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Musings in Maoriland

In Memoriam. — Wilson Gray

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In Memoriam.
Wilson Gray.

Another heart has ceased its beating,
   Another noble soul has fled,
God has called it to His meeting,
  Bear him proudly to his bed.

Bear him proudly on your shoulders:
  'Tis a sacred corse ye bear,
'Tis untarnished clay that moulders,
  Honoured dust is coffined there.

Few there are like him who left us:
  Pure, unselfish, truthful, kind!
Why has death so soon bereft us
  Of that clear unsullied mind?

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Far beyond yon curtains, shrouding
  Distant Ocean's restless brim—
Where the quaint grim shadows crowding
  Float o'er wat'ry valleys dim—

Sits the Emerald Queen of Islands
  Chanting lonely sorrow's wail!
From her ancient vales and highlands
  Comes his story on the gale.

Comes his story,—Ah! we knew it,
  When his hand had work to do,
He was ready there to do it,
  Firm and fearless, tried and true.

From his Island Mother olden,
  Sailed away the upright man;
Fair young Austral', warm and golden,
  Called him to her people's van.

From the ranks the leader vanished,
  Fighting still the people's fight;
Still his name, unstained, unbanished,
  Lives a talisman of might.

page 315

Spirits of the old Convention—
  Ye who still retain your clay—
Doff your hats whene'er ye mention
  Such a name as Wilson Gray.

Island of the rugged forehead,
  There is gloom upon thy breast.
Justice! Death from thee has borrow'd
  One who wore thy speckless crest.

Nay, Death has not left thee lonely;
  Thou hast brighter circuits still,
Here, thou art a pilgrim only,
  For thy home is on the hill.

Ah 'tis little that we know here—
  From its cage escaped the dove,
From the Judgment Seat below here,
  To the Judgment Seat above.

Bear him on there's no receding;
  Death is but a mystic span
Through eternal arches leading
  To the higher spheres of Man.

page 316

Where Earth's brightest gems shall cluster
  Fired with everlasting youth,
Basking in celestial lustre
  O'er the firmament of truth.

Onward still Hope's beacon flashes
  In the palaces afar;
And the spark that fled these ashes
  There shall shine a golden star!

Bear him proudly on your shoulders—
  Good men's deeds are never dead!
'Tis a sacred corse that moulders—
  Bear him proudly to his bed.