"O say what is that thing call'd Light, | Which I must ne'er enjoy"
In this short poem, Poet Laureate Colley Cibber describes the feelings of a boy who has never been able to see.

The Blind Boy


Do the Preparation task first. Then go to Text and read the poem or story (you can also listen to the audio while you read). Next go to Task and do the activity.

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The Blind Boy

by C. Cibber

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 wondrous 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.

Task 1

Decide if the statements about the poem are true or false.






I see a many new words for me in this poem
Like ne're enjoy
'twere always day
I used translation to understand them
My question is is this a formal or informal english?
Thank you

Hello Mariemdoudou,

'ne're' and ''twere' are archaic or literary forms that aren't used very often nowadays. They reflect older pronunciations of these forms and were often used to keep poems in a certain metre -- in other words, so that each line of the poem had a certain number of syllables.

It's great that you've learned them, but I'm afraid these two forms probably won't be very useful for you outside the world of older English literature.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you very much for your reply
Kind Regards

I think this poem deals with a meaningful issue, that one for which Disability should not be considered as an absence of ability, but just a difference in abilities with which we are connected with the world around us.
We heve an idea of what should be seen as normality, and this idea is devised on the way the majority of people operate in their autonomy -or on our cultural sistems;- as consequence of this discrimination we tend to judge all kind of differences, with which we are connected with the world, as an un-normal functioning, as a lack of ability! Consequently, this couses different people -as those we called disabled,- to feel they have some kind of imperfection: they feel they are defective, although they could accept their diversity! (in fact, the protagonist, in the and of the poem, is remained a "poor blind boy").

symapathetic poem

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Sincere lines, heartfelt words and touch on the raw