Epigraph: 'Stolen from anxious Self, life's cruel task master.' Coleridge.
Dedication: To Lieutenant-Colonel J. G. N. Gibbes, Member of the Legislative Council, &c., &c., &c., These 'Stolen Moments' are, with his permission, most respectfully dedicated, as a faint token of gratitude for services rendered to his most humble, obedient servant, H. Parkes. Sydney, 21st June, 1842.
Author's Preface: ...Nearly all my poems...have been put together in thought, in 'moments' literally 'stolen' from the time occupied by the ordinary duties of a not over-happy life; my leisure having been generally devoted to other, perhaps, better purposes....I feel acutely how feeble must be any effort of mine to serve the cause of Australian literature, - the more acutely, because it would be my greatest happiness to do so; for, if I had indeed a motive in publishing, beyond the gratification of my feelings, by having these trifles arranged in their present form for the perusal of my friends, it was the hope that my success might prove a stimulative to literary enterprise in New South Wales. The voice of praise would be doubly sweet to me, if it were to encourage some Australian bard to seize in earnest the unstrung lyre of his beautiful country. The greater number of the pieces here collected have appeared before, in periodical publications, in this country or in England. Of these publications in Australia, all, with one exception, were sent to the Australasian Chronicle,...Sydney, 21st June, 1842. Footnote indicates the other poem published in Australia appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald July 10th, 1841.