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A Hundred Thousand Blessings

May a hundred thousand blessings fall upon your house O China,
May they fall like the small drops that spatter the dust,
When, after long drought, the land lies warm and waiting.
May they alight on your rooftops like the quiet doves of peace,
Gliding down through the air as softly as the autumn poplar leaves
And may these blessings be all around you in all your paths, you and
    your children forever.

The poem [above] was spoken at Canton by the New Zealand poet R.A.K. Mason as a farewell at the end of his recent visit to China. It is based on an ancient Celtic saying.

—People’s Voice, 18 December 1957, p.8

R.A.K. Mason and Dorothea at Peking railway station, 1957. Mason at the time was chairman of the New Zealand-China Friendship Association. Photo:Hocken Collections Uare Taoka o Hākena, University of Otago Library.

Holograph of “A Hundred Thousand Blessings”, written on letterhead paper from the Aichun Hotel, Canton. Image: Ben Plumbly.

Mason and Dorothea pictured with China hand and poet Rewi Alley (far left)  at Western Hills outside Beijing, October 1957. Far right is the film maker and actress Ramai Hayward. Photo: Hocken Collections, Uare Taoka o Hakena, University of Otago Library

People's market, Beijing
R.A.K. Mason trying on a sheepskin coat in the people's market, Beijing, October 1957. With him is Ramai Hayward in a scene from her film Inside Red China. Photo: Hocken Collections, Uare Taoka o Hakena, University of Otago Library

R.A.K. Mason (far right) and Dorothea (front left) in another still shot from Inside Red China, launched on DVD in 2014.