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To stones by epitaphs: he call'd great mastet
And hold one minute of this holy leisure
Welcome pure thoughts, welcome ye silent groves, These guests, these courts, my soul most dearly
And if contentment be a stranger then,
If late I paused upon the twilight plain
Of Fontenoy, to weep the free born brave; Sure fancy now may cross the western main,
And melt in sadder pity for the slave.
Lo! where to yon plantation drooping goes,
The sable herd of human kind, while near Stalks a pale despot, and around him throws
The scourge that wakes-that punishes the
O'er the far beach the mournful murmurer strays,
And joins the rude yell of the tumbling tide, As faint they labour in the solar blaze,
To feed the luxury of British pride!
E'en at this moment, on the burning gale
Floats the weak wailing of the female tongue: And can that sex's softness nought avail
Must naked woman shriek amid the throng?
Ocease to think, my soul! what thousands die
By suicide, and toils extreme despair: Thousands, who never rais’d to heaven the eye,
Thousands, who fear'd no punishment, but there.
Are drops of blood the horrible manure
That fills with luscious juice the teening cane ? And must our fellow-creatures thus endure,
For traffick vile, the indiguity of pain?
Yes, their keen sorrows are the sweets we blend
With the green beverage of our morning meal, The while to love meek mercy we pretend,
Or for fictitious ills affect to feel.
Yes, 'tis their anguish mantles in the bowl,
Their sighs excite the Briton's drunken joy; Those ignorant suff'rers know not of a soul,
That we enlighten'd may its hopes destroy.
And there are men, who leaning on the laws, What they have purchas'd claim a right to
hold Cursed be the tenure, and cursed its cruel cause
Freedom's a dearer property than gold!
and there are men, with shameless front have said,
• That nature form'd the negroes for disgrace ; • That on their limbs subjection is display'd
• The doom of slavery stampt upon their face.' Send your stern gaze from Lapland to the Line,
And every region's natives fairly scan, Their forms, their force, their faculties combine,
And own the vast variety of man !
Then why suppose yourself the chosen few,
To deal oppression's poison'd arrows round, To gall with iron bonds the weaker crew,
Enforce the labour, and inflict the wound?
'Tis sordid interest guides you; bent on gain,
In profit only can ye reason find;
The selfish subject to the social mind.
Ah! how can he, whose daily lot is grief,
Whose mind is vilified beneath the rod, Suppose his Maker has for him relief?
Can he believe the tongue that speaks of God?
For when he sees the female of his heart,
Aud his loved daughters torn by lust away, His sons, the poor inheritors of smart
-Had he religion, think ye he could pray?
Alas! he steals him from the loathsome shed, What time moist midnight blows her venom'd
breath, And musing, how he long has toild and bled,
Drinks the dire balsam of consoling deatli!
Haste, haste, ye winds, on swiftest pinions fly,
Ere from this world of misery he go, Tell him his wrongs bedew a nation's eye,
Tell him, Britannia blushes for his woe!
Say that in future, negroes shall be blest. Rank'd e'en as men, and men's just rights
enjoy ; Be neither sold, nor purchased, nor oppress’d,
No grief shall wither, and no stripes destroy.
Say that fair freedom bends her holy flight
To cheer the infant, and console the sire; So shall he wondering prove at last delight,
And in a thrub of extacy expire.
Then shall proud Albion's crown, where laurels
twine. Torn from the bosom of the raging sea, Boast ’midst the glorious leaves, a gem divine,
The radiant gem of pure humanity!