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Upon her infant's face,
When shall the Snowdrop blossom there?
Cold gleams of comfort sometimes dart
A dawn of glory on my heart,
But quickly pass away:
Thus Northern-lights the gloom adorn,
And give the promise of a morn
That never turns to day!
But hark ! methinks I hear
A still small whisper in mine eai:—
"Rash youth, repent!
Afflictions, from above,
Are angels sent
On embassies of love!
A fiery legion at thy birth,
Of chastening woes were given,
To pluck the flowers of Hope from earth,
And plant them high
O'er yonder sky,
Transform'd to stars,—and fix'd in heaven."
From the crest of the mountain I gaze upon thee;
I gaze,—and am changed at the sight;
For mine eye is illumined, my genius takes flight,
My soul, like the sun, with a glance
Embraces the boundless expanse,
And moves on thy waters, wherever they roll,
From the day-darting zone to the night-shadow'd pole
My spirit descends where the day-spring is born,
Where the billows are rubies on fire,
And the breezes that rock the light cradle of morn
Are sweet as the Phoenix's pyre:
O regions of beauty, of love, and desire .'
0 gardens of Eden! in vain,
Placed far on the fathomless main,
Where Nature with Innocence dwelt in her youth,
When pure was her heart, and unbroken her truth.
But now the fair rivers of Paradise wind
Thus the pestilent Upas, the demon of trees,
Its boughs o'er the wilderness spreads,
And with livid contagion polluting the breeze,
Its mildewing influence sheds;
The birds on the wing, and the flowers in their beds,
Are slain by its venomous breath,
That darkens the noonday with death,
And pale ghosts of travellers wander around,
While their mouldering skeletons whiten the ground
Ah! why hath Jehovah, in forming the world,
Jiis ramparts of rocks rouud the continent hurl'd,
And cradled the deep of His hand,
If man may transgress His eternal command,
And leap o'er the bounds of his birth
To ravage the uttermost earth,
And violate nations and realms that should be
Distinct as the billows, yet one as the sea!
There are, gloomy Ocean! a brotherless clan,
Who traverse thy banishing waves,
The poor disinherited outcasts of man,
Whom avarice coins into slaves!
From the homes of their kindred,theirforefathers' graves,
Love, friendship, and conjugal bliss,
They are dragg'd on the hoary abyss;
The shark hears their shrieks, and ascending to day,
Demands of the spoiler his share of the prey!
Then joy to the tempest that whelms them beneath,
And makes their destruction its sport!
But woe to the winds that propitiously breathe,
And waft them in safety to port!
Where the vultures and vampires of Mammon resort;
Where Europe exultingly drains
The life-blood from Africa's veins;
Where man rules o'er man with a merciless rod.
And spurns at his footstool the image of God!
The hour is approaching,—a terrible hour!
Shall this be the fate of the cane-planted isles,
When the sun o'er the ocean descending in smiies
Sinks softly and sweetly to rest?
No !—Father of mercy! befriend the opprest;
At the voice of Thy gospel of peace,
May the sorrows of Africa cease;
And the slave and his master devoutly unite
To walk in Thy freedom, and dwell in Thy light !*
As homeward my weary-wing'd fancy extends
Her star-lighted course through the skies,
High over the mighty Atlantic ascends,
And turns upon Europe her eyes;
Ah me! what new prospects, new h irrors arise .
I see the war-tempested flood
AH foaming and panting with blood;
The panic-struck Ocean in agony roars,
Rebounds from the battle, and flies to his shores
For Britannia is wielding the trident to-day,
Consuming her foes in her ire,
And hurling her thunder with absolute sway
From her wave-ruling chariots of fire.
She triumphs ;—the winds and the waters conspire
To spread her invincible name;
The universe rings with her fame;
But the cries of the fatherless mix with her praise,
And the tears of the widow are shed on her bays!
O Britain! dear Britain! the land of my birth;
O Isle, most enchantingly fair!
Thou pearl of the ocean! thou gem of the earth!
O my mother! my mother! beware;
For wealth is a phantom, aud empire a snare:
O let not thy birthright be sold
For reprobate glory and gold:
Thy distant dominions like wild graftings shoot,
They weigh down thy trunk, they will tear up thy root
• Alluding to the Klonous success or the Moravian missionaries among the Negroes in the West Indies.