin Poems

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Jeremiah Eames Rankin
Jeremiah Eames Rankin (January 2, 1828 - 1904) was an abolitionist, champion of the temperance movement, minister of Washington's First Congregational Church, and correspondent with Frederick Douglass. In 1889 he was appointed sixth president of Howard College in Washington, DC. Howard University's Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel was built during Jeremiah Rankin's tenure as president (1890-1903) and named after his brother. Rankin is best known as author of the hymns "God Be with You 'Til we Meet Again" and "Tell It to Jesus." In 1903 Rankin published a fictional journal of Esther Burr (Jonathan Edwards's daughter and mother of the traitor, Aaron Burr. Rankin was born in Thornton, New Hampshire and graduated from Middlebury College in 1848. After completing his seminary studies at Andover in 1854, he served as pastor of Presbyterian and Congregational churches in New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. He was awarded a doctorate from Middlebury College in 1869. From 1870 on he was closely associated with Howard College, as trustee, professor of homiletics and pastoral theology, and president. He served twice as delegate to general conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and once to the Congregational union of England and Wales. In 1869 Rankin became pastor of Washington's First Congregational Church. This appointment followed a split in the church over the issue of race. Those who remained with the church felt that was prepared to lead the church in a properly unbiased direction. While pastor of the First Congregational Church (1869-1884), Rankin's sermons were popular with vice president Wilson and numerous members of Congress. Two sermons were published and circulated throughout the country ("The Bible, the Security of American Institutions" and "The Divinity of the Ballot"). Aside from his hymns, Rankin's best known poem is "The Babie," in broguish style of Robert Burns whom Rankin liked for their shared Scottish ancestry.

the assassination of indira gandhi
In Kitchener, Hallowe'en frost chokes roses,
The spruce gangrene, and haystacks flame in fields... [read poem]
original pain
Rue: Hot pepper of mothers bullwhipped till blood
lava'd down their backs and leapt off ... [read poem]
eating poetry
Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating... [read poem]
the ballad of othello clemence
There's a black wind howlin' by Whylah Falls;
There's a mad rain hammerin' the flowers;
Th... [read poem]
everything is free
Wipe away tears,
Set free your fears:
Everything is free.
Only the lonely
Need m... [read poem]
Naima, I should perfume my letters,
confuse spices with my ink,
spirit tea from orange pee... [read poem]
Le nègre negated, meagre, c'est moi:
Denigrated, negative, a local
Ca... [read poem]
keeping things whole
In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.
Wherever I a... [read poem]
peggy's cove
In pitched night fog, I stagger upon Fear –-
Cabals of rock, wreckage, sobs of wet dea... [read poem]
blues for x
Pretty boy, towel your tears,
And robe yourself in black.
Pretty boy, dry your tears,... [read poem]
song of ecclesiastes
The wind chooses where song should fall,
Where chaff should drift. The wind decides.
The w... [read poem]
discourse on pure virtue
à Geeta

The brown girl, golden, sable eyed,
flourishing yellow hibisc... [read poem]
the babie
NAE shoon to hide her tiny taes,
Nae stockin’ on her feet;
Her supple ankles white a... [read poem]
judas: a biography
You sported the silks that Christ never wore –
A svelte, scarlet tie for every white suit,... [read poem]
ballad of a hanged man
Geo: Their drinks to my drinks feels different,
I'll stomach a stammering teaspoon full,... [read poem]
george & rue: pure, virtuous killers
They were hanged back-to-back in York County Gaol.

They were rough dreamers, raw believe... [read poem]
reading titus andronicus in three mile plains, n.s.
Rue: When Witnesses sat before Bibles open like plates
And spat sour sermons of interpos... [read poem]
guysborough road church
we are the black loyalists:
we think of the bleak fundamentalism
of a ragged scarf of ligh... [read poem]
for Kwame Dawes

Your scuttled pays floats -- fiery -- in the ether;... [read poem]
africadian petition (1783)
The Snows is iron set in.
The times act not as it Were.
Snared in snapfrost Nofaskosha:... [read poem]
king bee blues
I'm an ol' king bee, honey,
Buzzin' from flower to flower.
I'm an ol' king bee, sweets,... [read poem]
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