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The New Zealand Survey

A Dinner Hour Reverie

page break“New Zealand Survey”: Page 149.

A Dinner Hour Reverie.

written by the wayside after taking lunch.

Nature; Weather; ReligionThe sun shines brightly in the sky,
The air is calm without a breeze,
The waters in the bay are still,
Reflecting deeply hills and trees.

And there the ethe’rs hue is shewn,
With drapery thin of clouds so white,
As nature gladly would reflect
A Deity’s perfections bright;

As these are in his works pourtray’d,
(All worthy admiration’s praise,)
T’ arrest attention, and allure
Man’s wayward will to wisdom’s ways,

PerceptionOh! all is charming to behold;
What beauties round are now display’d
To cheerfnl minds; while those of gloom
See things, though bright, as deep in shade;

My struggling feelings oft t’ admire
And feast my soul on nature’s charms,
Would fainly burst the gloomy cloud
Of care—even trembling in alarms

From some excitement!—Nature spread
Before the eye’s most ample range,
Seems wooing one to taste those sweets
That would from cares the mind estrange.

Around me, as I’m thus engaged,
The insect tribes on sportive wing
Buzz forth their joys, from sorrows free
Such that oft human bosoms sting.

page 150“New Zealand Survey”: Page 150.

Philosophy; Morality; Joy; Nature; OppressionWhy thus should fretful thoughts annoy
A rational mind, may one enquire?
When all around, as ready, wait
Our hearts with pleasure to inspire.

’Tis worldly pride, that peace destroys,
And kindles there each baneful strife;
Envenoming the purest joys
That might attach to human life.

The wants of nature are but few,
And eas’ly to be satisfied;
While those created ever grow
More and more complex when allied

Unto vain glory!—Such would shake
O’er one the tyrants vengeful rod,
Enslaving best affectious still
That should be rendered to his God.

Society; Oppression; WorkAlas, how many are enthralled
By fashion’s chain that binds to earth
In grov’ling mood; contemning peace
Which nature in them might give birth.

Then daily toils would pleasure prove
More than a burden to be borne!—
Why hug such chains of slavery so
That should rejected be with scorn?

’Tis innate folly that prevails
O’er better judgment, and perverts
The best of blestings to a curse
As such were doom’d their due deserts.

How much of heavenly guidance we
Still stand in need of, would we own
Our frailty, and that wisdom seek
Proceeding still from God alone.

page 151“New Zealand Survey”: Page 151.

See in the works of nature fair
Much of his goodness can be seen,
Such that might make one worn with care
To meet sad crosses with a mien

Of calm composure!—Such that bids
Defiance to each foe of peace,
Could we but look around and so
Say to all rending sorrows, “cease!”

Sadness; Home; Religion; SufferingHow sad when one so far is left
As to despondency a prey,
To fall, as some have tempted been
Deranged, to cast themselves away!

Like him we lately from the waves
Drew lifeless—a sad wreck, o’ercome
By wayward fortunes; thus forlorn
Of hope, he fled his earthly home.

Alas, temptations such as this
Are apt to rise in minds of gloom,
Oh spare kind Heaven such victims frail;
’Middark’ning cares their minds illume!

How sweet, e’en in temptation’s hour,
To have thee as a refuge near,
A safe retreat—there feel secure,
Though threat’ning troubles round appear.

Yes, thither let me ever turn—
There seek sweet comfort to my soul!—
On Him dependence place who can
All wayward ills for good control.

Religion; Nature; Joy; Suffering; Music and SongTo have this faith within my heart,
And nature’s charms before mine eye,
May these still buoy my spirits up,
And cares convert to inward joy.

page 152“New Zealand Survey”: Page 152.

Still Heaven assist us to o’ercome
Each trial that besets us strong;
And grant us yet through grace divine,
O’er all to sing full triumph’s song!