Thy neighbour? It is he whom thou
Hast power to aid and bless;
Whose aching heart and burning brow
Thy soothing hand may press.
Thy neighbour? ‘Tis the fainting poor,
Whose eye with want grows dim;
Whom hunger sends from door to door;
Go thou and comfort him.
Thy neighbour? ‘Tis the weary man
Whose years are at their brim,
Bent low with sickness, cares, and pain;
Go thou and succour him.
Thy neighbour? ‘Tis the heart bereft
Of every earthly gem –
Widow and orphan helpless left;
Go thou and shelter them.
Thy neighbour? ‘Tis the toiling slave
Fetter’d in thought and limb,
Whose hopes are all beyond the grave;
Go thou and ransom him.
Whene’er thou meet’st a human form
Less favoured than thine own,
Remember ‘tis your neighbour worm,
Thy brother, or thy son.
- The Quiver.

Title:Who Is My Neighbour?


Publication:The Bolton Chronicle

Published in:Bolton

Date:6th December 1862

Keywords:charity, poverty


This anonymous poem on the subject of charity was first published in the Quiver magazine. It takes the famous question from the bible and repurposes it to contemporary Britain and the question of deserving poverty. Although the poem does not specifically mention the Cotton Famine, with themes of hunger and slavery it very much treat the prevailing moral questions of the day. – SR