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Poetry: The Quadroon Girl

Poetry: The Quadroon Girl image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
Additional Text

First published in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's pamphlet Poems on Slavery, Cambridge: John Owen, 1842.

OCR Text

We cupy ihe folíówíng fmm tlc New WorWi a paper wliich has reconily come oirrmnfulh ag.ii:-st our national onpressions- black am! vhifp; - "Pofms on St.avery: Bi Hcnnj Wadsico-fi Longfelloio. Tliis is a littlö prtmphlet of scarceJy more than thirty pagefi: it is a gteat work. neverihcles. Ir s a noble tribuie paiil liy genius to the spifit of tniih. lt is ilie production oí a ina-.:, - i fcarless, hullas:, c!ei :! and 6trong-!:ti:i!cil man. Il is the production. likewise, ó7 a poet, deeply sensible of üie wrongs of oppresscl humanity. The fpllowing hns nri intn'nsic pociic beauty, wliich we rarèly see sd'rpasseijj TUF, QUADItOON G1RL. The Slavcr in the bröad Inwoon Lny incor'd with cüe snil; He waited for tlie rising moon And for the evening gale. Under the shore Iiis boat was tied, And all her listle?s crew Watch'd the gray alligator slide Into the stil! bayou. Odors of oran ge - flowers and s; ico Reach'd theni írom time timé; Like airs that breathe frorn Paradise Upon a world of crime. The Planter, under his roof of thatch, Stnok'd thoughtfully and s!ow; The Slaver's thumb was on the latch - Ileseem'd in haste tel gp. He 8nid, i'My sliip at anchor rides, Ia yonder lno.ul lagoón; lonly wait the evening tides And the rising of the moon.'Eeforc ïlicm, with her face uprais'd, In timid attiiu Ie, Likc one haif curious, half nmazcd, AQuacIroon maicieu siood. IJer eyes .were like a fnlcon's, gmy, Her anns and neck werc ba ie, No gármént she wore save a kirtle gay And her owu long raven hair. And on her lips tbere play'd a sinile, As holy, meel; and kunt; As lights. in BQine.cathje leal nisle, The feaiurcs oí a saint. "The soil is bairen - ihe farm is old," The llio'tfglnful Planter snid: Then look'd upon ih'e Slavcr's gold And then upon the maid. His heart withiri him was at strifo With sisen accursed gnins; For he knew whosé p.issions gave her life - Whoso bluod ran in her veins. But the voice of nature wus too weak; He took the glittering gold! Then p-i!e .is death grew the maiden's check, Her hand s icy cold. Tlse Slnvcr led her from the door, He led her by the hand; To be his slave and p.nramonr In a strarige and oisthrit Irinrd!