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The yells of triumph and despair

The streams that crimson to the sea !

Sleep calmly in thy dungeon-tomb,

Beneath Besançon's alien sky,
Dark Haytien !--for the time shall come,
Yea, even now is nigh-
When, every where, thy name shall be
Redeemed from color's infamy ;
And men shall learn to speak of thee,
As one of earth's great spirits, born
In servitude, and nursed in scorn,
Casting aside the weary weight
And fetters of its low estate,
In that strong majesty of soul,

Which knows no color, tongue or clime Which still hath spurned the base control

Of tyrants through all time! Far other hands than mine may wreath The laurel round thy brow of death, And speak thy praise, as one whose word A thousand fiery spirits stirred,Who crushed his foeman as a worm Whose step on human hearts fell firm : 88 Be mine the better task to find A tribute for thy lofty mind, Amidst whose gloomy vengeance shone Some milder virtues all thine own,Some gleams of feeling pure and warm, Like sunshine on a sky of storm,-Proofs that the Negro's heart retains Some nobleness amidst its chains,— That kindness to the wronged is never

Without its excellent reward, Holy to human-kind, and ever

Acceptable to God.

THE SLAVE SHIPS. 34

That fatal, that perfidious bark,
Built i' the eclipse, and rigged with curses dark."

Milton's Lycidas.

“ ALL ready?” cried the captain;

Ay, ay !” the seamen said ; “ Heave up the worthless lubbers

The dying and the dead.” Up from the slave-ship’s prison

Fierce, bearded heads were thrust
“ Now let the sharks look to it-
Toss

up
the dead ones first!"

1
Corpse after corpse came up,

Death had been busy there; Where every blow is mercy,

Why should the spoiler spare ? Corpse after corpse they cast

Sullenly from the ship, Yet bloody with the traces

Of fetter-link and whip.

Gloomily stood the captain,

With his arms upon his breast, With his cold brow sternly knotted,

And his iron lip compressed. • Are all the dead dogs over ?”

Growled through that matted lip • The blind ones are no better,

Let's lighten the good ship.”

Hark ! from the ship's dark bosom,

The very sounds of hell ! The ringing clank of iron

The maniac's short, sharp yell ! The hoarse, low curse, throat-stifled

The starving infant's moan

The horror of a breaking heart

Poured through a mother's groan

Up from that loathsome prison

The stricken blind ones came : Below, had all been darkness

Above, was still the same. Yet the holy breath of heaven

Was sweetly breathing there, And the heated brow of fever

Cooled in the soft sea air.

“ Overboard with them, shipmates!

Cutlass and dirk were plied ; Fettered and blind, one after one,

Plunged down the vessel's side. The sabre smote above

Beneath, the lean shark lay, Waiting with wide and bloody jaw

His quick and human prey.

God of the earth! what cries

Rang upward unto Thee? Voices of agony and blood,

From ship-deck and from sea. The last dull plunge was heard

The last wave caught its stainAnd the unsated shark looked up

For human hearts in vain.

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Red glowed the western waters

The setting sun was there, Scattering alike on wave and cloud

His fiery mesh of hair. Amidst a group in blindness,

A solitary eye Gazed, from the burdened slaver's deck,

Into that burning sky.

“ A storm," spoke out the gazer,

“Is gathering and at handCurse on't-I'd give my other eye

For one firm rood of land.”
And then he laughed—but only

His echoed laugh replied-
For the blinded and the suffering

Alone were at his side.

Night settled on the waters,

And on a stormy heaven, While fiercely on that lone ship's to ack

The thunder-gust was driven. “A sail thank God, a sail !”

And as the helmsman spoke, Up through the stormy murmur,

A shout of gladness broke.

Down came the stranger vessel

Unheeding on her way,
So near, that on the slaver's deck

Fell off her driven spray. 66 Ho! for the love of mercy

We're perishing and blind 1 " A wail of utter agony

Came back upon the wind :

“ Help us ! for we are stricken

With blindness every one ; Ten days we've floated fearfully,

Unnoting star or sun. Our ship’s the slaver Leon

We've but a score on board Our slaves are all gone over

Help-for the love of God I”

On livid brows of agony

The broad red lightning shone

But the roar of wind and thunder

Stifled the answering groan.
Wailed from the broken waters

A last despairing cry,
As, kindling in the stormy light,

The stranger ship went by.

*

*

*

In the sunny Guadaloupe

A dark hulled vessel layWith a crew who noted never

The night-fall or the day. The blossom of the orange

Was white by every stream, And tropic leaf, and flower, ana bird

Were in the warm sun-beam.

And the sky was bright as ever,

And the moonlight slept as well, On the palm-trees by the hill-side,

And the streamlet of the dell: And the glances of the Creole

Were still as archly deep, And her smiles as full as ever

Of passion and of sleep.

But vain were bird and blossom,

The green earth and the sky, And the smile of human faces,

To the slaver's darkened eye; At the breaking of the morning,

At the star-lit evening time, O'er a world of light and beauty,

Fell the blackness of his crime.

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