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Robert Anderson (Роберт Андерсон)

The Slave

Torn from every dear connection,
Forc'd across the yielding wave,
The Negro, stung by keen reflection,
May exclaim, Man's but a Slave!

In youth, gay Hope delusive fools him,
Proud her vot'ry to deprave;
In age, self--interest over--rules him--
Still he bends a willing Slave.

The haughty monarch, fearing Reason
May her sons from ruin save,
Of traitors dreaming, plots and treason,
Reigns at best a sceptr'd Slave.

His minion, Honesty would barter,
And become Corruption's knave;
Won by ribband, star, or garter,
Proves himself Ambition's Slave.

Yon Patriot boasts a pure intention,
And of rights will loudly rave,
Till silenc'd by a place or pension,
Th'apostate sits a courtly Slave.

In pulpit perch'd, the pious preacher
Talks of conscience wond'rous grave;
Yet not content, the tithe--paid teacher
Pants to loll a mitr'd Slave.

The soldier, lur'd by sounds of glory,
Longs to shine a hero brave;
And, proud to live in future story,
Yields his life--to Fame a Slave.

Mark yon poor miser o'er his treasure,
Who to Want a mite ne'er gave;
He, shut out from peace and pleasure,
Starves--to Avarice a Slave.

The lover to his mistress bending,
Pants, nor dares her hand to crave;
Vainly sighing, time misspending--
Wisdom scorns the fetter'd Slave.

Thus dup'd by Fancy, Pride, or Folly,
Ne'er content with what we have;
Toss'd 'twixt Hope and Melancholy,
Death at last sets free the Slave. 

Robert Anderson's other poems:
  1. Lines to a Redbreast
  2. Ode to Care
  3. The Happy Family
  4. Britannia’s Call
  5. Enigma the First

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