Poetry

POEM: If We Must Die (isiXhosa) 

Ibhalwe ngu: Claude Mcckay 


Iguqulelwe ngu: Akha Tutu

Scroll down for original English poem

        Ukuba sifanele sife

Ukuba sifanele sife

Ukuba sifanele sife- makungabi ngokunga siziinkabi zehagu

ezizingelwe zaza zashicilelwa ngokungenasidima

ngoxa zirhangqwe zizinja ezizizisu zithe nca emqolo

zikhonkotha ngenkohlakalo

zihlekisa ngathi njengabaqalisekiweyo.

Ukuba sifanele sife-Owu, masibhubhe sizizihandiba,

ukuze igazi lethu elixabisekileyo lingachithakaleli ilize;

ukuze nala marhamncwa simi nxamnye nawo anyanzeleke ukusibeka

sele singaphaya kwengcwaba.

Owu, bazalwana! Masilijonge emehlweni utshaba

sithi nakuba simbalwa kodwa sibengabakhaliphileyo,

ze sithi kumawaka ezithonga zabo

sitsho ngesinye esiya kubosela.

Asilongcwaba elikhamisileyo phambi kwethu yini na?

Njengamadoda sakugagana neliqegu lamagwala lingababulali,

singenandlela yimbi, sisifa, kodwa sizilwela.
Original English Version 


        If We Must Die

BY CLAUDE MCKAY

If we must die, let it not be like hogs

Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,

While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,

Making their mock at our accursèd lot.

If we must die, O let us nobly die,

So that our precious blood may not be shed

In vain; then even the monsters we defy

Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!

O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!

Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,

And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!

What though before us lies the open grave?

Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,

Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!

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