A PLEA FOR MERCY
We have come to your shrine to worship-
We the sons of the land .
The naked cowherd has brought
The cows safely home,
And stand silent with his bamboo flute
Wiping the rain from his brow ;
As the nestle brood in their nest
Awaiting the dawn of the unsung melodies;
The shadow crowd on the shores
Pressing their lips against the bosom of the sea;
The pleasant home from their labours
Sit by their log-fires
Telling tales of long ago.
Why should we the sons of the land
Plead unheeded before your shrine,
When our heart are full of song
And our lips tremble with sadness?
The little firefly vies with the star,
The log-fire with the sun
The water in the calabash
With the mighty volta,
But we have come in tattered penury
Begging at the door of a master
THE DRY SEASON
The year is withering; the wind
Blows down the leaves;
Men stand under eaves
And overhead the secrets
Of the cold dry wind,
Of the half-bare trees.
The grasses are tall and tinted
Strew-gold hues of dryness,
And the contradicting awareness,
Of the dusty roads a- scatter
With the pools of colourful leaves,
With ghosts of the dreaming year.
And soon, soon the fires,
The fires will begin to burn
The hawk will flutter and turn
On its wings and swoop for the mouse,
The dogs will run for the hare,
The hare for its little life.
THE SEAS OUR LANDS
Here stood our ancestral home:
The crumbling wall marks the spot.
Here a sheep as led to slaughter
To appease the gods and atone
For faults which our destiny
Has blossomed into crimes.
There my cursed father once stood
And shouted to us, his children,
To come back from our play
To our evening meal and sleep.
The clouds were thickening in the red sky
And night had charmed
A black power into the pounding waves.
Here once lay Keta.
Now her golden girls
Erode into the arms
Of strange towns.
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