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The classic poem by H. W. Longfellow begins by setting the main plot and taking you to the place where the slave lies with the rice yet "ungathered" wiht a "sickle in his hand".
He collapses and dreams about his "Native Land" where he was the king pre-slavery in an African nation, the river Niger nearby. He is embraced by his queen and children, a scene which is enough to melt his eyes. He rode majestically over his royal stallion, via landmarks, smiling at nature and the voices of wild animals.
The ending brings us back from virtuality. The slave no more feels the whips nor the tormenting heat. Death overrode his dreams "Illuminating his Land of Sleep". Darkness symbolises despair. Death illuminates his Land of Sleep, bringing a new ray in his life as freedom of his soul, although his body remains as a slave.
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