Amadou Hampâté Bâ

Translated by Daniel Whitman
With “Kings, Sages, Rogues: The Historical Writings of Amadou Hampâté Bâ”

Washington, D.C. Three Continents Press. 1988.

       Table des matieres      

Kaydara — Strophes 445-475

Ɓe mbiyondiri :
— « Njehen ley makki ɗoon nii poofto-ɗen ne
ko newnata warana en faa itta laaɓa 445
ko way hono koyɗi kuli-kuli koyɗi meeɗen ».
Homo fu e worɓe meen ɓee nanngi nokku
lelii lejjii e caggal muni na sinngii.
Yolbere maɓɓe ɓaawo dumunna yaltii.
Ɓe ɗomditi ŋoottinii kala tampe njaltii. 450
Ɓe mbii fa be ŋoyɓinoo tan lekki ɓoldi,
tiba muni huncitii yehi huuri njoorki.
Kii too yoori way hono defreteeɗe
tuma tuppiiki feewti e makki wuurtii.
Taton giyiraaɓe gonti e naange wulnge, 455
nguleeki mbuduuri soortii e maɓɓe ɗoyɗi.
Walaa fu ko fonndetee fota kaaweseeji;
e hono oo dammbitittee bidiga gaɗɗo?
Demburu wii:
« Biɓɓe yaayam, ko woowaa nyaaku wommba e piinduki 460
tampittaako ley cate maayɗe yoorni.
Enen duu mbaylo-ɗen ne njehen ne ley mbilitikki;
ɗalen ne ɗalaaki keccol. »
Taton giyiraaɓe ndoondii kaaki eggi.
Ɓe njehi sori ɓuumri 465
ndaa kii nguurtinaaki.
Yo ndeen Hamtuuɗo duu wii:
— « Haya koo mi sikkitaaki,
en naatii leyɗe kaayɗe. 470
Gite na njiya golleteeɗe
tawee hakkille faamaa.
Ko njii-ɗaa fuu yo Kaydar,
nanaa yaha faa to Kaydar.
Mo jey miin oo yo Kaydar.
Ko ɗum haɗi ɓernde tinde 475
anndina maale
beemnuɗe min to leyɗe
Kaydara gelle muuɗum?

They said among themselves:
“Let's go underneath the tree, rest up
so an inner calm may drive away
these seeming nightmares we have lived through.”
Each of the men chose a place
and laid down, his back to the ground.
An instant later, their hunger went away 45.
Their thirst quenched, they were rested; all fatigue left them.
As soon as they had begun to sleep, the tree bloomed,
its foliage gave way and went to decorate a dead tree.
The first dried out like firewood
while the other across from it came to life.
The three friends found themselves under a parched sun
whose leaden heat roused them from sleep.
Words cannot describe their surprise.
What could explain this sudden mutation?
Demburu said:
“Usually, son of my mother, the bee gathers pollen from a tree in flower
and never tires in branches that death dries out.
Let us also move, and get in the shade.
We should leave this tree that nature has abandoned.”
The three gathered their things and left.
They went to settle under the coolness
of the tree that had just come to life.
It was then that Hamtudo declared:
“There is not a shadow of a doubt;
we are in a country of miracles.
Our eyes behold phenomena
that reason cannot comprehend.
All we see is Kaydara.
All we hear leads us to Kaydara.
Our master is Kaydara.
Why does the heart fail to see
and fail to teach the meaning of the symbols
that draw us on to lands
of the kingdom of Kaydara?

Notes (Lilyan Kesteloot)
45. Material food can be replaced by other forces; in initiation, a disciple can fast a whole day; then he says, “I am not hungry because I dine on the words of the master.”