Living History

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Nkosi, we scream,
And I taste the thunder
Of our feet.

Nkosi! And brandish high
Our bloody assegays.

He stands, 
The Great Bull-Elephant
And raises his hand.

The White-Mother
Sent us boys
Who still stumble.

Boys to fight men,
We will humble
Their pride.

Raise high
My Impies,
Your assegays,

Let us make
The English Mothers
Cry in their huts!

Let us take back
The place
Of Shaka’s Stand!

But the boy
I killed did cry.

He had eyes
Pale and watery blue
And he gripped my hand.

My blade in him
And he gripped
My hand.

And parted those 
Pale strange lips
As if he did not understand.

He did not undertand,
Nkosi, I saw in his eyes
They told him lies.

His hand was hot on mine
And his blood was hotter
His breath rushed out.

He did not believe
We were sharing
His death, this kiss.

So tonight, Nkosi,
On my mat
I lie with my woman;

And tonight
In the shelter of her moon-eyes
I too will cry.

Maria Manuela Cardiga

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