Ballads

Ballads

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Ballads by Robert Louis Stevenson

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50

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Ballads

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Book Excerpt

d smiters: the men of Vaiau not least. Now hearken to me, my daughter, and hear a word of the wise: How a strength goes linked with a weakness, two by two, like the eyes. They can wield the omare well and cast the javelin far;
Yet are they greedy and weak as the swine and the children are. Plant we, then, here at Paea, a garden of excellent fruits; Plant we bananas and kava and taro, the king of roots;
Let the pigs in Paea be tapu {1l} and no man fish for a year; And of all the meat in Tahiti gather we threefold here.
So shall the fame of our plenty fill the island, and so,
At last, on the tongue of rumour, go where we wish it to go. Then shall the pigs of Taiarapu raise their snouts in the air; But we sit quiet and wait, as the fowler sits by the snare, And tranquilly fold our hands, till the pigs come nosing the food: But meanwhile build us a house of Trotea, the stubborn wood, Bind it with incombustible thongs, set a roof to the room,
Too strong for the hands of a man to dissever or fi
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