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The New Zealand Survey

Canto Second

page 97“New Zealand Survey”: Page 97.

Canto Second.

Poetry; Imagination; ChangeOf Fame’s proud temple poets oft have sung
According as their minds have been impress’d
By fancy’s sunbeam tissues, which pourtray’d,
In all its loveliness, the holy Fane;
As if each would his part of prophecy
In hierogliphic lore pronounce, though that,
In its reality, he but conceived
A shrine of treasured virtues and good deeds.
So is not this Fame’s temple, where transformed
To something real, in sublimity,
Are various thoughts? as one a structure rears
Of gross materials, wherewithall to match
Some preconceived design; a building fair
Of mystic structure, active minds have plann’d
As emblematic of some charming scene,
Which gladly they’d enjoy; and where converse
With those of worth, whose kindred one would claim,
Or there admire their works! Religion; Technology; Future; Change; Civilisation; Society; JoySo here displayed
Are num’rous products of the human mind,
All proving immortality in man!
In such an active principle evolves
A struggling strife to rise to something great!
Thus stern endeavours to achieve a name
Cause many works to be produced, ordained
By providence to benefit the race
Of man, in his progression from a low
To higher state of being, upon earth.
Such works, results of lab’ring thoughts, while hands
page 98“New Zealand Survey”: Page 98. Mould stubborn things the idea to match—
Ev’n the objects pattern drawn upon the soul,
From which must be wrought out the full design!
Thus from the mind,—emblem of deity,—
Though finite, aiming yet at mighty deeds,
Proceeds the fiat, that must guide the means,
When giving forth its efforts in some shape
Of awkward rudeness first; yet such in time
Must have improvement’s polish, shewing much
Of man’s advancement with the age; and course
Of civ’lization and the arts of life:
As what in one age is conceived, descends
To other generations to receive
Some fresh addition or improvement new,
As way marks that bespeak man’s progress, in
The march of intellect, or how far advanced
From degradations (into which he fell)
Upon the road that leads to perfect bliss.

Religion; Work; SocietyThus geniuses, however much or small
Their toils may have appreciated been,
They’ve had their share alloted them to do:—
As certain implements have each their use
In hands of skillful artizans,—so they
Are means which Providence employs to bring
About some distant blessing for mankind:
And when such is obtained, what is it? but
A prelude of some others yet to come!
Imagination; Society; Religion; Change; Future; TechnologyWhatever scheme on which the mind’s engaged
In active labour to unfold its web
Of intricacies, while the attempt is made,
With failure often meeting, yet that scheme
page 99“New Zealand Survey”: Page 99. Before the mind’s eye pictured, faileth not,
As urged by a directing Providence,
To stamp determination on the soul
To conquer ev’ry difficulty met!
Yet ev’ry difficulty has its charm—
A spirit stirring influence—which prompts,
As one would blandly whisper—“Try again!”
Though first inventions have been duly prized
In th’ author’s estimation, and in that
Of others, at such novelties entranced,
Who with their usefulness felt greatly blest,
And thought they’d reach’d perfection; yet must rise
Some others in their kind—may not of quite
Original conception—yet acute
To see where vast improvements might be made
So as t’ extend th’ invention far beyond
The author’s first design: He happy felt
To serve a present need, nor further saw
What future might demand!—Why instance one?
Since many offer to support the creed!
For Technology; Change; Future; Work; Music and Songindustry’s progression will declare,
How the rude mattock primitively used
To till the ground, has moulded been to ploughs,
Thus bringing bestial labour to assist
In time of need! The sickle too must yield
To other strange contrivances to reap
The ripened grain, where much of toil is saved!
In means of war, the sling was reckoned once
A grand discovery to assist the arm
In hurling stones against a coming foe;
Next came the archer, and with his long bow
page 100“New Zealand Survey”: Page 100. Displaced the missle sling;—the which again
To fiery ammunition must give way!
And the first matchlock, formidable once,
Must to the Minie rifle yield its palm;
While the great battering ram must now retire
To let the booming ordnance do its work!
See the rude wain, or sled, how it has grown
To light spring chariots or the railway train!
The spinning wheel, was once esteem’d a grand
Contrivance o’er the distaff and the pirn;
But such, by Arkwright’s ingenuity,
And dauntless perseverance in his aim,
Must superseded be; while much improved
His spinning jenny, since, has been by those
Whose skill by practice has much aided been!
The simple loom, the ancient matron’s care,
In which she wove fine fabrics for attire,
Which now would reckon’d be of coursest kind;
That mode of toil how varied, and become
More complex as new fabrics will require—
And which machinery offers much to do,
As handicraft could not demands supply!
The oaten reed Arcadian shepherds play’d
Well pleased with its rude harmony of sounds,
(The subject too of much inventive thought)
That now is silent—drown’d by the full choir
Of various sweet toned instruments, of late
Invented, all by skill’d musicians prized;
From the shrill octave with its lofty strain
To the deep diapasan’s hoarsest bass.
And see the first steam-engine Watt produced
page 101“New Zealand Survey”: Page 101. For mere coal-heaving; was it not itself
A more completion of those rude attempts,
Made ere his day, to turn to some account
Shrewd observations on the force of steam?
The problem solved, how much improved upon,
And much transformed his work, as ’tis employed
In many other parts of human toil!
But why enum’rate more?—Let these suffice
To shew Change; Technology; Religion; Futureprogression’s nature, in the arts
Of life, so beneficial for mankind!—
Yea, all revealing to th’ mind
The ways of Providence,—how He pourtrays
On this, or other mind of chosen ones
Some problem to be solved, if not in full,
Yet partly, as their finitude can reach!—
Thus such inventions shewn, either for power
Concentrated, much weakness to assist;
Or such as would out-strip the lightning’s speed;
Bespeak great blessings, making due descent
In course of time, and calculated all
For lessening oppressions griefs and groans
And aiding to the happiness of man!

Besides, Nation; Past; Future; Custom; Religion; Peace; Technologyhow much the works of industry
Must have increased, and those, how much improved,
As one age on another has advanced;
So the barbarian here is skill displays
According as necessities would urge,
Though somewhat rude compared to what is shewn
By the sage artizan, yet much is seen
That might surpass th’ adept would means allow,
As proof that he’s a unit of our race!—
page 102“New Zealand Survey”: Page 102. In such, see him, a living type of what
Our earliest progenitors have been!
While in our skill we mostly have improved
On what they had projected in their day!

Here ev’ry nation that existence claims
Would fain make known th’ advancement each has made
In all those arts becoming social life;
And what that industry has most engaged
Its subjects as their bond of common weal,
Displaying what proficiency they’ve gained
In all their undertakings worthy praise!
While some who their deficiency must own
In handicraft—or some productive skill—
Would substitute such produce of their clime,
Whose rarity and richness might delight,
As something own’d, and worth the world’s esteem:
Much like some one of innate virtue void,
Who would of his ancestral greatness boast!—
Contemplating gigantic means of power,
And various things of great utility,—
But for which now, how mis’rable were man!—
Well pleased, one can’t but be induced t’ exclaim,
Society; Religion; Work; Love; NationWELL DONE! Ye benefactors of mankind;
Whatever be the countries of your birth,
You well deserve the thanks of ev’ry age!
For well ye have fulfilled your trust,—improved
That talent once alloted to your care
By Him who chose you as a means to shew
Mankind His mercy, when He looked upon
Their toils multifarious; and suggested how
Such might be eased; a proof of love divine,
page 103“New Zealand Survey”: Page 103. Though earthly, pointing to infinitude!

Technology; Arts; Religion; SadnessHow varied other works around display’d
Of ornament, whose elegance bespeak
Much cultivated taste of those who such
Devised, or patronised, as others would
Man’s sternness for utility; thus Art,
Like a sweet sister Grace, as handmaid to
Broad shoulder’d Industry of rougher mould,
Her trust fulfils, endeavoring to smooth
Th’ asperities still left our nature’s face;
And clothes that nakedness which oft appears
As the result of man’s primeval sin!—
While multiplying much of beauty left,
As worthy admiration, tending all
To cheer from melancholy’s painful glooms!
Thus all proclaim the greatness of those minds
While lab’ring, guided by the prompting muse,
In giving needful birth to noble deeds,
Enlarging happiness among mankind!

Empire; Science; Religion; FutureMay Britain ever glory at the call
Of Heav’n upon her, as an instrument
For spreading truth and science through the world!
Of sacred truths a blest repository
She proves—and whence proceed to ev’ry land
Such treasures rich; and an example meet
She sets surrounding nations; while t’ engage
In such like undertakings with good will
She shews that nought she loses! Well she may
Be styled a “Nation of Philanthrophists,”
As shewn through all gradations of her sons;
As prompt to raise the fallen, help the weak,
page 104“New Zealand Survey”: Page 104. And sympathise with fugitives in woe;
While th’ humble copper mite, from Sunday schools,
With coins of gold, from treasures of the great,
Unite in one grand purpose, with their prayers,—
“That God will bless each effort to advance
His kingdom on the earth, and bless mankind!”

Alas for such exceptions that prevail
’Mong many proud of being “British born!”
As tares among the rip’ning wheat that grows
To mar the beauties of abundant grain;—
Or like the blight amid an orchard full
Of fruit trees in luxuriant display
Of promising abundance; or disease
’Mongst a community who would presume
On general health;—such as to teach proud man
His frailty—all the emblem of this truth,
“On earth there’s no perfection—and no good,
Without that blessing which descends from Heaven!”

Future; ImaginationOh! may this means its best effects produce
Where Paxton’s genius of construction well
Has been developed to Britannia’s joy!—
Although, alas, ’tis destined like a dream
To disappear as it had never been:
Yet for the grand conception of the scheme
May future generations rise to bless
PRINCE ALBERT’S mem’ry, and his enterprise!
And may results upon the world yet crown
The bright achievements of Victoria’s reign!