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Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow : 

Wide through the landscape of his dreams

The lordly Niger flowed;

Beneath the palm-trees on the plain

Once more a king he strode; 

And heard the tinkling caravans

Descend the mountain-road 

[The Slaves’ Dream by H.W. Longfellow]

(i)  What happened earlier in the context ?

(ii)  Which river did he see in his sleep ? How has it been described ?

(iii) What did the slave see in his dream ?

(iv) Who was the slave before he was forced into slavery ?

(v) What were the sounds that he heard in his dream ?

1 Answer

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(i) The slave was cutting and gathering the harvest of rice for his master and owner. His labour and the heat of the sun had exhausted him and he fell asleep just where he was in the field. As he slept he dreamt of his past life in his native land of Africa.

(ii)  The slave saw the river Niger of Africa following in the landscape of his dreams. It is mighty river because it has been described as wide and lordly.

(iii)  The slave saw his native land of Africa in his dreams. Through the landscape he saw the might river Niger flowing. He saw the palm trees that grew on the banks of the river.

(iv) The slave heard the sweet tinkling of bells attached to the covered wagons in the caravan that were coming down along the hilly road. Probably there were some of his own people returning to their village after transacting some business.

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