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The Song of the Exile—A Canadian Epic
by Wilfred S. Skeats
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THE

SONG OF THE EXILE

A CANADIAN EPIC

Visions and Miscellaneous Poems

BY

WILFRED S. SKEATS

TORONTO HART & COMPANY 31 & 33 KING ST. WEST

1891



Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada in the Office of the Minister of Agriculture, by HART & COMPANY, in the year one thousand eight hundred and ninety.



DEDICATION.

To Thee, whose cheering words have urged me on When fainting heart advised me to stay My halting pen, and leave my task undone: To Thee, I humbly dedicate this lay. Strong, womanly heart! whose long-enduring pain Has not sufficed to rend thy faith in twain, But rather teaches thee to sympathise With those whose path through pain and darkness lies Thyself forgetting, if but thou canst be Of aid to others in adversity; The helpful word, the approbative smile From thee have ever greeted me, the while None other cheered. Then let this tribute be A token of my gratitude to Thee.



CONTENTS.

PAGE. THE SONG OF THE EXILE:

Canto the First 9 Canto the Second 29 Canto the Third 49 Canto the Fourth 71 Canto the Fifth 93 Footnotes 118

VISIONS:

The New Resolve 121 The Higher Duty 124 The Hidden Purpose 127

MISCELLANEOUS:

The Serpent 135 Pro Deo et Patria 137 Despondency 139 To L. W. 142 You Wrong Me Kate 145 Flossie 147 To Ethel 149 Dear Little Ethel 151 To D. R. P. 153 Christmas 158 A Serenade 160



THE

SONG OF THE EXILE.

A CANADIAN EPIC.



CANTO THE FIRST.

I.

Ye shores of England, as ye fast recede The pain of parting rends my weary breast. I must regret—yet there is little need That I should mourn, for only wild unrest Is mine while in my native land I roam. Thou gav'st me birth, but cannot give a home.

II.

Yet happy were the days that have been mine, So happy that those days must needs be few. It could not be that that bright sun would shine For many months, and while its light was new The clouds arose, and, in one fated day, The jealous storm had swept my joys away.

III.

That fated day, when I believed that all The hopes that I had cherished in the past Would be fulfilled, and I should fondly call The being whom I loved my own at last: Then fell the storm, and bursting on my head, Still saved my body when my soul was dead.

IV.

I loved her dearly, and my heart was set On winning her. My only aim in life Was to secure her love, and so forget The world beside—my world would be my wife. I never loved another, her alone I loved, and, loving, longed to call my own.

V.

The summer months were passed in tortured bliss. My love had grown, but that it could not grow; It all-enveloped me, and one sweet kiss From her dear lips had made my bosom glow With happiness; and many months of pain Had been as nothing, that one kiss to gain.

VI.

And, when the many-tinted Autumn's reign Succeeded Summer's more congenial sway, I told her of the mingled joy and pain That stirred my soul throughout each Summer's day. And whispered, in emotion's softest tone, The love that I had feared before to own.

VII.

She listened silently, then, sweetly shy, She laid her gentle head upon my breast. And, in the liquid depths of each blue eye, I read the love her lips had not confessed; And quickly, fondly, pressed her to my heart, Vowing that none should keep us two apart.

VIII.

Ah! happy were the months that followed then, The months that flew as rapidly as days; And sweet the stolen hours of meeting when We listened to the nightingale's sad lays, Or, seated on a rustic bench alone, Forgot all else in glad communion.

IX.

I had not asked her father for her hand; He was a baronet of ancient blood. Proud of his lineage, jealous of his land; His pride was such as boded me no good. I was an author, not unknown to fame, But could not boast a title to my name.

X.

Sore did my loved one beg me to confess My love to him, and ask for his consent. He loved her well, and could not fail to bless Our union; his pride had oft unbent To her, and she had now but little fear That he would hear me with a willing ear.

XI.

I gladly heard her speak in confident And reassuring tones, and all the doubt That had been mine now vanished, and I went, With lightsome heart, to seek her father out: And prayed him give his daughter for my wife, And thus confer a blessing on my life.

XII.

He heard me silently, nor did he speak For full two minutes after I had ceased; Then, while his eye flashed, and his livid cheek Betrayed his passion, was his tongue released; And, in vituperative tones, he swore That I should never cross his threshold more.

XIII.

Was this my gratitude for patronage, That I should thus inveigle his one daughter, And seek to supplement my sorry wage By the rich dowry that her marriage brought her? He was a baronet of ancient name; No parvenu his daughter's hand should claim.

XIV.

His words enraged me, but I checked my wrath For her dear sake, whose love alone that fire Could quench, and mildly arguments put forth To soothe the baronet, and calm his ire. But useless all the arguments I wove; In foaming rage he cursed me and my love.

XV.

What need to speak of all that next ensued? Still constantly, throughout those weary days, Impelled by hope, with fondest love imbued, Did I renew my suit. By bold essays I sought to win the baronet's consent— Each day a wilder rage his bosom rent.

XVI.

He had forbidden me to see my Love; But one glad morning I received a note From her. She bade me meet her in the grove Behind her father's house. In pain she wrote, For, though the letter spoke no word of pain, Her tears had left a sorrow-telling stain.

XVII.

We met at night-time; and her tear-stained face, Upturned to mine, was sorrowful and pale. I pressed her to me in a fond embrace, And kissed the cheeks that told so sad a tale. She sadly smiled, then spoke, her cheek bedewed, The while, with bitter tears again renewed:

XVIII.

"My fondest Love, within this silent glen, I bade thee come to say a last farewell. Alas! my Love, we may not meet again, For thou must leave me. Ah! I cannot tell What pain was mine as on my knees I cried, And begged my father to unbend his pride.

XIX.

"He will not hear me; nought that I can say Will calm his wrath, but rather do my prayers Increase his passion. Each recurring day, When I would still importune him, he bears A sterner aspect, and 'twere better now That we should speak no more of this our vow.

XX.

"But leave thou me, and seek a foreign clime. My father thus will think that thou hast lost All hope of winning me. In one year's time Return again; perhaps, by conscience tossed, My father will repent his stern decree, And gladly, as my husband, welcome thee."

XXI.

"Oh! fly thou with me, Love," I trembling cried, "And—" but my loved one would not hear my cry: "'Tis but a twelvemonth since my mother died, And I should sin against my God if I Should leave my father. Oh! my Love, seek not To tempt me thus, but help me bear my lot."

XXII.

'Twere wrong to more persuade her. Silently I kissed her gentle lips. A loving spell Of sweet communion followed—it could be But short—and then we bade a long farewell. O'erwhelmed with tears, my gentle Love was gone, And I must wander exiled and alone.

XXIII.

Yet is it best that I should wander thus, Far from the cherished spot where we have passed Such happy days, since not again for us Will be the joy that seemed too great to last. Her father is too stern a man to know Remorse's sting; his hatred will but grow.

XXIV.

Each year my wandering feet shall hither stray, Each year my heart will feel the pang anew. And this one thought alone will cheer my way, That she, my Love, is faithful still, and true. Her father may forbid our union, But still our hearts together beat as one.

XXV.

Lonely I stand, and silent gaze upon The fading shore, where dwells my soul's twin-soul. 'Midst my companions I am still alone, Less near to them than her, though billows roll Between us two. Fast fades the distant strand. Farewell my Love! Farewell my native Land!

XXVI.

England! dear land of liberty and peace, Great art thou now, and greater still wilt be, If but thy truth and honesty increase As each revolving decade renders thee In population greater. Let the name Of Christian England fix thy future fame.

XXVII.

The tale is told that when a foreign king Would know what pow'r thy gracious Queen possessed, That she could rule, with might unfaltering, Her people, and by them be ever blessed; She laid her hand upon a Bible near, And, smiling, said: "That pow'r lies hidden here."

XXVIII.

Defender of the Faith we call our Queen, And she has been that Faith's exemplar too. Not all the ages of the past have seen A sovereign more noble, pure, and true. And she has kept, as well as monarch could, Her childhood's promise: "Oh! I will be good."

XXIX.

And not without the help of that great Book Could she have kept the promise of her youth. Through all the backward years of history look— These plainly prove that declaration's truth. Kingdoms may rise, and, with unquestioned sway, Monarchs may rule, and none their right gainsay,

XXX.

But, founded on another base than this, That monarch's might shall surely pass away; No kingdom is so strong that it can miss This destiny. A premature decay Has greeted, and will ever greet, that land Whose weak foundation trembles in the sand.

XXXI.

The sword is mighty; by its bloody might Empires have risen—risen but to fall. A nation built in blood must ever fight, Or lose its name and power. 'Tis not all To conquer once; an enemy subdued Waits but a happy chance for further feud.

XXXII.

Nor will the nation nurtured by the sword, If undisturbed by subjugated foes, Remain in peace and rest; one murmured word Of discontent will plunge it in the throes Of fratricidal warfare; and not long That word remains uncalled for by some wrong.

XXXIII.

The page of history is blotted o'er With tales of bloodshed. Not a single nation Exists, but spent its greater life in war. And in each Power's restless fluctuation From might to weakness, and from servitude To might, is shown the sword's incertitude.

XXXIV.

Until the time when every mighty Power Stands ready to confess the Christian creed That bloodshed is a sin—until that hour Has come, all Europe's treasuries must bleed, That naval armaments may grimly stand, And military menace every land.

XXXV.

Then, England, since an universal peace, A peace eternal, has not been proclaimed, Thy military might must still increase, Thy naval glory must not be defamed. But only when thine honour shall demand, Or injured right, upraise thy martial hand.

XXXVI.

Be Christian first and last, and be not slow To propagate the cause of arbitration. Let peaceful compacts, bloodless victories, grow Till hideous war, with ruthless devastation, Destroy no more the beauty of thy land, Nor raise against thy homes its bloodstained hand.

XXXVII.

Be Christian first and last, for thus alone Shalt thou attain to might unfaltering. No nation in the past has ever known The lasting power which faith alone can bring. Though each in turn has gained a glorious name, Not one has risen to eternal fame.

XXXVIII.

The Roman Caesars, with increasing pride, "Outstretched their hands and grasped a hemisphere." Their glory swelled with ever-flowing tide, And nations bowed to them in trembling fear. Their eagles flew, and lofty was their flight, Yet only Caesar's empire met their sight.

XXXIX.

But now the Roman Empire is no more; No longer Roman eagles sweep the sky. The pampered luxury of Rome soon bore Its wonted fruit—gross immorality; And weakened thus, and by internal strife, Great Caesar's Empire yielded up its life.

XL.

And classic Greece, which, in a former age, Bore mighty warriors without compeer, Knew not the land whose war-compelling gage Could not be taken up without a fear. But now her power is so completely broke, She almost yields her to an Asian yoke.

XLI.

And France, in later days, has girded on A might magnificent; and none could stay The pow'r of her adored Napoleon, Before whose hosts, in ill-concealed dismay, The nations fled. Then France her flag unfurled, And waved it proudly over half a world.

XLII.

But not in England. And when Bonaparte Would lay the British nation at his feet, Her legions tore his mighty hosts apart, And snatched the Conqueror from his lofty seat. Then France's glory faded fast away, Till not a nation owned her sovereign sway.

XLIII.

And thus have mighty nations ever perished, Or lost the greater portion of their might, When, as their sole upholder, they have cherished The reeking sword, in disregard of right. Then, England, take thou warning by their fate, And keep thy Christian faith inviolate.

XLIV.

America's Republic stands alone. But once for bloody glory did she raise Her martial hand; and Canada was thrown Into a state of war.[A] But all essays To sever her allegiance from her King Proved vain—her faith remained unfaltering.



XLV.

But once America unrighteously Led forth her armies. Only to defend Her people's honour and integrity Has she, since then, allowed them to contend In bitter warfare. And the peaceful arts Engage more readily her people's hearts.

XLVI.

A noble nation striving peacefully To gain the highest pinnacle of honour, Without a peer in ingenuity; Well mayest thou, great England, look upon her As worthier far to be thy firm ally Than any European monarchy.

XLVII.

Send forth thy Prince's son, and let him find In broad America a worthy bride. Thus let the ties of blood together bind The Anglo-Saxon race on either side The great Atlantic. Keep thy princes free From royal Europe's mad heredity.

XLVIII.

Far better were it they should choose their brides From some American pure family, Than wed their cousins, in whose blood, besides The fell disease which immorality Of ancestors has planted there, there run Weaknesses caused by kindred's union.

XLIX.

The scurvy-stricken family whose head Rules all the Russias' limitless domain; The progeny of Ludwig, lately dead By his own hand; the Hohenzollern vain And proud, and yet diseased; or Austria's queen Whose hidden madness still is plainly seen:

L.

Shall we defile our royal English blood By marriage with such families as these? Shall English kings inherit all this flood Of imbecility and dread disease? Must all the purity of Guelph be so Impaired and ruined by this noisome flow?

LI.

Nay, rather let us throw aside that form, (That well had been abolished in the past), Which bids our royal princes to conform To rules as rigid as the Indian caste Distinctions, nor a single Prince allows To marry other than a royal spouse.

LII.

And let our England's royal House be bound By wedlock to America. Perchance This bond may, in a future day, be found The first of many, which shall so enhance Our mutual love that, by God's kindly grace, On History's page this name shall have a place: "THE EMPIRE OF THE ANGLO-SAXON RACE."

LIII.

Great England! Land of liberty and peace, With fond regret I leave thy hallowed shore; But, in my exile, I can never cease To love the Land that I may see no more. All foreign countries are alike to me; My heart's affection is bound up in thee.

Blue, boundless and free, the deep-flowing sea Environs on every side The ship, which the gale, well-filling each sail, Impels through the rolling tide.

Around, far and near, bright, foaming and clear, The billows tumultuous roll; And their message to me is, "Free, wildly free! "Free ever from man's control!"

As round me they throng, I hear their wild song, And echo its truthful strain. The power of man, that limitless span Of ocean, can ne'er restrain.

But I know that their Maker can challenge each breaker, And still every wave by His word; And o'er me a feeling comes silently stealing Of awe at the might of the Lord.

And sweet is the thought, by memory brought, That once on the waters He trod; And my soul seems to be, on the breast of the sea, Alone in the presence of God.

Then soft on the air I whisper a prayer, And know 'twill be echoed above: "Be Thou very near her to comfort and cheer her, Oh, God, bless and cherish my Love!"



CANTO THE SECOND.

I.

Renowned Quebec, upon its rocky height, Stands frowning o'er St. Lawrence' noble river; Well-nigh impregnable, its chosen site Bespeaks its founder's wisdom, and forever Should be remembered all the toil and pain Endured by him, brave Samuel de Champlain.

II.

Not light the task, nor enviable the lot Of him who thus would plant, on shores unknown, And in a wild and never-trodden spot, A new-born city's first foundation stone. A sturdy courage and a fearless heart Belong to him who plays so bold a part.

III.

Not first to land in Acadie, nor first To sail the great St. Lawrence, brave Champlain Yet dared what none before him ever durst— To give his life and labour—not for gain To be derived from profitable trade— Ambition else by hardship had been stayed;

IV.

But, for his king to found a colony, And, for his God to win another land, He suffered pain and hardship patiently; And, with a busy and unflinching hand, He laboured on that wild and rugged shore; Nor ceased to labour till he breathed no more.

V.

He had not thus endured, as he endured, Except his faith had given him new might; Nor had he been to suffering inured, And patient borne, except the holy rite, Each day renewed, had cheered his fainting soul, Enabling him to keep his courage whole.

VI.

Ye, living in your luxury and ease Think not of all your country's fathers bore; And still forget the famine and disease Those pioneers suffered on your shore. Their names are unfamiliar on your tongue, Their deeds but vaguely known, their praise unsung.

VII.

So has it been, and so shall ever be The man who stands to-day a shining light, The hero who commands our fealty, To-morrow, in oblivion's dark night, Will be forgotten, or, on history's page, May flicker dimly in a future age.

VIII.

Think not, ye men who seek to carve your name On monuments of everlasting stone, That ye can thus secure eternal fame. Far greater deeds than yours have others done, And greater far the harvest they have sown, Which now ye reap, while they remain unknown.

IX.

As through the ages, silent and unseen, The tiny corals work beneath the wave And build a reef, which reef had never been Except each coral there had found a grave; So work the heroes of the human race, And in their work-field find a resting place.

X.

How vast the number of the coral shells That form the reef! And yet of these but one Of many thousands ever elsewhere dwells Than on that reef; all hidden and unknown The rest remain, and few indeed are they Which shine as jewels at a later day.

XI.

And thus have lived our heroes in the past: The army of the brave and noble who Have laboured uncomplaining, and at last Have yielded up their lives; but there are few Whose names stand forth, as worth would bid them stand, Revered and honoured in their fatherland.

XII.

But Canada, let not the brave Champlain Be thus in dark oblivion forgot. Grant him the fame he never sought to gain; Pay him the honour that he courted not; And on thine earliest page of history Write large his name, not as a mystery

XIII.

Or name unknown—but tell his deeds abroad, And teach thy children all that he has done Not hard the task, and thou canst well afford To show the gratitude that he has won From thee; and thus thou surely wilt impart A proud ambition in thy children's heart

XIV.

To imitate the man, so true and brave, Who laboured self-denyingly in life, And 'neath the city's walls has found a grave, At rest at last, and free from further strife. Thus, as thy children knowledge of him gain, Their hearts shall burn to emulate Champlain.

XV.

I stand upon the plains of Abraham, And, silent as I stand, a train of thought Comes o'er me, and the spot whereon I am Seems almost holy ground; for here was fought That mighty battle, whose event would show If Canada were British soil or no.

XVI.

Before my eyes a vision rises bright, And, in the vision, I can clearly see The actions re-enacted of that fight; And grand indeed the sight appears to me. Repictured thus, I gaze upon the scene, And meditate again on what has been.

XVII.

Ere yet the light had broken on that morn,[B] Before the sun had shed his rays around, While blackest darkness heralded the dawn, The little fleet had left its anchor-ground; With not a lantern showing light or gleam, It floated silently adown the stream.

XVIII.

Within the flagship, weakened by the pain Of recent fever, Wolfe reclining lay Unfit to bear the war's fatigue and strain, He yet was armed and ready for the fray. Forgetful of his pain and suffering, He thought but of his country and his king.

XIX.

His duty bade him fight, and he would fight; His country bade him win, and he would win If bravery could put the foe to flight. If courage and a sturdy heart within Could win the day, he feared not the event; His men were veterans on victory bent.

XX.

Yet, as he lay upon his couch at rest Among his officers, he seemed to be Prescient of his fate; for he addressed His friends in verses from an Elegy, And to this line a special accent gave: "The paths of glory lead but to the grave."

XXI.

Foreknowledge of his fate perchance impressed This truth upon him. Glory's path would lead Him to the grave that day, and there at rest, No longer pain or glory would he heed. Full well might these appear a mockery To him who soon would meet eternity.[C]

XXII.

And who will blame him if his thought recurred, At such a time, to England and the maid Beloved, to whom he gave his plighted word Ere parting? Who will wonder at the shade Of sorrow darkling on his troubled brow, As he reflects on what may not be now?

XXIII.

A vision bright, of home and happiness, Of calm domestic joy, before him lies. One moment gazes he—his hands hard press His forehead, and the hardy soldier sighs— One moment only, then he turns away, Prepared to lead his army to the fray.

XXIV.

Below the city, anchored by the shore, The fleet is floating; and in silent speed, The soldiers land, Wolfe leading in the fore. And, if of urging there were any need, His fearless mien and proud determination Would banish every thought of hesitation.

XXV.

But fear is foreign to each noble heart That follows him, and in the breast of none Has doubt or hesitation any part; Let him but lead, and they will follow on. They listen to his orders and obey; He fears not death or danger—why should they?

XXVI.

Above them tow'rs the cliff precipitous, Well-nigh impassable its steep ascent. How hard the task and how laborious To scale the cliff! Yet forth the order went. Then, in the darkness, stealthily they creep, And silently approach the rocky steep.

XXVII.

Like Indians soft stealing on the trail Of hated foes, intent upon surprise, And silent moving lest their project fail, When death in premature detection lies; So noiselessly that army scaled the height, While darkness hid them from the foemen's sight.

XXVIII.

At length they reach the summit unattacked, Then form, and silent march upon the plain. And now they learn the foe has seen their act, For onward towards them comes his shining train. The day has broke, the sun now brightly shines, And each can plainly see the other's lines.

XXIX.

Then from the French battalions comes the fire Of musketry, and bullets hissing loud Pierce through the English ranks, yet but inspire The veterans to vengeance, and their blood Boils in their veins. Yet silently they still March on, awaiting their commander's will.

XXX.

At length is heard the general's command To fire. A fearful volley from their ranks Then belches forth, and, sweeping o'er the land, The bullets carry ruin to the Franks. In deep dismay the Frenchmen hesitate One moment; then, with valour desperate,

XXXI.

They turn again, restrengthened, to the fight. But fruitless all the bravery they show; Repulsed anew, ere long they take to flight, Pursued by English bullets as they go. And from the time the battle first begun, But fifteen minutes passed till it was won.

XXXII.

But deadly was the devastation wrought On either side, and dearly was the day Of glory by the English army bought. Thrice bullet-pierced their young commander lay. He lived to hear the cry of victory, Then yielded up his spirit willingly.

XXXIII.

Good reason had the conquerors to mourn; Yet had the vanquished greater cause than they. The day was lost, and sadly had they borne Their leader from the battle-field away. Beloved Montcalm, the generous and brave, Upon that field had found a bloody grave.

XXXIV.

And what of her who sat in silent grief, And listened vainly for the step of him Whose coming only could afford relief, And stay the tears in which her eyes will swim? Ah! History has nought to say of her, Nor speaks it of the sorrow she must bear.

XXXV.

The full extent of war's resulting curse Is never known: the country's gain or loss Is reckoned by its victory or reverse, The dead are numbered—but the heavy cross Of suffering, which womankind must bear, Is reckoned not among the deeds of war.

XXXVI.

Nor can it be: while war is arbiter Between the nations, private suffering Must count for nought; affection must defer To duty, whatso'er the pain it bring. The soldier must obey the bugle call; The wife must weep, and pray he may not fall.

XXXVII.

While war is arbiter—but must it be Forever arbiter? Will not the day Of lasting peace dawn ever? Will not ye, Ye Christian nations, raise your voice, and stay The march of war throughout the universe; And rid you of its agony and curse?

XXXVIII.

It lies not in your pow'r to order those, The nations still uncivilized, to cease From war, and, if they make themselves your foes, Ye must resist; yet can ye order peace Among yourselves. And, sure, ye Christian lands Would wash the blood of war from off your hands!

XXXIX.

Slow, slow, the march of Christianity, Yet sure—more sure because its march is slow; And settled now in peace and amity Are issues which, but fifty years ago, Had been the cause of bloodshed and of strife, And cost each country many a noble life.

XL.

Then let the infidel or atheist, Or him who doubts if ever God can be, And questions the existence of a Christ, Mark well the fruits of Christianity, And say what other power has ever wrought The good that Christianity has brought

XLI.

No myth or vain delusion can achieve What love of Christ has done; no mockery Can bring the troubled comfort, or relieve The broken heart; nor can idolatry Inspire our hearts with love and charity: These follow only Christianity.

XLII.

I pause before a simple monument, And read inscribed thereon the noble names Montcalm and Wolfe. Their enmity is spent, And each from French and English justly claims An equal reverence. This humble stone Stands emblematic of their union.

XLIII.

And are the nations so united now, In Canada, that nothing comes between To break the bond, or disannul the vow Of friendship and of fealty to our Queen? Do they not rather live each wide apart From other, bound in name but not in heart?

XLIV.

Well nigh a century and thirty years Have run their course since Canada became An English colony; and yet appears, Within her shores, a unity in name, And name alone, between those races who Should live as one, but still exist as two.

XLV.

What boots it that an oath of loyalty To Britain's Queen is taken by the French, If they but wait the opportunity To give that man support who seeks to wrench This vast Dominion from the British Crown, And tear our noble red-cross banner down?

XLVI.

And why call that an English colony In which a foreign tongue predominates? And how will he preserve his loyalty To England, who the name of England hates? Too generous have been your governors, Too lightly exercised their given powers.

XLVII.

Ere this, if England had asserted all The rights that conquest gave, here might have been A colony which we could truly call A British land. Nor should we now have seen, In Canada, two nations side by side Upgrowing, by affection's bond untied.

XLVIII.

"A nation self-divided cannot stand." All history has proved this adage true. And, Canada, if thou would'st be a land Of might and power, thou must surely do As other lands have done; it cannot be That thou wilt else secure prosperity.

XLIX.

Let not incipient rebellion grow To actual revolt, but trample down Its very sign, and with a mighty blow, Crush all who rise disloyal to the Crown. Do this, but this alone will not suffice; A sterner duty yet before thee lies.

L.

Send forth the edict that the English tongue, And it alone, shall be official here, And teach the language everywhere among The French in all the counties far and near. Thus, and thus only, canst thou hope to see Thy future self preserved in unity.

LI.

But what are these to me? A passing thought, An evanescent stirring of the brain, Which, for a time, forgetfulness has brought, And temporary soothing of my pain. But as I turn away, anew I feel The burning sore which time can never heal.

LII.

Apart from her I love I wander here, In thought communing with that absent one; In body distant, though in spirit near, I feel our hearts are in communion. Then, softly murmuring, I breathe this lay To her so near, and yet so far away.

* * * * *

From regions remote my message shall float On zephyrs across the sea, And softly thou'lt hear the words in thine ear, "I love thee, I love but thee."[D]

Though distant I rove, sweet thoughts of my love Are ever at home with me. Each day and each hour but strengthen their power; I love thee, I love but thee.

If sorrow be thine, oh! cease to repine, For mine thou shalt always be. Oh! breathe not a sigh, though I am not nigh, I love thee, I love but thee.

Though oceans divide us and fortune deride us, No two are more near than we; Our hearts close are beating in tenderest greeting; I love thee, I love but thee.

I ask not of Fate a lordly estate, Or position of high degree; I ask her alone to grant me my own; I love thee, I love but thee.



CANTO THE THIRD.

I.

Below me, as I stand upon this mount, I see, in panoramic view displayed So clearly that with ease I could recount The mighty buildings and the ships fast stayed Within the harbour, Montreal, the port Of Canada, and once its chiefest fort.

II.

And, winding through the valley, I can see St. Lawrence river, and the fields beyond Of corn and pasture land. The scenery Reminds me of my native land, and fond, Yet sad and sorrow-laden, memories Possess me as the vision meets my eyes.

III.

My native land! still, still I think of thee; By day and night the oft-recurring thought Brings intermingled pain and joy to me. And oft I curse the fortune which has brought These days of exile and of solitude To one who longs for peace and quietude.

IV.

My life has not been sinless, yet what sin Have I committed that my punishment Should be so great! An aching heart within Still makes me sorrowful. Why was I sent, Far from my home, to wander lonely here, Apart from those whose love I hold so dear?

V.

I met and loved her whom I may not wed, And, ere I knew that she could not be mine, I thought that God upon my life had shed A brighter light than had been wont to shine. And, sure, this power cometh from above; He teacheth us to love, whose name is Love.

VI.

And since He giveth us this love, oh! why Doth He not smooth the path of love, and hear The prayer of those who in their anguish cry To Him for help, and in their godly fear Rely upon His aid? And why hath He Prepared this pain and agony for me?

VII.

Be still my soul; it is not thine to take Thy God to task. Canst thou forget the pain And agony He suffered for thy sake? Or canst remember these and not restrain Thyself from challenging thy God? Be still, And bow submissive to thy Father's will.

VIII.

'Twas man condemned me to a life of woe, And 'twas not God. The pride of man hath said That I must suffer thus. It must be so Because the baronet was nobler bred. Oh, cruel, cruel wrong! Oh mockery! That bluer blood should sever her from me!

IX.

Give thanks to God, Canadians, that ye Have not been cursed with nobility. And, as you love your country, keep it free From those whose utter inutility For any good is proven by their pride Of blood; they have not aught to boast beside.

X.

A noble land is yours, and ye may well Be proud of her. And here before me lies Your greatest city. Would that I could tell One-half the tales of brave self-sacrifice Which those who founded Montreal had shown, Ere yet the name of Canada was known.

XI.

But, should I strive to speak of every deed Of sacrifice and brave endurance borne By all your heroes, I should feel the need Of greater time, and heart less sorrow-worn; Nor have the Muses so inspired my pen That I can fitly praise those noble men.

XII.

Yet would I strive to sing as best I may Of him who landed first upon this shore; I fain would speak of hardy Cartier: His ship the first St. Lawrence ever bore; His face the first pale-face the Indians Had seen; his deeds well merit utterance.

XIII.

Three centuries and half a century Have sped their course since Cartier set sail From France, intent upon discovery. He oft had heard the wonder-stirring tale Of distant lands possessed of mighty wealth; These now he would discover for himself.

XIV.

And westward sailing on his unknown way, In course of time he met his due reward; And sailed this noble river on the day Made holy to St. Lawrence. He implored The blessing of the Saint upon his aim, And called the gulf and river by his name.

XV.

Then, landing on the wooded shore, he knelt Before his God, and offered up a prayer To Him, to show the gratitude he felt Towards the God whose hand had brought him there In safety. And he asked for further aid And guidance in the land where now he stayed.

XVI.

When men were more unlearned than they are In this our present scientific day, The earth to heaven seemed to be more near, And God Himself appeared less far away. For deeds accomplished, or for blessings given, Due praise was offered to the God of Heaven.

XVII.

But now our wise philosophers, and those Whose scientific knowledge is so vast That he who knows what has escaped them knows What is not worth the knowing; these, at last, Have reached to such a pinnacle of pride, That God Himself is little by their side.

XVIII.

In truth, their learning has become so great That their imagination can conceive No being mightier than they, and, straight, In God's existence they will not believe. And men untutored listen to their word, And deem those foolish who believe the Lord.

XIX.

But Cartier was living in an age When Science in her cradle was asleep, And men accounted not themselves too sage To bow to God in prayer, nor to reap The benefits which only can accrue To those whose faith in God is pure and true.

XX.

So he besought a blessing from his Lord Before he re-embarked; then, setting sail, The newly-christened river he explored, Till, favored by a gently-blowing gale, He reached the Hochelaga settlement Of Indians, and thence no further went.

XXI.

A hundred years elapsed, and then there came A little band from France to yonder isle; To found a mission and a fort their aim; And there they laboured for their faith, the while Protecting them as best they might from those Who proved themselves their fierce and bitter foes.

XXII.

The Iroquois, by cruel hate possessed, Left not a chance untaken to obtain A reeking scalp; and fiercely they oppressed The little band, whose suffering and pain, In Montreal and all throughout the land, Seemed more than human frailty could withstand.

XXIII.

But Maisonneuve and they who followed him Were bent upon a high and holy aim; Their undertaking was no foolish whim, Nor had they come for honour or for fame. A Jesuitic band, they sought to win Those Indians from a life of death and sin.

XXIV.

They sought to win them to the faith which they Themselves possessed, and thought it not a hard, Nor yet an unexpected, thing to lay Their own lives down to win them. Their reward They counted not to win on earth, but knew That each in Heaven would gain the glory due.

XXV.

What though the Jesuitic creed be not As true and generous a faith as that Which we profess; what though a bloody blot Has stained its page of history; the great And worthy deeds those fathers wrought should raise A feeling in our hearts of loving praise.

XXVI.

They suffered for their God and for their Pope; They suffered for their faith, to them as true And pure as ours to us, and in the hope That God would bless their labours, and endue The savage Indians with a softer heart, And give them with the blessed ones a part.

XXVII.

They merit praise and honour, but the cause For which they laboured merits none of these; A cruel creed, with harsh and bloody laws, The very name of Christ it travesties. An evil Order, working in the name Of Christianity dark deeds of shame.

XXVIII.

He whom they call their Master suffered not His followers to mingle in the strife Of politics—not such their chosen lot; Theirs to prepare men for a higher life. And yet He bade them to their king be true, And offer unto Caesar all his due.

XXIX.

But this do not the Jesuits; they fain Would undermine the power of the land In which they dwell, and every effort strain To take the civil sceptre in their hand. They creep, as serpents, smoothly on their prey, But subtly spread their poison in the way.

XXX.

And these, Canadians, have found a home Within your shores. Ye know not what ye do In harb'ring them. Be sure the day will come When ye will bitterly and sadly rue Your action. Other lands will not permit The entrance of the hated Jesuit.

XXXI.

But why should I presume to thus dictate To ye? And what know I of all the things Which influence your Ministers of State, That I should utter forth these murmurings? By greed and selfish motives unpossessed, They, in their wisdom, must do what is best!

XXXII.

I stand upon the hill at Ottawa, And stretching wide before me lies a scene Of pretty lowland country. Near and far, The river Ottawa winds on between The wooded slopes and meadow-lands, where lie The lazy cattle chewing silently.

XXXIII.

The scene is unimposing; there is nought Of grandeur or magnificence displayed; But by its quiet prettiness is brought A sense of calm enjoyment—hill and glade And peaceful meadow, all alike suggest Sweet thoughts of still serenity and rest.

XXXIV.

The face of Nature, for the student's mind, Provides a subject inexhaustible. And, in its study, weary men may find A solace for the troubles caused by all The sorrows and afflictions which must be The lot of all, of high or low degree.

XXXV.

The mountain, by its grandeur, testifies To His omnipotence who placed it there; The rushing, mighty torrent verifies His ceaseless working; and His constant care And kindliness is proven by the still And growing meadow, and the purling rill.

XXXVI.

Thus, whatsoever his environment, The sorrow-stricken one can find a balm, Which should assuage his moody discontent, Replacing it by trustfulness and calm. For God reveals Himself in every place, And writes His presence on Creation's face.

XXXVII.

And here I feel a quiet peace unfelt In all my solitary wanderings Before. My heavy troubles seem to melt Away, and Faith a calm contentment brings, And all my misery aside is thrown; He cares for me who cares for all His own.

XXXVIII.

A pile majestic and magnificent, Of lofty buildings, stands upon this hill; Unequalled elsewhere on the continent, It well bespeaks the architective skill Displayed in this our nineteenth century; And clothes the city with its dignity.

XXXIX.

Within these walls are gathered in debate The statesmen and the legislators, who Are learned in the matters of the State. Alike to God and to their country true These men should be, and high above the rest Exalted, seeking not self-interest.

XL.

These hold the country's welfare in their hand. A mighty trust to them has been consigned. They know their duty, and should understand What acts will echo best the people's mind; And they should act, in matters small or great, As wisdom and their consciences dictate.

XLI.

Thus should they act, but thus do not they all, But mildly bow to their Dictator's bid; They fear to disobey him, lest they fall Quick victims to his anger, or be chid Severely by the leader, in whose power It lies to give his slaves official dower.

XLII.

Thus is a heavy premium placed upon A blind obedience and servility; And high position hardly can be won Except by meekness and docility: By meekness where assertion would be right; By weak docility where should be might.

XLIII.

And they, the Ministers of State, who hold The gift of the office and the nation's trust, From long retained authority grow bold, And, almost flagrantly, they dare adjust The national affairs in such a way As best will serve them, and protract their sway.

XLIV.

But not too far do they attempt to go In serving self. There stands an arbiter To whom they must appeal; were this not so, Their conscientiousness might not deter The country's servants from committing deeds To hinder which their shame now intercedes.

XLV.

And yet, methinks, the arbiter to whom They must appeal is far too liberal, Or far too careless. When the day has come In which a judgment must be given on all The actions of their Ministers of State, The people are too mild and moderate.

XLVI.

Or they forget the misdeeds of the past— Misdeeds which well deserve a harder name, And which at first provoked a stormy blast Of anger, and aroused a sense of shame Within the people's hearts—these are forgot, Though on the Nation's life they leave a blot.

XLVII.

They are forgot; for party feelings run More high than love of country, and the man, Who can defeat the chosen champion Of an opposing party, will obtain A full forgiveness for his deeds of shame, And crown himself with all a hero's fame.

XLVIII.

Not Liberal and not Conservative Alone compels my wrath; to either party My feeble but impartial pen would give A condemnation passionate and hearty; Each sees the wreck the Catholic has made In Canada, and each implores his aid.

XLIX.

Each begs support for only selfish ends; Unfired with love for Britain's Queen they cry, And seek to make the Catholics their friends For party purposes; their loyalty Bombastically swearing, each bows down To those inimical to Britain's Crown.

L.

'Tis hate of bigotry, they glibly shout, Impels their tolerance: Oh! take that word And bid the feet of License crush it out; For License now is undisputed lord. Let not the bigot live,—but nurse the snake That brings the Inquisition in its wake!

LI.

See where, in old Quebec, its Premier Uplifts the Tricolor, and waves it high. While shouts un-English rend the poisoned air To greet the new-born Nationality; And hear Ontario's Minister confess His joy for this, a Liberal success!

LII.

And is it bigotry to interfere When treason stalks triumphant through the land? Will none but bigots hear the traitors cheer, Nor long to raise aloft the armed hand? Your ancestors would not account it so; And English hearts would burn to strike the blow.

LIII.

Tear down that flag! in God's name and the Queen's. Will not the Red Cross Banner rouse your zeal? Tear down that flag! and let who intervenes Bite hard the dust beneath your iron heel. Tear down that flag!—Oh, Canada! bow, bow Your shameful head in deep contrition now.

LIV.

What wonder, since your party deeds alone Absorb your thought and wake your energy, That insurrection's seeds are widely sown, And voice is given to dark disloyalty? Ye clothe your land in insurrection's dress, And nurse disloyalty, by callousness.

LV.

And I, though sojourning a stranger here, Will dare to raise my voice in condemnation, When words unwelcome to an English ear Are heard re-echoing without cessation; The while accursed party interests Drive patriotic thoughts from out your breasts.

LVI.

I marvel not that politicians stand In ill repute with honourable men, While, through the length and breadth of this fair land, They mark themselves with party's evil stain, And enter in the field of politics For selfish ends attained by shameless tricks.

LVII.

Yet are not politicians in one mould All fashioned; there are honest men and true Who serve their country, not for love of gold Or fame, but for the good that they can do. Would God that these, and these alone, held sway Within your senates, Canada, to-day!

LVIII.

But politics shall occupy my thought No more. I turn with deep relief away From that which lack of principle has brought To premature and undeserved decay. Perchance, from out the ashes where it lies, True statesmanship may, phoenix-like, arise.

LIX.

The sun is setting, and its shining rays Reflect them redly on the river's breast, Which now an iridescent gleam displays, Which, like a mighty opal, is possessed With ever-changing hues of brilliancy; As sets the sun their light I still can see.

LX.

The twilight hour approaches—silent hour For calm reflection or communion, When, in a quiet, unfrequented bower, Fond lovers whisper as they sit alone. And I would send a greeting to the one Whose heart with mine still beats in unison.

* * * * *

My Love, my own Sweetheart, Let sorrow not be thine, Though still we live apart, The lamp of Hope must shine.

And, shedding on our path The light of trustfulness And never-failing faith, 'Twill make our sorrow less.

Let Hope then ever be At home within thy breast, And know God loveth thee, And knoweth what is best.

He careth for the trees, For every beast and bird; And thinkest thou thy pleas In Heaven are unheard?

Nay, God has heard each prayer, And He will answer thee. Trust to His loving care, And live thou patiently.

And when the looked-for day Of happiness and rest Has come, we both shall say "God truly knew the best."

And fondly to my heart I'll press thee, dearest Life; And none us two shall part, For thou wilt be my wife.



CANTO THE FOURTH.

I.

Toronto, on its island-girded bay, Full well protected from the storms which blow Across the lake, stands proudly, as well may The capital of all Ontario. So situate, its properties beguile, Inviting me to pause and rest awhile.

II.

When young America (then recently An independent nation, full of pride Engendered by her new-born dignity), Would sever Canada from England's side, She sent an armed fleet across the lake, This town to capture and its fort to take.

III.

Six hundred soldiers only guarded then The little fort; but in their veins there flowed The blood of proud and valiant Englishmen. And in their hearts a bitter hatred glowed Against the nation, whose unjust attack But urged them on to drive the invader back.

IV.

And, though the force opposing them was nigh Three times the number of their own, yet still They fought against their landing valiantly, Contending with a fierce and dogged will. But numbers overpowered the gallant band, And soon the foe was safe upon the land.

V.

Then inch by inch contested they the ground, Determined not to yield to quick defeat; But, bravely though they fought, ere long they found Themselves compelled to beat a slow retreat. But, falling back before the enemy, They lost not yet the hope of victory.

VI.

Meanwhile the enemy advanced within Two hundred yards of where the garrison Was quartered. Sudden ceased the battle's din, And he who led the invading army on Gave orders for a halt, in expectation Of winning now the fort's capitulation.

VII.

Then, as they halted, sudden a report, As of an earthquake, rent the trembling air, And, midst the debris of the scattered fort, Two hundred slain Americans lay there. The British had retreated, but had fired The powder-magazine as they retired.

VIII.

Th' enraged Americans accounted this An act of baseness and of perfidy. I know not what the law of slaughter is, But this I know, that they can hardly be Renowned for faith and truth to honour's code, Whose lives are spent in butchery and blood.

IX.

The man's environment perfects the man, And each can choose his own environment. And each can either cause to die, or fan To brighter life, the seed or rudiment Of good or evil moral tendency Acquired, or inbred by heredity.

X.

And he who chooses warfare as the life Most suited to his predilections, he Who finds his happiness in constant strife, Will hardly honour peace and amity. In bloodshed living, gentle virtues all A victim to his martial taste will fall.

XI.

In ancient days, when men were more uncouth Than now they are, it might be well, perchance, That they should study warfare, for, in sooth, The man who knew not how to poise the lance Or wield the mighty battle-axe, was then Despised and scorned by all his fellow-men.

XII.

But now the code of honour should not be As crude and rough as in that ancient day. The onward march of Christianity Should sweep the sword and battle-axe away; And Love, the creed which Christ our Master taught, Should bring the pride of martial skill to nought.

XIII.

Let man still glory in the strength and might That God has given him. But it were well That he should use it not at all to fight Against his fellow-men. He still can dwell In peace with them, and yet retain the power Which is his great and justly-valued dower.

XIV.

I turn me from the thoughts of war, and gaze With pleased eyes upon this little bay. So bright a scene, in all my exiled days, I have not looked upon; and like a ray Of light upon my darkened life it seems, Reviving hope within me by its beams.

XV.

The bay is dotted with a hundred boats, And brightly on the sail of many a skiff The evening sun is shining, as it floats Upon the water, shining thus as if To tell the little skiff, as on she goes, That he will guard her from tempestuous foes.

XVI.

In every boat I see, a maiden fair Accompanies the rower, and the sound Of merriment and laughter on the air Arises, softly echoing around. And all seem bright and happy, and have one To keep them so—I only sit alone.

XVII.

I sit alone as they pass joyous by, Nor note my presence; or, if they should see, Their eyes but rest upon me absently, Then turn away. They all are strange to me, And I to them. More lonely is my mood Here, than in Nature's wildest solitude.

XVIII.

A pang of emulation, so severe 'Tis almost envy, now possesses me; And, were I woman, many a bitter tear Would course my cheeks. But now I am not free To weep; my heart, though throbbing in its pain, Uneased and comfortless must yet remain.

XIX.

Why stand I thus, and gaze upon this scene, Since gazing but rewakes the pain that slept? I had not thought that I should thus have been So quickly cheated of the strength which kept My heart from sorrowing. My pliant thought, Suspecting not this subtlety, was caught,

XX.

And I was self-deceived, as many more Before have been. Man estimates his power By what he would do; and but little store Can well be placed on this, what time the hour Of trial approaches. For 'tis sadly true, Man often cannot what he wills to do.

XXI.

His strength is not so great as he had thought It would be; and perchance, the hour of trial Has come and gone, and quick defeat has brought, Without his recognition. But denial That it has come he dare not now put forth, His plain defeat would make it little worth.

XXII.

And such defeat, unnoted and unseen Till it had passed, has been my own to-day; And, with a sense of mortified chagrin, I turn me from the pleasing view away, And in the busy city seek to find A new diversion to engage my mind.

XXIII.

How pleasing are thy streets and avenues, Toronto! And what massive buildings rise Adorning them! I cannot now but choose To speak my admiration. Yet it lies Beyond my power to praise as others might, More rich than I in words, this noble sight.

XXIV.

One mighty pile stands out pre-eminent Among the rest—thy University, So builded that itself will represent Its purpose, and to see it is to be Convinced, ere word of mouth so testifies, That 'twas designed for classic purposes.

XXV.

The square-built tow'r, the pillared entrance-way, The massive doors, and this encolumned porch, Proclaim that here stern Learning holdeth sway, And here the classic Muse illumes her torch And, standing thus, a grand, imposing whole, It well may awe my poor untutored soul.

XXVI.

I wander on along the tree-girt streets, Admiring, by compulsion, all the view. So pleasing is each changing sight that greets My eye, as thus I slowly wander through The city, that had Fate not bid me roam In exile, here I'd gladly make my home.

XXVII.

Here happy homes surround me, but the sight Of happiness is but a mockery To me. My life is like a darkened night, And happiness was not prepared for me; And rankest disappointment, unalloyed With hope, my trustful patience has destroyed.

XXVIII.

Toronto, fare thee well! I cannot stay Within thy gates. Eternal restlessness Possesses me. I must pursue my way, Though other cities will impress me less Than thou hast done. My native land apart, Thou standest first in this my weary heart.

XXIX.

Niagara's small village quiet lies Where flows the river in the open lake. The thought of long-past actions sanctifies This little spot. For those brave soldiers' sake Who gladly gave their lives a sacrifice To country, it is hallowed in my eyes.

XXX.

Here Britain's sons, and here Canadians Were slaughtered by the ruthless enemy, Who swept the country o'er in furtherance Of their unjust desire to gratify Their evil wish, to tear from England's hand The part still left her in this Western land.

XXXI.

Americans, how sadly should ye mourn The action of your rulers on that day, When unrelenting enmity was sworn Against your fathers' land. Ye cannot say, As six and thirty years before ye said, That gross oppression justified your deed.

XXXII.

Nay, ye were young, and, in ambition's youth, Ye sought to raise you to a greater state, And waited not to think of honour's truth, But rushed to war in hope to alienate The fair domain of Canada, which lay, Apparently, a not unwilling prey.

XXXIII.

Speak not of Council Orders,[E] nor essay To prove that these alone provoked the war. The orders were rescinded ere the day Of fighting broke.[F] Not these ye battled for. Nor did the Rights of Search[G] enrage ye so As to compel your being England's foe.

XXXIV.

Ye wanted more dominion—this alone Provoked your action; and, since every nation In Europe in a state of war was thrown, Your action merits not such condemnation As otherwise it would. The rage of war Is quickly spread to nations near and far.

XXXV.

But 'tis not mine to speak of that campaign, Whose battles raged from Fort Niagara To Queenston Heights and far-famed Lundy's Lane; Nor yet abated until Chippewa, Black Rock, and Buffalo were summoned all To war and bloodshed by the bugle call.

XXXVI.

Too long I've dwelt on deeds of war, yet one Brave deed remains which must not be untold; One act—by which a gallant fight was won, One act—by which two noble lives were sold. This only act recounting, I will cease To speak of war, and court the muse of peace.

XXXVII.

On Queenston Heights the battle raged, and far Around was heard its long-continued roar. It echoed loudly where Niagara Lies nestling on Ontario's green shore. It echoed loudly, nor escaped the ear Of him whose gallant heart was steeled to fear.

XXXVIII.

The noble Brock paused not when thus he heard The sound of warfare. Turning to his aide, He bade him hastily to give the word To saddle horse. Then rapidly they made Their way across the country to the height, And soon were in the thickest of the fight.

XXXIX.

In numbers far unequal to the foe, The British had retired. The battery Was taken by the enemy; though slow, Defeat for Britain seemed a certainty; When Brock arrived upon the battle-field, And bade them form again, nor ever yield.

XL.

Himself then leading, onward to the fray They charged, restrengthened by his confidence; And soon they saw the enemy give way, Retiring slowly from the eminence. The day was theirs, the tide of battle turned, But dearly was that day of victory earned!

XLI.

The noble Brock would raise his sword no more; No more his cheering word would lead them on. His soul had passed away from scenes of war, His latest battle had been fought and won. And with his spirit, in its upward flight, The soul of young Macdonell passed that night.

XLII.

A lofty monument, upon the Height Where fell these two, commemorates their deed. There stands it, tow'ring high within the sight Of either Land. Thus let it stand, and plead, In silent mournfulness, that further feud Between the Lands shall never be renewed.

XLIII.

For we are brothers still—the bond of blood Unites us closely, and, though each has done The other wrong, unselfish deeds and good, Which since have been exchanged, should quite atone For injuries long past. Then clasp our hand, America. As brothers let us stand.

XLIV.

I wander up the river's bank, my thought Still dwelling on those troublous times of yore, Until my mind by slow degrees is brought To present times and scenes. A distant roar At first recalls me from my reverie, Then bids me trace my steps less tardily.

XLV.

I know not why, yet, as I press my way Towards the world-renowned Falls, I feel A thrill of awe, which words may not convey Description of. The feeling may be real Or fanciful, but now my trembling soul Seems nearer God, and more in His control.

XLVI.

Majestic Falls! What little words of mine Can paint thy grandeur? How can I essay To picture such unpictured might as thine? And yet I would not silent pass away, And carry with me nothing that recalls The grandeur of Niagara's proud Falls.

XLVII.

On, on, tumultuous waters, ever on Unceasingly ye rush, and blindly leap From giddy heights, in volume all unknown, Down, down the jagged rock-protruding steep, And, ever breaking as ye downward go, Burst forth in show'rs like iridescent snow.

XLVIII.

Here, rolling in unbroken shining green, Your waters smoothly curve them o'er the cliff. No sign of foam or bubbling break is seen As in their glassy depth they roll, as if While all around is wreck and chaos wild, They dare to flow conspicuously mild.

XLIX.

And here again they break while rushing o'er Some rugged rock—a million flecks of spray Rise, high projected in the air; before These fall, or in the sunlight melt away, A new-born cloud, in high-aspiring pride, Bursts forth, and casts its foam-drops far and wide.

L.

And each new cloud a thing of life appears, And each leaps forth as though its wild intent Were solely to out-distance its compeers, And rise more high than they. And each seems bent On reaching to a height unreached before, And tells its purpose in a muffled roar.

LI.

While, far below, a rocky destiny Awaits the mighty waters. Loud resounds The roaring of their falling constantly, While from the rocks the foaming mass rebounds; And upward rising, far above the height, A mist half hides the waters from my sight.

LII.

The evening sun illumes the rising spray, And forms a bow in beauty unsurpassed. Above the Falls it bends its glist'ning ray, While in the deep its radiance is cast. And, as the mist or fades or thickens, so It breaks or forms again the changing bow.

LIII.

Above the Falls the rushing rapids rage, In awesome grandeur only less than they. Thus have they madly tossed from age to age, And thus have galloped on their heedless way. In ceaseless ferment, and in constant change, Wide o'er their rocky area they range.

LIV.

Now foaming whitely, now in rippling waves Unbroken, haste they onward to their fate; Each speeding hurriedly as though it craves An early death. So reckless is the rate Which some pursue, that, with a sudden shock, They burst in foam-clouds on a hidden rock.

LV.

Rush on, ye mighty waters, and declare To self-conceited man his littleness; Rush on, and give your music to the air, And calm our thoughts and make our sorrows less; For as a friend by words of sympathy Can soothe us, by your music so can ye.

LVI.

For in your music we can hear the voice Of Him whose hand hath made both ye and us, And we, in deepest gratitude, rejoice, And thank Him who has made ye so. And thus, While listening to your music-roar to-day, I seem to hear the Spirit speak and say:

LVII.

"As constant roll these waters o'er the steep, So ceaselessly thy Father watcheth thee; As day and night they run, and never sleep, So worketh He throughout eternity; And as their volume's measure is unknown, So boundless is His love towards His own.

LVIII.

"Then fear not, troubled soul, nor seek to know What destiny has been prepared for thee. Thou seest these mighty waters onward flow, Conforming thus to all their Lord's decree— Then live thou as thy conscience bids thee live, And know that God due recompense will give."

LIX.

Rush on, ye waters, with your message fraught Of constant love and care of God; rush on Through lake and ocean, until ye have brought Your message to the One whose love has shone Through darkness on my life; and bear from me A message, too, of love and constancy.

* * * * *

Though far I roam from thee, My fondest Love, my thought To theeward constantly By love's dear bond is brought.

Whate'er I hear or see, If not thy voice or face, Has interest for me For but a little space.

And, whatso'er befall, It little recks to me, If it be not a call, To summon me to thee.

My widowed spirit cries Aloud for her twin-soul; My heart in sorrow lies, And needs thee to console.

Thus all my being faints, And for thy presence pants; In sorrowful complaints It mourns our severance.

Then, dearest one, think not That we shall never be United—such a lot Is not for thee and me.

And when at last we meet, (As is our destiny), In commune pure and sweet We'll live eternally.



CANTO THE FIFTH.

I.

Around, both far and wide, on every hand The prairie all environs me; I see Nought save a stretch of green and treeless land, Conspicuous alone for nudity: A sea of earth, a boundless stretch unspanned Except by Heaven's broad horizon-band.

II.

The very vastness of its sameness lends A fascination which it else had not; And here my sense of solitude transcends What I have felt on any other spot: Of solitude, yet not of loneliness, For God seems present, and His distance less.

III.

The sea alone of Nature's works can vie With this in solitude. None else can be Compared to it. Here 'neath his Maker's eye The creature seems to stand more openly Than elsewhere. Here his very solitude Makes man appear by God more nearly viewed.

IV.

Yet is not here God's awfulness displayed; His kindliness and mercy more appear; For flow'rs, the precious emblems He has made Of graciousness, in plenitude are here. In rich profusion blooming unconfined, They seem to whisper softly: "God is kind."

V.

Yet break they not the solitude; nor can The works of Nature break the solitude. Man needs the presence of his fellow-man, And ever needs it, whatsoe'er his mood; Except when, in the hour he calls his own, He holds communion with his God alone.

VI.

How vast this solitude! And yet 'tmay be That, ere a decade's course is fully run, This prairie, where no being I can see Inhabiting, may be well built upon; And even on this lonely stretch of ground Surrounding me, a city may be found.

VII.

So rapidly have risen in the past The cities in this Western land, that well May we expect that not at all less fast Shall future cities rise. And here may dwell A population, whose increasing rate Shall rival cities of an older date.

VIII.

I once had thought that I would choose to live Upon the prairie-land. My youthful eyes Raised here a mighty castle, which should give A home to me and mine. To youth there lies A fascination in the great Unknown, Which some in old age have not yet outgrown.

IX.

Thus was I fascinated, and I thought A prairie life, untrammeled, free and blest, Much happiness to me had surely brought; And so I longed to roam the mighty West. But kindly Fate forbade me then to roam, Well knowing that the West was not my home.

X.

But now I stand upon the prairie, now I see the land which once I longed to see— And fain must smile, as I remember how This land seemed once a paradise to me. But that was ere my eye had ever seen These thousand miles of treeless prairie-green.

XI.

Nay, this is not the prairie that I saw In youth's mirage; 'twas fairer far than this. For youth's imagination knows no law, And soars to heights of future-coming bliss, In lands where gladness reigns eternally, Too bright, too beautiful, alas! to be.

XII.

For each his load of pain and woe must bear, And each must feel the weight of Sorrow's hand, And each will sometimes bow in deep despair, And 'neath his burden think he cannot stand. But strength will come to each in time of need, For they whom grief destroys are few indeed.

XIII.

Thus youth's bright visions vanish all away, And nought remains save memory. And we Can calmly watch them thus dissolve, and say:— "'Tis better thus; 'tis best they should not be." For Time has shown us, in his onward flight, That all our visions were too grossly bright;

XIV.

That, had the dreams we cherished come to pass, We should not be the men that now we are; That what we saw through youth's bright distance-glass Was but a trinket shining as a star; That selfish pleasure, with its gaudy gleams, Alone illumed the brightest of our dreams.

XV.

And we have learned that 'tis not all to be Self-seeking pleasure-hunters; higher far Are works of kindliness and charity Which we can do, whate'er our frailties are. And we have learned that pain and sorrow, though Unwelcome guests, have each a work to do.

XVI.

And so we grieve or sorrow not to see Our visions melt away like Winter's snow; But rather thank we all our God that He Sent forth the edict that it should be so; And humbly bless, with gratitude sincere, The hand that led us to a higher sphere.

XVII.

Farewell! thou vast and fertile prairie-land. Farewell! Not long so dreary wilt thou be; Already man, with ever-busy hand, Is cultivating and enriching thee; And with the wealth of this, thy virgin soil, Thou well rewardest him for all his toil.

XVIII.

In cloudy height surrounding me, uprear The Rocky Mountains their uncounted heads. And mountains, mountains only now appear, So thickly clustered that the sun but sheds Upon their highest peaks his morning light, While all below is hidden from his sight.

XIX.

Here rise their sky-aspiring pinnacles In barren ruggedness and majesty; While here some verdure-covered height instils An awe less dread by its fertility; And here again, a peak of snowy whiteness Relieves the gloom and shadow by its brightness.

XX.

Each one a thing of grandeur, each alone Inspiring fearsome wonder in my soul, What marvel that my being all is thrown Aghast in awe by this stupendous Whole? What wonder that I stand in mute amaze, Dumfounded by the scene whereon I gaze?

XXI.

My God, how wonderful Thy works appear! How mighty art Thou, and omnipotent! Before Thee, bending low in reverent fear, I humbly bow. My human pride is bent. Thou, Thou art God my awful Maker, I Am helpless in my weak humanity.

XXII.

I hear the Psalmist's words again,[H] and now Their fuller meaning bursts upon my soul; Thou madest all the earth and heaven, Thou Dost hold the mighty seas within control; These lofty heights were form'd by Thy right-hand; Thou formedst all—all bow to Thy command.

XXIII.

And what is man to Thee? He well may fall Before Thee worshipping, when thus he sees Thy vast creations. Weak indeed and small Doth man appear before such works as these. In meek humility I bend my knee Before Thee. Lord, why thinkest Thou of me?

XXIV.

Yet why should all these wonders, thus arrayed Before me, more command my reverence Than man, the greatest creature God has made, And chiefest pledge of His omnipotence? Before the man these wonders fade away, As pales the moon before the orb of day.

XXV.

For man is given a living, loving soul; Man lives as other works of God live not; He strives to reach a high and Heav'nly goal— Incomparably higher is his lot. God's greatest work, how fitly he should be The one which most adores His majesty.

XXVI.

But each creation, when it first reveals Itself to man, impresses him anew With God's omnipotence, and so he feels New cause for adoration in each view. Himself though greatest, these creations each Their own great lessons to his spirit teach.

XXVII.

And ye, great mountains, have your lessons, ye Have mighty truths to teach the heart of man Of God's omnipotence and majesty, Which, if he will to learn from ye, he can. But many blindly grope upon their way, Refusing all the light of Nature's ray.

XXVIII.

A mountain tarn, with waters still and blue, Here nestles, open to the heavens whence It seemingly derives its azure hue. Here, has this little tarn pre-eminence, For 'mid such mighty works appearing less, It must attract us by its littleness.

XXIX.

'Tis small; but, like the cloud that servant saw Whose master bade him look for rain, it grows To greater bulk; for hence the streamlets draw Their first supplies; and each one onward flows, With speed increasing, down the mountain side, And rolls, a river, in the ocean tide.

XXX.

So great from little things evolve; and as Man looks upon this tarn and cannot see The mighty river flowing hence, but has To hear report of its immensity; So faith should teach him patiently to wait While little things of life lead on to great.

XXXI.

But I must leave ye now; I cannot stay, Great mountains, in your midst. Regretfully Must I be borne upon my Westward way, And leave ye far behind me. Yet, should ye No more delight my eye, it cannot be That I shall e'er forget your majesty.

XXXII.

A quiet voice within me whispering, Advises me to tarry not, nor spend Unneedful hours in westward travelling; For peace awaits me at my journey's end. Alas! 'tis but the mountain solitude That thus has calmed and soothed my weary mood.

XXXIII.

I would it were a voice intuitive To say that all my suffering should be Now swept away; that henceforth I should live In peace and quiet happiness; that she Whose love alone can shine upon my life With healing light, could be my loving wife.

XXXIV.

Ah no! It cannot be. Such happiness Is not for me. Yet will I haste me on As best I may. Kind fortune yet may bless The man on whom her smile has never shone. No more I'll linger here, no more delay My steps, but haste with speedy gait away.

XXXV.

With rapid flight I pass the mountains through, Nor pause to rest upon my hurried way Till, like a picture, burst upon my view The unsung beauties of Vancouver's Bay. Nor here I pause, and, onward speeding fast, Victoria appears in view at last.

XXXVI.

Here Nature's gifts, all lavishly displayed, Make this a spot most fair and beautiful. Utopia's scene could here be fitly laid. These wooded heights, these straits so clear and cool, The distant mountain's—In the poet's eyes What, more than this, could be earth's Paradise?

XXXVII.

But beauties physical cannot combine Alone to make an earthly Paradise; But where the lamps of Love most brightly shine, There, there the happiness of Heaven lies, And bitter hatred, by its cursed spell, Will make a very Paradise a hell.

XXXVIII.

I wander through the city; there is nought Of beauty or attractiveness here shown. Nature, and Nature only, here has brought Adornment. But that little man has done Which bare necessity compelled him do; And nothing tasteful meets my weary view.

XXXIX.

I pass the city through, and onward, till A pleasing view awakens me, I stray. Here, standing on a high and wooded hill, Imposing is the view that I survey. Afar, across the straits, the mountains rise In sunlit mightiness before my eyes.

XL.

So near they seem that I could almost be There, at their feet, before the noon of day. And yet I know the mountains, seemingly So near, in truth are many miles away. The air, so pure and undefiled, brings near The view, which else far distant would appear.

XLI.

Thus is it with our cherished hopes. We see, Not seeming far, a life of happiness Before us; and so close it seems to be, That present grief and trouble pain us less Than otherwise they would. More cheerfully We bear our trials for their brevity.

XLII.

But, as the days of pain roll slowly by, And lengthen them to weary months and years, And all our hopes of happiness still lie Unfructified, these almost yield to fears; And faith alone will give us strength to bear Affliction's heavy scourge without despair.

XLIII.

Deep disappointment constantly renewed Has weakened us; but still we hope to gain That brighter life. But oh! if we'd reviewed, At first, that life of long-continued pain, We scarce had found the strength to struggle through The path o'ershadowed with so dark a hue.

XLIV.

But each new day has brought a new-born hope, Each night of rest has strengthened us anew, And given us again the power to cope With pain and trial; and we still pursue Our way in faith, and day by day we cherish The hope that on that day our pain will perish.

XLV.

Thus is it best that we should never know What is to be, but walking in the path Appointed, thank our God who made it so; And daily forward press our way in faith Unquestioningly, knowing well that He, Who chose that path, is wiser far than we.

XLVI.

Upon the waters now the sun has poured His morning light; each little ripple gleams In joy because the day has been restored, And dances lightly in its welcome beams. And gladly, brightly on the wavelets go, And musically murmur as they flow.

XLVII.

And as they flow they breathe upon the air An odour strengthening, which had not been Except the sea waves shone and glittered there. No unbrined waters roll these hills between, For, by their constant forth and backward motion, They tell their kinship to the mighty ocean.

Roll, roll, great Pacific, roll! Ten thousands of years with their joys and their fears, Thy billows cannot control. Still roll, Pacific, roll!

Toss, toss, great Pacific, toss! For the hunter of seal, whose woe is thy weal, And whose gain is thine only loss. Still toss, Pacific, toss!

Foam, foam, great Pacific, foam! On thy rock-bound coast the wild Indians boast Thy mountains, not thee, their home. Still foam, Pacific, foam!

Surge, surge, great Pacific, surge! Though the mariners hear, with prophetical fear, In thy surging their deathly dirge. Still, surge, Pacific, surge!

Roar, roar, great Pacific, roar! For the gold-hunter's breast is in wilder unrest Than the billows that lash thy shore. Still roar, Pacific, roar!

Moan, moan, great Pacific, moan! For the Inca of old, with his treasures untold, From Peruvian shores is gone. Still moan, Pacific, moan!

Wave, wave, mild Pacific, wave! On the light, sandy bar of thine islands afar, In banana-tree grove is the old tale of love Still told by the dusky brave. Wave gently, Pacific, wave!

XLVIII.

I know not what it was that bade me seek A letter from my Love. She promised not To write to me, nor did I ever speak Of that sad sorrow which would be my lot In wandering alone and friendless here, And hearing nought from her so fondly dear.

XLIX.

But some small quiet voice, scarce listened to, Enforced by its importunate command This tardy recognition, sooner due; And having sought a letter, now I stand And hold in trembling hand the paper she Has held, and written on so daintily.

L.

To read her words beneath the public eye Were desecration. I must seek a spot Where I alone can commune quietly With her, and where the vulgar gaze is not. Then let me seek the free and open air, And read my loved one's words of greeting there.

LI.

What writes my Love? Ah Love! thou hast been ill. Dread fever laid thee low when I had gone, And I was not beside thee—by his will Except for whom thou now had'st been my own. And, though he be thy father, may my curse Rest on him; and I would I could do worse.

LII.

He, for his selfish pride to cause thee pain; He, for his littleness of mind to lay Thee low in sickness; God grant he may gain His due reward. And may the Lord repay The haughty baronet, in full degree, For all the wrong that he has rendered thee!

LIII.

But now thou art recovered, now thy heart Alone is sick. Ah Love! thou mournest too, No less than I, that we must live apart. 'Tis selfish, yet I thus would have thee do; I would not have thee happy while away From me, sweetheart, thy love would else decay.

LIV.

And did'st thou think thy father would relent Because thine illness threatened thee? Ah! no, His stubborn pride would still remain unbent Though thou at Death's dark portal layedst low. His pride is greater than his love for thee, And greater even than his hate for me.

LV.

We may not be united, loved one—Nay, What writest thou? Ah Love! Love! is it true? It cannot be that thou art mine to-day, And wast before, the while I never knew. Oh God! my God hear Thou thy servant's cry, And let his thankful praise ascend on high.

LVI.

Mine eyes are dim—Nay, tears? It cannot be; I am a man, and am not wont to weep. Yet beats my happy heart so joyfully The quick revulsion causes me to steep Mine eyes in tears. Though Grief could not compel These tears to flow, Joy bade them, and they fell.

LVII.

Nay, cease to flow, ye tears, for I must read Those words again so full of promised joy. So quickly read I, and such little heed I paid to little words which might alloy, Perchance, the whole, that I must read anew, Those words, and know my rendering is true.

LVIII.

"The latest book you wrote has pleased well The populace, and men of high renown Upon its certain power for good all dwell; And this has been so pleasing to the Crown That, recognizing your unquestioned right, The Queen has now created you a knight.

LIX.

"This pleases me, my dearest one, but, oh! What follows gives me higher pleasure far I quick resolved to let my father know That you were now a knight, and, in a prayer, With tearful eyes, I begged him to allow My loved one to return and claim me now.

LX.

"When first I spoke he heeded not, but soon His face relaxed, and then, 'The boy has won,' He said, 'a worthy name. Then take thy boon, And tell him I will call him now my son.' Then, kissing me, he raised me from my knee, And, smiling, bade me write in haste to thee."

LXI.

And thou art mine, my love—my very own! And none can sever us. I seem not yet To realize that all my pain is gone. 'Tis hard such heavy sorrow to forget. Ah, Love! what now can give us grief or pain? And who shall part us when we meet again?

LXII.

I do not love the title, and would choose To bear it not; but this may never be. The baronet would doubtless then refuse To let his daughter be a wife to me, And loud invectives on my head would pour. He loves her, but he loves a title more.

LXIII.

But 'tis not mine to judge the baronet, E'en though he shaded all my brighter life; My duty bids me all the past forget, For he has given me a loving wife. So be it mine all passions to control, And speed me home to greet my soul's twin-soul.

LXIV.

Then, farewell, Canada! If I have been O'erladen with a heavy-burdened heart, While all thy many beauties I have seen; And if my sorrow should a vein impart Of sadness to my thoughts, or bitterness, Oh, think not this can make me love thee less.

LXV.

Farewell, great Canada! And oh! forgive An exiled Englishman if he esteem His native country highest, and would live By choice in England. Do not let it seem That on thy charms he sets but little store; He loves thee well, but must love England more.

* * * * *

As boldly on high ye rise to the sky, Great mountains, my message convey, And tell to the Heaven the joy that is given To me and to mine to-day.

Ye tall, waving trees, tell ye to the breeze, And bid it to bear away Afar on its wing, the words that I bring: "My love is my own to-day."

And you, little bird, your voice must be heard; Hum out to the flow'rs my lay. As o'er them you hover, oh! say that I love her, And say she is mine to-day.

And, oh! pretty flowers, put forth all your powers, And tell to the bees that stray Your blossoms among, the words of my song: Oh! tell of my joy to-day.

And ye, busy bees, give heed to my pleas, My loving request obey; As ye fly to and fro, let your fellows all know The joy that is mine to-day.

Let Nature all see my joy, and for me Her many-tongued pow'rs array, And bid them rejoice, and sing with one voice, Because of my joy to-day.

THE END.

* * * * *

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote A: The war of 1812-14.]

[Footnote B: The facts related in the following verses relative to the siege of Quebec and the death of Wolfe have been taken from Dr. Withrow's "History of Canada," and I take this opportunity of acknowledging my indebtedness to the author. The history has been invaluable to me in the composition of this poem. Without its help the "Song" would have been far more incomplete than it now is.—W. S. S.]

[Footnote C: "Pale and weak with recent illness, Wolfe reclined among his officers, and, in a low tone, blending with the rippling of the river, recited several stanzas of the recent poem, Gray's 'Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.' Perhaps the shadow of his approaching fate stole upon his mind, as in mournful cadence he whispered the strangely pathetic words:

'The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, And all that beauty, all that wealth ere gave, Alike await the inexorable hour, The paths of glory lead but to the grave.'

"With a prescience of the hollowness of military renown, he exclaimed, 'I would rather have written those lines than take Quebec to-morrow.'"—Withrow's History of Canada, p. 246.]

[Footnote D:

Yet in spite of thy queenly disdain, Thou art seared by my passion and pain; Thou shall hear me repeat till I die for it, Sweet, "I love thee! I dare to love thee."

Marie Corelli, "The Romance of Two Worlds."]

[Footnote E: "The Berlin Decree" of Napoleon, issued November 1, 1806, declared a blockade of the entire British coast. * * * Great Britain retaliated by the celebrated "Orders-in-Council," which declared all traffic with France contraband, and the vessels prosecuting it, with their cargoes, were seized. These restrictions pressed heavily on the neutrals, especially the United States, which now engrossed much of the carrying trade of the world.—Withrow's History of Canada, p. 301.]

[Footnote F: War was precipitately declared June 18, 1812. * * * Almost simultaneously the obnoxious "Orders-in-Council," the chief ostensible cause of the war, were repealed.—Ibid, p. 303.]

[Footnote G: Another cause conspired to fan the war feeling to a flame. Great Britain, pressed by the difficulty of managing her immense fleets, asserted the "right of search" of American vessels for deserters from her army. The U. S. frigate Chesapeake resisted this right, though sanctioned by international law.—Ibid, p. 302.]

[Footnote H: Psalm viii.]



* * * * *

VISIONS.

* * * * *



VISIONS.

I.

THE NEW RESOLVE.

Last night, as I sat in my study, And thought o'er my lonely life, I was seized with a passionate longing To escape from the weary strife;

To flee far away from my fellows, And far from the city's roar, And seek on the boundless prairie A balm for my burning sore—

The sore of the weary spirit, The burn of the aching heart Of him who has known true friendship— Has known it—but only to part.

And I said in that hour of anguish: "I will fly from the haunts of men, And seek, in the bosom of Nature, Relief from my ceaseless pain."

As lonely I sat, and thus pondered, A voice seemed to speak in my ear; And the sound of that voice was like music, And its accents were mellow and clear:

"Weary soul, though all men have forsaken, Thy God hath remembered thee still; The sorrow and pain thou hast suffered Are part of His infinite will.

"Sorrow not, though He call thee to suffer; Evade not His righteous decree; Be faithful, and live uncomplaining The life He has ordered for thee;

"For God is thine infinite Father, His purpose is all for the best. Fight bravely, for after the battle He giveth thee comfort and rest."

And the sound of that voice was like music, And its accents were mellow and clear; No longer I felt I was lonely, For I knew that my Father was near.

And as I sat silent, and pondered, My sorrow all vanished away; My strength was "renewed like the eagle's" And I longed for the breaking of day.

That again I might join in Life's battle, And fight with a strength not my own, Till my foes should be vanquished and scattered, My enemies all overthrown.

For thus would I silence all scoffers, And show them, by deed and by word, How strong is the faith of a Christian, How mighty the arm of the Lord.

II.

THE HIGHER DUTY.

I saw the sun. He shone in splendour bright, Casting his radiance over dale and hill; And all creation joyed to see his light: He shone, and thus fulfilled his Master's will.

I saw the moon and stars. They gave their light To guide the sailor o'er the trackless sea, To show the traveller his path by night: They shone, fulfilling all their Lord's decree.

I looked to earth, and saw the plants and trees, Each growing fitly to the pattern made, And yielding proper flowers and fruits. And these All grew, and thus their Master's will obeyed.

I looked around, and saw my fellow-men, Created by the same Almighty hand; A higher destiny was granted them— To rule the earth, obeying His command.

And, as I looked, the vision grew less bright, And only through the darkness could I see That, in their power and God-given might, Men ruled, fulfilling half their Lord's decree.

Here was much chaos and confusion still; And here no perfect concord seemed to be. Each lived as best accorded with his will: Men ruled, all heedless of their Lord's decree.

And, as I looked, deep sorrow filled my heart; "Oh man!" I cried, "in God's own image made, Shall sun, and moon, and trees, all do their part, And thou alone fall short and retrograde?

"Thou—greatest of all God's created things! Thou—ruler, by His order, of the earth! Shake off thy sin, and, on aspiring wings, Rise! and be worthy of thy glorious birth."

I cried; and from the darkness forth there came A voice, which said in harsh and mocking tone: "Dost thou possess so undefiled a name, Art thou, amongst thy fellows, good alone,

"That thou shouldst vilify thy fellow-men? Thou art not innocent nor free from guile— Thou too art man. Go, nor return again, Sinful, thy fellow-sinners to revile."

It ceased. But, as I turned to join the strife, In milder accents spake that voice again: "An humble heart, a pure and useful life— And not vain words—will raise thy fellow-men."

III.

THE HIDDEN PURPOSE.

I was weary and faint with temptation and trial, For the prayers I had made had but met with denial, And the slow-coming doubt, which had once hardly found In my heart a mean place, was now strong and profound.

And my soul was in anguish, for suffering keen, And intense disappointment, too often had been New prepared for my portion, till now, as I lay By new sorrow re-stung, all my faith passed away.

Then a curse on my lips rose, and darkly I swore That the God who had led me should lead me no more; His existence was doubtful, but, if He should be, He had been but a God of vindiction to me.

So I vowed that henceforward the path that I trod Should be chosen by me, and not ordered by God; And relief seemed to greet my resolve as I lay, All in sleeplessness, waiting the breaking of day.

But as quiet I lay, and thought o'er my decision, All my wakefulness passed, and I saw in a vision, By my side standing closely, an Angel of Light, Clothed in shining apparel resplendently bright.

And I lay there all trembling in fear as I lay, Till with beckoning finger he led me away; Then I rose and went forth in the darkness of night, And, still trembling, I followed that Angel of Light.

And I followed him on till he paused in his flight Where a Christian lay sleeplessly passing the night; And I heard him repeat as he lay on his bed, "My paths are divided, Lord, which shall I tread?"

And I saw that the one led to glory and fame, While the other fulfilled not his heart-cherished aim; But the scales of mortality darkened his eye, And the thing I saw plainly he could not descry.

Then the Angel breathed o'er him, and light seemed to break O'er his soul, and he saw then the path he should take. Then his spirit was eased, and sweet sleep o'er him came, For he thought this would lead him to glory and fame.

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