Thomas Pringle

(5 January 1789 – 5 December 1834 / Blaiklaw)

The Hottentot


Mild, melancholy, and sedate, he stands,
Tending another's flock upon the fields,
His father's once, where now the White Man builds
His home, and issues forth his proud commands.
His dark eye flashes not; his listless hands
Lean on the shepherd's staff; no more he wields
The Libyan bow -- but to th' oppressor yields
Submissively his freedom and his lands.
Has he no courage? Once he had -- but, lo!
Harsh Servitude hath worn him to the bone.
No enterprise? Alas! the brand, the blow,
Have humbled him to dust -- even hope is gone!
"He's a base-hearted hound -- not worth his food" --
His Master cries -- "he has no gratitude!"

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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