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The Spike: or, Victoria University College Review October, 1920

Maori Lullaby

Maori Lullaby

Hark! the bittern calls her children
From the willow-weed and marsh logs,
And the lonely little swamp-bird
Wades no more about the black bogs.
See the kelpies of the starshine,
Peeping each one through a blue bough,
Hearken to the voice of Rangi,
Singing as I sing to thee now.

Sleep, my bright-eyed little weka,
Sleep, my huia bird of twilight,
Sleep, my brown moth of the branches.
Ate, ate, ate, ate.

Hush, oh hush, my little wild one,
Hear the stirring in the hollow,
With thy restless little crying
Thou wilt wake the small sea-swallow.
Dearer than the bread of raupo,
Dearer than the sweet konini,
Dearer than the dead to Tane,
Yes, so dear art thou unto me!

Sleep, my bud of koromiko,
Sleep, my wild karaka berry,
Sleep, my red-lipped rata blossom.
Ate, ate, ate, ate!