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Still in thought as free as ever,
What are England's rights I ask,
Me from my delights to sever,
Dwells in white and black the same.
Why did all-creating Nature
Make the plant for which we toilSighs 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,
Speaking from his throne, the sky?
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,
By our blood in Afric wasted,
By our suff'rings since ye brought us
Deem our nation brutes no longer,
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
What I hear of their hardships, their tortures, and
I's almost enough to draw pity from stones.
I pity them greatly-but I must be mum-
What, give up our desserts, our coffee, and tea!
Besides, if we do, the French, Dutca, and Danes,
If foreigners likewise would give up the trade,
Your scruples and arguments bring to my mind
A youngster at school, more sedate than the rest,
His comrades had plotted an orchard to rob,
He was shock'd, sir, like you, and answer'd-" Oh no
"You speak very fine, and you look very grave,
They spoke, and Tom ponder'd-"I see they will go;
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 tree
His scruples thus silenc'd, Tom felt more at ease,
"TWAS in the glad season of spring,
Far hence to the westward I sail'd,
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,
Thus swiftly dividing the flood,
To a slave-cultur'd island we came, Where a demon her enemy stoodOppression his terrible name.
THE NIGHTINGALE AND GLOWWORM. 213
In his hand, as the sign of his sway,
A scourge hung with lashes he bore,
But soon as approaching the land,
And the moment the monster expir d,
Awaking, how could I but muse
At what such a dream should betide : But soon my ear caught the glad news, Which serv'd my weak thought for a guideThat Britannia, renown'd o'er the waves For the hatred she ever has shown To the black-scepter'd 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,