« ForrigeFortsett »
Puts off his gcn'rous nature; and, to suit
His manners with his fate, puts on the brute.
O most degrading of all ills, that wait
On man, a mourner in his best estate!
All other sorrows Virtue may endure,
And find submission more than half a cure;
Grief is itself a med'cine, and bestow'd
T' improve the fortitude that bears the load,
To teach the wand'rer, as his woes increase,
The path of Wisdom, all whose paths are peace;
But slav'ry!—Virtue dreads it as her grave:
Patience itself is meanness in a slave;
Or if the will and sovereignty of God
Bid suffer it awhile, and kiss the rod,
Wait for the dawning of a brighter day,
And snap the chain the moment when you may.
Nature imprints upon whate'er we see,
That has a heart and life in it, Be free;
The beasts are charter'd—neither age nor force
Can quell the love of freedom in a horse:
He breaks the cord, that held him at the rack;
And, conscious of an unincumber'd back,
Snuffs up the morning air, forgets the rein;
Loose fly his forelock and his ample mane;
Responsive to the distant neigh he neighs;
Nor stops till, overleaping all delays,
He finds the pasture where his fellows graze
Canst thou, and honour'd with a Christain name, Buy what is woman-born, and feel no shame; Trade in the blood of innocence, and plead Expedience as a warrant for the deed 1 So may the wolf, whom famine has made bold, To quit the forest and invade the fold: So may the ruffian, who with ghostly glide. Dagger in hand, steals close to your bedside; Not he, but his emergence forc'd the door, He found it inconvenient to be poor. Has God then giv'n it's sweetness to the cane, Unless his laws be trampled on—in vain? Built a brave World, which cannot yet subsist, Unless his right to rule it be dismiss'd? Impudent blasphemy! So Folly pleads, And, AVrice being judge, with ease succeeds.
But grant the plea, and let it stand for just, That man make man his prey because he must: Still there is room for pity to abate, And soothe the sorrows of so sad a state.
A Briton knows, or if he knows it not,
The Scripture plac'd within his reach, he ought,
That souls have no discriminating hue,
Alike important in their Maker's view;
That none are free from blemish since the fall,
And Love divine has paid one price for all.
The wretch, that works and weeps without relief,
Has one that notices his silent grief.
He, from whose hands alone all pow'r proceeds,
Ranks it's abuse among the foulest deeds,
• Considers all injustice with a frown;
But marks the man, that treads his fellow dowo.
Begone-the whip and bell in that hard hand
Are hateful ensigns of usuqi'd command.
Not Mexico could purchase kings a claim i
To scourge him, weariness his only blame.
Remember Heav'n has an avenging rod,
To smite the poor is treason against God.
Trouble is grudgingly and hardly brook'd,
While life's sublimest joys are overlook'd:
We wander o'er a sunburnt thirsty soil,
Murm'ring and wearyof our daily toil,
Forget t' enjoy the palm-tree's ofFer'd shade,
Or taste the fountain in the neighb'ring glade:
Else who would lose, that had the pow'r f improve,
Th' occasion of transmuting fear to love?
O 'tis a godlike privilege to save,
And he that scorns it is himself a slave.
Inform his mind; one flash of heav'nly day
Would heal his heart, and melt his chains away.
"Beauty for ashes" is a gift indeed,
And slaves, by truth enlarg'd, are doubly freed.
Then would he say, submissive at thy feet,
While gratitude and love made service sweet,
My dear deliv'rer out of hopeless night,
Whose bounty bought me but to give me light,
I was a bondman on my native plain,
Sin forg'd, and Ignorance made fast, the chain;
Thy lips have shed instruction as the dew,
Taught me what path to shun, and what pursue;
Farewell my former joys! I sigh no more
For Africa's once lov'd, benighted shore;
Serving a benefactor I am free;
At my best home, if not exil'd from thee.
Some men make gain a fountain, whence proceeds
A stream of lib'ral and heroic deeds;
The swell of pity, not to be confin'd
Within the scanty limits of the mind,
Disdains the bank, and throws the golden sands,
A rich deposit, on the bord'ring lands:
These have an ear for his paternal call,
Who makes some rich for the supply of all;
God's gift with pleasure in his praise employ;
And Thornton is familiar with the joy.
O could I worship aught beneath the skies,
That Earth has seen, or fancy can devise,
Thine altar, sacred Liberty, should stand,
Built by no mercenary vulgar hand,
With fragrant turf, and flow'rs as wild and fair
As ever dress'd a bank, or scented summer air.
Duly, as ever on the mountain's height
The peep of Morning shed a dawning light,
Again, when Ev'ning in her sober vest
Drew the gray curtain of the fading west,
My soul should yield thee willing thanks and praise,
For the chief blessings of my fairest days:
But that were sacrilege—praise is not thine,
But his who gave thee, and preserves thee mine:
Else I would say, and as I spake bid fly
A captive bird into the boundless sky,
This triple realm adores thee—thou art come
From Sparta hither, and art here at home.