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And something every day they live
The love that cheers life's latest stage,
THE NEGRO'S COMPLAINT.
Forced from home and all its pleasures,
Afric's coast I left forlorn;
O’er the raging billows borne.
Paid my price in paltry gold; But, though slave they have enrolld me,
Minds are never to be sold.
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 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 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 received the chain ; By the miseries that we tasted,
Crossing in your barks the main ; By our sufferings, since ye brought us
To the man-degrading mart;
Only by a broken heart;
Deem our nation brutes no longer,
Till some reason ye shall find Worthier of regard, and stronger
Than the color of our kind.
Slaves of gold, whose sordid dealings
Tarnish all your boasted powers, Prove that you have human feelings,
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;
[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,
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 youngster at school, more sedate than the rest,
He was shock'd, sir, like you, and answer'd“ Oh no!
[ don't go; What! rob our good neighbour! I pray you 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 ponderd_"I see they
will go :
Poor man! what a pity to injure him so !
"If the matter depended alone upon me, [tree; His apples might hang till they dropp'd from the But since they will take them, I think I'll go too, He will lose none by me, though I get a few.”