Thomas Bracken 1843-1898

Born in Clones, County Monaghan. After his parents died he was sent at the age of 12 to Australia.  In 1869 he went to New Zealand. He was a prolific writer and his works were widely distributed throughout New Zealand and Australia. He wrote the words for the New Zealand national anthem and was the first to publish the phrase God's Own Country. He is buried in the Northern Cemetery Block 92 , Plot 0017 Dunedin, New Zealand. The inscription is taken from one of his poems.

Sacred To The Memory of Thomas Bracken, Poet, Journalist, Legislator. Born Ireland 1843, died at Dunedin 1898.

“Not Understood, how many breasts are aching

For lack of sympathy, ah! day by day

How many cheerless, lonely hearts are breaking

How many noble spirits pass away – Not Understood.

Oh God! That men would see a little clearer

Or judge less harshly where they cannot see

Oh God! That men would draw a little nearer

To one another, They’d be nearer Thee –

And Understood”.

Photo by permission of Southern Heritage. Visit Dunedin Cemetery at

www.southernheritage.org.nz/northerncemetery/home.html