Poet Robert Southey

English poet (B:1774-08-12 - D:1843-03-21)

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Poems On The Slave Trade: Sonnet 01

Hold your mad hands! for ever on your plain
Must the gorged vulture clog his beak with blood?
For ever must your Nigers tainted flood
Roll to the ravenous shark his banquet slain?
Hold your mad hands! what daemon prompts to rear
The arm of Slaughter? on your savage shore
Can hell-sprung Glory claim the feast of gore,
With laurels water'd by the widow's tear
Wreathing his helmet crown? lift high the spear!
And like the desolating whirlwinds sweep,
Plunge ye yon bark of anguish in the deep;
For the pale fiend, cold-hearted Commerce there
Breathes his gold-gender'd pestilence afar,
And calls to share the prey his kindred Daemon War.

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