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Still in thought as free as ever,
What are England's rights I ask, Me from my delights to 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 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,
Agents of his will to use?
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
To the man-degrading mart;
Deem our nation brutes no longer,
Till some reason ye shall find
Than the colour of our kind.
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,
knaves; What I hear of their hardships, their tortures, and
If foreigners likewise would give up the trade, Much more in rehalf of your wish Inight 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. He was shock’d, sir, like you, and answer'd—" Oh no What! rob our good neighbour ! I pray you don't go ; Besides, the man's poor, his orchard's his bread, Then think of his children, for they must be fed " “ 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 to, He will lose none by me, though I get a few.”
His scruples thus silenc'd, Tom felt more at ease,
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,
to make freemen of slaves."
Then raising her voice to a strain
The sweetest that ear ever heard,
Wherever her glory appear’d.
Fled, chas'd by her melody clear,
'Twas liberty only to hear.
Thus swiftly dividing the food,
To a slave-cultur'd island we came, Where a demon her enemy stood
Oppression his terrible name.
THE NIGHTINGALE AND GLOWWORM. 213
A scourge hung with lashes he bore,
From Africa's sorrowful shore.
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.
At what such a dream should betide :
Which serv'd my weak thought for a guide
For the hatred she ever has shown
Resolves to have none of her own.
NIGHTINGALE AND GLOW-WORM.
A NIGHTINGALE, that all day long