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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

page break“Pigeons’ Parliament”: Page 36.

Canto III.

By this, the moon had gained her height,
And reigned the peerless queen of night,
In all her radiant majesty,
Amid a clear unclouded sky;
And seem’d, as she an influence shed
O’er stars around, as if they’d dread,
’Gainst her their puny lights to bear,—
Or rather, wishing to confer
On her the greatest honour, they
Had stoop’d obesience to her sway.
She, looking from her ebon throne,
Improvements viewed, and smiled upon
The bushman’s clearing, and the change
Wrought on the wilderness, so strange,
For ages useless, now subdued,
Adorned with springing grain, which shew’d
Fair promises,—though stumps still stood
The ghosts of bygone ages rude,
Like tombstones, which would dead deplore,
So they, the forest now no more.

My cottage, buried in the shade,
Which the great spreading pine had made,
Through whose close crowded top, a ray,
Of moonshine scarce could find its way.
Dark as a dungeon where I stood,
Near to my door in wondering mood,
With anxious face turn’d upward, as
I fain unriddle would the cause
Of some more ominous eclipse,—
’Ere times of science did elapse;
Than what was made by pigeon’s bent,
On holding farther parliament.

Meanwhile, in private argument,
Each, with his neighbour, seem’d intent,
To find the speaker’s meaning out,
Endeavouring to resolve each doubt;
page 37“Pigeons’ Parliament”: Page 37. Turning the matter round and round,
And inside out, that might be found
Somewhat to alleviate their distress,
Or clear a seeming hopeless case:
As little politicians strive,
In dark futurity to dive,
To search for what, pigs scarce would nozzle,
To whom most rare the greatest puzzle,
So each much rack’d his little wit.
On some expedient blest to hit:—
This, wondered much if such a flock,
Could sum the courage of one cock,
And fly in face of persecutors,
Defensive, ’stead of standing neuters,
In the common right of pigeons,
Of enjoying the upper regions;—
That, wondered if to emigrate,
Would prove a salvo to their fate;
But, “Whither could we go?” thought some,
“Where sure to find a better home?”
While others, wondered if conditions,
Could be effected by petitions;
But most allowed ’twould raise more evil,
Like asking mercy from the devil.

Thus, each employ’d what little sense,
He had, like man in deep suspense,
Consulting, though on no conclusion
Had fix’d; but is in more confusion
Deep plunged, and knows not what to do!—
When Trumpeter, with loud carroo!
Demanded silence:—
Then arose,

One Fantail, who, first to compose,
Some feather’s, ruffled on his breast,
With bill began, until the rest,
Had settled down in peace,—like, what?—
“Good Sir,” adjusting his cravat,
To stir a latent courage up,
’Till audience is received, with hope,
page 38“Pigeons’ Parliament”: Page 38. That, what he is about t’ advance,
May prove some good; or may perchance,
Be well received. Fantail thus waited,
Due silence:—so was soon abated
The general converse which prevailed;
Himself of audience he availed,
Now duly given, but first addressed
Allegiance; then bow’d to the rest,
And thus began:———
“The other night,

Belabour’d with fatigue and fright,
From strange like thunders from below,
Which upward shoot, and work us woe
Unspeakable—besides the smoke
Pois’ning the air, enough to choke
A host at once, with sulph’rous stench—
Made hard escape; I sought to quench
In cooling stream my burning thirst,
Then, out of danger’s way to rest,
I sought to fold my weary wing,
On lofty pine. But oh! a sting
I ’gan to feel in beating breast,
Unfelt before, disturbed my rest;
And when I looked by the moonlight,
How I was like to faint with fright,
On seeing blood:—Alas! I sighed,
What sad mishap can thus betide
A harmless creature, such as I,
Now doom’d to suffer thus? Or why
Are peaceful pigeons to such ills,
Subjected so? Or he that kills
Us all day long, not visited
With stripes upon his guilty head,
For such his wickedness? Or are
We only made to fit for war,
Sharp shooters training to the life,
Of working death? Oh cruel strife!
That sets one creature ’gainst another,
Or urges man to kill his brother!
page 39“Pigeons’ Parliament”: Page 39. Whence art thou?—sprung ye from the hand
Of Him who made us, whose command
Was prosper and increase? Oh no!
Ye’ve more the nature of a foe,
Than of a friend!—a friend gives joy!
But thy delight is to destroy.
Alas! thou cause of every evil,
Hast transform’d man into a divel!
That we in peace no more can dwell;
And given him the tools of hell,
To do the divel’s work. Alas!
How can we fathom the sad cause,
Of all this mischief upon earth?—
Which else might be a place of mirth
And happiness: Ah! woe is me!
That e’er I should such evils see
On kindred, and great loss of friends
I’ll meet no more! It truly rends
My trembling heart to think of peace
Departed! When shall sorrows cease!”—

I wept, I sighed, my breast gave pain,
I look’d—I sighed, and wept again,
Deploring such misfortunes, till
O’erpowered by drowsy sleep. But still,
Was fancy actively awake,
Pourtraying things, which made me quake
With fearful apprehension, as
The last of days had come to pass.—
Methought I saw a sight most dire,
A creature live by spitting fire!
And most unsightly, was hung round
With pigeons dangling to the ground!—
I shrunk with horror at the sight
And powerless felt, nor could make flight:
Till by a night owl’s wildest scream,
I woke! felt glad it was a dream!
Right overhead, where I was sleeping,
Another seemed in merry keeping,
Ogling the moon he loud did croak,
His humorous ditty of “more pork.”
page 40“Pigeons’ Parliament”: Page 40. “What ails thee, Bob?” at length he cried,—
I look’d, and soon the pair espied
Upon a neighbouring branch, quite near,
And could their conversation hear:
For Bob, on being spoke to, came
To meet his friend,—Tom was his name,—
“I’m glad ’tis thee! dear Tom, I find”
Quoth Bob, “that I might ease my mind
By telling thee my fears, and grief,
For so, ’tis thus, man finds relief
From mental troubles fears and frights,
By fancy caused, or such strange sights,
As I this day have seen.”
“Bob dear,

What gives thee sorrow, let me hear,”
Said Tom. “Mayhap, when told, we’ll find
It like much else, scarce aught but wind.”—
“When I awoke this nocturn morn,”
Said Bob, “as our moon shew’d her horn
Above the hills of Waiwetu—
I, from my place, first took a view,
Looking all round that I might make
My mind up, which way I should take,
In following up our day’s pursuit,
While rested man and labouring brute.
Thus, from our backwoods solitude,
I sallied forth in humorous mood,
To view the slumb’ring world around,
And taste what pleasures might be found:
Some time I ranged, had much delight,
But feeling tired, I chanced to light
Upon the parson’s chimney top;—
Which place stands high, with ample scope
For all varieties of view,
From Mount Cook, to Mount Tararu,—
I praised the moon, whose lovely sheen
Proclaim’d her o’er the stars their Queen!
While curling waters, in the bay,
Shew’d lustre, as by God of Day:
page 41“Pigeons’ Parliament”: Page 41. Where rides the shipping, as asleep,
Like great levi’thans of the deep;
All still, save roused by the loud knell,
Of the night watches’ warning bell,
And smoother waters with due grace,
Would hold a mirror to her face:
While distant hills their heads would bow
And in grey mantles hide the brow,
Like serfs, from lords, for favours sueing,—
So seemed they thus obeisance doing.
Well pleased in short, with all I saw
Consistent with old nature’s law;
I wondered next, what might be found
Of pleasure in the city round;—
But quickly roused, I turned my head
Toward the mansions of the dead,
As from that quarter sounds proceeded,
Of puzzling import, and succeeded
By yells resembling cats at fight,
Which gained my curious fancy, quite,
To make observe:—so to be nigher
I made remove to the Church spire.
Then, ogling, gogling, with surprise,
Not knowing how to trust mine eyes,
I stretched, and blink’d, and look’d, and saw,
Two somethings clad in garbs of law,
(At least I did surmise as much
As gowns and wigs belong to such;)
Among the bushes that did wave
Their shadows o’er a new made grave!
They seemed to be in hot dispute,
As one, the other, would confute;
But what the subject was about,
I could not riddle, or make out;
Yet they endeavoured to make words,
Give wounds like daggers, or sharp swords,
One shook in tothers’ face his brief,
And called him scoundrel arrant thief!
While tother, such things to oppose,
Caught hard his fellow by the nose,
page 42“Pigeons’ Parliament”: Page 42. And gave it such a twist, as made
the contest take a deeper shade
Of furious wrath, and stormy rage,
Their passions stirring to engage
Like pugilists. They raised on high
Their winglike arms, as to defy
All powers resistive, and impose
More downward vengeance in the blows
They would inflict. While many a shout
They gave, and leap’d, and pranced about
In aweful wrath; and from each form
Fire flashed like that of thunder storm!
I knew not how to bear the sight,
But trembling stood and screamed outright!
And as I screamed, one sunk to earth;
The other swelling big with wrath
A hideous bulk,—then oh! how dire!
Exploded in a flash of fire!
Recovering strength, though full of dread,
My hasty flight I’ve hither sped;
And glad am I to find you here
Dear Tom! who can my spirits cheer.”
“More pork!” quoth Tom, “’Tis somewhat strange
How this age brings within the range
Of our observe, scenes quite unknown
Before to ancestors; whereon
Tradition renders no account,
And history too keeps silence on’t;
By which, we cannot but infer,
Those troubles new, to which compare
We nothing can, must owe their birth
To those, from tother side the earth;
Who boast of being well advised
In wisdom’s way, and civilised
Beyond the reach of our old friends!—
But there, perhaps, their wisdom ends,
And folly civilized begins;—
Even at that point where wisdom wins
Its approbation. But beyond
That point, the further they abscond
page 43“Pigeons’ Parliament”: Page 43. From truth and justice, by the abuse
Of civil laws, made of no use
By being sifted well for flaws,
Which foil the client with his cause;
They only set a bad example,
Inducing our old friends, to trample
Upon them, as of no import;
And sneer at such imbecile sort!
Their lawyers too, I’ve marked forsooth,
Look somewhat puzzled at the truth;
As train’d to argue falsehoods cause
And seek out breaches in the laws; (1)
By which, even murderers at large
Are set, freed from the hangman’s charge:
So from such beaten track, tis hard
Then to persuade; as to discard
The second nature on them grown
Would be, to throw off wig and gown,—
Like some reptiles, that change their skin—
Though not t’improve, but to begin
Some other process, with a maw
Rapacious ’gainst the tardy law;
As claims to try, in furry hot,
With cudgel, or by pistol shot!
Their clients trusting in the skill
They shew, as theives resetters will
Urged by ambitious low desire;—
No matter, if they but acquire
The ends pursued; though in so doin’
They build upon another’s ruin!
Closing their eyes against the view,
Of doing, what they’d be done unto!
Were this observed, t’would soon be seen
Law feuds how few, and far between.

But, since those strangers have come round
From tother side, much does abound
Of customs, erst to us, unknow,
As they’d turn nature upside down.
To them the darkness of the night,
Seem of as much use as the light
page 44“Pigeons’ Parliament”: Page 44. Of our bright moon;—or their great sun—
When honest deeds should most be done!
I’ve seen, ’tis true, the industrious poor,—
By day who labour to procure
A scanty pittance from the gains,
Lordlings wring from his strength and pains,
To give his household bread,—enjoy
Our moons bright beams at his employ,
Clearing his cumbered grounds, for crop;
Glad of this chance, inspired by hope,
By such means, soon he might with joy,
Surmount hard pinching poverty;
Pleased with his aim, I’ve oft him spoke (2)
Approving praise! and sung “more pork!”
But full as oft while roving wide,
And nature’s pleasures I enjoyed,
I’ve oft been grieved, as much I’ve mused,
How our moon’s light have been abused,
As aiding some vile pakehas,
In deeds subversive of the laws
Nature proclaimed, and still would bind
As sacred upon all mankind.

Our ancient friends surnamed the moaries
Paid more respect, than such white furies,
To our beloved day star bright,
That crowns their azure vaults of night;
When housed they lay, nor sought to roam,
Enjoying all the sweets of home!
Allowing undisputed right,
To us, the enjoyments of their night.
But, since those strangers from afar
Have hither come, some evil star
Has o’er us risen!—I presume
From what I’ve much observed, our doom
Is to be witness to strange sights,
They’ve introduced. Their darkest nights,
Have deeds, which dare not meet the face
Of our fair moon! They would disgrace
Yon distant stars, if clouds would not
For shame oft’ veil the guilty blot
page 45“Pigeons’ Parliament”: Page 45. Flung ’gainst the laws of heaven! alas!
Must we be witness? or must pass
Condemning sentence?”—
“Aye! (quoth Bob,

With a long sigh) they too, would rob
Us of our peaceful slumbers! Oft,
Have I been startled from the soft
Enjoyments of my couch, by sounds
Of awful import, mid a smoke
Of sulph’rous stench; by which, when woke
I scarce could breathe! and oft I’ve heard
Some victim fall a prey, which scared
Me, trembling much, from farther sleep,
Nor could I o’er such deeds but weep!”
“Such things, breed sadness Bob,”—quoth Tom,
“If vengeance find them not at home
And render chastisement, I fear
Our sorrows may increase, if near
Be not some aid unseen, t’o’ercome
Such ills, for future good, as some
May dare to hope! But I’ll relate
What I have heard,”—
“’Twas no sad fate,

I hope,’ quoth Bob, “unto our race?”—
“Oh, no!” quoth Tom, “’twas in the case
Of two old rats, which chanced to meet;
They seemed related, as did greet
The other each, in their own way,
While close I watched them as good prey,
One plump and large! the other thin,
Whose bones seemed peering through its skin?
One eye it had, blind as a stone!
One ear, and half its tail, were gone!
And from its hobbling gait, I beg
T’observe’twas minus of one leg.
Each asked the other, where they’d been,
And told all they had heard or seen.
So fond to hear the news, I spared
Awhile my appetite;—but cared
page 46“Pigeons’ Parliament”: Page 46. To be full ready for a pounce,
On plump, if not on both at once.
The thin one shew’d his hapless fate,
And what misfortunes he of late
Had met; besides much wayward strife
And hard escape, with scarce the life;
Pursued by hungry ravenous cats,
Which prowl and watch round bushmen’s huts,
With jealous care.—
“I see for why”

Said plump, “because, they could descry
But short allowance, for you both;
Therefore, ’tis reason they’d be loath
T’ allow their little share of stealth
To such as you:—Not so where wealth
Has its abode, for dogs and cats
Well fed, care little for us rats!
For where I’ve live’d, this sometime past,
I’ve ne’er been forced to fear, or fast,
But had good fare, while dog and cat
From bones, and greasy plates grew fat!
And I through cupboards ranged, and fed
Upon the best, nor cared for bread,
While ev’ry kind of dainty meat,
Which lords and ladies choose to eat,
In shape of puddings, pigeon pies,
Beef, mutton, pork, in stews and frys,
All kinds of cookery in paste,
Most fit to suit each gormond’s taste,
Lay at my pleasure!”—
“Ah! I wish,”

Said Lean, “I share could in one dish;
With ’very thought, I lick my lip,
As fain, as favour’d with a dip
In even one, to you the least!—
Aye, that would prove to me a feast!
Pray tell where such a place is found,
Or how such plenty does abound;
My stomach aches! so fain, to go,
To share some good!—pray let me know!

page 47“Pigeons’ Parliament”: Page 47.

“The place, (said Plump,) is yon hotel,
Sometimes called tavern, Inn as well,
Yet ’tis a haunt where rogues, and fools,
Oft meet against all wisdom’s rules;
To spend their earnings, and their time
Debauching, which you know, dont chime,
With common sense; while much they boast
Of such, though double share be lost
By fumes of firey drink!—nay, even then,
They’ll bounce themselves as best of men!
No matter, though their families wail,
And scarcities at home prevail;
Sots, will be sots, the landlord’s joy!
Though peace at home they should destroy.
From what I’ve shewn, you may decry,
The cause of thy sad poverty;
And also know, how I’m so fat,
And ne’er been vexed by dog or cat,
The landlord, too, who once was poor,
Whose bones then could not well endure,
The coldness of a south-east gale,
For want of flesh, which made him wail,
With racking rheums,—he’s now so plump,
That south-east winds, ne’er plague the rump
Which ached before. His bulk would shew
Him, like a well-rose batch of dough!
So bellied like a porter butt,
With full moon face, and gooselike strut,—
Strange contrast sure, with each that spends
Hard earnings on the grog he vends;
Though plain ’tis seen by sober thinkers
Yet all seem hid to thoughtless drinkers,
Who sweating at their toil all day,
For yesternight’s debauch to pay.
While poor wife, yoked to such a knave,
To all his passions must be slave;
And little offspring, through his fault,
Oft glad to fare on spuds and salt,
The fruit’s of mothers toil!—nay guess,
Must oft to bed go supperless!
page 48“Pigeons’ Parliament”: Page 48. Because a drunken father must,
Go serve the devil with his lust;
And aid t’ increase the landlord’s store,
Of all good cheer, as shewn before;
Won by his smiles while lasts the cash,
But when that’s done, accounted trash,
And even tumbled to the door,—
No matter, oft, how clouds might pour,
Their midnight torrents!”—
“Fools! (cried Lean,)

To rob themselves of good. I ween,
Such wickedness incite the cats,
To take revenge on us poor rats!—
But still, such is not always so
What you would urge, because I know
Some virtuous and hard working men
Have nothing got to lose!—nay when
Some worldly holiday appeared
No other extra bounties cheered
Their humble board than hardy fare,—
And even that, I’ve seen so spare
That would provoke compassion’s tear
In me though famished!—but I fear
Such may not be by you believed
Though o’er such scenes I’ve often grieved.
I’ve heard a mother curse the day
She left her father’s home,—the sway
Of sorrow and of want o’ercoming
Those tender feelings most becoming
A wife!—for why? her helpless young
Were suffering, and her heart was wrung
With agony to hear them cry
For bread she could not give!—and why?
Her husband’s earnings due, his share
By fraud withheld, wrought such despair,
So truly painful to endure;
And reason good why I’m so poor!—
However now I wish to share
The landlord’s plenty—”
“Hold! beware!”

page 49“Pigeons’ Parliament”: Page 49. Cried Plumpy, and so check’d Lean’s going;—
“I’ve something more to tell thee, shewing
How much I’ve been affrighted. Its
A wonder quite I’ve kept my wits,
To aid escape!—I’d starve! I vow,
’Ere I return;—I’ll tell thee how:—
Last night, when passing from the tap,—
A place well called the “devil’s trap,”—
Where every kind of vice is found,
Hatched either above or under ground,
Well baited with all sorts of grog,
To suit vile lust, so much in vogue.
A secret passage near the ceiling,
I had, with many a hole revealing,
Whate’er was worthy of observe,—
This passage then, did often serve
For safe retreat:—But, as I say,
From tap to parlour I my way
Made good, as there some jovial sport
I heard, from some called ‘better sort;’
And thro’ my peep hole, there I spied
Three men, who seem’d themselves beside;—
Sometimes they raged in hot dispute,
As each his point, against confute
Would hold, and swear by ev’ry oath,
As falsehood, they’d confirm for truth.
Then would they, with a loud ha, haw!
Enjoy their joke; and long would draw
Their faces, upward turned; then drink
To either’s prospects, with a wink,
Significant of something else,
Which shew’d their friendship hollow—false!
At last I found their chief delights,
Lay in horse racing and dog fights,
Oft chuckling o’er some clever trick,
Which none but they, as faced with brick,
Could e’er achieve; sometimes they’d change
Their converse, and would take a range,
O’er mercantile affairs, descanting
Upon their profits great; nay, vaunting
page 50“Pigeons’ Parliament”: Page 50. Oft over such a one beat down,
And with a dead take in, ‘done brown!’—
Then, how to wring from working man,
His half paid wages, and what plan,
To keep him servile to the ground,
Would be discuss’d, with thoughts profound
Upon self interests, though they end
Only in what they’ve got to spend,
That they, in company, might feel
At ease, in being thought genteel.
Still on whatever point they turned,
Like madmen, each, for mastery burn’d;
The more they raged, the more they laughed,
While bumpers flowing, oft were quaffed.
Jack praised his horse, as source of wealth,
And drunk a bumper to his health,
And Ned, his dog, would bait gainst San,
And vowed ’twould tear his like a man;
Though San the challenge would decline,
He praised his bullocks as divine;
And cursed his servant’s all for asses,
A pack of hounds, but what surpasses
All sound belief, to say no more,
He called his gentle wife——
Oh! fie, that word I will not name,
Lest it would make you blush for shame!—
’Twas thus they spouted, drank, and raged,
’Till something else their thoughts engaged.—
A great moth fluttering through the room,
Flew high and low, and did assume,
Fresh colours, ’tractive to the sight,
When hovering round the candle light,
Or brushing past their noses, till
Each man was roused to try his skill,
To catch the playful thing, to see
What sort of creature it might be;
Full many a grasp about was played,
As oft escape the creature made;
Nor did it in the least seem fear’d,
But round their heads it persever’d,
page 51“Pigeons’ Parliament”: Page 51. Their efforts mocking to admire,
Which roused determination’s ire:—
Ned’s arm made aweful sweep,—his luck
He missed and tumbled against Jack,
Which sent them rolling to the floor,
O’er rattling chairs, with wild uproar.
While San held up his fist and swore,
He ne’er saw such a thing before!
And as he swore, what he was able,
He gave a thump upon the table,
Which made the candlesticks and glasses,
Go, twirl a “jig,” like lads and lasses;
Like what I’ve seen at fancy ball
Or other joyous festival.
But quite unused to such a bout,
The candles tumbled and went out.
Thus, in an instant, all was dark;—
A light was called again;—but hark!
I heard a struggle and a groan;—
When light was brought, both San was gone,
And the great moth!—Now, at the sight
The landlord stared, as well he might,
With hands uplifted, till his tongue,
Recovered speech, then cried, ‘What’s wrong?’
The company scrambling up, as meet
Next marvelled at the empty seat,
And where is San! (5)—Alack a-day!
See how my whiskers have grown grey,
With such a fright!—So I declare,
My living I shall seek elsewhere!—

By this, dear Bob, I chanced to spy
A wild cat coming, very sly;
And as it crawled with noiseless feet,
It snuffed, as, measuring distance meet,
Wagging its tail, it couched to spring;—
I pounced—took Plump; Puss scratch’d my wing:—
Right glad I felt escape to make
With such a prize! Left Puss to take
Lean if it chose—if not, to fast—
While I enjoy’d my rich repast;
Which, finish’d, made me blythe with joke,
As o’er my luck I sang, “More po’k!”

page 52“Pigeons’ Parliament”: Page 52.

“Ah! Tom,” quoth Bob, “how happy thou
T’escape such scenes yourself. But now
I cannot but congratulate
Your near escape; for were your fate
’Neath Puss’s claws, your bones she’d crump,
Instead of you enjoying Plump.
But, sir, those scenes you have rehearsed,
Not by yourself endured—reversed
Must be the consequence, I find,
Upon your present joyous mind.
If such yourself you had beheld,
Instead of having heard it told,
I doubt not but some other mood
’Gainst pleasantry would be withstood;
The same as man, when in a huff,
Who no affection has for puff.
Yet sage your counsels I allow,
And your remarks, I must avow,
Are somewhat pat regarding man
That would offend ’gainst wisdom’s ban;—
But, don’t you think what I have seen
And you have heard might something mean
Of great import about to hap?—
From bodings strange I can’t escape;
But whether they’re for good or ill
I’m, as in stupor, puzzled still;
Not being fit to judge aright,
So labouring ’neath the effects of fright.”

“True, Bob,” quoth Tom; “each frightful scene
Is ominous. In them, I ween,
Much trouble I’ve discern’d, and wars
About to hap. When I the stars
This morn survey’d, methinks I could
Read desolations—fields of blood—
But could not make it out so clear
As now so plain it would appear
From what I’ve heard. Yet I foresaw
Some cause for joy in nature’s law—
The poor man rise above his toil,
And o’er his past privations smile.
page 53“Pigeons’ Parliament”: Page 53. In spite of lordlings, who, oppress
And fain would grind him to distress,
I saw him rise above such power,
That would afflict in evil hour;
I saw him glory in his toil,
A true possessor of the soil.
And such gave pleasure, Bob; nor could
I keep from being in merry mood.
Ogling the moon, more cause I saw
That such conclusions I might draw;
Not distant far the time of peace,
When all destructive wars shall cease;
Which truly kept me void of care.—
But, if you please, let us repair
To Dick, the wise astrologer,
To whom we can all things refer.”

“Most wisely said,” quoth Bob; “with you
I am agreed;” so off they flew.
Thus, noble Sire! I have declared
Th’ amount of all I overheard;
Nor could I their confab despise,
As owls have been reputed wise
In ev’ry age. Now, let us learn,
From what of import, they discern,
So as t’ improve our minds, though sound,
Too weak for matters so profound
As I’ve rehearsed:—from which we’re sure,
Some hardships yet we must endure,
Before we reach that time of peace,
So much desired, when wars shall cease.

[end of canto second.]