Page images
PDF
EPUB

Harkhe 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;
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 powers,
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; What I hear of their hardships, their tortures and is almost enough to draw pity from stones. (groans, 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!

1:38 PITY FOR POOR AFRICANS.
Besides, if we do, the French, Dutch, and Danes
Wil 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 1
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.

youngster at school, more sedate than the rest,
The 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 neighbouri I pray you

on'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 would do him no good. • If the matter depended alone upon me, His apples might hang, till they drop 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 silenced, Tony felt more at case, And went with his comrades the apples to seize; He blamed and protested, but join'd in the plan: He shared 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.'Then raising her voice to a strain,

The sweetest that ear ever heard,
She sung of the slave's broken chain,

Wherever her glory appear'd.
Some clouds, which had over us hung,

Fled, chased by her melody clear,
And methought while she liberty sung,

'Twas liberty only to hear. Thus swiftly dividing the flood,

To a slave-cultured island we came,
Where a demon, her enemy, stood-

Oppression his terrible name.
In his hand, as the sign of his sway,

A scourge hung with lashes he bore,
And stood looking out for his prey

From Africa's sorrowful shore. But soon as approaching the land

That goddess-like woman he view'd, The scourge he let fall from his hand,

With the blood of his subjects imbrued.

[ocr errors]

900 NIGHTINGALE AND GLOW-WORM.

I saw him both sicken and die,

And the moment the monster expired,
Heard shouts that ascended the sky

From thousands with rapture inspired.
Awaking, how could I but muse

At what such a drcam should betide ?
But soon my ear caught the glad news,

Which served my weak thought for a guide
That Britannia, renown'd o'er the waves

For the hatred she ever has shewn,
To the black-sceptred rulers of slaves,

Resolves to have none of her own.

THE

NIGHTINGALE AND GLOW-WORM.
A NIGETINCALE, that all day long
Had cheer'a the village with his song,
Nor yet at eve his note suspended,
Nor yet when eventide was ended,
Began to seel, as well he might,
The keen demands of appetite;
When, looking eagerly around,
He spied far off, upon the ground,
A something shining in the dark,
And knew the glow-worm by his spark;
So stooping down from hawthorn top,
He thought to put him in his crop.
The worm, aware of his intent,
Harangued him thus, right eloquent:

Did you admire my lamp, quoth he,
As much as I your minstrelsy,
You would abhor to do me wrong,
As much as I to spoil your song;
For 'twas the self-same Power divino
Taught you to sing, and me to shine;
That you with music, I will light,
Might beautify and cheer the night.

The songster heard his short oration,
And, warbling out his approbation,

Released him, as my story tells,
And found a supper somewhere else.

Hence jarring sectaries may learn
Their real interest to discern ;
That brother should not war with brother
And worry and devour each other :
But sing and shine by sweet consent,
Till life's poor transient night is spent,
Respecting in each other's case
The gifts of nature and of grace.

Those Christians best deserve the name,
Who studiously make peace their aim;
Peace both the duty and the prize
Of him that creeps and him that flies.

ON A GOLDFINCH,

STARVED TO DEATH IN HIS CAGR.

TIXe was when I was free as air,
The thistle's downy seed my fare,

My drink the morning dew;
I perch'd at will on every spray,
My form genteel, my plumage gay,

My strains for ever new
Bat gaudy plumage, sprightly strain
And form genteel, were all in vain,

And of a transient date;
Por caught and caged, and starved to death,
In dying sighs my little breath

Soon pass'd the wiry grate.
Thanks, gentle swain, for all my woes,
And thanks for this effectual close

And cure of every ill;
More cruelty could none express;
And I, if you had shewn me lesa,

Had been your prisoner still.

« PreviousContinue »