The Samoan has many different kinds of poetical compositions. Metre is altogether unknown, but the best kinds of poetry are in rhyme. They are mostly responsive, each verse being commenced by a few persons, and this is called the usu; the remaining half being taken up in chorus, and with strict attention to time, by all present; it is called the tau.
Popular songs on passing events are, as in other lands, very common. They are sung to the stroke of the paddles when on a journey, or when engaged on any work requiring united exertion.
At the time when religion was beginning to take root, the lovers of darkness thus expressed their regrets at the prospective loss of their pleasures:
Tini, tinio, tinio!
Maumau o mea faamalama,
A tia’i e le malo.
Title: A Grammar and Dictionary of the Samoan Language, with English and Samoan vocabulary
Author: Rev. George Pratt
Publication details: R. McMillan, 1984, Papakura
Part of: Tidal Pools: Digitized Texts from Oceania for Samoan and Pacific Studies
License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand Licence