matt's poetry pocketbook:
poems and poets

Lied van die Verdorpene

Alan Paton

,Kyk ma, daarkom dies ossewaens,
Hoetrots waai daar die mooi vlae!'
,Gaan uit my kind en groet'nis s
Vir helde van die vroere dae.'

Hy hardloop uit, my skat, my kind,
Ek hoor sy stem ,hip hip hoera!'
Diebare God, hy loop reg voor
Die osse vandies ossewa.

Rustig die edel jukgediert
Stap ann, sy arme lyfie oor.
Onkeerb're wielekraak en dreun
Dis alwatnou dieskare hoor.

O drome van die toekoms skoon
Wat ek vir jou kleintjie had,
O Pad van ons Suid-Afrika,
Was dit nie ook my kind se pad?

Song of the Outcasts

'Look ma, here come the ox-wagons,
How proudly the beautiful flags wave!'
'Go out my child and greet
the heroes of the earlier days.'

He runs out, my treasure,my child,
I hear his voice, 'Hip, Hip, Hooray!'
Dear God, he steps right in front
Of the oxen of the ox-wagon.

Languidly the noble beast
Tramples on his weak body.
Unstoppable wheels creak and groan
That is all that the crowds now hear.

Oh! Dreams of the bright future
That I had for you my little child
Oh! Road of our South Africa,
Was it not my child's road too?

1938, published 1957