Today commemmorates the death, in 1878, of Bishop George Augustus Selwyn, the first Bishop of New Zealand. He was, from what I have read, a wise and godly man who did his best to build up a healthy church in New Zealand, and resisted the land-grabbing and violence that pervaded British colonisation at the time. The following poem is based partially on a sermon he preached after an earthquake in Wellington in 1848.God of the Quake and the Calm (For George Augustus Selwyn) God is known in the rustling of the trees in the cool of the day, or in the wind that breaketh the cedars of Libanus: at his will he reveals himself in the still small voice, or in the raging wind, in the earthquake or in the fire. – Bishop Selwyn, St John’s College, 1849 You knew of the tides, the times When it was safest to mount the waters in your boat, And you studied the times of men and of wars, Observed the uprisings, noted the stirrings Of anger and resentment, gave praises In the calm and saw always in the gentleness Of the waves that you travelled the hand Of the one who could shake them up in an instant. When mountains shook, you were unperturbed, Stood in your pulpit and called all to heed The warnings that rumbled in each quiver of ground And each belch of earth’s fires. You saw in both order And flux in the seasons the wisdom and power Of the hand that flung stars into the farthest of skies, Who said to the waves, “Here are your limits, go no further,” And yet shook the heavens when the time called for it. You gave warning to those lost in sleep and did not Slumber yourself while nations heaved up, And as bodies collected in dead, broken soil, Your hands turned to bury, your tongue to make peace, Joined hands with the weary who still could rejoice, Though the heavens were black, that they saw, In the storm, that spot of blue sky, and joined In the hope of the soon-passing storm?