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Ou Boetie

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Jy sê vir my: "Ou Boetie wat moveer jou?
Dink jy hierdie mense lees jou versies? Glo
Ons het nog ander goed om oor te babbel
En hou nie van slampampertjies hierbo."

Nou goed, ou boet; ek skrywe nie vir jou nie.
Die windswael sing – nou waarvoor moet hy sing?
Vir jou en my? Nee, wragtie, vir homselwe -
Net om hy iets moet sê – iets, iets moet bring!

En ek ook, soos ‘n windswael, maak my versies
Nie maar vir jou – nee, glad nie, want ek weet
Jy hou mos nie daarvan nie – jy wat te trots is
Omdat jy dink jy het die wysheid beet.

Ek sing net vir myself; uit puur verstrooiing
Maak ek slampamperliedjies net soos dié:
'n Mens moet huil of lag, moet loop of stilsit,
En ek moet versies maak of praat met ...wie?

You tell me: "Old Brother, what's the matter with you?"
Do you think these people read your verses, supposedly?
We still have other stuff to chat about
And do not like sleepy songs up here."

Now ok, old boy; I am not writing for you.
The wind swallow sings - now why does he have to sing?
for you and for me? No, surely, for himself -
Just because he has to say something - something, something to bring!

And me too, like a wind swallow, make my verses
But not for you - no not al all, 'cause I know
You just don't like them - you who are too proud
Because you think you have a grip on wisdom

I sing just to myself; from pure confusion
I make sleepy songs just like this one
One has to cry or laugh, has to walk or sit still,
And I have to make verses or speak with .... who?