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Oh! scorn not the poor with the scorner's jest,
W. P. Brown.
ADDRESS TO A MUMMY. And thou hast walk'd about (how strange a story!)
In Thebe's streets three thousand years ago, When the Memnonium was in all its glory,
And time had not begun to overthrow Those temples, palaces, and piles stupendous, Of which the very ruins are tremendous ! Speak! for thou long enough hast acted Dumby;
Thou hast a tongue, come, let us hear its tune; Thou’rt standing on thy legs above ground, Mummy!
Revisiting the glimpses of the moon; Not like thin ghosts or disembodied creatures, But with thy bones and flesh, and limbs and features. Tell us---for doubtless thou canst recollect,
To whom should we assign the Sphinx's fame; Was Cheops or Cephrenes architect
Of either pyramid that bears his name? Is Pompey's Pillar really a misnomer? Had Thebes a hundred gates, as sung by Homer? Perhaps thou wert a mason, and forbidden
By oath to tell the secrets of thy tradeThen say, what secret melody was hidden
In Memnon's statue, which at sun-rise play'd ? Perhaps thou wert a priest—if so, my struggles Are vain; for priestcraft never owns its juggles.
Perchance that very hand, now pinion'd flat,
Has hob-a-nobb'd with Pharaoh, glass to glass; Or dropp'd a halfpenny in Homer's hat,
Or doft'd thine own, to let Queen Dido pass;
Has any Roman soldier maul'd and knuckled; For thou wert dead, and buried, and embalm’d,
Ere Romulus and Remus had been suckled :
Might tell us what those sightless orbs have seen, How the world look'd when it was fresh and young,
And the great Deluge still had left its greenOr was it then so old, that Hist'ry pages Contain'd no record of its early ages? Still silent, incommunicative elf?
Art sworn to secrecy? then keep thy vows; But pr’ythee tell us something of thyself,
Reveal the secrets of thy prison-house; Since in the world of spirits thou hast slumber'd, What hast thou seen?—what strange adventures
number'd ? Since first thy form was in this box extended, We have, above ground, seen some strange mu
tations : The Roman empire has begun and ended,
New worlds have risen—we have lost old nations, And countless kings have into dust been humbled, Whilst not a fragment of thy flesh has crumbled.
Didst thou not hear the pother o'er thy head,
When the great Persian conqueror, Cambyses, , March'd armies o'er thy tomb with thund'ring tread,
O’erthrew Osiris, Orus, Apis, Isis,
The nature of thy private life unfold :
And tears adown that dusky cheek have rollid: Have children climb'd those knees, and kiss'd that
face? What was thy name and station, age and race? Statue of flesh-Immortal of the dead !
Imperishable type of evanescence! Posthumous man, who quitt'st thy narrow bed,
And standest undecay'd within our presence, Thou wilt hear nothing till the Judgment morning, When the great Trump shall thrill thee with its
If its undying guest be lost for ever?
In living virtue, that, when both must sever,
Thou dost fit from flower to flower,
THE NEGRO'S COMPLAINT.
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,
Matches, 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 whirlwinds answer-No.