William Pember Reeves

(1857 - 1932 / New Zealand)

William Pember Reeves
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William Pember Reeves
New Zealand statesman, lawgiver and poet

Ask most New Zealanders if they know who William Pember Reeves is and the reply is likely to be "Never heard of him", yet this politician was a major influence in New Zealand politics in the 1880s and 1890s and in 1896 was appointed agent general for New Zealand in the United Kingdom, and is also one of New Zealand's better-known early poets. Allen Curnow in his introduction to The Penguin Book of New Zealand Verse fittingly describes him as New Zealand's first eminent statesman and law giver, and her first native-born poet worth the name.

William Pember Reeves' father, William Reeves, was a ... more »

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Best Poem of William Pember Reeves

New Zealand

GOD girt her about with the surges
And winds of the masterless deep,
Whose tumult uprouses and urges
Quick billows to sparkle and leap;
He filled from the life of their motion
Her nostrils with breath of the sea,
And gave her afar in the ocean
A citadel free.

Her never the fever-mist shrouding,
Nor drought of the desert may blight,
Nor pall of dun smoke overclouding
Vast cities of clamorous night,
But the voice of abundance of waters,
Cold rivers that stay not or sleep,
Greets ...

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