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Then farewell all, that must create
The comfort of the wedded state;
Instead of harmony, 'tis jar,
The love, that cheers life's latest stage,
Or soon expels him if it is.
Forc'd from home and all it's pleasures,
Afric's coast I left forlorn;
O’er the raging billows borne.
Paid my price in paltry gold;
Minds are never to be sold.
Still in thought as free as ever,
What are England's rights, I ask, Me from my delights so sever,
Me to torture, me to task?
Fleecy locks and black complexion
Cannot forfeit Nature's claim;
Skins may differ, but affection
Dwells in white and black the same.
Why did all-creating nature
Make the plant, for which we toil? Sighs must fan it, tears must water,
Sweat of ours must dress the soil.
Think, ye masters iron-hearted,
Lolling at your jovial boards; Think how many backs have smarted
For the sweets, your cane affords.
Is there, as ye sometimes tell us,
Is there one, who reigns on high? Has he bid you buy and sell us,
Speaking from his throne the sky? Ask him, if
knotted scourges, Matches, blood-extorting screws, Are the means, that duty urges
Agents of his will to use?
Hark! he answers Wild tornadoes,
Strewing yonder sea with wrecks; Wasting towns, plantations, meadows,
Are the voice with which he speaks. He, foreseeing what vexations
Afric's sons should undergo, Fix'd their tyrants' habitations
Where his whirlwinds answer—no.
By our blood in Afric wasted,
Ere our necks receiv'd the chain; By the mis’ries that we tasted,
Crossing in your barks the main;
To the man-degrading mart;
Only by a broken heart;
Deem our nations brutes no longer,
Till some reason ye shall find
Worthier of regard, and stronger
Slaves of gold, whose sordid dealings
Tarnish all your boasted pow’rs,
Ere you proudly question ours!
PITY FOR POOR AFRICANS.
Video meliora proboque
I own I am shock'd at the purchase of slaves, And fear those, who buy them and sell them, are
knaves; 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,