Slave Ship The first grey dawn of the morning was beaming The bright rays shone forth the glad spirit of light The rising sun over the ocean was streaming And dispelled with his rays the dark shadows of night The air - oh, how pure, and the morning was mild And the waters lay hushed like a sleeping child What cheer, cried the mate, as he passed to and fro What cheer! Art thou watching? Is all right below? Alls right, cried a voice, the hatches are tight As the chains that are binding the slaves this night Up, up, with the flag, then let us away Spread the sails, 'tis a favouring wind And long ere the break of the morning we'll leave The coast of old Afric behind The moonlight will follow our track o'er the deep As we start through the sparkling wave For our cargo of blacks are all hushed in sleep As though they were hushed in the grave Then up with the anchor and let us away We dare not - we must not, now longer delay Gloomily still the captain with his arms upon his breast With his cold brow sternly knitted and iron lips compressed Are all well whipped below there? Ay! Ay! The seamen said Heave up the worthless lubbers - the dying and the dead Help, oh! thou God of Christians! Save a mother from despair Cruel white man sold my children - Oh, God of Christians hear my prayer! I'm young and strong and hardy - he's a sick and feeble boy Take me, whip me, chain me, starve me! Oh, God, in mercy, save my boy! The mother, my child - they've killed my child! They've killed shrieked - now all is o'er Down the savage captain struck her lifeless on the vessel's floor Shall outraged nature cease to feel? Shall mercy's tears no longer flow? Shall ruffians threat of cord and steed, the dungeon's gloom, the assasin's blo w? Shall tongues be mute when deeds are wrought? Shall freemen lock the midnight t hought Shall mercy's bosom cease to sigh, for women's shrieks - and slavery! Shall honour bleed, shall truth succumb, shall pen, and press, and soul be dumb ? Let every man arise to save from scourge and chain the Negro Slave Old England, sweet land of the fair and the free Whose house is the waters, whose flag sweeps the sea! Still stretch out thy hand o'er the ocean's broad wave Protecting the helpless unfortunate slave And nations which call themselves free shall repent Of thousands in pain to eternity sent! Each who forward the cause, oh the very of the grave With gale strength - the prayer of the liberated slave Source: Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads XR apr00
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!