Negro's Complaint
 


Citation

William Cowper, 1731-1800, “Negro's Complaint,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed July 5, 2022, https://omeka.library.appstate.edu/items/show/31744.


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Title

Negro's Complaint

Description

One leaf typewritten on the front side. The document is in good physical condition. The document was laminated. There is significant lamination-related creasing on the document. The upper right corner was folded into the laminate.

Subject

English poetry -- 18th century Slavery -- Poetry Retribution -- Religious aspects -- Christianity -- Poetry Antislavery movements -- Great Britain -- Poetry

Creator

William Cowper, 1731-1800

Publisher

W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University

Date Created

5/9/2007

Contributor

I. G. Greer

Rights

The images and audio files contained in the "So Mote It Ever Be: The Folksong Heritage of North Carolina's Northern Blue Ridge Mountains" collection are available for free personal, non-commercial, and educational use, provided that proper citation is used (e.g. I. G. Greer/W. Amos Abrams Manuscript Files Series, Folksong Files Subseries. W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection. Special Collections. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC). Any commercial use of the materials without the written permission of Appalachian State University is strictly prohibited. Please contact the Appalachian State University W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection with specific questions or with requests for further information.

Format

pdf

Language

English
English

Type

Typescript

Transcription

Negroes Complaint

Forced from home and all its pleasure,
Africans coast I left forlorn,
To increase a strangers treasures,
Over the raging billows borne.
Men from England bought and sold me,
Paid my price in paltry gold,
But tho’ theirs they have enrolled me,
Minds are never to be sold.

Still in thought as free as ever,
What are England’s rights I ask,
Me from my dear delights to sever,
Me to torture me to task?
Fleecy locks, and black complexion,
Cannot forfeit nature’s claim,
Skins may differ, but affection,
Dwells in black and white the same.

Why did all creating nature,
Make the plant for which we toil?
Sighs must fan it, tears must water,
Sweat of ours must drip the soil,
Think ye ______, Iron-hearted
Lolling at your jovial boast,
Think, how many breast have smarted,
For the sweets your cane affords!

Is there, as ye sometimes tell us,
Is there one who reigns on high?
Has he bid you buy and sell us,
Speaking from his throne, the sky?
Ask him, if your knotted scourges,
Filters, blood-extorting screws,
Are the means which duty urges,
Agents of his will to use.

Hark! he answers- wild tornadoes,
Strewing yonder sea with wrecks,
Wasting towns, plantations, meadows,
Are the vain with which he speaks,
He foresung what vexations,
African sons should undergo,
Fixed their tyrants habitations,
Where his whrilwinds answer -- No.

By our blood in Africa Wasted,
before our neck received the chain,
By the miseries which we tasted,
Crossing in your barks, the main.
By our sufferings since ye bought us,
To the man-degrading mart,
All sustaining with patience, taught us,
Only by a broken heart.

Deem not our nation brutes no longer,
Until some reason ye shall find,
Worthier of regard, and stronger,
Than the colour of our kind.
Slaves of Gold! Whose sordid dealings,
Tarnish all our boasted powers,
Prove that you have human feelings,
before you proudly question ours!

Classification Title

Negro's Complaint

Document Title

Negroes Complaint

Alternate Geographic Location

Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England

Associated Date

1788

Dimensions - Original

211 mm x 274 mm

Upload Date

2013-10-04

File name

113_NegrosComplaint

Transcription Date

2006-08-02

Transcribed By

Paul L. Robertson

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Comments

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