THE AFRICAN CHIEF
William Cullen Bryant, 1825
The story of the African Chief, related in this ballad, may be found in the African Repository for April 1825. The subject of it was a warrior of majestic stature, the brother of Yarradee, king of the Solima nation. He had been taken in battle, and was brought in chains for sale to the Rio Pongas, where he was exhibited in the market-place, his ankles still adorned with the massy rings of gold which he wore when captured. The refusal of his captor to listen to his offers of ransom drove him mad, and he died a maniac.
Chained in the market-place he stood, A man of giant frame,
Amid the gathering multitude That shrunk to hear his name
All stern of look and strong of limb, His dark eye on the ground:
And silently they gazed on him, As on a lion bound.
Vainly, but well, that chief had fought, He was a captive now,
Yet pride, that fortune humbles not, Was written on his brow.
The scars his dark broad bosom wore Showed warrior true and brave;
A prince among his tribe before, He could not be a slave.
Then to his conqueror he spake "My brother is a king;
Undo this necklace from my neck, And take this bracelet ring,
And send me where my brother reigns, And I will fill thy hands
With store of ivory from the plains, And gold-dust from the sands."
"Not for thy ivory nor thy gold Will I unbind thy chain;
That bloody hand shall never hold The battle-spear again.
A price thy nation never gave, Shall yet be paid for thee;
For thou shalt be the Christian’s slave, In lands beyond the sea."
Then wept the warrior chief, and bade To shred his locks away;
And, one by one, each heavy braid Before the victor lay.
Thick were the platted locks, and long, And deftly hidden there
Shone many a wedge of gold among The dark and crisped hair.
"Look, feast thy greedy eye with gold Long kept for sorest need;
Take it- thou askest sums untold, And say that I am freed.
Take it- my wife, the long, long day, Weeps by the cocoa-tree,
And my young children leave their play, And ask in vain for me."
"I take thy gold- but I have made Thy fetters fast and strong,
And ween that by the cocoa shade Thy wife will wait thee long."
Strong was the agony that shook The captive’s frame to hear,
And the proud meaning of his look Was changed to mortal fear.
His heart was broken- crazed his brain: At once his eye grew wild;
He struggled fiercely with his chain, Whispered, and wept, and smiled;
Yet wore not long those fatal bands, And once, at shut of day,
They drew him forth upon the sands, The foul hyena’s prey.
UN AFRIKA CEFA
ex William Cullen Bryant, 1825
Pe pote detekti un histori de un Afrika cefa, ge-komunika per u-ci kanta, topo Afrika Stora-lo de meno-4, 1825. U tema de id es u milita-an de grandi soma, u sibi de Yaradi, un an-regi de landa Solima. An pa gene kapta tem milita, plus pa gene duce per katena te gene vendo topo civita Fluvi Pongas, topo an gene monstra topo marketa, tem plu tarsu habe plu orna ex ponde zono ex kriso, an pa fero, kron an gene kapti. U nega ex kapti-an; an audi de an ofere de libe paga, sti; an gene es rabi. Po-co an morta iso u rabi-pe.
An ko katena in market-- un andro, u giganti
In meso de u miria, qi fobo an nomina--
Ko forti vist e dina braki, sta e vid a geo.
So ko silento mu du skop-- an feno es u leo.
Ko van u cefa pa milita-- mu ge-kapti-pe la--
Sed lose ne bombasti vista ep auto fronta.
Plu seka epi an toraci monstra an koragi.
An es u regi fili, sed an ne es u dulo.
Kron ad u kapti-pe an dic, "U regi es mi fratri.
Sti apo u-ci kola zona e mi karpu orna,
E bali mi a fratri landa, kron mi ple tu manu
Per poli Elefanti dent e kriso ex gra-landa."
"Ne kambi tu plu dent e kriso, mi fu dona libe.
Tu hema manu zero kron fu tena u plus lance.
U paga, ne tu landa habe, es u libe preci.
So tu fu es de Kristo-pe, qi eko trans u mari."
Po-co u cefa fo-petiti; seku plu kapila.
Oligo ponde plekto kade, ante vikto-an la.
Ta dens e longi es plu plekto, intra mu ge-kripti
Es poli scinti kriso mero inter an plu ciru.
"Sti vide per avari oku plu fo-nece mero.
Sti prende, ka tu nec u preci. Dice; mi es libe.
Sti prende, ka mi gina ko lakrim atende mi la.
Plu juv infanti linqi sport e qesti de u papa."
"Mi prende kriso, anti-co tu plu katena resta.
Mi doxo infra umbra dendro; fe fu long atende."
Ta forti es un algo, qi seiso an skeleto,
Kron u bombasti in an faci mut a morta fobo.
An menta fali, gen es rab-- in oku es ge-vide.
An forti tira plu katena ko lakrim e ridi,
Sed brevi fero plu katen. U di kron gene fini.
Mu tira an ad u litora, sito pro Hieni.