South Africa

(1906)




The shame of Amajuba Hill
Lies heavy on our line,
But here is shame completer still
And England makes no sign.
Unchallenged, in the market place
Of Freedom's chosen land,
Our rulers pass our rule and race
Into the Stranger's hand.

At a great price you loosed the yoke
'Neath which our brethren lay
Your dead that perished ere 'twas broke
Are scarcely dust to-day).
Think you ye freed them at that price ?
Wake, or your toil is vain!
Our rulers jugglingly devise
To sell them back again.

Back to the ancient bitterness
Ye ended once for all—
Back to oppression none may guess
Who have not borne its thrall—
Back to the slough of their despond
Helots anew, held fast
By England's seal upon the bond
As Helots to the last.

What is their sin that they are made
Rebellion's lawful prey ?
This is their sin: that oft betrayed
They did not oft betray ;
That to their hurt they kept their vows,
That for their faith they died—
God help them, children of Our House,
Whom England hath denied.

But we—what God shall turn our doom—
What blessings dare we claim,
Who slay a nation in the womb
To crown a trickster's game?
Who come before amazed mankind,
Foresworn in party-feud,
And search the forms of law to bind
Our blood to servitude.

Now, even now, before men learn
How near we broke our trust,
Now, even now, ere we return
Dominion to the dust;
Now, ere the Gates of Mercy close
For ever 'gainst the line
That sells its sons to serve its foes—
Will England make no sign ?