Song Of The Wild Bushman

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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!

© Thomas Pringle