- Thomas Bracken
Thomas Bracken. Behind the Tomb and other poems. Melbourne: Clarson, Massina and Co., 1871.
Bracken was born in Ireland in 1841 and came to Dunedin via Victoria in 1869. After
his arrival, Bracken continued his verse writing which he had begun in
Victoria. He published five collections of verse, beginning with Behind the Tomb (1871). The poem
‘Dunedin from the Bay’ reflects his genuine pride in his new homeland.
Thomas Bracken. Flowers of the free lands. Dunedin: Mills, Dick & Co., 1877.
second collection of verse was Flowers of
the free lands (1877). Through his simple rhymes and rhythms, Bracken contributed
to satisfying a national wish that an indigenous literature of some value might
be emerging as the colony approached its fiftieth year.
Thomas Bracken. Lays of the land of the Maori and moa. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1884.
earlier collections of verse were followed by a more ambitious volume, Lays of the land of the Maori and moa
(1884). The poem ‘Not understood’ continued to be widely read and reprinted
well into the twentieth century.
Thomas Bracken. Musings in Maoriland. Dunedin, N.Z.: A.T. Keirle, 1890.
ambitious collection of verse Musings in
Maoriland was published in 1890. Bracken’s verse received high praise during his
lifetime and into the early twentieth century. He is best remembered today for
the poem ‘God defend New Zealand’, which, set to music by J.J. Woods of
Lawrence, was to become New Zealand’s national anthem.