Epistle Of Condolence. From A Slave-Lord, To A Cotton-Lord.

A poem by Thomas Moore

Alas! my dear friend, what a state of affairs!
How unjustly we both are despoiled of our rights!
Not a pound of black flesh shall I leave to my heirs,
Nor must you any more work to death little whites.

Both forced to submit to that general controller
Of King, Lords and cotton mills, Public Opinion,
No more shall you beat with a big billy-roller.
Nor I with the cart-whip assert my dominion.

Whereas, were we suffered to do as we please
With our Blacks and our Whites, as of yore we were let,
We might range them alternate, like harpsichord keys,
And between us thump out a good piebald duet.

But this fun is all over;--farewell to the zest
Which Slavery now lends to each teacup we sip;
Which makes still the cruellest coffee the best,
And that sugar the sweetest which smacks of the whip.

Farewell too the Factory's white pickaninnies--
Small, living machines which if flogged to their tasks
Mix so well with their namesakes, the "Billies" and "Jennies,"
That which have got souls in 'em nobody asks;--

Little Maids of the Mill, who themselves but ill-fed,
Are obliged, 'mong their other benevolent cares,
To "keep feeding the scribblers,"[1]--and better, 'tis said,
Than old Blackwood or Fraser have ever fed theirs.

All this is now o'er and so dismal my loss is,
So hard 'tis to part from the smack of the throng,
That I mean (from pure love for the old whipping process),
To take to whipt syllabub all my life long.

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