The assizes they are over now, the Judge is gone away,
But many aching hearts are left in this town today
Tho’ crime is bad, yet poverty’s made many one to be
A transport from his native land, and cross the raging sea.
Oh! ‘tis a cruel sentence for a man to leave his wife,
His children, and his dearest friends, all dearer than his life;
To leave the land that gave him birth, to see it p’rhaps no more,
And drag a wretched life in chains, upon a distant shore.
The rich have no temptations, they have all things at command,
And ‘tis for pleasure or for health, they leave their native land;
But a starving wife and family, makes a poor man’s heart to break,
And makes him do what brings the blush of shame upon his cheek.
Oh think a sentence for one’s life, for fifteen years or less,
What tears they cost a family–what anguish and distress;
What heart but mourns the transport’s fate, what eye but shed a tear,
For tho’ we hate the crime we hold man’s liberty more dear
Oh would our rulers make a law for man to earn his bread,
And make sufficient wages to keep his wife and children fed,
The Judges would have less to do, and half their pay might be
Devoted to the public good, and bless society.
The prisons would be empty soon, the transport ships would then
Bring o’er the seas a load of corn, and not a load of men;
Act after act our rulers make, but one they will not do,
To do to others as they would themselves to be done unto.
Would they but pass an act for man to work and earn his bread,
Crime would soon dwindle from the land and transportation fled;
Would providence direct their hearts to make such laws and then
Instead of outlawed slaves–we might have free and honest men.
Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2016/2/17 - 10:34
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