The Maori: Yesterday and To-day
The following is my translation of a lively Arawa takitaki-hoe-waka or canoe-paddling chant that lends itself to rhyme. The canoe-name Te Riwaru is a famous one in mythology; this was the canoe built by Rata, whose exploits are the subject of traditions all over Polynesia:
My great canoe,
How speeds to shore my long canoe,
Light as the fleecy cloud above
That bears to Tauranga my love.
My carved canoe
O dear canoe!
That featly o'er the waters flew
From Arorangi, Island home
Far in old Kiwa's ocean foam;
The paddles in the toiling hands—
How plunge they at Hautu's commands!
My own canoe
Oh urge along
My brave canoe,
O viewless powers of earth and air,
O Uru, list, O Ngangana!
Drive on with lightning stroke and free,
O'erwhelm with storm our enemy;
Oh swiftly paddle, swift and true,
Our proud canoe