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to that style of poetry, and adapted to popular airs, might perhaps be the most efficient mode of promoting the interests of the cause. The Poet lost no time in complying with this solicitation, and composed three ballads, one of which he transmitted to the General, with the following letter. Their insertion will form an appropriate conclusion to this volume.


Weston, 1788.

My dear General —A letter is not pleasant which excites curiosity, but does not gratify it. Such a letter was my last, the defects of which I therefore take the first opportunity to supply. When the condition of our negroes in the islands was first presented to me as a subject for songs, I felt myself not at all allured to the undertaking; it seemed to offer only images of horror, which could by no means be accommodated to the style of that sort of composition. But, having a desire to comply, if possible, with the request made to me, after turning the matter in my mind as many ways as I could, I at last, as I told you, produced three, and that which appears to myself the best of those three I have sent you. Of the other two, one is serious, in a strain of thought perhaps rather too serious, and I could not help it. The other, of which the slave-trader is himself the subject, is somewhat ludicrous. If I could think them worth your seeing, I would, as opportunity should occur, send them also. If this amuses you I shall be glad.

W. C.


To the tune of "Tweed Side."*
'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,
She sung of the slave's broken chain
Wherever her glory appear'd.
Some clouds which had over us hung
Fled, chas'd by her melody clear,
And methought, while she liberty sung,
'Twas liberty only to hear.

Thus swiftly dividing the flood,

To a slave-cultured island we came,
Where a demon, her enemy, stood,
Oppression his terrible name:

These verses were set to a popular tune, for the purpose of general circulation, and to aid the efforts then making for the abolition of the slave trade.

In his hand, as a sign of his sway,

A scourge hung with lashes he bore,
And stood looking out for his prey,
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 imbrued.
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 guide-
That 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.





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