Morro da Favela
Morro da Favela – the mountain where the bitter shrub grows
In the forests beyond Rio
Newly free slaves not yet to grace equitable society
Finding work and homes proved difficult.
They in Leblon with runaway slaves
Joined a quilombo
Droughts of the 1870s misplaced others and then
Economic devastation by sugar decline.
So the poor became more dispossessed,
Looked for the antichrist to bring repair,
The wandering Antonio the counsellor brings hope
But, displeasure for the authorities.
Ten thousand dwell enraged in Canudos
Destruction of republic feared
From Rio the federal force took Canudos by storm
Massacred every man, woman and child
Brutally erased from memory,
Jubilant the soldiers and the families return
To Rio and a promised hero’s home.
Where the government cruelly negated the command
On a hillside Morro da Providencia
The avenged camped
Near a hardy shrub twisted to shelter.
The plant’s bitter irritation offers hope.
Favela offers protection for the defenceless souls