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No. 63 (June 1968)
– 18 –


Stand a while with me
Beneath this mighty matai,
Planted on this shadowed forest track
By Hinehopu
Four centuries ago.

This was the spot on which
She met her husband, Pikiao.
For love of him she placed it here,
And named it for herself.
Custom says that those who pause

Before this ancient tree—
Make some small offering of greenery,
And a prayer—will be guarded well
Throughout their journey.

Stand a while with me
And see the reverent offerings
Of our modern travellers.
Broken beer bottles,
Scraps of dirty paper,
Empty packages, as empty
As their hearts.

— Joan Taylor.