This poem is my translation of the Afrikaans poem with the same title. The poem was written by one of South Africa's national poets, A G Visser. The poem is based on the truth. During the 1800's the Dutch settlers trekked around the country to find suitable places to settle and they fought different wars at the time. This poem is based on the 6th Xhosa war. It is a sad/emotional poem. I think many South Africans know this poem quite well. It was one of the poems I had to recite during my primary years and it's always been one of my favourites! I was asked on my Wordpress blog by a blog reader to translate it and I hope I've done a good job as it's sometimes difficult to translate a poem, not all poems are easy to translate as you have to get the same message across. I didn't try any rhyming patterns in this poem with the translation, so, what you see is what you get! The story-line in the poem was more important.
In the shadow of the mountains
bush-sheltered on all sides
stands alone the wattle-and-daub hut
on the boarder of Kaffir country.
Softly Amakeia hums
on the banks of the River Kei
till he sleeps, the tender baby
of the white pioneer:
“Hush now, hush now, hush little one
see how the evening star twinkles
No one will hurt you, little one
hush now, even if Mummy isn’t near.”
To read the complete poem, please click here and slide a bit down on the page. The page will open in a new window.
The Amatola mountains in South Africa, Western Cape.
Enjoy this song by Helmut Lotti...Tula Tula...(which means..hush/keep quiet)