Horrors of Slavery, or, The American Tars in Tripoli

By William Ray; Hester Blum | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XII
Description of the Place

Ye lurid domes! whose tott’ring columns stand,
Marks of the despot’s desolating hand:
Whose weed-grown roofs and mould’ring arches show
The curse of tyranny, a nation’s woe;
In ev’ry ruin—ev’ry pile I find
A warning lesson to a thoughtful mind.
Your gloomy cells expressive silence break,
Echo to groans and eloquently speak:—
“The Christian’s blood cements the stones he rears;
“This clay was moistened with a Christian’s tears;
“Pale as these walls a pris’ner oft has lain,
“Felt the keen scourge and worn the ruthless chain;
“While scoffing foes increasing tortures pour,
“Till the poor victim feels, alas! no more!”
Here thy brave tars, America, are found
Lock’d in foul prisons and in fetters bound.
Heav’ns! what sad times! must free Columbians bow
Before yon tinsel’d tyrant’s murky brow?
Cringe to a pow’r which death and rapine crown?
Smile at a smile, and tremble at a frown?
Kneel at a throne, its clemency implore,
Enrich’d by spoils and stain’d with human gore?
Bear the sharp lash, the pond’rous load sustain,
Suppress their anger, and revenge restrain?
Leave a free clime, explore the treach’rous waves,
The sport of miscreants and the slave of slaves?
Heav’ns! at the sight each patriot bosom glows
With virtuous hatred on its country’s foes;

-109-

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