Ballads eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 53 pages of information about Ballads.

Night, night it is, night upon the palms. 
Night, night it is, the land wind has blown. 
Starry, starry night, over deep and height;
Love, love in the valley, love all alone.

“Taheia, heavy of hair, a foolish thing have we done,
To bind what gods have sundered unkindly into one. 
Why should a lowly lover have touched Taheia’s skirt,
Taheia the well-descended, and Rua child of the dirt?”

“—­On high with the haka-ikis my father sits in state, Ten times fifty kinsmen salute him in the gate; Round all his martial body, and in bands across his face, The marks of the tattooer proclaim his lofty place.  I too, in the hands of the cunning, in the sacred cabin of palm, {2e} Have shrunk like the mimosa, and bleated like the lamb; Round half my tender body, that none shall clasp but you, For a crest and a fair adornment go dainty lines of blue.  Love, love, beloved Rua, love levels all degrees, And the well-tattooed Taheia clings panting to your knees.”

“—­Taheia, song of the morning, how long is the longest love?  A cry, a clasp of the hands, a star that falls from above!  Ever at morn in the blue, and at night when all is black, Ever it skulks and trembles with the hunter, Death, on its track.  Hear me, Taheia, death!  For to-morrow the priest shall awake, And the names be named of the victims to bleed for the nation’s sake; And first of the numbered many that shall be slain ere noon, Rua the child of the dirt, Rua the kinless loon.  For him shall the drum be beat, for him be raised the song, For him to the sacred High-place the chaunting people throng, For him the oven smoke as for a speechless beast,
And the sire of my Taheia come greedy to the feast.” 
“Rua, be silent, spare me.  Taheia closes her ears. 
Pity my yearning heart, pity my girlish years! 
Flee from the cruel hands, flee from the knife and coal,
Lie hid in the deeps of the woods, Rua, sire of my soul!”

“Whither to flee, Taheia, whither in all of the land? 
The fires of the bloody kitchen are kindled on every hand;
On every hand in the isle a hungry whetting of teeth,
Eyes in the trees above, arms in the brush beneath. 
Patience to lie in wait, cunning to follow the sleuth,
Abroad the foes I have fought, and at home the friends of my youth.”

“Love, love, beloved Rua, love has a clearer eye,
Hence from the arms of love you go not forth to die. 
There, where the broken mountain drops sheer into the glen,
There shall you find a hold from the boldest hunter of men;
There, in the deep recess, where the sun falls only at noon,
And only once in the night enters the light of the moon,
Nor ever a sound but of birds, or the rain when it falls with a shout;
For death and the fear of death beleaguer the valley about. 
Tapu it is, but the gods will surely pardon despair;
Tapu, but what of that?  If Rua can only dare. 
Tapu and tapu and tapu, I know they are every one

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Project Gutenberg
Ballads from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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