Robert Southey

(1774 - 1843 / Bristol / England)

Poems On The Slave Trade - Sonnet IV


'Tis night; the mercenary tyrants sleep
As undisturb'd as Justice! but no more
The wretched Slave, as on his native shore,
Rests on his reedy couch: he wakes to weep!
Tho' thro' the toil and anguish of the day
No tear escap'd him, not one suffering groan
Beneath the twisted thong, he weeps alone
In bitterness; thinking that far away
Tho' the gay negroes join the midnight song,
Tho' merriment resounds on Niger's shore,
She whom he loves far from the chearful throng
Stands sad, and gazes from her lowly door
With dim grown eye, silent and woe-begone,
And weeps for him who will return no more.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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