Poems About Slavery

A Parody

Master spare the lash,
Touch not a single slave
In anger wild, and rash;
But ho! forbear and save –

'Twas God that gave him breath
And place him here with thee
Then master, spare this death
And let it cease to be

The same immortal mind,
Created by one hand,
In black and white, we find
In every clime, and land;

Master – forbear thy stroke,
Touch not a single hair,
This bondage must be broke
And pity says forbear,

When he was his own and free,
Thou stole him from his home,
From a home beyond the sea,
In this strange land to roam,

His mother watched him there
In this cot, beyond the sea,
And say – dost thou not care?
Oh! let the slave go free,

His heart around it clings,
His own dear native home,
And the wild bird sweetly sings
In the grove, where he has roamed –

Slave holders – no longer dare
To bind him, with thy chain,
And from his friends him tare
For the sake of paltry gain.


Fitchburg, Sept 16th.

—From the New York Mirror


North and South

“For the wail of millions
Is sounding in our ears."

List ye that low and plaintive wail,
Borne on the southern balmy gale!

See Africa’s wretched daughter weep,
Nor close her weary eyes in sleep.

Her wretched husband at her side,
Strives to assuage—her cares divide;

But cruel white, with lath appears,
Nor heeds his groans, nor minds her tears.

“Hie to your task—of darker hue,
What sympathetic chords have you?

Go, toil and sweat on yonder plain;
Ye were but made for white man's gain."

List ye again that plaintive moan!
It strikes the ear like childhood's tone;—

Ah, little one! thou weep'st in vain!
Thy mother toils on yonder plain.

Friends of freedom! heed the wail!
'Tis God's own cause,—ye cannot fail!

His richest guerdon will be given,—
The joy of earth—the peace of heaven.

Remember, too, that wrong is here,
And give the north one pitying tear;

Oh! let the fruits of love go forth,
To free the South and bless the North!

Voice of Industry, February 13, 1846

The Slave’s Revenge

Lend, lend imagination wings,
While yonder sun in beauty wanes;—
Soar far away to southern clime,
Where souls in cruel bondage pine.

In yonder cabin kneels a form
That slavery's galling yoke bath worn;
In broken accents hear him cry,
“Must  I in bondage always sigh?"

The morning dawned in beauty bright,
And chased away the darksome night;
But yet it brought no kind relief
To him whose soul was filled with grief.

The busy crowd the market throng,
And he whose prayer to heaven bath gone,
Wit h heavy tread reached the stand
Where men are sold in christian land.

His dark eyes flash in deep despair—
Yon little group—his all—stands there;—
Alas! deep anguish fills his heart;
Wit h wife and children he must part.

The thought is maddening—worse than death—
Of loved ones, dear as life, bereft;—
He crossed the stand with resolute air,
And whispered in the planter's ear.

“You own my wife, my children dear,"
And then he wip'd a briny tear;
“Me work for you by night, or day,
Oh! bid me off, good master, pray."

But soon advanced with haughty stride,
He who the Almighty's law defied;
The slave cast one dark, withering look,
All fear of man his soul forsook.

He raised his strong, athletic arm,
Then rose his voice in wild alarm—
“You cast my lot far far away;
Me never work for you a day."

Cease! cease these idle words, black slave!
Nor longer like a maniac rave;
The highest bid hath made you mine;
Henceforth you dwell in distant dime.

The bondman raised his eyes to heaven,
Then gazed on those whom God had given;
With frantic yell he leaped the stand,
Seized fast an axe—cut off his hand.

Then raised his bleeding arm to him
Who vainly thought the prize to win—
“Remember sir, again me say,
Me never work for you a day."

—Sarah W.

Voice of Industry, June 18, 1847


The Voice of Industry is in the public domain.


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