Thomas Pringle

To this far nook the Christian exiles fled,
Each fettering tie of earthly texture breaking;
Wealth, country, kindred, cheerfully forsaking,
For that good cause in which their fathers bled.
By Faith supported and by Freedom led,
A fruitful field amidst the desert making,
They dwelt secure when kings and priests were quaking,
And taught the waste to yield them wine and bread.
And is their worth forgot? their spirit gone?
Now, in the breach of wickedness forth-breaking,
At the lone watchman's warning call awaking,
To lift the faithful standard is there none?
Yes — still 'mong the dry bones there is a shaking,
And a faint glimmering still where former lustre shone.


The "Christian Exiles" were the French Huguenots - Protestants who migrated from France to South Africa to escape religious persecution. Franschhoek in the Western Cape was one of the towns they founded. Franschhoek means "French Corner". It is famous for its wines.

Author's Note: Franschehoek: The French Protestant refugees, who emigrated to the Cape of Good Hope on the revocation of the edict of Nantes, were settled by the Dutch government in the secluded valley of Franschehoek (or French Corner), so named from that circumstance. Here those meritorious men first introduced the cultivation of the vine, and other useful arts, which greatly tended
to the improvement of the settlement.

Main Location:

Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa

View of Franschhoek in the Western Cape