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No. 10 (April 1955)
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Omar Khayyam Translated

Illustrated by HARRY DANSEY

The poems printed here are just a few samples of a complete translation of Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat into Maori done by Mr Pei Jones. As a new departure in the use of the Maori language, this translation is of considerable interest. It may be hoped a publisher will be found for the entire collection.

Omar Khayyam was a great Persian mathematician, astronomer and poet of the eleventh and twelfth century A.D. His poems, called Rubaiyat, consist of four lines, of which the first, second and fourth rhyme and the third (but not always) remains rhymless.

Mr Jones has used the famous English translation by Edward Fitzgerald (5th Version).

12.

Here with a little Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse—and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!
Ko reira ahau me te Taro iti noa nei i raro i te Peka Rakau,
He oko Waina, he Pukapuka Waiata—me koe tahi, e te tau,
E waiata ana i taku taha i te Raorao—
Ka meinga hoki ra te Raorao hei Mâra inaianei!

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17.

The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon
Turns Ashes—or it prospers; and anon,
Like Snow upon the Desert's dusty Face.
Lighting a little hour or two—was gone.
Ko to te Ao Tumanako i whakamau atu ai te Ngakau o te Tangata
Kua meinga hei puehu—a i te tupunga, ina ake nei,
Ano he Hukarere e tau ana ki te Mata puehu o te Raorao,
He haora kotahi e rua ranei i muramura ake ai—a ka tino ngaro atu.

18.

Think in this batter'd Caravanserai,
Whose Portals are alternate Night and Day,
How Sultan after Sultan with his Pomp
Abode his destin'd Hour, and went his way.
Maharatia ano koa a roto i tenei Whare-wharau,
Ko ona nei matapihi he Po he Ao.
Ka pahemo he Ariki ka puta mai ano he Ariki me ona nei Nuinga.
I whakatau iho mo tona Haora i whakaritea ai, ka haere ai i tona ara.

19.

They say the Lion and Lizard keep
The Courts where Jamshyd gloried and drank deep:
And Bahram, that great Hunter—the Wild Ass
Stamps o'er his Head, but cannot break his Sleep.
E ki ana ratou ko te Raiona me te Tuatara kei te tiaki
I nga Marae i whai kororia ai a Tama-hihi i inu ai hoki a makona noa;
Ko Poharama hoki, te Toa-rongonui na te Kaihe mahoao
Takahia iho a runga i tona matenga, engari kia oho ake i tana moe, kore ake.

20.

The Palace that to Heav'n his pillars threw,
And Kings the forehead on his threshold drew—
I saw the solitary Ringdove there,
And “Coo, coo, coo” she cried; and “Coo, coo, coo.”
Ko te whare tiketike e tu nei poupou tonu ki te Rangi,
I haerea atu nei a kitea ana te kanohi Kingi ki tona mahau—
I reira i kite ai ahau i te Manu moke nei,
A, “Kui, kui, kui” tana tangi, a, “Kui, kui, kui”.

23.

And we, that now make merry in the Room
They left, and Summer dresses in new bloom,
Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth
Descend, ourselves to make a Couch—for whom?
A ko tatou, e harakoa nei i roto i te Rûma
I mahue iho ai i a ratou, me o tatou kahu hou o te Raumati
Ko tatou hoki ka taupokina iho ano ki te Moenga i roto i a Papatuanuku
Tatou hoki ka heke, kia whakapaia te Moenga—mo wai ra?

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24.

I sometimes think that never blows so red
The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled;
That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
Dropt in her Lap from some once lovely Head.
I etehi wa mahara ai ahau kaore he Whero hei rite
Ki to te Puawai i tupu ake nei i te wâhi i nehua ai i maringi ai hoki nga toto o tetehi Toa-taua;
Me nga Pua katoa e uhi nei i te Mâra ano nei
I taka iho i nga Turi no runga mai i te Mahunga o tetehi tau-purotu.

25.

And this delightful Herb whose living Green
Fledges the River's Lip on which we lean—
Ah, lean upon it lightly! for who knows
From what once lovely Lip it springs unseen!
A ko tenei Tarutaru oranga ngakau e tupu matomato nei Kakariki tonu
Whakapapa rawa i te Ngutu-awa e okiokitia nei a taua—
Kia ata okioki iho! Ko wai hoki e mohio
Tera pea i tupu ake i nga Ngutu ataahua o te tau-purotu o mua ra, kua ngaro nei.

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More than half the children who are treated in the Maunu Health Camp near Whangarei are Maoris.

There are usually about 24 to 27 children in the camp and each group stays for six weeks. Not only are the children brought back to good condition, but they are also trained in health habits.

Health Camps are run by private and voluntary contributions. The sale of Health stamps provides much of the revenue. The camps can be helped not only by money gifts, but also by sending vegetables, clothing and children's books.

Miss Deane, the nurse in charge, is very pleased about the way the Maori and European children get on together. The Maori children that come here are usually very quiet and the European children very nervous; they have a good influence on each other.