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New Zealand Minstrelsy

Stanzas, Extemporaneously Written on a Stormy Night, Dalserf, November 4, 1833

page vii“New Zealand Minstrelsy”: Appendix, page vii.

Stanzas, Extemporaneously Written on a Stormy Night, Dalserf, November 4, 1833.

HomeLoud roars the wind; while round the chimney top,
The midnight spirits breathe with dol’rous groan;
And furies round the rattling windows yell,
As me to startle musing here alone.

Thus, in my cabin by the fireside set,
Where glimm’ring embers lend their little light,
I listen to the sound of tempests strong
Loud raging—vexing sore the ear of night.

WeatherThis is November’s desolating train!
Which strips the forest of its summer bloom,
While scenes, which once gave pleasure, waste are laid,
And all a cheerless aspect now assume.

The orchard grounds are thickly strew’d with leaves,
Which once with verdant foliage clad each bough;—
They teach a truth, important as ’tis true,
That man must from this stage of being go.

Now short, and lurid’s the withdrawing day,
As if the sun was wearied of its toil;
While cheerless night lengthens its sable shroud,
And winter storms roll in with rude turmoil.

Six hours have pass’d, since ’neath the western wave,
The sun has sunk as never more to rise;
Night reigns triumphant!—oft the wat’ry clouds
Have thickly overspread the scowling skies;

Then furiously, as heaven’s flood-gates wide
Were opened, prone in torrents poured the rain:
So, hear! amid the bawlings of the wind,
It rattles on each weather-beaten pane.

page viii“New Zealand Minstrelsy”: Appendix, page viii.

How furious every blast! as all their force
Collected strong were in each swelling gust;
Thus striving to o’erturn the peasant’s cot,
And level stately buildings with the dust.

Low bend the lofty trees ’neath weighty winds,
In dread collision lash’d, and wave on high
Their naked arms, as with redoubled rage
The stormy tempest bellows through the sky!

Hark! Clyde’s loud roar commingles with the storm’s,
While down its course the heavy billows roll;
And other brimful rills augment its weight,
As forth it rushes to’ard its destined goal.

FamilyThe family ’s all abed:—thus late, I’m like
The moping owl when blinking to the moon,
As o’er the firelight list’ning to the storm,
I musing pore now near nocturnal noon.

SocietyHas ev’ry homeless wand’rer shelter found,
’Neath hospitable roof, or humbler shed?
Or has there any from th’ unfriendly door,
Been spurn’d, who has not where to lay his head?

ReligionOh Heaven! who has nature in control,
Spare! spare! oh spare! and quell the angry storm;
Oh! pity now the poor belated wretch,
The haughty niggard scorns to house from harm.

MemoryIn nights as this, still retrospection calls
To mind, War; Weatherthe unhappy nights of storm endured,
In war campaigns, and on the raging main,
Which seem’d t’engulf the tossing bark unmoor’d.*

page ix“New Zealand Minstrelsy”: Appendix, page ix(sic).

Ocean; Weather; ReligionI feel for those, whose fates are to endure,
The midnight hazards of the stormy waves:
Oh Heaven! shield them with thy guardian pow’r,
Them ward from wrecks, and from untimely graves.

Religion; HomeLet Heav’n be praised! who me from such preserved,
And in His providence has kindly bless’d
Me with a home,—thus cabin’d from the storm,
Provided with a couch, on which to rest.