Gert Strydom

(03 April 1964 / Johannesburg, South Africa)

1899-1902 (Cavatina Sequence) (In Answer To A. E. Housman)


From the Orange Free State to the Transvaal
farms and towns burn,
from concentration camps women, children,
do not return,
up in the hillocks European farmers fight;
not taciturn
Emily Hobhouse does expose some ills,
many innocents the British do kill.

Hard driven men who read the word of God
fight very brave,
hear the British sing their God save their Queen;
they cannot save
some twenty thousand women and children,
but they do crave
for freedom and for a place of their own,
are forced to swear loyal to the crown.

After that bitter war they have to sing
'God save the queen, '
return to decimated farms and towns,
their pain unseen,
impoverished they make a living,
for peace are keen;
to today their kinsmen do not forget,
in God's record His punishment is set.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Edited: Tuesday, April 17, 2012

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

[Reference: '1887' by A. E. Housman.]

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