William Cowper's 'The Negro's Complaint'
FORCED from home and all its pleasures
Africa's coast I left forlorn ,
To increase a stranger's treasures
Over the raging billows borne.
Men from England bought and sold me,
Paid my price in paltry gold;
But, though slave they have enrolled me,
Minds are never to be sold.
Still in thought as free as ever,
What are England's rights, I ask,
Me from my delights to sever ,
Me to torture, me to task ?
Fleecy locks and black complexion
Cannot forfeit nature's claim;
Skins may differ, but affection
Dwells in white and black the same.
Need some help?
forlorn = sad, miserable
billows = great waves caused by a storm at sea
paltry = a small amount
sever = cut