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South Africa

Written by: Rudyard Kipling | Biography
 | Quotes (67) |
 1903
Lived a woman wonderful,
 (May the Lord amend her!)
Neither simple, kind, nor true,
But her Pagan beauty drew
Christian gentlemen a few
 Hotly to attend her.

Christian gentlemen a few
 From Berwick unto Dover;
For she was South Africa,
Ana she was South Africa,
She was Our South Africa,
 Africa all over!

Half her land was dead with drouth,
 Half was red with battle;
She was fenced with fire and sword
Plague on pestilence outpoured,
Locusts on the greening sward
 And murrain on the cattle!

True, ah true, and overtrue.
 That is why we love her!
For she is South Africa,
And she is South Africa,
She is Our South Africa,
 Africa all over!

Bitter hard her lovers toild,
 Scandalous their paymen, --
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,
 Raging, from her borders --
In a little, none the less,
They forgat their sore duresse;
They forgave her waywardness
 And returned for orders!

They esteemed her favour more
 Than a Throne's foundation.
For the glory of her face
Bade farewell to breed and race --
Yea, and made their burial-place
 Altar of a Nation!

Wherefore, being bought by blood,
 And by blood restored
To the arms that nearly lost,
She, because of all she cost,
Stands, a very woman, most
 Perfect and adored!

On your feet, and let them know
 This is why we love her!
For she is South Africa,
She is Our South Africa,
Is Our Own 5outh Africa,
 Africa all over!



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