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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. , pages 104-105.
- by Colley Cibber (1671 - 1757), "The blind boy" [author's text checked 2 times against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):
- by William Martin Yeates Hurlstone (1876 - 1906), "The blind boy", 1906, published 1907, first performed 1906 [ voice and piano ], London, Novello: Avison Edition [sung text not yet checked]
Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:
- Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Jakob Nikolaus Craigher de Jachelutta (1797 - 1855) , "Der blinde Knabe" ; composed by Franz Peter Schubert.
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