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embrace which crushed and darkened their children. It became necessary to separate them, and this feat was achieved not without pain. "Then wailed the Heaven, and exclaimed the Earth, 'Wherefore this murder? why this great sin? Why separate us?' But what cared Tane? Upwards he sent one and downwards the other. He cruelly severed the sinews which united Heaven and Earth."[1] The Greek myth, too, contemplated earth and heaven as beings corporeally united, and heaven as a malignant power that concealed his children in darkness.

But while the conception of heaven and earth as parents of living things remains perfectly intelligible in one sense, the vivid personification which regarded them as creatures with human parts and passions had ceased to be intelligible in Greece before the times of the earliest philosophers. The old physical conception of the pair became a metaphor, and the account of their rending asunder by their children lost all significance, and seemed to be an abominable and unintelligible myth. When examined in the light of the New Zealand story, and of the fact that early peoples do regard all phenomena as human beings, with physical attributes like those of men, the legend of Cronus, and Uranus, and Gæa ceases to be a mystery. It is, at bottom, a savage explanation (as in the Samoan story) of the separation of earth and heaven, an explanation which could only have occurred to people in a state of mind which civilisation has forgotten.

The next generation of Hesiodic gods (if gods we

  1. Taylor, New Zealand, 119.