Lament of Te Riutoto for Te Hiakai
Lament of te Riutoto for Te Hiakai.
There dawns the day, it mounts aloft,
To remind me of the years in which he lived.
Oh! Hia, whose fame spread along the heavens!
The moon has lost her horn, 'tis broken.
My heart wert thou;
Thou wert beautiful as the Piki Kotuku.*
Thou didst swim to the south as a whale,
And to Tu thou wert carried by the winds.
To take the front of battle was thy wont.
* A large white crane.
Oh! why did not that arm uplifted
Light upon the foe.
As in the battle front thou wert so fearless,
And led thy columns on to carry all their wrath.
Did they cut thee in pieces, that thine
Enemies might see their foe?
That Taupo, that Rotorua* might see thee too?
Did they make arrows of thy bones
With which to take the birds
That eat the Miro† on the mountains of Titi?
Oh, Father, come back to our canoe!
It rolls, and there is none to steer it.
But soon the earth will quake;
The waters of the Waikato will flow out;
My joy is, that again the lightnings of heaven
Have rested upon Hakari‡
An omen of vengeance for thy death.