The Spirit of the Nation/The Slaves' Bill
THE SLAVES' BILL.
Aye, brand our arms, nor them alone;
But brand our brows, degraded race
Oh, how a fear can England own
Of men, who cannot feel disgrace?
Men! Are we men? We talk as such,
Heav'ns, how we talk! but vain alarms—
Nought masculine endures so much,
Then brand our brows, as well as arms!
This brand is not an ugly thing—
May seem an ornament, indeed;
The shame to some would be the sting,
But not to slaves who dare not bleed!
Six hundred weary years have pass'd,
And which, without some newer harms
From Dear Old England! This, the last,
Is but an insult—brand our arms!
Yes, brand our language, faith, and name!
Black down time's river let them roll;
Let Erin be a word of shame,
And burn its mem'ry from my soul!
Oh! Erin, Erin!—never more
That darling name let me repeat!
If such the sons my mother bore,
West Briton were as sound as sweet.
Aye, brand us all! yet still we crave
A pittance at our master's door;
Then leave the wealthy Irish slave
His club, his bottle, and ——;
And leave the wretched serf, his wife—
You may, (she has not many charms,)
Potatoes, and his paltry life;
But, leave us not—ev'n branded arms!
Mad as ye are, who reckless dare
To mock the spirit God hath giv'n,
Pause, ere ye drive us in despair
To its appeal—from man to heaven!
From calmer eyes the furies glare,
And colder bosoms vengeance warms,
Till rage finds weapons, ev'ry where,
For Nature's two unbranded arms!