« ZurückWeiter »
Still let me triamph in the fear express’d, ,
The voice of love that whisper'd in thy breast :
Nor call me cruel; for my truth shall prove
'Twas but the vain anxiety of love.
Torn from thy fond embrace, the strand I gain,
Where mourning friends inflict fuperfluous pain;
My father there his struggling fighs suppress'd,
And, in dumb anguish, clafp'd me to his breast;
Then sought (conceal'd the conflict of his mind).
To give the fortitude he could not find ;
Each life-taught precept kindly he renewd,
• Thy country's good,' said he, be still pursu'd !
• If, when the gracious gods my son reftore,
These eyes shall sleep in death, to wake no more :
• If then these limbs, that now in age decay,
• Shall mould'ring mix with earth's parental clay ;
• Round my green tomb perform the facred rite,
• Afsume my throne, and let thy yoke be light ;
« From lands of freedom glorious precepts bring,
• And reign at' once a father and a king !!
How vainly proud the arrogantly great
Presume to boast a monarch's godlike ftate !
Subject, alike, the peasant and the king,
To life's dark ills, and care's corroding sting.
From guilt and fraud, that strike in filence sure,
No shield can guard us, and no arms secure :
By these, my fair, fubdu'd, thy prince was loft,
A naked captive on a barb'rous coaft!
Nurtur'd in ease, a thousand servants round,
My wants prevented, and my wishes crown'd,
No painful labours stretch'd the tedious day,
On downy feet my moments danc'd away.
Where'er I look'd, officious courtiers bow'd,
Where'er I pafs'd, a shouting people croud ;
No fears intruded on the joys I knew ;
Each man my friend, my lovely mistress you !
What dreadful change ! abandon’d and alone,
The shouted prince is now a slave unknown ;
To watch his eye no bending courtiers wait,
No hailing crowds proclaim his regal state;
A Nave condemn’d, with unrewarded toil,
To turn, from morn to eve, a burning soil.
Fainting beneath the sun's meridian heat,
Rouz’d by the scourge, the taunting jest I meet :
• Thanks to thy friends,' they cry, 'whose care recalls
• A prince to life, in whom a nation falls !!
Unwholesome scraps my strength but half sustain'd,
From corners glean’d, and e'en by dogs disdain'd;
At night I mingled with a wretched crew,
Who, by long use, with woe familiar grew;
Of manners brutish, merciless, and rude,
They mock'd my sufferings, and my pangs renew'd:
In groans, not fleep, I pafs'd the weary night,
And rofe to labour with the morning light.
Yet, thus of dignity and ease beguild,
Thus fcorn'd and scourg'd, insulted and revil'd,
If Heav'n with thee my faithful arms had bless’d,
And fill’d with love my intervals of rest,
Short tho' they were, my soul had never known
One secret wish to glitter on a throne ;
The toilfome day had heard no sigh of mine,
Nor stripes, nor scorn, had urg'd me to repine.
A monarch, still beyond a monarch bless’d,
Thy love my diadem, my throne thy breast;
My courtiers, watchful of my looks, thy eyes,
Should shine, persuade, and flatter, and advise ;
Thy voice my musick, and thy arms should be
Ah! not the prison of a slave in me!
Could I with infamy content remain,
And wish thy lovely form to fare my chain ?
Could this bring ease! Forgive th' unworthy thought,
And let the love that finn'd atone the fault.
Could I, a slave, and hopeless to be free,
Crawl, tamely recent from the scourge, to thee?
Thy blooming beauties could these arms embrace ?
My guilty joys enslave an infant race ?
No! rather blast me lightnings, whirlwinds tear,
And drive these limbs in atoms thro' the air !
Rather than this, o curse me still with life!
And let my Zara smile a rival's wife!
Be mine alone th' accumulated woe,
Nor let me propagate my curse below!
But, from this dreadful scene, with joy I turn:
To trust in Heav'n, of me let Zara learn.
The wretch, the fordid hypocrite, who fold
His charge, an unsuspecting prince, for gold,
That Justice mark’d, whose eyes can never sleep,
And death commission'd, smote him on the deep.
The gen'rous crew their port in safety gain,
And tell my mournful tale, nor tell in vain ;
The king with horror of th' atrocious deed,
In haste commanded, and the slave was freed.
No more Britannia's cheek, the blush of shame,
Burns for my wrongs, her king restores her fame!
Propitious gales, to Freedom's happy shore
Waft me triumphant, and the prince reftore;
Whate'er is great
around me shine, And all the splendor of a court is mine! Here Knowledge, too, by piety refin'd, Sheds a bright radiance o'er my bright'ning mind; From earth I travel upward to the sky; I learn to live, to reigri, yet more-to die. O! I have tales to tell of Love Divine ; Such blissful tidings ! they shall soon be thine. I long to tell thee, what, amaz'd, I fee, What habits, buildings, trades, and polity! How art and nature vie to entertain In publick shows, and mix delight with pain.
O Zara! here, a ftory like my own
With mimick skill, in borrow'd names, was shown ;
An Indian chief, like me, by fraud betray'd,
And partner in his woes an Indian maid.
I can't recal the scenes, 'tis pain too great ;
And, if recall'd, should shudder to relate !
To write the wonders here, I strive in vain ;
Each word would ak a thousand to explain.
The time shall come, O speed the lingering hour!
When Zara's charms shall lend description pow'r ;
When plac'd beside thee in the cool alcove,
Or thro’ the
savannahs as we rove,
The frequent kiss shall interrupt the tale,
And looks shall speak my sense, tho' language fail.
Then shall the prodigies that round me rise,
Fill thy dear bosom with a sweet farprize ;
Then all my knowledge to thy faithful heart,
With danger gain’d, securely. I'll impart.
Methinks I see thy changing looks express
Th' alternate sense of pleasure and distress;
As all the windings of my fate I trace,
And wing thy fancy swift from place to place.
Yet where, alas ! has flatt'ring thought convey'd
The ravilh'd lover with his darling maid ?
Between us still unmeasur'd oceans roll,
Which hoftile barks infeít, and storms controul.
Be calm, my bosom, since th' unmeasur'd main,
And hostile barks, and storms, are God's domain :
He rales resistless, and his pow'r shall guide
My life in safety o’er the roaring tide ;
Shall bless the love that's built on Virtue's base,
And spare me to evangelize my race.
Farewel! thy prince still lives, and still is free:
Farewel! hope all things, and remember me.
* He alludes to the play of Oroonoko; at which he was present, and so afo fected as to be unable to continue, during it's performance, in the house.
AT THE COURT OF ANAMABOB, TO THE AFRICAN PRINCÉ
HOULD I the language of my heart conceal,
Nor warmly paint the passion that I feel ;
My rising wish should groundless fears confine,
And doubts ungen'rous chill the glowing line ;
Would not my prince, with nobler warmth, disdain
That love, as languid, which could stoop to feign?
Let guilt diffemble in my faithful breaft.
Love reigns'unblam'd, and be that love confess’d.
I give my bofom naked to thy view,
For what has thame with innocence to do?
In fancy now I clasp thee to my heart,
Exchange my vows, and all my joys impart.
I catch new transport from thy speaking eye
But whence this-fad involuntary figh?
Why pants my bosom with intruding fears?
Why from my eyes distil unbidden tears?
Why do my hands thus tremble as I write?
Why fades thy lov'd idea from my fight?
O! art thou safe on Britain's happy shore,
From winds that bellow, and from seas that roar :
And has my prince-(oh, more than mortal pain!)
Betray'd by ruffians, felt the captive's chain ?
Bound were those limbs, ordain'd alone to prove
The toils of empire, and the sweets of love?
Hold, hold ! barbarians of the fierceft kind!
Fear Heav'n's red lightning-'tis a prince ye bind!
A prince whom no indignities could hide,
They knew, prefumptuous! and the gods defy'd.