Thomas Pringle

(5 January 1789 – 5 December 1834 / Blaiklaw)

The Kosa


The free-born Kosa still doth hold
The fields his fathers held of old;
With club and spear, in jocund ranks,
Still hunts the elk by Chumi's banks:
By Keisi's meads his herds are lowing;
On Debè's slopes his gardens glowing,
Where laughing maids at sunset roam,
To bear the juicy melons home:
And striplings from Kalumna's wood
Bring wild grapes and the pigeon's brood,
With fragrant hoard of honey-bee
Rifled from the hollow tree:
And herdsmen shout from rock to rock;
And through the glen the hamlets smoke;
And children gambol round the kraal,
To greet their sires at evening-fall:
And matrons sweep the cabin floor,
And spread the mat beside the door,
And with dry fagots wake the flame
To dress the wearied huntsmen's game.

Bright gleams the fire: its ruddy blaze
On many a dusky visage plays.
On forkèd twigs the game is drest;
The neighbours share the simple feast:
The honey-mead, the millet-ale,
Flow round -- and flow the jest and tale;
Wild legends of the ancient day,
Of hunting feat, of warlike fray;
And now come smiles, and now come sighs,
As mirth and grief alternate rise.
Or should a sterner strain awake,
Like sudden flame in summer-brake,
Bursts fiercely forth in battle song
The tale of Amakósa's wrong;
Throbs every warrior bosom high,
With lightning flashes every eye,
And, in wild cadence, rings the sound
Of barbèd javelins clashing round.

But lo, like a broad shield on high,
The moon gleams in the midnight sky.
'Tis time to part: the watch-dog's bay
Beside the folds has died away.
'Tis time to rest: the mat is spread,
The hardy hunter's simple bed:
His wife her dreaming infant hushes
On the low cabin's couch of rushes;
Softly he draws its door of hide,
And, stretched by his Gulúwi's side,
Sleeps soundly till the peep of dawn
Wakes on the hills the dappled fawn;
Then forth again he gaily bounds,
With club and spear and questing hounds.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: hunting, sunset, dog, grief, summer, children, tree, moon, song, fire, home, sky, time, sleep, smile, rose, child, dream

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Kosa by Thomas Pringle )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Egypt, Tony Adah
  2. A Tribute To Gray's Elegy, Naveed Khalid
  3. Nothing i can offer, binod bastola
  4. Canonical, Naveed Khalid
  5. Africanesse not Darkness, Famoroti Odunayo Israel
  6. A Broken Mirror, Naveed Khalid
  7. Wings of Shakti, Poet Dragon
  8. Femme Fatale, Naveed Khalid
  9. Trap Jaw Ant, Ima Ryma
  10. We Are Worryors, Famoroti Odunayo Israel

Poem of the Day

poet Robert Herrick

Here we are all, by day; by night we're hurl'd
By dreams, each one into a several world.... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]