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"'The Runnaways' An Historical Ballad"

documentary heritage
  • Description

    The Runaways' An Historical Ballad.

    There was an Island in the sea,

    Of which some people say

    It was not very wise or old,

    Although its head was Grey.

    Now in this Island all the men

    Fell out; as it was found,

    Into a quarrel, though it was

    Pacific all around

    For of the people some were black,

    And others they were white;

    which was a serious difference

    so they began to fight.

    One morn they fought; the fight was hot,

    Although the day was showery;

    And many gallant soldiers there

    Was bid Momento Maori

    The smoke was thick, the blacks fell down

    Upon the ground like rain;

    Though once they joined a rising, now

    They'll never rise again.

    And where the fire was very hot,

    It made a number cold;

    it broke the ranks, it melted them

    And cast them on the mould

    Among the wounded was a man,

    To whom the names belong

    Of Enoch Cesar Palmentou,

    Done into Maori tongue

    Now Enoch's leg had got in it

    A bullet from a gun;

    And when he tried to cut away,

    The wound began to run

    And since he could not run with it

    He stopped and bound his [scan],

    and though not hoping to be paid

    Was pitched upon by [Tan].

    Who seeing Enoch so cast down,

    They rook him up so short;

    They said "You are our prisoner,

    So you must come to court"

    Said he "I've got a ball inside,"

    He did not mean to scoff

    "I'll go to court, and you may there

    Present and let me off."

    "No, No!" replied the [Boatswain's] mate

    "Avast a bit, my hearty!"

    "Let's see the ball" - but as he spoke

    They saw another party.

    A party of Militia men,

    An officer there with;

    In camp he was a corporal jones,

    In town a general smith.

    This Corporal has a warlike nose,

    Gunpowdery in hue

    It trumpeted his honours, but

    It could not beat tattoo

    For Enoch's face was lined throughout

    With ornamental scars

    Of blue, with red ones added in

    The Taranaki wars

    The first were cunning chidsel marks,

    The second crooked ruts;

    Proofs, like the "witness" journal of

    Essays on Gold, with cuts.

    This Jones took Enoch to the camp,

    Where were a number more

    Of Maoris, whom his comrades bold

    Made prisoners before,

    The General stoof infront of them,

    as upright as a larch;

    And, though November was the month

    He sent them off to march.

    He sent them all on board a hulk,

    Abreast of Auckland town

    He put them down the hold, & [bade]

    The soldiers hold them down.

    Some [snivelled], going in, some howled;

    Some noses blew with bellows;

    But careful keeping in the hulk;

    Soon made there hulking fellows.

    Potatoes, bread and milk, & meat;

    Such was their commissariat

    Tobacco to assuage their woe;

    And doctors stuff to vary it.

    At first they wanted bracing up,

    Their clothes so hung about.

    But when they'd been a month on board

    They wanted letting out.

    And so they got a man ashore,

    For souls' bodies profit;

    On kawau's copper brach. Of corse,

    They cut their sticks from off it

    For Titus White who guarded them,

    He [left] them on the shore;

    Says he "They've got no boat, or gear,

    Except the coppers ore"

    "Therefore, they cannot leave the isle"

    And at his joke he laughed,

    But, silly Titus White! He quite

    forgot their native craft

    And so by night they ran away,

    and got upon the main

    And in the morning Titus went

    To fetch them back again

    At last he found them on a hill

    All fortified about

    They hollowed rifle pits within;

    And White he hollowed out.

    And at his shout; so loud & long -

    It was a wondrous sight -

    two hundred dusky [jaws] there,

    Were turned at once to White

    'Come back' - he cried - 'My prisoners'

    Each hand directly rose,

    And with extended finders, gave

    Point to their silent noes.

    "Come back unto your Governor";

    He will avenge your slights.

    For grey's the only medicine

    Between the Blacks and Whites

    Said they "No,No! That's very fine;

    But Grey will never do

    He is not black enough for us

    Nor white enough for you"

    Said White "You are his children dear,

    And don't he love you, rather?

    So be advised, & leave your pa,

    and come unto your Father"

    "Perhaps", they said, "we were his sons,

    But now we are better nursed.

    We're Royal Maori Infantry

    And will see him farther first"

    Now Titus White was puzzled quite,

    and knew not what to say

    So went & told his tale, so blue,

    Unto his head Sir Grey

    "Go back, go back" - replied his chief,

    with sternness on his tongue -

    They are our rebel prisoners,

    Deserving to be hung.

    "But tell them" - here he smiled so sly -

    To make them come to quicker,

    I'll heap upon them chains of - land

    And keep them tight in liquor

    So Titus White went back to tell

    his chiefs determination

    With native office notes which found

    a very free translation

    "I and Sir George love you well,

    like brothers of your race

    We'll swear we do, till we're as black

    As you are in the face"

    "You shall be found in meat & drink,

    Houses & gardens too;

    And make believe you're prisoners,

    By having naught to do"

    "Give land!" they said "tis all our own.

    Do naught; - we do it now!

    Give meat! - We shant be hungry while

    A settler owns a cow"

    "But if you must have prisoners,

    You'll soon accomplish that;

    Catch them when starving & you may

    Detain them till they're fat"

    "Treat them like us, & do again

    The same good natured thing;

    Recruit the Maori forces for

    His Majesty the King"

  • Other Id

    15306 (Presto content ID)

    MS-1991-75-1236 (Reference Number)

  • Department

Images and documents


  • Object Type
  • Name/Title
    "'The Runnaways' An Historical Ballad"
  • Primary Maker
  • Physical Description

    10pp on 3 leaves ; 208 mm x 127 mm ; plus envelope ; 79 mm x 138 mm

  • Language
  • Collection
  • Level of Current Record
  • Is Part Of
  • Public Access Text

    [Keywords: New Zealand History, New Zealand Wars]

  • Copyright
    No known copyright restrictions
  • Last Update
    04 Nov 2022
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