George Saville Carey, “The Negro’s Soliloquy”

GEORGE SAVILLE CAREY

 “The Negro’s Soliloquy”

By yon bright streamers in the sky,
Which glimmer on the sea;
The chearing sun approaches nigh,
Yet brings no hope to me,
The peaceful night yields me no rest,                         5
Which gives to others sleep,
My heart it bleeds within my breast,
My eyes do nought but weep.

The toils, I cou’d endure of day,
Or spurn the tyrant’s chain,                                 10
But Norah’s driven far away,
Which racks my tortur’d brain;
My wife is she,—ah cruel heart,
That cou’d her heart oppress,
But ’tis alone the tyrant’s part,                                     15
To triumph o’er distress.

Haste, blessed tidings! haste along,
From fair Britannia’s isle,
Ah, come and ease the anxious throng,
And make the slave to smile;                                 20
If then good hap, my Norah lives,
These limbs shall ne’er have rest,
Until we meet, oh, then I’ll cleave,
Forever to her breast.

NOTES:

1 streamers “Ray[s] proceeding from the sun” (OED).

21 hap Luck.

Source: One Thousand Eight Hundred; or, I Wish You a Happy New Year. Being a choice collection of favourite songs, on serious, moral, and lively subjects (Tewkesbury, 1800), pp. 31-2. [ECCO]

Edited by Bill Christmas


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