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The heavens all-favoring smile, the breeze is fair.
Hark to the clamors of the exulting crew!
Hark, how their cannon mock the patient skies !
Why dost thou shriek, and strain thy red-swoln eyes,
As the white sail is lessening from thy view?
Go, pine in want and anguish and despair:
There is no mercy found in human-kind.
Go, Widow, to thy grave, and rest thee there!
But may the God of justice bid the wind
Whelm that cursed bark beneath the mountain-wave,
And bless with liberty and death the Slave!
Oh, he is worn with toil! the big drops run Down his dark cheek. Hold, hold thy merciless
Pale tyrant! for, beneath thy hard command,
O’erwearied nature sinks. The scorching sun,
As pitiless as proud Prosperity,
Darts on him his full beams; gasping he lies,
Arraigning with his looks the patient skies,
While that inhuman driver lifts on high
The mangling scourge. O ye who at your ease
Sip the blood-sweetened beverage! thoughts like
Haply ye scorn. I thank thee, gracious God,
That I do feel upon my cheek the glow
Of indignation, when beneath the rod
A sable brother writhes in silent woe.
'Tis night: the unrelenting owners sleep
As undisturbed as Justice; but no more
The o'erwearied Slave, as on his native shore,
Rests on his reedy couch: he wakes to weep.
Though through the toil and anguish of the day
No tear escaped him, not one suffering groan
Beneath the twisted thong, he weeps alone
In bitterness; thinking that far away,
While happy Negroes join the midnight song,
And merriment resounds on Niger's shore,
She whom he loves, far from the cheerful throng
Stands sad, and gazes from her lowly door
With dim-grown eye, silent and woe-begone,
And weeps for him who will return no more.
Did, then, the Negro rear at last the sword
Of vengeance ? did he plunge its thirsty blade
In the hard heart of his inhuman lord ?
Oh! who shall blame him? In the midnight shade
There came on him the intolerable thought
Of every past delight, - his native grove,
Friendship’s best joys, and liberty and love,
For ever lost. Such recollections wrought
His brain to madness. Wherefore should he live
Longer with abject patience to endure
His wrongs and wretchedness, when hope can give
No consolation, time can bring no cure?
But justice for himself he yet could take,
And life is then well given for vengeance' sake.
High in the air exposed, the Slave is hung;
To all the birds of heaven, their living food !
He groans not, though, awaked by that fierce sun,
New torturers live to drink their parent blood;
He groans not, though the gorging vulture tear
The quivering fibre. Hither look, O ye
Who tore this man from peace and liberty !
Look hither, ye who weigh with politic care
The gain against the guilt! Beyond the grave
There is another world : bear ye in mind,
Ere your decree proclaims to all mankind
The gain is worth the guilt, that there the Slave,
Before the Eternal, “thunder-tongued shall plead
Against the deep damnation of your deed.”
O Thou who from the mountain's height
Rollest thy clouds, with all their weight Of waters, to old Nile's majestic tide;
Or o'er the dark, sepulchral plain, Recallest Carthage in her ancient pride,
The mistress of the main !
Hear, Genius ! hear thy children's cry!
Not always shouldst thou love to brood
Stern o'er the desert solitude,
Where seas of sand heave their hot surges high ;
Nor, Genius! should the midnight song
Detain thee, in some milder mood,
The palmy plains among,
Where Gambia to the torches' light
Flows radiant through the awakened night.
Ah, linger not to hear the song!
Genius ! avenge thy children's wrong.
The demon Avarice on your shore
Brings all the horrors of his train ;
And hark where, from the field of gore,
Howls the hyena o'er the slain !
Lo where the flaming village fires the skies!
Avenging Power! awake! arise!
Arise! thy children's wrongs redress ;
Heed the mother's wretchedness,
When, in the hot, infectious air,
O'er her sick babe she bows oppressed ;
Hear her when the traders tear
The suffering infant from her breast,
Sunk in the ocean he shall rest;
Hear thou the wretched mother's cries,
Avenging Power! awake! arise!
By the rank, infected air
That taints those cabins of despair ;
By the scourges blackened o'er,
And stiff and hard with human gore;
By every groan of deep distress,
By every curse of wretchedness;
The vices and the crimes that flow
From the hopelessness of woe;
By every drop of blood bespilt ;
By Afric's wrongs and Europe's guilt, -
Awake! arise! avenge!
And thou hast heard; and o'er their blood-fed plains
Sent thine avenging hurricanes ;
And bade thy storms, with whirlwind roar,
Dash their proud navies on the shore ;
And, where their armies claimed the fight,
Withered the warrior's might;
And o’er the unholy host, with baneful breath,
There, Genius! thou hast breathed the gales of death.
THE SAILOR WHO HAD SERVED IN THE
In September, 1798, a dissenting minister of Bristol discovered a sailor, in the neighborhood of that city, groaning and praying in a cow-house. The circumstance which occasioned his agony of mind is detailed in the annexed ballad, without the slightest addition or alteration. By presenting it as a poem, the story is made more public; and such stories ought to be made as public as possible.