What is there within this beggar lad That I can neither hear nor feel nor see, that I can neither know nor understand And still calls to me? Is not he but a shadow in the sun -- A bit of clay, brown, ugly, given life? And yet he plays upon his flute a wild free tune As if Fate had not bled him with her knife!
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- by (James Mercer) Langston Hughes (1902 - 1967), "Beggar boy", appears in The Weary Blues, first published 1926 [author's text checked 1 time 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 Frederick Piket (1903 - 1974), "Beggar boy", published 1948 [ SATB chorus a cappella ], from Sea Charm [sung text not yet checked]
- by Sam Raphling (b. 1910), "Beggar boy", published 1971 [ voice and piano ], from Shadows in the Sun: Eleven Poems by Langston Hughes, no. 1 [sung text not yet checked]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2008-08-27
Line count: 8
Word count: 66