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PLANGIMUS fortes. Periére fortes,
Patrium propter periêre littus
Bis quatèr centum; subitò sub alto

Æquore mersi.

Navis, innitens lateri, jacebat,
Malus ad summas trepidabat undas,
Cum levis, funes quatiens, ad imum

Depulit aura.

Plangimus fortes. Nimis, heu, caducam
Fortibus vitam voluêre Parcæ,
Nec sinunt ultra tibi nos recentes

Nectere laurus.

Magne, qui nomen, licet incanorum,
Traditum ex multis atavis tulisti !
At tuos olim memorabit ævum

Omne triumphos.

Non hyems illos furibunda mersit,
Non mari in clauso scopuli latentes,
Fissa non rimis abies, nec atrox

Abstulit ensis.

Navitæ sed tum nimium jocosi
Voce fallebant hilari laborem,
Et quiescebat, calamoque dextram im-

pleverat heros.

Vos, quibus cordi est grave opus piumque,
Humidum ex alto spolium levate,
Et putrescentes sub aquis amicos

Reddite amicis !
Hi quidem (sic Dîs placuit) fuêre:
Sed ratis, nondum putris, ire possit
Rursus in bellum, Britonumque nomen

Tollere ad astra.


Forced from home and all its pleasures,

Afric's coast I left forlorn,
To increase the stranger's treasures,

O'er the raging billows borne.
Men from England bought and sold me,

Paid my price in paltry gold;
But, though slave they have enroll’d 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 knotted

scourges, Matches, blood-extorting screws, Are the means that duty urges

Agents of his will to use?


Hark! he answers !— Wild tornadoes

Strewing yonder sea with wrecks, Wasting towns, plantations, meadows,

Are the voice with which he speaks. He, foreseeing what vexations

Afric's sons should undergo, Fix'd their tyrants’ habitations

Where his whirlwinds answer—No.

By our blood in Afric wasted,

Ere our necks received the chain ; By the miseries that we tasted,

Crossing in your barks the main ; By our sufferings, since ye brought us

To the man-degrading mart,
All sustain'd by patience, taught us

Only by a broken heart !

Deem 'our nation brutes no longer,

Till some reason ye shall find
Worthier of regard and stronger

Than the colour of our kind.
Slaves of gold, whose sordid dealings
Tarnish all


Prove that you have human feelings

Ere you proudly question ours !


Video meliora proboque,
Deterioru sequor.

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,
For how could we do without sugar and rum?
Especially sugar, so needful we see;
What, give up our desserts, our coffee, and tea!

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 story so pat, you may think it is coin'd,
On purpose to answer you, out of my mint ;
But I can assure you I saw it in print.
A youngster at school, more sedate than the rest,
Had once his integrity put to the test;
His comrades had plotted an orchard to rob,
And ask'd him to go and assist in the job.
He was shock’d, sir, like you, and answer'd—'Oh, no!
What! rob our good neighbour? I pray you don't go!
Besides the man's poor, his orchard's his bread:
Then think of his children, for they must be fed.”

“ You speak very fine, and you


very grave, But apples we want, and apples we'll have; If you will go with us, you

shall have a share, If not, you shall have neither apple nor pear.” They spoke, and Tom ponder’d—“I see they will go : Poor man! what a pity to injure him so ! Poor man! I would save him his fruit if I could, But staying behind will do him no good. “ If the matter depended alone upon me, His apples might hang till they dropp'd from the tree; But since they will take them, I think I'll He will lose none by me, though I get a few.”



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