Sometime in the late 1830s, Mereweather entered the following four-verse poem in his book of Memoranda, on page 38.







See Love’s web around thee weaving,

Maiden! Shun the fatal snare,

Trust no more those lips deceiving

Search his heart, thou art not there!



Though thy simple heart he wooeth

With a love-impassioned brow,

Yet with equal warmth he sueth

Many women fair as thou.



Thus o’er many a lovely flower

Flutters oft the painted fly,

Though each court a transient gaze

None can fix his wandering eye.



Yet this fly so gay, so joyous

Soon becomes a loathed thing

So will He, despised, forsaken

By the hearts who’ve felt his sting.

On pages 215-217, the poem is rewritten and expanded to comprise twelve verses. The entry is not dated, but would seem to have been made between March and September 1846. Mereweather thus wrote this poem well before he arrived in Australia.



See Love’s web around thee weaving,

Maiden, shun the fatal snare;

Trust no more those lips deceiving,

Search his heart – thou art not there.   


Thee, O fondest One he sueth,
With all eloquence, yet know
That with equal warmth he woeth
Many women fair as thou.


Harsh his nature, gentle thine,
Specious he, and thou confiding;
I would warn thee, ladye mine
For his love hath no abiding.

Such, such is man; too quickly losing
All the freshness of warm feeling,
Subtle, cold, and love abusing,
Bold adept at double dealing

Sighs and tears are his at pleasure,
Hand on heart and bended knee,
Now to gain the wished for treasure,
Love unending voweth he:

Now, the costly treasure his
His, a doating woman's love,
Straight he loathes such perfect bliss,
Straight again he needs must rove.


Onward, onward, see him roving
Over land and over sea,
Loved full oft, but never loving,
Constant to inconstancy.


But woman's love all love excelling,
Higher, purer, holier far,
In the clear heaven of her feeling
Sparkles like the morning star.

While man struggles on with toil
Rocking on life's troubled ocean,
[pencil: o'er]
Woman's love like balmy oil,
Soothes his aching heart's emotion.

Woman’s love is strong as death

Fixed but once her fond affections

‘Tis her life, her pulse, her breath

Sum of all her recollections

     [pencil: Soul ... ... predilections]


Man, replete with selfish feeling

Never can that love repay

He will swear, his guile concealing,

Swear he loves, but to betray.



O then ladye warm of heart,

Constant ever, too confiding,

I would warn thee, ere we part,
That man’s love hath no abiding.


This Song, See Love’s web around thee weaving, slightly amended, was set to music by Miss Murphy and dedicated to Mrs Alfred Stephen (Eleanor, née Bedford). In this form it was published in Sydney by W. J. Johnson & Co. of 314 Pitt Street, printed at F. Cunninghame of 113 King Street. The price was 2s. 6d. 

A short review (with the song title misspelt) appeared on 21 May 1853 in Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer, a weekly newspaper. The anonymous reviewer is not impressed by Mereweather's poetry. The fair Miss Murphy, on the other hand, "has done the fullest justice to the reverend author; and to the melodious accompaniment as rendered by her, the superfluity we have alluded to in the verses may pass unnoticed, or at least be tolerated".

The printed version of the song is reproduced below by kind permission of the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales. This is copyright material, and may not be re-used in any way.