The Injured Islanders,
or the Influence of Art upon the Happiness of Nature: A Poetical Epistle from Oberea of Otaheite to Captain Wallis.
by Gerald Fitzgerald
Few Subjects of similar Nature have afforded more Entertainment to the Public than the late Voyages to the Southern Ocean ; their Design, and the Degree of Success that has attended it, are now generally known: But whatever Advantages either the Spirit of Enterprise, or commercial and Scientifick Interests may derive from some Discoveries that have been made in that distant Hemisphere, it is much to be lamented, that the innocent Natives have been Sufferers by the Event "It were indeed sincerely to be wished, says Mr. Forster , that the Intercourse which has lately subsisted between Europeans and the Natives of the South Sea Islands , may be broken off in Time, before the Corruption of Manners which unhappily characterizes civilized Regions, may reach that innocent Race of Men, who live here fortunate in their Ignorance and Simplicity : But it is a melancholy Truth that the Dictates of Philanthropy do not harmonize with the Political Systems of Europe." Forster 's Voyages, V.I. P. 247-8. Dub. Ed. : The imaginary Value annexed to European Toys and Manufactures , and the Ravages of a particular Disorder have already injured their Morals and their Peace ; even the Instruments of Iron , which so much facilitate the ordinary Operations of Industry , have been used as Weapons of Destruction , or perverted to the Purposes of Ambition and Revenge . The Truth of this Observation appears from the Use which the Head of a sequestered Family at Dusky Bay in New Zealand intended to make of the Axes he received (See Forst. V. I. p. 142.)--from the Magnitude and Destination of the Fleet of O'Taheite assembled at Oparee in April 1774, about seven Years after the Discovery of the Island by Captain Wallis (ibid V.II P. 51-5.)--and also from the Commotions excited by Tootahah , who had been Sovereign of it when Captain Cook first arrived there in 1769: One of these, which was occasioned by an Abuse of the Presents he had received (ibid. P. 80.) deprived him in the End, of his Kingdom and his Life. And a similar Revolution, a little before this, had stripped Oberea of that Wealth and Power which so eminently distinguished her at Captain Wallis 's Arrival; she was then Queen of O'Taheite , and treated him with peculiar Generosity and Regard : A Remembrance of their mutual Affection --a Sense of her subsequent Misfortunes--and a Patriotic Feeling for the Fate of her Country , are the Basis of the following Poem .
Before I conclude, it may not be improper to observe, that the Natives of O'Taheite , whose singular Customs and Manners are occasionally described, may be considered by many who have only read Doctor Hawkesworth 's Compilation, as fitter Subjects for Ridicule than Panegyrick ; but whoever peruses the Memoirs given of them by the latest Voyagers, will find that the more these hospitable and happy Islanders are known, the more pleasing they appear: He will also find that the irregular Gratification of their Passions , which has been regarded as the most exceptionable Part of their Character , was transmitted through a false Medium to our View : It must be notwithstanding allowed that in this, as in every other Country, there is a Diversity of Prospects which may afford the Wit, as well as the Buffoon, an Opportunity of taking an unfavourable Survey, and of sporting with the Defects of unassisted Nature : Entitled to the same Liberty , I have chosen what, I am persuaded, every Advocate for Humanity would choose, to look through a different Perspective, which has presented me with several Objects in the Lives and Circumstances of these Fellow-Citizens of the World, that even European Grandeur might envy or admire : It is not however my Intention to hazard, farther than what is consistent with the Propriety of my Plan, any invidious Comparison between the Happiness of Natural and Civilized Society , which might lead me into a Deviation from local Images , and that Precision and Perspicuity , which in a descriptive Poem of this Nature, I think necessary, and have endeavoured to preserve; how far I have succeeded or failed in this Design, is submitted with Respect, to the Judgment and Indulgence of the candid Public.
T.C.D. January 1st, 1779
1 REMOV'D from
, from all its
2 And far from Thee whom most my Soul admir'd,
3 No more I shine to emulate the Day
4 Rob'd in the Lustre of Imperial Sway ;
5 No suppliant Crowds attend my sov'reign Will
6 Anxious to hear, and ardent to fulfil;
7 No flatt'ring Scenes my festive Hours prolong
8 Where Mirth convivial cheers the circling Throng;
9 Each splendid Round of high-born State resign'd,
10 I try the humbler Comforts of the Mind ;
11 The Task unpractis'd growing Cares control,
12 And fond Remembrance ravages my Soul ;
13 In vain I seek the Solace of the Shade
14 Where the green Turtle flutters thro' the Glade;
15 Or up the Steep with straining Steps I roam
16 Where the pure Stream precipitates in Foam,
17 Where Dew-dropp'd Shrubs breathe Fragrance as I stray,
18 That lures the Breeze which steals their Sweets away:
19 There as I sit above the level Plain,
20 Sooth'd by responsive Murmurs from the Main ,
21 And round expatiate o'er each vary'd Hue
22 Of once lov'd Landscapes op'ning to my View,
23 Still from each Sense their transient Beauties fly,
24 Or feebly strike, and in a Moment die,
25 Still in my Breast I miss my wonted Ease ,
26 Nor Time restores it, nor can Pleasure please.
27 From Thee, whose
astonish'd Isles behold
28 O'er Waves triumphant , and in Terrors bold ,
29 Whose fearless Eye, where burning Suns have shone,
30 Search'd the wide Waste, and mark'd out Worlds unknown,
31 From Thee, bright Offspring of the distant Skies!
32 These new-born Cares , illustrious Wallis, rise;
33 Contemn'd for Thee , where e'er my Footsteps stray,
34 The Charms of Nature idly tempt my Way,
35 Unheeded Blooms their fragrant Odours shed,
36 Untasted Sweets in mantling Clusters spread,
37 Nor Fruits my Taste, nor Flow'rs attract my Eye,
38 The Jambu 's Richness, nor Gardenia 's Die,
39 To Thee alone, on Fancy's rapid Wing,
40 My Soul , my Sense , my wafted Wishes spring;
41 In ev'ry Change my restless Passions find,
42 Thy hast'ning Image follows close behind,
43 Presents each Art , attendant in thy Train,
44 To scatter Commerce o'er the boundless Main,
45 Rude Nature rescue from it's rough Disguise,
46 And grant each Good that social Manners prize:--
47 Thy partial Favor to this Isle profess'd--
48 Thy grateful Presents to the Heart address'd--
49 Thy fervent Vows in Friendship's Guise array'd,
50 While more than Friendship ev'ry Vow convey'd--
51 These all recurring, constant as the Day,
52 Reign in my Breast resistless in their Sway,
53 Usurp the Scenes my free-born Pleasures knew,
54 Nor leave a Wish unleagu'd with Love and You.
55 Late, as along the Verdure-vested Lawn
56 My Morning Steps approach'd the blushing Dawn,
57 Far from the Beach, and pendent from the Sky,
58 A distant Vessel caught my longing Eye,
59 The purple Streamers , Wave by Wave, appear,
60 And Love still whispers, lo! thy Wallis near;
61 Oh joyful Hope !--to greet Thee I prepare,
62 And bind the Tomou  Human Hair plaited, in which they stick Flowers of various Kinds , particularly the (Gardenia) Cape Jessamine . round my fragrant Hair,
63 With grateful Gifts of vegetable Store
64 I haste impatient to the crowded Shore,
65 In vain I haste,--no Wallis meets me there,
66 No Friend, no Fondness to reward my Care,
67 Bereft of Pow'r, and destitute of Train,
68 My humble Off'rings "She complained to the Lieutenant that she was poor (teètee) and had not a Hog to give her Friends." Forster, V.I. P. 293. scarce Acceptance gain,
69 To richer Chiefs, who rule Taheitee's Land,
70 The British Treasures pass from Hand to Hand,
71 The Crimson Plumes , Red Feathers are highly valued at O'Taheite. the Beads of brightest Die,
72 The Mirrors faithful to the Gazer's Eye,
73 The precious Gifts , whose boasted Aid we feel,
74 Of pointed Iron , and of polish'd Steel ,--
75 Boast tho' we may, to judge them by the past,
76 These Gifts may prove our fatal Foes at last,
77 By piercing Steel tho' proudest Forests fall,
78 And take new Forms at Man's Imperial Call ,
79 By Steel too Man his Fellow Man annoys,
80 It tempts as Plunder , and as Death destroys,
81 The dang'rous Wealth exotic Wants inspires
82 Where equal Nature levell'd all Desires,
83 And, social Freedom sapp'd by envious Strife,
84 We risk at once our Morals and our Life.
85 Curs'd the
Desire for Wealth
like this that made
86 A rival Chief  Sovereign of the lesser, or South-East Peninsula of the Island ; for an Account of this War , see Forster V.II. P. 78. my Royal Realms invade!
87 The lifted Ax --Ah! Wallis , shall I tell?
88 On all our Friends with dreadful Havock fell,
89 An instant Flight thy Obra scarce could save
90 Where the stern Mountain  The Mountains always afford them Refuge from impending Danger , till the Passion of the Conqueror, which is violent, but not lasting, has subsided. frowns upon the Wave--
91 Where Cloud-girt Rocks their cheerless Bosoms bare,
92 The Wretches' last sad Refuge from Despair ,--
93 There, to conceal me from the furious Foe,
94 I sunk depress'd in solitary Woe;
95 As some tall Palm-Tree , Sov'reign of the Plain,
96 That tops the Grove, and glads th'admiring Swain,
97 If sudden Shook by Autumn's angry Storm,
98 Shrinks from the Blast to hide its humbled Form,
99 Stripp'd of it's Fruit , it's Foliage and it's Pride ,
100 It naked stands, and droops on ev'ry Side;
101 So helpless Obra, in a luckless Hour,
102 Yields to her Fate, divested of her Pow'r ,
103 Her only Trust in Tanè's A Son of their supreme Deities, whom they suppose to take a greater Part in the Affairs of Mankind. See Hawk. Voyages, V.II. P.81. Dub. Ed. wise Decree,
104 In Hope , in Love , in Justice and in Thee.
Nor here alone Commotion's hostile Hand
106 With Rage and Rapine wastes a trembling Land,
107 'Gainst other Shores what fatal Projects rise!
108 What Fleets  The Fleet here alluded to was intended against the Island of Eimeo, whose Chief had revolted: It consisted of 159 great double Canoes of War, from 50 to 90 Feet long between Stem and Stern, besides 70 smaller ones , &c. &c. and yet was only the naval Force of a single District. Hence it appears how much they must have been indebted to European Tools and Models in this respect, since Captain Wallis's Discovery of the Island , when no such Armaments could be seen. See Fors. V.II. P. 51-4, &c. tremendous fill my wond'ring Eyes!
109 Already launch'd I see their awful Form
110 Mount the high Waves, and dare the threat'ning Storm,
111 See their fell Purpose Freedom to o'erwhelm,
112 Pride at the Prow, Presumption at the Helm--
113 See subject Isles, late Objects of our Care,
114 Mark'd out for Plunder , Servitude , Despair ,--
115 Invading Pow'r Imperial Rights define--
116 Asserted Liberty these Rights decline--
117 Discord and War in dread Confusion rise
118 With Widow's Wailings, and with Orphan's Cries--
119 The ravag'd Plains to Desolation giv'n,
120 And ev'ry Crime that calls the Wrath of Heav'n:
121 Ah! what a Change from all that charm'd before,
122 When kindred Love connected ev'ry Shore,
123 When mutual Int'rest , spreading unconfin'd,
124 Parental Care and Filial Duty join'd--
125 Such were the Bands that held our happy State
126 Ere Lux'ry taught Ambition to be great--
127 Ere Lust of Pow'r to Deeds oppressive led--
128 Ere Europe's Crimes with Europe's Commerce spread;
129 Do these alas! thy hapless Country shake?
130 Corruption sap it, and Contention break?
131 Or dares proud Trade , if meant for all Mankind,
132 Here, only here, the dearest Ties unbind?
133 In stinted Regions pour it's Blessings round?
134 In Climes luxuriant ev'ry Bliss confound?
135 As Draughts , which there the languid Frame sustain,
136 Too pow'rful here intoxicate the Brain,
137 Till giddy Reason , sick'ning and unsound,
138 To Madness turns, and spreads a Ruin round.
139 O Thou, in whom my Heart still seeks Repose,
140 Haste to prevent, or mitigate our Woes,
141 O Wallis , haste, and, emulous of Praise,
142 Our drooping Spirits to their Level raise,
143 Till native Joys , the Mists of Error past,
144 Again return, and brighten to the last.
145 Canst thou forget? can
146 The last sad Hour I urg'd your longer Stay?
147 The Masts were rear'd with Arms extended wide
148 To scourge the Storm, and awe th'insurgent Tide,
149 While, fondly flutt'ring to the favourite Gale,
150 Rose the fair Bosom of the swelling Sail ;
151 Back to the Beach, desponding still, and slow,
152 I vainly turn'd to shun the coming Woe,
153 No Shark-Tooth ' Punctures It is general Custom with them in transient, or affected Grief, to strike a Shark's Tooth into their Head, till it is covered with Blood . See Hawk. V.I. P.450-468. pour'd a sanguine Stream ,
154 But Heart-sprung Sorrows flooded all my Frame,
155 Till my faint Soul in silent Anguish fell,
156 Rose but in Sighs, and feebly breath'd--farewell!
157 Touch'd with my Grief, and friendly to my Fears,
158 Midst the broad Deck you mark'd the circling Years ,
159 On sacred Plumes  A solemn Affirmation or Oath is made upon a Tuft of red or yellow Feathers ; for a curious Instance see Fors. V.I. P. 293. They are also made use of by the Natives to fix their Attention while they pray to the Deity. this solemn Vow express'd,
160 To Heav'n and me alternately address'd,
161 That ere the splendid Ruler of the Day
162 Could close the Circuit of his annual Way ,
163 A quick Return, if Life indulg'd Desire,
164 Should prove the Witness of your faithful Fire --
165 Give willing Wallis to his Obra's Arms,
166 For Obra then had Empire , and had Charms !--
167 Pour at her Feet--fond Tribute of his Heart!
168 The richest Products distant Realms impart--
169 What e'er for Use, or Ornament design'd,
170 What decks the Person or delights the Mind,
171 Should here transplanted own his fost'ring Hand,
172 Bloom all around, and bless the lovely Land.
173 Where now are all these
174 Where the fond Hopes that once my Fancy led ?
175 Where the kind Looks? the sympathetic Tears ?
176 The soothing Vows that calm'd my rising Fears ?
177 The promis'd Gifts to dissipate Despair ?
178 Baits to entice! and springes to ensnare!
179 My captive Heart , still struggling to be free,
180 Strives--but in vain, to fly from Love and Thee,
181 Yet oft resigns, indulgent to it's Ease,
182 Lost in Reflection's solitary Maze:
183 As in the Tube , " After the Observation (of an Eclipse of the Sun) was taken, I went to the Queen's House , and shewed her the Telescope , &c. as the Objects by turns vanished and re-appeared, her Countenance and Gestures expressed a Mixture of Wonder and Delight, which no Language can describe." Hawk. V.I.P.204-- which lifts the gazing Eye
184 To radiant Beauties of the spangled Sky ,
185 The wond'ring Sense sees Worlds superior reign,
186 Impatient mounts, and dwells on ev'ry Scene;
187 With equal Zeal, to foreign Coasts and Climes ,
188 To diff'rent Empires , and to distant Times ,
189 Thy dear Description oft my Mem'ry draws,
190 And awful opes immense Creation's Laws ;
191 But chiefly fix'd my fondest Thoughts abide
192 Where subject Seas display Britannia's Pride ,
193 Where hardy Chiefs, on arduous Actions bent,
194 Contemn like Thee the Limits of Content ,
195 Till, by the Tempest of Ambition hurl'd,
196 They live, or die--the Sov'reigns of the World . The following Extracts will account for the Allusions which Oberea makes to European History , &c. in this and a few other Passages of the Poem . "Oamo asked many Questions concerning England and its Inhabitants, by which he appeared to have great Shrew[d]ness and Understanding." Hawk. V.II. P.12. "Towhah asked us a Variety of Questions, chiefly relating to the Nature and Constitution of the Country from whence we came: The Information which we gave him, was received with the greatest Marks of Surprise and Attention." Fors. V.II. P.67. "We found no great Difficulty in making ourselves mutually understood, however strange it may appear in Speculation." Hawk. V.II. P.72.
197 Ev'n now their haughty Standards I survey
198 Rear'd in this Isle, as Ensigns of their Sway ,
199 Each dark Recess excursive they explore,
200 Search the deep Vale, or coast the coral Shore,
201 Mount the rough Rocks, with Herbs fantastic spread,
202 And dare disclose the Morais of the Dead:
203 Nor Earth alone,--the Starry Heights they trace,
204 And watch the Planets in their fond Embrace,
205 Whose Bliss connubial in th' Eclipse 's Shade They believe the Stars to be generated between the Sun and Moon , &c. &c. See Journal of a Voyage round the World in his Majesty's Ship Endeavour, called Banks's Voyage, P. 72. Dub. Ed.
206 Their impious Eyes with prying Tubes pervade,
207 Till secret Nature, pierc'd by Mortal Sight,
208 A Captive yields, and blushes into Light.
209 Say to what tend these forward Views that raise
210 Presumptuous Mortals to their Maker's Ways ?
211 To what can Arts , or Industry aspire?
212 What proud Ambition 's utmost Aims desire?
213 But cheerful Ease , that wants nor Toil , nor Skill,
214 The Sun can give it, and the cooling Rill,
215 Prolifick Earth the balmy Blessing shows
216 In Fruit-clad Hills, and Valleys of Repose,
217 Such as in Pomp of vary'd Dies display
218 This beauteous Island to the Beams of Day--
219 Such as perennial charm the loit'ring Swain
220 On Mat'vai 's Banks, or sweet Paparra 's Plain;
221 Ah! blissful Seats of Innocence and Ease !
222 Ere Pride-born Commerce taught it's Pow'r to please--
223 Ere Wants created kindled new Desires --
224 Ere tend'rest Passions felt consuming Fires;
225 Yes, Wallis , yes, this last--this worst of Woes
226 From boasted Europe's baneful Commerce flows,
227 Some vagrant Chief, of ever hateful Name,
228 Approach'd our Isle, and spread the wasting Flame , The Introduction of the Venereal Disease into O'Taheite is imputed to M. Bougainville, who arrived there about nine Months after the Departure of Capt. Wallis. See Hawk. V.I. P.219.
229 Thro' ev'ry Nerve th'infectious Terrors rove,
230 Sap the shrunk Frame, and taint each Source of Love:
231 Ah! whence this Pest that Confidence destroys,
232 And prostrate lays Life's dear domestic Joys?
233 Whence the dire Change ? ye unsuspecting Fair!
234 Your Blooms a Desert! and your Bliss Despair?
235 Whence--but enough, my chiding Thoughts be still!
236 Some foreign Hand should heal each foreign Ill,
237 Hope flies to Thee; thy Guidance to implore
238 I send Tupia to the British Shore--
239 Send, but in vain,--alas, his hapless End!
240 Lost was my Statesman, Counsellor, and Friend--
241 Lost ere he knew, for Knowledge was his Aim,
242 What tempted Britons Tropic Isles to claim The manner in which Navigators usually take Possession of new discovered Countries is no less singluar than arrogant, thus when Capt. Wallis arrived at O'Taheite, Mr. Furneaux, who first landed, erected a Staff, upon which he hoisted a Flag, turned a Turf, and took Possession of the Island in his Majesty's Name, in Honour of whom he called it King George the Third's Island: he then went to a River, and mixing some of it's Water with Rum, every Man drank his Majesty's Health. Hawk. V.I. P. 184-5. --
243 Lost, ere he learn'd their Language, or their Laws,
244 And died a Patriot in his Country's Cause:
245 Lo! next Omiah dares the Task pursue,
246 And bears this fond Commission to thy View,
247 Asks, and entreats in Obra's injur'd Name,
248 Thy wish'd for Presence to restore her Fame,
249 Her haughty Foes, her Subjects' Fears remove,
250 And share at once her Empire and her Love.
251 Canst thou forget, how cheerful, how content
252 Taheitee's Sons their Days of Pleasure spent!
253 With rising Morn they sought the healthful Stream,
254 And walk'd, or work'd till sultry Noon-Tide came,
255 Then social join'd, from vain Distinctions free,
256 In Mirth convivial round the spreading Tree ,
257 While tuneful Flutes , and warbling Wood-Notes near,
258 In rival Strains still charm'd the list'ning Ear:
259 At grateful Eve they mix'd the artless Tale ,
260 The Jest , the Dance , the vegetable Meal ,
261 Paid the last Visit at some Fountain's Head ,
262 To cleanse, and cool them for the peaceful Bed ,
263 Deem'd the bright Sun declin'd for them alone,
264 These Isles the World , and all the World their own.
265 Say thou, whose
diff'rent Nations boast
266 From cultur'd Britain to this friendly coast,
267 What lovelier Climes more pleasing Fruits afford
268 Than this, of all thy piercing Eye explor'd?
269 Where can the Bread Fruit sweeter Pulp produce?
270 Where richer Cocoas more delicious Juice?
271 Where finer Robes of Mulb'ry Rinds  Their Cloth is of three kinds, and it is made of the Bark of three different Trees, the finest and whitest is made of the Paper Mulbery. See Hawk. V.II. P. 57. are worn?
272 Where fairer Virgins than these Robes adorn?--
273 Where smiles the Land where fewer Ills assail?
274 Where fewer Fears , or Passions can prevail?
275 No Serpents here their poison'd Volumes wreathe,
276 No tainted Gales with fell Diseases breathe,
277 No varying Arts to multiply Desires ,
278 No Av'rice chills, and no Ambition fires,
279 Each Blessing granted as our Wishes rise,
280 We live, and love For their social Virtues and Philanthropy , see Fors. V.II. P. 132. --the Fav'rites of the Skies,
281 While kind Etuas  Gods of the second Class : for an Account of their Religion , see Fors. V.II. P. 127-8.&c. watchful still preside,
282 And Nature's Tasks th'aerial Bands divide,
283 Some o'er the Sea control the Tempest's Roar ,
284 Impel the Tides, or shove them from the Shore ;
285 Some o'er the Land exert their genial Pow'rs ,
286 Deck the bright Year , or guide the fleeting Hours ,
287 With lib'ral Hand dispense Profusion round,
288 With fragrant Breath perfume the fertile Ground,
289 Gild the gay Groves with Fruits refreshing cheer,
290 Nor ask from Toil the Products of the Year ,
291 And pleas'd, or anger'd, as the Work they find,
292 In Rain-Bows smile, or murmur in the Wind .
293 Hence favour'd Man, with ev'ry
294 Health in his Look, and Plenty at his Side,
295 His only Toil , amidst the Forests free,
296 To point the Pearl-Hook  Fish-Hooks made of Mother-of-Pearl . See Hawk. V.II. P. 64. , fell the stubborn Tree ;
297 Or watch the swift Bonetas as they glide,
298 Launch the Canoe , and chace them with the Tide:
299 His manly Mirth too, on the Beach retir'd
300 Oft hast thou seen, and seeing still admir'd--
301 Lo! now he mounts, as Surf-swoll'n Billows heave--
302 Now sinks beneath, and wantons with the Wave;
303 Or strains the Bow-String , conscious of his Might ,
304 And smiling views the distant Arrow 's Flight Their Bows and Arrows are used only for Diversion ; and Distance , not a Mark , is the Object of Emulation . Ibid, P.6. ;
305 No obvious Mark allures his level Aim
306 To practice Murder for perverted Fame --
307 No private Pique a Duel  If we may credit the Journal called Banks's Voyage, a Duel was fought at O'Taheite by two Officers belonging to the Ship, who had been long engaged in a Quarrel which had created much Disturbance on Board. P. 84. here can draw
308 To Blood-stain'd Fields, and boast it Honor's Law --
309 Let British Climes the horrid Fiend admire
310 Who sports with Life, and bids it quick expire,
311 Dreads no Resentment from Almighty Sway,
312 Or impious braves it in the Face of Day,
313 Tho' awful Conscience scares his forfeit Rest,
314 The purple Crime still blaz'ning in his Breast--
315 Sets in his View a yet unconquer'd Foe --
316 A Widow's Anguish, or an Orphan's Woe,
317 Or some sad Lover's last upbraiding Sigh,
318 Who wretched finds no Refuge but--to die.
319 Ah! Wallis
haste, should yet that Name remain
320 To crown my Hopes, and prove my Fears are vain!
321 Haste from the Land where Arts engender Strife ,
322 And not an Art but rears some Foe to Life;
323 What Joys can there ingenuous Freedom boast,
324 Where fatal Fashions spread from Coast to Coast ?
325 Where cultur'd Commerce , as it shoots on high,
326 But opes new Wants it never can supply,
327 Or grown luxuriant o'er the gloomy Soil
328 Sinks by its Weight, or tempts the Rage of Spoil ;
329 Else, if the Hist'ry of thy Realms be true,
330 Whence the Vicissitudes describ'd by you?
331 Why Arts have flourish'd--why have Arts decay'd,
332 As faithless Fortune flatter'd, or betray'd?
333 Why War's wide-wasting Revolution hurl'd
334 The Seat of Empire round the ravag'd World?
335 Why the fierce North a gen'ral Chaos spread ,
336 That swept all Europe as the Ruin sped?
337 Each rising Virtue perish'd in it's Bloom,
338 Each splendid Science shar'd the dreadful Doom ,
339 While Desolation , dark'ning all behind,
340 Drew down Oblivion's Curtain o'er the Mind ,
341 Involv'd each glorious Character of Fame,
342 And scarcely left a Record or a Name ,
343 Till struggling Time compos'd his frighted Form,
344 And glean'd the Gothic Relicks of the Storm,
345 Reviving Rays in great Columbus shone,
346 New Worlds appear'd, and Empires --now their own See [note for line 196] .
347 These awful Scenes depicted to my View
348 (And Fame , O Wallis , proves the Painting true,)
349 Oft to my Mind some dreadful Change present,
350 Some distant Danger , or some dire Event,
351 Some gath'ring Tempest black'ning from afar,
352 Some bursting Rage of desolating War ,--
353 Ah! shall this Isle, so late admir'd by Thee,
354 To Plenty sacred, and to Pleasure free--
355 This Land where Peace diffus'd it's hallow'd Pow'r,
356 Where social Virtues cheer'd each passing Hour,
357 A barren Waste--a lifeless Scene appear
358 By Rapine plunder'd, or enslav'd by Fear?
359 Some Tyrant's Conquest, or some Pirate's Spoil?
360 It's native Blessings banish'd from the Soil!--
361 Ah! shall its Sons, to seek fictitious Wealth ,
362 For lordly Masters lose their florid Health ?
363 For glitt'ring Ore , that ever useless shines,
364 Shun the bright Day, and sink in dismal Mines ,
365 Or, bent to Burdens , on the Surface go,
366 Inur'd to all the Discipline of Woe --
367 Forbid it thou great Tanè, ever blest!
368 If e'er my Wishes reach'd thy pitying Breast,
369 If e'er a suppliant won thy friendly Care,
370 Oh! spare my Country, mighty Tanè spare!
371 Ere Ills like these o'er native Rights prevail,
372 Dart the keen Lightning at each daring Sail ,
373 Bid the loud Tempest rouse the whelming Wave,
374 And not a Foe the surging Fury save:
375 Or far remove "They suppose the Earth or Main Land to be plac'd at a great Distance Eastward, and that their Island was broken off or separated from it, while the Deity was drawing it about the Sea, before he resolved upon it's Situation." Bank[s]'s Voyage, P. 72. , if Vengeance be forgot,
376 These Injur'd> Isles to some sequester'd Spot,
377 Some placid Corner of the boundless Main
378 Unmark'd by Science , unexplor'd by Gain ,
379 Where Nature still her Empire safe may hold
380 From foreign Commerce , Confidence and Gold ,
381 From foreign Arts --from all that's foreign free,
382 Save Wallis only--if approv'd by Thee.
, yes, from Thee no Fears alarm,
384 Whose highest Rage Submission could disarm--
385 Well do my Thoughts recal that awful Hour
386 When first we felt, and trembled at thy Pow'r ,
387 Some dreadful Demon, with an hostile Band,
388 We fear'd Thee sent to desolate our Land ,
389 What could, alas! defenceless Troops inspire?
390 What check the Fury of destructive Fire ?
391 Repell'd, confounded, Patriot Valour fled
392 As all around the rapid Ruin sped,
393 Till first in Mercy , as the first in Sway ,
394 Your Pity spar'd what Pow'r could take away,
395 Resistance conquer'd saw Resentment cease,
396 Hush'd was the War , and rais'd each downcast Face  They used constantly to fall down upon their Faces at the Explosion of a Gun : The Particulars of this Engagement are given by Hawk. V.I. P. 182. ;
397 'Twas then to meet Thee on the crowded Shore
398 The peaceful Plantain  Green Branches of Trees , particularly of the Plantain , are their Symbols of Peace . in my Hand I bore,
399 In due Obeisance half my Bosom bar'd  Lowering the Garments , so as to uncover the Shoulders, is in this Country a Mark of Respect. ,
400 And found Respect by mutual Rites rever'd ,
401 A kindling Zeal ere Complaisance began,
402 And all the Hero soft'ning in the Man:
403 Pleas'd with the Manners of my mighty Guest,
404 I fearless led Thee to the Social Feast ,
405 Where Palm-spread Sheds on stately Pillars stood
406 Midst cooling Shades and Vistas of the Wood,
407 Each op'ning Front drew Fragrance from the Air,
408 You gaz'd--you vow'd a Paradise was there,
409 Smil'd as the Cocoa , soothing to the Soul,
410 Pour'd the sweet Bev'rage  For Drink they have in general nothing but Water , or the Juice of the Cocoa-Nut ; the Art of producing Liquors that intoxicate by Fermentation , being happily unknown among them. Hawk. V.II. P. 48. from it's native Bowl ,
411 Or vary'd Viands op'd their grateful Store,
412 Fruits from the Grove, and Fishes from the Shore,
413 New Wonder rose, when rang'd around for Thee,
414 Attendant Virgins danc'd the Timrodee ,
415 And vocal Bards  "We did not expect to have found in this sequestered Spot a Character which has been the Subject of such Praise and Veneration where Genius and Knowledge have been most conspicuous: yet these were the Bards or Minstrels of O'Taheite ." Hawk. V.II. P. 6. , the Pleasure to prolong,
416 Sung the bold Deeds and Heroes of their Song ,
417 But chiefly Thee, thy Vict'ry and thy Praise ,
418 The noblest Subject of their simple Lays ,
419 Till the tir'd Sun, on Western Waves repos'd,
420 Dismiss'd the Ev'ning, and the Heiva  A Concert or Assembly.--It is also a common Name for every public Exhibition. See the same Author [Hawkesworth], V.I. P. 474. clos'd.
, simply thus supply'd,
422 Disclaim the Arts that minister to Pride ,
423 What tempts Thee, wand'ring with the faithless Main,
424 To barter Ease for Perils and for Pain ?
425 Does churlish Nature stint thy Parent Soil?
426 Does Wealth superfluous prompt to wanton Spoil ?
427 Do restless Longings for a deathless Name
428 Glow in thy Breast, and animate thy Frame?--
429 Vain is each Wish that flatt'ring Hope inspires,
430 If in the Toil , the Taste for Joy expires,
431 If unrestrain'd we urge the wayward Mind
432 Without a Glance on wasting Time behind;
433 Year following Year, and Day succeeding Day,
434 Relentless drive Life's boasted Bliss away,
435 From Beauty sever Love 's attracting Die,
436 Youth from the Cheek, and Radiance from the Eye,
437 Each pleasing Passion of the Soul subdue--
438 Such as thy Obra felt--still feels for you--
439 Ev'n this, O Wallis , must that Pow'r obey
440 That strikes unseen, and strengthens with Delay,
441 That Pride-plum'd Conquest strips of all it's Fame,
442 Nor leaves recording Pyramids  The principal Object of Ambition among the Taheitians is to have a magnificent Morai or Repository for the Dead ; Oberea's, which is raised Pyramidically upon a Base of 267 Feet long and 87 wide , is the finest Piece of Indian Architecture in the Island. See Hawk. V.II. P. 22. a Name .
443 When such the Lot of Life's too transient State,
444 Canst thou still tempt each Precipice of Fate ?
445 Canst thou delight, from peaceful Pleasures fled,
446 In Out-cast Realms where Nature's Horrors spread?
447 Where bleak Fuego rears it's barren Coast--
448 Where savage Zealand pours its hideous Host--
449 Or onward still where, parted from the Night,
450 The Polar Day prolongs it's cheerless Light;
451 There drifted Ice-lands  Mahine, a Native of the Society Isles, who was on Board the Resolution in the high Southern Latitudes, despaired , he said of finding Belief among his Country-men, when he should come back to recount the Wonders of petrified Rain , and perpetual Day . Snow , Hail-Showers and Ice , he said he would call white Rain , white Stones and white Land . See Fors. V.I. P. 433-439. dim the weary'd Eye--
452 There Fogs eternal wrap the languid Sky--
453 There whirling Sea-Spouts  For some curious Observations upon Water-Spouts , see the same Author, V.I. P. 155 &c. formidably proud,
454 Dart from beneath, and chace the flying Cloud;
455 Or fierce Tornados , bursting thro' the Air,
456 Rend the wild Waves, and spread around Despair:
457 Ah! Wallis , haste--the dreadful Regions shun,
458 Where dismal Deaths in dark Disguises run,
459 Where fancy'd Lands , remov'd from ev'ry Joy,
460 If found deceive us--if possess'd destroy;
461 Here shalt thou find each Solace of thy Woes
462 That Man can ask--if what to ask he knows;
463 Here, in thy fav'rite, fond Taheitee, still
464 It's Sons obsequious, and it's Laws thy Will ;
465 Thy faithful Obra, aided by thy Hand,
466 Again shall rise, the Empress of the Land,
467 Her Awe-struck Foes, to shun impending Ire,
468 Quick to the Mountain's silent Gloom retire;
469 Or prostrate--penitent--their Deeds deplore,
470 Her Wrongs redress, her Regal Rights restore;
471 Till, smiling Peace thro' ev'ry Region seen,
472 She rules triumphant, and expires a Queen .