Moral Positions. A Dream.

A poem by Thomas Moore

"His Lordship said that it took a long time for a moral position to find its way across the Atlantic. He was very sorry that its voyage had been so long," etc.--Speech of Lord Dudley and Ward on Colonial Slavery, March 8.


T'other night, after hearing Lord Dudley's oration
(A treat that comes once a year as May-day does),
I dreamt that I saw--what a strange operation!
A "moral position" shipt off for Barbadoes.

The whole Bench of Bishops stood by in grave attitudes,
Packing the article tidy and neat;--
As their Reverences know that in southerly latitudes
"Moral positions" don't keep very sweet.

There was Bathurst arranging the custom-house pass;
And to guard the frail package from tousing and routing,
There stood my Lord Eldon, endorsing it "Glass,"
Tho' as to which side should lie uppermost, doubting.
The freight was however stowed safe in the hold;
The winds were polite and the moon lookt romantic,
While off in the good ship "The Truth" we were rolled,
With our ethical cargo, across the Atlantic.
Long, dolefully long, seemed the voyage we made;
For "The Truth," at all times but a very slow sailer,
By friends, near as much as by foes, is delayed,
And few come aboard her tho' so many hail her.

At length, safe arrived, I went thro' "tare and tret,"
Delivered my goods in the primest condition.
And next morning read in the Bridge-town Gazette,
"Just arrived by 'The Truth,' a new moral position.

"The Captain"--here, startled to find myself named
As "the Captain"--(a thing which, I own it with pain,
I thro' life have avoided,) I woke--lookt ashamed,
Found I wasn't a captain and dozed off again.

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