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

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 1 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

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



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  7. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]