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THE HUIA'S HOMELAND, AND OTHER VERSES.

By Roslyn.

London : Elliot Stock. Dunedm : J. Braithwaite. In her introduction the authoress, who disguises her Identity under the norn de plume of " Roslyn," asks : Oh, my colonial rhyrnelets ! Is there waiting for you and me A hail-fellow-well-met greeting From fine folk far over the ssa? We cannot, of course, measure the tastes of the " fine folk far over the sea," who may have standards of their own whereby they judge colonial poets and poetesses. Nor shall we attempt to do other than quote a few specimens of the quality of " Roslyn." Selecting one which ought to be characteristic, seeing that it deals with the wreck of the Wairarapa, we shall give a few extracts :—: — Ne'er befere New Zealand's network of electric wire has told Of such pitiful disaster round her wave-washed headlands bold ; Yeat3 shall come and years shall vanish over smiling hill and dale Ere from memory is banished this pathetic shipwreck tale. Coming ea&tward, steaming westward, as the good ships take their way — "That is where the Wairarapa struck the Barrier," men will say. And the child will clasp it 3 mother with a childish face of dread, As from passing deck she points it to the Nor'-weat Miner's Head. The disastrous wreck seems to have furnished our authoress with an inspiration, for we have another poem on the same subject in the form of a narrative by a survivor. It begins: On the twenty-eighth October, the year ninetyfour, We were in the Wairarapa off New Zealand's nor'-east shore. All day long the fog had wrapped us, but we leaned, as lands folk must, On the knowledge of the captain who had our livfiK in trust.

Seek we now a milder measure in the ofttold story of the legendary Maori heroine Hinemoa, who swam Rotorua to meet her lover Tutanekai. It is Longfellow's measure, but it is none the worse for that : Hearken, friends, to this quaint idyll, From the love-lore of the Miori, From the ancient native records, Of the maiden Hinemoa, Of the Roterua beauty, Of the beautiful wahine : Straight, yet lissome as the sapling Growing graceful by the river ; and so on. There is method in the arrangement of the poetess's madness. She arranges her poems under their appropriate headings, as " New Zealand " poems, meaning thereby poems that ara sui generis, racy of the soil, narrativa ppems, reflective poems, sentimental poems, and miscellaneous poems. The reader is therefore at no loss to gather what the writer is driving at, for each poem is labelled, as who should say, "This is a humorous story ; please smile."

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/OW18970610.2.162

Bibliographic details

THE HUIA'S HOMELAND, AND OTHER VERSES., Otago Witness, Issue 2258, 10 June 1897

Word Count
437

THE HUIA'S HOMELAND, AND OTHER VERSES. Otago Witness, Issue 2258, 10 June 1897

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