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[19] You were handcuffed, and off to twelve hours a day
     In a sweltering swamp, with a smart overseer,
Sure, if you do any thing — speak, think, or pray,
     But as master allows, for that crime to pay dear:
A beast — every right of a man set at naught--
     Every power chained down — every feeling defied--
To exist for the labor for which you were bought,
     Till the memory of manhood has out of you died.

And as you went off, looking rueful enough,
     I couldn't help thinking, my sage, in my dream,
You perhaps might be taught in a school rather rough,
     On “hirings for life” to have views less extreme,
That when you've tried slavery's hell for awhile,
     The misery of millions won't seem a good joke,
A grin from the dulness of fools to beguile--
     And thinking this, Thomas, thank heaven! I awoke.

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