Thoughts, Moods and Ideals: Crimes of Leisure

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ISBN: N/A
Language: English
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Excerpt

THE CONFUSED DAWN.

YOUNG MAN
  What are the Vision and the Cry
That haunt the new Canadian soul?
  Dim grandeur spreads we know not why
O'er mountain, forest, tree and knoll,
  And murmurs indistinctly fly.—
  Some magic moment sure is nigh.
O Seer, the curtain roll!

SEER
The Vision, mortal, it is this—
  Dead mountain, forest, knoll and tree
Awaken all endued with bliss,
  A native land—O think!—to be—
Thy native land—and ne'er amiss,
Its smile shall like a lover's kiss
  From henceforth seem to thee.

The Cry thou couldst not understand,
  Which runs through that new realm of light,
From Breton's to Vancouver's strand
  O'er many a lovely landscape bright,
It is their waking utterance grand,
The great refrain "A NATIVE LAND!"—
  Thine be the ear, the sight.

(1882.)

NATIONAL HYMN.

To Thee whose smile is might and fame,
  A nation lifts united praise
And asks but that Thy purpose frame
  A useful glory for its days.

We pray no sunset lull of rest,
  No pomp and bannered pride of war;
We hold stern labor manliest,
  The just side real conqueror.

For strength we thank Thee: keep us strong,
  And grant us pride of skilful toil;
For homes we thank Thee: may we long
  Have each some Eden rood of soil.

O, keep our mothers kind and dear,
  And make the fathers stern and wise;
The maiden soul preserve sincere,
  And rise before the young man's eyes.

Crush out the jest of idle minds,
  That know not, jesting, when to hush;
Keep on our lips the word that binds,
  And teach our children when to blush.

Forever constant to the good
  Still arm our faith, thou Guard Sublime,
To scorn, like all who have understood,
  The atheist dangers of the time.

Thou hearest!—Lo, we feel our love
  Of loyal thoughts and actions free
Toward all divine achievement move,
  Ennobled, blest, ensured, by Thee.

AT VENICE
Lo! Venice, gay with color, lights and song,
  Calls from St. Mark's with ancient voice and strange:
I am the Witch of Cities! glide along
  My silver streets that never wear by change
Of years: forget the years, and pain, and wrong,
And every sorrow reigning men among.
  Know I can soothe thee, please and marry thee
To my illusions. Old and siren-strong,
  I smile immortal, while the mortals flee
  Who whiten on to death in wooing me.

AT FLORENCE
Say, what more fair, by Arno's bridgéd gleam,[A]
  Than Florence, viewed from San Miniato's slope
At eventide, when west along the stream,
  The last of day reflects a silver hope!—
Lo, all else softened in the twilight beam:—
The city's mass blent in one hazy cream,
  The brown Dome midst it, and the Lily tower,
And stern Old Tower more near, and hills that seem
  Afar, like clouds to fade, and hills of power,
  On this side, greenly dark with cypress, vine and bower.

AT ROME
End of desire to stray I feel would come
  Though Italy were all fair skies to me,
Though France's fields went mad with flowery foam
  And Blanc put on a special majesty....