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Futurity and Epic: William Golder’s ‘The New Zealand Survey’ (1867) and the formation of British New Zealand

Futurity and Epic: William Golder’s ‘The New Zealand Survey’ (1867) and the formation of British New Zealand

It is a measure of the disjunction between location and knowledge in the experience of the early colonists that William Golder should have begun the composition of his epic poem of New Zealand, ‘The New Zealand Survey’, which is also an epic of science, “while assisting in the survey of the Maungaroa Swamp . . . after the toils of the day, as I lay in an old native shed, in the corner of the swamp, during the month of April, 1865.”1 The moment of composition is the moment of settlement, marked out in the physical, technical, imaginative and intellectual work of bringing nature ‘into line’ with conceptions of human purpose and their social embodiments. Crucial to this process is the pre-human history of nature as Golder observes it in his day-to-day dealings with the Hutt Valley, clearly informed by his awareness of contemporary developments in geology. To argue that Golder’s poetry is situated at the foundations of Pakeha culture is to affirm a powerful continuity between his thinking and the discourse of government and business at the beginning of the twenty-first century – with one key difference, that while the ultimate point of reference for this discourse now is the economy, for Golder it is Providence.

There is a remarkable consistency in Golder’s approach to conceptualising New Zealand. There are a number of poems, the first written on the Bengal Merchant shortly before the ship (one of the first four ships of the New Zealand Company’s colonisation effort) arrived in Port Nicholson from Glasgow in 1840, which articulate a powerful conceptual framework which places New Zealand in a scheme of history linking knowledge, human effort, and Divine intention to provide a cognitive map of the future.2 Poetry, for Golder, provides the medium through which the territory foreshadowed by this map can be described. At the same time it offers a material proof of the theory in its own qualitative achievement as the foundation for a new national literature; the future aesthetic achievement of the literature-to-be to exemplify, express and celebrate the civilised achievements of the nation-to-be. The gap can be readily described: Golder wrote ‘The New Zealand Survey’ from the “pristine wilderness” of the swamp, which defines the present moment of composition and experience of the actual state of New Zealand, and towards the prospect of “the future greatness and power of New Zealand as the second Great Britain of the world.”3 Furthermore, he envisages a nation oriented towards the Pacific, not Europe, a value-added, manufacturing rather than a primary producer economy, one which is focused on the territories of the “vast Pacific ocean”: “Standing on this point of view”, he writes, “see not only the naked wants of the Pacific Islanders, but also see the whole range of the western coast of America, far from other manufacturing districts, whose chief occupation is the raising of grain and agricultural pursuits, such Western American states would readily absorb a vast amount of manufactures of the textile class; and, on the other hand, Australia and all the islands lying between that and China, and even China itself, – all on each hand lying on the way direct, without the disadvantage of doubling stormy capes, all lying more natural to the future mart of New Zealand than to any other manufacturing country in the world. Thus the new Great Britain of the South may yet be able to share in the profits of commerce as inward flowing wealth like that of the old Great Britain of the north.”4

The poem is written in blank verse, unusual in the corpus of Golder’s published poetry, but consistent with his use of many different verse forms according to his topic and the occasion. ‘The Crystal Palace of 1851’, another poem with an epic theme, is also written in blank verse. In each case, the verse form supports a focus on knowledge, mind, the transformation of nature, and the future, the poetic imagination supporting and enabling scientifically informed reflection on the history and purpose of nature and society.

Golder is particularly aware of his medium in these poems, and incorporates analogies with other media of representation which precisely define his aim in writing. His repeated and traditional metaphor for the linguistic work of the poet is that of clothing ideas with words; but in ‘The New Zealand Survey’ he offers two other analogies, both of which are technological – printing and photography – which extend the other traditional metaphor of picturing into the era of technical process and scientific invention. There is nothing casual about these analogies. They go a long way towards explaining a notable quality of his epic voice, which is in its usual register marked by plainness of diction, the rational exposition of knowledge, and a discrete dignity of rhythm, but which can also invoke powerful moral sentiments as a proper response to the significance of what is described and imagined. The dominant effect which he achieves is one of direct engagement of the mind with a real world, that is, the effect of scientific representation. This does not mean that the writing is simply descriptive and impersonal; quite the contrary, it is infused by what one might call a rational excitement, even on occasion an exhilaration, at the worlds of the past and the future which science has made it possible to ‘see’ imaginatively because of the knowledge created by its enquiries into nature and the technologies which have been and will continue to be derived from that knowledge. The effect is what Golder would call philosophical, knowledge anchored by imagination in the real (in the way that the dinosaurs, for example, are anchored by their bones but require imagination to make them ‘live’) but incorporating the social and moral dimensions of human consciousness as integral parts of that real. Also, as a mark of the poem’s acting as a vehicle of universal knowledge, Golder writes in English, not in Scots, which he reserves for poetry focussed on local or communal situations and social relationships.

The New Zealand Survey’: An epic of science

The New Zealand Survey’ is a poem in five cantos, each of which marks a stage in the development of New Zealand as a landmass. The poem as a whole might also mark a stage in the application of scientific knowledge to the description and understanding of New Zealand, since it was published during the decade of the 1860s which, as Park notes, “was one of intense geological activity in New Zealand. The rivalry of the provinces communicated itself to the State geologists. Expedition followed expedition in rapid succession.”5 The first four cantos position the poet and reader as “contemplating the scene/As it before me lies” (11), but not passively; this is an informed contemplation, in which knowledge, imagination, and feeling are all engaged. The first canto establishes the role of poets as “Nature’s interpreters” (1), the “ancient wildness” (8) and “savage grandeur” of the “prestine (sic) state” of Nature as it is encountered in the present moment of writing in the mountain range and valleys of the Tararuas (4), its “native splendour unadorned by man” (2), and the related perspectives of the past and the future to which it will be the task of the poem to give imaginative substance:

Who may look back on unrecorded time,
And feel unawed at the momentous view;
When nothing but what is sublimely great
Unfolds itself in every phase and form?–
. . . . From such we dare
Bring forth to light, what long has lain concealed
In darkness – deeds now buried in the past,
As deep as those in far futurity,
The subject only of prophetic lore!–
But of the past, the Muse may dare unfold,
Such deeds, traced in the foot-prints of events,
Which have transpired, and long since past away.(1)

This canto also anticipates the following two in its record and evocation of the way in which Nature can present itself at one moment in its aspect of “a prospect charming to behold” (4) and at another its overwhelming, catastrophic power in a storm which brings a deluge flooding the valley and destroying much of the colonist’s effort. The narrative development of the first canto both imitates and directs “the roving eye” (3), first to the distant hilltops and then down into the forested declivities from which the Erratonga River draws its water. It would appear that Golder adopted the Erratonga River as a defining element in his conception of his locale, not just because of its actual impact on his life as a farmer, but because the pastoral tradition linked nation-building poetry and the poet with a river – Spenser and the Thames, for example, or Hogg and the Ettrick. Inserted into this directed progression from distant to near and the story of the river’s flooding is an anticipation of what is to come in the poem and in New Zealand, and which draws upon the same poetic process which governs the enquiry into the origins of ‘pristine’ New Zealand:

. . .like a courier, on the wings of time,
Th’imagination’s borne, and carried far
Into the past in vision, there to see
As by the starlight, things in darkness hid: (3)

What the poet sees is Nature’s powers, in this instance water power, being put into “active service” so that New Zealand would come to contribute to “the march of civilization, and improvements vast/ Affecting much the southern world at large ...” (5–6). The description of the storm which follows creates the poem’s narrative of discovery as it is made literally possible as well as figured by the effect of the flood which, through erosion, exposes to view and speculation by “drawing back the curtains of the past” what has been long buried – “all bespeaking change!” (11).

A conception of progress achieved by catastrophic or revolutionary change as well as “laborious enterprize” (5) is a foundational and constant principle in Golder’s thought about nature, society and the relations between them as they are exemplified by colonisation. The next three cantos go on to explore “the past in vision”, not a mystical vision but the imaginative seeing – “with sense of the sublime” (12) – of the real past of New Zealand through the knowledge and discoveries of geological science.6 The material signs of “change/ And revolutions buried in the past . . . prompt th’enquiring mind t’interrogate/ Appearances round”, seeing beneath or beyond the superficial beauties of nature (12). Golder affirms that what he sees before him, “the surface of this modern isle”, did not come into being at God’s command at the beginning of the world; instead, “o’er those summits roll’d the ample waves, Of boundless ocean” (13), a view of New Zealand which is amplified throughout the canto in its description of the ocean world as empty of every “terrestrial thing”, nature characterised by “constant ruthless war” (16) and unending migration guided by instinct (18), the scene including both “Things of unsightly shape” and the “becoming grace” of the albatross (17). In the third canto New Zealand rises above the ocean as a result of a cataclysmic earthquake, the natural means by which, “in the nature of his bounteous grace/ [Providence] called these islands forth, as to prepare/ New scenes of active life, and stud this field/ Of emptiness with other scenes of bliss,/ In fruitful lands, as might outvie the north/ With all its bulk of continental shores!” (23). The scene of “wild confusion”, the expression of “an unwonted energy” and “explosive force” reducing order to chaos in the process of effecting transformation, is closely reminiscent of John Martin’s depictions of Biblical scenes of apocalyptic change, and of Hell in his illustrations for Paradise Lost which were published in 1825.

Golder returns us briefly to his present at the beginning of Canto 4, to “The Erratonga, now, that sweetly winds/ Down the long vale” and which “can tell the time has been/ It had a shorter course to traverse, ere/ It reached its goal, or lost itself amid/ The weltering brine!” (33). This canto narrates the progress of New Zealand from the “newly raised isle’s uncouth nakedness” (39) to its “adornment . . . with vegetable life” (39, 43), a process which evidences “Nature’s vast productiveness” (39) through “the lapse/ Of untold ages” (41). In a digression Golder affirms the role of science in the interpretation of “Nature’s archives”; to the truly scientific mind, “all those mystic prints unfold a tale/ Of greatest import, while illustrating/ Creative power impressed on Nature’s laws!” (41–42).

In Canto 5 Golder applies the theory of progress which the poem affirms to be verified by the scientific exploration of nature to the future of New Zealand. The principle and fact of change in nature is relocated and becomes a principle and fact of human society in itself and in its relations to nature. Among the Maori, Golder imagines that the effect of the arrival of Cook in New Zealand was to

[Excite] speculations strange, the which
May be compared to the first earthquake’s shock,
That raised this land from ocean’s depths, in that
Such gave the mind fresh energy, and formed
An era new, the basis of great change,
To be effected in some future day! (52)

The arrival, following Cook, of the British settlers (“whose glory is/ Advancement in the civil arts of life” (57)) is presented by Golder as ending the state of exile and separation from a “more cultured state,/ Or civilization” (51) which had been the lot of Maori, a “solitary race of men . . . A race of savages without a date” (53) “cut off from all knowledge of the world,/ And social arts of peace!” (57). Living close to the state of nature, “far below/ Civilisation’s standard”, they nonetheless “show themselves to claim a kindred tie/ To all of Adam’s race” through the “deep thought” which is evidenced in their ingenious methods, “In absence of what commerce might supply”, of dealing with “stern necessity” (55–56). He envisages them “’mid the revolution of events,/ . . . With heart and hand,/ Appreciating civilization’s lore,/ To their new friends they bid God-speed, and join/ Improvement’s march” (62–63).

Just as the mountains of New Zealand were, under the sea, “but mere embryos, all unseen/ As closed within a womb” (15), so the future state of New Zealand is, at the time of the writing of the poem, “but as embryo, -- imperfect yet,/ And will be, through a long progressive stage,/ Until that time appointed has arrived!” (65). Golder does not envisage, however, another cataclysmic change. Although he begins Canto 5 by noting that revolutions can bring about sudden change, for example,

. . . in politics, when discontent,
Through insurrection, long in secret hatched,
Bursts forth in civil war, o’erturning all
Authority and customs, working new
Effects upon the aspect of affairs!

he emphasises the other option:

Oft revolution comes by slow degrees,
. . . oft imperceptible
To many, who pretend to note events (49–50).

This expectation is consistent with his view of how progress is ordinarily achieved, by “well-aimed energy” (63), “the work of a progressive toil” in which “ev’ry humble effort . . . bears its proportion to/ The future history of the country’s weal!” (64–65). At the end of the poem he directly addresses “Ye pioneers! Who thus have ventured on/ A life of hardihood, and ample toil” to encourage them to persist in adversity because, as founders of a nation, “Yours is the task of reformations great,/ Although such may be hard to be perceived” (66). He affirms that

Now we see the work of bliss begun . . .
The ultimate design of providence
In peopling earth, subduing desert wilds,
Is now in progress; . . . so future things
Indicative of great events to come
In the still further future, are results
Of small beginnings buried in the past! (62, 64)

Popular enlightenment and the prospects of futurity

It is apparent that Golder had built his own life, through self-education moving from rural and artisan labour to the profession of teaching, in the context of the four stage theory of history and the development of civilisation which had been developed during the Scottish Enlightenment, and what has been described as a distinctive Scottish contribution to social development in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the conception of the ‘democratic intellect’ and the expansion of opportunities for self- and collective education by working class people through the libraries and lectures of the Mechanics’ Institutes.7

The evidence of Golder’s reading from his publications demonstrates an exclusive interest in other Scottish writers, especially poets, of his own social position. The one striking exception is John Milton; Golder was very fully acquainted with Paradise Lost, and draws upon the vitality and grandeur of Milton’s conception of the creation and of human dominion over it. The concluding moment of Paradise Lost, which shows Adam and Eve leaving Eden, which intermingles profound loss with hope and new opportunity (“The world was all before them”), marks the beginning of every emigrant journey.8 Golder’s whole corpus could be said to complete the story of the fall into the new world as a testing of knowledge acquired by a representative but socially undistinguished man before the disruptive transition into an utterly new environment took place, and especially a testing of self-understanding in the context of the marital relationship.9

I believe that it is another Scottish writer, Thomas Dick of Methven (1774–1857), who is particularly important for the way in which Golder accomplishes his own version of this profoundly significant adjustment to the status of scientific knowledge in the nineteenth century. Like the vast majority of past writers who have engaged purposefully with complex issues of culture and society in their time and place, Dick has, it seems, slipped below the horizon of twentieth century scholarship, having a small niche reserved still in histories of education, and most specifically worker education because he is credited with establishing the concept of what became the Mechanics’ Institutes. He was, however, an enormously popular writer, even more in the United States than in Great Britain, throughout the nineteenth century. In the two-volume edition of his complete works published in the United States in 1854 it is noted that “The works of Dr Dick are so well known and appreciated, (being such as should be in the possession of every family and made the daily study of its members, old and young, that the attempt to praise them would be like gilding fine gold.”10

The principal features of Thomas Dick’s thought, and the social and historical context in which he lived and wrote, have been discussed most recently in two articles by J.V. Smith on the importance of the ‘popular enlightenment’ in early nineteenth-century Scotland.11 Smith notes that, “in Laurance James Saunder’s seminal work Scottish Democracy 1815–1840 . . . [Dick] figures as an exemplar of ‘popular enlightenment’, the term Saunders coined to describe that widespread, loosely-organized campaign for the dissemination of scientific knowledge blended with evangelical Christianity which grew apace in the small towns and settled rural parishes of Lowland Scotland during the early decades of the nineteenth century.”12 Not just because William Golder lived in this part of Scotland at this time, I think it is clear that he brought to New Zealand a mind fully formed with the nexus of ideas and convictions characteristic of this educational and social movement. A Baconian metaphor used by Henry Duncan of Ruthwell seems to have a literal aptness for William Golder: Duncan writes that

[W]hatever may be the difficulties and embarrassments of a period which is without parallel in the history of past ages – however hazardous it may be to steer the vessel of human society though an untried ocean, where there is no beacon to warn or landmark to guide, it is a voyage the risks of which we must resolve manfully and cheerfully to sustain . . . We have now passed the point which no other people who ever navigated the sea of time were able to reach; and we are fast approaching the shores of those new regions in which the universal diffusion of knowledge shall prove to be the surest and most powerful instrument for the protection of society.13

Golder shares with such writers, and most fully, Thomas Dick, the position that “science, religion, morality and politics were inextricably mixed”, a life-long commitment to “the felicities of familial harmony . . . and well-regulated family life”, the critique of scepticism, and the conviction that “intellectual reform, moral reform and progress in civility were inextricably interwoven: mentality, morals and manners were to be simultaneously transformed by the same educational process.” Most notably in Smith’s account of the writers advocating social improvement through the diffusion of knowledge there is a very strong parallel between their approach to popular culture and Golder’s approach to Maori: “the enlighteners were . . . adamant that the existing culture of the people was thoroughly anachronistic in an age of rapid scientific and commercial progress. A scientific education, wrote Dick, would eradicate those ‘hallucinations of the human intellect’ which prevailed among the lower classes.” Smith sees this movement of thought and social action as deeply implicated in, even if not simply the vehicle for, the development of “a mentality more in harmony with the requirements of the emerging industrial world”, one which required the transformation of “working-class common sense” into “a ‘scientised’ common sense, echoing in less precise forms the thought patterns of scientific rationality.”14

Smith summarises the social and cultural implications of the popular enlightenment movement in a way which usefully contextualises Golder’s representation of the situation of Maori: “The rhetoric associated with the secular science of the mechanics’ institutes and related publications set before working class audiences and readers the vision of a future dominated by the triumphant onward march of science, technology, and capitalist industry. . . . Popular culture was in other words seen to be crucially deficient in relation to the demands of the machine age, while at the individual level the implication was that a new consciousness required to be forged.”15 The fact that such arguments transfer directly from Scotland to New Zealand is in one respect simply consistent with the four-stage theory of human evolution developed in the Scottish Enlightenment; in another respect, though, it also demonstrates, as Golder does in ‘The New Zealand Survey’, the powerful motivation of those animated by these convictions to assist through education (and especially adult education) the establishment of modes of cultural and personal development which would permit people encountering the forces of social and economic change to adapt to and benefit from those changes, without society coming apart in the process.

In The Christian Philosopher, Thomas Dick places emigration in this large framework of providential design. He proposes that, “If, in the present deranged state of the social and political world, it be found difficult in any particular country to find sustenance for its inhabitants, emigration is the obvious and natural remedy; and the rapid emigrations which are now taking place to the Cape of Good Hope, Australia, New Zealand, Van Dieman’s Land, and America, are doubtless a part of these arrangements of providence by which the Creator will accomplish his designs, in peopling the desolate wastes or our globe, and promoting the progress of knowledge and of the true religion among the scattered tribes of mankind.”16 Golder is in a better position than Dick, in fact, to verify that theory, finding himself in a land which, as the poem at length displays, provides real experience of the origins of human society in a state of wild nature, an experience which was otherwise in Scotland recollected in the past of the Highlands and the poetry of Ossian.17 Smith demonstrates that Dick opposed the secularistic basis of the education offered through the mechanics’ institutes by seeking to place science within the frame of natural theology; Golder likewise saw in scientific, technological, commercial, and moral progress powerful evidence of providential design. Both writers share a powerful conviction that intellectual advance, which drives everything else, is the fundamental sign of the opening of the future to the present, the opening of a space for the continued development of humanity as a whole towards its providentially designed future which will be filled as a result of human activity undertaken to realise that future. Golder observes near the conclusion to his poem18 that the laborious work of clearing the wilderness is

the first step
Of man’s advancement to a higher sphere:
While even here his rudimental task
Begins, -- but who can tell where such may end!

Such an open, progressive conception of the future may refer only to terrestrial time and place, but “advancement to a higher sphere” has a startling scope if Golder is to be read as meaning what Thomas Dick would mean by such a phrase. In The Philosophy of a Future State Dick widens the range of his consideration to the whole universe in the new order following the ending of the millennium:

Of this vast universe, how small a portion has yet been unvailed to our view! . . . [of] the various dispensations of the Almighty towards the diversified orders of intelligences which people his vast empire -- we remain in almost profound ignorance, and must continue in this ignorance, as long as we are chained down to this obscure corner of creation. -- There will, therefore, be ample scope in the future world for further researches into the subject, and for enlarging our knowledge of the glorious scenes which are at present far removed beyond the limits of natural vision, and the sphere of human investigation.19


The New Zealand Survey’ serves a central, not peripheral role, in the process of social and psychological adjustment, cultural conservation, and maintaining focus and purpose which was intrinsic to emigration and settlement.20 It provides a scientific context of explanation for the utter disjunction between the present physical environment and the model society of the future, it locates each human as an agent of Providence in the working out of a design for the world which is not original to any human, but to which each contributes in his or her own way. The purpose is fundamentally moral in character, exemplary of the millennial framework within which history is to be completed according to the divine plan. Regarding oneself as an agent of the plan is both motivating and humbling; it is to the human community of the future to which Golder looks for proper acknowledgment of the work of the early settlers. Memorialising that work, while at the same time placing it in its widest historical perspective, is one of Golder’s most consistent reasons for writing. His view of human nature is not so positive, and his belief in the achievements of civilisation is not so unequivocal, that he fails to recognise that many of the descendants of the early settlers will think only of the advantages they have obtained from the work of the first settlers, and not of the debt they owe to all those people who, invisible otherwise to human memory if not to Providence, laboured without being publicly prominent to clear land and provide for their families and, in that process, contributed to the larger project of building the new nation.

1 The New Zealand Survey; A Poem in Five Cantoes. With Notes Illustrative of New Zealand Progress and Future Prospects. Also The Crystal Palace of 1851; A Poem in Two cantoes. With other Poems and Lyrics, (Wellington, 1867), Preface [hereafter NZS]. Giselle Byrnes, in Boundary Markers. Land Surveying and the Colonisation of New Zealand (Wellington: Bridget Williams Books, 2001), describes “Land surveyors [as] engaged in advancing the colonial project on the ground, at the frontier of theory and practice. They colonised the land though language, literally inscribing it with new meanings and new ways of seeing” (pp. 124–5). She does not include Golder’s poem in her discussion.

4 Ibid, pp. 68–69.

5 J. Park, The Geology of New Zealand. An Introduction to the Historical, Structural and Economic Geology (Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin; Melbourne and London: Whitcombe and Tombs Ltd., 1910), p. 2.

6 Golder’s thinking about geology is consistent with the general account given by Thomas Dick in the sections on Geography and Geology in The Christian Philosopher or, the connection of Science and Philosophy with Religion, in The Complete Works of Thomas Dick, LLD (Cincinnati: Applegate & Co., 1854), Vol 2, pp. 56–78. His position is well summarised by John Wyatt, Wordsworth and the Geologists (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), p. 207: “The reason why The Excursion was such an important text for the geologists was that, unlike their doubting successors after 1850, they held a genuine, optimistic religious belief and an orthodox acceptance of doctrines which the deistic philosophers fifty years before and the agnostic or atheistic thinkers fifty years later, found burdensome and either rejected or revised.” It is tempting to think of him as one of those settlers praised by Ferdinand von Hochstetter, New Zealand. Its Physical, Geography, Geology and Natural History, trans. Edward Sauter (Stuttgart: J. G. Cotta, 1867), p. 50: “The well-educated class of colonists, for which New Zealand is noted, were fully aware of the importance of explorations to be made by scientific men in behalf of physical geography and geology, and that scientific knowledge aids in the extension and improvement of the industrial arts.” In Did Golder hear Walter Mantell lecture on geology at the Mechanics’ Institute in Wellington in 1842? See Sydney Spokes, Gideon Algernon Mantell LL.D., F. R. C. S., F. R. S., surgeon and geologist, (London: Bale & Danielsson, 1927), p. 149. He included in The New Zealand Survey a poem commemorating William Swainson, which is addressed to “Ye sons of science” and praises him as “devoted [to] scientific pursuits”; “The page of Nature with revealed Truth,/ To a relationship he well could bring,/ As from one Author both at first did spring.”

7 George Elder Davie, The Democratic Intellect. Scotland and her Universities in the Nineteenth Century (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1961).

8 See my paper, ‘Versions of the Sublime: Illustrating Paradise Lost’, Turnbull Library Record, 29 (1996), pp. 25–46. For a very pertinent study of Milton’s role in the formation of another emigrant nation, see Keith W. F. Stavely, ‘The World All Before Them: Milton and the Rising Glory of America’, Studies in Eighteenth Century Culture, 20 (1990), pp. 147–164.

9 See the title poem in Golder’s last published volume, The Philosophy of Love (Wellington, 1871).

10 Complete Works, publisher‘s note.

11 J.V. Smith, ‘Reason, revelation and reform’, History of Education 12, no.4 (1983), 255–70, and ‘Manners, Morals and Mentalities: Reflections on the Popular Enlightenment of Early Nineteenth-Century Scotland’, in Scottish Culture and Scottish Education, 1800–1900, edited by Walter M. Humes and Hamish M. Paterson (Edinburgh: John Donald Publishers Ltd.,).

12 The term ‘popular enlightenment’ is used by W. Leask, The Claims Of Mind: A Lecture respectfully dedicated to the members of the Gravesend and Milton Mechanics’ Institution, (London, 1844), p. 18.

13 Revd Henry Duncan, The Young South Country Weaver (Edinburgh, second edition, 1821), p. 60, quoted in Smith, ibid., 258.

14 Smith, pp. 265, 32, 39, 45, 44, 42.

15 Ibid., pp. 41–42.

16 Complete Works, Vol 2, p. 66.

17 See Katie Trumpener, Bardic Nationalism. The Romantic Novel and the British Empire (Princeton University Press: Princeton, NJ, 1997). In his first publication, Golder included a versification of an episode from Ossian; but his writing otherwise does not aim to imitate this mode of poetic composition. The choice of episode is symptomatic, though; it is a narrative of the loss of love in war; this narrative is repeated a number of times in his ballad poems, with war being replaced by emigration.

18 ‘The New Zealand Survey’, p. 65.

19 Complete Works, Vol 1, p. 55.

20 For a less sympathetic reading of the social functions of poetry like Golder’s, see James Belich, Making New Zealanders. A History of the New Zealanders From Polynesian Settlement to the End of the Nineteenth Century, (Auckland: Penguin Books (NZ) Ltd, 1966), pp. 301, 310–311.