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The Poetical Works of Elizabeth Margaret Chandler/The Enfranchised Slaves to Their Benefactress

The Enfranchised Slaves to Their BenefactressEdit

Oh, blessings on thee, lady! we could lie
Down at thy feet, in our deep gratitude,
And give ourselves to die,
So thou could'st be made happier by our blood;
Yet life has never seem'd so dear as now,
That we may lift a free, unbranded brow.

In the deep silence of the starry night,
Our lips shall call down blessings on thy head;
And the first gush of light,
That in its splendour o'er the world is spread,
Shall view us bow'd in prayer, that life may be
A calm and sunny day of joy for thee.

Free! free!—how glorious 't is to lift an eye,
Unblenching beneath infamy and shame,
To the blue boundless sky,
And feel each moment from our hearts, the tame
Dull pulses of our vileness pass away,
Like sluggish mists before the rising day.

And then our infants! we shall never see
Their young limbs cheapen'd at the public mart,
Or shrink in agony,
To view them writhe beneath the cruel smart
Of the rude lash;—they ne'er like us shall know
The slave's dark lot of wretchedness and woe.

For this we bless thee, lady! and may Heaven
Pour down its frequent blessings on thy brow;
And to thy life be given,
Oft through its sunset hours, such bliss as now
Is swelling round thy heart—scarce less than theirs
Who pour for thee their deep and grateful prayers.