« PreviousContinue »
THE NEGRO FRIEND.
J. A. W.
“ Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”—John xv. 13.
“In one of his voyages to the West Indies, he had contracted an acquaintance with a black man of the name of Quamina, whom he kindly taught to read. On some occasion he was dispatched to the shore with the boat's crew, of which Quamina was one. On its return to the ship, the boat was upset in the surf, and the sailors were soon swept by the billows from the keel, to which, in the first confusion, they had all adhered. In this extremity, Rushton swam towards a small water-cask, which he saw floating at a distance. Quamina had gained this point of safety before him; and when the generous negro saw that his friend was too much exhausted to reach the cask, he pushed it towards him-bade him good bye—and sank to rise no more. This anecdote Mr. Rushton has often related,-and never without dropping a grateful tear to the memory of Quamina.”(Memoir prefixed to the Poems of the late Edward Rushton, of Liverpool.)
“Pull, pull the oar!- The winds arise:
Each sinew let us strain !
Unless our bark we gain!
Bale out the brine with speed-
Heaven help us in our need!”
'Tis vain! 'tis vain! the pilot's skill,
The rowers' strength, now fail;
And louder blows the gale.
At length is vainly tried;
Are cast upon the tide.
Awhile the keel precarious aid
Affords each anxious hand;
Drop off the fainting band:
Of Afric seems to brave (While fast and fierce the surges run)
With hope each crested wave.
What groan is heard? Yon white man see,
- The humble negro's friend, Is faintly struggling on the lee,
And sinking to his end. “Haste-haste, and seize this floating cask, --
Quamina well can swim : Quamina will of Heaven but ask
His friend to save for him!”
He spake;—and, as he spake, resigned
That aid so hardly won—
But soon his course was run:-
He sank-the ooze of ocean's bed
Became Quamina's bier;
Remembering pity's tear.
Yes:-oft within his British home,
The white man told the tale,
And sinking 'neath the gale,
To snatch him from the grave; And perisheil in the waters' strife,
A negro's friend to save.
A similar, and still more affecting act of African devotedness, is recorded in Roberts's Life of Hannah More.
CHRIST THE TRUEST FRIEND.
(From a Collection of Psalms and Hymns, published by Messrs. Seeley and Co.-Twenty-third Edition.)
“Scarcely for a righteous man will one die : yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.-But God commendeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."-Rom. v. 7, 8.
If human kindness meets return,
And owns the grateful tie;
To feel a friend is nigh,
0, shall not warmer accents tell
The gratitude we owe
To Him who died, our fears to quell,
Our more than orphan's woe!
While yet in anguish he surveyed
Those pangs he could not flee; What love his latest words displayed,
Meet, and remember me!”
Remember Thee! thy death, thy shame,
Our sinful hearts to share!
But His recorded there.
INTERVAL OF GRATEFUL SHADE.
INTERVAL of grateful shade,
Thou, my ever bounteous God,
What though downy slumbers flee,
soul to God shall rise;
intellectual powers; And his Spirit doth diffuse, Sweeter far than midnight dews;