Poets of John Company/To Laha Pennoo

To Laha Pennoo: The God of War.

A Khoond War Lyric.

Great God of battles! Oh, forgive
(For thou our wants and weakness saw,)
If we so long have seemed to live
Regardless of thy glorious law;
Our herds were few, our fields were bare.
Our bravest warriors bowed with care.

Fate wore for us a scowling brow,
And Famine haunted cot and bower.
And some the fever-blasts laid low.
And some the wild beasts dared devour;
Unnerved is many a manly limb.
And many a dauntless eye is dim.

Oh Laha Pennoo! Lord of Strife!
Oh watch our weapons as thine own!
And at each mark of mortal life
Direct the shaft and hurl the stone;
Make wide the wounds on every frame,
Deface the dead, the living maim.

Oh! let our ponderous axes fall
Like blows of death from tiger-paws.
Or crush bone, flesh, and garb, and all.
As 'twixt the fierce hyena's jaws;
Let arms not ours as brittle be
As long pods of the karta tree.

Each aim misguide, unnerve each hand
Of those to mock our might that dare,
Make all their weapons light as sand,
Or mowa blossoms borne on air;
Or let our wounds quick dry again,
As blood-drops on the dusty plain.

May every axe wear ruddy hue
As home we come from victory's field;
And while our women, proud and true,
Their stores of sweet refreshment yield.
May neighbouring Beauties seek our bowers.
And yearn to mix their blood with ours.

Our war-gained wealth let all behold,
Brass vessels, herds and scented leaf.
And maids present to parents old
The trophies of our struggle brief;
And fowl and buffalo and sheep
Thy shrine in sacred blood shall steep.

Oh! Laha Pennoo! God of War!
Not new the favor now we crave;
For thy fierce smile, like lurid star,
Oft led to strife our fathers brave;
And we their sons, when danger lours.
Still hail their honored God and ours!