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Attended, prisoners visited, the poof
Receiv'd as brothers at the rich man's board.
Alas! how different now the deeds of men
Nurs'd in the faith of Christ!—the free made

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,
To hear the sacred service read. Accurs'd,
The wretch's bile-ting'd lips profane the word
Of God: Accurs'd, he ventures to pronounce
The decalogue, nor falters at that law,
Wherein 'tis written, Thou shah do no murder:
Perhaps while yet the words are on his lips,
He hears a dying mother's parting groan;
He hears her orphan'd child, with lisping plaint,
Attempt to rouse her from the sleep of death.

O England! England! wash thy purpled
Of this foul sin, (18) and never dip them more
In guilt so damnable; then lift them up
In supplication to that God whose name
Is Mercy; then thou may'st, without the risk

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

The thunderbolt of ruin o'er thy head;
Then will he turn the wolvish race to prey
Upon each other; then will he arrest
The lava torrent, causing it regorge
Back to its source with fiery desolation.

Of all the murderous trades by mortals plied,
'Tis War alone that never violates
The hallow'd day by simulate respect,—
By hypocritic rest: No, no, the work proceeds.
From sacred pinnacles are hung the flags*

• 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

* That erst hung imag'd in the chrystal tide.*

And what the harvest of these bloody fields?
A double weight of fetters to the slave,
And chains on arms that wielded Freedom's sword.
Spirit of Tell! and art thou doom'd to see
Thy mountains, that confess'd no other chains
Than what the wint'ry elements had forg'd,—
Thy vales, where Freedom, and her stern compeer,
Proud virtuous Poverty, their noble state
Maintain'd, amid surrounding threats of wealth,

* After a heavy cannonade, the shivered branches of trees, and the corpses of the killed, are seen floating together down the rivers.

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