1867? - Thomson, Mrs. Twelve Years in Canterbury New Zealand - APPENDIX.

E N Z B       
       Home   |  Browse  |  Search  |  Variant Spellings  |  Links  |  EPUB Downloads
Feedback  |  Conditions of Use      
  1867? - Thomson, Mrs. Twelve Years in Canterbury New Zealand - APPENDIX.
Previous section | Next section      


[Image of page 207]



WHEN first I went on board the steamer at Sydney, my attention was attracted to a neatly-dressed, interesting-looking girl of about eleven or twelve years old. Before we started, she took an affectionate leave of her mother, the stewardess of the ship, and returned on shore alone. I observed that the mother had a worn and saddened look, as though she had gone through much suffering and trial; and as we became better acquainted, I found, also, that she was a woman of shattered nerves, depressed spirits, and apparently in weak health. My inquiries respecting the little girl I had seen with her, led to the narration of the following history:--

"My husband was the master and owner of a small trading-vessel; he had a crew of six or eight men under him, and I used to sail with him in all his trips. For years we cruised about among the islands of the South Pacific, and found the natives generally very friendly. We were prosperous and happy, for I was fond of the sea, and we had our two dear children, a boy and a girl, with us. At last, upon one occasion, when we were at anchor off one of the islands, a dreadful calamity befel us. The natives had come on board in, as we thought, their usual friendly spirit, to barter with us. I was at one side of the deck washing clothes--for we had no other woman on board--when I perceived the shadow of some one standing behind me. I

[Image of page 208]

turned round, smilingly, not for the moment suspecting any evil intention, and saw one of the natives with his arm uplifted, and a tomahawk ready to fall on my head. I started on one side, and in another instant I had sprung at the weapon, and with one hand twisted it, I scarcely know how, from his grasp, while with my other I thrust him from me with a violence which made him totter backward; and his foot, I suppose, must have caught against something, for he fell, and his head striking on a projecting iron, he was stunned, or killed (in the confusion that followed, I never knew which); but all was the work of a moment; and as I did it, I saw another native standing behind the mate, who was leaning over the bulwarks on the opposite side of the deck, in act also to strike. Quick as thought I clutched a crowbar that was within my reach, and struck this second wretch on the back of his head, where he stood. His tomahawk fell on his intended victim, but only grazed him, for it came from the hand of a dying man, and the treacherous savage lay dead at my feet. You would not think, to see me now, that I could ever have had strength to do all this. I can't tell you how I did it. I was strong then--very strong--but I seemed, at that fearful moment, to have a strength given me greater than my own. Well, I looked quickly round, and seeing that my husband was not on deck, I rushed down the cabin stairs, and there I found him struggling with two natives, wounded, and nearly overpowered by them, but still warding off their blows. As soon as he saw me he exclaimed, 'For God's sake, Nelly, get my gun, and shoot one of these wretches, if you can, without shooting me!' Quicker than I can say it I obeyed, and placing the muzzle against the body of the savage, shot him through the heart; and my husband then taking the gun from me, soon despatched his other assailant with the butt end of it.

"'Our children!' I now shrieked; 'where are they?' I flew again frantically to the deck; there one of our men lay dead, and another dying, but the surviving natives were all jumping overboard, and swimming to the shore as fast as they could. The man I had shot was their chief, and his death was the signal for a general retreat. As I wildly gazed about, calling on the names of my children, I saw-- oh, never can I forget the horror of that moment!--the remembrance of it nearly drives me mad now as I think of it--I saw my two darlings being borne away by the swim-

[Image of page 209]

ming natives. One with my precious boy, then six years old, had just reached the shore, and was hurrying away with him at full speed towards the thick forests. My girl was still in the waves, about half way between our vessel and the land. 'My children! Save my children!' I cried, in agony, and fell senseless on the deck.

"When I recovered consciousness, my little girl, all dripping, was sobbing beside me. My husband was disabled by his wounds; but our mate, whose life I had saved, and two others, had plunged into the sea, and, at the risk of their own lives, saved the child, and killed the wretch who held her; but my boy was gone--my boy!--my precious and beautiful boy! they had him. No one could recover him. He was gone. There was no hope--no hope!

"For six months or more after that dreadful day I knew nothing. I was raving mad, as they afterwards told me, and even when reason began to return, it was long before I could clearly comprehend anything that was happening around me. They told me, and I understood at length, that all that was possible had been done, and all in vain, to recover our lost boy. We had sailed at once to a neighbouring island, where my husband knew the natives to be well disposed towards us; and informing them of the treachery that had been practised; they at once armed, and launching their war canoes, without delay proceeded to the spot and demanded restitution of the boy. They ascertained that he was then there, and alive, with the natives in the mountains, but they refused to give him up. A war was commenced, but the friendly natives, fighting at a disadvantage on a strange shore, absent from all resources, or security for themselves, were repulsed with much loss to their numbers; and having also learnt that the boy had, since this attack commenced, been secretly sent away to another island, it became evident that further perseverance in the contest was useless. With many regrets, and much sorrow, therefore, the assailing party returned to their homes. My husband was so broken down and dispirited by this affliction, and I had now become such a poor invalid creature, that he had no heart left for anything, and took a dislike to the sea. He sold his little vessel, and we set up a small shop in Sydney. But this did not succeed very well, and he couldn't reconcile himself to that kind of life; so after a time he went off to New Zealand to try his fortune at the gold diggings there, and I was to join him when he had got

[Image of page 210]

a house put up for us. But he never reached the diggings; he was drowned in crossing a river in New Zealand. I then gave up the little shop, and obtained the situation of stewardess to this steamer. I have put my little girl to school in Sydney, where she is learning to do needle-work, and will be able, I hope, in time, to earn her living by dressmaking. The only comfort I have left in life now, is being with that dear child you saw when you first came on board; and though it almost breaks my heart to leave her and come on these long voyages, yet I must earn something to pay for her schooling, and I know that, God willing, I shall go back to that same port again on the return voyage, and have her with me for a time again. She is two years younger than her brother; if he be still living he is nearly fourteen years old."

So ended the poor afflicted mother's tale. I often afterwards discoursed over these events with her, and we weighed and discussed together all the possibilities of her ever finding her son again. I could not but think that were the case made known to the bishops of New Zealand, and of the Milanesian Islands, some trace might be discovered of the white boy among the savages. It is not impossible that these excellent and most zealous men may have touched at that very island in their missionary voyages of former years, or that the latter (Bishop Pattison) may hereafter in his annual visits among the numerous islands of the South Pacific, land on the scene of these events. Other missionaries also visit, and even dwell among these savages. Inquiries might, under a guiding Providence, avail to the making of some discovery respecting him; for even should the boy be dead, the circumstances would be remembered by some of the natives concerned.

Whether the restoration of the boy to his mother would be for her happiness is another question. Her grief is now calmed down to Christian resignation. This once brave and strong woman, who, with her own single hand, slew two (if not three) of the savages, and saved the lives of her husband and his mate, is now but a poor-spirited, crushed creature, to whom one more even slight shock might prove fatal either to life or reason. The son would not know the mother, nor the mother, perhaps, even recognize her son; brought up among savages, would he not have become as one of them, and would it not re-open the cruel wound in

[Image of page 211]

her stricken heart if she should find him thus? But there is a higher view of the case to be taken than this. A youth born in a Christian land, and baptized into the Christian church, may now be living in dark heathenism. Should not some effort be made to rescue an immortal soul? Should this simple and true narrative meet the eye of any who may have the power to interpose, may there not still be hope? There is no lack of zealous, energetic hearts in that southern hemisphere; pious, self-devoting spirits dwell in those far-off lands, and sail upon those distant seas. There are those who risk their own lives continually to save the souls of their heathen brethren in the islands of the South Pacific, and God willing, this long-lost youth may one day be rescued, and saved body and soul by their means.

The following humorous verses illustrate in some degree the observation made in the first chapter of this work, respecting the temporary discontents sometimes indulged in by recently-arrived settlers. The author of these lines, so far from carrying out the threat implied in the last verse, left the province (Canterbury) only for a short time, to marry and bring out a wife, and has continued to live there prosperous and well satisfied ever since.

The verses appeared in the "Lyttelton Times" several years ago:--


Eden of the southern sea
I devote my lay to thee!
Thee, of whom at home they tell
Things to make the bosom swell!
Thee of whom in Crosby Square
Loud laudations shake the air;
Disbelieve, what mortal can,
The seductive tongue of Gann?
So that men have christened thee
Eden of the Southern Sea.

[Image of page 212]

Thee, whom praised by magic lyre
Of Hursthouse, men unseen, admire!
Land of plains and grassy swells,
Where the gentle Maori dwells;
Equal, save in copper face,
With the European race;
Strong in love, in council grave,
Christian, chivalrous, and brave!
These are things they tell of thee,
Eden of the Southern Sea!
Where the bee on drooping wing
Laden with the spoils of spring,
Lays up so profuse a store
Suffices all, and something more;
Where the breezes soft and free,
Rival those of Italy;
Where the lovely ka-ka screeches,
And the pigs are fed on peaches;
What on earth compares with thee?
Eden of the Southern Sea!
Where the wide extended plain,
Waves with fields of golden grain;
Where the shepherd, midst his sheep
Beneath the stars may sweetly sleep;
Where the zephyrs from the hills
Are medicine for all human ills;
Where contentment reigns around,
And no murm'rer's to be found;
This and more they tell of thee,
Eden of the Southern Sea!
But 'tis sad, though very clear,
That we're fated now to hear,
Landed on thy far-famed shore,
Things we heard not named before!
Settlers arming for their lives,
And their little ones and wives
Forced to fly, or stay and be
"Chawed up catawampously!"
This they did not tell of thee,
Eden of the Southern Sea!

[Image of page 213]

Land where men, with brains of fog
Built a city in a bog;
Land of rain, and storm, and flood!
Land of water, wind, and mud!
Where, six days a-week, the gale
Laden thick with rain or hail,
First from sou'-west blows a piercer, 1
Then veers nor'-west, and blows fiercer;
This is what I think of thee,
Eden of the Southern Sea!
Land where all is dear and bad,
Comfort nowhere to be had;
Wooden house, with shingled roof,
Neither wind nor water-proof;
And the mutton and the beef,
Fit to cause a Briton grief;
And of all things the most dear
(In price) a glass of British beer!
Oh! I'm sadly sold in thee,
Eden of the Southern Sea!
But I have located here,
No alternative, I fear,
But to make the best of thee,
Only longing to be free;
Patiently to bear thy clime,
And anticipate the time,
When my transportation o'er,
I shall seek some genial shore,
Never to return to thee,
Eden of the Southern Sea!

The following poems were written for the "Hampshire Conservative 2 Journal," published on board the ship "Hampshire," on the voyage out to Canterbury.

[Image of page 214]


My cabin's small, and comforts there are few,
My narrow porthole gives no cheerful view;
Discomforts there of every kind are rife,
All that can make one weary of one's life.
My space so small, that scarce to turn I'm able,
Carpet I've none, my bed my only table.
Four grim deal walls enclose the dreary cell,
Uncouth contrivances that answer well,
Supply the place of comforts left at home,
And teach us we must "rough it" when we roam.
Yet still, amid these imperfections bare,
My cabin!--still I love to linger there;
For oft in thee my wand'ring fancy flies
Beyond thy walls, beyond these seas and skies;
Within thy narrow precincts, unconfin'd,
Flies forth on wings of love, the yearning mind;
Unseen, unthought of here, but not alone,
I find in thought, a world that's all my own.
I hear lov'd tones, gaze in affection's eyes,
See well-known scenes, and well-lov'd forms arise;
Here freely I unlock my heart's recess,
And pent-up thoughts and feelings here confess;
And every grief that wrings my heart I tell
In fancy here, to friends who love me well;
And hang entranc'd upon their soft replies,
And drink in sympathy from loving eyes.
But in this fairy scene I may not stay,
For see they beckon me to come away!
With fond reproachful glance, to my keen sense
More piercing than the loudest eloquence,
"Alas! why did'st thou not," they seem to say,
"Amid tried hearts and long-prov'd friendships stay?
"Why with new friends and strangers would'st thou roam,
"To seek new lands and find a stranger-home?
"Why would'st thou leave these scenes of youth so dear,
"And all the precious ties that hound thee here?
"Oh, come! return! calm down that roving mind,
"Return to open arms, and friends as ever kind."
Oh, I must flee! I dare not longer stay
In converse sweet, with dear ones far away:

[Image of page 215]

No, I will forth, and join that stranger throng
Whose merry laugh e'en now resounds along;
And when I gaily smile, to them 'twill seem
That smile is from the heart, nor will they deem
The soul is absent, on a rapturous dream.
And now, farewell, ye visions of my home;
I gaze upon the mighty ocean's foam!
The swelling sails with favouring gales expand,
And we press onward to the destined land;
And buoyant hopes once more possess my mind,
And vain regrets again are left behind.
Blow strong ye winds, dash on thou sparkling spray!
Bound, gallant ship! and bear us on our way.
We'll pace the decks, and talk, light-hearted band,
Of plans and prospects in th' adopted land.
In God's good time the long'd for port we'll gain,
And carry hopeful hearts across the main.
But when to dear ones far away I'd flee,
Then, oh, my cabin! I'll return to thee.


Poor little weak and helpless things are we,
Now carried 'gainst our will across the sea;
Oh, we were happy on our native soil,
We knew nor pain, nor care, no want, or toil;
All we have left, we left against our will,
All we have suffer'd, and are suff'ring still
We brought not on ourselves, nor courted fate
By any wish to rove. We who so late
Sported our frolics on the verdant green,
Well fed, caress'd, admir'd as soon as seen,
Would they had left us in our happy home,
Where cruelty was never known to come!
A thoughtless hand it was, that in our pride
Took us away from our soft mother's side;
Where all was kindness, doubtless the intent
Was kindly still, and all was kindly meant;
But from that hour farewell to all repose,
For then commenced the story of our woes.

[Image of page 216]

Frighten'd, we found ourselves like luggage stow'd
And whirl'd mid noise and smoke along the road;
In jolting cart convey'd to grim Blackwall,
Thence to rude hands that ne'er knew pity's call
Consign'd. On hoard a ship we then were hurl'd;
Oh, would ere then we'd left this cruel world!
No comfort there, no bed, no food, nor place
Of safety found we, and we look'd for grace
In vain, in any eyes; all seem'd to hate us,
And with foul oaths on every side would rate us.
No wholesome meal is ever granted here,
We pick up scanty crumbs, with trembling fear;
No drop of milk e'er greets our longing eyes,
A little water is a blessed prize,
Which one or two kind hands will sometimes grant
In tender pity to our burning want.
And when, worn out with hunger, pain, and fright,
We fain would rest our weary limbs at night,
No scanty mat, no bit of straw is found,
We stretch our bodies on the damp cold ground;
No safety even there. While all are sleeping,
The rolling ship her onward course is keeping;
Rous'd from our troubled slumbers by the crash
Of heavy goods that 'cross the 'tween-decks dash,
Threat'ning to crush our lives out as they fly;
And this, the only place where we dare lie!
But this is not the worst; though bad enough
Such deprivations, and such usage rough
To poor dumb creatures who cannot complain,
Who look to you for all, and look in vain:
No, this is not the worst; would that it were!
How can we tell what more of woes we bear;
What wanton, cruel men and boys there be,
Who, to amuse an idle hour at sea,
Will torture us, and fiends' devices try
To raise a laugh at helpless agony!
Oh! it would make a tender bosom bleed
One half of our sad sufferings to read;
But we will draw o'er these the dark'ning veil,
Nor shame humanity by such a tale!
Oh! if we err, surely with gentle hand
Ye might correct, and make us understand;
But how shall punishment that's just be known,
Where gentle treatment never has been shown?

[Image of page 217]

How can ye teach their sins to creatures mute,
If, when we're harmless, ye still persecute?
That we have faults, alas! it is too true;
But say, who is there here that errs not too?
In many things ye sin against each other,
And every mortal man offends his brother.
Ye who have reas'ning souls, and causes few
For sin, will err, repent, and err anew.
Then why should we, who scarce know wrong from right,
Be deem'd beyond all pardon in your sight?
We poor weak things have little power to scan
Your actions or your faults; but thou, O man!
Who in the likeness of thy God art made,
Bethink thee how that God in mercy stayed
Th' avenging hand, when oft thou didst offend,
And spares thee still, in hope of better end.
If all were judg'd by justice so severe,
Say who could 'scape for all their errors here?
But God is merciful, and He imparts
The heav'nly spark to melt all human hearts,
And turn their thoughts to works of mercy sweet,
And make them for a world of peace more meet.
And be ye sure that every action kind
Done to his helpless creatures here will find
Favour with Him; and in that awful day,
When all your sins shall stand in dread array,
For every mercy shown some sin He'll blot away.
Oh! blessed are the merciful indeed,
And blessed shall they be in hour of need;
But there will be a fearful doom for those
Who, 'gainst soft pity, shall their hard hearts close!
Then, oh protect the weak ye who are strong,
Reflect, bear with us, 'twill not be for long;
Unharm'd, in safety let us reach the shore,
Too happy then to part, and meet no more.


Sail, noble ship, across the main,
And bear that gallant band
Of hopeful hearts, till they attain
A new and far-off land;

[Image of page 218]

New hopes, new homes, new joys to know,
Too long denied them here,
To where in peace their days may flow,
And smiles efface each tear.
Oh, a glorious sight is a ship at sea!
And a balm to the troubled mind,
As they fancy themselves from the world set free,
And its cares all left behind.
Gaily she glides o'er the rippling wave,
And she looks like a fairy thing;
And merrily beat the hearts so brave,
While cheerily they sing.
For softly blow the fav'ring gales,
And dances the playful spray,!
While proudly swell the spreading sails,
As she speeds on her destined way.
This side the moonbeams shine o'er all,
Like diamonds rare and bright;
While there the huge ship's shadows fall
In depths of darkest night.
Here at one glance God's grandest work
The mighty ocean see,
And man's triumphant genius mark
That rides o'er its surface so free.
Ye pilgrims who life's thorny way
With many a sigh have trod,
Now let your souls break forth and say,
We are alone with God!
But hark! the wind more loudly blows,
The waves are swelling high,
The white foam's track behind them flows,
And the waters past them fly.
The ship o'er the mountain billow rides,
And points to heaven her prow;
Then down to the wat'ry vale she glides,
As if to its depths she'd plough.

[Image of page 219]

Arise, thou pious soul, arise!
Feel thy Creator near;
Fly thoughts beyond those starry skies,
Above yon moonlight clear.
And if on yonder shooting star
A messenger should come
From those mysterious realms afar,
And call thee to thy home;
If yonder billow in its flow
Should gulf thee in its arms,
With holy smile of faith thou'st go,
And feel not death's alarms.
And see a change comes o'er the scene!
Heard'st thou that awful roar?
The heavens smile no more serene,
The gay song sounds no more.
For the tempest's abroad and the heavens are black,
And the wild waves fiercely dash;
The sails are riven, the stout masts crack,
'Mid the din of the elements crash.
Behold that calm and pallid cheek,
Look in that tearful eye,
List to the resignation meek,
That breathes no murmuring sigh.
Not for themselves those looks so worn,
Not selfish are those fears;
They think of dear ones left to mourn
For them with bitter tears.
But soon has past the tempest's frown,
The wild waves cease to strive,
The pitying heav'ns once more look down,
And hopes again revive.
Once more those hearts are fill'd with joy,
With gratitude and praise;
And future plans their thoughts employ,
And happy, prosperous days.

[Image of page 220]

They near the shore, the anchor's cast,
They leap upon the strand,
Want, care, fear, danger, all are past,
HURRAH! for our new land!

The following were written for the projected "New Zealand Christian Year":--


(The Epistle).

When Roman pagans saw the gospel's light,
Ashamed they turned from all their former sin:
Shall Christian men forsake the path of right,
And, born in light, let darkness enter in?
They found no end but death, their bounded sight
Knew but earth's pleasures, with its hopes and fears,
Until the flood of blessed gospel light
Bore their enfranchised souls to heavenly spheres.
And we, the children of a favour'd land,
From birth to death the privilege is ours
Beneath the everlasting wings to stand,
And rest secure, what time the tempest low'rs;
Thither to flee whene'er temptation strong
Makes us to feel how weak and frail we are;
The "prince of this world" may not lead us wrong
While still we seek our strength and refuge there:
And yet how often do our wand'ring eyes
Turn from the one bright star of saving grace;
We stretch not forward to the heav'nly prize,
But, blindly loit'ring, fail to win the race,
Till, stray'd or lost, our wedding garment stain'd,
Broken the vow, no longer may we hold
The clue by which the haven should be gain'd;
Cast off and shut for ever from the fold!
Guard we with strenuous, ever-watchful care,
The purity and innocence of youth;
Of the first step in sin bid them beware,
And guide their feet in beauteous paths of truth.
Oh! saddest sight, when first a child begins

[Image of page 221]

To stain the white baptismal robe once given,
And mars its purity by wilful sins;
Oh, sight to make e'en angels weep in heaven!
Neglect not, then, the heavenly behest,
The little ones, whose angels we are told
By Him who took them in his hands and blest,
Do God the Father's face in heaven behold.
In this our distant isle, so wild and free,
Ill seeds spring fast, and bring forth fruits of vice
Oh! let us root out every weed we see,
And cultivate fair flowers for Paradise.


(The Collect.)

The land we left beyond the wave,
May we not pray to see again?
Was that sad parting look we gave
Indeed the last, and all in vain
The throbbing hope that soften'd pain?
Yes, we may pray; --Lord, open Thou
A fav'ring ear unto our prayer,
And, if it please Thee, grant us now
The bliss once more on earth to share
With those we love, our joy or care.
But if this aching, longing love,
This earthly chain of mortal ties,
A bar to holier thoughts should prove,
And be displeasing in Thine eyes,
Then pluck it forth, Thou God all-wise.
And grant us grace such hopes to frame,
Such things to ask as please Thee best;
That we and ours may love Thy name,
And, when these beating hearts shall rest
May meet again amid the blest.
There is a better land to seek
Than the land we left beyond the wave:
Beyond that snow-capp'd mountain's peak,
Beyond this island-home, we have
A better land, beyond the grave.

[Image of page 222]

Lord, we our wills to Thee resign,
All trials in Thy strength we brave;
We pray Thee but to make us Thine,
And the souls of those we love to save,
In the land we left beyond the wave.


(The Epistle.)

On every being, however low,
Or mean, or feeble, or despised,
Does God some precious gift bestow--
Some talent to be used and prized.
Not all the same, nor all to be
Alike by mortal eyes admired;
Divers the gifts, and oft we see
That one withheld we most desir'd.
Let me not discontented pine
For brilliant gifts to me denied;
Nor strive to vie with those who shine
Along life's path, in wisdom's pride;
Nor let me boast, with vain display,
Of gifts entrusted as a loan;
Vainglorious mortal! pause, and say,
What hast thou, thou can'st call thine own?
Oh, may the Spirit dispense to me
Those best of gifts, a humble mind,
A heart God's will in all to see,
And thoughts towards all around me kind.
Thus, in that great and awful day,
When we shall re-united stand
With those we left far, far away,
In homes, or graves, of our own land
Shall One, the self-same Spirit, take
Account of all the gifts He lent;
Then must we all confession make
Of talents lost and time misspent.

[Image of page 223]

May we, and those whose love we share
On earth, and hope to love in heaven,
Strive to improve with pious care
The talents that our God has given.


(The Collect.)

We pray Thee, Lord, to keep thy Church from harm;
Though founded on a rock, no human arm
Hath those foundations laid; yet still we need
Continual help, that we, thy Church, indeed,
May still remain pure, zealous, watchful, clean;
Still militant 'gainst evil powers unseen.
All outward foes assail our Church in vain,
If all within shall faithful still remain.
Let each one member his own frailty dread
And guard his heart, lest into error led
By Satan's wiles, corruption wider spread.
Alas! for Asia's Seven Churches, now
Their glory in the dust hath long lain low;
Yet they too, flourish'd once in glory's pride,
And deem'd themselves the pure elected Bride,
Ready to meet their Lord. Oh, virgins frail!
Their lamps extinguished, with a funeral wail
And cry of anguish, they the eternal door
Saw closed against them, and their Lord no more
They might behold; their palaces cast down
In mournful ruin, and with moss o'ergrown
The stately stones; the gorgeous temple dome
The robbers' haunt, and wild beasts' lair become.
May this our Church, in our adopted land,
The youngest daughter of a comely band
Sent forth by England's Mother-Church, to be
On heathen shores, a fruitful, spreading tree,
Take trembling warning from the judgments past,
And humbly walking, hold the true faith fast;
Until we join with that angelic throng,
Where saints made perfect chant the eternal song;
There shall no temple claim our labouring care--
God and the Lamb alone the temple are.

[Image of page 224]


(The Gospel.)

At Tabor's foot the city gate stood wide,
And many there for business, pleasure, pride,
Were hast'ning to and fro; and little heed
They paid to sounds of woe, or sights of need.
Forth came the widow with her mourning train,
Her heart nigh crush'd beneath its load of pain;
Her only son, her hope, her joy, her prize,
Is borne for ever from her weeping eyes.
What throng is this that meets them on their way?
Whose that majestic form, whom all obey?
What tones divine with pity's accents flow?
"Weep not," He says to her o'erwhelmed with woe!
Yet, heavenly Being, Thou didst weep for those
Who sorrowed once, ere their lost brother rose
Again to life, call'd by thy pow'r divine:
And yet again, those piteous eyes of thine
Flow'd o'er with grief for the doom'd city's fate,
Whoso children paid thy wondrous love with hate.
"Weep not!" Ah! who would check the mourner's tear?
'Tis He! "Stand still," who bear the funeral bier;
His hand is on it! In that look and tone
There is command that none may dare disown.
They stand! Again He speaks--"Young man, arise!"
Draw we the veil before the widow's eyes,
No mortal hand may paint that glad surprise.
And He who raised to life the widow's son,
Shall give us back, when this short life is done,
The lov'd and lost ones whom we weep for now,
To love them better still, where we shall bow
In adoration round the eternal throne
Of love unspeakable; and there alone
Dear voices we lament no more to hear
On earth, shall meet again th' enraptured ear;
The soul released, then pure and glorified,
And body, by affliction purged and tried,
Shall re-unite. And as on Tabor's height
Our Lord's disciples, in that glorious sight
Of his divinity, still knew their Lord;
Knew, too, the saintly forms who there ador'd

[Image of page 225]

In glory, the united God and man,
Who reigned in heaven ere the world began;
So shall we meet and know in realms of bliss,
The lov'd and lost ones whom we mourned in this.


(Epistle from the Revelation.)

Mysterious Book! What mortal hand may dare the veil to raise?
What mortal eyes upon the things of heaven may dare to gaze?
A low, deep voice the awful words of warning seems to sound,
"Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for this is holy ground!"
We may not with unhallow'd lips speak of the world unseen,
But hope that still for us may be the blessings that have been;
We may not seek to look upon the hidden things of heaven,
But humbly may receive the truths that to our view are given.
Round and about, above, below, legions of angels move,
And some with hatred track our steps, and some with holy love;
The armies of the evil one in constant warfare stand,
But Michael and his angels pure--a bright, seraphic band--
Severe with awful beauty clad, array'd in heavenly might,
Shall hurl the fiend of darkness down to depths of blackest night.
And may our Church, 3 that we this day unto St. Michael's name
Have given, with humble prayer to God that we therein may claim

[Image of page 226]

His sacred presence; and that He from heaven, His dwelling- place,
Will hear, and pardon, and bestow outpourings of His grace--
May this our church be shelter'd o'er by hov'ring angels' wings;
May guardian spirits camp around, charged by the King of kings,
To keep us safe from Satan's power, and with us still to dwell,
That in our hearts and homes their beams may every cloud dispel;
That God's pure worship may be here, in our adopted land,
Defended by St. Michael still, and his angelic band.



1   Written in a "sou'-wester."
2   A radical paper, called the "Hampshire Review," had been previously started among the steerage passengers.
3   St. Michael's Church, Christchurch, consecrated on the festival of St. Michael and All Angels, 1859.

Previous section | Next section