Waiata Tangi na Te Ikatere

E kai noa ana i te kai,
Heke rawa iho,
Te mohiotia nga wa o te he—e—i.
Uia, pataia, ki a Tāne,
Te ipo māna e ki mai;
Kei au te hara—e—i.
Ka kai manu i te pua,
Ka inu i te Wai-ora-o-Tāne,
Ka ko te manu-e-i
Wareware ki runga,
Ki tauranga a te hoa tau muri e —i
Roua ki Whiti, roua ki Tonga,
E tu i te pa o aitua,
Ka irirangi te mahara e—i,
Ka tautuku ki raro,
Ka tuku nga turi
Ka noho i te he,
Ka moe i te moenga na—i.

Translation by S.Percy Smith
Even as I sit at my meals,
The fast flowing tears descend.
Who could have foreseen this trial?
Ask, enquire of the god Tāne,
The loved one, who will say,
If mine was the fault.
The birds still feed in the preserve,
And drink of the Living-waters-of-Tāne, 1
Singing blithely as is their wont,
They heed not the thoughts of the south
(Whither ye all are now departing)
Where my friends will shortly be.
The thoughts extend to Fiji and to Tonga, 2
But still encompassing evils find,
Suspended is the imagination.
And when it returns to the present,
My knees fail to support me.
I am dwelling in the midst of sorrow,
And wish for the long death-sleep.

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