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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.
TO GENERAL COWPER.
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 ludi
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.
To the tune of “Tweed Side.".*
Asleep at the dawn of the day,
So pleasant it seem'd as I lay.
Far bence to the westward I sail'd,
And the fresh blowing breeze never faild
In the steerage a woman I saw,
Such at least was the form that she wore,
Ne'er taught me by woman before :
Shed light like a sup on the waves,
“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.
To a slave-cultured island we came,
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,
From Africa's sorrowful shore.
But soon as, approaching the land,
That goddess-like woman he view'd,
With blood of his subjects imbrued.
And, the moment the monster expir'd,
From thousands with rapture inspir'd.
At what such a dream should betide,
Which serv'd my weak thought for a guide-
For the hatred she ever has shown
Resolves to have none of her own.
END OF VOL. III.
IBOTSON AND PALMER, PRINTERS, SAVOY STREET,