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ARGUMENT.

Ar the first dawn the slavers weigh their anchors and sail for the West Indies.....The dissipation of the mariners, and the wretchedness of the slaves briefly contrasted .... A tornado overtakes them.....The admiral's ship with three others, founder, and all hands perish....The remainder rig their jury-masts after the storm, and shape their course for the island of Grenada, which they recognize after a passage of fifty-six days....The slaves weep and tremble to see the town....They are landed and whipped in droves to market, and sold to the highest bidder, like brutes..... Relatives sold to different purchasers, are violently separated, never to see each other again.

AVENIA.

BOOK IV.

NOW the diminish'd stars had fled away
Before the glories of the dawning day,

When the commander of the Christian host
The signal gives, to leave the flaming coast.
Soon as Aurora rob'd in purple light,
Pierc'd with her golden shaft the rear of night;
Before bright Sol from ocean's briny main,
Darts o'er the lawn his horizontal beam,
The sailors toil, their anchors all a-trip,
A gallant breeze impels each tilting ship.
Each ship unmoor'd, the tyrants launch to sea,
And pale with guilt, they plow the watry way.
As in her nest within some cavern hung,

The dove sits trembling o'er her callow young,
Till rous'd at last by some impetuous shock,
She starts surpris'd, and beats around the rock;
Then to the open field for refuge flies,

And the free bird expatiates in the skies:
Her pinions pois'd, thro' liquid air she springs,
And smoothly glides, nor moves her level wings.
So the swift vessels fly in open view,

And gain'd new force and swiftness as they flew.

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Swift as they sail, the waters fly before,

And dash'd beneath the ships the surges roar;

The tars in haste their top-sails all unbind,

Then sheet them home, and stretch them to the wind:
High o'er the roaring waves the spacious sails
Bow the tall masts, and swell before the gales ;
Each crooked stem the parting surge divides,
And to the stern retreating, roll the tides.
They now their flags, their crimson flags, unbind,
To tow'r aloft, and swell before the wind;
The long proud pendants with the milk-white sails,
From the high masts invite the swelling gales.
Past sight of shore, along the surge they bound,
And all above is sky, and ocean all around;
And when the land can be perceiv'd no more,
And all relief as distant as the shore,
The can of grog a boy obsequious brings,
Replenish'd from the cool translucent springs;
Luxurious now they feast, observant round,
Gay stripling youths the brimming bumpers crown'd,
The purple vintage now allures their taste,

They quaff the wine, and then devour the feast;
In deep debauch they crown their guilty fears,
And bury in oblivion all their cares.

Then lo! the hypocritic impious crowd,
With insolence and wine, elate and loud,
Give three proud cheers, denoting victory,
And crown'd the bowl to heav'n and liberty.
Stemm'd by the ships, the foaming surges rise.
While with their shouts the sailors rend the skies.
Not half so swift the fiery coursers pour,

And as they start, the distant plain devour;
Nor half so fierce the drivers pois'd in air,
Urge the fleet steeds to whirl the flying car,

Throw up the reins, and bending o'er the yoke,
Shout, lash, and send their souls at ev'ry stroke;
The crowd in parties join, and to the cries,
And eager shouts, the hollow wood replies,
While hills to hills repeat the mingled roar,
And the long echo rolls around the shore.
With peals of loud applause from ev'ry side
The navy flew, and shot along the tide

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Swift and more swift each winged dungeon flies,
Less swift an eagle cuts the liquid skies.
Unhappy mortals was the sacred load,

The sons of Adam, who's the son of God.
Oppress'd with anguish, pain, and mighty woe,
Down their black cheeks the tears spontaneous flow;
Their hopes and joys now prematurely gone,
Now wretched, now abandon'd, and undone ;
Of friends, of peace, of smiling comforts, left,
And all their dear delights on earth bereft;
While here, for shady groves and verdant bow'rs,
For pleasant walks, and beds of fragrant flow'rs,
They find a floating dungeon on the main,
Chains, hunger, contagion, mighty pain.
Instead of music's sweet harmonious sound,
Repeated yells and deadly groans go round;
The mighty scourge, and mightier voice of pain,
The iron fetter, and the clanking chain;
And for the joyful faces of their friends,
They see in human forms, terrific fiends.

A thousand nameless terrors lag behind,
Despair, confusion, frenzy, seize the mind.
A maid there was, and LAMA was she nam'd,
For beauty much, but more virtue fam'd;
While down her cheeks the copious sorrows flow,
In loud laments she deprecates her woe:

"No more, my friends, we'll view the flow'ry field,
What various scents and shows the meadows yield:
Farewell ye forests, vales, and verdant hills,
Ye sylvan bowers, and ye tinkling rills;
Ye scented groves to which I us❜d to run
And find a shelter from the burning sun;
Ye fields, alas! my native fields, adieu !
Whose charming pinks my early labors knew ;
Where, when an infant, I was wont to stray,
And gather dasies at the cool of day:
These fragrant fields I see, or think I see,
Like willows weep, or seem to weep for me;
The pensive linnet too, forgets to sing,

And the sweet gold-finch flags each painted wing:
No more I'll bless the pleasing, breathing gale,
And gaze enchanted on the flow'ry vale,
Nor spend the joyful and the dancing hours,"
By silver streams, or in ambrosial bow'rs."
Thus those indulge their lust, and these their woe,
And here the tears, and there the bumpers flow.
Ten guilty hours the mariners employ,
In impious feasting, and unhallow'd joy :

The twelfth arriv'd, and lo! th' immortal God
With anger view'd them plough the briny flood;
He bids the whirlwinds rise, the thunders roll,
The forked lightnings flash from pole to pole.
As when avenging flames with fury driv❜n
On guilty towns, exert the wrath of heav'n,
The pale inhabitants, some fall, some fly,
And the red vapors purple all the sky.

Thus clouds all charg'd with checquer'd darkness spreads,
Black'ning the floods, and gath'ring o'er their heads.
In haste the mariners now reef each sail,

While the sea whitens with the rising gale :

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