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A Lay of the Southern Cross

Excerpt from A Lay of the Southern Cross: And Other Poems Should you be curious to know, dear Reader, why this Poem was written, it is no conceit, but the honest truth to say, that I was impelled to write it. I might almost say, I could not help it. I undertook in February, 1886. By desire of those whose request was an honour and a command, the task of writing the History of the Church of New Zealand, * and in my preparation for the work became simply enamoured of the wondrous tale of the evangeliza tion of the country, which may be described as a Religious Romance. The more I read, the more my admiration grew, until at length it broke out in song. I communicated my secret to very few; for I was afraid lest my enthusiasm should fail, or grow cold. But it was not so; on the contrary, the work became more and more a comfort to me, and a support under severe mental trials and bodily illness. It has never been a hindrance to my duties; for it became my chief refreshment. I very seldom sat down to elaborate any portion of it; for I composed almost the whole of it in the course of my walks, or when I was dressing, or on wet days, as I walked up and down for exercise and the results were committed to paper as opportunity offered. But why publish it, you may ask? Well, I humbly hope that this, and the other shorter poems, which help to make up this volume, and which have been written under similar circumstances, on various occasions in the course of nearly half a lifetime, may be accepted, through the dear Lord Jesus Christ, as a thank-offering to our Heavenly Father, and be made use of by Him, as He knows best, for the good of His Church. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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