Cicely Fox Smith
The King's Kraal - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith
Daily the sound of the drums and trumpets' braying
Tolled out a victim's knell:
Daily above the bosom bared for slaying,
The grim knife rose and fell:
Daily the blind eyes of their craven devils
Watched the red life-blood flow:
Daily, above the sound of savage revels,
The King's Kraal rang with woe.
Came from the southward, conquering and freeing,
The lifters of the yoke,
When, the last time, the idols stood unseeing
On alters wreathed in smoke.
And, 'mid the ruins of a kingdom vanished,
With strong-voiced loud acclaim,
Symbol of gloomier days for ever banished,
The King's Kraal sank in flame.
No more is heard the sound of victims' wailing
For heedless gods that die;
No more from earth for vengeance, unavailing,
The slaughtered thousands cry,
And o'er the spot, with meaning felt so keenly
Once named 'The Place of Blood,'
Strong hands have set the English flag serenely,
Where late the King's Kraal stood.
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