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Still in thought as free as ever,
Me to torture, me to task?
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,
Is there one, who reigns on high? Has he bid you buy and sell us,
Speaking from his throne, the sky? Ask him, if your 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;
By our suff'rings since ye brought us
Deem our nation brutes no longer,
Till some reason ye shall find
Than the colour of our kind.
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
Is almost enough to draw pity from stones.
I pity them greatly-but I must be mum-
Besides, if we do, the French, Dutch, 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,
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;
Poor man! I would save him his fruit if I could
"If the matter depended alone upon me,
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,
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,
Wherever her glory appear'd.
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
But soon as approaching the land,
That goddess-like woman he view'd
With blood of his subjects imbru'd.
And the moment the monster expir d,
From thousands with rapture inspir'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