William Wordsworth

(1770-1850 / Cumberland / England)

September 1, 1802


WE had a female Passenger who came
From Calais with us, spotless in array,--
A white-robed Negro, like a lady gay,
Yet downcast as a woman fearing blame;
Meek, destitute, as seemed, of hope or aim
She sate, from notice turning not away,
But on all proffered intercourse did lay
A weight of languid speech, or to the same
No sign of answer made by word or face:
Yet still her eyes retained their tropic fire,
That, burning independent of the mind,
Joined with the lustre of her rich attire
To mock the Outcast.--O ye Heavens, be kind!
And feel, thou Earth, for this afflicted Race!

Submitted: Monday, April 05, 2010

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