Ballads eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 65 pages of information about Ballads.

To the land of the Namunu-ura, {1j} to Paea, at length she came,
To men who were foes to the Tevas and hated their race and name. 
There was she well received, and spoke with Hiopa the king. {1k}
And Hiopa listened, and weighed, and wisely considered the thing. 
“Here in the back of the isle we dwell in a sheltered place,”
Quoth he to the woman, “in quiet, a weak and peaceable race. 
But far in the teeth of the wind lofty Taiarapu lies;
Strong blows the wind of the trade on its seaward face, and cries
Aloud in the top of arduous mountains, and utters its song
In green continuous forests.  Strong is the wind, and strong
And fruitful and hardy the race, famous in battle and feast,
Marvellous eaters and smiters:  the men of Vaiau not least. 
Now hearken to me, my daughter, and hear a word of the wise: 
How a strength goes linked with a weakness, two by two, like the eyes. 
They can wield the omare well and cast the javelin far;
Yet are they greedy and weak as the swine and the children are. 
Plant we, then, here at Paea, a garden of excellent fruits;
Plant we bananas and kava and taro, the king of roots;
Let the pigs in Paea be tapu {1l} and no man fish for a year;
And of all the meat in Tahiti gather we threefold here. 
So shall the fame of our plenty fill the island, and so,
At last, on the tongue of rumour, go where we wish it to go. 
Then shall the pigs of Taiarapu raise their snouts in the air;
But we sit quiet and wait, as the fowler sits by the snare,
And tranquilly fold our hands, till the pigs come nosing the food: 
But meanwhile build us a house of Trotea, the stubborn wood,
Bind it with incombustible thongs, set a roof to the room,
Too strong for the hands of a man to dissever or fire to consume;
And there, when the pigs come trotting, there shall the feast be spread,
There shall the eye of the morn enlighten the feasters dead. 
So be it done; for I have a heart that pities your state,
And Nateva and Namunu-ura are fire and water for hate.”

All was done as he said, and the gardens prospered; and now
The fame of their plenty went out, and word of it came to Vaiau. 
For the men of Namunu-ura sailed, to the windward far,
Lay in the offing by south where the towns of the Tevas are,
And cast overboard of their plenty; and lo! at the Tevas feet
The surf on all of the beaches tumbled treasures of meat. 
In the salt of the sea, a harvest tossed with the refluent foam;
And the children gleaned it in playing, and ate and carried it home;
And the elders stared and debated, and wondered and passed the jest,
But whenever a guest came by eagerly questioned the guest;
And little by little, from one to another, the word went round: 
“In all the borders of Paea the victual rots on the ground,
And swine are plenty as rats.  And now, when they fare to the sea,
The men of the Namunu-ura glean from under the tree

Project Gutenberg
Ballads from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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