Sonnet To William Wilberforce, Esq.

A poem by William Cowper

Thy country, Wilberforce, with just disdain,
Hears thee by cruel men and impious call’d
Fanatic, for thy zeal to loose the enthrall’d
From exile, public sale, and slavery’s chain.
Friend of the poor, the wrong’d, the fetter-gall’d,
Fear not lest labour such as thine be vain.
Thou hast achieved a part; hast gain’d the ear
Of Britain’s senate to thy glorious cause;
Hope smiles, joy springs, and, though cold caution pause
And weave delay, the better hour is near
That shall remunerate thy toils severe,
By peace for Afric, fenced with British laws.
Enjoy what thou hast won, esteem and love
From all the just on earth, and all the blest above.

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