James Henry Leigh Hunt

(19 October 1784 – 28 August 1859 / Southgate, London)

The Negro Boy - Poem by James Henry Leigh Hunt

Paupertas onus visa est grave.


Cold blows the wind, and while the tear
Bursts trembling from my swollen eyes,
The rain's big drop, quick meets it there,
And on my naked bosom flies!
O pity, all ye sons of Joy,
The little wand'ring Negro-boy.

These tatter'd clothes, this ice-cold breast
By Winter harden'd into steel,
These eyes, that know not soothing rest,
But speak the half of what I feel!
Long, long, I never new one joy,
The little wand'ring Negro-boy!

Cannot the sigh of early grief
Move but one charitable mind?
Cannot one hand afford relief?
One Christian pity, and be kind?
Weep, weep, for thine was never joy,
O little wand'ring Negro-boy!

Is there a good which men call Pleasure?
O Ozmyn, would that it were thine!
Give me this only precious treasure;
How it would soften grief like mine!
Then Ozmyn might be call'd, with joy,
The little wand'ring Negro-boy!

My limbs these twelve long years have borne
The rage of ev'ry angry wind:
Yet still does Ozmyn weep and mourn,
Yet still no ease, no rest can find!
Then death, alas, must soon destroy
The little wand'ring Negro-boy!

No sorrow e'er disturbs the rest,
That dwells within the lonely grave;
Thou best resource, the wo-wrung breast
E'er ask'd of Heav'n, or Heav'n e'er gave!
Ah then, farewell, vain world, with joy
I die the happy Negro-boy!


Comments about The Negro Boy by James Henry Leigh Hunt

  • (10/19/2016 6:02:00 AM)


    Happiness in death for the deprived negro boy! A simply superb write and a great life song. Thanks for sharing it here. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: joy, grief, farewell, wind, lonely, winter, sorrow, happy, rain, death, world, son



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



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