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Niuē-fekai (or Savage) Island and its People



39. There was a young girl named Mele, who was an invalid. They took her to the spring at Hiola to bathe, but when they brought her back she was dead. Then her parents took her body and placed it on a rock which had been prepared. After having been left on the rock for three days, the parents rose early to visit her, and to wash and bathe her body, but she was not there, the girl was lost. Then the parents, the relatives, and the visitors deeply lamented the girl, for she was not.

40. But the girl named Mele lived, she came and sung to all her family. They were astonished, when they heard the voice of the young girl as she sung to them, as they were staying in the mourning shed which had been built, and where they performed the dances for the dead. The song is thus:—

Taken was she to bathe at Hiola
She has been brought here, and returned,
Let the moon shine bright
That the chief may admire,
In the spring of clear water.
Visitors have anointed her,
Who shall stay here?
Mele is happy,
Mele is blessed,
Let the chief admire
In the spring of clear water
Now, is Mele happy.