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An African Slave, condemned for Rebellion,

in Jamaica, 1762.

BRYANT EDWARDS, Esq. of Jamaica.

IS
past :

cares to rest !
Firm and unmoy'd am 1:
In freedom's cause I bar'd my breast,

In freedom's cause I die.

Ah stop! thou doft me fatal wrong:

Nature will yet rebel ;
For I have lov'd thee very long,
And lov'd thee

very

well.

To native skies and peaceful bow'rs,

I foon fhall wing my way.
Where joy shall lead the circling hours,

Unless too long thy stay.

* He is supposed to address his wife at the place of execution,

O speed, fair sun! thy course divine ;

My Abala remove ;
There thy bright beams shall ever shine,

And I for ever love :

1

On these blest shores-a slave no more !

In peaceful ease I'll ftray ;
Or rouse to chase the mountain boar,

As unconfin'd as day!

No christian tyrant there is known

To mark his steps with blood, Nor fable mis'ry's piercing moan

Resounds through ev'ry wood!

Yet I have heard the melting tongue,

Have seen the falling tear;
Known the good heart by pity wrung,

Ah! that such hearts are rare !

Now, Chriftian, glut thy ravish'd eyes!

I reach the joyful hour ;
Now bid the scorching flames arise,

And these poor limbs devour :

But know, pale tyrant, 'tis not thine

Eternal war to wage ;
The death thou giv'it shall but combiné

To mock thy baffled rage.

O death, how welcome to th' opprest!

Thy kind embrace I crave !
Thou bring'st to mis'ry's bofom reft,

And freedom to the flave!

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Ipfe cava solans ægrum testudine amorem,
Te dulcis conjux, te folo in littore fecum,
Te veniente die, te decedente canebat.

A From every duty, every care

I.
T length escap'd from every human eye,

That in my mournful thoughts might claim a share,
Or force my tears their flowing streams to dry,
Beneath the gloom of this embow’ring fhade,
This lone retreat, for tender sorrow made,
I now may give my burthen'd heart relief,

And pour forth all my stores of grief,

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H

Of grief surpassing every other woe.
Far as the purest bliss, the happiest love

Can on th' enobled mind bestow,

Exceeds the vulgar joys that move Our grofs defires, inelegant and low.

II.
Ye tufted groves, ye gently falling rills,

Ye high o'ershading hills,
Ye lawns gay-smiling with eternal green,

Oft have you my Lucy seen!
But never shall you now behold her more :

Nor will she now with fond delight
And taste refind your rural charms explore.
Clos'd are those beauteous eyes in endless night,
Those beauteous eyes where beaming us'd to shine
Reason's

pure light, and Virtue's spark divine.

III.
Oft would the Dryads of these woods rejoice

To hear her heavenly voice,
For her despising, when the deign'd to sing,

The sweetest songsters of the spring :
The woodlark and the linnet pleas’d no more ;

The nightingale was mute,

And every shepherd's fute

Was cast in silent scorn away,
While all attended to her sweeter lay.
Ye larks and linnets now resume your song,

And thou, melodious Philomel,

Again thy plaintive story tell, For death has stop'd that tuneful tongue, Whose music could alone your warbling notes excel.

IV.

1

In vain I look around

O’er all the well known ground
My Lucy's wonted footsteps to descry;

A

Where oft we us'd to walk,

Where oft in tender talk
We saw the summer sun go down the sky;

Nor by yon fountain's fide,

Nor where its waters glide
Along the valley, can she now be found :
In all the wide ítretch'd profpeét's ample bound

No more my mournful eye

Can aught of her espy, But the sad sacred earth where her dear relics lie.

V.
O shades of H -y, where is now

your

boaft?
Your bright inhabitant is loft.
You lhe prefer'd to all the gay resorts
Where female vanity might wish to shine,
The pomp of cities and the pride of courts.
Her modest beauties fhund the public eye :

To your fequefter'd dales

And flow'r-embroider'd vales
From an admiring world the chose to fly;
With Nature there retir'd, and Nature's GOD,

The filent paths of wisdoni trod,
And banish'd every passion from her breast,

But those the gentlest and the best,
Whose holy flames with energy divine
The virtuous heart enliven and improve,
The conjugal, and the maternal love.

VI.
Sweet babes, who, like the little playful fawns,
Were wont to trip along these verdant lawns
By your delighted mother's fide,

Who now your infant steps shall guide ?
Ah! where is now the hand whose tender care
To
every

virtue would have form’d your Youth, And strew'd with flow'rs the thorny ways of Truth?

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