The New Zealand Survey
A gala day it was when loudly roar’d,
From British ordnance placed on London Tower,
Glad tidings to the world; that now was gain’d
On Waterloo a glorious victory;
Which gave to Europe’s kingdoms, troubled long,
And sore, with war oppressive, peace restored!
Government; LawA gala day it was! from every spire
Rang loud aclaim, as echoing the joy
Of grateful hearts to Him who has the power
T’ award all vict’ries; sealing thus the fate
Of the disturber of each nation’s weal,
While forcing him from turmoils to retire!
A gala day it was! each heart was glad;
The British Isles rejoiced from shore to shore;
Arts; Religion; Law; Peace; ProsperityAnd now St. James’ Park a scene display’d
Of dazzling beauty, seldom to be seen,
As art and nature had become allied
In cheerfulness, opposed to all that’s sad!
The sun seem’d brighter in the azure sky,
And seem’d the grass to show a lovelier green;
For all felt gratitude to Him, who holds
The balance just of Power, dispensing right
The awards of justice to the fallen foe,
Of peace, as prelude to prosperity!
The nation thus held holiday, agreed
Was old and young, the high, the low; yea, all,
Without exception, felt it duty right
To quit all toil and business of the day;
The rich and poor seem’d in good brotherhood,
While from restraint each joyful heart was freed!
Society; Friendship; JoyAmong the many promenading there
In groups, a cordial sympathy is felt;
For where joy reigns, companionship is sought
Such feeling to reciprocate, and join
In converse sweet, while drawing friendship’s tie
More close, each other’s confidence to share!
’Mong promenaders, there was one who wore
A soldier’s uniform; who in his hand,
Between him and his friend, a boy he led,
Some five years old, array’d in kilt attire;
For cleanly neatness, quite becoming those
Of higher grade, while thoughtful mein he bore!
They walked along; the father and his friend
Were most intent in conversation’s bless
Concerning battle fields, or heroes known;
Arts; JoyBesides expressing admiration oft,
Of all they saw of beauty that delights
The heart and fancy—happiness the end!
The boy, of tender years, at length descried
Upon the green sward, some short distance off
From the pedestrian’s path, some flowers which drew
His young attention, to admire and cull;
So breaking loose, unheeded, off he ran
To the attractive spot, as if decoy’d
By fancy’s powers, into a fatal snare!—
While there engaged, his father and his friend
Passed on unheedingly, save quite absorbed
In topics of the day; now see Perception; Naturethe boy
Much wrapt in admiration of the flowers
He gather’d, while considering them with care!
Such things before he scarce had ever seen,
As nurtured had he been ’mid barrack squares;
To him they were a novelty, so sweet,
page 114 He felt constrain’d t’ abide by nature’s charms,
Unconscious quite of being in danger’s way;
He such could not discern, though near I ween!
A band of horsemen, each on mettled steed,
Came coursing up abreast; while all engaged
Were on the absorbing topic of the day,
Each with his fellow, while their route direct
Was that where sat the boy; he, so engaged
Admiring flowers, to danger gave no heed!
But danger was at hand; and one’s quick eye
Him spied, while walking on among his peers;
He broke off conversation, ran and snatch’d
In time the boy from where a courser’s tramp
Had been his woe: he had been unperceived
By riders prancing on unconsciously!
The kind deliverer now enquires his name:
The boy declares it, and his father points
Some distance off; who, being hail’d, look’d round;
Then hast’ning back, amazed was he to find
The Regent Prince the saviour of his child!
While glow’d his heart with gratitude,—and shame
At being so neglectful! When explain’d,
How sweet the Prince’s condescension shewn;
As apt to cheer, he praised the blooming boy
While him restoring, stroking fond his cheek;
Then next the father’s welfare to enquire.—
Thus kindness was with royalty maintained!
Society; Morality; LoveHow well it is when nobleness of soul,
Combine with other nobleness of birth;
For then a worth is shewn, which other eyes
Can never look on but with pure delight;
Such worth engendering that love which ne’er
Can be displaced, nor held ’neath pride’s control
Averse to gratitude! Let such a deed
(Which through one’s life remember’d is with joy)
Be held as worthy imitation still
For gentlemanly kindness, giving cheer
With good deeds render’d others, so that they,
As thus, for other’s failings fain might plead.
Custom; Change; PastSo cease invective! pour not out your rage
Of venom’d malice on his memory now:
Because in less enlighten’d times his lot
Had been forsooth, while many virtues lived
Within his heart, which had been better known
Had he enjoyed th’ improvements of this age!