Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Africa
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Africa: Vol. XXIV.  1876–79.
Introductory to Africa
James Montgomery (1771–1854)
(From The West Indies)

IS not the negro blest? His generous soil
With harvest-plenty crowns his simple toil;
More than his wants his flocks and fields afford:
He loves to greet the stranger at his board:
“The winds were roaring, and the white man fled,        5
The rains of night descended on his head;
The poor white man sat down beneath our tree,
Weary and faint, and far from home was he:
For him no mother fills with milk the bowl,
No wife prepares the bread to cheer his soul;—        10
Pity the poor white man who sought our tree,
No wife, no mother, and no home, has he.”
Thus sang the negro’s daughters; once again,
O that the poor white man might hear that strain!
Whether the victim of the treacherous Moor,        15
Or from the negro’s hospitable door
Spurned as a spy from Europe’s hateful clime,
And left to perish for thy country’s crime;
Or destined still, when all thy wanderings cease,
On Albion’s lovely lap to rest in peace;        20
Pilgrim! in heaven or earth, where’er thou be,
Angels of mercy guide and comfort thee!

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