Legends of the Maori
Yon Enchanted Isle. — A Song for Whakaari
Yon Enchanted Isle.
A Song for Whakaari.
This waiata was heard at Matata, Bay of Plenty, 1903, sung by an old man as he sat on the banks of Te-Awa-a-te-Atua, looking out across the sandhills and the sea to Whakaari (White Island). He compared the ceaseless fires of the volcano to his long-ago youthful love for the girl Hinehore.
Far o’er the sea
Whakaari’s snowy vapours curl
And poise in clouds on high.
From goblin torch those clouds arise,
The island Tipua’s* flames and smoke
Even like the ceaseless fires
Of yon enchanted isle
Burns my abiding love
For the young maid Hinehore.
Alas, only in fancy, only in words
Can I embrace her;
She is parted far from me.
* Tipua, a tutelar spirit; genius loci. In this case the volcanic forces of White Island personified.