“WITH SERVILITY, LIFE IS BOUGHT”  

“Get the firewood, boy” The master yelled aloud

His voice blatant, as thunder from a dark cloud

The boy ran into the barn to fetch some more

He was now almost used to that tone, so proud

 

It had been more than years four

Since he was enslaved and sent ashore

Into a land which he knew not

He had never set foot on it before

 

His master was furious and had shot

The others like him who had got

The guts to answer against his power

He had learnt “With servility, life is bought”

 

He wasn’t free to eat, nor shower

Nor could he pluck a leaf or flower

Which white children of his age could do,

and none of them would ever flinch or cower

 

And why was it that they said “Shoo!”

When he wanted to play with them too

They would just laugh or pelt stones

And shout revilements, one or two

 

And when he fell sick to the bone

There was no mercy to be shown

He still had to do all the petty works

And had to bear the ever-harsh tone

 

But in his mind there still lurks

A hope to go away from these jerks

To a place where he could silently mourn

Where the whites would no longer irk

 

A permanent frown he now had worn

And for four years he had bourn

Maddening misery and lonesome pain

All his dreams had shattered and torn.

 

He would sometimes sit in the rain

And wonder whether he was still sane

If he was, then why was it that

All his hard work had gone in vain.

 

In sweltering heat, he had burnt his fat

And for years, slept on a thin flimsy mat

He had planted and watered their huge plot

And without all work done, he had never sat.

 

But he would follow what his master taught,

That “With servility, life is bought.”

So he obeyed that blaring voice, so loud

And with both hands the firewood he caught.

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