- Books, Literature, and Writing
The Slave's Dream By H.W. Longfellow In Simple Words
The slave lay beside the uncollected rice with the sickle in his hand.He was half clad with his bare breast and his mangled hair was partially buried in the sand. In the shadow of his sleep,he saw his native land once again.He could see the river Niger flowing through the landscape of his dreams.Once more as a King,he saw himself and as a man who was the master of his own thoughts and wishes.He even heard the tinkling sound of caravans descending down the Mountain road.
The slave saw his wife once more in his dream who was standing among her children.They embraced him and kissed his cheeks.In this moment of endearment when the held her by the hand,a drop of tear burst forth from his eyes and disappeared into the sand.All along the bank of River Niger,he rode at a furious speed.The reins of the horse he was holding were made up of gold.He felt himself like a soldier taking part in a War.At each gallop,he could feel the sheath of his sword striking the lower torso of his war horse.
The bright Flamingos flew before him like a red flag.He followed their flight all throughout the day over places where Tamarind grew in plenty.At night he heard the roaring of the Lion and the screaming of the Hyena.He even heard the sound of the River-horse that crushed the reeds near some mysterious stream.The sound of the Lion and the diverse enigmatic sounds passed by like a gorgeous rolling of drums through his Dream in which,at least ,he was victorious.
The Forests and the Desert are being personified.The forests with their uncountable tongues shouted of Freedom.The strong wind of the Desert cried out loudly and in a free voice.The tumult was such that the Slave was startled and he smiled at their protests unanimously with him.He did not feel the driver's whip or the scorching rays of the Sun because Death has enlightened his 'Land of Sleep'.His lifeless body was simply a decadent cage or a worn out chain which his Soul had broken and thrown away.
The Slave who is the protagonist,had been leading a life full of drudgery with insufficient food and physical torment.The driver's whip is the instrument of age old oppression done to Slaves.In spite of being men they were sold like goods at the market and were transferred to the highest bidder.Away from Home, they endured all hardships only for the sake of remaining alive.They only dreamed for Freedom and becoming united with their families.The Slave here fulfilled his much cherished desire only in his Dream that came with his loving touch but Death released him from the clutches of Slavery putting his bones to eternal rest.