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Lord of the earth! we will not raise The temple to thy bounded praise. For thee no victim need expire; For thee no altar blaze with hallowed fire. The burning City flames for thee, Thine Altar is the field of victory! Thy sacred Majesty to bless Man a self-offer'd victim freely lies; To thee he sacrifices II oppiness And Peace, and Love's endearing ties; To thee a Slave he lives, for thee a Slave he dies,
Hush'd was the lute, the Ilebrew ceased to sing; The shout rush'd forth, For ever live the King! Loud was the uproar, as when Rome's decree Pronounced Achaia once again was free; Assembled Greece enrapt with fond belief Heard the false hoon, and bless'd the treacherous Chief. Each breast with freedom's holy ardour glows, From every voice the cry of rapture rose; Their thundering clamours rend the astonished sky, And birds o'erpassing hear, and drop, and die. Thus o'er the Persian dome their plaudits ring, And the high hall re-echoed-Live the King ! The Mutes bow’d reverent down before their Lord, The assembled Satrans envied and adored; Joy sparkled in the Monarch's conscious eyes, And his pleased pride already doom'd the prize.
Silent they saw Zorobabel advance :
Why is the warrior's cheek so red”
Why does the Youth delight to rove Amid the dark and lonely grove? Why in the throng where all are gay, With absent eyes from gaiety distraught, Sits he alone in silent thought? Silent he sits, for far away His passion'd soul delights to stray; Recluse he roves as if he fain would shun All human-kind, because he loves but One!
Yes, King of Persia, thou art blest!
But not because of Power possest;
And Princes reverence thee their earthly God'
Even on a Monarch's solitude
Will Care, dark visitant, intrude;
The bowl brief pleasure can bestow, The purple cannot shield from woe! But, King of Persia, thou art blest, For Heaven who raised thee thus the world above, Hath made the happy in Apame's love!
Oh! I have seen him fondly trace
He ceased, and silent still remain'd the throng,
Now silent sate the expectant crowd: Alone
Ancient of days! Eternal Truth! one hymn, One holier strain the Bard shall raise to thee, Thee Powerful! Thee Benevolent! Thee Just! Friend! Father! All in All!—The Wine's rich blood, The Monarch's might, and woman's conquering charms, These shall we praise alone?—O ye who sit Beneath your vine, and quaff at evening hour The healthful bowl, remember Him whose dews, Whose rains, whose sun, matured the growing fruit, Creator and Preserver!—Reverence Him. 0 thou who from thy throne dispensest life And death, for He hath delegated power, And thou shalt one day at the throne of God Render thy strict account!—O ye who gaze Enrapt on Beauty's fascinating form, Gaze on with love, and loving beauty, learn To shun abhorrent all the mental eye Beholds deform'd and foul; for so shall Love Climb to the source of goodness. God of truth" All-Just All-Mighty! I should ill deserve Thy noblest gift, the gift divine of song, If, so content with ear-deep melodies, To please all-profitless, I did not pour Severer strains; of Truth—cternal Truth, Unchanging Justice, universal Love. Such strains awake the Soul to loftiest thoughts; Such strains the blessed Spirits of the Good Waft, grateful incense to the Halls of Heaven. The dying notes still murmur'd on the string, When from his throne arose the raptured king. About to speak he stood, and waved his hand, And all-cxpectant sate the obedient baud.
Then just and generous, thus the Monarch cries, * Be thine, Zorobabel, the well-earn'd prize.
The purple robe of state thy form shall fold,
• Fallen is Jerusalem on the Ilebrew cries,
So spake Zorobabel.—Thus Woman's praise
POEMS CONCERNING THE SLAVE TRADE.
Hold your mad hands! for ever on your plain Must the gorged vulture clot; his beak with blood: For ever must your Niger's tainted flood Roll to the ravenous shark his banquet slain? Hold your mad hands! what demon prompts to rear The arm of Slaughter? on your savage shore Can Hell-sprung Glory claim the feast of gore, With laurels water'd by the widow's tear Wreathing his helmet crown?—Lift high the spear ! And like the desolating whirlwind's sweep, Plunge ye yon bark of anguish in the deep;
* When first the Abolition of the Slave-TA, or was agitated in England, the friends of humanity endeavoured by two means to accomplish it—to destroy the Trade immediately by the interference of Government; or by the disuse of west-Indian productions: a store bet certain method. For a while Government held the language of Justice, and individuals with enthusiasm banished sufar from their tables. This enthusiasm soon cooled; the majority of those who had made this sacrifice (I prostitute the word, but such they thought it), persuaded themselves that parliament would do all, and that individual efforts were no longer necessary. Thus ended the one attempt; it is not difficult to say why the other has failed.—it is not difficult, when the minister has once found himself in the minority, and on the side of Justice.— would to God that the interests of those who dispose of us as they please, had been as closely connected with the preservation of Peace and Liberty, as with the continuance of this traffic in human flesh"
For the pale fiend cold-hearted Commerce there Hath spread his toils accursed wide and far, And calls, to share the prey, his kiudred Demon War.
Why dost thou beat thy breast and rend thine hair,
Oh, he is worn with toil! the big drops run Down his dark cheek; hold—hold thy merciless hand, Pale tyrant' for beneath thy hard command O'erwearied nature sinks. The scorching Sun, As pitiless as proud Prosperity, Darts on him his full beams: gasping he lies Arraigning with his looks the patient skies, While that inhuman trader lifts on high The mangling scourge, O ye who at your ease Sip the blood-sweeten’d beverage! thoughts like these Haply ye scorn: I thank thee, Gracious God, That I do feel upon my cheek the glow Of indignation, when beneath the rod A sable brother writhes in silent woe.
T is night; the mercenary tyrants sleep As undisturb’d as Justice! but no more The wretched Slave, as on his native shore, Rests on his reedy couch: he wakes to weep! Though through the toil and anguish of the day No tear escaped him, not one suffering groan Beneath the twisted thong, he weeps alone In bitterness; thinking that far away Though the gay Negroes join the midnight song, Though merriment resounds on Niger's shore, She whom he loves far from the cheerful throng Stands sad, and gazes from her lowly door With dim-grown eye, silent and woe-begone, And weeps for him who will return no more.
There are yet two other methods remaining, by which this traffic will probably be abolished—by the introduction of East-Indian or maple sugar, or by the just and general rebellion of the Negroes.
To these past and present prospects the following Poems occasionally allude: to the English custom of exciting wars upon the slave-coast that they may purchase prisoners, and to the punishment sometimes inflicted upon a Negro for Murder, of which Hector St John was an eye-witness.
Did then the Negro rear at last the Sword Of Vengeance” drench'd he deep its thirsty blade In the hard heart of his tyrannic lord? Oh' who shall blame him through the midnight shade Still o'er his tortured memory rush'd the thought Of every past delight; his native grove, Friendship's best joys, and Liberty and Love,
All lost for ever! Then Remembrance wrought His soul to madness: round his restless bed Freedom's pale spectre stalk'd, with a stern smile Pointing the wounds of Slavery, the while She shook her chains and hung her sullen head: No more on Heaven he calls with fruitless breath, But sweetens with revenge the draught of death.
High in the air exposed the Slave is hung, To all the birds of Heaven, their living food! He groans not, though awaked by that fierce Sun New tortures live to drink their parent blood! He groans not, though the gorging Vulture tear The quivering fibre! Hither gaze, o ye who tore this Man from Peace and Liberty! Gaze hither, ye who weigh with scrupulous care The right and prudent; for beyond the grave There is another world!—And call to mind, Ere your decrees proclaim to all mankind Murder is legalized, that there the Slave, Before the Eternal, a thunder-tongued shall plead Against the deep damnation of your deed.»
By the scourges blacken'd o'er
And thou hast heard' and o'er their blood-fed plains Swept thine avenging hurricanes; And bade thy storms with whirlwind roar Dash their proud navies on the shore; And where their armies claim'd the sight Wither'd the warrior's might; And o'er the unholy host with baneful breath. There, Genius, thou hast breathed the gales of Death." 1795.
THE SAILOR, Who had served IN the SLAve titade.
In September, 1798, a Dissenting Minister of Bristol discovered n Sailor in the neighbourhood of that city, groaning and praying in a cow-house. The circumstance which occasioned his agony of mind is detailed in the annexed Ballad, without the slightest addition or alteration. By presenting it as a Poem the story is made more public, and such stories ought to be made as public as possible. It was a Christian minister, Who, in the month of slowers, Walk'd forth at eve amid the fields
Near Bristol's ancient towers.
When from a lonely out-house breathed,
And groans which less might seem from pain,
Heart-rending groans they were, with words
Yet with the holy name of Christ
The Christian minister went in,
Whose hands were lifted up to Heaven,
Nor did the Sailor so intent
But now “Our Fathern said, and now
And often on his Saviour call’d
But in such anguish as may spring
The miserable man was ask'd
And what had been the crime that caused
"Alluding to the fatalities attending the British armament to and in the West Indies.
VERSES spokeN IN the the ATRE At 0xForud, UPoN THE INSTAll-Ation of Lost D GRENvii.i.e.
Gaenville, few years have had their course, since last
Deem not these dread events the monstrous birth of chance! And thou, O England, who dost ride Serene amid the waters of the flood, Preserving, even like the Ark of old, Amid the general wreck, thy purer faith, Domestic loves, and ancient liberty, Look to thyself, O England! for be sure, Even to the measure of thine own desert, The cup of retribution to thy lips shall soon or late be dealt —a thought that well Might fill the stoutest heart of all thy sons With awful apprehension! Therefore, they who fear the Eternal's justice, bless thy name, Grenville, because the wrongs of Africa Cry out no more to draw a curse from heaven On England;—for if still the trooping sharks Track by the scent of death the accursed ship Freighted with human anguish, in her wake Pursue the chase, crowd round her keel, and dart
Toward the sound contending, when they hear
This thy praise,
Where a sight shall shuddering Sorrow find.
ELINOR. Time, Morning. Scene, the Shore.
Once more to daily toil, once more to wear