A Chaha Praise-Poem from the Gurage people of Ethiopia. Warga is not a ruler but a wealthy man who is praised for his generosity to the poor. This is, of course, a poem chanted by someone hoping to benefit from Warga’s wealth. It uses the tactic, often employed in Praise-Poetry, that if you praise a powerful man for being kind, generous and responsible, there is a chance that he may actually behave this way!

My master Warga, son of Qariso,
Since you were created, when has there been any distress?
The poor who came to your doorway
Never went away without being given money.
You dressed in double cloth the one who was cold,
You fed the hungry, skinning the animal.
Your table is with the angels.
Who did not come to you, each in his turn? Who does not eat from your wealth?
My master Warga, son of Qariso,
Qariso is a sea, one may draw from it!
He is good honey, fill up and take it!
Before it is lacking, taste and take it!

trans. by W. Leslau,
The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research