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Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. "The Slave's Dream".

Summary

The speaker describes a black slave lying in sand. The slave dreams of his native Africa. He becomes king once again and sees his queen and his children. A tear bursts from his eye in the sleep. He rides on quickly and pursues the flamingoes, he gets to the coast of the ocean.

His dream is a triumph: he hears wild animals, the forests shouting of liberty. He smiles in his sleep. He feels neither the heat of the day nor the whips of the master. His body is lifeless and his soul has freed itself from the chains of slavery.

 

Analysis

- easily accessible, but not primitive

- an abolitionist poem

- a sensitive and sympathetic portrayal of a slave

- the slave in the poem may be liberated only by death, but the speaker hopes in improvement

Basics 

  • Author

    Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. (1807 - 1882).
  • Full Title

    "The Children's Hour".
  • First Published

    In: Poems on Slavery. 1842.
  • Form

    Poem.

Works Cited

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. "The Slave's Dream". (1842). The Poetical Works of Longfellow. London: Frederick Warne, 1900.

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