Page images
PDF

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

To the man-degrading mart;
All sustain'd by patience, taught us

Only by a broken heart;

Deem our nation brutes no longer,

Till some reason ye shall find Worthier of regard, and stronger

Than the colour of our kind. Slaves of gold, whose sordid dealings

Tarnish all your boasted pow'rs, Prove that you have human feelings,

Ere you proudly question ours !

PITY FOR POOR AFRICANS.

Video meliora proboque,
Deteriora sequor.-

I own I am shock'd at the purchase of slaves, And fear those, who buy them and sell them, are knaves;

[groans, 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,
For how could we do without sugar and rum ?
Especially sugar, so needful we see?
What, give up our desserts, our coffee, and tea!

[ocr errors]

Besides, if we do, the French, Dutch, and Danes, Will heartily thank us, no doubt, for our pains ; If we do not buy the poor creatures, they will, And tortures and groans will be multiplied still.

If foreigners likewise would give up the trade, Much more in behalf of your wish might be said ; But, while they get riches by purchasing blacks, Pray tell me why we may not also go snacks ?

Your scruples and arguments bring to my mind
A story so pat, you may think it is coin'd, .
On purpose to answer you, out of my mint;
But I can assure you I saw it in print.

A youngster at school more sedate than the rest,
Had once his integrity put to the test;
His comrades had plotted an orchard to rob,
And ask'd him to go and assist in the job.

[ocr errors]

" You speak very fine, and you look very grave,
But apples we want, and apples we'll have;
If you will go with us, you shall have a share,
If not, you shall have neither apple nor pear.”

They spoke, and Tom ponder'd “I see they will go :
Poor man! what a pity to injure him so!
Poor man! I would save him his fruit if I could,
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;
But, since they will take them, I think I'll go too,
He will lose none by me, though I get a few.”

His scruples thus silenc'd, Tom felt more at ease, And went with his comrades the apples to seize; He blam'd and protested, but join'd in the plan : He shar'd in the plunder, but pitied the man.

THE

MORNING DREAM

Twas in the glad season of spring,

Asleep at the dawn of the day,
I dream'd what I cannot but sing,

So pleasant it seem'd as I lay.
I dream'd, that, on ocean afloat,

Far hence to the westward I sail'd, While the billows high-lifted the boat,

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."

« PreviousContinue »