Sweet meat has sour sauce


Sweet Meat has Sour Sauce or, The Slave-Trader in the Dumps

A trader I am to the African shore,
But since that my trading is like to be o'er,
I'll sing you a song that you ne'er heard before,
      Which nobody can deny, deny,
      Which nobody can deny.


When I first heard the news it gave me a shock,
Much like what they call an electrical knock,
And now I am going to sell off my stock,
      Which nobody can deny.


'Tis a curious assortment of dainty regales,
To tickle the negroes with when the ship sails,
Fine chains for the neck, and a cat with nine tails,
      Which nobody can deny.


Here's supple-jack plenty, and store of rat-tan,
That will wind itself round the sides of a man,
As close as a hoop round a bucket or can,
       Which nobody can deny.


Here's padlocks and bolts, and screws for the thumbs,
That squeeze them so lovingly till the blood comes,
They sweeten the temper like comfits or plums,
      Which nobody can deny.


When a negro his head from his victuals withdraws,
And clenches his teeth and thrusts out his paws,
Here's a notable engine to open his jaws,
      Which nobody can deny.


Thus going to market, we kindly prepare
A pretty black cargo of African ware,
For what they must meet with when they get there,
      Which nobody can deny.


'Twould do your heart good to see 'em below,
Lie flat on their backs all the way as we go,
Like sprats on a gridiron, scores in a row,
      Which nobody can deny.


But ah! if in vain I have studied an art
So gainful to me, all boasting apart,
I think it will break my compassionate heart,
      Which nobody can deny.


For oh! how it enters my soul like an awl!
This pity, which some people self-pity call,
Is sure the most heart-piercing pity of all,
      Which nobody can deny.


So this is my song, as I told you before;
Come buy off my stock, for I must no more
Carry Caesars and Pompeys to Sugar-cane shore,
      Which nobody can deny, deny,
      Which nobody can deny.


This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.