A Bushranging in New Zealand Minstrelsy
- The wild sons of nature, though warlike in feature,
/ Shall smile thee a welcome, appearing serene;
Canto V in The New Zealand Survey
- Among the many fanciful traditions belonging to the Maories concerning the primeval growth of the forest,
- There is scarcely a tribe or nation on earth but has not a few superstitions peculiar to itself, some of which may be traceable to some cause or event in its past history: but those connected with the Maori race are in many respects so devoid of common attraction that they are not worthy of being enquired into as regards their origin, however much their foolishness may provoke a smile.
- It was truly a very remarkable coincidence when, as it is understood, the savans of the British parliament, in the year 1839, had been considering whether or not they should take possession of New Zealand, while about the same time a New Zealand land company had started into existence, and also had just sent a batch of emigrants as a preliminary of what were to follow. About the same time the Government of France had come to a conclusion to do what the British Government were not quite sure of doing; and so also had despatched a man-of-war ship with some emigrants, as a prelude of what were to follow. But before the French expedition had arrived, Governor Gipps, of New South Wales, had got apprized of the arrival of the New Zealand Land Company’s staff of officials, &c., and acting on behalf of his Sovereign, he sent Captain Hobson to take possession of the New Zealand islands in the Queen’s name, which mission he had only fulfilled in time to prevent the messengers of the French Government from establishing their claim and authority there. Had it been otherwise, instead of the Natives being dealt with according to the rules of common justice, by
Canto Fourth in The New Zealand Survey
- where slimy eels
/ Delight to burrow, as they there abound;
/ Where much ingenious enterprise is shewn
/ By natives in the capture of such prey!
- Blue Gums, and Stringy Barks,
/ The Oak, the Ash, the Hawthorn and the Larch,
/ Are in this country but exotics, brought
/ With many others, which one’s fancy culls
/ As a variety, far-fetched, and strange,
/ To be accounted “tasteful”—in advance
/ Of those content with homely native things!
Preface in The New Zealand Survey
- The humble emigrant, as well as him of larger means, who leaves the refinements of an old yet increasingly civilized mode of being, and departing for other scenes and trials of which he can have no just conception, though inspired with a hope of doing well, even such may well be regarded as “Knights exemplar” in respect to the work in which they engage, such as conquering not only the wildness of nature, but also in subduing the savageness of fellow beings run wild, while introducing civilization into their habits and their homes; thus paving the way for the expected approach of universal peace and brotherly affection.
Canto Fifth in The New Zealand Survey
- He found upon this island a wild race
/ “From all the world disjoined!” His visit then,
/ To them was like the earliest, faintest break
/ Of greyish dawn, upon the coming day;
/ And long before the sun, with upward rays,
/ The eastern sky paints in vermilion hue!
/ It told them (if such tidings they perceived)
/ There were elsewhere another race of men
/ Of more extensive knowledge;—that themselves
/ Were not the only people of the world;—
/ That they themselves, compared with what they saw
/ In all their wonted pride, degraded were!—
/ For nothing dreamed they of more cultured state,
/ Or civilization; (if to them such phrase
/ Intelligible were;) nor could conceive
/ Such state of mind, so as to feel debased
/ With that degraded state in which they lived,
/ When seeing something of a nobler kind;
/ No more than when they could their great canoes
/ Compare with that great ship the stranger own’d!
/ This visit must have given their stagnant thoughts
/ A quite unwonted stir! another theme
/ Of converse, of unfathomable depth,
/ When conjuring fresh conjectures oft,—
- But this is true,—
/ They’ve wander’d far from that great parting scene
/ On Shinar’s plain! Some providential hap
/ Must have some families brought toward these shores
/ As forced by tempests from their fishing grounds,
/ Unable to return; so they’ve become
/ Mere outcasts from society, as ’twere
/ To prove to a philosophising world
/ What man is when apart—left to himself
/ With nought but corrupt passions for a guide,
/ With reason overpower’d! Then far below
/ Civilisation’s standard will he sink
/ Till scarcely ’bove the level of a brute!—
/ Thus have they had such dire experience,
/ As from such stocks they multiplied, and grew,
/ By numerous generations, into tribes,
/ Forgetful of all morals, which mayhap
/ Their sires have held, although however small,
/ ’Mid ancient social circles in old homes!
- Yet nothwithstanding such degraded state,
/ They shew themselves to claim a kindred tie
/ To all of Adam’s race, ev’n by their works,
/ However rude, formed through necessity;
/ Yet some bespeaking fancy, also skill,
/ Ingenious in their kinds, with lack of means,
/ Which others would for similar purpose use:—
/ All speak a claim, as ardent to support
/ This their memorial of a brotherhood;
/ As much, as would, on Jordan’s banks, when reared
/ The testifying altar of the Jews!
- such a sight, of import omenous,
/ As that great bark to them had ne’er occurr’d
/ Before,—and was to ancient sires unknown!
- Though much of their traditions in their kind
/ May bear comparison to what of old
/ Would Ovid tell, (1)—how things in present form
/ Had their existence by transforming spells;
/ Yet the untutored natives, more debased,
/ Knew not how advantageously to turn
/ Such ev’n to good instruction, in the guise
/ Of fiction’s elegance, with morals chaste!
/ But such in uncouth state have been conceived
/ As ’mid pollution, so produced unclean,
/ And told, while such have passed as current coin
/ Through generations, much transformed and patched
/ With fresh additions of unseemliness
/ And horrid shapes; while, upon which the minds
/ Of infancy were fed, and puerile thoughts
/ Were cherished, till such in their nature’s wove!
/ Thus superstition’s canker on them grown
/ Has gnawed into their souls! Thus prestine truths
/ Are made extinct, while falsehood bears the sway;
/ Wild superstition as with reptile’s coil
/ Have in the bonds of mystery wound their tail!
- The nativestoo, are happy and at peace,
/ Where terror once had reigned! (5) With heart and hand
/ Appreciating civilization’s lore,
/ To their new friends they bid God-speed, and join
/ Improvement’s march—all zealous to pursue
/ Th’ advantages held out, “a worthy prize,”
/ The more contested for, the more esteemed!—
- But shall the time arrive when foul distrust
/ Shall take possession of the Native’s heart,
/ And there arouse cupidity and strife,
/ Forgetful of advantages enjoy’d
/ From friendly intercourse of settlers round;
/ That war must interrupt the course of peace,
/ And sorrows consequent on all to bring?
/ Peace is the gen’ral order of the day
/ With British hearts; and war their strangest work!
/ But when to war they must arise, it is
/ To bring good order from confusion’s mess;
/ Not to exterminate with ruthless ire,
/ Like that of savage breed, but to subdue
/ Th’ unruly, and such to repentance bring!
- Their instruments of warfare, or of chase,
/ On sea or land, when hunting for their food,
/ In absence of what commerce might supply;
/ Such, shews deep thought in the contrivance formed,
/ Or happy hit upon the plan pursued,
/ When urged by stern necessity, by those
/ Who may have been their sires, put to their shifts,
/ When like some wreck cast on these shores unknown,
/ With nothing but their hands, their helpless hands,
/ To gain a sustenance, though mean, in aught
/ The nature of their new abode might yield;
/ And so their offspring train, that they alike
/ In wildest hardihood themselves might fend!
- Ah poor degraded race! Thus exiled far
/ From ancient relatives and friendship’s joys,
/ So long, till true remembrance have been lost
/ Of such they may have had; from sires forlorn
/ They’ve sprung a num’rous progeny; and now,
/ How much through foul distrust and variance strange,
/ They have asunder parted, and become
/ To either aliens, reft to separate tribes,
/ With every tie of brotherhood annulled!
/ Of common comforts, such that cheer the poor
/ Of other lands, how much they’ve been devoid!
A Lay on Wanganui in The Philosophy of Love. [A Plea in Defence of Virtue and Truth!] A Poem in Six Cantos, with Other Poems
- To savage feuds, and deadly strife,
/ Though long thou hast a witness been;
/ Thou’rt waking to another life
/ Of usefulness, and joy, I ween!
- In times of yore ore man was cast
/ A wreck upon this southern isle,
/ Would forests grace these prairies vast;
/ And in their ever verdure smile:
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