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Odors of orange-flowers, and spice,
Reached them from time to time, Like airs that breathe from Paradise
Upon a world of crime.
The Planter, under his roof of thatch,
Smoked thoughtfully and slow; The Slaver's thumb was on the latch,
He seemed in haste to go.
He said, "My ship at anchor rides
In yonder broad lagoon;
And the rising of the moon.”
Before them, with her face upraised,
In timid attitude,
A Quadroon maiden stood.
Her eyes were large, and full of light,
Her arms and neck were bare; No garment she wore save a kirtle bright,
And her own long, raven hair.
And on her lips there played a smile
As holy, meek, and faint,
The features of a saint.
“The soil is barren,— the farm is old;"
The thoughtful Planter said ;
And then upon the maid.
His heart within him was at strife
With such accursed gains; For he knew whose passions gave her life,
Whose blood ran in her veins.
But the voice of nature was too weak;
He took the glittering gold ! Then pale as death grew the maiden's cheek,
Her hands as icy cold.
The Slaver led her from the door,
He led her by the hand, To be his slave and paramour
In a strange and distant land!
BEWARE! The Israelite of old, who tore
The lion in his path, — when, poor and blind, He saw the blessed light of heaven no more,
Shorn of his noble strength and forced to grind In prison, and at last led forth to be A pander to Philistine revelry,
Upon the pillars of the temple laid
His desperate hands, and in its overthrow Destroyed himself, and with him those who made
A cruel mockery of his sightless woe; The poor, blind Slave, the scoff and jest of all, Expired, and thousands perished in the fall !