WHENCE art thou, whose warblings wild,
On mine ear so sweetly dwell?
‘I’m a hapless ORPHAN CHILD,
Bringing water from the well.
‘If my songs thine ear offend,
I will quickly silent be:
Here I am without a friend!
MOSLEM! speak—I’ll list to thee.’
Little innocent, awhile
Will I shade me from the sun;
With thy songs an hour beguile,
And reward thee when ’tis done.
‘Much I fear my accents rude,
And my songs would worthless be,
Should my singing be pursued,
Hopeful of a gift from thee.
‘Unconstrain’d, with simple voice,
Did my words unheeded flow;
I must never more rejoice:
Grief’s the lot of Man below!
‘With my FATHER’s last embrace,
This he said, and dropt a tear;
Left our home with hurrying pace,
Bade my MOTHER nothing fear.
‘HE was doom’d in fight to fall,
Quickly were the tidings known:
Soon SHE heard the Angel call,
Died, and left her child alone.
Want must still my portion be;
Pity, then, my lot severe,
Gentle MOSLEM! pity me.’
Child of sorrow! wealth is mine;
PITY leads my heart to prove
If a spirit dwells in thine,
Fraught with GRATITUDE and LOVE.
I will take thee, ORPHAN CHILD!
And adopt thee as mine own:
Cease not then thy warblings wild,
Tho’ thy toilsome days be flown.
I’ll protect thy tender years;
Henceforth thy instructor be:
Little warbler dry thy tears,
Leave thy Cruse and follow me.