CHAP. V SA VAGE MALA YS OF SELANGOR 161
The Merbau Tree.1
Plak-plau, / there falls the Merbau !
The a ivory a Merbau, the a cabbagea Merbau,
The a saffron a Merbau thatas split with wedges. Chentong the Carpenter, ho ! fell me this Merbau. Loftily sways and falls the Merbau.
Bring me a chisel, and bring me the planing-adze. Now we have split it, make we a grating,
Make we a gallery, make we a deck-house,
Make we oars, and make we an awning.
Load we our ship with wax and eagle-wood, -Load her with benjamin,3 load her with resin.
Load her with gutta, with agutta taban.a4 Hoist up your mast and sail forth seawards,
And shape your course to the sea of Mambang ; Drop your anchor and climb up shorewards,
And barter your goods at the peopleas houses.
See, our boat points to the land of Malacca,
Our anchor drops just off Malacca,
To barter wax and barter resin,
To barter benjamin, barter gutta,
And salt and rice to take as cargo.
Now points our boat towards our country,
And off our own land drops the anchor.
Now call we comrades, big and little,
To carry our wares up to the houses,
And give of them to each his portion.
The Pulai Tree.6
Kiky kik, kik / there creaks the Pulai !
Its bole a-rock with the brisk-blown breezes. Thick, umbrageous, pendulous, wavy,
Are its leaves and airy streamers,
Roots in the earth, and roots on the surface,
Its surface-roots like struggling serpents,
Its buds that rival a virginas nipples,
Its leaves with sap like milk of a virgin,
Its stem whose hue is grey and mottled,
Its shoots that are like the peak of a head*cloth, Its shoots that look like scroll-work finials,
Its buttresses whose height is dizzy,
Its blossom strewn like scattered rice-meal,
Its blossom strewn like rain that drizzles.
Thus men are wont to sing the Pulai.
1 a Merbau,a Afzelia palembanica Bak. (.Leguminosce), one of the finest timbers in the Peninsula, used in boatbuilding.
2 Eagle-wood or a gharu,a Aquilaria. malaccetisis Lam. (Thytntlacea), produces. the well-known incense wood lign-alocs, which fetches a remarkably high price in the Far East.
3 Benzoin or a kemnyan,* gum ben-
jamin, Styrax benzoin L. (Styracece). The gum is obtained by cutting the bark.
4 aGuttaa(or agetaha) ataban,a Dich-opsis gutta Benth. (Sapotacea\ the best kind of gutta-percha.
6 a Pulai,a Alstonia scholaris Br. (Apocynacea), a tree whose surface-roots furnish the cork used for the floats of fishing-nets, etc., in the Peninsula.