|He Akua hemolele Ke Akua no kakou;
Maikai wale, hewa ole, Pono loa, ola mau.
Nani wale ko Iehova, Luli ole ka maikai;
A honui wale oia, I ka hana i pono mai.
Oia no ka Haku mana, O na mea i lalo nei;
Nana kakou nei i hana, Aole na ka lima e.
Pono hoi e pule aku, I ka Haku o ke ao,
I ola kanaka i a ia la, I ola nui no kakou. Amene.
|English Translation by Ata Damasco:
A Holy God Creator of all great in goodness, pure, righteous everlasting.
O Beautiful Jehovah, merciful, universally doing what is right.
He is the Almighty, over all things here, watching the deeds done, not by the hands.
We need to pray to God of the Universe, live for him; He gives life to us all.
This hymn He Akua Hemolele originated on the arrival of Mr. Ellis in Honolulu harbor. A canoe from the shore brought Mr. Bingham out to the vessel. Mr. Ellis called down to him He Akua Hemolele, God is good, or perfect. Mr. Bingham replied, Ke Akua no kakou, He is our God. And so in the typical fashion of a Hawaiian kike, this dialog of greeting continued for several phrases which were later worked over into the four short stanzas of the hymn.
And a member of the Green and Parker families reminds us that this old hymn was a lullaby often hummed in Hawaiian by the first Mother Rice, in the days before cradles went out of style and mothers still took time to sing their babies to sleep.
-- Ethel M. Damon
Na Himeni Haipule Hawaii