Àgbà wá búra

Seth Doyle-de19c356

Come hither our elders and swear 

That you never chased the moon,

Only to find it standing above your head,

Tell us that you never swam in a sea of sand,

Or danced to the rhythm of the rain,

Say it that you never told a lie or two

Or cooked up a story and spiced it with salt and pepper,

Tell us that you never ran off to play bojúbojú,

Or listened to moonlight tales after iyán alẹ́.


Come forth our elders and swear

That you never winked lustfully at Àmọ̀kẹ́ 

On her way to the market,

Or followed Àṣàkẹ́ to the stream

And offered to carry her pot,

Say it that you never lurked around Apọ́nbéporẹ́’s house,

Singing to announce your presence

But not daring to show your face

For her father’s wrath is thunderous,

Or you never sent a love note to Adúmáradán,

Professing your love of fire and ice.


Come nigher our elders and swear

That you never ogled at Eyínfúnjowó

Whenever she passes by wearing her toothy smile,

Or you didn’t almost dance

To the euphonious laughter of Ẹlẹ́rìńẹ̀yẹ,

Tell us that you never went to òde ijó,

To dance the night away with ìbàdí àrán,

Or drank ẹmu ògidì 

Till the path to your homes turned forest

In your drunken visions,

Tell us elders, 

That you never lived a day as a child,

Àgbà wá búra

Bí èwe ò ṣe ẹ́ rí.

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