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Arachne. No. 3

(4) Love Songs (nga waiata whaiaipo)

(4) Love Songs (nga waiata whaiaipo)

Most of the songs of this type have disappeared. They lasted but a day and vanished with the death of their composers. Some have stayed and are sung today.

The vocabulary of affection is found in these songs. There were other expressions contained in these songs good enough perhaps for the cannibal days but requiring some toning down in the more modest modern times. Expressions of this sort were not peculiar to Maori in the embellishment of love ditties but find their parallel in Pakeha literature. Shakespeare is not free of them, but then he lived in the days of Queen Elizabeth, when such unrestricted expression of ideas about the relationship between the sexes was tolerated and often quoted in the assemblies of the rich and the great.

20 May, 1928

Translation: W. T. Ngata