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The jubilee book of Canterbury rhymes online

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cling.

That wide expanse of verdant turf, those pleasant bosky
shades,

Whose whispering boughs hear tender vows to timid love-
sick maids ;

Where stalwart youngsters wield the bat ; where o'er their
ashy round.

In all but utter naked grace Ollivier's athletes bound ;

Where Armstrong, foe to lawless love, with mighty toil
and pain.

Is alv/ays planting trees by scores, and — cuts them down
again :

Where Harman of the iron will rules like a southern Czar,

Save where the fishes own the sway of Frankish and of Farr.



103



OCCASIONAL VEESE

Ah ! Hagley Park, as oft at eve, on Avon's limpid tide,
By "Worthy's classic lawns the laughter-laden wherries glide,
What soul so base as not to feel the magic of the scene,
And vow to keep thee free for aye, as thou hast ever been I

To this good town (I tell the tale as it was told to me)
Two strangers came, in days gone by, from o'er the rolling

sea ;
The first, a youthful Briton, brought from Albion's foggy

shore
That cautious brain, that prudent mind, which always

looked for " more " :
The second, grey, but lightsome yet, nursed 'neath the sun

of France,
Still let no ardent Avarmth impel to losing of a chance.

They came, those noble beings, from the hot Australian sands.
Bearing hither priceless treasures, all the wealth of other

lands.
Wishing for the people's profit, all these wonders to display,
AVishing too, perhaps, some plunder for themselves to bear

away.
'Tis sad to tell what conflicts stern befell this noble pair.
How Howland tried to drive them back, how Roberts

grudged his Square.
In vain, the wave of progress rose and drowned the feeble few,
And in the Park, 'neath Lambert's care, the fairy Palace

grew.

In sooth it was a glorious pile, a too, too utter thing,
Where all the Graces, all the Arts, their beauties seemed
to birng.

104



OCCASIONAL VERSE

Four cloud-capped towers, majestic, were at each far corner

placed,
The centre bore a lightsome arch, as if by angels traced :
And iron lent it rigid strength, and timber straight and trim,
And every wall was firmly braced "with mighty sheets of

scrim ;
Hurrah ! cried all the gazing crowd, what mortals can

compare
With the stalwart might of Twopeny, the splendour of

Joubert !

It boots not now to tell the tale, how, on an autumn day,
The city rose in festal guise, and all was grand and gay.
As the bright steel flashed, and the cymbals clashed, and

the sullen cannon roared,
And the bells clanged out, and all the rout to the fairy

Palace poured ;
How all the hardy artisans paced the city through and

through.
With forty men in night-shirts, and the butchers all in blue ;
Nor must we tell how all the world in thousands thronged

to fill
Those wondrous halls, and pour apace their shillings in the

till.

The autumn days went swiftly by, and fate, whom all obey,

Brought nearer still and nearer still the mournful closing day.

'Twas hard indeed to muse, dry-eyed, upon that hastening

time

When those two men, so great and good, must seek another

clime.
'Twas sad to feel that soon no man would find a single tr'ace.

Save rags and rul)l)ish, dirt and straw, of all that glorious

place :



OCCASIONAL VERSE

And Joubert sighed to think how soon, when he was far

away,
In the Park the girls would flirt again, the little children

play.
His noble heart was touched with grief — he registered a

vow —
And called to his assistance then his crony Rudenklau.
He said, " Attend, my little friend, I have a little plan,
1 want to get my money back for my building if I can.
They have no souls, these Englishmen, their cold and

narrow pride
Can only see themselves and shuts'out all the world beside.
We came (myself and Twopeny) with a great and varied

store.
We showed these petty bumpkins what they never saw

before :
We showed them plates from Worcester, pots and jugs

from far Japan,
Little Venuses from Italy, and Leda with her swan.
They've had the tight-rope gratis, entertainments small

and big.
They've had the armless lady and the educated pig :
For them the Austrian Band has strummed the same tunes

every day ;
They've had Professor Bickerton and Carmini Morley's play;
And after all these wonders they v/on't even make a show
Of asking for our Palace as a keep-sake ere we go !
Now, on your chain of office, is it not hard, mon cher ?
Sapristi ! if I knew the way, 'twould almost make me swear ! "

" Mein frent," quoth little Rudenklau, half weeping as he

spoke,
" I do not know if what you say is earnest or in joke :

106



OCCASIONAL VERSE

But you are right, for every way the case is hard, 'tis true;
And in my solid German soul I sympathize mit you.
We must forgive these English — they have not got der geist,
They wont be driven, like us you know, but they may be

enticed !
With them 'tis best to dangle some pretty glittering lure.
And there's one or two would help, I know, if profit we

could ensure.
Let Walton rouse the monied hive and whisper dividends.
Let Brown log-roll in Parliament, and work his little ends.
And I will speak when all your guests are primed with

good champagne.
And when the people hear their Mayor, they will not dare

complain."



The great day came, the Hall was filled, it was a sight to see
Around those loaded tables such a glorious company !
There Joubert, playful, innocent, in Wilson's tweeds arrayed,
Formed joyous contrast with his mate, so sombre, black,

and staid ;
There beamed, as if he seldom saw so many tempting things.
The visage of our Speaker, sprung from Ireland's mythic

kings :
There clustered all those wise, good men, who in their

country's cause,
And for their country's pay, consent to give their country

laws :
And Walton's foxy glance was there, and the hungry face

of Brown ;
And on them all, from the canvas wall, the " Sirens " fair

looked down.



107



OCCASIONAL VERSE

The feast is done : the joyous guests the sparkling goblets

drain •
The iron roof with din of loyal toasts resounds again :
Up stands Joubert — his bright eyes glare — he scents the

coming prey,
In plaintive tones he tells the tale and points his friends

the way.
He tells how all his noble work has cost him far too dear,
And Twopeny looks shyly down and Walton drops a tear.
Then every guest with solemn mien sipped a little more

champagne.
As Rudenklau in turn took up the melancholy strain.
" And shall it then be said of us in future times," he cried,
"That with a glimpse of fairy realms our hearts were

satisfied 1
Shall three short months suffice for us of these transcendant

halls.
Where every night brought new delight, from dolls to

Fancy Balls ?
What will remain if this grand pile should vanish into air.
To recall the form of Twopeny, the grace of Jules Joubert 1
No, Gott bewahre ! citizens, we have not sunk so low.
We'll keep them as mementos of our good friends when

they go.

" Some very honest gentlemen (their names withheld as yet)
A little lease of a little piece of Hagley Park shall get ;
They shall buy this splendid l)uilding, and in this eternal

Hall
They shall gaily fill their pockets and give pleasure to us all.'
He ceased, but from th' astonished guests came back no

answering cheer.
No sound of warm approval rose to greet his anxious ear.

io8



OCCASIONAL VERSE

There was scarce one in all that room who did not feel afraid
As every word revealed how well that subtle plot was laid :
Joubert looked grave and Twopeny still at his plate gazed

down,
And Brown looked hard at Walton, and Walton winked at

Brown.

But when, next morn, the people heard how spoke that

daring man,
At once through all that shuddering town a thrill of

horroi' ran ;
At once from all sides rose the cry of clamorous dissent.
Till frightened Joubert vowed that nought but fun and

joke was meant.
Nor, mid the din of protest, were our two great mentors

mute,
The Tory print upheld the Park, the Liberal followed suit.
So may it ever be, so may the people's wrath frusti-ate
Their plans who piecemeal wo^^ld devour the people's fair

estate :
And when the next base schemer on the Park shall make

a raid,
May he be tarred and feathered, and may I be there to aid

William Miles Maskell. Christchurch ''Press,'' 1882.



109



OCCASIONAL VERSE



Across the Bar.

On the death of Tennyson.

STAR-RISE and moonlit peace ;
The last " clear call " has come,
And silver fingers on the pale brow's fleece
Beckon the Master home.

" No moaning of the bar," — but down the tide.
Her worn sails filling free,
The stately spirit-bark, in fearless pride,
Stands out to sea.

Star-set and silver sleep ;

The night-wind freshlier blows.
As thro' the pathless silence of the deep

The great ship goes ;

" No sadness of farewell,"— but from the skies,
Like music faint and far,
One gathering shout of triumph swells and dies,
Beyond the morning star.

"The Bohemian." Christchurch ''Press," 1892.



I fO



OCCASIONAL VERSE



To Phyllida.

"Poeta nascittir non fit—
I'm blest if I can write a bit.



WERE the poet's art empiric,
I would write my love a lyric :
Rhyme her beauty, time-defying,
With my passion, deep, undying ;
Praise her voice in music's measure,
" Sweet and low " — a woman's treasure !
Saucy lips and sparkling eyes.
Fragrant kisses lovers prize.
Of her grace in rondeaus write,
Ballads on her taste indite ;
Laud her step in dactyls tripping,
Rhyme-stuck, call her waltzing " ripping " ;
Praise her gowns in endless sonnets,
Glorify in verse her bonnets !
Sing — but then, I'm not a poet —
" Silly ! " laughs she " don't I know it ! "
Whereat I, in terms more terse.
Feel like writing— in blank verse !

"The Bohemian." Christchurch "■' Press.



1 1 1



OCCASIONAL VERSE



The Groom's Lament.

(After Kipling.)

OH, the Farmer 'as a lot of things to bear ;
There's the Sparrers and the Rabbits makes it 'ot,
There's the blight upon 'is apple and 'is pear ;
But a nastier thing than all of 'em's the Bot.
Oh, the Bot, Bot, Bot,

We 'oped the rain 'ad killed 'im, but it's not ;
Tho' 'is loss 'd be our gain,
'/s mottar's very plain.
And it's " cut an' come again "
With the Bot.



Yes, the Sparrer 'e's a terrer on the wheat,

(Tho' there's certain parties state they think he's not),
But the Sparrer, bless yer, 'e ain't in the street,
Not for ravage — with the horgies o' the Bot.
Oh, the Bot, Bot, Bot,

'Es the Johnny that knows 'ow to make it 'ot.
When 'e's out upon 'is biz,
As 'e generally is,
'E keeps things on the fizz.
Does the Bot !



112



OCCASIONAL VERSE

There's the Blackbird, e's our connisoor on fruit,

If it's " extry special " 'e'U be on the spot,
But what's 'is 'armless little bit o' loot,
To the hawful devastations o' the Bot.
Oh, the Bot, Bot, Bot,
AVhen it comes to bein' nasty 'e's the Pot,
When 'e poises on 'is wing
To insinuate 'is sting.
Do yer know a nastier thing
Than the Bot ?

There's the Beetles and the Grubs, and there's the Rust,

And the Codlin Moth's a-comin' for 'is tot.
But we've got Creation's Champion on the bust.
And we've got him in the pusson o' the Bot.
Oh, the Bot, Bot, Bot,
It's any odds on Hm agin' the lot.
When you 'ear 'm in the air,
You can go away and swear,
For you can't touch ^hii with prayer —
Not the Bot.

You can't touch Hm with reason nor with rhyme.

Drugs an' drenches 'e regards as simple rot,
You can kill yer 'orse for certain every time.
But you can't make no impression on the Bot.
Oh, the Bot, Bot, Bot ;

'E's worse 'n l)irds and rabliits, rust and rot ;
'E's a paltry imitation,
Sneakin', dirty brown tarnation.
Damned disgrace to all creation,
Is the Bot.

The Bohemian. Christchurch ■' Prcus.

113 I



OCCASIONAL VERSE



At Governor's Bay.

ACROSS the hills we went that day,
Across the hills— Oh, golden time !—
The sea, the sky made one sweet rhyme,
And nothing could our hearts affray.

We watched the mists that wreathed soft
The hills with mystic robes of white,
Then slowly swelled to forms of might —

The armed guards of vale and croft.

And gentle wind blew up the pass.

With scent of bracken, veitch and whin,
And lavish largesse of their kin

From broom's gold leafage shot with grass.

The blue bay slept in holy peace.
Nor saw how clear it mirrored there
The cliffs and islands floating near.

Awaiting the sweet day's decease.

The apple trees had leapt to life,

And robed in fairy sheen they stood
In many a tiny garden rood ;

The whole wide world with joy was rife.

That one white day I saw with you

Those beauteous things beyond the hills.
And heard low tinklings of the rills—

That day was good. But such are few !

Dolce A. Cabot.

114



OCCASIONAL VERSE



Sonnet to Robert Brownnig.

THEY played, I know not what, I only know
That straight I wander o'er a meadow, starred
With asphodel and lily-cups gold-barred ;
And round my head the perfumed wind-breaths blow
In gentle hushful touch — and on I go
Into this poet-land and gather nard
To crown triumphantly the prophet-bard,
The welder great of thoughts that seethe and glow.

And garland-wise I wove them well, then sought
A moment's leave to place them round thy. head —

Thou victor in a thousand battles fought

For man, too blind himself to iight, — too dead ;

And now with lightning tipped, thy pen has taught
The world to strive anew for light — Grod-led.

Dolce A. Cabot '' A^istralaslnn Home Reader.



Told by the Sea.

AROSE-HUED time it was to me—
A day of happiness so strange.
We stood beside the sapphire sea.
Behind us was the wooded range

115



OCCASIONAL VERSE

That brooded in the sunset's gold

O'er faierie lore the warm winds brought ;

From many a field and laughing wold,

Where men and women lived and wrought.

The warm wind's breath soon hushed to rest,
And salt sea-scents spread far and wide.

A white bird called from out the west
Whence purpling shadows came to bide

And softly steal round stock and stone
With deftest touch enfolding all,

While still the low sweet undertone
From sea-caves seemed to rise and fall.

And gold the strand on which we stood
That perfect eve lieside the sea.

And talked of much so new and good
And forged for problems deep a key.

But when we turned us to depart
I lingering looked on sky and sea.

To take that picture to my heart.
You waited too— then reverently

Yoii took my heart within your palm,
And softly turned the leaves and read,

And then you turned the cover down,
" I love you, love ! " you gently said.

And crowned me queen straightway, king
Wherefore my feet for evermore

Go softly, and the air's a-ring

With music sweet — unheard before.

Dolce A. Cabot.

ii6



OCCASIONAL VERSE



The New Zealand Cincinnatus.

The telegraph boy bearing the intelligence of Mr. Jenkinson's nomination
to the Legislative Council, found him working inside a boiler, and thrust
the message through a small hole.



I



N his boiler, red and rusty,

Hammered Jenkiiison, the trusty ;



Calm, albeit somewhat sweating
Not forgot, tho' the world forgetting !



^&"^'



To his boiler — peaceful haven —
Sent the outer world no Avave in.

Politics the land was rending —
Jenkinson was boiler-mending.

Honoraria were doubled,

J. E. Jenkinson ne'er troubled !

Though outside the nations clammered —
J. E. Jenkinson just hammered !

Thus intent on bolt and rivet,
He his simple life would live it ;

So within his boiler rusty
Hammered Jenkinson the trusty.

But one day on this secluded
Spot a visitor intruded.

Through the opening a grinning

Head appeared ; then ceased the dinning.

117



OCCASIONAL VERSE

Jenkinson his hammer dropped,
And creation's chorus stopped.

Mercury his mouth expanded
As the message in he handed ;

Jenkinson, a moment resting,
Kead the telegram requesting

Him to represent the Toiler
In the Council, not the Boiler !

Calm he read the tele-grammer,
Wrote reply, — took up his hammer.

Made the boiler groan like Babel —
Happy, happy Honourable !

Cincinnatus, when a working
In his moleskins, met a smirking

Deputation from the Roman

State — then threatened by the foeman.

Heard the message ; — straight his farm he
Left to lead the Roman army.

Cincinnatus, first or later,

Which must we account the greater :

Cinciimatus, the Dictator,
Jenkinson, the Legislator 1

Which of them is now the Roy'ller man —
Ancient farmer — modern boiler man ?

Arthur H. Adams. " Otuno Daily Times," 1892.

ii8



OCCASIONAL VERSE



Rosebuds.

HIGH on the lattice-work clustered the roses ;
And lower, half blown,
One little l^ud in the morning was drooping,

Fragrant alone, —
And my little sweetheart saw it, and claimed it
All as her own.

I lifted her up, she would taste of its sweetness

From the tree as it hung ;
She drew it towards her, her lips were all hidden

The petals among ;
But the blossom was wet, and the dews were down-shaken

From where they had clung.

Then she loosened her hold of the pinky-pearl blossom

And stood by my side ;
And her cheeks, they were wet from the dews that were
shaken.

As though she had cried ;
And she pouted, complaining the bloom kiss'd unkindly.

As half-satisfied.

Then I told her I knew of a bud that was sweeter

Than rose-buds to me,
And the dews only made it more lovely and rosy

And tempting to see ; —
Then I kiss'd her dear lips,— and she waywardly left me

Alone by the tree.

Johannes C. Andkrsen, "JV.Z. GrcqMc" 189').

119



OCCASIONAL VERSE

Rondeau.

LOVE ONCE SAT A-SIOHING.

LOVE once sat a-sighing, by a reedy brook ;
Near, a shepherd loiter'd with his horn and crook ;
Love sought one to fasten with his flowery chain,
Then to watch the chafing at his ])onds in vain, —
Yet, towards the shepherd, never woukl he look !

Sought the shepherd, sighing, ev'ry cornfield nook,

Seeking one to love him and be loved again ;
Yet was Love all wayward : — while the long reeds shook.
Love once sat a-sighing !

Love ! enchant the shepherd, when the sickled hook
Of the Queen Diana reaps the skyey plain.
Where the corn all golden falls like summer rain ;
Still is Love all wayward ; and like sage from book
Culls what best does please him :— near the corn in stook,
Love once sat a-sighing !

Johannes C. Andersen. "iV.Z. Graphic," 1895.



T



Moonrise.

From New Brighton Pier.

HERE'S the moon rising
Up from the sea :
Shadows disguising
River and lea
Hasten and fiee ;

1 20



OCCASIONAL VERSE

O, there's a paven

Rippled-traced road
Straight to the haven

Of Quiet's abode.

But for a shallop

Gauzily-sailed —
Nautilus, scallop —

Lover-breath-galed,

Angel-waft-swaled,
Only to speed me

Over the road,
Only to lead me

To Quiet's aliode.

Over the dimples

Pressed on the sea,
Under the wimples

Night-shade flings free

O'er you and me,
Floating and sailing

Swift on the road — •

Everything's ailing

From Quiet's abode.

Where does it finish

Path o' the wave ?
Shall it diminish

But by the grave ? —

God our souls save ! —
Might we explore it,

'Vanescent road,
Travelling o'er it

To Quiet's abode !

Johannes C. Andersen. Sydney " BiiUetin," IdOO.

121



OCCASIONAL VERSE



A Song of the Road.

ABLYTHE spring morning, and a bright spring sun,
And a true chum jogging at your side,
A good strong bicycle, a straight road's run —
Who's for a spanking ride 1

A cool breeze blowing, and a cloud-fiecked sky.
And the long shadows lying o'er the plains,

As the haystacks and the hedges and the fields go by
To the music of the whirring chains.

Through a township, with its shanties and a public-house
or two.

It's post office, blacksmith and store,
With a hail short and cheery as we quickly pedal through

And out on the road once more.

The little creeks a-glinting in the sun's bright rays.
By the roadside the blooming of the furze,

The bush in the hollows with the rata all ablaze,
And the tussock on the windy spurs.

Steadily we pedal till it's nearly time to turn,

And the miles spin swifty by.
Then a long spell-ho, and a lunch in the fern.

And a bathe in the river rushing high.



122



OCCASIONAL VERSE

Then home, again, home ! through the pleasant evening-
shade,

Flying where the road runs wide ; —
While the lighted lamps are dancing with the shadows
they have made,
And we've ridden a right good ride.

Archibald E. Cuerie. Boys' High Schuul Magazine, 1900.



The Greyhounds of the Moon.

They liarry the wild Antarctic,

They sweep the still lagoon —
The Chargers of the Ocean,

The Greyhomuls of the Moon.
They follow her round the Planet

In a long unending swing ;
They break on the sandy beaches.

And this is the song they sing : —



w



E have come from the uttermost Ocean,
We have followed the changing sphere



From island unto island.

In the wake of the marching year.
We have plunged in the fioaring Forties,

A thousand leagues from shore :
We have raced round the world for ages.

We will race for ages more.

123



OCCASIONAL VERSE

We have ridden past lone Kerguelen,

We have washed the Golden Gate,
We have dashed up the bleak Solander

As we surged through Foveaux Strait,
We have fretted the Falkland Islands,

Since the Falkland Isles were born ;
We have cast the wrecks on Agulhas,

And the icebergs on Cape Horn.

Where the burning mountain's beacon

Lights up the midnight sky.
Where the sperm whales all assemble.

And the albatrosses fly, —
The whaler fleeing northward

From the long midwinter night,
And the floes that crash and splinter

Acknowledge our sovereign might.

AVe stretch from the pole to the tropics —

From atoll to iceberg drear.
Below us lie the cables,

Above the steamers steer ;
We carry the white-wing'd wool-ships,.

We hurry the Homeward Mail,
And we bear the 'Frisco clippers

On the long Pacific trail.

We have come from the uttermost Ocean,
We have followed the changing sphere

From island unto island.

In the wake of the marching year ;

124



OCCASIONAL VERSE

We harry the wild Antartic,
We sweep the still lagoon —

The chargers of the Ocean,
The Greyhonnds of the moon.

Archibald E. Currie.



The Battle of Omdurman.

CRY with one voice,
Triumphant over slavery.
Joyous should he ev'ry heart upon this joyful day.
For the hero, loved so well.
At Khartoum who fought and fell,
Is at length avenged full nobly in another glorious fray.

Where are the hordes

Who swarmed about the Khalifa 1
Vain was their mad fury and the heaven sought in death

Though they fell upon the foe

Like a thousand winds let go,
Yet the dumdums hurled them back again, and slew with
scorching breath.

Where now is he.
Who called himself the Khalifa 1
Fled in fear and trembling to the bounds of Kordofan.
Now the fettered slave is free.
And a slave no more shall be,
While the flag of freedom waves above the walls of
Omdurman.

125



OCCASIONAL VERSE

Let not men think

Our spirit is degenerate.
Though the lion peaceful lie, nor stir from forth his lair,

If the noise of battle roars,

Upon far or foreign shores,
When his nostrils scent the slaughter he is first and fore-
most there.

William F. Alexander. Boys' High Srhnol Magazine, 1898.



Fairyland.



As we went down to Fairyland
We plucked the purple heather,
And all its little tinkling bells
Sang " Happy be together."

As we went down to Fairyland

We walked through meadows green.

And the little daisies bowed to us.
And hailed us king and queen.

As we went down to Fairyland
We heard the sunbeams singing
" We weave you robes of rainbows bright
As the love your hearts are bringing."

As we went down to Fairyland
Men's voices called from far,
" Poor fools, they walk in golden mists.
Nor know what fools they are ! "

126



OCCASIONAL VERSE

Yet we went on to Fairyland

And found such blissful greeting.

We longed to stay forever there,
But ah, its joys were fleeting !

And we came out from Fairyland,

As many have come before ;
And the heather bells and sunbeams sang

Their songs to us no more.

But as we left sweet Fairyland
We heard an old man say,
"Though fools may enter Fairyland
Only the wise may stay:"

A. C.-V. Christchm-ch " Weekly Press.



The Nor'- Wester.

ISPRIXG from the breast of the ocean, where the
billows are at play.
And join in their butteting gaily and toss up the foaming

spray ;
And leap o'er their rearing mountains, till at last I reach

the shore.
On which the ocean-rollers crash and fall with baffled roar.
But never a whit can the land stop me.

As I leave the sea behind,


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