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He wore upon his mail

Twelve little golden wheels;
Anon in eddies the wild wind blew,

And round and round the wheels they flew.
He wore before his breast

A lance that was poised in rest;
And it was sharper than diamond-stone,

It made Sir Oluf's heart to groan.
He wore upon his helm

A wreath of ruddy gold;
And that gave him the Maidens Three,

The youngest was fair to behold.
Sir Oluf questioned the Knight eftsoon

If he were come from heaven down;
" Art thou Christ of Heaven," quoth he,

“So will I yield me unto thee.”
I am not Christ the Great,

Thou shalt not yield thee yet;
I am an Unknown Knight,

Three modest Maidens have me bedight." “ Art thou a Knight elected,

And have three Maidens thee bedight;
So shalt thou ride a tilt this day,

For all the Maidens' honour!"
The first tilt they together rode

They put their steeds to the test;
The second tilt they together rode,

They proved their manhood best;
The third tilt they together rode,

Neither of them would yield;
The fourth tilt they together rode,

They both fell on the field.
Now lie the lords upon the plain,

And their blood runs unto death;
Now sit the Maidens in the high tower,

The youngest sorrows till death.

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Poems on Slavery.



[The following Poems, with one exception, were written at sea, in the latter part of October. I had not then heard of Dr. Chanuing's death. Since that event the poem addressed to him is no longer appropriate. I have decided, hows erer, to let it remain as it was written, a feeble testimony of my admiration for a great and good man.]

THE pages of thy book I read,

And as I closed each one,
My heart, responding, ever said,

“Servant of God! well done!”
Well done! Thy words are great and boll;

At times they seem to me,
Like Luther's, in the days of old,

Half-battles for the free.
Go on, until this land revokes

The old and chartered Lie,
The feudal curse, whose whips and yokes

Insult humanity.
A voice is ever at thy side

Speaking in tones of might,
Like the prophetic voice, that cried,

To John in Patmos, “Write!”
Write! and tell out this bloody tale;

Record this dire eclipse,
This Day of Wrath, this Endless Wail,

This dread Apocalypse.

BESIDE the ungathered rice he lay,

His sickle in his hand;
His breast was bare, his matted hair

Was buried in the sand.
Again, in the mist and shadow of sleep,

He saw his Native Land.
Wide through the landscape of his dreams

The lordly Niger flowed ;

Beneath the palm-trees on the plain

Once more a king he strode;
And heard the tinkling caravans

Descend the mountain-road.
He saw once more his dark-eyed queen

Among her children stand;
They clasped his neck, they kissed his cheeks,

They held him by the hand !-
A tear burst from the sleeper's lids

And fell into the sand.
And then at furious speed he rode

Along the Niger's bank;
His bridle-reins were golden chains,

And, with a martial clank,
At each leap he could feel his scabbard of steel

Smiting his stallion's flank. Before him, like a blood-red flag,

The bright flamingoes flew; From morn till night he followed their flight,

O’er plains where the tamarind grew, Till he saw the roofs of Caffre huts,

And the ocean rose to view. At night he heard the lion roar,

And the hyæna scream;
And the river-horse, as he crushed the reeds

Beside some hidden stream;
And it passed, like a glorious roll of drums,

Through the triumph of his dream.
The forests, with their myriad tongues,

Shouted of liberty;
And the Blast of the Desert cried aloud,

With a voice so wild and free,
That he started in his sleep and smiled

At their tempestuous glee.
He did not feel the driver's whip,

Nor the burning heat of day;
For death had illumined the Land of Sleep,

And his lifeless body lay
A worn-out fetter, that the soul

Had broken and thrown away!

SHE dwells by Great Kenhawa's side,

In valleys green and cool;
And all her hope and all her pride

Are in the village school.

Her soul, like the transparent air

That robes the hills above,
Though not of earth, encircles there

All things with arms of love.
And thus she walks among her girls

With praise and mild rebukes;
Subduing e'en rude village churls

By her angelic looks.
She reads to them at eventide

Of one who came to save;
To cast the captive's chains aside,

And liberate the slave.
And oft the blessed time foretells

When all men shall be free;
And musical, as silver bells,

Their falling chains shall be.
And following her beloved Lord,

In decent poverty,
She makes her life one swect record

And deed of charity.
For she was rich, and gave up all

To break the iron bands
Of those who waited in her hall,

And laboured in her lands.
Long since beyond the Southern sea

Their outbound sails have sped,
While she, in meek humility,

Now earns her daily bread.
It is their prayers, which never cease,

That clothe her with such grace;
Their blessing is the light of peace

That shines upon her face.


In dark fens of the Dismal Swamp

The hunted Negro lay;
He saw the fire of the midnight camp,
And heard at times a horse's tramp

And a bloodhound's distant bay.
Where will-o'-the-wisps and glow-worms shine,

In bulrush and in brake; Where waving mosses shroud the pine, And the cedar grows, and the poisonous vine

Ts spotted like the snake;

Where hardly a human foot could pass,

Or a human heart would dare, On the quaking turf of the green morass H. crouched in the rank and tangled grass,

Like a wild beast in his lair.

A poor

old slave, infirm and lame;
Great scars deformed his face;
On his forehead he bore the brand of shame,
And the rags, that hid his mangled frame,

Were the livery of disgrace.
All things above were bright and fair,

All things were glad and free;
Lithe squirrels darted here and there,
And wild birds filled the echoing air

With songs of Liberty!
On him alone was the doom of pain,

From the morning of his birth;
On him alone the curse of Cain
Fell, like a flail on the garnered grain,

And struck him to the earth!


In Ocean's wide domains,

Half buried in the sands,
Like skeletons in chains,

With shackled feet and hands,
Beyond the fall of dews,

Deeper than plummet lies,
Float ships with all their crews,

No more to sink nor rise.

There the black Slave-ship swims,

Freighted with human forms,
Whose fettered, fleshless limbs

Are not the sport of storms.
These are the bones of Slaves ;

They gleam from the abyss ;
They cry, from yawning waves,

"We are the Witnesses !"

Within Earth's wide domains

Are markets for men's lives ;
Their necks are galled with chains,

Their wrists are cramped with gyves.

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