Ballads eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 53 pages of information about Ballads.
right;
But the god of every tapu is not always quick to smite. 
Lie secret there, my Rua, in the arms of awful gods,
Sleep in the shade of the trees on the couch of the kindly sods,
Sleep and dream of Taheia, Taheia will wake for you;
And whenever the land wind blows and the woods are heavy with dew,
Alone through the horror of night, {2f} with food for the soul of her love,
Taheia the undissuaded will hurry true as the dove.”

“Taheia, the pit of the night crawls with treacherous things,
Spirits of ultimate air and the evil souls of things;
The souls of the dead, the stranglers, that perch in the trees of the wood,
Waiters for all things human, haters of evil and good.”

“Rua, behold me, kiss me, look in my eyes and read;
Are these the eyes of a maid that would leave her lover in need? 
Brave in the eye of day, my father ruled in the fight;
The child of his loins, Taheia, will play the man in the night.”

So it was spoken, and so agreed, and Taheia arose
And smiled in the stars and was gone, swift as the swallow goes;
And Rua stood on the hill, and sighed, and followed her flight,
And there were the lodges below, each with its door alight;
From folk that sat on the terrace and drew out the even long
Sudden crowings of laughter, monotonous drone of song;
The quiet passage of souls over his head in the trees; {2g}
And from all around the haven the crumbling thunder of seas. 
“Farewell, my home,” said Rua.  “Farewell, O quiet seat! 
To-morrow in all your valleys the drum of death shall beat.”

III.  THE FEAST

Dawn as yellow as sulphur leaped on the naked peak,
And all the village was stirring, for now was the priest to speak. 
Forth on his terrace he came, and sat with the chief in talk;
His lips were blackened with fever, his cheeks were whiter than chalk;
Fever clutched at his hands, fever nodded his head,
But, quiet and steady and cruel, his eyes shone ruby-red. 
In the earliest rays of the sun the chief rose up content;
Braves were summoned, and drummers; messengers came and went;
Braves ran to their lodges, weapons were snatched from the wall;
The commons herded together, and fear was over them all. 
Festival dresses they wore, but the tongue was dry in their mouth,
And the blinking eyes in their faces skirted from north to south.

Now to the sacred enclosure gathered the greatest and least,
And from under the shade of the banyan arose the voice of the feast,
The frenzied roll of the drum, and a swift, monotonous song. 
Higher the sun swam up; the trade wind level and strong
Awoke in the tops of the palms and rattled the fans aloud,
And over the garlanded heads and shining robes of the crowd
Tossed the spiders of shadow, scattered the jewels of sun. 
Forty the tale of the drums, and the forty throbbed

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Project Gutenberg
Ballads from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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