I am daughter of Angola, of Keto and Nago
I don't fear blows because I am a warrior
Inside of samba I was born
I raised myself, I transformed myself, and
no one will lower my banner, O, O , O,
I am a warrior woman daughter of Ogun and Yansa
Shuttles in the rocking loom of history
The dark ships move, the dark ships move,
Their bright ironical names
Like jests of kindness on a murderer's mouth . . .
Weave toward New World littorals that are m
Mirage and myth and actual shore.
Voyage through death,
Voyage whose chartings are unlove.
A charnel stench, effluvium of living death
Spreads outward from the hold,
Where the living and the dead, the horribly dying,
Lie interlocked, lie foul with blood and excrement...
But, oh, the living look at you
With human eyes whose suffering accuses you,
Whose hatred reaches through the swill of dark
To strike you like a leper's claw.
You cannot stare that hatred down
Or chain the fear that stalks the watches
And breathes on you its fetid scorching breath;
Cannot kill the deep immortal human wish,
The timeless will.