Slavery, Abolition, and Emancipation:
Writings in the British Romantic Period

Pickering and Chatto, 1999

General Editors: Peter J. Kitson and Debbie Lee

Literary Forms: Verse (Volume IV)

Edited by Alan Richardson

A scholarly anthology of reprinted texts with introduction, headnotes, and critical notes. The antislavery cause enlisted the pens--and touched the vitals--of many Romantic-era poets, famous and obscure, popular and avant-garde, male and female alike. This unprecedented collection reprints and contextualizes works on colonial slavery and the slave trade by over forty poets, eliciting a neglected dimension of the abolition movement and challenging the stock opposition between poetry and politics within Romantic studies. Poets represented include Barbauld, Blake, Burns, Coleridge, Cowper, Day, Landon, Montgomery, More, Opie, Robinson, Southey, Williams, Wordsworth, and Yearsley.


Thomas Chatterton, "Heccar and Gaira an African Eclogue" (1770)

Thomas Day and John Bicknell, The Dying Negro, a Poetical Epistle (1773)

Bryan Edwards, "The Negro's dying speech on his being executed for rebellion in the island of Jamaica" (1777)

Hugh Mulligan, "The Lovers, an African eclogue" (1784)

Edward Rushton, West-Indian Eclogues (1787)

Eliza Knipe, "Atomboka and Omaza; an African Story" (1787)

William Cowper, "The Negro's Complaint," "Pity For Poor Africans," "The Morning Dream," and "Sweet Meat Has Sour Sauce" (1788)

Helen Maria Williams, A Poem on the Bill Lately Passed for Regulating the Slave-Trade (1788)

William Roscoe and James Currie, "The African" (1788)

Robert Merry, ""The Slaves. An Elegy"" (1788)

Hannah More, Slavery, A Poem (1788)

Ann Yearsley, A Poem on the Inhumanity of the Slave-Trade (1788)

William Blake, "The Little Black Boy" (1789)

William Lisle Bowles, "The African" (1791)

Anna Letitia Barbauld, Epistle To William Wilberforce, Esq. on the Rejection of the Bill for Abolishing the Slave Trade (1791)

James Boswell, No Abolition of Slavery; or the Universal Empire of Love: A Poem (1791)

Mary Birkett, A Poem on the African Slave Trade [Part I] (1792)

Robert Burns, "The Slave's Lament" (1792)

Anonymous, "The African's Complaint On-Board a Slave Ship" (1793)

John Wolcot ["Peter Pindar"], "Azid; or, The Song of the Captive Negro" (1795)

Hannah More and Eaglesfield Smith (?), The Sorrows of Yamba; or, The Negro Woman's Lamentation (1795)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, lines translated from the "Greek Prize Ode on the Slave-Trade" in Joan of Arc (1796)

William Shepard, "The Negro Incantation" (1797)

Anonymous, "Ode. The Insurrection of the Slaves at St. Domingo" (1797)

Robert Southey, "Poems Concerning the Slave Trade" (1797-1810)

Mary Robinson, "The Negro Girl" (1800)

William Wordsworth, "We Had a Fellow-Passenger" "To Toussaint L'Ouverture," and "To Thomas Clarkson, on the Final Passing of the Bill for the Abolition of the Slave Trade" (1803-1807)

James Grahame, "To England, On the Slave Trade" (1806)

John Thelwall, "The Negro's Prayer" (1807)

James Montgomery, "The West Indies" (1809)

Charles and Mary Lamb, "Conquest of Prejudice" (1809)

George Dyer, "On Considering the Unsettled State of Europe, and the Opposition Which Had Been Made to Attempts for the Abolition of the Slave-Trade" (1812)

Thomas Pringle, "Slavery" (1823)

Amelia Opie, The Black Man's Lament; or, How to Make Sugar (1826)

Letitia E. Landon ["L.E.L."], "The African" (1831)

William Stanley Roscoe, "The Ethiop" (1834)

Josiah Conder, "The Last Night of Slavery" (1837)