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The winds were prosperous, and the billows bore Earth from her lap perennial verdure pours,
O'er the wild mountains and luxuriant plains,
She withers where the waters cease to roll,
Man too, where freedom's beams and fountains rx. At the last look of resolute despair,
Springs from the dust, and blossoms to the skies; The Hesperian isles, from distance dimly blue, Dead to the joys of light and life, the slave With gradual beauty open'd on his view.
Clings to the clod; his root is in the grave: In that proud moment, his transported mind Bondage is winter, darkness, death, despair; The morning and the evening worlds combined, Freedom the sun, the sea, the mountains, and the sit And made the sea, that sunder'd them before A bond of peace, uniting shore to shore.
In placid indolence supinely blest, Vain, visionary hope! rapacious Spain
A feeble race these beauteous isles possess'd; Follow'd her hero's triumph o'er the main, Untamed, untaught, in arts and arms unskilld, Her hardy sons in fields of battle tried,
Their patrimonial soil they rudely tillid, Where Moor and Christian desperately died. Chased the free rovers of the savage wood, A rabid race, fanatically bold,
Ensnared the wild-bird, swept the scaly flood, And steeld to cruelty by lust of gold,
Shelter'd in lowly huts their fragile forms Traversed the waves, the unknown world explored, From burning suns and desolating storms; The cross their standard, but their faith the sword; Or when the halcyon sported on the breeze, Their steps were graves; o'er prostrate realms they In light canoes they skimm'd the rippling sess:
Their lives in dreams of soothing languor fless, They worshipp'd Mammon while they vow'd to God. No parted joys, no future pains, they knew,
The passing moment all their bliss or care ; Let nobler bards in loftier numbers tell
Such as their sires had been the children were, How Cortez conquer'd, Montezuma fell ;
From age to age; as waves upon the tide How fierce Pizarro's ruffian arm o'erthrew
Of stormless time, they calmly lived and died. The Sun's resplendent empire in Peru; How, like a prophet, old Las Casas stood, And raised his voice against a sea of blood,
Dreadful as hurricanes, athwart the main Whose chilling waves recoil'd while he foretold Rush'd the fell legions of invading Spain; His country's ruin by avenging gold.
With fraud and force, with false and fatal bresti -That gold, for which unpitied Indians fell, (Submission bondage, and resistance death), That gold, at once the share and scourge of hell, They swept the isles. In vain the simple race Thenceforth by righteous Heaven was doom'd to shed Kneeld to the iron sceptre of their grace, Unmingled curses on the spoiler's head ;
Or with weak arms their fiery vengeance braved, For gold the Spaniard cast his soul away,
They came, they saw, they conquer'd, they enslaved His gold and he were every nation's prey.
And they destroy'd;—the generous heart they brale,
They crush'd the timid neck beneath the yoke ; But themes like these would ask an angel-lyre, Where'er to battle march'd their fell array, Language of light and sentiment of fire;
The sword of conquest plow'd resistless way; Give me to sing, in melancholy strains,
Where'er from cruel toil they sought repose, Of Carib martyrdoms and Negro chains;
Around the fires of devastation rose. One race by tyrants rooted from the earth, The Indian, as he turn'd his head in flight, One doom'd to slavery by the taint of birth! Beheld his cottage flaming through the night Where first his drooping sails Columbus furl'd,
And, 'midst the shrieks of murder on the wind, And sweetly rested in another world,
Heard the mute blood-hound's death-step close behind Amidst the heaven-reflecting ocean, smiles A constellation of elysian isles ;
The conflict o'er, the valiant in their graves, Fair as Orion, when he mounts on high,
The wretched remnant dwindled into slaves; Sparkling with midnight splendor from the sky : Condemn'd in pestilential cells to pine, They bask beneath the sun's meridian rays, Delving for gold amidst the gloomy mine. When not a shadow breaks the boundless blaze ; The sufferer, sick of life-protracting breath, The breath of ocean wanders through their vales Inhaled with joy the fire-damp blast of death. In morning breezes and in evening gales :
--Condemn'd to sell the mountain palm on high,
Ere the tree trembled to his feeble stroke,
The woodman languish'd, and his heart-strings broke; Behold that other world, where yonder sun
--Condemn'd, in torrid noon, with palsied hand, Now spoeds to dawn in glory,"
To urge the slow plow o'er the obdurate land,
The laborer, smitten by the sun's quick ray,
From rude Caffraria, where the giraffes browse, A corpse along the unfinish'd furrow lay.
With stately heads, among the forest boughs, O'erwhelm'd at length with ignominious toil, To Atlas, where Numidian lions glow Mingling their barren ashes with the soil,
With torrid fire beneath eternal snow: Down to the dust the Carib people pass'd, From Nubian hills, that hail the dawning day, Like autumn foliage withering in the blast: To Guinea's coast, where evening fades away, The whole race sunk beneath the oppressor's rod, Regions immense, unsearchable, unknown, And left a blank among the works of God.
Bask in the splendor of the solar zone;
A world of wonders,—where creation seems
Great, wild, and beautiful, beyond control,
She reigns in all the freedom of her soul;
Where none can check her bounty when she showers
O'er the gay wilderness her fruits and flowers; ARGUMENT.
None brave her fury, when, with whirlwind breath, The Cane.—Africa.— The Negro.—The Slave-Carry- And earthquake step, she walks abroad with death:
ing Trade.— The Means and Resources of the Slave O'er boundless plains she holds her fiery flight, Trade.-The Portuguese, — Dutch, — Danes — In terrible magnificence of light; French,—and English in America.
At blazing noon pursues the evening breeze,
Through the dun gloom of realm-o'ershadowing trees, AMONG the bowers of paradise, that graced
Her thirst at Nile's mysterious fountain quells, Those islands of the world-dividing waste,
Or bathes in secrecy where Niger swells Where towering cocoas waved their graceful locks, An inland ocean, on whose jasper rocks And vines luxuriant cluster'd round the rocks ;
With shells and sea-flower-wreaths she binds her
locks : Where orange-groves perfumed the circling air, With verdure, flowers, and fruit for ever fair;
She slept on isles of velvet verdure, placed
'Midst sandy gulfs and shoals for ever waste ; Gay myrtle foliage track'd the winding rills, And cedar forests slumber'd on the hills;
She guides her countless flocks to cherish'd rills,
And feeds her cattle on a thousand hills;
Her steps the wild bees welcome through the vale, No tree of knowledge with forbidden fruit,
From every blossom that embalms the gale; Death in the taste, and ruin at the root ;
The slow unwieldy river-horse she leads Yet in its growth were good and evil found,
Through the deep waters, o'er the pasturing meads; It bless'd the planter, but it cursed the ground;
And climbs the mountains that invade the sky, While with vain wealth it gorged the master's hoard,
To soothe the eagle's nestlings when they cry. And spread with manna his luxurious board,
At sun-set, when voracious monsters burst Its culture was perdition to the slave,
From dreams of blood, awaked by maddening thirst; It sapp'd his life, and flourish'd on his grave.
When the lorn caves, in which they shrunk from light,
Ring with wild echoes through the hideous night; When the fierce spoiler from remorseless Spain When darkness seems alive, and all the air Tasted the balmy spirit of the cane,
Is one tremendous uproar of despair, (Already had his rival in the west
Horror, and agony ;-on her they call;
And goads the gaunt hyena to his prey.
In these romantic regions, man grows wild ; Silence and horror o'er the isles were spread, Here dwells the Negro, Nature's outcast child, The living seem'd the spectres of the dead. Scorn'd by his brethren; but his mother's eye, The Spaniard saw; no sigh of pity stole,
That gazes on him from her warmest sky, No pang of conscience touch'd his sullen soul: Sees in his flexile limbs untutor'd grace, The tiger weeps not o'er the kid ;-he turns Power on his forehead, beauty in his face ; His flashing eyes abroad, and madly burns Sees in his breast, where lawless passions rove, For nobler victims, and for warmer blood : The heart of friendship and the home of love; Thus on the Carib shore the tyrant stood,
Sees in his mind, where desolation reigns Thus cast his eyes with fury o'er the tide, Fierce as his clime, uncultured as his plains, And far beyond the gloomy gulf descried
A soil where virtue's fairest flowers might shoot, Devoted Africa : he burst away,
And trees of science bend with glorious fruit; And with a yell of transport grasp'd his prey. Sees in his soul, involved with thickest night,
An emanation of eternal light,
Ordain'd, 'midst sinking worlds, his dust to fire,
And shine for ever when the stars expire. 1 The Cane is said to have been first transplanted from Ma- Her quickening beams on his neglected head?
Is he not man, though knowledge never shed deira to the Brazils, by the Portuguese, and afterwards introdaced by the Spaniards into the Caribbee Islands.--See also Is he not man, though sweet religion's voice Ene 21, below.
Ne'er bade the mourner in his God rejoice ?
Is he not man, by sin and suffering tried ?
Quickly, by Spain's alluring fortune fired, Is he not man, for whom the Savior died?
With hopes of fame, and dreams of wealth inspired Belie the Negro's powers ;-in headlong will, Europe's dread powers from ignominious ease Christian, 'thy brother thou shalt prove him still : Started; their pennons stream'd on every breeze: Belie his virtues; since his wrongs began,
And still, where'er the wide discoveries spread, His follies and his crimes have stampt him Man. The cane was planted, and the native bled ;
While, nursed by fiercer suns, of nobler race, The Spaniard found him such :-the island-race The Negro toild and perish'd in his place. His foot had spurn'd from earth's insulted face; Among the waifs and foundlings of mankind, First, Lusitania,-she whose prows had borne Abroad he look'd, a sturdier stock to find; Her arms triumphant round the car of morn, A spring of life, whose fountains should supply -Turn'd to the setting sun her bright array, His channels, as he drank the rivers dry:
And hung her trophies o'er the couch of day. That stock he found on Afric's swarming plains, Holland,—whose hardy sons roll'd back the sea That spring he open'd in the Negro's veins ; To build the halcyon-nest of liberty, A spring, exhaustless as his avarice drew,
Shameless abroad the enslaving flag unfurla, A stock that like Prometheus' vitals grew
And reign'd a despot in the younger world. Beneath the eternal beak his heart had tore, Beneath the insatiate thirst that drain'd his gore. Denmark,—whose roving hordes, in barbewus Thus, childless as the Caribbeans died,
times, Afric's strong sons the ravening waste supplied ; Fill'd the wide North with piracy and crimes, Of hardier fibre to endure the yoke,
Awed every shore, and taught their keels to sweep And self-renew'd beneath the severing stroke ; O'er every sea, the Arabs of the deep, As grim Oppression crush'd them to the tomb, -Embark’d, once more to western conquest led Their fruitful parents' miserable womb
By Rollo's spirit, risen from the dead. Teem'd with fresh myriads, crowded o'er the waves, Heirs to their toil, their sufferings, and their graves. To hurl old Rome from her Tarpeian height,
Gallia,—who vainly aim'd, in depth of night,
(But lately laid, with unprevented blow, Freighted with curses was the bark that bore
The thrones of kings, the hopes of freedom low), The spoilers of the west to Guinea's shore;
-Rush'd o'er the theatre of splendid toils,
To brave the dangers and divide the spoils.
Britannia,--she who scathed the crest of Spain. The human cargo and the demon crew.
And won the trident sceptre of the main, -Thenceforth, unnumber'd as the waves that roll When to the raging wind and ravening tide From sun to sun, or pass from pole to pole, She gave the huge Armada's scatter'd pride, Outcasts and exiles, from their country torn, Smit by the thunder-wielding hand that hurl'd In floating dungeons o'er the gulf were borne:
Her vengeance round the wave-encircled world; -The valiant, seized in peril-daring fight; -Britannia shared the glory and the guilt,The weak, surprised in nakedness and night; By her were Slavery's island-altars built, Subjects by mercenary despots sold;
And fed with human victims ;-while the cries Victims of justice prostitute for gold;
Of blood demanding vengeance from the skies, Brothers by brothers, friends by friends betray'd; Assail'd her traders' grovelling hearts in vain Snared in her lover's arms the trusting maid ; _Hearts dead 10 sympathy, alive to gain, The faithful wife by her false lord estranged, Hard from impunity, with avarice cold, For one wild cup of drunken bliss exchanged; Sordid as earth, insensible as gold. From the brute-mother's knee, the infant-boy, Kidnapp'd in slumber, barter'd for a toy ;
Thus through a night of ages, in whose shade The father, resting at his father's tree,
The sons of darkness plied the infernal trade, Doom'd by the son to die beyond the sea :
Wild Africa beheld her tribes, at home, -All bonds of kindred, law, alliance broke, In battle slain ; abroad, condemnd to roam All ranks, all nations crouching to the yoke; O'er the salt waves, in stranger isles to bear From fields of light, unshadow'd climes, that lie (Forlorn of hope, and sold into despair), Panting beneath the sun's meridian eye;
Through life's slow journey, to its dolorous elose, From hidden Ethiopia's utmost land;
Unseen, unwept, unutterable woes.
Trade.--The Middle Passage.—The Negro in the
West Indies.—The Guinea Captain.—The Creole Where broken-hearted Switzerland bewails
Around the beauteous isle of Liberty;
-Man, through all ages of revolving time,
Unchanging man, in every varying clime, THERE is a land, of every land the pride, Deems his own land of every land the pride, Beloved by Heaven o'er all the world beside ; Beloved by Heaven o'er all the world beside ; Where brighter suns dispense serener light, His home the spot of earth supremely blest, And milder moons emparadise the night;
A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest.
And is the Negro outlaw'd from his birth ?
Is he alone a stranger on the earth?
Is there no shed, whose peeping roof appears
So lovely that it fills his eyes with tears ?
No land, whose name, in exile heard, will dart In every clime the magnet of his soul,
Ice through his veins and lightning through his heart? Touch'd by remembrance, trembles to that pole;
Ah! yes: beneath the beams of brighter skies, For in this land of Heaven's peculiar grace,
His home amidst his father's country lies; The heritage of nature's noblest race,
There with the partner of his soul he shares There is a spot of earth supremely blest,
Love-mingled pleasures, love-divided cares : A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest,
There, as with nature's warmest filial fire, Where man, creation's tyrant, casts aside
He soothes his blind, and feeds his helpless sire, His sword and sceptre, pageantry and pride,
His children sporting round his hut behold While in his soften'd looks benignly blend
How they shall cherish him when he is old, The sire, the son, the husband, brother, friend :
Train’d by example from their fenderest youth Here woman reigns; the mother, daughter, wife,
To deeds of charity, and words of truth.'
-Is he not blest? Behold; at closing day,
He treads the dance through all its rapturous rounds, Amund her knees domestic duties meet,
To the wild music of barbarian sounds; And fire-side pleasures gambol at her feet.
Or, stretch'd at ease, where broad palmettoes shower " Where shall that land, that spot of earth be found ?" Delicious coolness in his shadowy bower, Art thou a man ?-a patriot ?-look around;
He feasts on tales of witchcraft, that give birth O, thou shalt find, howe'er thy footsteps roam,
To breathless wonder, or ecstatic mirth: That land thy country, and that spot thy home!
Yet most delighted, when, in rudest rhymes,
The minstrel wakes the song of elder times, On Greenland's rocks, o'er rude Kamschatka's When men were heroes, slaves to Beauty's charms, plains,
And all the joys of life were love and arms. In pale Siberia's desolate domains ;
- Is not the Negro blest ? His generous soil When the wild hunter takes his lonely way,
With harvest-plenty crowns his simple toil ; Tracks through tempestuous snows his savage prey, He loves to greet the stranger at his board :
More than his wants his flocks and fields afford : The reindeer's spoil, the ermine's treasure shares, And feasts his farine on the fat of bears;
“ The winds were roaring, and the White Man fled; Or, wrestling with the might of raging seas,
The rains of night descended on his head ; Where round the pole the eternal billows freeze,
The poor White Man sat down beneath our tree, Plucks from their jaws the stricken whale, in vain Weary and faint, and far from home, was he: Plunging down headlong through the whirling main; For him no mother fills with milk the bowl, -His wastes of ice are lovelier in his eye
No wife prepares the bread to cheer his soul; Than all the flowery vales beneath the sky,
-Pity the poor White Man who sought our tree; And dearer far than Cæsar's palace-dome,
No wife, no mother, and no home, has he." His cavern-shelter, and his cottage-home.
Thus sang the Negro's daughters ;-once again,
O that the poor White Man might hear that strain! O'er China's garden-fields and peopled floods ; In California's pathless world of woods ;
1 Dr. Winterbotham says, "The respect which the Africans Round Andes' heights, where Winter from his throne, pay to old people is very great.-One of the severest intsults
which can be offered to an African is to speak disrespectfully Looks down in scorn upon the summer zone;
of his mother." "The Negro race is, perhaps, the most proBy the gay borders of Bermuda's isles,
lific of all the human species. Their infancy and youth are sinWhere Spring with everlasting verdure smiles, gularly happy.—The mothers are passionately fond of their On pure Madeira's vine-robed hills of health ;
children."-Goldhury's Travels.--".Strike me,' said my
attendant, but do not curse my mother.'--The same sentiIn Java's swamps of pestilence and wealth ;
ment I found universally to prevail.–One of the first lessons Where Babel stood, where wolves and jackals drink, in which the Mandingo women instruct their children is the 'Midst weeping willows, on Euphrates' brink ; practice of truth. It was the only consolation for a Negro On Carmel's crest; by Jordan's reverend stream,
mother, whose son had been murdered by the Moors, that the Where Canaan's glories vanish'd like a dream;
poor boy had never told a lie.”-Park & Travels. The do
scription of African life and manners that follows, and the song Where Greece, a spectre, haunts her heroes' graves, of the Negro's daughters, are copied without exaggeration from And Rome's vast ruins darken Tiber's waves ; the authentic accounts of Mungo Park.
- Whether the victim of the treacherous Moor, Yet small the number, and the fortune blest Or from the Negro's hospitable door
Of those who in the stormy deep found rest, Spurn'd as a spy from Europe's hateful clime, Weigh'd with the unremember'd millions more, And left to perish for thy country's crime;
That 'scaped the sea to perish on the shore,
The earth-devouring anguish of despair,"
The home-sick passion which the Negro feels, Thus lived the Negro in his native land,
When toiling, fainting in the land of canes, Till Christian cruisers anchor'd on his strand :
His spirit wanders to his native plains ; Where'er their grasping arms the spoilers spread,
His little lovely dwelling there he sees, The Negro's joys, the Negro's virtues, fled;
Beneath the shade of his paternal trees, Till, far amidst the wilderness unknown,
The home of comfort: then before his eyes. They flourish'd in the sight of Heaven alone :
The terrors of captivity arise. While from the coast, with wide and wider sweep, Their mother slumber'd on their father's breast :
-'T was night :-his babes around him lay at rest, The race of Mammon dragg'd across the deep Their sable victims, to that western bourn,
A yell of murder rang around their bed; From which no traveller might e'er return,
They woke ; their cottage blazed ; the victims fied: To blazon in the ears of future slaves
Forth sprang the ambush'd ruffians on their prey, The secrets of the world beyond the waves.
| They caught, they bound, they drove them far away;
The white man bought them at the mart of blood; When the loud trumpet of eternal doom
In pestilential barks they cross d the food ; Shall break the mortal bondage of the tomb;
Then were the wretched ones asunder torn, When with a mother's pangs the expiring earth
To distant isles, to separate bondage borne, Shall bring her children forth to second birth ;
Denied, though sought with tears, the sad relief Then shall the sea's mysterious caverns, spread
That misery loves,—the fellowship of grief. With human relics, render up their dead :
The Negro, spoil'd of all that nature gave Though warm with life the heaving surges glow,
To freeborn man, thus shrunk into a slave : Where'er the winds of heaven were wont to blow, His passive limbs, to measured tasks confined, In sevenfold phalanx shall the rallying hosts
Obey'd the impulse of another mind; Of ocean slumberers join their wandering ghosts,
A silent, secret, terrible control, Along the melancholy gulf, that roars
That ruled his sinews, and repress'd his soul. From Guinea to the Caribbean shores.
Not for himself he waked at morning-lighi, Myriads of slaves, that perish'd on the way,
Toil'd the long day, and sought repose at night; From age to age the shark's appointed prey,
His rest, his labor, pastime, strength, and healih, By livid plagues, by lingering tortures slain,
Were only portions of a master's wealth; Or headlong plunged alive into the main,"
His love-0, name not love, where Britons doom Shall rise in judgment from their gloomy beds,
The fruit of love to slavery from the womb! And call down vengeance on their murderers heads.
Thus spurn’d, degraded, trampled, and oppressid,
The Negro-exile languish'd in the West,
"In this year (1783), certain underwritors desired to be heard And not a hope except the hope, in death,
, and continued for three days, immediately after the several were ill
, and likely to die, when the captain proposed second lot of slaves had been destroyed, by means of which to James Kelsal, the mate, and others, to throw several of them they might have filled many of their vessels (a) with water, overboard, stating, that if they died a natural death, the loss and thus have prevented all necessity for the destruction of the would fall upon the owners of the ship, but that, if they were
third. ürown into the sea, it would fall upon the underwriters.' He tendance of a short-band writer to take down the facts which
“Mr. Sharpe was present at this trial, and procured the atselected, accordingly, one hundred and thirty-two of the most should come out in the course of it. These he gave to the sickly of the slaves. Fifty-four of these were immediately thrown overboard, and forty-two were made to be partakers of their public afterwards. He communicated them also, with a copy fate on the succeeding day. In the course of three days after- of the trial, to the Lords of the Admiralty, as the guardians of wards the remaining twenty-six were brought upon deck, to justice upon the seas, and to the Duke of Portland, as principal complete the number of victims. The first sixteen submitted to these of the information which had been thus sent them."'
minister of state. No notice, however, was taken by any of be thrown into the sea, but the rest, with a noble resolution, Clarkson's History of the Abolition, etc., page 15—97. would not suffer the officers to touch them, but leaped after their companions, and shared their fate.
1 The Negroes sometimes, in deep and irrecoverable melan“The plea which was set up in behalf of this atrocious and choly, wasto themselves away, by secretly swallowing large unparalleled act of wickedness was, that the captain discovered, quantities of earth. It is remarkable that "earth-eating," as it when he made the proposal, that he had only two hundred gal is called, is an infectious, and even a social malndy: plantaJons of water on board, and that he had missed his port. It was tions have been occasionally almost depopulated, by the slaves, proved, however, in answer to this, that no one had been put with one consent, betaking themselves to this strange practice upon short allowance; and that, as if Providence had deter- which speedily brings them to a miserable and premature end. mined to afford an unequivocal proof of the guilt, a shower of
(a) It appeared that they filled six.