When first my bosom glowed with hope,
I gaz'd as from a mountain top
On some delightful plain;
But oh! how transient was the scene—
It fled as though it had not been,
And all my hopes were vain.

How oft this tantalizing blaze
Has led me through deception's maze;
My friend became my foe—
Then like a plaintive dove I mourn'd,
To bitter all my sweets were turn'd,
And tears began to flow.

Why was the dawning of my birth
Upon this vile accursed earth,
Which is but pain to me?
Oh! that my soul had winged its flight,
When first I saw the morning light,
To worlds of liberty!

Come melting Pity from afar
And break this vast, enormous bar
Between a wretch and thee;
Purchase a few short days of time,
And bid a vassal rise sublime
On wings of liberty.

Is it because my skin is black,
That thou should'st be so dull and slack,
And scorn to set me free?
Then let me hasten to the grave,
The only refuge for the slave,
Who mourns for liberty.

The wicked cease from trouble there;
No more I'd languish or despair—
The weary there can rest.
Oppression's voice is heard no more,
Drudg'ry and pain, and toil are o'er.
Yes! there I shall be blest.

Last updated March 11, 2023