Often had Kings essay'd to check the ill
By edicts not so well enforced as meant;
A present power was wanting to fulfil
Remote authority's sincere intent.
To Avarice, on its present purpose bent,
The voice of distant Justice spake in vain;
False magistrates and priests their influence lent
The accursed thing for lucre to maintain:
O fatal thirst of gold! O foul reproach for Spain!
O foul reproach! but not for Spain alone
But for all lands that bear the Christian name!
Where'er commercial slavery is known,
O shall not Justice trumpet-tongued proclaim
The foul reproach, the black offence the same?
Hear, guilty France! and thou, O England, hear!
Thou who hast half redeem'd thyself from shame.
When slavery from thy realms shall disappear,
Then from this guilt, and not till then, wilt thou be clear.