To The Genius Of Africa

O thou who from the mountain's height

Roll'st down thy clouds with all their weight

Of waters to old Niles majestic tide;

Or o'er the dark sepulchral plain

Recallest thy Palmyra's ancient pride,

Amid whose desolated domes

Secure the savage chacal roams,

Where from the fragments of the hallow'd fane

The Arabs rear their miserable homes!



Hear Genius hear thy children's cry!

Not always should'st thou love to brood

Stern o'er the desert solitude

Where seas of sand toss their hot surges high;

Nor Genius should the midnight song

Detain thee in some milder mood

The palmy plains among

Where Gambia to the torches light

Flows radiant thro' the awaken'd night.



Ah, linger not to hear the song!

Genius avenge thy children's wrong!

The Daemon COMMERCE on your shore

Pours all the horrors of his train,

And hark! where from the field of gore

Howls the hyena o'er the slain!

Lo! where the flaming village fires the skies!

Avenging Power awake--arise!



Arise thy children's wrong redress!

Ah heed the mother's wretchedness

When in the hot infectious air

O'er her sick babe she bows opprest--

Ah hear her when the Christians tear

The drooping infant from her breast!

Whelm'd in the waters he shall rest!

Hear thou the wretched mother's cries,

Avenging Power awake! arise!



By the rank infected air

That taints those dungeons of despair,

By those who there imprison'd die

Where the black herd promiscuous lie,

By the scourges blacken'd o'er

And stiff and hard with human gore,

By every groan of deep distress

By every curse of wretchedness,

By all the train of Crimes that flow

From the hopelessness of Woe,

By every drop of blood bespilt,

By Afric's wrongs and Europe's guilt,

Awake! arise! avenge!



And thou hast heard! and o'er their blood-fed plains

Swept thine avenging hurricanes;

And bade thy storms with whirlwind roar

Dash their proud navies on the shore;

And where their armies claim'd the fight

Wither'd the warrior's might;

And o'er the unholy host with baneful breath

There Genius thou hast breath'd the gales of Death.



So perish still the robbers of mankind!

What tho' from Justice bound and blind

Inhuman Power has snatch'd the sword!

What tho' thro' many an ignominious age

That Fiend with desolating rage

The tide of carnage pour'd!

Justice shall yet unclose her eyes,

Terrific yet in wrath arise,

And trample on the tyrant's breast,

And make Oppresion groan opprest.

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