by Colley Cibber (1671 - 1757)

The blind boy
Language: English 
Available translation(s): CAT
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.

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.


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

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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

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2003-11-07
Line count: 20
Word count: 125