THE NEGRO'S APPEAL -- Slavery Song

THE NEGRO'S APPEAL -- Slavery Song

Words by Cowper. Tune--"Isle of Beauty."

Slave Family in a Georgia Cotton Field, c.1860




Slave Family in a Georgia Cotton Field, c.1860


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Music

Forced from home and all its pleasures,
Afric's coast I left forlorn;
To increase a stranger's treasures,
O'er the raging billows borne.
Christian people bought and sold me,
Paid my price in paltry gold:
But though slave they have enrolled me
_Minds_ are never to be sold.

Is there, as ye sometimes tell me,
Is there one who reigns on high?
Has he bid you buy and sell me,
Speaking from his throne--the sky?
Ask him, if your knotted scourges,
Matches, blood-extorting screws,
Are the means that duty urges
Agents of his will to use.

Hark! he answers--wild tornadoes,
Strewing yonder sea with wrecks,
Wasting towns, plantations, meadows,
Are the voice with which he speaks.
He, foreseeing what vexations
Afric's sons should undergo,
Fixed their tyrant's habitations,
Where his whirlwinds answer--No!

By our blood in Afric' wasted,
Ere our necks received the chain;
By the miseries that we tasted,
Crossing in your barks the main:
By our sufferings, since ye brought us
To the man-degrading mart,
All sustained by patience, taught us
Only by a broken heart--

Deem our nation brutes no longer,
Till some reason ye shall find,
Worthier of regard and stronger
Than the _color_ of our kind.
Slaves of gold! whose sordid dealings
Tarnish all your boasted powers;
Prove that you have human feelings,
Ere you proudly question ours.

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