The Anti-Slavery Alphabet

#Poetry #American
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Excerpt TO OUR LITTLE READERS. Listen, little children, all,Listen to our earnest call:You are very young, 'tis true,But there's much that you can do.Even you can plead with menThat they buy not slaves again,And that those they have may beQuickly set at liberty.They may hearken what you say,Though from us they turn away.Sometimes, when from school you walk,You can with your playmates talk,Tell them of the slave child's fate,Motherless and desolate.And you can refuse to takeCandy, sweetmeat, pie or cake,Saying "no"—unless 'tis free—"The slave shall not work for me."Thus, dear little children, eachMay some useful lesson teach;Thus each one may help to freeThis fair land from slavery.   A is an Abolitionist—A man who wants to freeThe wretched slave—and give to allAn equal liberty.   B is a Brother with a skinOf somewhat darker hue,But in our Heavenly Father's sight,He is as dear as you.   C is the Cotton-field, to whichThis injured brother's driven,When, as the white-man's slave, he toils,From early morn till even.   D is the Driver, cold and stern,Who follows, whip in hand,To punish those who dare to rest,Or disobey command.   E is the Eagle, soaring high;An emblem of the free;But while we chain our brother man,Our type he cannot be.   F is the heart-sick Fugitive,The slave who runs away,And travels through the dreary night,But hides himself by day.   G is the Gong, whose rolling sound,Before the morning light,Calls up the little sleeping slave,To labor until night.   H is the Hound his master trained,And called to scent the trackOf the unhappy Fugitive,And bring him trembling back.   I is the Infant, from the armsOf its fond mother torn,And, at a public auction, soldWith horses, cows, and corn.   J is the Jail, upon whose floorThat wretched mother lay,Until her cruel master came,And carried her away.   K is the Kidnapper, who stoleThat little child and mother—Shrieking, it clung around her, butHe tore them from each other.   L is the Lash, that brutallyHe swung around its head,Threatening that "if it cried again,He'd whip it till 'twas dead."   M is the Merchant of the north,Who buys what slaves produce—So they are stolen, whipped and worked,For his, and for our use.   N is the Negro, rambling freeIn his far distant home,Delighting 'neath the palm trees' shadeAnd cocoa-nut to roam.   O is the Orange tree, that bloomedBeside his cabin door,When white men stole him from his homeTo see it never more.   P is the Parent, sorrowing,And weeping all alone—The child he loved to lean upon,His only son, is gone!   Q is the Quarter, where the slaveOn coarsest food is fed,And where, with toil and sorrow worn,He seeks his wretched bed.   R is the "Rice-swamp, dank and lone,"Where, weary, day by day,He labors till the fever wastesHis strength and life away.   S is the Sugar, that the slaveIs toiling hard to make,To put into your pie and tea,Your candy, and your cake.   T is the rank Tobacco plant,Raised by slave labor too:A poisonous and nasty thing,For gentlemen to chew.   U is for Upper Canada,Where the poor slave has foundRest after all his wanderings,For it is British ground!   V is the Vessel, in whose dark,Noisome, and stifling hold,Hundreds of Africans are packed,Brought o'er the seas, and sold.   W is the Whipping post,To which the slave is bound,While on his naked back, the lashMakes many a bleeding wound.   X is for Xerxes, famed of yore;A warrior stern was heHe fought with swords; let truth and loveOur only weapons be.   Y is for Youth—the time for allBravely to war with sin;And think not it can ever beToo early to begin.   Z is a Zealous man, sincere,Faithful, and just, and true;An earnest pleader for the slave—Will you not be so too...?
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