My forebears ran through hills of green,
Their children gathered humble blooms
And carried them in bunches home,
They swam through white-and-turquoise seas,
Had no man taught me otherwise,
I should have named it Eden’s Land.
But strangers came from o’er the sea,
And burned the hills till they turned brown,
Then sickness came from o’er the air,
And festered till the hills turned black,
Had no man taught them otherwise,
They’d not have known ’twas Eden’s Land.
So they were chased from hills of black,
Through empty fields and smoky towns,
To scrape and hunt and beg for life,
They sailed across the raging seas,
If their old home weren’t paradise,
They’d call their new the Promised Land.
They made their homes in cities grey,
And planted roots in humid swamps,
They raised their young as citizens,
But neighbors named them foreigners,
The generations lived and died,
And all did long for Eden’s Land.
So dream I do of mountains green,
My arms do carry humble blooms,
My closed eyes see the frothing seas,
And stony beaches call my heart,
Had no man named it Paradise,
I should have called it Sleeper's Land.