Sivut kuvina




AWAKE, my muse, tho' sorrowful to name, The crimes of infidels baptiz'd proclaim, Their complicated villanies explore From Afric's golden coast to India's shore ; Their pride, rage, lust, and tyranny extend, Then note with horror their tremendous end : Tell mankind, how their Maker they defy, And force unwilling vengeance from the sky; At once their cruelty and av’rice show, Then boldly strike, and vindicate the blow : From Scripture, feeling, common sense then prove The dire resentment of the powers above. Expose oppression with an honest frown, Till guilt shrinks back, tho’ seated on a throne ; With cruel despots war eternal wage, Turn love celestial to terrestrial rage, Till ev'ry visage be with grief impressid, Till pity throb in ev'ry human breast, Till tears and indignation rise by turns, Till ev'ry heart with Christian anger burns, Till crimson paints each face, and sorrows flow, Till mortals tribute pay to mortals' wo. “ Not he who cannot weep, but he who can, Shows the great soul, and proves himself a man.” Beneath the pond'rous load what millions groan, For vice, for guilt, for folly, not their own,

Oh! may

By epicures, by hypocrites oppressed,
Bereav'd of life, of liberty, and rest.
Strip black oppression of her false disguise,
And make the hag in shades infernal rise !
Strike her-strike pride-strike lawless rapine dead,
Bid exild virtue raise her drooping head;
This aim be thine, be this thy noble end,
To show mankind-that man has yet a friend ;
With virtue folly, love with lust contrast,
Judge manners reigning by the manners past.
Such venal faith, and such misplac'd applause;
Such pamper'd guilt, and such inverted laws;
Such poor unhappy wretches I have seen
Oppressed, by what are callid RELIGIOUS MEN!
Such nations crush'd--and nations of the brave,
And millions doom'd to an untimely grave;
Such bold brave warriors (bold and brave in vain)
By artful Christians robb’d, enslav'd, and slain. -

I never stand where once I stood-
View hills and dales all died with crimson blood,
See verdant fields all clotted stiff with gore,
Which ne'er were stain'd with human blood before.
Alas! my soul the shocking din sustains,
Which makes the blood hang shiv'ring in my

veins !
I've seen behaviour in this cruel race,
Which naming would the very brute disgrace;
I know their artful mazes of deceit,
Their systematic guile and artful wit.
Have I not seen the wounds their sabres gave,
To each dejected, weeping, dying slave;
Have I not seen the blood of hundreds shed!
The injur'd maid forc'd to her tyrant's bed!
The frantic father stain'd with filial blood,
Who with his children ting'd the crimson wood;
His violated consort dragg'd away
Thro' woods, o'er seas, to wicked man a prey,

And doom'd to misery, though once possess'd
Of love, peace, joy, with ev'ry blessing bless'd.
She cries, she shrieks; the fierce insulting foe
Relentless mocks her violence of wo:
Distressing sympathy surrounds my heart,

And tender pity melts in ev'ry part;
For them in vain I grieve, for them I sigh,
Yet still they groan, weep, languish, bleed, and die.
Alas! their pains how dismal and severe,
Their moving plaints still vibrate on my ear;
Compell’d to labour for their Christian foes,
To plant the cane, oppressed with mighty woes ;
Their sweat and tears must drench them ere they grow
Their sighs must fan them, and their blood must flow.

Unhappy fate, while ere the dawn of day,
Rous’d by the bell, they go their cheerless way ;
And as their souls with pain and anguish burn,
Salute with groans unwelcome morn's return;
And chiding ev'ry hour the slow pac'd sun,
Pursue their toils, till all his race is run:
No eye to mark their suff'rings with a tear,
No friend to comfort them, nor hope to cheer!
Then like the poor unpitied brutes repair,
To dens as wretched, and as coarse a fare-
Thank Heav'n one day of misery is o'er,
Then sink to sleep, and wish to wake no more !"

How seldom think the volatile and gay,
While sipping their luxurious sweeten’d tea,
How oft they help to pierce the warrior's breast,
Rob him of life, of liberty, and rest !
And that to gain the plant we idly waste,
Tremendous pain, and grief profound they taste.
How seldom think prime ministers of state,
The legislator, senator, the great,
On them, alas! who cheerless and forlorn,
Pass painful nights and meet a joyless morn.
Thus pompous, in their equipage they boast,
But little do they think on Afric's coast ;
On groaning, dying slaves, by them oppress’d,
Bereav'd of life, of liberty, and rest ;
Oppress'd, alas ! by these imperial foes,
With grief profound, unutterable woes.
View this, ye potentates, with riches blest,
Let the idea wound each tender breast;
And bleed your hearts with agonizing pain,
Then tempt the laughing wine-but tempt in vain;

Nor golden slumbers close your weeping eyes,
While imag’d to your minds their sorrows rise ;
For them unhappy, to distresses born!

I tremble, but for them I mourn.
Remembrance sad exhibits to my view,
Sights which must open all their wounds anew;
I view their wrongs, while on the roaring waves,
I saw them languish, and I saw them slaves,
Been basely seiz'd while in the dire alarms
Of war, rage, slaughter, and the clash of arms;
What first, what last, what here I now relate,
Brings to my wounded mind their wretched fate;
Nay, as I write, methinks I hear them moan,
Tear following tear, and groan succeeding groan;
Struck at the sight, I melt at human wo,
While down my cheeks the tears unbidden flow;

Of all the great, the pamper'd great, how few Are true to heaven, and to their neighbour true; Their dire injustice to the friendless poor, Calls for more plagues than vengeance has in store; Kind nature starts with horror at their cries, Much more the Ruler of the Earth and Skies ; Soon, soon that God his justice will display, And chase oppressors from the face of day ; Hurld down to hell by Heaven's Almighty Sire, Transfix'd with vengeance and involv’d in fire ; Tremendous ire o’er Christendom impends, He comes, and direful wrath his steps attends. The day, the day will come, that dreadful day! How


soul shudders while my thoughts survey
The fall of tyrants, and their dire distress,
Who to the injur'd were quite pitiless ;
By faith I see from the tremendous pole,
An angry God, and hear his thunders roll,
See his red arm the fiery vengeance shed,
Shake death eternal o'er each guilty head;
Tyrants, repent! I tremble as I write,
Tyrannic nations flame before my sight.
To him poor Africans their cause resign,
To him, good, gracious, merciful, divine;
Th’ Impartial Judge, and Sov’reign of the skies.

Has heard, and hears the moaning captives' cries ;
And, with benignant love, he now declares,
Their cares are his, his boundless mercy

theirs :
Their potent friend in their behalf will rise,
Their numerous foes the injur'd God defies,
To him the helpless never sue in vain,
His nature, mercy-Love, his darling name;
But cruel tyrants, still to sin inclin’d,
Are to all dangers, but the present, blind;
Their thoughts are all employ'd on evils near,
But ills remote they ne'er foresee or fear;
With brutish rage the blackest sins they run,
And never fear the wickedness, till done-
And guilt has always this attending curse,
To back the first transgression with a worse.
Abhorr’d by man, despotic traitors grow,
The earth's disgrace, and Heaven's relentless foe.
They fear man's eye, when they would act a sin,
But dread not Heaven, nor the judge within.
Their dreadful crimes to mighty sums amount,
And yet they still augment the black account.

While golden hours are hastening, and gone,
And like a stream the year glides swiftly on;
Nor sex nor age the grim destroyer spares,
Unmov'd alike by infancy and years ;
Like poor unhappy slaves their tyrants lie,
And, like commanders, common ruffians die ;
Each has his mansion in a narrow cell,
Equal in colour and alike in smell ;
Why then should despots of their riches boast,
So difficult to gain, so quickly lost ?
Blind they rejoice, nor deprecate their wo,
Their doom profound, and their celestial foe-
Their guilt, rage, pride, and cruelty proclaim,
Oh! sing their guilt, my muse ! their want of shame.
When all their hopes are blasted, and they see
They're doom'd to linger life in misery.
Grant the mild master kindly treats them well-
Few such there are, and I who know can tell ;
Grant that those masters plenteous meals prepare,
Tho' well I know their food is scant and bare !

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