John Nevin’s Service Records (1825-1841)
At the Canadian Rebellion 1837-39
As a Chelsea Pensioner 1841
John Nevin in Tasmania (1852-1887)
Read about John Nevin …
Obituary – John Nevin – Obituaries Australia (external link)
John Nevin’s poem on the death of James William Chisholm 1863
WRITTEN on the much-lamented death of the late JAMES WILLIAM CHISHOLM, of Hobart Town, a native of Edinburgh, aged 61 years.
His toils are past, his warfare o’er,
No suffering anguish heaves his breast;
Far from his own lov’d native shore
Has found a place of lasting rest.
In yonder Church-yard’s cheerless gloom.
We’ve laid him in his narrow bed,
While tear drops fell around his tomb,
In memory of the sacred dead.
JAMES WILLIAM CHISHOLM honor’d name,
By all rever’d, who knew him best:
Masonic Brethren may proclaim,
Their filial grief with aching breast,
His vacant, seat, ah! Who shall fill
So wisely as our friend hath done.
Your welfare was his object still,
Until his earthly race was run.
Full thirty years, with ardent zeal,
He mix’d amongst the Brotherhood,
And aim’d at every brother’s weal ,-
Still nobly for your cause he stood.
His birth-place was old Scotia’s shore,
That land he ever lov’d so well;
But when he join’d the Royal Corps.
To that dear land he bade farewell.
A faithful partner left her home,
Alike from friends and kindred dear,
To cross the Ocean’s billowy foam,
To far Canadian forest drear,
And there his joys and griefs to share;
And oft to lift his aching head,
To pour the balm of comfort there,
When none but strangers round his bed.
His manly soul would still disdain,
To shrink from contending foe;
As oft we cross’d the slippery plain,
Or sinking to the waist in snow.*
With noble fortitude he bore
Each keen distress with Christian mind;
But, in affliction would implore
Strength from on high to be resigned.
He saw one flow’ret droop and fade,
By the St. Lawrence’s mighty tide;
‘Tis there his own dear babe is laid,
‘Twas there his little Janet died.
Again he cross’d the Atlantic’s wave,
To sultry Indies’ feverish soil.
Where the emancipated slave
Beneath the lash no longer toil.
Where Orange blossoms scent the air,
And wafts sweet odours all around,
And flowers of deepest hues are there,
And birds of gayest plumage found.
Back to Canadian streams and lakes,
From sunny skies to snowy dells;
Once more the dreary voyage makes.
To hear again the tinkling bells.
But not to where his fathers sleep –
He never saw that spot again;
He thought of other lands the while,
To rest in his declining years.
And sought thy shores, fair Tasman’s isle,
Now witness of his widow’s tears.
Two daughters weep in weeds of woes,
Three sons now mourn a parent gone,
And friends a tear of grief bestow,
To honor the departed one;
And while we mourn our friend’s decease,
The generous, noble, and the kind,
He died, as he had lived, in peace,
We trust with God and all mankind.
*He served as Armorer in the Royal Regiment, with the Author, in the Canadian Rebellion of 1839, it was a very severe winter.
Download the rest of this poem here from TROVE NLA:
Weekly Times (Hobart Town, Tas. : 1863), Saturday 29 August 1863, page 6