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'Tis gentle, delicate, and kind,
FORC'D from home and all its pleasures,
Africk's coast I left forlorn;
O’er the raging billows borne.
Paid my price in paltry gold ; But, though slave they have enrolld me;
Minds are never to be sold. Still in thought-as free as ever,
What are England's rights, I ask, Me from my delights to sever,
Me to torture, me to task? Fleecy locks and black complexion
Cannot forfeit Nature's claim ; 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,
Lolling at your jovial boards ; Think how many backs have smarted
For the sweets your cane affords. Is there, as ye sometimes tell us,
Is there one who reigns on high?
Has he bid you buy and sell us,
Speaking from his throne the sky ? Ask him, if your knotted scourges,
Matches, blood-extorting screws,
Agents of his will to use?
Strewing yonder sea with wrecks; Wasting towns, plantations, meadows,
Are the voice with which he speaks. He, foreseeing what vexations
Africk's son's should undergo, Fix'd their tyrant's habitations
Where his whirlwinds answer-no. By our blood in Africk wasted,
Ere our necks receiv'd the chain; By the mis’ries that we tasted,
Crossing in your barks the main;
To the man-degrading mart;
Only by a broken heart :
Till some reason ye shail find
T'han 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
groans, Is almost enough to draw pity from stones.
I pity them greatly, but I must be mum,
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, Much more in behalf of your wish might be said ; But, while they get riches by purchasing blacks, Pray tell me why we may not also go snacks?
Your scruples and arguments bring to my mind
A youngster at school, more sedate than the rest,
He was shock'd, sir, like you, and answer'd'Ob
• You speak very fine, and you look very grave,
They spoke, and Tom ponder'd- I see they will go:
If the matter depended alone upon me,
His scruples thus silenc'd, Tom felt more at ease;