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THE SUGAR-CANE: ADVICE TO SLAVE-OWNERS, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: Must thou from afric reinforce thy gang?
Last Line: From each some blood, as age and sex require.
Subject(s): Africa; Disease; Slavery; Strength; Serfs


MUST thou from Afric reinforce thy gang?—
Let health and youth their every sinew firm;
Clear roll their ample eye; their tongue be red;
Broad swell their chest; their shoulders wide expand;
Not prominent their belly; clean and strong
Their thighs and legs, in just proportion rise.
Such soon will brave the fervours of the clime;
And free from ails, that kill thy Negro-train,
An useful servitude will long support.


Worms lurk in all: yet, pronest they to worms,
Who from Mundingo sail. When therefore such
Thou buy'st, for sturdy and laborious they,
Straight let some learned leech strong med'cines give,
Till food and climate both familiar grow.


One precept more, it much imports to know.
The Blacks, who drink the Quanza's lucid stream,
Fed by ten thousand streams, are prone to bloat,
Whether at home or in these ocean isles:
And though nice art the water may subdue,
Yet many die; and few, for many a year,
Just strength attain to labour for their lord.
Wouldst thou secure thine Ethiop from these ails,
Which change of climate, change of waters breed,
And food unusual? let Machaon draw
From each some blood, as age and sex require.

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