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'Twas in the glad season of spring,
Asleep at the dawn of the day, I dream'd what I cannot but sing,
So pleasant it seem'd as I lay. I dream'd, that, on ocean afloat,
Far hence to the westward I sail'd, While the billows high-lifted the boat,
And the fresh-blowing breeze never fail'd.
In the steerage a woman I saw,
Such at least was the form that she wore, Whose beauty impress’d me with awe,
Ne'er taught me by woman before. She sat, and a shield at her side
Shed light, like a sun on the waves, And smiling divinely, she cried
“I go to make freemen of slaves.”
Then raising her voice to a strain
The sweetest that ear ever heard,
Wherever her glory appear'd.
Fled, chas'd by her melody clear,
'Twas liberty only to hear.
Thus swiftly dividing the flood,
To a slave-cultur'd island we came,
Oppression his terrible name.
A scourge hung with lashes he bore,
From Africa's sorrowful shore.
But soon as approaching the land,
That goddess-like woman he view'd, The scourge he let fall from his hand,
With blood of his subjects imbru’d. I saw him both sicken and die,
And the moment the monster expir'd, Heard shouts, that ascended the sky,
From thousands with rapture inspir'd.
Awaking, how could I but muse
At what such a dream should betide ? But soon my ear caught the glad news,
Which serv'd my weak thought for a guideThat Britannia, renown'd o'er the waves
For the hatred she ever has shown To the black-sceptred rulers of slaves,
Resolves to have none of her own.
THE NIGHTINGALE AND GLOW
A NIGHTINGALE, that all day long
Did you admire my lamp, quoth he,
Releas'd him, as my story tells,
Hence jarring sectaries may learn
Those Christians best deserve the name, Who studiously make peace their aim ; Peace both the duty and the prize Of him that creeps, and him that flies.
ON A GOLDFINCH
STARVED TO DEATH IN HIS CAGE.
My drink the morning dew;
My strains for ever new.
And of a transient date;
Soon pass’d the wiry grate.
And cure of ev'ry ill!
Had been your pris’ner still.