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

By using this site, you agree we can set and use cookies. For more details of these cookies and how to disable them, see our cookie policy.