High peaks and great depths,
At the rhythms of the kora and balafons,
The valiant heart of Africa throbbing,
Around our crackling bonfires.
Diamond mines and gold nuggets,
Mystic waves and beautiful aurora,
Flamboyant and baobabs secular,
Elder wise elves and reckless simbas.
The feverish dances and their puppets,
All inhabited by the spirits of the ancients,
The dead are not dead we say,
They pierce the opaque veils of the horizons.
They all come back to haunt us at night,
And tell us all their tragedies unheard,
The dead are not dead We tell you,
They are reborn to us to replay their prayers.
They awake to share their news,
Their vicissitudes in the holds of the caravels,
When they were torn from their maternal breasts,
To trample under the odious eyes of the sentinels.
In the wind that breathes and carries their words,
Move shadows that carry a halo,
The dead do not all leave this bitter earth,
They still murmur their sad miseries.
They crystallize in the verb of their heralds,
Ask what happened to their executioners,
They always groan and endure burdens,
When the grapes of the vines ripen in Bordeaux.
The crying of the Nile and the complaints of Oubangui, the
Mandinka jembes and the xalam, the nyabinghi, the
sandy ergs and worthy peoples of Sudan, the
fertile oases and the charter, Manden Kalikan.
The living is not all alive so far,
They sleepy and get carried away by the Autans,
Many are only dark ghosts,
Zombies under the dark power of the sceptres.