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Legends of the Maori

To Maoriland, My Motherland

page xviii

To Maoriland, My Motherland

[The following poem was written by Sir Maui Pomare when returning to New Zealand after over ten years abroad studying medicine, and was recited by him at his welcome back to his old school, Te Aute College.]

Hail, Maoriland! Hail, Motherland!
Since last I saw thy shore
I’ve wandered far o’er foreign strand
And crossed the wide seas o’er;
’Midst other lands and other scenes
My ears, my eyes have sought
The healing arts, more perfect means
Which science new has wrought,
Has brought this enlightened age
A wondrous stock of lore
That within the tomes of written page
I have studied oft before,
And when in my own dear Maoriland
In books I sought to find
Thoughts! that would make me stand
Amongst men of leading mind;
But, prompted by some strange desire
To rove the world apace,
One great thought which did me inspire
To serve my Native race.
Though in me the life doth beat
Of a mother’s Scottish sire
There is that impetuous Maori beat
Which sets my blood on fire,
Which kindles thoughts within my breast
Of ancient warriors bold
From a long line of chiefs I come,
A glorious race of old—
A race who fought the encroaching white
’Gainst odds most fearfully,
Like the Spartans whom the hordes did fights
At famed Thermopylae.
Though subdued, but yet not conquered,
We have a destiny;
From the ashes of our fathers
We’ll rise immortally;
Our Maori blood shall still flow on
In a new and coming race
That when the old is past and gone
We still may find its trace
In nobler types of human kind—
With traits wherein there blend
The white man’s more prosaic mind
The poet Maori trend;
So when I’ve won the proper place
To which my heart aspires,
As a true chieftain’s son,
Thereafter men may quote
My service as well done.

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