The herders of Afrë

In the high plains battered by the wind of Umm

several watercourses spring and the herders live

from grassland to meadow they move

in the fields they sleep together with their sheep

and when the winter cold comes upon them

they light large fires and they retreat

and to warm themselves they sing

and dance round the fire

they dance and dance and dance

and sing, oh! how their land is beautiful

they dance and dance and dance

and sing, oh! how Afrë is fair

women wait for their men round the hearth

all year long they pray for the cold to come soon

once the harvest is safe inside the barn

they pray for their men to return

and embrace them once more in their weathered arms

that smell of grass and manure

they like it nonetheless, and they pray for it all year long

and the men long for their hearths deep within their hearts

but they also are sailors over the ocean

who have no house and no town that can contain them

from river to lake they move, together with their sheep’s fleet

a man of Afrë withers once he is taken away from his land

his roots go deep into the soil and the rocks

and when the wind blows and the sun shines and the rain falls

he hears nature singing the beauty of his land

and the first night he returns to the bed of his woman

he sings to her a silent song of all the beauties he has seen all year round

his eyes and his beard and his arms tell her of all the dawns and the sunsets

and the rainbows and the lakes met along his path

and his woman sheds silent tears before so much beauty

and the next day all their kin come forth and they light a fire

and to warm themselves they sing

and dance round the fire

they dance and dance and dance

and sing, oh! how their land is beautiful

they dance and dance and dance

and sing, oh! how Afrë is fair