Page images

A childless widow now, a friendless slave,
What shall I ask of thee, since I have nought
To lose but life's sad burthen; nought to gain

But heaven's repose?- these are beyond thy power;
Me thou canst neither wrong nor help;-what then?
Go to the bosom of thy family,

Gather thy little children round thy knees,
Gaze on their innocence; their clear, full eyes,
All fix'd on thine; and in their mother, mark
The loveliest look that woman's face can wear,
Her look of love, beholding them and thee:
Then, at the altar of your household joys,
Vow one by one, vow all together, vow
With heart and voice, eternal enmity
Against oppression by your brethren's hands;

Till man nor woman under Britain's laws,
Nor son nor daughter born within her empire,

Shall buy, or sell, or hold, or be a slave.

[ocr errors][merged small]


"Come like shadows, so depart." Macbeth.

THE Diamond, in its native bed,

Hid like a buried star may lie,

Where foot of man must never tread,
Seen only by its Maker's eye:

And though imbued with beams to grace
His fairest work, in woman's face,

Darkling, its fire may fill the void,
Where fix'd at first in solid night;
Nor, till the world shall be destroy'd,
Sparkle one moment into light.

The Plant, upspringing from the seed,
Expands into a perfect flower;

The virgin-daughter of the mead,

Wooed by the sun, the wind, the shower:
In loveliness beyond compare,

It toils not, spins not, knows no care;
Train'd by the secret hand, that brings
All beauty out of waste and rude,
It blooms its season, dies and flings
Its germs abroad in solitude.

Almighty skill, in ocean's caves,
Lends the light Nautilus a form

To tilt along the Atlantic waves,
Fearless of rock or shoal, or storm;
But, should a breath of danger sound,
With sails quick-furl'd it dives profound,
And far beneath the tempest's path,

In coral grots, defies the foe,

That never brake, in heaviest wrath,

The sabbath of the deep below.

Up from his dream, on twinkling wings,

The Sky-lark soars amid the dawn;

Yet, while in Paradise he sings,

Looks down upon the quiet lawn,

Where flutters, in his little nest,
More love than music e'er express'd:
Then, though the nightingale may thrill

The soul with keener ecstasy,

The merry bird of morn can fill
All Nature's bosom with his glee.

The Elephant, embower'd in woods,
Coeval with their trees might seem,
As though he drank from Indian floods
Life in a renovating stream;

Ages o'er him have come and fled,
Midst generations of the dead,

His bulk survives, to feed and range,

Where ranged and fed of old his sires;

Nor knows advancement, lapse, or change,
Beyond their walks, till he expires.

Gem, flower, and fish, the bird, the brute,
Of every kind occult or known,
(Each exquisitely form'd to suit
Its humble lot and that alone,)
Through ocean, earth, and air fulfil,
Unconsciously, their Maker's will,

Who gave,

without their toil or thought,

Strength, beauty, instinct, courage, speed;

While through the whole his pleasure wrought Whate'er his wisdom had decreed.

But Man, the master-piece of God,
Man, in his Maker's image framed, ·
Though kindred to the valley's clod,
Lord of this low creation named,

In naked helplessness appears,

Child of a thousand griefs and fears:

« PreviousContinue »