The Supplication of
Kerr Cross, Missionary
Let us get a good sized gun and fight in earnest ...
The Portuguese will no doubt refuse to allow us
to enter the country, but we must try. Let us wire
home and ask the Government to help us thus far,
for, if necessary, we must try and smuggle a gun in.
What right have the Portuguese to act hand in hand
with the Arabs to close up this truly fine country and
enslave its tribes? Mr Moir goes ... to wire home
for a cannon and a Mr Ran goes to Natal to buy a second.
May God prosper them in their endeavours!
—Vide extract from 'Daily News' next column.
We smote at dawn, in stealthy wise,
The walls were high—they would not flee:
Thou knowest when a sparrow dies—
Thou knowest that I climbed a tree,
And there in Thy dear name I prayed
To speed the bullet and the blade.
But where wast Thou? Our broken fray
Recoiled in blood and flame and smoke—
Perchance Thine eyes were turned away
On other, unregenerate folk,
While steadfastly we did Thy work—
Are we less worth than Jew or Turk?
Comfort Thy Church in her distress
Where, lacking Grace and grape, she faints—
Karonga in the Wilderness
Is wet with life-blood of Thy saints.
The heathen rage against us, but
Let not our prayerful throats be cut.
The spirit that by Thee was given
How can we quickest take away?
Thou knowest, Lord, that we have driven
The hissing lead through bleeding clay;
But slight the wounds of small-arm fire,
They will not die as we desire.
A minister of Christ, I kneel
Before Thy altar to beseech
Ten-grooved and loading at the breech:
Thereto, for Thou dost all things well,
Much ammunition—shot and shell.
Hot with our rage, the shot shall bring
Thy mercy to the shrieking camp,
The shells shall Thy salvation sing,
(Vouchsafe the fuses be not damp!)
And, since they need repeated slaughters,
Send case, dear Lord, for closer quarters.
Moreover all that land is fair,
And certain slaves in bondage lie,
And we would pitch our pastures there
And smite the owners hip and thigh,
For they from out Thy Fold have gone
To serve the Whore of Babylon.
How canst Thou care for such as these—
Just God who lovest us so well—
The Arab and the Portuguese,
The Heretic and Infidel?
We will possess their land. Do Thou
To each new gun spare sights allow.
Creator of the countless suns,
We spread the message of the Cross,
Grant that we smuggle safe those guns
And horribly avenge our loss!
So shall we teach, by death and death
Goodwill to men and peace on earth.