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Hark! he answers—wild tornadoes,
Strewing yonder sea with wrecks; Wasting to wos, 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;
Crossing in your barks the main;
To the man.degrading mart;
Only by a broken heart:
Till some reason ye shall find
Than the colour of our kind.
Tarnish all your boasted powers,
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; What I hear of their hardships, their tortures, and
groans, Is almost enough to draw pity from stones. 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! 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 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 coinrades 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!
If the matter depended alone upon me,
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, Tom felt more at ease, 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.
'TWAS in the glad season of spring,
Asleep at the dawn of the day,
So pleasant it seem'd as I lay.
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 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,
Wherever her glory appear'd.
Fled, chased by her melody clear,
'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 blood of his subjects imbrued. 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 dream 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 shown To the black-sceptred rulers of slaves,
Resolves to have none of her own.