Recovering Voices From the Distant Past

I Dream of When I Was a Lad

Peder Olsen Feidie
Bergen, Norway

Introduction

The Oral History Project

Recovering Voices From
the Distant Past

Oral History Excerpts

Oral History Collections

Stigma, Identity and Human Rights
Conference on Robben Island

Oral History Guidelines

Terminology

Books Written by People Who
Have Had Leprosy

Contact Information

I dream of when I was a lad,
Of all the happy times I had – A joy it was to live.
But fortune quickly changed her face
And sorrow then did joy replace.
For me and many more
This fate has lain in store.

I was not yet fifteen years old,
My mind was full of joys untold,
Then were they all cut short.
Pain overcame me and did start
Quickly to pierce marrow bone and heart
Oh! It was hard to bear
This burden laid on me.

-- Excerpt from “En Klagesang”-- “A Lament”, by Peder Olsen Feidie, resident of St. Jorgen’s Leprosy Hospital, Bergen, from 1832-1849.  
Courtesy The Leprosy Museum, Bergen