The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 243 pages of information about The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African.

or

     Reflections on the State of my mind during my first
     Convictions; of the Necessity of believing the Truth, and
     experiencing the inestimable Benefits of Christianity.

    Well may I say my life has been
    One scene of sorrow and of pain;
    From early days I griefs have known,
    And as I grew my griefs have grown: 

    Dangers were always in my path;
    And fear of wrath, and sometimes death;
    While pale dejection in me reign’d
    I often wept, by grief constrain’d.

    When taken from my native land,
    By an unjust and cruel band,
    How did uncommon dread prevail! 
    My sighs no more I could conceal.

    ’To ease my mind I often strove,
    And tried my trouble to remove: 
    I sung, and utter’d sighs between—­
    Assay’d to stifle guilt with sin.

    ’But O! not all that I could do
    Would stop the current of my woe;
    Conviction still my vileness shew’d;
    How great my guilt—­how lost from God!

    ’Prevented, that I could not die,
    Nor might to one kind refuge fly;
    An orphan state I had to mourn,—­
    Forsook by all, and left forlorn.’

    Those who beheld my downcast mien
    Could not guess at my woes unseen: 
    They by appearance could not know
    The troubles that I waded through.

    ’Lust, anger, blasphemy, and pride,
    With legions of such ills beside,
    Troubled my thoughts,’ while doubts and fears
    Clouded and darken’d most my years.

    ’Sighs now no more would be confin’d—­
    They breath’d the trouble of my mind: 
    I wish’d for death, but check’d the word,
    And often pray’d unto the Lord.’

    Unhappy, more than some on earth,
    I thought the place that gave me birth—­
    Strange thoughts oppress’d—­while I replied
    “Why not in Ethiopia died?”

And why thus spared, nigh to hell?—­ God only knew—­I could not tell!  ’A tott’ring fence, a bowing wall thought myself ere since the fall.’

    ’Oft times I mused, nigh despair,
    While birds melodious fill’d the air: 
    Thrice happy songsters, ever free,
    How bless’d were they compar’d to me!’

    Thus all things added to my pain,
    While grief compell’d me to complain;
    When sable clouds began to rise
    My mind grew darker than the skies.

    The English nation call’d to leave,
    How did my breast with sorrows heave! 
    I long’d for rest—­cried “Help me, Lord! 
    Some mitigation, Lord, afford!”

    Yet on, dejected, still I went—­
    Heart-throbbing woes within were pent;
    Nor land, nor sea, could comfort give,
    Nothing my anxious mind relieve.

    Weary with travail, yet unknown
    To all but God and self alone,
    Numerous months for peace I strove,
    And numerous foes I had to prove.

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The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.