Each fortnight a poem is chosen to be recorded by as many LibriVox volunteers as possible!Cowper, an English poet, wrote a poem called "The Negro's Complaint" (1788) which rapidly became very famous, and was often quoted by Martin Luther King Jr. during the 20th century civil rights movement. ( Wikipedia)
This Fortnightly Poem has been suggested by Soupy (Craig)
This fortnight's poem can be found here.
[*] Project Code: 9Fl6qdKi
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Channels: 1 (Mono)
Bit Rate: 128 kbps
Sample Rate: 44100 kHz
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Begin your reading with the abbreviated LibriVox disclaimer:
No more than 0.5 to 1 second of silence at the beginning of the recording!
Then read the poem:The Negro's Complaint by William Cowper, read for LibriVox.org by [your name].
[Add, if you wish, date, your location, and/or your personal url.]
FORCED from home and all its pleasures
Afric's coast I left forlorn ;
To increase a stranger's treasures,
O'er 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.
Why did all creating Nature
Make the plant for which we toil ?
Sighs must fan it, tears must water,
Sweat of ours must dress the soil.
Think, ye masters, iron-hearted,
Lolling at your jovial boards ;
Think how many backs have smarted
For the sweets your cane affords.
Is there, as ye sometimes tell us,
Is there one who reigns on high ?
Has he bid you buy and sell us,
Speaking from his throne the sky ?
Ask him, if your knotted scourges,
Matches, blood-extorting screws
Are the means that duty urges
Agents of his will to use ?
Hark ! he answers wild tornadoes,
Strewing yonder sea with wrecks ;
Wasting towns, plantations, meadows,
Are the voice with which he speaks.
He, foreseeing what vexations
Afric's sons should undergo,
Fixed their tyrant's habitations
Where his whirlwinds answer no.
By our blood in Afric wasted,
Ere our necks received the chain ;
By the miseries that we tasted,
Crossing in your barks the main ;
By our suffering since ye brought us
To the man-degrading mart;
All, sustained by patience, taught us
Only by a broken heart :
Deem our nation brutes no longer,
Till some reason ye shall find
Worthier of regard, and stronger
Than the colour of our kind.
Slaves of gold, whose sordid dealings
Tarnish all your boasted powers,
Prove that you have human feelings,
Ere you proudly question ours !
At the end of your reading, leave a space and then say:
End of poem. This recording is in the public domain.
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Save your recording as an mp3 file using the following filename and ID3 tag format:
File name - all in lowercase: complaint_cowper_your initials in lowercase_128kb.mp3
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