Albery Allson Whitman

Sussex Vale, Canada

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Sweet vale of the Sussex! the pride of the Queen,
Whose life has a reign of beneficence been;
The flow'r of Britana's possessions afar
In the cold land, that lies beneath the North star.
No slaveholder's foot e'er polluted thy soil,
No slave in thy fields ever bended to toil.
As Bunyan's poor Christian who, fleeing for life,
Left the land of Destruction, and children and wife,
And saw as the shadow of Calv'ry he crost,
His burden rolled down and forever was lost;
So, when the poor fugitive, foot-sore and wan,
From the land of oppressors for liberty ran;
He found that his shackles would crumble and fall,
As he stood in the shadow of proud Montreal.

Asylum, fair Sussex, art thou of the free,
And of all the oppressed, that to thy arms flee
From "the land of the free, and home of the brave --
Ah! land of the bound and the hell of the slave.

O, Sussex! dear Sussex! the scenes I remember,
As down thee I wander'd in yellow September!
The gay tinted woods in the sunset's gold gleaming,
The creek down thy midst like a sheet of light streaming,
The busy mill near it, and brown barns above,
And blithe childhood shouting in the deep still grove;
The lowing of herds, and the milkmaid calling,
And the tinkling of folds thro' the twilight falling.

And lo! a neat cottage with windows of green,
Scarce thro' the thick boughs of yon elms is seen!
There now the free lovers, that once were the slave,
The maid of the rice swamp and Rodney the brave,
Are dwelling in wedlock's dear holiest ties,
The objects of comment and pride for all eyes.
The stranger who passes thro' Sussex must hear
On the lips of the cottager, far and near,
The love of these new comers pointedly told,
And telling it over, it never grows old.

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Albery Allson Whitman