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.VOICES OF FREEDOM.
[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,
Yes — lovely was thine aspect, then,
Lavish of beauty, even when
Thy brutes were happier than thy men,
Regardless of thy glorious clime,
The toiling negro sighed, that Time
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, —
Hark to that cry !— long, loud, and shrill,
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
Glowed on the heavens a fiery stain,
And, painted on the blood-red sky,
Trode, fierce and free, the brute he made;
With more than spaniel dread —
Then, injured Afric ! — for the shame
Where then was he, whose fiery zeal
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,
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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