A Yoruba Poem – Ise Logun Ise ~ With English Translation


Ise Logun Ise (Work is the antidote for poverty)

Ise logun ise [Work is the antidote for poverty]
mura si se re, ore mi [Work hard and work smart, my friend]



Ise la fi ndeni giga [Hard and smart work brings success]
Bi a ko ba reni fehin ti [When there is no one to rely on]
Bi ole la ri [It’s like we are lazy]
 

Bi a ko ba reni gbekele, [When there is no one to trust]
A te ra mo se ni. [We focus more on our work]
Iya re le lowo lowo [Your mother might be rich]
Baba re le lesin lekan [Your father might own a thousand and one horses]
Ti o ba gbojule won [If you rely on them]
O te tan ni mo so fun o [In truth, you might be on sinking ground] 

Ohun ti a ko ba jiya fun [What we don’t suffer for]  
Se kii le t’ojo [Cannot endure]
Ohun ti a ba fara sise fun [It is what we labour for]
Ni npe lowo eni [That lasts long]
Apa lara [the arm is like family] 

Igupa ni ye kan [The elbow is like relatives] 

B’aiye ba fe o loni [If you are loved by the world today]
Ti o ba lowo lowo [If you are still rich,]
Won a tun fe o lola [They will love you tomorrow as well] 

Abi ko wa nipo atata [If you have an esteemed position]
Aiye a ye o si terin terin [You will be honored with “fake “laughter]
Je ki o deni ti ra ngo [If you unfortunately lose your wealth or position]
 

Ko ri bi won ti nyin mu si o [See how they’ll turn their back on you]
Eko si tun nso ni d’oga [Education can still place one in a high position] 

Mura ki o ko dara-dara [Work hard to master it very well] 

Iya mbo f’omo ti ko gbon [There is suffering for the foolish child]
Ekun mbe fomo ti nsare kiri [There is sorrow for the child that has no plan or vision]
Mafowuro sere ore mi [Don’t waste your formative years, my friend]
Mura sise ojo nlo. [Work hard and plan well now, because time waits for no one]


Source: UEC College Ikorodu

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