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DY JOHN PIERPONT.

sit

THE TOCSIN.

Even there,-ere Freedom's vows ye’ve plighted,

Ere of her form ye’ve caught a glimpse,

Even there are fires infernal lighted, 'If the pulpit be silent, whenever or wherever there may be a er, bloody with this guilt, wit

And ye're driven out by Slavery's imps.*

the hearing of its voice, the pulpit is false to its trust.'-D. WEBSTER. Ah, well!--50 persecuted they Wake! children of the men who said,

The prophets' of a former day! · All are born free!'—Their spirits come

Go, then, and build yourselves a hall, Back to the places where they bled

To prove ye are not slaves, but men! In Freedom's holy martyrdom,

Write · FREEDOM,' on its towering wall!
And find you sleeping on their graves,

Baptize it in the name of Penn;
And hugging there your chains, -ye slaves ! Ard give it to her holy cause,
Ay,-slaves of slaves! What, sleep ye yet,

Beneath the Ægis of her laws ;-
And dream of Freedom, while ye sleep?

Within let Freedom's anthem swell ;Ay,—dream, while Slavery's foot is set

And, while your hearts begin to throb, So firmly on your necks,-while deep

And burn within you - Hark! the yell, The chain, her quivering flesh endures,

The torch,—the torrent of the Mop!-Gnaws, like a cancer, into yours?

They're Slavery's troops that round you sweep,

And leave your hall a smouldering heap !t
Hah! say ye that I've falsely spoken,
Calling you slaves ?— Then prove ye're not ;

At Slavery's beck, the prayers ye urge
Work a free press !-ye'll see it broken ;*

On your own servants, through the door Stand to defend it !-ye'll be shot.-+

Of your own Senate,--that the scourge O yes ! but people should not dare

May gash your brother's back no more, Print what the brotherhood' won't bear!

Are tramplerl underneath their feet,

While ye stand praying in the street !
Then from your lips let words of grace,
Gleaned from the Holy Bible's pages,

At Slavery's beck, ye send your sonst

To hunt down Indian wives or maids,
Fall, while ye're pleading for a race
Whose blood has flowed through chains for ages;

Doomed to the lash!-Yes, and their bones,

Whitening 'mid swamps and everglades, And pray,—- Lord, let thy kingdom come!'

Where no friend goes to give them graves, And see if ye're not stricken dumb.

Prove that ye are not Slavery's slaves! Yes, men of God! ye may not speak,

At Slavery's beck, the very hands As, by the Word of God, ye're bidden;

Ye lift to Heaven, to swear ye're free, By the pressed lip,-the blanching cheek,

Will break a truce, to seize the lands Ye feel yourselves rebuked and chidden;#

Of Seminole or Cherokee! And, if ye're not cast out, ye fear it;

Yes,-tear a flag, that Tartar hordes And why?— The brethren' will not hear it.

Respect, and shield it with their swords !S Since, then, through pulpit, or through press,

* Bear witness, that large upper room,' the hay-loft To prove your freedom ye're not able,

over the stable of the Marlborough Hotel, standing Go,-like the Sun of Righteousness,

upon the ground now covered by the Marlborough By wise men honored, -to a stable !

Chapel; the only temple in Boston, into which the Bend there to Liberty your knee !

friends of human liberty, that is, of the liberty of man Say there that God made all men free!

as man, irrespective of color or caste, could gain ad. mittance for the annual meeting of the Massachusetts

Anti-Slavery Society, January 25th, 1837. Bear * Bear witness, heights of Alton !

witness, too, that smaller room in Summer street, + Bear witness, bones of Lovejoy!

where a meeting was held the same day, by members # Bear witness, Grounds of Complaint preferred of the same Society ; where their only altar was an against the Rev. John Pierpont, by a Committtee of iron stove,--their only incense, the fumes of a quantity the Parish, called “The Proprietors of Hollis street of cayenne pepper, that some of the ‘imps' had sprinkMeeting house,” to be submitted to an Ecclesiastical | led upon the hot stove-plates, to drive the friends of Council, as Reasons for dissolving his Connexion with the freedom of all men out of that little asylum. said Parish, July 27th, 1840: one of which runs thus: tBear witness, ye ruins of • Pennsylvania Hall !'Because of his too busy interference with questions of a heap of ruins made by a Philadelphia mob, May legislation on the subject of probibiting the sale of 17th, 1838,--and allowed to remain a heap of ruins, ardent spirits ;-of his too busy interference with ques- as I was lately told in Philadelphia, froin the fear, on tions of legislation on the subject of imprisonment for the part of the city government, that, should the noble debt ;—of his too busy interference with the popular structure be reared again, and dedicated controversy on the subject of the abolition of slavery.' Liberty, the fiery tragedy of the 17th of May would be And this, in the eighteen hundred and fortieth year of encored. Him whom the Lord sent “to proclaim liberty to the * Bear witness, Florida war, from first to last. captives, and the opening of the prison to them that $ Bear witness, ghost of the great-hearted, brokenare bound!'

hearted Osceola !

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THE SLAVE SIIIPS.

BY JOHN G. WHITTIER.

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

Milton's Lycidas.

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-stified

The starving infant's moanThe horror of a breaking heart

Pour d 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

Cool'd in the soft sea air.

The French ship Le Rodeur, with a crew oftwenty-two men, and with one hundred and sixty negro slaves, sailed from Bonny in Africa, April, 1819. On approaching the line, a terrible malady broke out-an obstinate disease of the eyes-contagious, and altogether beyond the resources of medicine. It was aggravaled by the scarcity of water among the slaves, (only half a wine glass per day being allowed to an individual,) and by the extreme impurity of the air in which they breathed. By the advice of the physician, they were brought upon deck occasionally ; but some of the poor wretches, locking themselves in each other's arms, leaped overboard, in the hope, which so universally prevails among them, of being swiftly transported to their own homes in Africa. To check this, the captain ordered several, who were stopped in the attempt, to be shot, or hanged, before their companions. The disease extended to the crew; and one after another was smitten with it, until only one remained unaffected. Yet even this dreadful condition did not preclude calculation : to save the expense of supporting slaves rendered unsaleable. and to obtain grounds for a claim against the underwriters, thirty-six of the negroes, having become blind, were thrown into the sea and drowned!

In the midst of their dreadful fears lest the solitary individual, whose sight remained unaffected, should also be seized with the malady, a sail was discovered. It was the Spanish slaver, Leon. The same disease had been there; and, horrible to tell, all the crew had become blind! Unable to assist each other, the vessels parted. The Spanish ship has never since been heard of." The Rodeur reached Guadalonpe on the 21st of June; the only man who had escaped the disease, and had thus been enabled to steer the slaver into port, caught it in three days after its arrival.-Speech of M. Benjamin Constant, in the French Chamber of Deputies, June 17, 182.

s Overboard with them, shipmates !"

Cutlass and dirk were plied ; Fetter'd 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 lieard

The last wave caught its stainAnd the unsated shark look'd up

For human hearts in vain.

" 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 !”

Red glow'd 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 burden'd slaver's deck,

Into that burning sky.

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.

" 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 laugh'd—but only

His echo'd langh repliedFor the blinded and the suffering

Alone were at his side.

Gloomily stood the captain,

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

And his iron lip compress'd. « Are all the dead dogs over ?'

Growl'd through that matted lip« The blind ones are no better, Let's lighten the good ship."

Night settled on the waters,

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

The thunder.gust was driven.

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