thumping the tub
Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. (from This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
I just found it in some anti-slavery literature from way back. Please imagine sweatshops and shanty towns as you read...


Listen, little children, all,
Listen to our earnest call:
You are very young, 'tis true,
But there's much that you can do.
Even you can plead with men
That they buy not slaves again,
And that those they have may be
Quickly set at liberty.
They may hearken what you say,
Though from us they turn away.
Sometimes, when from school you walk,
You can with your playmates talk,
Tell them of the slave child's fate,
Motherless and desolate.
And you can refuse to take
Candy, sweetmeat, pie or cake,
Saying "no"-unless 'tis free-
"The slave shall not work for me."
Thus, dear little children, each
May some useful lesson teach;
Thus each one may help to free
This fair land from slavery.

A is an Abolitionist-
A man who wants to free
The wretched slave-and give to all
An equal liberty.

B is a Brother with a skin
Of somewhat darker hue,
But in our Heavenly Father's sight,
He is as dear as you.

C is the Cotton-field, to which
This injured brother's driven,
When, as the white-man's slave,
he toils,From early morn till even.

D is the Driver, cold and stern,
Who follows, whip in hand,
To punish those who dare to rest,
Or disobey command.

E is the Eagle, soaring high;
An emblem of the free;
But while we chain our brother man,
Our type he cannot be

F is the heart-sick Fugitive,
The slave who runs away,
And travels through the dreary night,
But hides himself by day.

G is the Gong, whose rolling sound,
Before the morning light,
Calls up the little sleeping slave,
To labor until night.

H is the Hound his master trained,
And called to scent the track
Of the unhappy Fugitive,
And bring him trembling back.

I is the Infant, from the arms
Of its fond mother torn,
And, at a public auction, sold
With horses, cows, and corn.

J is the Jail, upon whose floor
That wretched mother lay,
Until her cruel master came,
And carried her away.

K is the Kidnapper, who stole
That little child and mother-
Shrieking, it clung around her, but
He tore them from each other.

L is the Lash, that brutally
He swung around its head,
Threatening that "if it cried again,
He'd whip it till 'twas dead."

M is the Merchant of the north,
Who buys what slaves produce-
So they are stolen, whipped and worked,
For his, and for our use.

N is the Negro, rambling free
In his far distant home,
Delighting 'neath the palm trees' shade
And cocoa-nut to roam.

O is the Orange tree, that bloomed
Beside his cabin door,
When white men stole him from his home
To see it never more.

P is the Parent, sorrowing,
And weeping all alone-
The child he loved to lean upon,
His only son, is gone!

Q is the Quarter, where the slave
On coarsest food is fed,
And where, with toil and sorrow worn,
He seeks his wretched bed.

R is the "Rice-swamp, dank and lone,"
Where, weary, day by day,
He labors till the fever wastes
His strength and life away.

S is the Sugar, that the slave
Is toiling hard to make,
To put into your pie and tea,
Your candy, and your cake.

T is the rank Tobacco plant,
Raised by slave labor too:
A poisonous and nasty thing,
For gentlemen to chew.

U is for Upper Canada,
Where the poor slave has found
Rest after all his wanderings,
For it is British ground!

V is the Vessel, in whose dark,
Noisome, and stifling hold,
Hundreds of Africans are packed,
Brought o'er the seas, and sold.

W is the Whipping post,
To which the slave is bound,
While on his naked back, the lash
Makes many a bleeding wound.

X is for Xerxes, famed of yore;
A warrior stern was he
He fought with swords; let truth and love
Our only weapons be.

Y is for Youth-the time for all
Bravely to war with sin;
And think not it can ever be
Too early to begin.

Z is a Zealous man, sincere,
Faithful, and just, and true;
An earnest pleader for the slave-
Will you not be so too?

posted by michael the tubthumper @ 11:04 pm  
  • At 9:39 am, Blogger sumo said…

    Very thought provoking. I'll check back for the images.

  • At 2:40 pm, Blogger Amelopsis said…

    It may be old, but it's still so very relevant. Thanks for sharing this sadly eloquent harbinger of poetry from the past.

  • At 6:55 am, Blogger Paul Tomba said…

    Sad that this state of affairs still exists. Liked the poem a lot. You can tell the writer really struggled at "X" though, eh?

    Hmmm...x-ray, nah. Xylophone...can't quite work that into...Xerxes...thank fuck for that!

  • At 10:14 am, Blogger a rose is a rose said…

    thank you so very much for this posting mr the tub. it is so very apt, so hitting of the mark. if only............... and i will never give up the 'if'.

  • At 6:20 pm, Blogger GraemeAnfinson said…

    great stuff Michael

  • At 6:44 pm, Blogger SafeTinspector said…

    I hate the way the poem makes me feel, as I slip on my Payless tennis-shoes and don my cotton Sears shirt.

    Hey, that statue of the fat man with the scale on the back of the thin man, where is it and whatsits name?

  • At 1:59 am, Blogger Rory Shock said…

    excellent ... that sculpture at the bottom is a frickin' masterwork, as well

  • At 5:41 am, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    thanks everyone.

    the sculpture was something i got a picture of at one of the anti-war demos in britain.

    go to a demo somewhere in britain and someone is likely to be wheeling it along somewhere.

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Name: michael the tubthumper
Home: Glasgow, Scotland
About Me: Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant. 28 years old, I write and research for a couple of websites and also do my own stuff.
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