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.VOICES OF FREEDOM.

TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE.

[toussaint L'ouvebture, the black chieftain of Hnyti, was a slave on the plantation "de Libertas," belonging to M. Bayou. When the rising of the negroes took place, in 1791, Tobssaint refused to join them until he had aided M. Batod and his family to escape to Baltimore. The white man had discovered in ToussAiJfT many noble qualities, and had instructed him in some of the first branches of education; and the preservation of his life was owing to the negro's gratitude for this kindness.

In 1797, Toussaint L'ouverture was appointed, by the French government, General-in-Chief of the armies of St. Domingo, and, as such, signed the Convention with General Maitxand, for the evacuation of the island by the British. From this period, until 1S01, the island, under the government of Toussaint was happy, tranquil, and prosperous. The miserable attempt of Nafoleon to reestablish slavery in St . Domingo, although it failed of its intended object, proved fatal to tho negro chieftain. Treacherously seized by Le Clerc, he was hurried on board a vessel by night, and conveyed to France, where he was confined in a cold subterranean dungeon, at Besancon, where, in April, 1803, he died. The treatment of Toussaint finds a parallel only in the murder of the Duke D'enghein. It was the remark of Godwin, in his Lectures, that the AVcst India Islands, since their first discovery by Columhus, could not boast of a single name which deserves comparison with that of Touss.wnt L'ouvebture.]

'TwA9 night. The tranquil moonlight smile

With which Heaven dreams of Earth, shed down

Its beauty on the Indian isle —

On broad green field and white-walled town;

And inland waste of rock and wood,

In searching sunshine, wild and rude,

Rose, mellowed through the silver gleam,
Soft as the landscape of a dream,
All motionless and dewy wet,
Tree, vine, and flower in shadow met:
The myrtle with its snowy bloom,
Crossing the nightshade's solemn gloom —
The white cecropia's silver rind
Relieved by deeper green behind, —
The orange with its fruit of gold,—
The lithe paullinia's verdant fold, —
The passion-flower, with symbol holy,
Twining its tendrils long and lowly,—
The rhexias dark, and cassia tall,
And proudly rising over all,
The kingly palm's imperial stem,
Crowned with its leafy diadem,—
Star-like, beneath whose sombre shade,
The fiery-winged cucullo played!

Yes — lovely was thine aspect, then,
Fair island of the Western Sea!

Lavish of beauty, even when

Thy brutes were happier than thy men,
For they, at least, were free!

Regardless of thy glorious clime,
Unmindful of thy soil of flowers,

The toiling negro sighed, that Time
No faster sped his hours.

For, by the dewy moonlight still,

He fed the weary-turning mill,

Or bent him in the chill morass,

To pluck the long and tangled grass,

And hear above his scar-worn back

The heavy slave-whip's frequent crack;

While in his heart one evil thought

In solitary madness wrought, —

One baleful fire surviving still

The quenching of the immortal mind — One sterner passion of his kind,

Which even fetters could not kill, —
The savage hope, to deal, ere long,
A vengeance bitterer than his wrong!

Hark to that cry !— long, loud, and shrill,
From field and forest, rock and hill,
Thrilling and horrible it rang,

Around, beneath, above ;— The wild beast from his cavern sprang —

The wild bird from her grove! Nor fear, nor joy, nor agony Were mingled in that midnight cry; But, like the lion's growl of wrath, When falls that hunter in his path, Whose barbed arrow, deeply set, Is rankling in his bosom yet, It told of hate, full, deep, and strong,— Of vengeance kindling out of wrong; It was as if the crimes of years — The unrequited toil — the tears — The shame and hate, which liken well Earth's garden to the nether hell, Had found in Nature's self a tongue, On which the gathered horror hung; As if from cliff, and stream, and glen, Burst, on the startled ears of men, That voice which rises unto God, Solemn and stern — the cry of blood! It ceased — and all was still once more, Save ocean chafing on his shore, The sighing of the wind between The broad banana's leaves of green, Or bough by restless plumage shook, Or murmuring voice of mountain brook.

Brief was the silence. Once again
Pealed to the skies that frantic yell —

Glowed on the heavens a fiery stain,
And flashes rose and fell;

And, painted on the blood-red sky,
Dark, naked arms were tossed on high;
And, round the white man's lordly hall,

Trode, fierce and free, the brute he made;
And those who crept along the wall,
And answered to his lightest call

With more than spaniel dread —
The creatures of his lawless beck —
Were trampling on his very neck!
And, on the night-air, wild and clear,
Rose woman's shriek of more than fear;
For bloodied arms were round her thrown,
And dark cheeks pressed against her own!

Then, injured Afric ! — for the shame
Of thy own daughters, vengeance came
Full on the scornful hearts of those,
Who mocked thee in thy nameless woes,
And to thy hapless children gave
One choice — pollution, or the grave!

Where then was he, whose fiery zeal
Had taught the trampled heart to feel,
Until despair itself grew strong,
And vengeance fed its torch from wrong?
Now — when the thunder-bolt is speeding;
Now — when oppression's heart is bleeding;
Now — when the latent curse of Time

la raining down in fire and blood — That curse which, through long years of crime,

lias gathered, drop by drop, its flood — Why strikes he not, the foremost one, Where murder's sternest deeds are done?

He stood the aged palms beneath,

That shadowed o'er his humble door,
Listening, with half-suspended breath,
To the wild sounds of fear and death —
Toussaint l'Ouverture!

What marvel that his heart beat high!

The blow for freedom had been given; And blood had answered to the cry

Which earth sent up to Heaven! What marvel, that a fierce delight Smiled grimly o'er his brow of night, As groan, and shout, and bursting flame, Told where the midnight tempest came, With blood and fire along its van, And death behind ! — he was a MAN!

Yes, dark-souled chieftain ! — if the light

Of mild Religion's heavenly ray Unveiled not to thy mental sight

The lowlier and the purer way, In which the Holy Sufferer trod,

Meekly amidst the sons of crime,— That calm reliance upon God

For justice, in his own good time,— That gentleness, to which belongs

Forgiveness for its many wrongs, Even as the primal martyr, kneeling For mercy on the evil-dealing,— Let not the favored white man name Thy stern appeal, with words of blame. Has he not, with the light of heaven

Broadly around him, made the same? Yea, on his thousand war-fields striven,

And gloried in his ghastly shame ? — Kneeling amidst his brother's blood, To offer mockery unto God, As if the High and Holy One Could smile on deeds of murder done ! — As if a human sacrifice Were purer in his Holy eyes, Though offered up by Christian hands, Than the foul rites of Pagan lands!

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