Thomas Bracken  1843 – 1898  :- born in Ireland and emigrated to NZ in 1869.
He was considered by many to be NZ’s    national poet and has a lasting place in our history as he wrote the national hymn ‘God Defend New Zealand’.
This is an extract from his work ‘The March of Te Rauparaha’ which was published in the book Musings in Maoriland (1890). The collection was published to commemorate New Zealand’s 50th jubilee.


The March of Te Rauparaha 


Mighty chief of the Ngatitoa,
Sprung from the hero, Hotorua,
First of the braves who left Hawaiki
Over the sea in the great Tainui,
Petrified now by thy shore, Kawhia.
Weird Tainui,
Tapu, Tapu,

 Sound his praises far and near,
For his spirit still is here
Flying through the gusty shocks,
When the sea-ghosts climb the rocks
Clad in foam shrouds, thick and pale,
Woven by the howling gale
In the ocean’s monster loom!
Warp of green and weft of gloom
Woven into sheets of white
By the wizards of the night;
Chant his name each ocean sprite,
Te Rauparaha, Te Rauparaha!

No wild hero of romance,
Born in dreamy poet’s trance,
Cradled in some mythic fane,
Built up in the minstrel’s brain
On imagination’s plan!—
No such hero was this man,
He was flesh and blood and bone,
Standing forth erect, alone,
High above his fellows known!—
Hist’ry paints what he hath done,
Maori valour’s bravest son—
Te Rauparaha, Te Rauparaha!


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