Is there, as ye sometimes tell me,
Is there one who reigns on high?
Has he bid you buy and sell me,
Speaking from his throne--the sky?
Ask him, if your knotted scourges,
Matches, blood-extorting screws,
Are the means that duty urges
Agents of his will to use.
Hark! he answers--wild tornadoes,
Strewing yonder sea with wrecks,
Wasting towns, plantations, meadows,
Are the voice with which he speaks.
He, foreseeing what vexations
Afric's sons should undergo,
Fixed their tyrant's habitations,
Where his whirlwinds answer--No!
By our blood in Afric' wasted,
Ere our necks received the chain;
By the miseries that we tasted,
Crossing in your barks the main:
By our sufferings, since ye brought us
To the man-degrading mart,
All sustained by patience, taught us
Only by a broken heart--
Deem our nation brutes no longer,
Till some reason ye shall find,
Worthier of regard and stronger
Than the _color_ of