previous next

[266]
     Star of the West, and Ocean's gem most rare,
Oh, say to those who mock thee with such wiles:
     Take off these flowers; and view the lifeless spoils
Which wait the worm; behold their hues beneath
     The pale, cold cheek; and seek for living smiles
Where Beauty lies not in the arms of Death,
     And Bondage taints not with its poison breath!

The disastrous result of the last rising of the slaves in Cuba is well known. Betrayed, and driven into premature collision with their oppressors, the insurrectionists were speedily crushed into subjection. Placido was arrested, and after a long hearing was condemned to be executed, and consigned to the Chapel of the Condemned.

How far he was implicated in the insurrectionary movement it is now perhaps impossible to ascertain. The popular voice at Havana pronounced him its leader and projector, and as such he was condemned. His own bitter wrongs; the terrible recollections of his life of servitude; the sad condition of his relatives and race, exposed to scorn, contumely, and the heavy hand of violence; the impunity with which the most dreadful outrages upon the persons of slaves were inflicted,—acting upon a mind fully capable of appreciating the beauty and dignity of freedom,–furnished abundant incentives to an effort for the redemption of his race and the humiliation of his oppressors. The Heraldo, of Madrid speaks of him as ‘the celebrated poet, a man of great natural genius, and beloved and appreciated by the most respectable young men of Havana.’ It accuses him of wild and ambitious projects, and states that he was intended to be the chief of the black race after they had thrown off the yoke of bondage.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Havana (Cuba) (2)
Madrid (Spain) (1)
Cuba (Cuba) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: