Hannah More writes her anti-slavery poem in rhyming couplets. She also uses alliteration, which occurs when words beginning with the same consonant are placed in close proximity. An example of that would be the repeated s and p sounds in the following (bolded for emphasis):
Slaves groan in pangs disowned by Stoic pride.
More also begins her poem by using apostrophe, which is when the speaker addresses an absent person, inanimate object, or abstract concept. More's speaker addresses "Liberty":
If Heaven has into being deigned to call
Thy [your] light, O Liberty! to shine on all...
More then uses a metaphor
to compare liberty to the sun.
Liberty is also personified in this poem, or given human characteristics:
She stills the clank of chains, and sheathes the sword;
She cheers the mourner, and with soothing hands...
More personifies "Oppression" as well, visualizing it as a male and writing:
See pale Oppression faints beneath the blaze!
The giant dies! no more his frown appals.
Note, too, the alliterative t
sounds in the first of the two lines above, as well as the imagery
. More uses auditory imagery, a sound we can hear in our imaginations, when she writes "clank of chains," which is also an allusion
or reference to slavery. "Sheathes the sword" is an example of visual imagery: we can see the sword being returned to its sheath rather than being used.
More also employs allusion in the poem. She refers to the birth of Jesus as recorded in the gospel of Luke, saying,
Glory to God on high, and peace on earth!
More alludes as well to famous explorers, such as Cortez or Columbus, but instead of praising them, attacks them as "White Savage[s]," writing,
All Cortez murdered, all Columbus found;
O'er plundered realms to reign, detested Lord,
Make millions wretched, and thyself abhorred...
Finally, More uses anaphora
, or the repetition of the same words or words at the beginning of lines. She praises the gentler acts of the explorer Cook as compared to more violent explorers, writing that under him,
No blood-stained laurels crowned thy virtuous toil,
No slaughtered natives drenched thy fair-earned soil.
More shows her knowledge of history and expresses her vehement hatred of slavery and oppression in these verses.