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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 55

Zealandia or Paradise Regained

page break

Zealandia or Paradise Regained.

When first upon the formless void—
[unclear: Omipotence] began to play;
Sweet Nature fairly overjoy'd—
Could scarcely keep her eyes away,
[unclear: Scarcely] at her own work could she stay;
When all without a single pause,
To dictum of the great—First Cause—
Appear'd from Heaven the glorious light—
To give the mixed say and night,
When [unclear: continents] from a depths were pluck'd
And oceans to their beds were chuck'd,
When thick upon the spell-bound Earth—
Came miracles with sudden birth,
Sprang grass, and herbs, and shrubs, and trees
That blossom'd to a sunless lght,
And ripen'd in a frigid breeze;
And when in all due order came—
The Sun's life-giving—mellow flame,
And Mum's reflected, cooler light—
To part the day from circling night,
And stars an after-thought were sent—
To gem the solid firmament,
And all but work of four short days—
That would have taken her till now,
She fairly stagger'd in amaze,
And let her head in reverence bow.
Still though wonder-stricken—dazed
As on her all successive blazed,
Misgivings came that such great things—
Should come about by rapid springs,
Thick crowding to such fearful haste,
When time so long had ran to waste,
But when she saw the great pace kept—
As to His higher work He stepp'd,
Saw for the life more delicate—
The work proceed without abate;
Saw Thursday used in stocking seas,
And feathering the airy breeze;
Saw all faster and yet faster—
Run early life's tremendous flood,
Reproachful sue at distance stood—
To prophesy disaster;
But when she saw the Master shirk—
His labour at the crowning work,
Saw the primal man unmated—
Outstart from pinch of driving dust,
A lonely naked menial;
While the vilest thing created,
From out the primal nothing thrust,
All free with mates congenial,
page break In venture suitably array'd—
For beauty, comfort, warmth, or shade
When there she saw this man deribb'd,
From his little meanly cribbed—
So from himself the fitting mate—
To reconcile him to his state;
Did see old Eden form'd to East,
Open onto every beast,
Infested with the fatal fruit,
That deep-laid scheme to wicked suit;
Saw this poor man without a tool,
Ordain'd the garden now to rule,
Then roused to an indignant fit,
She wash'd her lovely hands of it,
With passive coldness then did wait,
For that she did prognosticate;
But when the man with new-made bride,
Together with the unborn child,
Wild cruel curse were turn'd outside—
To famish in the desert wild;
When thus her prophesy was proved,
Then to a sweet compassion moved,
She open'd wide her bounteous hand—
The cruel curse to countermand;
Then did she of seeming ice—
Dissolve in gracious tears abont,
Which falling thick on Paradise—
Did wash the crude abortion out.
But grief unwilling to protract.
So anxious for our good to act,
Determin'd she to try her skill.
To mend for us the frightful ill,
To profit by this cruel blunder.
And cap for man that sis days wonder
With something for a later day,
And not so easy washed away;
An Eden at a distance rear—
In which all virtue should cohere.
Away so far no curse may reach.
Or snake, or devil find to teach;
On some far distant fertile plain—
Superior Paradise regain.
So long in hope she cast about—
The great wide world of land throughout,
To find a spot untouch'd by curse,
But ever found she worse and worse;
Then to the East and West she flew,
To make a piece of land anew,
But nowhere did her labour find—
A place exactly to her mind,
For curse so potent that it spread—
Far out to sea, and onward sped—
To fiercely lead the win I, and tide,
Then struck does down in Ocean's bed—
To waste its fertile ooze beside.
page break At last to Southward she did steer—
To see before her bright, and clear—
A liquid expanse gently roll—
Right from Equator—to the Pole;
In this vast deep she plunged her [unclear: arm],
When lo ! from depths of central calm
To vastly underrated strength,
A continent stretch'd out at length;
But this too large for modest [unclear: plan],
A gentle pressure slowly ran.
Then just as in dissolving view,
A moment trembling in suspance.
And there upon delighted sens.—
Out burst erasing picture new;
An Island all resplendent,
Pick of the sunken continent.
Again the busy fingers plied.
Again did kindly purple guide,
And Island gently clove m two—
To form an easy [unclear: passage through]

Again the strong benignant touch,
And all without a hitch, or flaw,
Rare flora with a beauty such—
That eider Eden never saw;
The herb, and shrub, and tree renew'd,
Yet not a single thing taboed:
The Fauna coming in its turn,—
Showed that Nature well could learn,
By roading off her lesson once;
No savage beast created she—
To rend, and slay her progeny,
What strength was manifest in flesh—
Took course delightful, as twas fresh,
For this she laid in giant birds,—
Which roaming o'er the land in herds,
All intermingled love did bring,
With such unselfish nature found,
They left to birds of feebler wing—
The atmosphere's superior bound,
Themselves content to keep aground,
Nor would they hurt a living thing,
But gently for their food did taste—
The tops of trees or grassy shoot,
Which else might fall away to waste,
And no good purpose ever suit.
Then made she beauteous birds of song,
Which grateful sang the whole day long,
And yet do sing the note of praise—.
In memory of those halcyon days.
And now still mourning for the fate—
Of that to mispent strength create,
Of that which in the sea she threw,
One bird of these in olive hue,—
She did with sweetest note endue,
Such dulcet sounds were never heard,
As rose and, fell from this sweet bird;
page break This one the king-note of its song,—
Scarce did it seem to bird belong,
Or e'en to earth,—a bell-like note,
Which as a sadden'd memory smte,
Still carried blessed antidote,
Such as sweet sounds give to those—
A prey to grief's convulsive throes;
It seemed all melody was pent—
For note to grief most eloquent.
Still soothing to such kind extent,—
The heart fain yields to sad content.
This note with such a potent spell—
Doth Nature use to wound her knell—
From off the tombstone's flowery wreath
For continent engulph'd beneath;
But sometimes this same note she'd use—
That older sorrow to lament,
The Paradise which Eve did lose—
To wiles, and schemes omnipotent,
Such rare skill did Nature ply—
In fear these memories should die,
And aye she likes the most to cling—
To the groves wherein the bell-birds sing;
And now when tenderest cbords she'd try,
When she would stir our depths of soul,
These songsters do in numbers toll,
Her sorrow to revive—condole,
Her, and other listeners all—
With mournful happiness enthrall.
[unclear: Yet other life created she,]
[unclear: Or carried there, by wind or sea]
[unclear: The sportive dolphin, and the seal—]
[unclear: Now turn'd off from her easy wheel,]
[unclear: While from the polar she brought—]
With all commendable [unclear: forethough]!
Great whales to give the water-[unclear: spout];
To imitate the geyser's flow.
In case her own should cease to go,
For Nature is of such a would,
She cannot lose a pretty sight,
But straightway she will try enfold—
For solace other beauty tight.
Reptilian forms she then did make.
But taught by Edon's prime mistake,
Omitted she the cunning snake;
No animals of any sort,
Whether for love, for food, or sport,—
Except the twilight-loving bat,
And the lucious, black-brown rat;
This lest when hitherward we flock'd,
We'd find it grievously o'er-stocked,
The balance of creative strength—
Reserv'd for less injurious things,
Those delicate, those vocal wings.
Which played by smallest life between
In stillest hour of night—unseen,
page break Do loving seek our close retreat,
Then all the air to music beat.
None with a soul for mellow wound—
Can sleep while songsters such are round :
Whilst for the time when sounds are few
When even cats can scarcely mew.
When Phoebus stops as he should turn,
To give the earth an extra burn,
When upon the heaven's high steep
He pauses for his mid-day sleep,
And all the birds do follow suit—
To leave creation well-high muit,
For every such oppressive time,
Life all kindly formed to chime—
By a rasping,—strident,—joyous squeeze,—
Insectiferous melodies.
Not finisiah'd yet kind Nature's task,
She leaves us nothing we would ask,
So fittings of a modern time.
Improvements suited for the clims
Water hot, and cold laid on.
The rocky basin form'd
To utilize the overflow.
For baths, for sport, or sylven [unclear: atom]
Some did she charge with virtue such,
There needed but believing touch
To make one whole however had,
[unclear: Outrivalling Betheseda's proof]
[unclear: As angel there can't disappear.]
But ever troubling from [unclear: belong]
As upward, healing bubbles go.
But now in [unclear: kindness never too much]
[unclear: Fassyed she more finish'd touch]
[unclear: Adam speang from driving dust,]
[unclear: So preyed upon her that she must.]
A similar kind of thing attempt,
Hence from a drifting log did start—
With beard [unclear: unshav'd] and hair unkempt,
Old Adam's very counterpart.
But of a somewhat darker shade,
Like him in Nature's garb array'd,
Save where the flaxen leaf all frayed,
A flimsy shelter lightly made.
But not to one, the work confin'd,
Nor to a pair with sex defin'd,
Her power not limited to this,
Not she to duty thus remiss;
So from that sea-born log did rise—
Man of every age and size;
Yea to this superior feat—
A family,—a trine complete;
Thus graciously forestall'd was time,—
Lost fruitfulness demand a crime.
page break A people thus at once, and strong
All thickly o'er the Islands throng;
Big-footed, bronz'd, loud-voiced, and huge,
In peaceful blue, or warlike rouge,
Kind of modern Canaanites,
Design'd to put the land to rights,
To tread it smoothly down for us—
By the waddle slow, and ponderous.
More kindly things did Nature do,
And all so slow, so gradual too,
One might for centuries careful watch,
Still not the forward movement catch.

Thus rose Zealandia from the wave,—
Thus lavishly kind Nature gave,
A Nation's sea-girt home to make,
And rectify Divine mistake;
Islands dowered with every grace,—
For us her prime, her chosen race;
Then on her face a smile was drawn,
The first that unto it was born,—
Since life's deceitful, dreary dawn.
Thus did great Nature form, and plan—
A second Paradise for man:
Not the dull insipid thing—
Miltonian poets foolish sing—
In pompous strain—bewildering;
So small that scarcely was there room—
For poison-tree with fruit of doom,
With dainty beds, whence colours march—
In sinuous, long, and flaming line,
To mock the rainbow's airy arch,
And join with it in gracious sign—
That Earth shall not go back to brine;
All neatly set in box, or brick,
As wayward fashion minds to trick,
The fountain with its figure-head—
Of some devouring monster dread;
All bathed in rich, and rare perfume,
From root, or, leaf, or herb, or bloom;
With garden chairs, 'neath fruity shade,
To tempt us Nature's work evade;
Hers not this sweetly scented toy,
Whose leading function is to cloy,
To whited sepulchre akin,
Fair outside, but poison germ within;
A flimsy thing as if contriv'd—
For Eastern despot thickly wived,
Demented of all natural grace—
Every virtue of his race.—
To give effaminancy peace:
This not Nature's Paradise,
A thing too dear any price;
Seductive—dangerously nice;
But hers of such a startling make,
So varied that its landscapes take—
Of all the earth Ins got;
A glorious land, an ocean keen,—
page break Which from the mighty—restless deep,—
Ascendeth by the Alpine height—
To dwarf the sombre sprawling night—
In search of endless day.
Thus many sided, many zoned,
Diversly, and all richly toned,
In every attitude it twines
All grace invitingly combines.
So at the base where seeming losth—
There rises by an easy grownth—
From level of the seething main,—
The horizon distending plain—
All clothed in the grassy plume;
Or lofty forest's waving bloom;
With rivers of such placid flow,
Tis hard to tell which way they go
Of such a generous easy soil,
'Twould tempt e'en laziness to toil.
There midway on towards the top—
Where rocky strata just out-crop,
Where swelling grounds would seem to show
Congealment whilst the earthquakes throe,
The winding vista,—flowery glade—
Such wondrous play of light, and shade,
All various shaded, tinted green.
Doth make up such enticing scene,
So sweetly, and so passing fair,
That angels from their homes of light
Would play the naughty truant there—
Could they but see the wondrous sight,
Or guess the half—While on the height,
Crags, and peaks all weirdly [unclear: mass'd],
Water to the glacier pass'd.
High rock-bound lakes of stormy blue,
Huge mountains rifted fair in two—
By foaming river's hurried flow.
Or deep volcano's rending blow:
All give one huge granduer such —
That not e'en Raphael's daring touch —
Could limn,—nor every glorious hue —
Which painters mix—give half its due;
For here, where lasting snows do blanch;
The deafening roar of avalanch;
The volum'd hiss of stealing [unclear: foant];
The thunder of the burning mount;
The crash of hurricane's impact,
And trembling boom of cataract;
Here where all dreadful things are seen,
There's heralded with fitting sound,
And midst the high befitting seene—
Great Nature when she'd pose as Queen
From here doth she inspire the sage —
Prophetic of the distant age;
Inspire with such a fullness rare —
That never olden prophet bare.
page break For here, her high, her holy place,
Where pilgrims once a year repair—
To win her favouring grass;
Here doth she put such glory on,—
Man trembles while he looks upon,—
Hides his face, and stills his breath,
In year lest more should being him death
For here is half reveal'd that power —
Which dwarfs man's puny works to nought,
Which learnt him more in one short hour,
Than could elsewhere by years be taught.
Such sounds are heard, such sights are seen,
Such high [unclear: communion] during made,
When we with senses raised, and keen—
These solemn, fearful, heights invade.
Such then toe varied pluses shown—
Of that which bounteous Nature's grown,
And this the later, nobler, land—
That by the strong, the gracious hand,
She's reared from out the central seas,—
For us her happy protegees;
Fashion'd on progression's lines,—
For those to whom her heart inclines:
No Paradise to dress to keep,
Or softly lull to lazy sleep,
But rather is it one to make,
And in the glorious making fit—
Each happy maker unto it;
A gem though yet all in the rough,—
For those who've strength and skill enough
To shape encrusted brilliant tough;
A huge adventurous, rugged mass,
Bold grappling with the heavens in glee,
Or downward battling with the sea—
In never-ending victory.
A Paradise, but all rough-hewn,
Its wealth the rather careless strewn,
Than orderly—with care arranged,
In coin so large it must be changed,
Ere that its greatest good we find,
All that which Nature has design'd;
A Paradise placed in our care —
With all the world to freely shard:
Ample for a Nation's growth,
Without a fault, without a snare
In thoughtful love avoided both,
Inviting labour, and design,
Rather than the soft include;
Not for the puling babe a toy.
To mouth,—to pick,—invert,—destroy;
For naked Adams, bootless Ryes,
But those who armed with Nature's power
Right manfully tuck up their sleaves—
To spend on it the sweaty shower,
To conquer with confiding toil,
Then loving grasp the willing spoil.
page break Oh ! Nature thou art ever kind.
Slow but sure, thy works endure—
While others fail, and pass from mind;
Umwearied thou,—by time ne'er press'd,
All nerved by love, thou needst no rest,
Thy way though leisurely the best;
No base passion stirs thy breast,
No human weakness there we trace;
No angry frown distorts thy face

Nor petty jealousies disagree,
Unmov'd by these, considerate, kind,
With solemn, slow, majestic, tread,
Thou marchest on thy works to bind —
For us their glorious head;
Thy plans so good, so well conceived,
Thou never by thyself deceived,
At thy own work, [unclear: represent],—grieved;
Our worship not a forced gain.—
By threat,—by fear of endless pain,
But urged alone by gracious deed,
By worth,—by love,—by human need;
Thou hast no cruel curse to fling —
At those who will not homage bring,
Or to thy praise for ever sing:
No Hell hist thou wherein to keep —
The erring, straying, foolish sheep.
For vengance—cruel,—godless,—deep,—
Therein to curse with endless bream,
Where mercy pleads for endless death.
Thou sittest not from us afar—
A murky, pale, malignant star,
To blast all those who see it not,
Or out of mind the sight would blot;
But ever present thou to those—
Who with thy loving hand would close,
And in such varied phase, and power,
As suits occasion, place, and hour
While they who slight thee on thy throne,
Thou leavest to themselves alone,
In hope they may thy favours take—
The higher wisdom joyful make

Oh thou our never failing friend,
To thee our praises shall ascend—
Full voiced, and clear from every mouth,
For this the glory of the South;
And grant that here thy priceless boon —
May all our hearts with thee attune
That ne'er by evil deed, or word,
Shall we bring down thy flaming sword,
But midst our every joy, and pain,—
This Eden with our life retain;
And dying pass it surely on —
To those our hearts are fixed upon,
All beautified by loving hand,
To take 'mong Nations lofty stand,—
The glory of our native land.
page break And now to thee our grateful thanks—
For brightest Gem of [unclear: Southera] sea:
Where thick the prizes. — few the blanks—
For those who rightly deal by then,
And if beyond thee, none may reach,
All that a fable priests do teach;
That thing, an idol, they do preach,
No guiding God be at the pron,
Kind Nature—we will worship—Thou.