« ForrigeFortsett »
Wasting towns, plantations, meadows,
Are the voice, with which he speaks.
He, foreseeing what vexations
Afric's sons should undergo,
Fix'd their tyrant's habitations
Where his whirlwinds answer-no.
By our blood in Afric wasted,
Ere our necks received the chain
By the mis❜ries we have tasted,
Crossing in your barks the main;
By our suff'rings, since ye brought us
To the man-degrading mart;
All sustain'd by patience, taught us
Only by a broken heart:
Deem our nation brutes no longer,
Till some reason ye shall find
Worthier of regard, and stronger
Than the colour of our kind.
Slaves of gold, whose sordid dealings
Tarnish all your boasted powers,
Prove that you have human feelings,
Ere you proudly question ours!
Video meliora proboque,
I OWN 1 am shock'd at the purchase of slaves,
And fear those who buy them and sell them, are
What I hear of their hardships, their tortures, and
Is almost enough to draw pity from stones.
I pity them greatly, but I must be mum,
For how could we do without sugar and rum?
Especially sugar, so needful we see?
What, give up our desserts, our coffee, and tea!
Besides, if we do, the French, Dutch, and Danes,
Will heartily thank us, no doubt, for our pains;
If we do not buy the poor creatures, they will,
And tortures and groans will be multiplied still.
If foreigners likewise would give up the trade,
Much more in behalf of your wish might be said;
But, while they get riches by purchasing blacks,
Pray tell me why we may not also go snacks?
Your scruples and arguments bring to my mind
A story so pat, you may think it is coin'd,
On purpose to answer you, out of my mint;
But I can assure you I saw it in print.
A youngster at school, more sedate than the rest,
Had once his integrity put to the test;
His comrades had plotted an orchard to rob,
And ask'd him to go and assist in the job.
He was shock'd, sir, like you, and answer'd-'Oh no!
What! rob our good neighbour! I pray you don't go;
Besides, the man's poor, his orchard's his bread,
Then think of his children, for they must be fed.'
'You speak very fine, and you look very grave,
But apples we want, and apples we'll have;
If you will go with us, you shall have a share,
If not, you shall have neither apple nor pear."
They spoke, and Tom ponder'd- I see they will
Poor man! what a pity to injure him so!
Poor man! I would save him his fruit if I could,
But staying behind will do him no good.
'If the matter depended alone upon me,
His apples might hang, till they dropp'd from the
But, since they will take them, I think I'll go too,
He will lose none by me, though I get a few.'
His scruples thus silenced, Tom felt more at ease, And went with his comrades the apples to seize ;
He blamed and protested, but join'd in the plan:
He shared in the plunder, but pitied the man.
THE MORNING DREAM.
'Twas in the glad season of spring,
Asleep at the dawn of the day,
I dream'd, what I cannot but sing,
So pleasant it seem'd as I lay.
I dream'd, that, on ocean afloat,
Far hence to the westward I sail'd,
While the billows high-lifted the boat,
And the fresh-blowing breeze never fail'd.
In the steerage a woman I saw,
Such at least was the form that she wore,
Whose beauty impress'd me with awe,
Ne'er taught me by woman before.
She sat, and a shield at her side
Shed light, like a sun on the waves,
And, smiling divinely, she cried-
'I go to make freemen of slaves.'-
Then raising her voice to a strain
The sweetest that ear ever heard,
She sung of the slave's broken chain,
Wherever her glory appear'd.
Some clouds, which had over us hung,
Fled, chased by her melody clear,
And methought while she liberty sung,
'Twas liberty only to hear.
Thus swiftly dividing the flood,
To a slave-cultured island we came,
Where a demon, her enemy, stood-
Oppression his terrible name.
In his hand, as the sign of his sway,
A scourge hung with lashes he bore,
And stood looking out for his prey
From Africa's sorrowful shore.
But soon as approaching the land
That goddess-like woman he view'd,
The scourge he let fall from his hand,
With blood of his subjects imbrued.
I saw him both sicken and die,
And the moment the monster expired,
Heard shouts that ascended the sky,
From thousands with rapture inspired.
Awaking, how could I but muse
At what such a dream should betide? But soon my ear caught the glad news, Which served my weak thought for a guideThat Britannia, renown'd o'er the waves For the hatred she ever has shown To the black-sceptered rulers of slaves, Resolves to have none of her own.
NIGHTINGALE AND GLOW-WORM.
A NIGHTINGALE, that all day long
Had cheer'd the village with his song,
Nor yet at eve his note suspended,
Nor yet when eventide was ended,
Began to feel, as well he might,
The keen demands of appetite;
When, looking eagerly around,
He spied far off, upon the ground,
A something shining in the dark,
And knew the glow-worm by his spark;
So, stooping down from hawthorn top,
He thought to put him in his crop.
The worm, aware of his intent,
Harangued him thus, right eloquent-
Did you admire my lamp, quoth he,
As much as I your minstrelsy,
You would abhor to do me wrong,
As much as I to spoil your song;
For 'twas the selfsame power divine
Taught you to sing, and me to shine;
That you with music, I with light,
Might beautify and cheer the night.
The songster heard his short oration,
And, warbling out his approbation,
Released him, as my story tells,
And found a supper somewhere else.
Hence jarring sectaries may learn
Their real int'rest to discern;
That brother should not war with brother,
And worry and devour each other:
But sing and shine by sweet consent,
Till life's poor transient night is spent,
Respecting in each other's case
The gifts of nature and of grace.
Those Christians best deserve the name, Who studiously make peace their aim; Peace both the duty and the prize Of him that creeps and him that flies.
STARVED TO DEATH IN HIS CAGE.
TIME was when I was free as air,
The thistle's downy seed my fare,
My drink the morning dew;
I perch'd at will on every spray,
My form genteel, my phimage gay,
My strains for ever new.
But gaudy plumage, sprightly strain,
And form genteel, were all in vain,
And of a transient date
For caught, and caged, and starved to death,
In dying sighs my little breath
Soon pass'd the wiry grate.