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A Bond Renewed ©

H Marshall

Written on the occasion of the Richard Lander 200th Anniversary Expedition to Nigeria in November 2004 to commemorate Lander's discovery of the source of the River Niger.

In 1795 the Scottish explorer, Mungo Park had already started his discovery of the source of the River Niger and in 1805 he sailed over 1,500 miles down river to Boosa, where he was killed and was unable to complete his journey.

Later, in 1830, Richard Lander, together with his brother John, discovered the course of the River Niger in West Africa.

Though down the River Niger's fertile field
Two hundred years have now flowed past,
The bonded link, unbreakable, holds fast,
And does not yield.

And together, when by common cause
They forged their peace on friendship's trust,
Making their country's development a must,
But sought no applause.

Until a new century, when calls were heard,
And through strong belief the ancestors appeared.
The still-committed ambassadors cheered
And showed they cared.

Such was the spirit of the explorers.
But, see those newer names which testify
That, in our time, we too care and signify.....
With shared endeavours.

But now we entrust to another hand.
And to a new generation, not forgotten,
Planned for the children, proved by us, often
To understand.

A lasting impression of hope and peace.
A proud, well-founded confidence which prevails.
A proud human spirit, which, when strength fails,
Finds warm release.

Not in suspicion's shade immersed,
Shall flow these motives, far beyond our ken,
But in the fellowship of noble men,
Warm, un-rehearsed.

And in this place, when staunch hearts are stirred
By the old River, memory shall take wing,
And we will live again, through 'coin and ring'.....
A future shared.


Here is another poem to mark the same occasion and to highlight the achievements of the Lander brother explorers ..... A River Unfolds

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