South Africa


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 ?

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