I dreamed that, on ocean afloat,
Far hence to the westward I sailed,

While the billows high lifted the boat,
And the fresh-blowing breeze never failed.

In the steerage a woman I saw;

Such at least was the form that she wore,
Whose beauty impressed 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 appeared.
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 a 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 viewed,
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 guide,-
That Britannia, renowned o'er the waves

For the hatred she ever had shown
To the black-sceptred rulers of slaves,

Resolves to have none of her own.


A Trader I am to the African shore,
But since that my trading is like to be o'er,

I'll sing you a song that you ne'er heard before,

Which nobody can deny, deny,
Which nobody can deny.

When I first heard the news it gave me a shock,
Much like what they call an electrical knock,
And now I am going to sell off my stock,

Which nobody can deny.

Tis a curious assortment of dainty regales,
To tickle the negroes with when the ship sails,
Fine chains for the neck, and a cat with nine tails
Which nobody can deny.

Here's supple-jack plenty, and store of rat-tan,
That will wind itself round the sides of a man,
As close as a hoop round a bucket or can,

Which nobody can deny.

Here's padlocks and bolts, and screws for the thumbs,
That squeeze them so lovingly till the blood comes;
They sweeten the temper like comfits or plums,
Which nobody can deny.

When a negro his head from his victuals withdraws,
And clenches his teeth and thrusts out his paws,
Here's a notable engine to open his jaws,

Which nobody can deny.

Thus going to market, we kindly prepare
A pretty black cargo of African ware,
For what they must meet with when they get there,
Which nobody can deny.

'Twould do your heart good to see 'em below
Lie flat on their backs all the way as we go,
Like sprats on a gridiron, scores in a row,',

Which nobody can deny.

But ah ! if in vain I have studied an art
So gainful to me, all boasting apart,
I think it will break my compassionate heart,
Which nobody can deny.

For oh ! how it enters my soul like an awl!
This pity, which some people self-pity call,
Is sure the most heart-piercing pity of all,

Which nobody can deny.

So this is my song, as I told you before;
Come, buy off my stock, for I must no more
Carry Caesars and Pompeys to Sugar-cane shore,

Which nobody can deny, deny,

Which nobody can deny.


Farewell, false hearts ! whose best affections fail,
Like shallow brooks which summer suns exhale;
Forgetful of the man whom once ye chose,
Cold in his cause, and careless of his woes;
I bid you both a long and last adieu!
Cold in my turn, and unconcerned like you.

First, farewell Niger! whom, now duly proved,
I disregard as much as I have loved.
Your brain well furnished, and your tongue well taught
To press with energy your ardent thought,
Your senatorial dignity of face,
Sound sense, intrepid spirit, manly grace,
Have raised you high as talents can ascend,
Made you a peer, but spoilt you for a friend!
Pretend to all that parts have e'er acquired;
Be great, be feared, be envied, be admired;
To fame as lasting as the earth pretend,
But not hereafter to the name of friend!
I sent you verse, and, as your lordship knows,
Backed with a modest sheet of humble prose,
Not to recall a promise to your mind,
Fulfilled with ease had you been so inclined,
But to comply with feelings, and to give
Proof of an old affection still alive.
Your sullen silence serves at least to tell
Your altered heart; and so, my lord, farewell!

Next, busy actor on a meaner stage,
Amusement-monger of a trifling age,
illustrious histrionic patentee,
Terentius, once my friend, farewell to thee!
In thee some virtuous qualities combine,
To fit thee for a nobler post than thine,
Who, born a gentleman, hast stooped too low,
To live by buskin, sock and raree-show.
Thy schoolfellow, and partner of thy plays,
Wljen Nichol swung the birch and twined the bays,
And having known thee bearded and full grown,
The weekly censor of a laughing town,
I thought the volume I presumed to send,
Graced with the name of a long-absent friend,
Might prove a welcome gift, and touch thine heart,
Not hard by nature, in a feeling part.
But thou it seems, (what cannot grandeur do,
Though but a dream ?) art grown disdainful too;
And,strutting in thy school of queens and kings,
Who fret their hour and are forgotten things,
Hast caught the cold distemper of the day,
And, like his lordship, cast thy friend away.

O Friendship! cordial of the human breast!
So little felt, so fervently professed!

[ocr errors][merged small]

Thy blossoms deck our unsuspecting years;
The promise of delicious fruit appears:
We hug the hopes of constancy and truth,
Such is the folly of our dreaming youth;
But soon, alas! detect the rash mistake,
That sanguine inexperience loves to make;
And view with tears the expected harvest lost,
Decayed by time, or withered by a frost.
Whoever undertakes a friend's great part
Should be renewed in nature, pure in heart,
Prepared for martyrdom, and strong to prove
A thousand ways the force of genuine love.
He may be called to give up health and gain,
To exchange content for trouble, ease for pain,
To echo sigh for sigh, and groan for groan,
And wet his cheeks with sorrows not his own.
The heart of man, for such a task too frail,
When most relied on, is most sure to fail;
And, summoned to partake its fellow's woe,
Starts from its office, like a broken bow.

Votaries of business and of pleasure, prove
Faithless alike in friendship and in love.
Retired from all the circles of the gay,
And all the crowds that bustle life away,
To scenes where competition, envy, strife,
Beget no thunder-clouds to trouble life,
Let me, the charge of some good angel, find
One who has known and has escaped mankind;
Polite, yet virtuous, who has brought away
The manners, not the morals, of the day:
With him, perhaps with her, (for men have known
No firmer friendships than the fair have shown,)
Let me enjoy, in some unthought-of spot,
(All former friends forgiven, and forgot,)
Down to the close of life's fast fading scene,
Union of hearts, without a flaw between.
'Tis grace, 'tis bounty, and it calls for praise,
If God give health, that sunshine of our days;
And if he add, a blessing shared by few,
Content of heart, more praises still are due :—
But if he grant a friend, that boon possessed
Indeed is treasure, and crowns all the rest;
And giving one, whose heart is in the skies,
Born from above, and made divinely wise,
He gives, what bankrupt nature never can,
Whose noblest coin is light and brittle man,
Gold, purer far than Ophir ever knew,
A soul, an image of himself, and therefore true.



WHEN, long sequestered from his throne,

George took his seat again,
By right of worth, not blood alone

Entitled here to reign;

Then, Loyalty, with all his lamps
New trimmed, a gallant show,

Chasing the darkness and the damps,
Set London in a glow.

'Twas hard to tell of streets or squares,
Which formed the chief display,

These most resembling clustered stars,
Those the long milky way.

Bright shone the roofs, the domes, the spires,
And rockets flew, self-driven,

To hang their momeutary fires
Amid the vault of Heaven.

So, fire with water to compare,

The ocean serves on high Up-spouted by a whale in air,

To express unwieldy joy.

Had all the pageants of the world

In one procession joined,
And all the banners been unfurled

That heralds e'er designed;

For no such sight had England's Queen

Forsaken her retreat,
Where, George recovered made a scene

Sweet always, doubly sweet.

Yet glad she came that night to prove,

A witness undescried,
How much the object of her love

Was loved by all beside.

Darkness the skies had mantled o'er

In aid of her design,

Darkness, O Queen! ne'er called before

To veil a deed of thine.

On borrowed wheels away she flies,

Resolved to be unknown, And gratify no curious eyes

That night, except her own.

Arrived, a night like noon she sees,
And hears the million hum;

As all by instinct, like the bees,
Had known their sovereign come.

« ForrigeFortsett »