Thomas Pringle

(5 January 1789 – 5 December 1834 / Blaiklaw)

Song of the Wild Bushman


Let the proud White Man boast his flocks,
And fields of foodful grain;
My home is 'mid the mountain rocks,
The Desert my domain.
I plant no herbs nor pleasant fruits,
I toil not for my cheer;
The Desert yields me juicy roots,
And herds of bounding deer.

The countless springboks are my flock,
Spread o'er the unbounded plain;
The buffalo bendeth to my yoke,
The wild-horse to my rein;
My yoke is the quivering assagai,
My rein the tough bow-string;
My bridle curb is a slender barb --
Yet it quells the forest-king.

The crested adder honoureth me,
And yields at my command
His poison-bag, like the honey-bee,
When I seize him on the sand.
Yea, even the wasting locusts' swarm,
Which mighty nations dread,
To me nor terror brings nor harm --
For I make of them my bread.

Thus I am lord of the Desert Land,
And I will not leave my bounds,
To crouch beneath the Christian's hand,
And kennel with his hounds:
To be a hound, and watch the flocks,
For the cruel White Man's gain --
No! the brown Serpent of the Rocks
His den doth yet retain;
And none who there his sting provokes,
Shall find its poison vain!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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