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Stanzas written at Midnight.-D. MOIR.
"Tis night—and in darkness the visions of youth
Flit solemn and slow in the eye of the mind;
The hope they excited hath perished, and truth
Laments o'er the wrecks they are leaving behind.
"Tis midnight-and wide o'er the regions of riot
Are spread, deep in silence, the wings of repose;
And man, soothed from revel, and lulled into quiet,
Forgets in his slumbers the weight of his woes.
How gloomy and dim is the scowl of the heaven,
Whose azure the clouds with their darkness invest;
Not a star o'er the shadowy concave is given,
To omen a something like hope to the breast. Hark! how the lone night-wind uptosses the forest!
A downcast regret through the mind slowly steals;
But ah! 'tis the tempest of fortune that sorest
The bosom of man in his solitude feels!
Where, where are the spirits in whom was my trust,
Whose bosoms with mutual affection did burn?
Alas! they have gone to their homes in the dust,
The grass rustles drearily over their urn:
While I, in a populous solitude, languish,
'Mid foes that beset me, and friends that are cold; Ah! the pilgrim of earth oft has felt in his anguish,
That the heart may be widowed before it is old! Affection can sooth but its votaries an hour,
Doomed soon in the flames that it raised to depart;
And, ah disappointment has poison and power
To ruffle and sour the most patient of heart.
Too oft, 'neath the barb-pointed arrows of malice,
Has merit been destined to bear and to bleed;
And they, who of pleasure have emptied the chalice,
Have found that the dregs were full bitter indeed.
Let the storms of adversity lower; 'tis in vain-
Tho' friends should forsake me, and foes should combine― Such may kindle the breasts of the weak to complain, They only can teach resignation to mine:
For far o'er the regions of doubt and of dreaming,
The spirit beholds a less perishing span;
And bright through the tempest the rainbow is streaming, The sign of forgiveness from Heaven to man!
O FOR a lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some boundless contiguity of shade,
Where rumour of oppression and deceit,
Of unsuccessful or successful war,
Might never reach me more. My ear is pained,
My soul is sick, with every day's report
Of wrong and outrage, with which earth is filled.
There is no flesh in man's obdurate heart,
It does not feel for man; the natural bond
Of brotherhood is severed as the flax
That falls asunder at the touch of fire.
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own; and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms nd devotes him as his lawful prey.
Lands intersected by a narrow frith
Abhor each other. Mountains interposed
Make enemies of nations, who had else
Like kindred drops been mingled into one.
Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys;
And, worse than all, and most to be deplored
As human nature's broadest, foulest blot,
Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat
With stripes, that Mercy, with a bleeding heart,
Weeps when she sees inflicted on a beast.
Then what is man? And what man, seeing this,
And having human feelings, does not blush,
And hang his head, to think himself a man?
I would not have a slave to till my ground,
To carry me, to fan me while I sleep,
And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth
That sinews, bought and sold, have ever earn'd.
No dear as freedom is, and in my heart's
Just estimation prized above all price,
I had much rather be myself the slave,
And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him.
We have no slaves at home-then why abroad?
And they themselves once ferried o'er the wave
That parts us, are emancipate and loosed.
Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs
Receive our air, that moment they are free;
They touch our country, and their shackles fall.
That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud
And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then,
And let it circulate through every vein »
Of all your empire; that, where Britain's power
Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too.
The Same Subject.-MONTGOMERY,
THE broken heart, which kindness never heals,
The home-sick passion which the negro feels,
When toiling, fainting in the land of canes,
His spirit wanders to his native plains;
His little lovely dwelling there he sees,
Beneath the shade of his paternal trees,
The home of comfort:-then before his eyes
The terrours of captivity arise.
'Twas night :-his babes around him lay at rest, Their mother slumbered on their father's breast: A yell of murder rang around their bed;
They woke; their cottage blazed; the victims fled
Forth sprang the ambush'd ruffians on their prey,
They caught, they bound, they drove them far away;
The white man bought them at the mart of blood;
In pestilential barks they cross'd the flood;
Then were the wretched ones asunder torn,
To distant isles, to separate bondage borne,
Denied, though sought with tears, the sad relief
That misery loves,-the fellowship of grief.
The negro, spoiled of all that nature gave—
The freeborn man, thus shrunk into a slave ;
His passive limbs to measured tasks confined,
Obeyed the impulse of another mind;
A silent, secret, terrible control,
That ruled his sinews, and repress'd his soul.
Not for himself he waked at morning-light,
Toil'd the long day, and sought repose at night;
His rest, his labour, pastime, strength, and health,
Were only portions of a master's wealth;
His love-O, name not love, where Britons doom
The fruit of love to slavery from the womb.-
Thus spurned, degraded, trampled, and oppress'd,
The negro-exile languished in the west,
With nothing left of life but hated breath,
And not a hope except the hope in death,
To fly for ever from the Creole-strand,
And dwell a freeman in his father's land.
Lives there a savage ruder than the slave?
-Cruel as death, insatiate as the grave,
False as the winds that round his vessel blow,
Remorseless as the gulf that yawns below,
Is he who toils upon the wafting flood,
A Christian broker in the trade of blood :
Boisterous in speech, in action prompt and bold,
He buys, he sells, he steals, he kills, for gold.
At noon, when sky and ocean, calm and clear,
Bend round his bark, one blue unbroken sphere;
When dancing dolphins sparkle through the brine,
And sunbeam circles o'er the waters shine;
He sees no beauty in the heaven serene,
No soul-enchanting sweetness in the scene,
But, darkly scowling at the glorious day,
Curses the winds that loiter on their way.
When swoln with hurricanes the billows rise,
To meet the lightning midway from the skies;
When from the unburthen'd hold his shrieking slaves
Are cast, at midnight, to the hungry waves;
Not for his victims strangled in the deeps,
Not for his crimes the harden'd pirate weeps,
But, grimly smiling, when the storm is o'er,
Counts his sure gains, and hurries back for more.
The Slave Trade.-Extract from a Discourse delivered at Plymouth, Mass. Dec. 22. 1820, in commemoration of the first settlement of New-England.-BY DANIEL WEBSTER.
Ir the blessings of our political and social condition have not now been too highly estimated, we cannot well over-rate the responsibility which they impose upon us. We hold these institutions of government, religion, and learning, to be • transmitted as well as enjoyed. We are in the line of conveyance through which whatever has been obtained by the
spirit and efforts of our ancestors, is to be communicated to our children.
We are bound to maintain publick liberty, and, by the exam ple of our own systems, to convince the world, that order, and law, religion and morality, the rights of conscience, the rights of persons, and the rights of property, may all be preserved and secured, in the most perfect manner, by a government entirely and purely elective. If we fail in this, our disaster will be signal, and will furnish an argument, stronger than has yet been found, in support of those opinions, which maintain that government can rest safely on nothing but power and coercion. As far as experience may show errours in our establishments, we are bound to correct them; and if any practices exist, contrary to the principles of justice and humanity, within the reach of our laws or our influence, we are inexcusable if we do not exert ourselves to restrain and abolish them.
I deem it my duty, on this occasion, to suggest, that the land is not yet wholly free from the contamination of a traffick, at which every feeling of humanity must revolt—I mean the African slave trade. Neither publick sentiment, nor the law, has yet been able entirely to put an end to this odious and abominable trade. At the moment when God, in his mercy, has blessed the world with a universal peace, there is reason to fear, that, to the disgrace of the christian name and character, new efforts are making for the extension of this trade, by subjects and citizens of christian states, in whose hearts no sentiment of justice inhabits, and over whom neither the fear of God nor the fear of man exercises a control. In the sight of our law, the African slave trader is a pirate and a felon; and in the sight of heaven, an offender far beyond the ordinary depth of human guilt. There is no brighter part of our history, than that which records the measures which have been adopted by the government, at an early day, and at different times since, for the suppression of this traffick; and I would call upon all the true sons of New-England, to cooperate with the laws of man, and the justice of heaven.
If there be, within the extent of our knowledge or influence, any participation in this traffick, let us pledge ourselves here, upon the Rock of Plymouth, to extir'pate and destroy it. It is not fit that the land of the pilgrims should bear the shame longer. I hear the sound of the hammerI see the smoke of the furnaces where manacles and fetters