Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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SEPTEMBER 1, 1802

          WE had a female Passenger who came
          From Calais with us, spotless in array,--
          A white-robed Negro, like a lady gay,
          Yet downcast as a woman fearing blame;
          Meek, destitute, as seemed, of hope or aim
          She sate, from notice turning not away,
          But on all proffered intercourse did lay
          A weight of languid speech, or to the same
          No sign of answer made by word or face:
          Yet still her eyes retained their tropic fire,              10
          That, burning independent of the mind,
          Joined with the lustre of her rich attire
          To mock the Outcast.--O ye Heavens, be kind!
          And feel, thou Earth, for this afflicted Race!


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