Thomas Bracken

(21 December 1843 – 16 February 1898 / Clones, County Monaghan)

Thomas Bracken
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a late 19th century poet. He wrote "God Defend New Zealand", one of the two National anthems of New Zealand and was the first person to publish the phrase "God's Own Country" as applied to New Zealand.

Background and Early Years

Bracken was born at Clones, County Monaghan, Ireland. His mother died when he was an infant and his father when he was 10 years old. He was sent to Australia when 12 to join his uncle, John Kiernan, at Geelong, Victoria. He was apprenticed to a pharmacist, but moved around to work on farms as a shearer and drover, and for a time was a gold fossicker and store keeper. At that time he began writing tales about the activities of... more »

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Best Poem of Thomas Bracken

God Defend New Zealand

O Lord, God,
of nations and of us too
Listen to us,
Cherish us
Let goodness flourish,
May your blessings flow.
Defend
Aotearoa

Let all people,
Red skin, white skin
Maori, Pakeha,
Gather before you
May all our wrongs, we pray,
Be forgiven
So that we might say long live,
Aotearoa

May it be forever prestigious,
May it go from strength to strength
May its fame spread
Far and wide,
Let not strife
Nor dissension ensue,
May it ever be great
Aotearoa

Let its territory,
Be ever enlightened ...

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