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Poems On The Slave Trade - Sonnet V

Robert Southey 1774 (Bristol) – 1843 (London)

Did then the bold Slave rear at last the Sword
 Of Vengeance? drench'd he deep its thirsty blade
In the cold bosom of his tyrant lord?
 Oh! who shall blame him? thro' the midnight shade
Still o'er his tortur'd memory rush'd the thought
 Of every past delight; his native grove,
 Friendship's best joys, and Liberty and Love,
All lost for ever! then Remembrance wrought
His soul to madness; round his restless bed
 Freedom's pale spectre stalk'd, with a stern smile
 Pointing the wounds of slavery, the while
She shook her chains and hung her sullen head:
No more on Heaven he calls with fruitless breath,
But sweetens with revenge, the draught of death.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Robert Southey

Robert Southey was an English poet of the Romantic school, one of the so-called "Lake Poets", and Poet Laureate for 30 years from 1813 to his death in 1843. more…

All Robert Southey poems | Robert Southey Books

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