Samuel Kettell, ed. Specimens of American Poetry. 1829. Remonstrance of Almasa Allicawn, Wife of Almas Allicawn, to Warren Hastings
By Joseph Brown Ladd (17641786)
It was said that Warren Hastings, having taken the husband of this lady, one of the eastern princes, prisoner, agreed to save his life for a ransom, and that he took the ransom and put the king to death. M Y subjects slaughterd, my whole kingdom spoild;
My treasures wasted and my husband slain.
O say, vile monster! art thou satisfied?
Hast thou, rapacious brute! sufficient wealth?
Hastings! my husband was your prisoner 5
The wealth of kingdoms flew to his relief;
You took the ransom, and you broke your faith.
Almas was slaint was perjury to your soul;
But perjury s a little crime with you.
In souls so black, it seemd almost a virtue. 10
Say, cruel monster! art thou thirsting still
For human gore? O mayst thou ever thirst,
And may the righteous gods deny thee water
To cool thy boiling blood, inhuman wretch!
And, bloody ruffian! thou must go where Almas 15
Sits on a throne of state, and every hour
He stabs an Englishman, and sweetly feasts
Upon his bloody heart and trembling liver.
Yet, Hastings, tremble not, for thou art safe,
Yes, murderer! thou art safe from this repast: 20
A heart polluted with ten thousand crimes,
Is not a feast for Almas, he will pluck
That savage heart out of its bloody case,
And toss it to his dogs; wolves shall grow mad
By feeding on thy murderous carcase. More, 25
When some vile wretch, some monster of mankind,
Some brute like thee, perhaps thy relative,
Laden with horrid crimes without a name,
Shall stalk through earth, and we want curses for him,
We ll torture thought to curse the wretch, and then, 30 To damn him most supreme, we ll call him Hastings.