Charles Tompson
1807 – 1883


In a slave-cultured isle, on the verge of the main,
Sable Zimeo’s form was reclined;
He wept his dark destiny, gazed on his chain,
And mingled his sighs with the wind.

“O ye Gods!” he exclaimed, “whose beneficent care
Shields the innocent suff’rer from woe;
Permit me no longer these shackles to bear,
Some gleam of soft pity bestow!

“In the dawn of my youth, dear companions! with you,
When I rambled in Afric’s green shade.
When my hours, ‘mid your smiles, so delightfully flew,
I dreamed not they ever would fade.

“On the lip of my Ninda, when panting with love,
With what exstacy heaved my fond heart!
When we vowed by those pow’rs in the mansions above,
That we never—no, never, would part.

‘The bright sun of prosperity glistened awhile,
Diffusing ephemeral rays;
I basked ‘neath the phantom’s encouraging smile,
And bliss was the badge of my days!

“ ‘Till a little black cloud, wing’d by demons of air,
And urged by the fates from below,
Interposed ‘tween my sight and that sun’s cheering glare,
And hurled me from bliss into woe.

“Inured to the arts of seduction and wile,
White merchants arrived in our bay,
Allured us on board, unsuspicious of guile,
And bore us in triumph away.

“On that accurst day all my happiness fled,
My Ninda—my country—my home;
Here slavery’s ignoble fetters are spread,
Here liberty never will come!

“O, never!—what horrors compose that dread word,
But this weary pilgrimage o’er,
I go where the sound of sweet mercy is heard,
Where mis’ry’s remember’d no more.

“See, bright from elysium, a seraph appears,
And smiling she calls me away;
“ ‘My Zimeo, quit this dull region of tears!
Lo, thy Ninda!’ “—”Loved shade, I obey.”

Oblivion shed her dark veil o’er his woes;
Young Hope soothed the horrors of death;
From the cliff where he pondered, undaunted he rose,
And plunged in the billows beneath.

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