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Money, that pays the laundress and her bills,
For socks, and collars, shirts, and frills,
Cravats, and kerchiefs — money, without which
The Negroes must remain as dark as pitch;
A thing to make all Christians sad and shivery,
To think of millions of immortal souls
Dwelling in bodies black as coals,
And living — so to speak — in Satan's livery ! Money — the root of evil — dross and stuff!
But, O! how happy ought the rich to feel, Whose means enabled them to give enough
To blanch an African from head to heel !
How blessed — yea, thrice blessed — to subscribe
Enough to scour a tribe !
While he whose fortune was at best a brittle one.
Although he gave but pence, how sweet to know
He helped to bleach a Hottentot's great toe,
Or little one!
Moved by this logic, or appalled,
To persons of a certain turn so proper,
The money came when called,
In silver, gold, and copper,
Presents from “friends to blacks," or foes to whites,
“ Trifles,” and “ offerings,” and “ widow's mites,”
Plump legacies, and yearly benefactions,
With other gifts
And charitable lifts,
Printed in lists and quarterly transactions.
As thus – Elisha Brettel,
An iron kettle.
The Dowager Lady Scannel,
A piece of flannel.
A bar of soap.
The Misses Howels,
The Master Rush's
Mr. T. Groom,
And Mrs. Grubb,
Great were the sums collected !
And great results in consequence expected.
But somehow. in the teeth of all endeavor.
According to reports
At yearly courts, The Blacks, confound them! were as black as ever ! Yes! spite of all the water soused aloft, Soap, plain and mottled, hard and soft, Soda and pearlash, huckaback and sand, Brooms, brushes, palm of hand, And scourers in the office strong and clever,
In spite of all the tubbing, rubbing, scrubbing,
The routing and the grubbing, The Blacks, confound them ! were as black as ever! In fact, in his perennial speech, The Chairman owned the Niggers did not bleach,
As he had hoped,
From being washed and soaped,
A circumstance he named with grief and pity;
But still he had the happiness to say,
For self and the Committee,
By persevering in the present way,
And scrubbing at the Blacks from day to day,
Although he could not promise perfect white,
From certain symptoms that had come to light, He hoped in time to get them gray !
Lulled by this vague assurance,
The friends and patrons of the sable tribe
. Continued to subscribe,
And waited, waited on with much endurance —
Many a frugal sister, thrifty daughter –.
Many a stinted widow, pinching mother —
With income by the tax made somewhat shorter,
Still paid implicitly her crown per quarter,
Only to hear, as every year came round,
That Mr. Treasurer had spent her pound;
And as she loved her sable brother,
That Mr. Treasurer must have another !
But, spite of pounds or guineas,
Instead of giving any hint
Of turning to a neutral tint,
The plaguy Negroes and their piccaninnies
Were still the color of the bird that caws –
Only some very aged souls,
Showing a little gray upon their polls,
Like daws !
However, nothing dashed
By such repeated failures, or abashed,
The Court still met; — the Chairman and Directors,
The Secretary, good at pen and ink,
The worthy Treasurer, who kept the chink,
And all the cash Collectors;
With hundreds of that class, so kindly credulous,
Without whose help no charlatan alive
Or Bubble Company could hope to thrive,
Or busy Chevalier, however sedulous —
Those good and easy innocents, in fact,
Who, willingly receiving chaff for corn.
As pointed out by Butler's tact,
Still find a secret pleasure in the act
Of being plucked and shorn!
However, in long hundreds there they were,
Thronging the hot, and close, and dusty court,
To hear once more addresses from the Chair,
And regular Report.
Alas ! concluding in the usual strain,
That what with everlasting wear and tear,
The scrubbing-brushes had n't got a hair —
The brooms — mere stumps — would never serve again —
The soap was gone, the flannels all in shreds,
The towels worn to threads,
The tubs and pails too shattered to be mended -
And what was added with a deal of pain,
But as accounts correctly would explain,
Though thirty thousand pounds had been expended —-
The Blackamoors had still been washed in vain !
" In fact, the Negroes were as black as ink,
Yet, still as the Committee dared to think,
And hoped the proposition was not rash,
A rather free expenditure of cash —”
But ere the prospect could be made more sunny -
Up jumped a little, lemon-colored man,
And with an eager stammer, thus began, In angry earnest, though it sounded funny : “What! More subscriptions! No— no — no,— not I! You have had time — time — time enough to try! They won't come white ! then why — why — why – why
More money ?” “Why!” said the Chairman, with an accent bland, And gentle waving of his dexter hand, " Why must we have more dross, and dirt, and dust,
More filthy lucre, in a word more gold -
The why, sir, very easily is told,
Because Humanity declares we must !
We've scrubbed the Negroes till we've nearly killed 'em.
And, finding that we cannot wash them white,
But still their nigritude offends the sight,
We mean to gild'em !”
ODE TO RAE WILSON, ESQUIRE.
“ Close, close your eyes with holy dread,
And weave a circle round him thrice ;
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise !”– COLERIDGE.
“ It's very hard them kind of men
Won't let a body be.”- Old Ballad.
A WANDERER, Wilson, from my native land,
Remote, O Rae, from godliness and thee,
Where rolls between us the eternal sea,
Besides some furlongs of a foreign sand, -
Beyond the broadest Scotch of London Wall;
Beyond the loudest Saint that has a call ;
Across the wavy waste between us stretched,
A friendly missive warns me of a stricture,
Wherein my likeness you have darkly etched,
And though I have not seen the shadow sketched,
Thus I remark prophetic on the picture.
I guess the features : -- in a line to paint
Their moral ugliness, I'm not a saint.
Not one of those self-constituted saints,
Quacks — not physicians — in the cure of souls,
Censors who sniff out moral taints,
And call the devil over his own coals —
Those pseudo Privy Councillors of God,
Who write down judgments with a pen hard-nibhed :