19th Century: 1829
African American Literature 1619-1926
George Moses Horton (1797-1883)
The Slave's Complaint
Am I sadly cast aside,
On misfortune's rugged tide?
Will the world my pains deride
Must I dwell in Slavery's night,
And all pleasure take its flight,
Far beyond my feeble sight,
Worst of all, must hope grow dim,
And withold her cheering beam?
Rather let me sleep and dream
Something still my heart surveys,
Groping through this dreary maze;
Is it Hope?- then burn and blaze
Leave me not a wretch confined,
Altogether lame and blind--
Unto gross despair consigned,
Heaven! in whom can I confide?
Canst thou not for all provide?
Condescend to be my guide
And when this transient life shall end,
Oh, may some kind, eternal friend,
Bid me from servitude ascend,
The Lover's Farewell
And wilt thou, love, my soul display,
And all my secret thoughts betray?
I strove but coud not hold thee fast,
My heart flies off with thee at last,
The favorite daughter of the dawn,
On love's mild breeze will soon be gone
I strove but could not cease to love,
Nor from my heart the weight remove.
And wilt thou, love, my soul beguile,
And gull thy fav'rite with a smile?
Nay, soft affection answers, nay,
And beauty wings my heart away.
I steal on tiptoe from these bowers,
All spangled with a thousand flowers;
I sigh, yet leave them all behind,
To gain the object of my mind.
And wilt thou, love, command my soul,
And waft me with a light controul?
Adieu to the blooms of May,
Farewell- I fly with love away!
I leave my parents here behind,
And all my friends- to love resigned-
'Tis grief to go, but death to stay;
Farewell- I' gone with love away!