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The Pigeons’ Parliament; a Poem of the Year 1845. In Four Cantos, With Notes. To which is added, Thoughts on the Wairarapa and other Stanzas

Canto III

“Pigeons’ Parliament”: Page 83.

Canto III.

(1, p. 43.)

And seek out breaches in the laws.

The speaker seems to refer to the practice of lawyers in our law courts, who seem more to pervert justice than to support it, according as they are paid, and the side of the question to which they are hired.

(2, p. 44.)

Pleased with his aim I’ve oft him spoke
Approving praise, and sung “more pork.”

It is certainly very praiseworthy in some of our early settlers of the humbler classes, in their endeavours to rise above the necessity of being obliged to earn a mere precarious subsistence from haughty lordlings, who would seem more to act the slave-driver than the laudable employer. In the evening, after the day’s work was done to another, and after having been refreshed by the evening repast, but more inspired by the hope of being soon his own master, would many an humble cotter take the advantage of the moon’s bright beams at his own work; so continuing often to a late hour, many of whom are now reaping the benefits of their hardy exertions. Although I have often done the same, I am sorry to add, as I believe, I am an exception.

page 84“Pigeons’ Parliament”: Page 84.
(3, p. 45.)

One plump and large, the other thin.

The description of the two rats, with their conversations, is, I apprehend, a fit allegorical representation of the customs and circumstances which generally prevailed.

(4, p. 51.)

And where is San?

To save the reader any anxiety about him, I may here say, that it has been reported that he was found next morning in bed, but so battered and bruised that he could not be seen for a week, though some affirm for a fortnight. However, he was so long absent from the heels of his workmen that they began to suspect he was dead, and in order to show their affection for him they made out amongst themselves the following Epitaph.

(To be engraved on the upper edge of the stone.)
to the memory of our beloved master,
(On this side, facing the east.)

Here lies Master San,
Mere shell of a man;
But whither his soul has gone
’Tis hard to tell;
Some say to ——,
But others believe he had none.

(On that side, facing the west.)

And here lies Pollyword,
Who never could afford
Justice to his working man.
Lest he might break the peace
Where contentions should cease,
We have buried him not beside San.