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Poem about Oromia

Modified by Fuad Siraj (Chicago) [posted March 21, 2006] 
Originally by E. Pauline Johnson, entitled My English Letter]


WHEN each white moon, her lantern idly swinging,
Comes out to join the star night-watching band,
Across the gray-green sea, a ship is bringing
For me a letter, from the Motherland Oromia.

Naught would I care to live in quaint beautiful Oromia,
These wilder forests, gorges are dearer far to me,
Yet when I read the words that hand has written,
The parent sod more precious seems to be.

Within that folded note I catch the savour
Of climes that make the Motherland so fair,
Although I never knew the blessed favor
That surely lies in breathing Oromia air.

Imagination's brush before me fleeing,
Paints of cultural pictures, though my longing eyes
Have never known the blessedness of seeing
The blue that lines the arch of my Oromia skies.

And yet my letter brings the scenes I covet,
Framed with green leaf, aye more in dreams
I almost see the face that bent above it,
I almost touch that hand, so near it seems.

Near, for the very green land that dashes
'Round these foreign coasts, rolls out once
To Eastward, and the same Atlantic splashes
You sense wild animal and green spray on distant shore.

Near, for the same young moon so idly swinging
Her threadlike crescent bends the selfsame smile
On that beautiful land from whence an air blow brings 
My message from the east Africa “Oromia.”

Thus loves my heart that far beautiful country better,
Because of those dear people that always come to see me,
With love enfolded in each Afaan Oromo letter
That drifts into my sun-kissed my beautiful land.

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