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Attended, prisoners visited, the poof
slaves! Stol'n from their country, borne across the deep, Enchain'd, endungeon'd, forc'd by stripes to live,
(17) Doom'd to behold their wives, their little ones, Tremble beneath the white man's fiend-like
frown! Yet ev'n to scenes like this, the Sabbath brings Alleviation of th' enormous woe :— The oft-reiterated stroke is still; The clotted scourge hangs hardening in the
shrouds. But see, the demon man, whose trade is blood,
With dauntless front, convene his ruffian crew,
O England! England! wash thy purpled
Of drawing vengeance from the surcharged clouds,
Implore protection to thy menac'd shores;
Then God will blast the tyrant's arm (18 a) that
Of all the murderous trades by mortals plied,
• Church steeples are frequently used as signal-posts.
That give the sign to slip the leash from slaughter. The bells (19) whose knoll a holy calmness
pour'd Into the good man's breast,—whose sound consol'd The sick, the poor, the old—perversion dire— Pealing with sulph'rous tongue, speak deathfraught words: From morn to eve Destruction revels frenzied, Till at the hour when peaceful vesper-chimes Were wont to soothe the ear, the trumpet sounds Pursuit and flight altern; and for the song Of larks descending to their grass-bower'd homes, The croak of flesh-gorg'd ravens, as they slake Their thirst in hoof-prints fill'd with gore, disturbs The stupor of the dying man: while Death Triumphantly sails down th' ensanguin'd stream,
L. 639. THE SABBATH. 51
On corses thron'd, and crown'd with shiver'd
And what the harvest of these bloody fields?
* After a heavy cannonade, the shivered branches of trees, and the corpses of the killed, are seen floating together down the rivers.