In Praise of the Ancestors by Mazisi Kunene

Even now the forefathers still live They are not overcome by the power of the whirlwind. The day that sealed their eyes

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In Praise of the Ancestors
In Praise of the Ancestors. Image Credit: Danie Franco on Unsplash.
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In Praise of the Ancestors

Even now the forefathers still live
They are not overcome by the power of the whirlwind.
The day that sealed their eyes that did not conquer them.
Even the tall boulder that stands over them
Casts only a humble shadow over their resting place
They are the great voice that carries the epics

The Ancestors have come to listen to our songs,
Overjoyed they shake their hands in ecstasy.
With us they celebrate their eternal life.
They climb the mountain with their children
To put the symbol of the ancient stone on its forehead.

We honour those who gave birth to us
With them we watch the spectacle of the moving mists.
They have opened their sacred book to sing with us
They are the mystery that envelopes our dream.
They are the power that shall unite us.
They are the strange truth of the earth.
They came from the womb of the universe
Restless they are, like a path of dreams,
Like a forest sheltering the neighbouring race of animals.

Yes, the deep eye of the universe is in our chest
With it we stare at the centres of the sky.
We sing the anthems that celebrate their great eras.
For indeed life does not begin with us.

— Mazisi Kunene 

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