APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTH!
Written by Wymond and published on March 1851.
I present the poem…
THE SLAVE'S SOLILOQUY
How sweet is freedom to the free! Then what
Would not the wretched, horror-stricken slave
Endure, that might purchase freedom too?
Oh, listen to his heart-heaved signs and groans,
As he bewails his wretched lot, and bear
His sad soliloquy!
O, let me have
My liberty! Though I might wander up
And down the earth, a by-word on the tongues
Of men, and friendless live and die, yet let
Me have my LIBERTY. Though I were sure
That the wild wilderness would be my home,
Where none should be more kind and merciful
Than howling wild beasts, thirsting for my blood,
And naught but fruitless forest trees should shield
Me from the storms of night, yet let me have
My LIBERTY! O, let me wither 'neath
The torrid, summer sun, or wander lost
Upon a springless, shrubless, sandy plain;
Or let me shiver, freeze and die amid
The winds and drifting storms that beat upon
Spitzbergen's frozen brow, if I may have
My LIBERTY! Or let me say farewell,
Forever, to the land that gave me birth,
And let me choose old ocean for my home;
And not a word I'll murmur, when the night
Is black with tempest, and the howling blasts
And hissing waves shall leave the rushing storm,
"While mountains billows rise-ten billows heaped
In one, then rush down, an avalanche
Of brine." And the rattling thunders rule
The tempest with their deaf'ning roar, and let
The lightning ploug the reeling masts. All these
I'll bear, if I may have my LIBERTY.
The friendless world, the wilderness, the heat
Of blazing suns, the frosts of icy North,
Have, all combined, no terrors like the woes
O, then creation's lord,
High-gifted tyrant, boasting of thy love
Of liberty, yet robbing Freedom of
Her rights, by chaining down thy equal and
Thy brother, to unending slavery,
Unheeding all his woes, as though thy heart
Were adamant, throw off thy lethargy.
If thou art yet a man, let sympathy--
Let manhood's common ties--let fear of woe,
Thy well-earned due, and which eternity
Shall pay--let justice, shame, and conscience plead
With thee, and urge thee grant the slave that gift,
With which, he loves to live--without which, longs
To die--his rightful Human Liberty.