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The blind boy

Language: English

O say! what is that thing call'd light,
Which I must ne'er enjoy?
What are the blessings of the sight?
O tell your poor blind boy!

You talk of wond'rous things you see,
You say the sun shines bright;
I feel him warm, but how can he
Or make it day or night.

My day or night myself I make,
Whene'er I sleep or play;
And could I ever keep awake,
With me 'twere always day.

With heavy sighs I often hear
You mourn my hapless woe;
But sure with patience I can bear
A loss I ne'er can know.

Then let not what I cannot have
My cheer of mind destroy;
Whilst thus I sing, I am a king,
Although a poor blind boy.

Translation(s): CAT GER

List of language codes

Confirmed with Specimens of the British Poets; with biographical and critical notices, and an essay on English poetry. By Thomas Campbell. In seven volumes. Vol. V. Sewell, 1726, to Carey, 1763. London: John Murray, Albemarle-Street. 1819, page 324; and with A Select Collection of English Songs. In three volumes. Volume the second. London: Printed for J. Johnson in St. Pauls Church-yard. MDCCLXXXIII. [1783], pages 104-105.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator] and Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "El noi cec", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2003-11-07.
Last modified: 2018-02-14 08:41:05
Line count: 20
Word count: 125

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El noi cec

Language: Catalan (Català) after the English

Oh, vinga, dieu-me estimats,
què és aquesta cosa que anomeneu llum?
Quines són totes les joies de veure-hi
que jo mai he conegut?

El sol que vosaltres veieu tan brillant,
per a mi, pobre noi, no llueix mai;
dieu que surt i després es pon,
però jo no sé quan ni com.

El dia i la nit me'ls faig jo mateix,
mentre dormo i jugo,
la meva vida interior em somriu esplèndida,
d'alegries en tinc moltes.

Sens dubte, no conec el que a vosaltres us fa goig,
però cap culpa m'oprimeix,
per això estic joiós en la meva sofrença
i amb paciència la suporto.

Sóc tan feliç, tan afortunat
amb el que Déu m'ha donat,
estic content com un rei, tot i que
només sóc un pobre noi cec.

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  • Translation from English to Catalan (Català) copyright © 2017 by Salvador Pila, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Based on
  • a text in English by Colley Cibber (1671 - 1757), "The blind boy" GER
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): William Martin Yeates Hurlstone. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2017-12-28.
Last modified: 2017-12-28 12:36:29
Line count: 20
Word count: 129