I gently strung my chonguri,
And tuned its chords with softness low,
Till every string rang harmony…
It hums; then swells. O chonguri,
Your sounds delightful over me flow
In unison of melody…
But if a chord were rent in twain,
Its song would sink to hummings low,
So, quickly string the chord again. . .
The chonguri is Georgia fair;
The chords whose strains to anthems grow
Are we – her sons, her love and care…
The broken chords turned glory bright
To darkness and to endless woe
Alas! can we sing in the night?
The tiny ants together cling
In unity through weal or woe;
Then, why do we divided sing?
A throne or us is unity;
A hangman’s halter for the foe! –
And while be sings: “O woe is me!”
We’ll sing: “Odela-delao”.
I bend my head as solitude
And sorrow bid my tears to flow;
My song is done; the chords are mute…