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New Zealand Minstrelsy

A Likeness

“New Zealand Minstrelsy”: Appendix, page v.

Society; Poetry; HonourA Likeness.

I’m like, ’mid great society’s fry,
An old book in a library,
That’s handed down from yore;
Whose boards are sadly tatter’d and torn,
Which lies there uncall’d for, neglected and lorn,
On which the damp mould gathers hoar.

Per’dventure some novice may stray,
And just pick it up by the way,
To see what’s in’t contain’d;
Aside, though unjudged, he’ll throw’t by,
With mein as disgusted, condemning he’ll cry,
“Its subject is tasteless and strain’d!”

Anew were it handsomely bound,
And gilt with elegance round,
PerceptionThe vagrant eye t’impede,
page vi“New Zealand Minstrelsy”: Appendix, page vi. Then hastily he’d snatch, and expose it to view,
To all recommend it as recently new,
And better was never indeed.

The book as it is must remain,
Till judges more candid will deign,
To scan with candour sound
Its many contents,—there the seemingly wise,
Instruction and wisdom may find to surprize,
Though yet unexplain’d, and profound.