By Olu Obafemi
Ore re ti gbo
Oba re re
No matter for how long
The wanderer of the forest
Will roam and roam
But return it must.
Ore re tigbo.
You have crossed numerois brooks,
Bare- footed, you have allowed the weeds,
Blown by the gentle caress
of the morning weeds
And the dawn- dew streemlets
Of Jege and Ife Olukotun
Lift you into the wisdom world.
From the ECWA choirs and melodious chrubs of Titcombe
To the loftier cultural lilies of Ile- Ife;
Its watery presences
Of values and ethos and flora,
Of abworld that
Breeds and breezes only
Oba re re aghoin bo.
You have led when the sea- waves of anger run the Street of protest:
You have risen beyond tempests and distempered mooNlight
Of provoked youths.
You have stood when
The sun rose beyond the lightening scotch of angry horizons
And the azure skies answers
Only to the quiet moonlight.
But we wait,
Now in vain
As you fly, have flown,
Beyond the Okun firmament
And the wild world,
Beyond the reeds
In final salute to your departing swan -songs.
Ayo, the boundless bundle of Joy
The infinite genial genius and the flowing fount of today’s lyrics
And tomorrow’s lullaby.
Okun, omo eleja
Tomorrow, the New day will break
And the wandering minstrel, Orere,
Shall sing the New song
Into pitless tomorrow.
Oba re re, A ghoin bo.
It is unlikely that this wanderer in the grove shall tread this path again.
Goodnight, sọn of the world, hero of the Globe.
*Olu Obafemi is a Professor of Literature