The Fisher [poem by Louis Esson]

[Editor: This poem by Louis Esson was published in Bells and Bees: Verses (1910).]

The Fisher

Vatea went fishing (he dwelt afar
In the land of Aviki where marvels are.)
He baited his hook with the evening star.

The star quivered under the waves, and wrought
Magical patterns, but tempted naught.
No porpoise, no little maniki was caught.

Enraged, he baited the hook afresh,
(Brown boys, with their nets, more fish could enmesh.)
From his thigh he tore a strip of red flesh,

Then dipping his line in the deep blue calms
Hooked, A O! an island, bright with balms,
With coral, green parrots, and coco-palms.

Tongareva, this lovely prize
Bloomed like a bride in the peoples’ eyes.
And the God hung his fish-hook across the skies,

So, medicine men of the tribe relate,
Who would catch fine fish from the Seas of Fate
Warm flesh, no vague star, he must pierce for bait.

Louis Esson, Bells and Bees: Verses, Melbourne: Thomas C. Lothian, 1910, [page 33]

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