Kalakaua's Last Words, Written by Joseph Poepoe

From "Ka Mo;olelo o ka Moʻi Kalakaua I" Joseph M. Poepoe, 1891.  [Published six days after the return of the king, with the help of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.  Typed out here in modern orthography, as drawn from a reprint by the Office of Curriculum, Hawaii Department of Education, 1995.]

From section titled "Na Hora Hope Loa o ka Moʻi" [The Last Hours of the King]

I ke kakahiaka o ia lā, ua hōʻea aʻe nā Kauka Woods, Watts, Sanger a me Taylor, a ua hui pū ihola lākou e noʻonoʻo no ko ka mōʻī kūlana, a ua hōʻike aʻela, ma ko lākou manaʻo, ʻaʻole e hala nā hora kakahiaka i ka mōʻī, nalohia aku ʻo ia.  I kēia manawa, he kanahā a ʻoi hora o ko ka mōʻī waiho ʻana me ka ʻike ʻole aʻe i nā mea i mua ona, a hoʻokahi wale nō manawa i hoʻi mai ai ke ao aliʻi, ʻo ia kona ʻike ʻana mai i ka ʻAdimarala Baraunu a minoʻaka maila, me he lā e hāʻawi mai ana i kāna mau kānaenae aloha hope loa no ke aliʻi moku nāna i hiʻialo aku iā ia me ka hiwahiwa a hōʻea i nā kapa kai o ia ʻāina kamahaʻo; a i ia manawa nō hoʻi ʻo ia i huli aʻe ai a pane aʻela i kāna mau huaʻōlelo hope loa iā R. Hoapili Baker i ka pane ʻana aʻe i nēia mau huaʻōlelo o ka hōʻehaʻeha:

"Aue, he kanaka au, eia i loko o ke kūkonukonu o ka maʻi!"

ʻO kā ke aliʻi mau huaʻōlelo ao kanaka hope loa ihola kēia, a ʻo ka pau ʻana ia.  Ma hope mai, he mau huaʻōlelo wale nō i loko o ka wao nahele o ka noʻonoʻo i nāwaliwali a i loko hoʻi o ka ʻauana; a i loko o ka manawa a kona kino wailua e ʻaneʻane aku ana e niau palanehe i loko o nā ʻēheu o ke awāwa kūpouli o ka make, ua puana aʻela ia i nā mea hope loa e kau ana i mua o nā ʻōnohi o kona mau hoʻomanaʻo ʻana, a hōʻike maila ua huli hope akula kona noʻonoʻo i loko o nā ʻauana a aia i waena o nā lā o kona au ma mua aku o ka noho ʻana aʻe ma luna o ka noho aliʻi o Hawaii, he mau makahiki lehulehu hoʻi i hala hope akula.  Ua puana aʻela ia i kāna mau māmala ma ka ʻōlelo o kona ʻāina makuahine nei, a hiki akula ma ka ʻae one o Kaiakeakua, a me he lā, i loko o ia manawa, aia ʻo ia e kū kilakila ana me ka nānā ʻana o kona mau maka aliʻi ma luna o nā nalu o ia kūʻono kai malino, a e kilohi ana i nā ʻale hānupanupa o ka moana Pākīpika, e like hoʻi me kāna i hana mau ai i nā lā i ʻau wale akula.  Ua pau aʻela kona noʻonoʻo me nā hoʻomanaʻo ʻana i kona kūlana aliʻi a me ke kilakila, a aia ʻo ia i kahi e ʻike hope aku ai i ka nani molale maikaʻi o kona ʻāina kulāiwi.

 

Translation:

On the morning of that day, Doctors Woods, Watts, Sanger and Taylor arrived and they conferred about the king's condition, then reported that in their opinion, the morning hours would not pass before he was gone.  At this point, it had been 40 hours or more that the king had remained unaware of those before him, and only once had the royal consciousness returned, when he saw Admiral Brown, and smiled, as though giving his last and loving farewells to the ship captain who had brought him in such honor to the shores of that amazing land; and at that point he turned and uttered his very last words to R. Hoapili Baker, saying these wrenching words:

"Alas, I am a man who is seriously ill." 

These were the king's final conscious words, and that was the end.  Afterwards, there were only words in the wilds of thoughts that were weakened and straying; and as his spirit neared its glide onto the wings of the dark vale of death, he spoke of the last things appearing in his thoughts, showing that his mind wandered again and was in the times long before his rise to the Hawaiian throne, many years passed.  He uttered his phrases in the language of his motherland, until reaching the beach of Kaiakeakua, and then seemed that he was standing majestically with his royal eyes looking out over the waves of that calm, sheltered bay, gazing at the great billows of the Pacific beyond, as he did in days long past.  His awareness of his royal status and high rank were gone, and he was there where he could see for the last time the clear wondrous beauty of his birthland.