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One hint the humble bard may send
To her for whom these lines are penn’d:
- O may it be enough for her
To shine in her own character !
O may she be content to grace,
On earth, in heaven, her proper place!
Stanzas written for “ The Chimney-Sweeper's Friend,” a work
edited by the Author, and dedicated, by permission, to His most gracious Majesty George IV.
I know they scorn the climbing boy,
The gay, the selfish, and the proud;
I know his villanous employ
Is mockery with the thoughtless crowd.
So be it; brand with every name
Of burning infamy his art ;
But let his country bear the shame,
And feel the iron at her heart.
I cannot coldly pass him by,
Stript, wounded, left by thieves half dead";
Nor see an infant Lazarus lie
At rich men's gates imploring bread.
A frame as sensitive as mine,
Limbs moulded in a kindred form,
A soul degraded, yet divine,
Endear to me my brother-worm.
He was my equal at his birth,
A naked, helpless, weeping child ;
- And such are born to thrones on earth ;
On such hath every mother smiled.
My equal he will be again,
Down in that cold oblivious gloom,
Where all the prostrate ranks of men
Crowd, without fellowship, the tomb.
My equal in the judgment-day,
He shall stand up before the throne,
When every veil is rent away,
And good and evil only known.
And is he not mine equal now?
Am I less fall’n from God and truth?
Though “ wretch” be written on his brow,
And leprosy consume his youth.
If holy Nature yet have laws
Binding on man, of woman born,
In her own court I'll plead his cause,
Arrest the doom, or share the scorn.
Yes, let the scorn, that haunts his course,
Turn on me like a trodden snake,
And hiss, and sting me with remorse,
If I the fatherless forsake !
UNDER THE PICTURE OF AN AGED NEGRO-WOMAN.
Art thou a woman ? — so am I; and all
That woman can be, I have been, or am ;
A daughter, sister, consort, mother, widow.
Whiche'er of these thou art, O be the friend
Of one who is what thou canst never be !
Look on thyself, thy kindred, home, and country,
Then fall upon thy knees, and cry “ Thank God,
An English woman cannot be A SLAVE!"
Art thou a man? - Oh! I have known, have loved, And lost, all that to woman man can be ; A father, brother, husband, son, who shared My bliss in freedom and my woe in bondage.