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Musings in Maoriland


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On the 21st of February, 1879, a colliery explosion took place at the Kaitangata Mines, by which thirty lives were sacrificed.

The touch of God is on the chord which runs
  Through all humanity, from heart to heart;
The Hand Divine, that holds the stars and suns,
 Strikes on love's string, and inner voices start,
 Proclaiming we are each of each a part.

The Priest of Nature may expound this truth:
  Afflictions are but solemn lessons read
To mortals; Science still is in her youth—

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The living gain their knowledge through the dead;
All human suff'ring points the road ahead.

It may be so; anon we'll learn that text,
  But now the widows' and the orphans' eyes
Are following from this life to the next
  Loved spirits torn away from dearest ties,
  And God to us is speaking through their cries.

He calls on us to succour those in need;
  We're bound together in a common bond.
Faith's purest action is a noble deed;
  Hope's truest anchor is a helping hand;
  Love is the key that opes the doors beyond.

A few short days ago, and those who rest
  Held this poor lease of earth which now we hold;
The pulse of life beat strongly in each breast—
  Ah! 'tis the same old story often told,
  We know not when the spark may leave the mould.

Oh! brothers, there are weary hearts to-day,
  And cheerless homes, where sorrow sits in gloom;
And lonely weeping ones, who can but pray,
  "Thy will be done," whilst bowing to their doom,
  And longing for the meeting 'yond the tomb.

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Not ours to change the mystic second-birth,
  Not ours to bring the loved ones back again,
But ours to do our duty upon earth,
  By succouring the mourners who remain;
  To them we're linked in sympathetic chain.

To-day Humanity's resistless breath
  Sweeps through the credal barriers, and brings
Us all together to the Church of Death—
  The common fold of toilers and of kings;
  And Charity broods o'er with outstretched wings.

To-day the pure Christ-Spirit from above
  With warm vibration thrills through every soul;
To-day we owe a sacred debt to Love;
  To-day our Father claims a special toll
  At gates which lead to Hope's eternal goal.