A San lament from South Africa, sung by Xaa-ttin for the death of his friend the magician and rain maker Nuin-kui-ten. The halting rhythms of the English translation, and the image of the bow string which no longer vibrates, are perfectly expressive of grief. The song was originally recorded in the 1870s.

They were the people, those who
broke the string for me
and so
this place was a grief to me
for what they did.

Since it was that bow-string which broke for me
and its sound no more in the sky, ringing,
hereabouts it feels to me no longer
like it once felt to me
just for that thing.
everything feels as if it stood open before me
empty, and I hear no sound
for they have broken the bow’s string for me
and the old places are not sweet any more
for what they did.

from Specimens of Bushman Folklore (1911),
Wilhelm H.I Bleek & Lucy C Lloyd.