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Still in thought as free as ever,
Skins may differ, but affection
Dwells in white and black the same.
Why did all-creating Nature
Make the plant, for which we toil? Sighs must fan it, tears must water, Sweat of ours must dress the soil.
Think, ye masters iron-hearted,
Is there, as ye sometimes tell us,
Speaking from his throne the sky? Ask him, if your knotted scourges, Matches, blood-extorting screws, Are the means, that duty urges Agents of his will to use?
Hark! he answers-wild tornadoes, Strewing yonder sea with wrecks; Wasting towns, plantations, meadows, Are the voice, with which he speaks. He, foreseeing what vexations
Afric's sons should undergo,
Fix'd their tyrants' habitations Where his whirlwinds answer-no.
By our blood in Afric wasted,
Ere our necks receiv'd the chain;
Deem our nation brutes no longer,
Than the colour of our kind. Slaves of gold, whose sordid dealings Tarnish all your boasted pow'rs, Prove that you have human feelings, Ere you proudly question ours!
PITY FOR POOR AFRICANS.
Video meliora proboque,
I OWN I am shock'd at the purchase of slaves, And fear those, who buy them and sell them, are knaves;
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,
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,
Your scruples and arguments bring to my
A youngster at school more sedate than the rest,
His comrades had plotted an orchard to rob,
He was shock'd, sir, like you, and answer'd-"Oh no! What! rob our good neighbour! I pray you don't go; 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,
you will go
They spoke, and Tom ponder'd-"I see they will go: Poor man! what a pity to injure him so!
Poor man! I would save him his fruit if I could, But staying behind will do him no good.
"If the matter depended alone upon me,
His apples might hang till they dropp'd from the tree;
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 silenc'd, Tom felt more at ease, And went with his comrades the apples to seize; He blam'd and protested, but join'd in the plan: He shar'd in the plunder, but pitied the man.