Page images
PDF
EPUB

Slaves of gold, whose sordid dealings

Tarnish all your boasted powers, Prove that you have human feelings

Ere you proudly question ours !

PITY FOR POOR AFRICANS.

Video meliora proboque,
Deteriora sequor.

I own I am shock'd at the purchase of slaves, And fear those who buy them and sell them are knaves;

[groans What I hear of their hardships, their tortures, and Is almost enough to draw pity from stones.

I pity them greatly, but I must be mum,
For how could we do without sugar and rum?
Especially sugar, so needful we see?
What, give up our desserts, our coffee, and tea!

Besides, if we do, the French, Dutch, and Danes, Will heartily thank us, no doubt, for our pains: If we do not buy the poor creatures, they will; And tortures and groans will be multiplied still. If foreigners likewise would give up the trade, Much more in behalf of your wish might be said; But, while they get riches by purchasing blacks, Pray tell me why we may not also go snacks?

Your scruples and arguments bring to my mind
A story so pat, you may think it is coin'd,
On purpose to answer you, out of my mint;
But I can assure you I saw it in print.

A youngster at school, more sedate than the rest,
Had once his integrity put to the test;
His comrades had plotted an orchard to rob,
And ask'd him to go and assist in the job.

.

[ocr errors]

He was shock’d, sir, like you, and answer'd• Oh, no!

[go; What! rob our good neighbour! I pray you don't Besides the man's poor, his orchard's his bread: Then think of his children, for they must be fed.'

• You speak very fine, and you look very grave,
But apples we want, and apples we'll have;
If you will go with us you shall have a share,
If not, you shall have neither apple nor pear.'

They spoke, and Tom ponder'd--I see they will Poor man! whatsa pity to injure him so! [go : Poor man! I would save him his fruit if I could, But staying behind would do him no good.

• If the matter depended alone upon me, stree; His apples might hang till they dropp'd from the But since they will take them, I think I'll go too; . He will lose none by me, though I get a few.'

His scruples thus silenced, Tom felt more at ease, And went with his comrades the apples to seize; He blamed and protested, but join'd in the plan; He shared in the plunder, but pitied the man.

THE MORNING DREAM. 'Twas in the glad season of spring,

Asleep at the dawn of the day, I dream'd what I cannot but sing,

So pleasant it seem'd as I lay. I dream'd that, on ocean afloat,

Far hence to the westward I sail'd, While the billows high lifted the boat,

And the fresh-blowing breeze never fail'd. In the steerage a woman I saw,

Such at least was the form that she wore, Whose beauty impress’d me with awe,

Ne'er taught me by woman before. She sat, and a shield at her side

Shed light, like a sun on the waves, And, smiling divinely, she cried

I go to make freemen of slaves.' Then raising her voice to a strain

The sweetest that ear ever heard,
She sung of the slave's broken chain

Wherever her glory appear’d.
Some clouds, which had over us hung,

Fled, chased by her melody clear,
And methought while she liberty sung,

'Twas liberty only to hear, Thus swiftly dividing the flood,

To a slave-cultured island we came, Where a demon, her enemy, stood

Oppression his terrible name.

In his hand, as the sign of his sway,

A scourge hung with lashes he bore, And stood looking out for his prey

From Africa's sorrowful shore. But soon as approaching the land

That goddesslike woman he view'd, The scourge he let fall from his hand,

With the blood of his subjects imbrued. I saw him both sicken and die,

And the moment the monster expired Heard shouts that ascended the sky,

From thousands with rapture inspired. Awaking, how could I but muse

At what such a dream should betide ? But soon my ear caught the glad news,

Which served my weak thought for a guide That Britannia, renown'd o'er the waves

For the hatred she ever has shown To the black sceptred rulers of slaves,

Resolves to have none of her own.

THE RETIRED CAT.
A Poet's Cat, sedate and grave
As poet well could wish to have,
Was much addicted to inquire
For nooks to which she might retire,
And where, secure as mouse in chink,
She might repose, or sit and think.
I know not where she caught the trick
Nature perhaps herself had cast her
In such a mould philosophique,
Or else she learn'd it of her master,

Sometimes ascending, debonair,
An apple-tree or lofty pear,
Lodged with convenience in the fork,
She watch'd the gardener at his work:
Sometimes her ease and solace sought
In an old empty watering-pot,
There wanting nothing, saye a fan,
To seem some nymph in her sedan
Apparel'd in exactest sort,
And ready to be borne to court.

But love of change it seems has place
Not only in our wiser race,
Cats also feel, as well as we,
That passion's force, and so did she.
Her climbing she began to find
Exposed her too much to the wind,
And the old utensil of tin
Was cold and comfortless within :
She therefore wish’d, instead of those,
Some place of more serene repose,
Where neither cold might come, nor air
Too rudely wanton with her hair,
And sought it in the likeliest mode
Within her master's snug abode.

A drawer, it chanced, at bottom lined With linen of the softest kind, With such as merchants introduce From India, for the ladies' use, A drawer impending o'er the rest, Half open in the topmost chest, Of depth enough, and none to spare, Invited her to slumber there; Puss with delight beyond expression Survey'd the scene and took possession.

« PreviousContinue »