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THE SLAVE'S COMPLAINT. .
WIDE over the tremulous sea
The moon spread her mantle of light, And the gale, dying gently away,
Breathed soft on the bosom of night. On the forecastle Marraton stood,
And pour'd forth his sorrowful tale, His tears fell unseen in the flood,
His sighs pass'd unheard on the gale. • Ah wretch?' in wild anguish he cried,
• From country and liberty torn; Ah Marraton! would thou hadst died
Ere o'er the salt wave thou wast borne. Through the groves of Angola I stray'd,
Love and Hope made my bosom their own; For I talk'd with my favourite maid,
Nor dream'd of the sorrows to come. From the thicket the man-hunter sprung,
My cries echo'd loud through the air ; There was fury and wrath on his tongue,
He was deaf to the shrieks of despair. Accursed be the merciless band
That his love could from Marraton tear, And blasted this impotent hand
That was sever'd from all I held dear. • Flow, ye tears, down my cheeks 'ever flow,
Still let sleep from my eyelids depart; And still may the arrows of woe
Drink deep of the streams of my heart.
But hark! on the silence of night,
My Addela's accents I hear,
I see her loved image appear.
Like the gleam that hangs light on the wave; And fondly her lover she chides
That lingers so long from his grave. Ah Marraton ! haste ye, she cries,
Here the reign of Oppression is o'er, Here the tyrant is robb’d of his prize,
And Addela sorrows no more. Now sinking amid the dim ray,
Her form seems to fade on my view: O, stay thee! my Addela stay!
She beckons, and I must pursue.
Shall proudly account me his slave;
THE NEGRO'S COMPLAINT.
FORCED. from home and all its pleasures,
Afric's coast I left forlorn,
O’er the raging billows borne.
Paid my price in paltry gold;
Minds are never to be sold.
Still in thought as free as ever,
What are England's rights, I ask, Me from my delights to sever,
Me to torture, me to task? Fleecy locks and black complexion
Cannot forfeit Nature's claim; Skins may differ, but affection
Dwells in white and black the same.
Why did all-creating Nature
Make the plant for which we toil? Sighs must fan it, tears must water,
Sweat of ours must dress the soil. Think, ye. masters iron hearted,
Lolling at your jovial boards; Think how many backs have smarted
For the sweets your cane affords. Is there, as ye sometimes tell us,
Is there one who reigns on high? Has he bid you buy and sell us,
Speaking from his throne the sky? Ask him if your knotted scourges,
Fetters, blood-extorting screws
Agents of his will to use?
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 whirlwind answers-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;
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,
I CLIMB the highest cliff; I-hear the sound
Thou sun, that beamest bright, beneath whose The worlds unknown, and outstretch'd waters lie,
* See Keate's History of the Pelew Islands.
Dost thou behold him now? On some rude shore,
Ah! me, till sunk by sorrow, I shall dwell
Would I had perish'd ere that hapless day, When the tall vessel, in its trim array, First rush'd upon the sounding surge, and bore My age's comfort from the sheltering shore ! I saw it spread its white wings to the windToo soon it left these hills and woods behindGazing, its course I follow'd till mine eye No longer could its distant track descry; Till on the confines of the billows hoar A while it hung, and then was seen no more ; And only the blue hollow heaven I spied, And the long waste of waters tossing wide.