‘From Sun to Sun the Negro toils
No smiles reward his trusty care,
And when the indignant mind recoils,
His doom is whips and black despair’
I found this bit of anti-slavery culture on the web some time ago. The lines came from the pen of abolitionist poet Fanny Holcroft in 1797. I’m in a mood for poetry tonight, so I’ll leave you with two pieces. The first is the entire poem “The Negro” by Holcroft – with the exception that she would not take credit for the lines in italics. You can read the story about the poem here.
The second is an excerpt from a Who song that I began to appreciate after George told me to really listen to the words. George and his music are pretty old – but there is some life left in both! 😉
by Miss Holcroft
TRANSPIERC’D with many a streaming
The Negro lay, invoking death :
His blood o’erflowe’d the reeking ground
He, gasping, drew his languid breath.
His sable cheek was ghastly, cold ;
Convulsive groans their prison broke :
His eyes in fearful horror roll’d,
While thus the wretch his anguish spoke:
” Accursed be the Christian race ;
Insatiate is their iron foul :
To hunt our sons
their fav’rite chace
They goad and lash without control.
” Torn from our frantic mother’s breast,
We bear our tyrant’s galling chains ;
Deny’d e’en death, that lulls to rest,
The keenest woe, and fiercest pains.
” From sun to sun the Negro toils ;
No smiles approve his trusty care ;
And, when th’ indignant mind recoils,
His doom is whips, and black despair.
” Yet Christians teach faith, hope, and love :
Their God of mercy oft implore ;
But can barbarians mercy prove,
Or a benignant God adore ?
” Hear then my groans, oh, Christian God !
Thy curses hurl
but, no ! forbear.
Let Christians wield Oppression’s rod,
Spread hatred, woe, and wild despair.
” While I a nobler course pursue,
Yes, let me die as I would live !
Yes, let me teach this Christian crew,
The dying Negro can forgive.
” And if, indeed, that pow’r be thine,
O Christian God! In mercy move
Thy people’s hearts, by pow’r divine,
To justice, gentleness, and love.”
The suff’rer ceas’d, death chilled his veins ;
His mangl’d limbs grew stiff and cold ;
Yet whips nor racks inflict the pains
Men feel who barter Man for Gold.
And Because We Appear To Be In Election Mode…
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again
Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss
Excerpt from The Who, Won’t Get Fooled Again