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And she is South Africa,
She is our South Africa,
Bitter hard her lovers toiled, Scandalous their payment,— Food forgot on trains derailed; Cattle-dung where fuel failed; Water where the mules had staled; And sackcloth for their raiment!
So she filled their mouths with dust And their bones with fever; Greeted them with cruel lies; Treated them despiteful-wise; Meted them calamities
Till they vowed to leave her.
They took ship and they took sail,
They forgat their sore duresse,
They esteemed her favour more
Bade farewell to breed and race-
Wherefore, being bought by blood,
To the arms that nearly lost,
On your feet, and let them know
For she is South Africa,
ERE, where my fresh-turned furrows run, And the deep soil glistens red, I will repair the wrong that was done To the living and the dead. Here, where the senseless bullet fell, And the barren shrapnel burst, I will plant a tree, I will dig a well, Against the heat and the thirst.
Here, in a large and a sunlit land,
I will lay my hand in my neighbour's hand,
For the set folly and the red breach
And the black waste of it all,
Giving and taking counsel each
Here will we join against our foes
The hailstroke and the storm,
And the red and rustling cloud that blows
Frost and murrain and floods let loose
In the holy wars that have no truce
Earth, where we rode to slay or be slain,
We will gather and lead to her lips again
From the far and the fiercely guarded streams
And when we bring old fights to mind,
'The dead must bury their dead, but ye—
Bless then, our God, the new-yoked plough
And the good beasts that draw,
And the bread we eat in the sweat of our brow
According to Thy Law.
After us cometh a multitude
Prosper the work of our hands,
That we may feed with our land's food
The folk of all our lands!