Swear Note - L. S. Mensah


Disguised as the hoof-note of an ancient Justice,
You gallop through my runnels,
Pounding my daughters into the mud.
Even the moon shields her ripeness from your flares
As you drape my children in tradition's calico.
No! My daughters shall not be cook pots,
To feed the hunger of gods and ghosts;
No longer would they be your hierodules.
I Shwilao* Patron River of Trans Volta, make this pledge:
I shall send, in the beaks of augur-buzzards, a flywhisk of plagues.
This shall I do to you and more,
If you, Trokosi# would not let my daughters go.

If you, Trokosi, would not let my daughters go,
This shall I do to you and more:
I shall send, in the beaks of augur-buzzards, a flywhisk of plagues!
I Shwilao, Patron River of Trans Volta, make this pledge.
No longer would they be your hierodules
To feed the hunger of gods and ghosts;
No, my daughters shall not be cook pots
As you drape my children in tradition's calico.
Even the moon shields her ripeness from your flares.
Pounding my daughters into the mud,
You gallop through my runnels,
Disguised – as the hoof-note of an ancient Justice.



* The Volta River
# Ritual servitude in some areas of the South East of Ghana
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