Thomas Pringle

(5 January 1789 – 5 December 1834 / Blaiklaw)

The Caffer


Lo! where he crouches by the cleugh's dark side,
Eyeing the farmer's lowing herds afar;
Impatient watching till the Evening Star
Lead forth the Twilight dim, that he may glide
Like panther to the prey. With freeborn pride
He scorns the herdsman, nor regards the scar
Of recent wound -- but burnishes for war
His assagai and targe of buffalo-hide.
He is a Robber? -- True; it is a strife
Between the black-skinned bandit and the white.
A Savage? -- Yes; though loth to aim at life,
Evil for evil fierce he doth requite.
A Heathen? -- Teach him, then, thy better creed,
Christian! if thou deserv'st that name indeed.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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