Mary Barber

(1690-1757 / England)

On Seeing The Captives, Lately Redeem'D From Barbary By His Majesty. - Poem by Mary Barber

A sight like this, who can unmov'd survey?
Impartial Muse, can'st thou with--hold thy Lay?
See the freed Captives hail their native Shore,
And tread the Land of Liberty once more:
See, as they pass, the crouding People press,
Joy in their Joy, and their Dellv'rer bless.

Now, Slavery! no more thy rigid Hand
Shall drag the Trader to thy fatal Strand:
No more in Iron Bonds the Wretched groan;
Secur'd, Britannia, by thy Guardian Throne.

Say, mighty Prince! can Empire boast a Bliss,
Amidst its radiant Pomp, that equals this?
To see the Captives by thy Pow'r set free,
Their Supplications raise to Heav'n for Thee!

The god like Bounty scatters Blessings round;
As flowing Urns enrich the distant Ground:
No more shall Woes the fainting Heart destroy;
The House of Mourning now is turn'd to Joy:
See Arms in Grief long folded up, extend,
To clasp a Husband, Brother, Kinsman, Friend:
See hoary Parents, tott'ring o'er the Grave,
A Son long--wail'd, to prop their Age, receive:
And, Have we liv'd to see thy Face? they cry;
O! 'tis enough--We now in Peace shall die:
O bless'd be Heaven! and bless'd, while Life remains.
Shall be the Hand, that has unbound thy Chains!

Forbear, my Muse; know Art attempts in
What Nature pictures to the Breast humane.

To Wager turn; for Wager raise thy Voice;
To feed the Hungry, long has been his Choice,
And make the Heart, born down by Care, rejoice.

Say, ye Luxurious, who indulge your Taste,
And, by one Riot, might a Thousand feast;
Do you not blush to see his Care to feed
The Captives by your Monarch's Bounty freed?

The bitter Cup of Slavery is past;
But pining Penury approaches fast.

And shall the Royal Rage alone bestow?
Shall not Compassion from the Subject flow?
Shall not each free--born Briton's Bosom melt,
To make the Joys of Liberty more felt?
So, Albion, be it ever giv'n to thee,
To break the Bonds, and set the Pris'ners free

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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