A Yoruba poem describing the results of a magical incantation performed to bring good fortune in life, collected by Ulli Beier.
I am waiting at the crossroads
I look to the right -
there is nothing
I look to the left -
there is nothing.
I look straight ahead -
there is silence.
I take the guinea pepper in my mouth
I recite the old incantations.
I walk a little while — I see a calabash.
I break it — there is a crown of brass.
I want to pick it — it says ‘No!
But you may ask for six things.’
I say, you crown of brass,
Let me have money,
let me return to try another life.
from Yoruba Poetry,
Compiled and Edited by Ulli Beier,
Cambridge University Press (1970)