Posted by: Veroni Kruger | April 7, 2014

Prayer for the elections

N.P. van Wyk Louw’s poem “O wye en droewe land” given below in the English translation by Guy Butler, seems to be an appropriate prayer as we approach the 2014 elections in South Africa.  The relatively peaceful transition in 1994 was something like what Van wyk Louw had in mind when he wrote the poem.  I believe we can trust God for something like that again this year.  The results of what we are praying for may not be immediately apparent, but that should not deter us from praying for it.

O wide and woeful land, alone
under the great southern stars,
will never an intense joy disturb
your calm unmoving grief?
You know the lone souls, unaware
of their own suffering and pain,
the far-off death upon the veld,
the burial small and brief.

Simple people who perform
true and singly bitter things
and singly fall like grains of seed;
dumb deeds, small trust, small treachery
of those who for another lord
like serfs leave you in need.

Will never a mighty beauty come
Like hail-white thuderheads that bloom
above your mountains’ darkest stance,
and never a deed occur in you
To echo over earth, and taunt
Time with its impotence?

A grandeur of so pure a gleam
that people in remotest lands,
hearing the rumour of your name,
with eye unclouded, wild, shall stare
like those old travellers in the night
who saw, astounded, rim after rim
new star-like flowers, lift and bloom
our of your oceans’ foam and fear?

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