THE AFRIC'S DREAM -- Slavery Song

THE AFRIC'S DREAM -- Slavery Song

Words by Miss Chandler. "Emigrant's Lament," arranged by G.W.C.

Jack, a Slave on the B.F. Taylor Plantation, 1850




Jack, a Slave on the B.F. Taylor Plantation, 1850


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Why did ye wake me from my sleep? It was a dream of bliss,
And ye have torn me from that land, to pine again in this;
Methought, beneath yon whispering tree, that I was laid to rest,
The turf, with all its with'ring flowers, upon my cold heart pressed.

My chains, these hateful chains, were gone--oh, would that I might die,
So from my swelling pulse I could forever cast them by!
And on, away, o'er land and sea, my joyful spirit passed,
Till, 'neath my own banana tree, I lighted down at last.

My cabin door, with all its flowers, was still profusely gay,
As when I lightly sported there, in childhood's careless day!
But trees that were as sapling twigs, with broad and shadowing bough,
Around the well-known threshhold spread a freshening coolness now.

The birds whose notes I used to hear, were shouting on the earth,
As if to greet me back again with their wild strains of mirth;
My own bright stream was at my feet, and how I laughed to lave
My burning lip, and cheek, and brow, in that delicious wave!

My boy, my first-born babe, had died amid his early hours,
And there we laid him to his sleep among the clustering flowers;
Yet lo! without my cottage-door he sported in his glee,
With her whose grave is far from his, beneath yon linden tree.

I sprang to snatch them to my soul; when breathing out my name,
To grasp my hand, and press my lip, a crowd of loved ones came!
Wife, parents, children, kinsmen, friends! the dear and lost ones all,
With blessed words of welcome came, to greet me from my thrall.

Forms long unseen were by my side; and thrilling on my ear,
Came cadences from gentle tones, unheard for many a year;
And on my cheeks fond lips were pressed, with true affection's kiss--
And so ye waked me from my sleep--but 'twas a dream of bliss!


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