BETA

The Black and the White Slave.

I had a dream of slavery,1
A vision of the night ;2
And methought I saw, on either hand,3
The victims—black and white.4
I glanced my eye to the negro sky,5
And I looked to the spinner’s room ;6
And one was lit with the hues of Heaven,7
And one was a hell of gloom.8
There were fruitful, bright, and shining fields,9
And the sun was all above,10
And there was something in the air11
That even a slave might love.12
And there was the quick incessant whirl13
Of wheels revolving fast,14
And there was the rank and moted air—15
Like a siroc’s deadly blast.16
Then the negro’s shell and the factory bell17
For brief relief rang out18
Some ran to the shade where the blue stream played,19
Some raised the revel shout.20
But as for yon poor sickly child,21
When her mid day was come,22
She still abode in that region wild,23
She could not reach her home.24
There was no gladdening stream for her,25
Albeit her tender years ;26
The stream that strayed, in that horrid shade,27
Was the factory infant’s tears.28
Aye ! tears direct from the throbbing heart—29
Hot drops from the burning brain30
Yet no relief from that shower of grief—31
Her tyrant came again.32
Then I heard the crack of the sounding whip33
Ring sharply through the air ;34
But the slave was a huge and hardy man,35
That well the lash might bear.36
The next was the dull and sickening sound37
Of the “strap” in that vale of tears ;38
I saw no man, save the wretch who struck39
The child of tender years.40
He smote the infant o’er the face,41
The neck, the trembling breast ;42
And the words that fell from his brutal tongue43
But made her the more distressed.44
And still as the blood came creeping down45
Towards the crime stained floor,46
Still on was urged that little slave,47
Till her hateful task was o’er.48
While the “man” slave sat at his cottage door,49
Or lay in the plaintain shade,50
That worn-out child crept sadly home,51
Where her bed of chaff was laid,52
Yet aye in her sleep the infant hears53
That ever chaunting chime,54
And she starts from her healthless rest and calls55
Oh ! Mother ! is it time ? ”56
Then I knelt me down, in that vision wild ;57
And raised my hands to God :58
I breathed a prayer for the man and child59
Who groan ’ neath the tasker’s rod.60
Great God ! like thy pure and balmy air,61
Let all thou hast made be free,62
And blot from thy fair and beauteous world63
The ban of slavery.64