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Title: Fleurs De Lys, and Other Poems
Author: Weir, Arthur
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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FLEURS DE LYS

AND

OTHER POEMS.


BY

ARTHUR WEIR, B.A. Sc.


            He only is a poet who can find
              In sorrow happiness, in darkness light,
            Love everywhere; and lead his fellow-kind
              By flowery paths towards life's sunny height.



TO

WILLIAM AND ELIZABETH SOMERVILLE WEIR,

HIS
MOST SEVERE AND KINDLY CRITICS,

THIS VOLUME
IS LOVINGLY DEDICATED BY THEIR SON.



PREFACE


The name FLEURS DE LYS has been chosen for the Canadian Poems in the
early portion of this book, because the scenes and incidents they
describe belong to the Monarchial, or Fleur de Lys, period of France in
Canada. The royal crest during the  seventeenth century is depicted
upon the cover.

Many of these poems have already appeared in the columns of the
Carnival and Jubilee _Star_, the Toronto _Week_, the
_University Gazette_, and the Montreal _Gazette_, as well as
in the Daily and Weekly _Star_, and it is the kindly reception
which they met with that has led the author to publish them in this
more permanent form.

Some of the poems were written at twenty, and the latest at twenty-
three, so that the author hopes the critics will consider this volume
rather as a bud than as a flower, and will criticize it with the view
to aiding him to avoid faults in the future rather than to censuring
him for errors of the present and past.

To Mr. George Murray, of this city, the author is deeply indebted for
encouragement when encouragement was most needed, and for much valuable
assistance in the selection and revision of these verses for
publication.

It is hoped that the notes at the end of this book will throw
sufficient light upon the verses to make them perfectly intelligible to
the reader.

December, 1st, 1887.



CONTENTS


Ode for the Queen's Jubilee


FLEURS DE LYS.

The Captured Flag
Père Brosse
L'Ordre de Bon Temps
Champlain
The Priest and the Minister
Pilot
The Secret of the Saguenay
Jules' Letter
The Oak
Nelson's Appeal for Maisonneuve


RED ROSES.

To One Who Loves Red Roses
Three Sonnets
Long Ago
At Chateauguay
A Birthday
The Lovers
The Sea Shell
A January Day
Remembrance
In Absence
Love Guides Us
The Lover's Appeal


OTHER POEMS.

The Spirit Wife
Rhodope's Shoe
Hope and Despair
Carlotta
Equality
Lachine
De Salaberry at Chateauguay
Tennyson
At Rainbow Lake
The Race
My Treasure
Welcoming the New Year
A Greater Than He
Life in Nature
Winter and Summer
Dauntless
A Child's Kiss
The Grave and the Tree
A Mother's Jewels
Notes



_FLEURS DE LYS AND OTHER POEMS_.


ODE FOR THE QUEEN'S JUBILEE.
1837-1887.


I

_Sailor William is dead. And now
  Toll the great bells disconsolate.
    Let the maiden have time for tears
Ere you set on her gentle brow
  England's glittering crown of state.
    Heavy burden for eighteen years.
Grant the maiden some weeping space
Ere on her youthful brow you place
      England's crown.
Once her stately head it presses,
Fifty years it must rest on her tresses
      Till their brown
Turns to white beneath King Time's caresses--
      Grant her weeping space._


II.

  Set the crown on the maiden's brow,
    And silence the bells disconsolate.
  Peal! Ye loud joy-bells, now;
    Over city and wold let your echoes reverberate.
Peal! for the crowning of smiles and the death of tears,
Peal! for the crowning of hopes and the death of fears,
Peal! for a Queen who shall rule us for fifty years.
The maiden is crowned with her glorious crown,
    Heavy with care;
Yet it shall never burden her down
    Into despair.
We will watch over her with our love,
    And our loyalty prove.
      We will bear, each, his share
Of the worry, grief, and pain
That may seek to mar her reign.


III.

Blow! ye silvery bugles, over the sunny land,
  Our Queen has yielded to love.
Ring out with merry clangor, O ye bells!
Ye mountains! give the laughing bells reply.

_Hark! how the joyous tumult sinks and swells,
  And beats against the sky
    In melody!
Mark how the billows of the mighty sea
Toss their white arms in glee,
  And race along the strand,
Joining their voices with the symphony!
  Our Queen has yielded to love.
    Blow! silvery bugles blow!
      That all may know._

IV.

_Toll! toll! ye deep-mouthed bells,
  Answer! each thundering gun.
Your cadence sadly tells
  Of a great life-work done.
Death rules this changing earth,
  Through royal halls he stalks,
And with an awful mirth
  Man's noblest efforts mocks.
He stills the busy brain,
  Tears loving souls apart,
And leaves alone to reign_

      _A Queen with empty heart.
    Upon her lonely throne
      She sits, and ever weeps,
    For him who, once her own,
      Now wed to heaven sleeps.
Albert has fallen, conquered by Death's dart,
A shadow lies across her anguished heart.
She dwells in loneliness that none can gauge;
In grief that only heaven can assuage.
She trembles and her soul would fain depart,
And beats with tireless wings against its cage.
    Oh! live for us, dear Queen,
    Thou who for years hast been
    Our leader in all good,
    Live! Live for us, O Queen!_


V.

_Ring! ye loud bells, in deep, triumphal tone,
  And bind a zone
Around this earth of glorious melody,
  Till land and sea
Awaken and, rejoicing, answer ye.
Ah! noble Queen! who lookst around thee now
  On this great nation.
Thy life, since first the circlet touched thy brow,
  Was consecration
Of self to us. Through half a century
From darkness into light we followed thee.
The poet, patriot, warrior, statesman, sage
  Have given thee service long,
Lending their fiery youth and thoughtful age
  To make thy sceptre strong,
And in the never-ending march of man
To higher things, still England leads the van._


VI.

In fifty years what change! The world is bound
  In close communion, and a sentence flies
O'er half the earth ere yet the voice's sound
  Upon the calm air dies.
Behold at England's feet her offspring pour
  Their bounteous store;
To her each yields
  The first fruits of its virgin fields;
Each country throws
  Its hospitable portals open wide
To the great tide
That from the dense-thronged mother country flows.
  New homes arise
By rivers once unknown, among whose reeds
The wild fowl fed, but now no longer dwells.
  No more the bison feeds
Upon the prairie, for the once drear plain
Laughs in the sun and waves its golden grain.
  By a slender chain
Ocean is linked to ocean, and the hum
Of labor in the wilderness foretells
The greatness of a nation yet to come.
  In Southern seas
Another nation grows by slow degrees,
In dreamy India, under tropic sun,
Two hundred millions own an Empress' sway,
  And day by day.
  New territories won
Shed lustre on our Queen's half century.



FLEURS DE LYS.


THE CAPTURED FLAG.

Loudly roared the English cannon, loudly thundered back our own,
Pouring down a hail of iron from their battlements of stone,
Giving Frontenac's proud message to the clustered British ships:
"I will answer your commander only by my cannons' lips."
Through the sulphurous smoke below us, on the Admiral's ship of war,
Faintly gleamed the British ensign, as through cloudwrack gleams a
  star,
And above our noble fortress, on Cape Diamond's rugged crest--
Like a crown upon a monarch, like an eagle in its nest--
Streamed our silken flag emblazoned with the royal fleur de lys,
Flinging down a proud defiance to the rulers of the sea.
As we saw it waving proudly, and beheld the crest it bore,
Fiercely throbbed our hearts within us, and with bitter words we swore,
While the azure sky was reeling at the thunder of our guns,
We would strike that standard never, while Old France had gallant sons.

Long and fiercely raged the struggle, oft our foes had sought to land,
But with shot and steel we met them, met and drove them from the
  strand,
Though they owned them not defeated, and the stately Union Jack,
Streaming from the slender topmast, seemed to wave them proudly back.
Louder rose the din of combat, thicker rolled the battle smoke,
Through whose murky folds the crimson tongues of thundering cannon
  broke,
And the ensign sank and floated in the smoke-clouds on the breeze,
As a wounded, fluttering sea-bird floats upon the stormy seas.
While we looked upon it sinking, rising through the sea of smoke,
Lo! it shook, and bending downwards, as a tree beneath a stroke,
Hung one moment o'er the river, then precipitously fell
Like proud Lucifer descending from high heaven into hell.
As we saw it flutter downwards, till it reached the eager wave,
Not Cape Diamond's loudest echo could have matched the cheer we gave;
Yet the English, still undaunted, sent an answering echo back:
Though their flag had fallen conquered, still their fury did not slack,
And with louder voice their cannon to our cannonade replied,
As their tattered ensign drifted slowly shoreward with the tide.

There was one who saw it floating, and within his heart of fire,
Beating in a Frenchman's bosom, rose at once a fierce desire,
That the riven flag thus resting on the broad St. Lawrence tide
Should, for years to come, betoken how France humbled England's pride.
As the stag leaps down the mountain, with the baying hounds in chase,
So the hero, swift descending, sought Cape Diamond's rugged base,
And within the water, whitened by the bullets' deadly hail,
Springing, swam towards the ensign with a stroke that could not fail.
From the shore and from the fortress we looked on with bated breath,
For around him closer, closer, fell the messengers of death,
And as nearer, ever nearer, to the floating flag he drew,
Thicker round his head undaunted still the English bullets flew.
He has reached and seized the trophy. Ah! what cheering rent the skies,
Mingled with deep English curses, as he shoreward brought his prize!
Slowly, slowly, almost sinking, still he struggled to the land,
And we hurried down to meet him, as he reached the welcome strand.
Proudly up the rock we bore him, with the flag that he had won,
And that night the English vessels left us with the setting sun.



PÈRE BROSSE.


He had been with the Indians all the day,
  But sat with us at eve,
Chatting and laughing in his genial way,
  Till came the hour to leave;
And then he rose, we with him, for we loved
  Our good old parish priest,
Who all his lifetime in our midst had moved
  At death-bed and at feast.

He raised his hand for silence, and each head
  Was bowed as though in prayer,
Expectant of his blessing, but instead
  He stood in silence there.
Thrice he essayed to speak, and thrice in vain,
  And then his voice came back,
Vibrating in a deep, triumphal strain
  That it was wont to lack.

"My children, we must part. My task is done.
  God calls me to His rest,
And though my labors seem scarce yet begun,
  Surely He knoweth best.
I have grown old in laboring for Him,
  My hair with age is white,
My footsteps feeble, and my eyesight dim--
  But all shall change to-night.

"When strikes the hour of twelve, my weary soul
  On earth shall cease to dwell,
As sign of which the chapel bell shall toll
  Its slow funereal knell.
Then seek me, if you will, and you shall find
  Upon the altar stair
The prison-house my soul will leave behind,
  Kneeling as though in prayer.

"Seek, then, Père Compain, on the Isle aux Coudres,
  Nor fear the rising gale,
For Heaven will guide you through the angry flood,
  And it shall not prevail.
He will be waiting for you on the sands,
  Amid the morning gloom,
To be your comrade, and, with kindly hands
  Consign me to my tomb."

He ceased, and left us, as though turned to stone,
  All motionless and still:
And faintly fell his footsteps, as alone
  He slowly climbed the hill.
Then we awoke, and all so wondrous seemed,
  His words so strange at best,
We almost fancied we had slept and dreamed
  That he had been our guest.

We turned unto our merriment anew,
  With some kind thoughts for him;
Yet as the hour of midnight nearer drew,
  And waxed the hearth fire dim,
A silence fell upon us, and in fear
  We stopped and held our breath,
As though more clearly through the gloom to hear
  The promised knell of death.

There had been something in his face that night
  That thrilled our hearts with fear,
An undefinable, mysterious light,
  Which told us Heaven was near.
He had a deeper lustre in his eyes,
  His smile had seemed more bright,
Till, looking in his face, all Paradise
  Seemed opened to our sight.

Soon chimed the clock. And scarcely had it ceased,
  Than tolled the chapel bell,
As though for some long-suffering soul released,
  Its slow funereal knell,
And on its ebon wings the rising gale
  Swept landward from the sea,
And mingled with the chapel bell's long wail
  Its own sad symphony.

We found him lying lifeless, as he said,
  Before the altar, prone,
Nor laid our sinful hands upon the dead,
  But left him there alone,
And launched our frail canoe upon the tide,
  Not marvelling to behold
Before our prow the billows fall aside,
  Like the Red Sea of old.

On every hand the screaming waters flung
  Their great, white arms on high,
And over all the thundering storm-clouds hung
  And battled in the sky.
Yet fearless we sailed on, until when day
  Broke, panting, through the night,
The fertile Isle aux Coudres before us lay,
  Its beach with breakers white.

And there, upon that tempest-beaten strand,
  Waiting, Père Compain stood
And beckoned to us with uplifted hand
  Across the raging flood.
No need to tell our errand, for that night
  Père Brosse had sought his cell,
And told him all, then faded from his sight,
  Breathing a kind farewell.



L'ORDRE DE BON TEMPS.


When Champlain with his faithful band
  Came o'er the stormy wave
To dwell within this lonely land,
  Their hearts were blithe as brave;
And Winter, by their mirth beguiled,
  Forgot his sterner mood,
As by the prattling of a child
  A churl may be subdued.

Among the company there came
  A dozen youths of rank,
Who in their eager search for fame
  From no adventure shrank;
But, with the lightness of their race
  That hardship laughs to scorn,
Pursued the pleasures of the chase
  'Till night from early morn.

And soon their leader, full of mirth.
  And politic withal--
Well knowing that no spot on earth
  Could hold them long in thrall,
Unless into their company,
  Its duties and its sport,
Were introduced the pageantry
  And etiquette of court--

Enrolled them in a titled band,
  _L'Ordre de Bon Temps_ named,
First knighthood's grade for which this land
  Of Canada is famed.
Each one in turn Grand Master was--
  At close of day released--
His duty to maintain the laws,
  And furnish forth a feast.

Filled with a pardonable pride
  In nobles wont to dwell,
Each with his predecessor vied
  In bounty to excel,
And thus it was the festive board
  With beaver, otter, deer,
And fish and fowl was richly stored,
  Throughout the changing year.

At mid-day--for our sires of old
  Dined when the sun was high--
To where the cloth was spread, behold
  These merry youths draw nigh,
Each bearing on a massy tray
  Some dainty for the feast,
While the Grand Master leads the way,
  Festivity's high priest!

Then seated round the banquet board,
  Afar from friends and home,
They drank from goblets freely poured
  To happier days to come.
And once again, in story, shone
  The sun, that erst in France
Was wont, in days long past and gone,
  Amid the vines to dance.

Still later, when the sun had set,
  And round the fire they drew
To sing, or tell a tale ere yet
  Too old the evening grew,
He who had ruled them for the day
  His sceptre did resign,
And drink to his successor's sway
  A brimming cup of wine.



CHAMPLAIN.

Would that with the bold Champlain,
And his comrades staunch and true,
I had crossed the stormy main,
Golden visions to pursue:
  And had shared
  Their lot, and dared
Fortune with that hardy crew!

Thus I murmur, as I close
Parkman, day being long since sped,
Yet in vain I seek repose,
For the stirring words I read
  In the sage's
  Learned pages,
Still are ringing in my head.

All the perils of the sea.
All the dangers of the land,
Of the waves that hungrily
Leapt round Champlain's stalwart band,
  Of the foes,
  That round him rose,
Numerous as the ocean sand.

Every trial he underwent,
Winter's famine and disease,
Weeks in dreary journey spent,
Battle, treason, capture--these
  Sweep my mind,
  As sweeps the wind,
Sighing, through the forest trees.

Wandering through the tangled brakes,
Where the treacherous Indians hide,
Launching upon crystal lakes,
Stemming Uttawa's dark tide;
  Still my sight,
  Pursues his flight
Through the desert, far and wide.

With the sunlight in his face,
I behold him as he plants
At Cape Diamond's rugged base,
In the glorious name of France,
  Yon fair town
  That still looks down
On the river's broad expanse.

I behold him as he hurls
Proud defiance at the foe,
And the fleur-de-lys unfurls
High o'er Admiral Kirkt below,
  Till he slips,
  With all his ships,
Down the river, sad and slow.

And I see him lying dead,
On that dreary Christmas day,
While the priests about his bed
Weeping kneel, and softly pray,
  As the bell
  Rings out its knell
For a great soul passed away!

Yes, a gallant man was he,
That brave-hearted, old French tar,
Whose great name through history
Shines on us, as from afar
  Through the gray
  Of dawning day
Gleams the glorious Morning Star!



THE PRIEST AND THE MINISTER.


From Old France once sailed a vessel,
Bearing hearts that came to nestle
In Acadia's breast and wrestle
  With its Winters cold.
Priests and ministers it bore,
Who had sought that desert shore,
Filled with ardor to restore
  Lost sheep to the fold.

Yet though on such errand wending,
They debated without ending,
Each his cherished faith defending
  Morning, noon and night.
Never on the balmy air
Heavenward rose united prayer,
Stout Champlain was in despair
  At the godless sight.

Late and early they debated,
Never ceasing, never sated,
Till the very sailors hated
  Them and their debates.
Not at dinner were they able,
Even, to forego their Babel,
But, disputing, smote the table
  Till they jarred the plates.

Tossed about by the gigantic
Billows of the wild Atlantic,
Still they argued, until, frantic
  With religious zeal,
Tonsured priests and Huguenots
From discussions came to blows,
Sieur de Monts had no repose
  From their fierce appeal.

Oft the minister came crying,
How, while he had been replying
To the curé and denying
  Something he had said,
That the latter fell on him
And, with more than priestly vim,
Beat him, body, head and limb--
  Beat him till he fled.

Days passed by, and then one morning,
While the sunbeams were adorning
Sea and sky, the lookout's warning
  Echoed from the mast;
And, before the close of day,
Safe the little vessel lay,
Anchored in a sheltered bay:
  Land was reached at last.

But, within their cabins lying,
Priest and Minister were dying,
To their future haven nighing,
  Ere the dawn they died,
And within the forest shade
Soon a narrow grave was made,
Where the two were gently laid,
  Sleeping side by side.

That same evening, as they rested
Round the fire, the sailors jested
Of the dead, how they contested
  All across the sea,
And a sailor, laughing said:
"Let us hope the reverend dead
Yonder in their narrow bed
  Manage to agree."



PILOT.


Merry Carlo, who runn'st at my heels
  Through the dense-crowded streets of the city,
In and out among hurrying wheels,
And whose run in the suburbs reveals
  Only scenes that are peaceful and pretty.

Raise to mine your intelligent face,
  Open wide your great brown eyes in wonder
While I tell how lived one of your race
Years ago in this now busy place--
  Ay, and ran at the heels of its founder.

Mistress Pilot, for that was her name,
  And you could not have called her a better,
Was a gallant and dutiful dame--
Since her breed is forgotten by Fame,
  For your sake I will call her a setter.

Pilot lived when _Ville Marie_ was young,
  And the needs of its people were sorest;
When the rifle unceasing gave tongue,
And the savage lay hidden among
  The Cimmerian shades of the forest;

When the hearts of frail women were steeled
  Not to weep for the dead and the dying;
When by night the fierce battle-cry pealed
And by day all who worked in the field
  Kept their weapons in readiness lying;

When full oft at the nunnery gate,
  As the darkness fell over the village,
Would a swart savage crouch and await,
With the patience of devilish hate,
  A chance to kill women, and pillage.

Every one had his duty to do,
  And our Pilot had hers like another,
Which she did like a heroine true,
At the head of a juvenile crew
  Of the same stalwart stuff as their mother.

In a body these keen-scented spies
  Used to roam through the forests and meadows,
And protect _Ville Marie_ from surprise,
Though its foes clustered round it like flies
  In a swamp, or like evening shadows.

Oftentimes in the heat of the day,
  Oftentimes through the mists of the morning,
Oftentimes to the sun's dying ray
There was heard her reëchoing bay
  Pealing forth its brave challenge and warning.

And so nobly she labored and well,
  It was fancied--so runneth the story--
She had come down from heaven to dwell
Upon earth, and make war upon hell,
  For the welfare of man and God's glory.

"When her day's work was over, what then?"
  Well, my boy, she had one of your habits;
She would roam through the forest again,
But instead of bold hunting for men,
  Would amuse herself hunting jack rabbits.



_THE SECRET OF THE SAGUENAY._


Like a fragment of torn sea-kale,
Or a wraith of mist in the gale,
There comes a mysterious tale
  Out of the stormy past:
How a fleet, with a living freight,
Once sailed through the rocky gate
Of this river so desolate,
  This chasm so black and vast.

'Twas Cartier, the sailor bold,
Whose credulous lips had told
How glittering gems and gold
  Were found in that lonely land
How out of the priceless hoard
Within their rough bosoms stored,
These towering mountains poured
  Their treasures upon the strand.

Allured by the greed of gain,
Sieur Roberval turned again,
And sailing across the main,
  Passed up the St. Lawrence tide.
He sailed by the frowning shape
Of Jacques Cartier's Devil's Cape,
Till the Saguenay stood agape,
  With hills upon either side.

Around him the sunbeams fell
On the gentle St. Lawrence swell,
As though by some mystic spell
  The water was turned to gold;
But as he pursued, they fled,
Till his vessels at last were led
Where, cold and sullen and dead,
  The Saguenay River rolled.

Chill blew the wind in his face,
As, still on his treasure chase,
He entered that gloomy place
  Whose mountains in stony pride,
Still, soulless, merciless, sheer,
Their adamant sides uprear,
Naked and brown and drear,
  High over the murky tide.

No longer the sun shone bright
On the sails that, full and white,
Like sea gulls winging their flight,
  Dipped into the silent wave;
But shadows fell thick around,
Till feeling and sight and sound
In their awful gloom were drowned,
  And sank in a depthless grave.

Far over the topmost height
Great eagles had wheeled in flight,
But, wrapped in the gloom of night,
  They ceased to circle and soar:
Grim silence reigned over all,
Save that from a rocky wall
A murmuring waterfall
  Leapt down to the river shore.

O merciless walls of stone!
What happened that night is known
By you, and by you alone:
  Though the eagles unceasing scream,
How once through that midnight air,
For an instant a trumpet's blare,
And the voices of men in prayer,
  Arose from the murky stream.



_JULES' LETTER._

  MA CHÈRE,

Since the morning we parted
  On the slippery docks of Rochelle,
I have wandered, well nigh broken-hearted,
  Through many a tree-shadowed dell:
I've hunted the otter and beaver,
  Have tracked the brown bear and the deer,
And have lain almost dying with fever,
  While not a companion was near.

I've toiled in the fierce heat of summer
  Under skies like a great dome of gold,
And have tramped, growing number and number,
  In winter through snowstorm and cold.
Yet the love in my heart was far hotter,
  The fear of my soul far more chill,
As my thoughts crossed the wild waste of water
  To your little home on the hill.

But now Father Time in a measure
  Has reconciled me to my fate,
For I know he will bring my dear treasure
  Back into my arms soon or late.
And, besides, every evening, when, weary,
  I lie on my soft couch of pine,
Sleep wafts me again to my dearie,
  And your heart once more beats against mine.

You never have heard of such doings
  As those that are going on here;
We've nothing but weddings and wooings
  From dawn till the stars reappear.
For the king, gracious monarch, a vessel
  Has sent, bearing widows and maids
Within our rough bosoms to nestle,
  And make us a home in the glades.

They are tall and short, ugly and pretty,
  There are blondes and brunettes by the score:
Some silent and dull, others witty,
  And made for mankind to adore.
Some round as an apple, some slender--
  In fact--so he be not in haste--
Any man with a heart at all tender
  Can pick out a wife to his taste.

Now, darling, don't pout and grow jealous,
  I still am a bachelor free,
In spite of the governor's zealous
  And extra-judicial decree,
Commanding all men to be married
  In less than two weeks from this date,
And promising all who have tarried
  Shall feel the full strength of his hate:

In spite of his maddening order,
  That none in the country may trade
With the tribes on our side of the border,
  Who is not a benedict staid;
In spite of a clause, far the sorest,
  That none past his twentieth year,
And single, shall enter the forest
  On any pretext whatsoe'er.

Now, you know I was ever a rover,
  Half stifled by cities or towns,
Of nature--and you--a warm lover,
  Wooing both in despite of your frowns,
So you well may imagine my sorrow
  When fettered and threatened like this--
Oh! Marie, dear, pack up to-morrow,
  And bring me back freedom and bliss.

If you do not, who knows but some morning
  I'll waken and find a decree
Has been passed, that, without any warning,
  Has wedded some woman to me?
Oh! Marie, chère Marie, have pity;
  You only my woes can assuage;
I'm confined, till I wed, to the city,
  And feel like a bird in a cage.

Then come, nor give heed to the billows
  That tumble between you and Jules.
I know a sweet spot where lithe willows
  Bend over a silvery pool,
And there we will dwell, dear, defying
  Misfortune to tear us apart.
My darling, come to me, I'm dying
  To press you again to my heart.



_THE OAK._


Last of its race, beside our college
  There stands an Oak Tree, centuries old,
Which, could it voice its stores of knowledge,
  Might many a wondrous tale unfold.
It marked the birth of two fair towns,
  And mourned the cruel fate of one,
Yet still withstands grim Winter's frowns,
  And glories in the Summer sun.

Jacques Cartier passed, its branches under,
  Up yonder mount one autumn day,
And viewed, with ever-growing wonder,
  The scene that spread beneath him lay.
He was the first from Europe's shore
  To pass beneath the Oak Tree's shade,
The first whose vision wandered o'er
  Such boundless wealth of stream and glade.

Beneath his feet a little village
  Lay, like a field-lark in her nest,
Amid the treasures of its tillage,
  The maize in golden colors dressed.
Years passed; and when again there came
  A stranger to that peaceful spot,
Gone was the village and its name,
  Save by a few gray-heads, forgot.

But soon beneath the Oak, another,
  And sturdier village took its place;
One that the gentle Virgin mother
  Has kept from ruin by her grace.
She saved it from the dusky foes
  Who thirsted for its heroes' blood,
And when December waters rose
  About its walls she stilled the flood.

What noble deeds and cruel, stranger
  Than aught in fiction ere befell,
What weary years of war and danger
  That village knew, the Oak might tell.
Perchance, brave Dollard sat of yore
  Beneath its very shade, and planned
A deed should make for evermore
  His name a trumpet in the land.

Perchance, beneath its gloomy shadows
  De Vaudreuil sat that bitter day
When round about him, in the meadows
  Encamped, the British forces lay;
And as he wrote the fatal word
  That gave an Empire to the foe,
The Old Oak's noble heart was stirred
  With an unutterable woe.

The army of a hostile nation
  Once since hath entered _Ville Marie_,
But we avenged that desecration
  At Chrystler's farm and Chateauguay--
Peace! peace! 'tis cowardly to flout
  Our triumphs in a cousin's face:
That page was long since blotted out
  And Friendship written in its place.

Beloved of Time, the Old Oak flourished
  While at its foot its little charge,
An eaglet by a lion nourished,
  Grew mighty by the river marge;
Till, where the deer were wont to roam,
  There throbs to-day a nation's heart,
Of wealth and luxury the home,
  Of learning, industry and art.

No longer now the church bells' ringing
  Fills all the little town with life,
Its loud-tongued, startling clangor bringing
  Young men and aged to the strife.
No longer through the midnight air
  The savage hordes their war-cries peal,
As rushing from their forest lair
  They meet the brave defenders' steel.

Long has the reign of war been ended
  And Commerce crowned, whose stately fleet
Brings ever treasures vast and splendid
  To lay them humbly at her feet.
And now her eager sons to-day
  Have crossed the wild, north-western plain,
And made two oceans own her sway
  Held captive by a slender chain.

What further Time may be preparing
  For this fair town, the years will tell,
But while her sons retain their daring,
  Their zeal and honor, all is well.
Still, as the seasons come and go,
  Long may they spare the Old Oak Tree
In age as erst in youth to throw
  Protection over _Ville Marie_.



_NELSON'S APPEAL FOR MAISONNEUVE_.


"Silent I have stood and borne it, hoping still from year to year
That the pleading voice of justice you would some day wake to hear.
But beneath the soulless present you have sunk the glorious past,
Till I cannot bear it longer--you must learn the truth at last.
Shame upon you, shameless city, heart of this great land of yours,
That the world should say you care not if your founder's name endures!
Shame upon you, that no statue stands within your greatest square
To commemorate the hero who so often battled there!
Who long years ago sprang lightly from his pinnace to the beach,
And amid the virgin forests, spreading far as eye could reach,
Knelt and prayed, his people with him, while the prophet-priest
  foretold
How their growth should be as great as was the mustard seed's of old.

"Have you ceased to care, already, how that noble little band
Toiled, and fought with man and nature that their sons might
  rule the land,
Braving winter's cold and famine, summer's hot and stifling breath,
Danger in unnumbered forms; and in each form a cruel death,
Slain by skulking, coward foemen, now one moment in the corn
Singing some sweet Norman ditty, and the next one overborne?
Comrades, you have mothers, sisters, wives whom you would die to save,
Think, then, of the noble ones who claim your tribute to the brave;
Tender women, timid children, crouching at the barricade,
Pallid, trembling, stained with blood, yet nerved to give the
  needed aid,
Staunching deadly wounds, and wiping death-dews from a loved
  one's brow,
While their fathers, husbands, brothers fought and won they scarce
  knew how!

"Think of him among them toiling! hear his simple, trusting prayers!
See him, stern, unyielding, hopeful, with a thousand daily cares,
Sharing his companions' hardships, cheering there and chiding here,
With a head to rule them wisely, and a heart that knew not fear,
Sleeping with his armor on him and his weapons by his bed,
Ready ever for the foes that, like the shadows, came and fled.
See him fighting in the forest with a host that seeks his blood!
Hear him praying to the Virgin to restrain the rising flood,
Vowing that if she would heed him and preserve the little town,
He himself would bear a cross and plant it on Mount Royal's crown!
True crusader, in whose heart there never dwelt one sordid thought,
Guardian of the Virgin's city: this is he you honor not.

"Of our Queen a stately statue stands upon Victoria Square,
In its hand a wreath of laurel, in that wreath a tiny pair
Nesting year by year uninjured, heedless of the passing throng,
Living symbols of a reign that guards the weak from every wrong.
Loyalty upraised that statue, and were it the only one
That your city had erected still the deed were nobly done.
But to honor me, my brothers, one whose blood was never shed
On your soil or for your country, heaps but shame upon my head,
Not because you might not praise me--I may merit your esteem--
But because you place me first where he alone should stand supreme.
Shame upon you, to forget him and remember such as I!
Shame upon you, if your ears are heedless still to honor's cry!

"True, I tamed a haughty foeman at Trafalgar and the Nile,
But I had a nation's wealth and numbers at my back the while.
His was one long fight with scarcely seven score to do his will,
With a host of open foes and secret foes, more deadly still;
Foes in every bush and hollow, foes behind his monarch's throne,
Stabbing with one hand extended seemingly to clasp his own.
Yet he triumphed, and behold you! now a country growing fast,
With a glorious future breaking through the darkness of the past,
With a host of stout hearts toiling day and night to make you great,
And a glittering roll of heroes worthy of a mighty state.
Yet you cannot he a nation if your children never hear
Aught of those whose blood has won the land that they should hold most
dear.

"Can you wonder that the rains have beaten on my statued form?
Can you marvel that the winter shakes me with its fiercest storm?
Ah! not age it is but shame that makes me look so worn and old,
Makes me hang my head and tremble lest the bitter truth be told.
It is murmured by the maples, it is whispered by the wind,
Till I cannot but imagine it is heard by all mankind,
How your children, from gay boyhood until tottering age, behold
Gallant Maisonneuve forgotten and less worthy me extolled.
Oh! my comrades, if you love me, lighten the disgrace I feel,
Lend your ready hands to aid me, bend your hearts to my appeal:
Raise a statue to the founder of this great, historic town,
Chomedey de Maisonneuve, or pity me and take mine down."



RED ROSES.


_TO ONE WHO LOVES RED ROSES._


_
When our lives were in their springtime and our souls were in the bud,
  While the watchful world was silent, heeding not such childish love,
I poured forth for thee my heart-thoughts in a sweet, unthinking flood,
    Like a bird that carols freely in the grove.

And thou heardst them, half unconscious of the import that they bore,
  Till the years unlocked the chambers of thy stainless, maiden heart
And thou badest my songs be silent. They are silent evermore,
    But their echoes from my soul will not depart.

Yet the love songs that I lilted in those by-gone childhood days,
  Surely, them thou wilt not silence, let them be a memory dear
Of the happy days of childhood when unchecked I sang thy praise,
    While with thee I looked to heaven and deemed it here.
_



_THREE SONNETS._


THE MAIDEN.

The melody of birds is in her voice.
  The lake is not more crystal than her eyes,
  In whose brown depths her soul still sleeping lies.
With her soft curls the passionate zephyr toys,
And whispers in her ear of coming joys.
  Upon her breast red rosebuds fall and rise,
  Kissing her snowy throat, and, lover-wise,
Breathing forth sweetness till the fragrance cloys.

Sometimes she thinks of love, but, oftener yet,
  Wooing but wearies her, and love's warm phrase
    Repels and frightens her. Then, like the sun
At misty dawn, amid the fear and fret
    There rises in her heart at last some One,
  And all save love is banished by his rays.


THE WIFE.

There stands a cottage by a river side,
  With rustic benches sloping eaves beneath,
  Amid a scene of mountain, stream and heath.
A dainty garden, watered by the tide,
On whose calm breast the queenly lilies ride,
  Is bright with many a purple pansy wreath,
  While here and there forbidden lion's teeth
Uprear their golden crowns with stubborn pride.

See! there she leans upon the little gate,
  Unchanged, save that her curls, once flowing free,
    Are closely coiled upon her shapely head,
  And that her eyes look forth more thoughtfully.
Hark to her sigh! "Why tarries he so late?"
  But mark her smile! She hears his well-known tread.


THE MOTHER.

Beneath the eaves there is another chair,
  And a bruised lily lies upon the walk,
  With the bright drops still clinging to its stalk.
Whose careless hand has dropped its treasure there?
And whose small form does that frail settee bear?
  Whose are that wooden shepherdess and flock,
  That noble coach with steeds that never balk?
And why the gate that tops the cottage-stair?

Ah! he has now a rival for her love,
  A chubby-cheeked, soft-fisted Don Juan,
Who rules with iron hand in velvet glove
  Mother and sire, as only Baby can.
See! there they romp, the mother and her boy,
He on her shoulders perched and wild with joy.



LONG AGO.


The sun was swimming in the purple tide,
  His golden locks far floating on the sea,
When thou and I stole beachward, side by side,
  To say adieu and dream of joys to be.
The ebbing waves were whispering to the strand
  Amid the rocks a tender, sweet good-bye--
Ah! Well that night could we two understand
  What bitter grief was in their ceaseless cry.

The salt wind blew across the rank marsh grass,
  And laid its chilling, fingers on our pulse.
Sea nettles lay in many a shapeless mass,
  Half hidden, in the garnet hills of dulse.
The awkward crabs ran sideways from our path,
  And starfish sprawled face downward in the mud;
While, token of some bleak December's wrath,
  A wreck lay stranded high above the flood.

Few were our words. Love speaks from heart to heart,
  Nor needs that rude interpreter the tongue.
A few short hours and fate would bid us part,
  No more to stray the weedy rocks among.
We dared not trust our bitter thoughts to speech.
  For speech had raised the floodgates of our tears;
And so we walked in silence on the beach
  With the wild billows wailing in our ears.

How beautiful thou wast! Thy snowy gown,
  Whose rustle made sweet music, part revealed
Thy perfect form. Thy thoughtful eyes and brown,
  Beneath their drooping lashes half concealed,
Swam in a sea of tears. Thy tresses played
  Wild wanton with the wind, and kissed each cheek,
That flushed and paled, till one had well nigh said.
  Thy very blood did think and love and speak.

We sat within the shelter of the boat.
  That, buried in the sand for half its length,
Before the black-browed storm no more would float
  Nor like a gull defy the tempest's strength.
We spoke of pleasures past, of joys to be
  When we should meet again nor ever part.
I faltered forth my deathless love for thee,
  And in thy tearful silence read thy heart.

We looked upon the setting of the sun;
  We marked the summer twilight fade away;
We saw the star-worlds rising, one by one,
  And, stooping, kiss the surface of the bay.
Then sitting in the moonlight, each by each,
  I bent and kissed away thy lingering tears;
While ever plunged the billows on the beach
  And sent their dreary cadence to our ears.

The sun was swimming in the purple tide,
  His golden locks far floating on the sea,
When I stole forth yestre'en and sat beside
  The stranded wreck to dream again of thee.
Across my cheek I felt the marsh wind sweep,
  Still called the sea along the darkening shore,
Again the changeless stars began to peep;
  Naught save thyself had changed since days of yore.

O! happy period of my early youth!
  When Love was master, Reason but a slave,
When friends seemed heroes, woman crystal truth,
  Success the certain portion of the brave:
Come back, come back and give me ere I die
  The pure ideal of my life again!
In vain I plead.  Time's snowy ashes lie
  Cold on the hearth-stone of my aged brain.


_AT CHATEAUGUAY._

Memory gleams like a gem at night
  Through the gloom of to-day for me,
Bringing dreams of a summer bright
          At Chateauguay.

Summer sleeps in the ripening corn,
  Sunlight glitters on wood and lea,
Scent of flowers on the air is borne
          At Chateauguay.

Swiftly rushes the river by,
  Through the lake to the far-off sea,
Full of light as a maiden's eye,
          At Chateauguay.

Stands a house by the river side,
  (Weeds upspring where the hearth should be),
Only its tottering walls abide
         At Chateauguay.

Birds are singing the live-long day,
  Trembling, stoopeth an aspen tree.
Eager to hear what the wind will say
          At Chateauguay.

Still the sunlight around me falls,
  Still in fancy I seem to see
Two who stand on the crumbling walls
          At Chateauguay.

Once more wanders a brown-eyed maid
  Up the rough, country road with me,
Swinging her hat by its slender braid,
          At Chateauguay.

Once for a moment more we stay
   Under the tattling aspen tree--
Birds are sweetly lilting to-day
          At Chateauguay.

Tree, thou art dear for that sweet tryst,
  Dear, for the maiden's sake, to me
Is each spot that her feet have kissed
          At Chateauguay.



_A BIRTHDAY_.

Fifteen years have come and gone,
  Maiden since thy large, brown eyes
Opened first and looked upon
  Wintry English skies.

Fifteen treasure ships they were,
  Sailing on life's sunlit sea,
Bearing frankincense and myrrh
  Sent from heaven to thee:

Fifteen pilgrims, old and gray,
  Mounted upon moments fleet,
Who have seen thee but to lay
  Pleasure at thy feet:

Fifteen maids who, like a queen,
  Decked thee, Sweet, with beauty rare,
Till the world hath never seen
  Maiden half so fair.

And a sixteenth year to-day
  Brings a wreath of budding hours,
Saying: "Let not one decay;
  All must grow to flowers."

All have not the self-same needs;
  Loving smiles are life to some,
Others but by kindly deeds.
  To perfection come.

Some are quickened by a tear,
  Some by hopes and pleasures dead;
Take them, Bright Eyes, without fear,
  God is overhead.



_THE LOVERS._


With silken tresses floating free,
  A dark-eyed maiden wanders
Alone beside the murmuring sea,
  And of her lover ponders.

The fisher boats at anchor ride,
  The summer moon is waking;
Its beams of silver on the tide
  In rippling flakes are breaking.

The golden sands in murmurs speak,
  Her dainty foot that presses,
The salt sea wind upon her cheek
  Is lavish of caresses.

Afar upon a winding stream
  A youth is softly rowing;
Above his head the star-worlds gleam,
  And bright the moon is glowing.

The trees are swaying to and fro,
  Their shadowy boughs extending,
And leaf-born music, sweet and low,
  Is with the night-wind blending.

Far off, where meadows kiss the stream,
  A golden light is winking:
Upon the waves its soft rays gleam,
  From crest to hollow sinking.

Upon the youth and maiden's heart
  The lamp of love is shining,
Though distance holds them both apart,
  Their souls are intertwining.



_THE SEA SHELL._


'Tis a dainty shell, 'tis a fragile shell
  At my feet that the wild waves threw,
And I send it thee, that its lips may tell
  In thine ear that my heart is true.

It will tell thee how by the sunlit sea
  Pass the hours we were wont to share.
On its pearl-pink lips is a kiss for thee
  That my own loving lips placed there.

In a lady's hand it will snugly lie,
  'Tis as thin as a red rose-leaf,
Yet it holds the seagull's sorrowing cry,
  And the roar of the tide-lashed reef.

In its ivory cave, though the mighty sea
  May find room, and to spare, to move,
Yet this same sea shell that I send to thee
  Is too small to contain my love.



_A JANUARY DAY._


King Winter sleeps. His daughter, Spring,
  His sceptre steals away,
And, laughing, bids fair Nature bring
  For once a perfect day.

Bright glows the sun in azure skies,
  And balmy blows the breeze,
On gayer wing the sparrow flies,
  And softly sway the trees.

The seasons run like some great stream
  That to the ocean flows,
The waves that _here_ in sunshine gleam
  Bound _there_ in mountain snows:

And, as where darkling waters steal,
  Drear walls of rock between,
Yet in their depths a gem reveal
  That glows with sunny sheen.

So in this blustering month that bears
  The banner of the year,
Such days as this with balmy airs
  Amid the storms appear.

It is but meet that thy birthday
  Should open bright and warm,
And into darkness fade away
  Without a cloud or storm.



_REMEMBRANCE_


Alone I pace the path we walked last year.
  Dost thou remember it? Then everywhere
  The wheat-fields shimmered in the summer glare,
But now the moonbeams sparkle, silver clear,
On swollen stream and meadows dun and drear,
  While, with the myriad blossoms that they bear,
  The cherry trees perfume the evening air,
And gaunt and cold the ruined house stands near.

The aspens whisper to the passing breeze.
  I hear the night-hawk's scream, the pipe of frogs,
  The baying of the distant village dogs,
The lapping waves, the rustle of the trees.
  And every sound is musical to me,
  For every sound is a sweet song of thee.



_IN ABSENCE._


Sleep, dearest, sleep beside the murmuring sea;
Sleep, dearest, sleep, and bright dreams compass thee.
My sleepless thoughts a guard of love shall be
Around thy couch and bid thee dream of me.
        Sleep, Bright Eyes, sleep.

Sleep, dearest, sleep, the slumber of the pure;
Sleep, dearest, sleep, in angels' care secure.
Evil itself thy beauty would allure
To cease from ill and make thy joyance sure.
        Sleep, Bright Eyes, sleep.

Sleep, dearest, sleep; in slumber thou art mine;
Sleep, dearest, sleep; our souls still intertwine.
Yon radiant star that on thy couch doth shine
Bears from my lips a kiss to lay on thine.
        Sleep, Bright Eyes, sleep.



_LOVE GUIDES US._


Love guides our bark, and we have naught to fear.
  We are the world ourselves, and as we glide
Upon the stream of life, if Love but steer,
  We care not how tempestuous the tide.

Thy head leans on my shoulder, and my arm
  Is round thee clasped. Thine eyes upturn to mine,
So full of faith the future feels their charm
  Blunting Fate's dart that threatens joy of thine.

O Love! thy tresses wind about my sense,
  Thy glances melt my soul, and thy ripe lips
Seem morning roses, red and dewy, whence
  The bee of love a draught of nectar sips.

Float on, float on upon the crystal tide,
  Our company these snowy swans that seem
Our mirrored souls, pure love personified--
  Float on, nor ever waken from our dream.



_THE LOVER'S APPEAL._


Tell me when you'll wed me?
  Sweetest, name the day:
Hope has well nigh fled me,
  Joy has slipped away.
Dearest, why this strange delay?
Must I sigh till we are gray?
  With a smile,
  "Wait awhile,
We are young," you say.

Do you know the reason
  Why the nightingale
Through the drear night season
  Pipes her tuneful tale?
She was, once, like you, a maid,
Who her wedding day delayed,
  And her swain,
  All in vain,
For her favor prayed.

She had been a maiden
  Fair to look upon,
Sweet as breezes laden
  With the scent of dawn.
But her lover prayed that she
Rest not till eternity.
  Heaven heard,
  And this bird,
She was doomed to be.

Can you read the moral,
  Of this mournful tale?
Sweetheart, if we quarrel,
  To a nightingale
I will change you, though I weep,
You shall sing and never sleep.
  With the owl
  You shall prowl
Where the shades lie deep.

Tell me when you'll marry;
  Darling, name the day:
Do not longer tarry,
  Life slips fast away.
Do not, like the nightingale,
Live your harshness to bewail.
    At your feet
    I entreat--
Let my love prevail.



OTHER POEMS.


_THE SPIRIT WIFE._


THE SACRIFICE.


Rabbi Ben Horad was a learned man,
  Of gentle ways, who taught a pious flock,
So small, at morn and eve the sexton ran
  From door to door, and with a triple knock
Summoned the faithful who were dwelling there
  To kneel and seek the Lord in humble prayer.

The sexton had a daughter, than whom dreamed
  Man fairer none, and from whose great, dark eyes
An angel soul in spotless radiance beamed,
  As shines a star from out the midnight skies.
She loved the Rabbi with a maid's first love:
  He worshipped her well nigh like God above.

Whene'er by mortal sickness sorely pressed
  One of the little congregation lay,
The sexton's mallet to the flock expressed
  With its sad knock his woe, and bade them pray;
Arid oft their intercession with the Lord
  Prevailed, and He the invalid restored.

Late, late one night the sexton sought to sleep,
  But ere he slept himthought he heard a sound
That caused his heart to throb, his flesh to creep--
  The ghostly knocking of his daily round--
And, trembling, to his child he cried in fear:
  "Some one is dying, daughter, dost thou hear?"

She heard the sound and answered with a cry,
  Love teaching her: "Oh! it is he, mine own:
Rabbi Ben Horad is about to die--
  Oh! father, haste! life may not yet have flown;
Bid all our people pray, that God may hear,
  And in His mercy turn a willing ear."

All through the night the faithful people prayed
  That their beloved Rabbi still might live;
And by their prayers the hand of death was stayed,
  Yet could their prayers no greater favor give;
And so he lingered, while she watched the strife,
  With sinking heart, waged between death and life.

Then, as a last resort, from door to door
  The young men went, that all who wished might give
Some space of time out of their own life's store,
  That yielded to the Rabbi he might live.
Some gave a year, a month a week, a day,
  But wheresoe'r they went none said them nay.

At last they sought the maid and gravely asked:
  "What wilt thou give, O maiden?" and she cried--
By his sad plight her deathless love unmasked--
  "Oh! gladly for his sake I would have died:
Take all my life and give it unto him."
  They wrote, but saw not, for their eyes were dim.

And lo! the Rabbi lived; but ere the earth
  Had thrice upturned its face to greet the sun,
Hushed was the little congregation's mirth,
  For the sweet maiden's life its course had run;
And, decked with flowers, they bore her to her grave,
  He sobbing by whom she had died to save.



THE SPIRIT SONG.


Chastened by grief, Ben Horad holier grew,
  And, uncomplaining, toiled from day to day.
His sad, sweet smile his loving flock well knew,
  His kindly voice their sorrows charmed away;
Yet, though he bowed before his Master's will,
  His heart was sad, for he was human still.

By night or day, wherever he might stray,
  Through bustling city streets or lonely lane,
One form he ever saw--a maiden gay;
  One voice he heard--a soft, melodious strain:
And oh! the loneliness, to see and hear,
  Yet lack the tender touch of one so dear!

Long as he read into the silent night,
  The winking stars soft peeping in his room,
While at his hand the dreamy, lambent light
  Just lit his book and left all else in gloom.
His study walls evanished, and in mist
  He saw the maid whose dead lips once he kissed:

Yet dead no more, but his dear spirit wife.
  And still in heaven she sang the same glad strain
She would have sung on earth had not her life
  Been given to him that he might live again,
And as she sang he wept: "Ah! woe is me,
  Who robbed her of her sweet futurity."

There came a day when on the Rabbi's ears
  Fell the low moans of one in mortal pain.
Slowly they died, as though dissolved in tears,
  While a weak infant's wail took up the strain.
Sadly Ben Horad smiled, and raised his head:
  "She has been spared that agony," he said.

Then all his sorrow died; but not for long,
  For soon again the spirit voice he heard,
Crooning all day a little cradle song,
  With happiness and love in every word.
And as she sang he wept: "Ah! woe is me,
  Who robbed her of her sweet maternity."

Once more he heard her moans, and once again
  Heard the young mother crooning o'er her child.
And then came no more sorrow in the strain,
  Which had there been might him have reconciled,
But as she sang he wept: "Ah! woe is me,
  Who robbed her of her sweet maturity."

And still he read the Talmud, day and night,
  And still the years slipped by on noiseless wing.
Then one day as he studied, lo! the sprite,
  Till then long silent, recommenced to sing.
He sighed: "To-day she feasts her eldest boy,
  And I have robbed my darling of this joy."

Again was silence, and again there fell
  Upon the Rabbi's ears the sweet refrain,
With the glad tumult of a marriage bell,
  Now rising like a bird, now low again.
"Her daughter weds," he said. "Ah! woe is me,
  Who robbed her of her sweet maternity."

Year after year he lived, and children died
  Of age, whom he had dandled, until he,
Worn with his grief, for death's oblivion sighed;
  But still he heard the same sweet melody,
And could not die until the singing ceased,
  For by her life had his life been increased.

Long flashed the lamp upon the sacred page,
  Long peeped the star-worlds through the orioled pane,
Long nightly sat the white-haired, saintly sage
  And listened till at last the happy strain
Died into discord. "God be thanked," he said--
  Next day they found him, smiling now--but dead.



_RHODOPE'S SHOE._


In Egypt Rhodope was born,
  And lived afar from king and court;
No jewels did the maid adorn;
  She crowned herself with flowers in sport.

Her hair was like a summer night,
  Her eyes like stars that twinkle low,
Her voice like soft winds in their flight,
  When through the tremulous leaves they blow.

She dwelt beside the sacred Nile,
  And in its waters every day,
With but the sun to gaze and smile,
  Like any nymph was wont to play.

While in the limpid stream she played
  One day, an eagle cleft the blue,
And, hovering o'er the sporting maid,
  Upon the bank espied her shoe.


Loth to forget so sweet a sight,
  And lest his memory should grow dim,
He sought the earth with sudden flight,
  And bore the shoe aloft with him.

He bore it far, and let it fall
  In the king's palace, where next day
So lily-frail, so strangely small,
  Within the palace-court it lay.

The king was walking, wrapped in thought,
  Throughout his palace, up and down:
Him had his councillors besought,
  With some fair maid to share his crown,

And he had searched the wide world through
  To find a princess he could love,
Yet all in vain he sought to woo,
  His heart there was not one could move.

Into the palace-court he went,
  Still wondering whom to make his bride,
And as he strolled, eyes earthward bent,
  The wondrous tiny shoe he spied.

As leaps the sun to tropic skies,
  So sprang his heart unto its choice,
Love sparkled brightly in his eyes,
  And thrilled triumphant in his voice.

"You bid me wed, I could not do,
  For lack of love, your bidding, Sirs.
But find the maid who wore this shoe,
  And I will make my kingdom hers."

They searched the palace from the ground
  Up to the towers, but in vain;
Nowhere was maiden to be found
  To own the shoe and share the reign.

Then came a lad, who told in awe
  How just at dawn an eagle flew
Above the town, and from its claw
  Dropped to the palace-yard the shoe.

The wise men stroked their beards, and said:
  "The gods have surely done this thing,
That our beloved lord may wed
  A maiden meet for such a king."

Then far and wide the heralds rode
  To find the king's God-chosen bride;
They chanced on Rhodope's abode,
  The overflowing Nile beside.

She stood before the heralds twain,
  She fitted on the tiny shoe,
And claimed it for her own again,
  And not till then their errand knew.

The richest robes they offered her,
  But she refused them: "If my king
In my coarse garb, will deem me fair,
  Then only will I take his ring."

Before the king the maid they brought,
  And at his feet she bent the knee;
He gently raised her: "Nay, kneel not,
  O sweetheart! I should kneel to thee,

"Fair as a poet's dream thou art,
  Purer than lilies--Oh! mine own,
Since thou has won thy monarch's heart,
  'Tis meet that thou shouldst share his throne."

The wise men stroked their beards and said:
  "The gods have surely done this thing."
Then Rhodope the fair was wed,
  And ruled all Egypt with the king.



_HOPE AND DESPAIR._


You love the sun and the languid breeze
    That gently kisses the rosebud's lips,
         And delight to see
         How the dainty bee,
Stilling his gauze-winged melodies
  Into the lily's chalice dips.

I love the wind that unceasing roars,
  While cringe the trees from its wrath in vain,
         And the lightning-flash,
         And the thunder-crash,
And skies, from whose Erebus depths outpours
  In slanting drifts the autumnal rain.

You sigh to find that the time is here
  When leaves are falling from bush and tree;
        When the flowerets sweet
        Die beneath our feet,
And feebly totters the dying year
  Into the mists of eternity.

To me the autumn is never drear,
  It bears the glory of hopes fulfilled.
        Though the flowers be dead,
        There are seeds instead,
That, with the spring of the dawning year,
  With life will find all their being thrilled.

You tread the wood, and the wind behold
  Tear down the leaves from the crackling bough
        Till they make a pall,
        As they thickly fall,
To hide dead flowers. The air seems cold,
  No summer gladdens the forest now.



HOPE AND DESPAIR


I tread the maze of the changing wood,
   And though no light through the maples plays,
          Yet they glow each one,
          Like a rose-red sun,
And drop their leaves, like a glittering flood
  Of warm sunbeams, in the woodland ways.

Poor human heart, in the year of life
  All seasons are, and it rests with thee
          To enjoy them all,
          Or to drape a pall
O'er withered hopes, and to be at strife
  With things that are, and no brightness see.



_CARLOTTA._


Poor, lone Carlotta, Mexico's mad Queen,
  Babbling of him, amid thy vacant halls,
  Whose ears have long been heedless of thy calls;
Sad monument of pomp that once hath been,
Thy staring eyes mark ever the same scene
  Of levelled muskets, and a corpse which falls,
  Dabbled in blood, beneath the city walls--
Though twenty years have rolled their tides between.

Not of this world thy vengeance! They have passed,
  Traitor and victim, to the shadow-land.
Not of this world thy joy; but, when at last
  Reason returns in Paradise, its hand
Shall join the shattered links of thought again,
Save those that form this interval of pain.



_EQUALITY._


Mad fools! To think that men can be
  Made equal all, when God
Made one well nigh divinity
  And one a soulless clod.

Nowhere in Nature can we find
  Things equal, save in death,
One man must rule with thoughtful mind,
  One serve with panting breath.

The maples spread their foliage green
  To shade the grass below,
Hills rise the lowly vales between
  Or streams would never flow.

A million creatures find a home
  Within a droplet's sphere,
And giants through the woodlands roam
  While quakes the land in fear.

A tiny fall in music breaks
  Against the mountain's base,
While roars an avalanche and shakes
  The whole world in its race.

One must be weak and one be strong,
  One huge, another small,
To help this teeming world along,
  And make a home for all.

Equality is death, not life,
  In Nature and with man,
And progress is but upward strife
  With some one in the van.



_LACHINE._


You named it better than you knew
  Who called yon little town Lachine,
  Though through the lapse of years between
The then and now, men jeered at you.

You thought by it to find a way,
  Through voiceful woods and shimmering lakes,
  To where the calm Pacific breaks
On weedy ledges at Cathay.

In fancy you beheld yon tide
  Upbear a thousand argosies,
  Whose spicy odors filled the breeze,
And floated far on every side.

'Twas but a wish-born dream, men said,
  And sneered that you were so unwise.
  Blind scoffers! Would that they could rise
A few short moments from the dead,

To see how, through the power of man,
  Your vision is no more a dream,
  And learn that this majestic stream
Is now the highway to Japan!

From year to year, with dauntless strides,
  O'er fertile plains your sons have pressed,
  Portaging from the East to West,
Between the two great ocean tides.

And in their trail they drew a chain
  Of steel across the virgin land,
  Uniting with this slender band
The eastern and the western main.

Where once the bison roamed, and woke
  The heavens with his thunderous tread,
  The tireless engine speeds instead,
And tosses high its plumes of smoke.

Like spider in a web, it creeps
  On filmy bridge, o'er sparkling streams,
  Or chasms where the sunlight gleams
Part-way, and dies amid the deeps.

It scales the rugged, snow-clad peaks,
  And looks afar on East and West,
  Then, like an eagle from its nest,
Darts down, and through the valley shrieks.

It was not formed by Nature's hand,
  This sun-ward highway to Japan;
  O'er mountain-range and prairie, man
Has forced the path his genius planned.

And Commerce, universal king,
  Has followed with unnumbered needs,
  And scatters everywhere the seeds
Of towns that in a night upspring.

In tumult strange the air abounds,
  The whirr of birds is dying out,
  The swart mechanic's lusty shout
Amid the clang of iron sounds.

And streams, that once unbroken ran,
  Now on their outspread scroll reveal,
  Written by many a sliding keel,
The lordly signature of man.



DE SALABERRY AT CHATEAUGUAY.

We are scarcely one to seven,
  But our cause is just;
Help us in our trial, heaven!
  Keep the ford we must.

Swiftly through the reeds and rushes
  Pours the Outarde flood,
Turned by sunset's rosy flushes
  To a stream of blood.

Sprinkled with the hues of slaughter,
  Wave the forest trees.
Gently o'er the sparkling water,
  In the autumn breeze.

Strange that Nature should remind us
  Of the coming fight!
Let it come--it will but find us
  Battling for the right.

Never shall the land that gave us
  Birth be held a thrall:
Ere the Stars and Stripes enslave us,
  Death shall have us all!

Quickly in this silent dingle
  Raise the _abatis_,
Near where Outarde waters mingle
  With the Chateauguay.

Hasten, Night, across the meadows,
  Kiss the streams to sleep,
Wrap us in thy cloak of shadows,
  Bid the stars not peep.

Night has passed; the birds, awaking,
  Greet the dawning day.
Wherefore are our foemen making
  Such a long delay?

Hark! at last they come; now, steady!
  Wait the signal gun.
When I fire, fire you. Now! ready?
  Fire! Ah! lads, well done!

Like a vaulted wave that shatters
  On a rocky coast,
And in mist and salt spray scatters,
  Breaks the mighty host.

Like the wave, that swift returning
  Bursts upon the strand,
Falls the foe, with hatred burning,
  On our little band.

We are scarcely one to seven,
  But our cause is just;
Help us in our trial, heaven!
  Keep the ford we must.

Fall the shot-clipped leaves about us
  Like the summer rain;
Charge the bitter foes to rout us
  Ever and again.

Quarter never asked nor given,
  Still we beat them back,
Though our slender ranks are riven
  With each fierce attack.

Long the fearful battle rages,
  Death his harvest reaps--
He will live in history's pages
  In the grave who sleeps.

Round us, stronger, ever stronger,
  Sweeps the hostile horde;
If the strife continue longer,
  We shall lose the ford.

We are scarcely one to seven,
  But our cause is just;
Help us in our trial, heaven!
  Keep the ford we _must_!

Hope! The fox, when worn with running,
  Subtlety must use:
Let us strive to win by cunning
  What by force we lose.

Bugler, seek the forest border
  Whence our friends should come;
For attack, sound loud the order,
  Beat upon the drum.

So our foes may think in error
  That our friends are nigh,
And, disturbed by sudden terror,
  From the conflict fly.

Through the wood the bugler dashes,
  Far beyond the fray--
While the deadly musket flashes
  Point him on his way,

Faintly o'er the din of battle,
  On the ear there fall
From afar a drum's sharp rattle,
  And a bugle call.

Through the forest, drawing nearer,
  Ring the bugle notes,
And the drum-beat, quicker, clearer,
  On the calm air floats.

Cheer! my lads, and cease from firing,
  Sheathe the blood-stained sword,
For our foemen are retiring--
  We have kept the ford.



TENNYSON.

The noble lion groweth old,
  The weight of years his eyesight dims,
  And strength deserts his mighty limbs,
His once warm blood runs slow and cold.

The sunlight of another day
  Slants through the jungle's tangled mass;
  He marks the shadows, but, alas!
Sees not the sun among them play.

His regal head lies buried deep
  Between his paws--his reign is o'er--
  His great voice stirs the world no more,
And round his lair the jackals creep.

They scent their prey, and, with the joy
  Of meaner natures, far and wide
  From deep obscurity they glide,
The dying monarch to annoy.

With naked fangs they circle round,
  And fiercely snarl, until once more
  The thicket quivers at his roar,
And all their paltry yelps are drowned.

The woodland with his voice is thrilled,
  Though hope abandoned mars the strain;
  But echoes cease, and then again
With jackal barks the air is filled.

Though dying, he is royal yet--
  Even now, earth doth not hold his peer:
  Bark, jackals, bark! ere dies the year
The world your tumult will forget.



AT RAINBOW LAKE.

There is a spot, far from the world's uproar,
  Amid great mountains,
Where softly sleeps a lake, to whose still shore
  Steal silvery fountains,
That hide beneath the leafy underwood,
And blend their voices with the solitude.

Save where the beaver-meadow's olive sheen
  In sunlight glimmers,
On every side, a mass of waving green,
  The forest shimmers
And oft re-echoes with the black bear's tread,
That silences the song birds overhead.

Here thickly droops the moss from patriarch trees,
  And loons fly wailing.
Here king-birds' screams come hoarsely down the breeze
  And hawks are sailing
Above the trees. Here Nature dwells alone,
Of man unknowing, and to man unknown.

Smiling, she rises when the morning air,
  The dawn just breaking,
Bids the still woodlands for the day prepare,
  And Life, awaking,
Welcomes the Sun, whose bride, the Morn, is kissed
And, blushing, lays aside her veil of mist.

Here Nature with each passing hour reveals
  Peculiar graces:
At noonday she grows languid, and then steals
  To shady places,
And revels in their coolness, at her feet
A stream, that fills with music her retreat.

At eve she comes, and, blushing like a maid,
  Unrobes in shadows,
Bathes in the lake, and wanders through the glade
  And o'er the meadows.
From her dank locks, wherever she doth pass,
The diamond dew-drops dripping to the grass.

And then she sleeps; when o'er the lake's calm tide
  The Moon comes stealing,
And draws from her the veil of night aside,
  Her charms revealing,
While silent stars keep ceaseless watch above,
And all the earth breathes peace and rest and love.



THE RACE.


A girlish voice like a silver bell
Rang over the sparkling tide,
    "A race! a race!"
  She was under the trees by the river-side,
Down from whose boughs dark shadows fell,
    And hid her face.

Four skiffs are out on the moonlit stream,
And their oars like bars of silver gleam,
  As they dip and flash and kiss the river,
  As swallows do, till the moonbeams quiver.
    Then the ripples die,
    And the girlish cry
    Floats gaily again to the summer sky.

"Ready? Go!"
As the arrow springs from the straightened bow,
  The skiffs dart off for the distant goal:
      The oars are bent like blades of steel,
    And the hissing waters, cleft in twain,
    Curl away astern in a feathery train,
      While girlish laughter, peal on peal,
Rings over the river and over the shore,
  And from the island the echoes roll.
    We hear the mysterious voice again.
"We have won! we have won!
Will you race once more?"

The water drips in golden rain
  From the blade of the resting oar,
Again we take, our place, and again
  That clear voice wakes the shore:
  "Go!" And we bend to our oars once more,
And banks fly past, till the gleaming meadows
Give place to the woods and their gloomy shadows.

Our skiff is steered by skilful hands,
  Its rowers' arms are strong,
But muscles are not iron bands
  To bear such conflict long.
And hearts beat hard, and breath comes fast,
  And cheeks too hotly burn,
Before the welcome goal is passed--
  The rest two lengths astern.

The evening air is growing chill,
    The moon is sinking low:
  The race is ours--across the wave
  We call, but nothing answers save
    The winds that gently blow,
"Come race again." But all in vain--
The silvery voice is still.



_MY TREASURE_.


"What do you gather?" the maiden said,
    Shaking her sunlit curls at me--
"See, these flowers I plucked are dead,
        Ah! misery."

"What do you gather?" the miser said,
    Clinking his gold, as he spoke to me--
"I cannot sleep at night for dread
        Of thieves," said he.

"What do you gather?" the dreamer said,
    "I dream dreams of what is to be;
Daylight comes, and my dreams are fled,
        Ah! woe is me."

"What do you gather?" the young man said--
    "I seek fame for eternity,
Toiling on while the world's abed,
        Alone," said he.

"What do I gather?" I laughing said,
    "Nothing at all save memory,
Sweet as flowers, but never dead,
        Like thine, Rosie."

"I have no fear of thieves," I said,
    "Daylight kills not my reverie,
Fame will find I am snug abed,
        That comes to me."

"The past is my treasure, friends," I said,
    "Time but adds to my treasury,
Happy moments are never fled
        Away from me."

"All one needs to be rich," I said,
    "Is to live that his past shall be
Sweet in his thoughts, as a wild rose red,
        Eternally."



_WELCOMING THE NEW YEAR_.


We gathered, a jovial party,
  Together on New Year's eve,
To welcome the coming monarch
  And to see the old one leave,

We chatted around the fireside,
  And wondered what time would bring:
We had not a tear for the parting year,
  But longed for the coming king.

For youth reaches ever forward,
  And drops from its eager clasp
The realized gifts of fortune,
  Some phantom of hope to grasp.

Soon a maiden spoke of the custom,
  Now lapsed in this age of prose,
To open the door for the New Year
  The instant the Old Year goes;

Then, leaving the door wide open,
  To stand in the silent street
And, with a generous "welcome,"
  The entering guest to greet.

It suited our youthful fancy,
  And, when the glad chimes began,
From our cosy nook by the fireside
  Down into the street we ran.

And, far and near, we all could hear
The great bells ringing out the year,
  And, as they tolled, the music rolled,
  Hoarse-sounding, over town and wold.

"The year is dead," _Gros Bourdon_ said,
The clanging echoes quivering fled,
  And, far and wide, on every side,
  The bells to one another cried.

The mountain woke, and from its cloak
Shook off the echoes, stroke for stroke.
  Then silence fell on hill and bell,
  And echoes ceased to sink and swell.

Standing beside the door wide open thrown,
  Her voice more musical than any bird's,
And with a winning sweetness all its own,
  Our Queen thus winged her joyous thoughts with words:

"Ring out, bells, ring! Sing, mountain, sing!
The king is dead, long live the king!
  Now fast, now slow; now loud, now low,
  Send out your chimes across the snow.

"Old Year, adieu; welcome the New,
The door stands open here for you.
  Come in, come in, the bells begin
  To falter in their merry din."

Then, as the great bells ceased to swing, two broke
  A silver coin, for luck in days to come,
And though no tender words of love they spoke,
  Yet hearts speak best when most the lips are dumb.



_A GREATER THAN HE._



Baby sits upon the floor,
  Baby's scarce a twelvemonth old;
Baby laughs, and _goo-goos_ o'er
Memories how a babe of yore
  Humbled Glooskap bold.

Glooskap was a man of might,
  Skilled in magic, huge of limb;
Giant, wizard, goblin, sprite,
Ghost, witch, devil, imp of night,
  All had fled from him.

Then he questioned: "Can there be
  Further labors to be done?
Breathes there one to equal me,
Who before me will not flee?"
  Quoth a squaw: "Yes, one."

"Name him," angry Glooskap cried,
  "Baby," said she, "And be warned--
If you meddle, woe betide
All your glory, all your pride!
  For you will be scorned,"

Baby sat upon the ground,
  Harming none, and sucked his thumb,
Gazing with a look profound
Upon Glooskap and around,
  Solon-wise, Sphinx-dumb.

Glooskap never married was,
  So he thought, like all his kind,
That he knew the nursery laws
Wholly, and with ease could cause
  Service prompt and blind.

Sweetly, the magician smiled,
  Like the summer sun, and said:
"Hither, Baby." But the child,
By the sweet smile unbeguiled,
  Only shook his head.

Like a bird among the trees,
  Singing, Glooskap spake once more:
Baby listened to the glees,
Sucked his thumb, and sat at ease
  Still upon the floor.

Thundering, the magician spoke:
  "Hither, Baby, I command!"
Baby stirred not, only broke
Into wailings that awoke
  All the desert land.

Mystic song and magic spell,
  Fit to raise the very dead,
Fit to rule the imps that dwell
In the deepest depths of Hell,
  Glooskap sang and said.

All was vain. Upon the floor
  Baby sat, and heard each lay,
Listened close, and called for more,
When each mystic song was o'er,
  But did not obey.

Then the baffled warrior wept;
  And the baby in delight,
Sitting where a sunbeam slept,
Laughed and crowed, and crowing kept,
  Till his foe took flight.



_LIFE IN NATURE_.


Life grows not more nor less; it is but force
  And only changes;
Expended here, it takes another course,
  And ever ranges
Throughout this circling universe of ours,
Now quickening man, now in his grave-grown flowers.

Yet dwells life not alone in man and beast
  And budding flowers.
It lurks in all things, from the very least
  Gleam in dark bowers
Of the great sun, through stones, and sea, and air,
Up to ourselves, in Nature everywhere.

Life differs from the soul. This is beyond
  The realms of science;
God and mankind it joins in closest bond,
  And bids defiance
To Death and Change. By faith alone confessed,
It dwells within our bodies as a guest.

The germ of life sleeps in the aged hills
  And stately rivets,
And wakes into the life our hearts that thrills
  And in leaves quivers.
The universe is one great reservoir
From which man draws of thinking life his store.

And, therefore, is it that the weary brain,
  That seeks communion
With Nature in her haunts, finds strength again
  In that close union:
She is our mother and the mind distressed
Drinks a new draught of life at her loved breast.



_WINTER AND SUMMER_.


Come Winter, merry Winter,
  Rejoice while yet you may,
For nearer, ever nearer,
  Fair Summer draws each day,
And soon the tiny snowdrops
  Shall waken from their sleep,
And, mossy banks from under,
  The modest violets peep.

The apple trees shall scatter
  Their buds at Summer's feet,
And with their fragrant odors
  Make every zephyr sweet;
While Nature, of wild roses,
  And lilies frail and white,
Shall make a wreath for Summer,
  And crown her with delight.

Forth from the smiling heavens
  Shall fall the gentle rain,
The earth shall feel her presence
  And welcome her with grain;
The birds shall come and twitter,
  And build amid the boughs,
So Winter, merry Winter,
  While yet you may, carouse.

We love you, merry Winter,
  You and the joys you bring,
And loud and long your praises
  Throughout the world we sing;
But Summer, gentle Summer,
  Comes shyly through the glade,
And draws all hearts to love her,
  So fair is she arrayed.

We love the merry sleighing,
  The swinging snowshoe tramp,
While in the clear, cold heavens
  The calm moon holds her lamp,

We love the breathless coasting.
  The skating and the games
Played amid shouts of laughter,
  Around the hearth-fire flames.

But Summer, winsome Summer,
  Holds greater stores of bliss,
When all the land awakens,
  And blossoms at her kiss;
We soon shall feel her presence,
 And breathe her perfumed breath,
Then, Winter, dear old Winter,
  We will not mourn your death.



_DAUNTLESS_.


So he is dead. A strange, sad story clings
  About the memory of this mindless man;
A tale that strips war's tinsel off, and brings
  Its horrors out, as only history can.

Within a peaceful town he dwelt in youth,
  His sister's hero and his mother's pride--
The soul of honor, the abode of truth,
  Beloved and reverenced on every side.

He had a sweetheart, lovely as the day,
  A gentle maid, who knew not half his worth,
Who loved the sunshine, and who shrank away
  From sorrow, and forever followed mirth.

They were but young, and hope's mirage upreared
  In their warm hearts its rosy palaces;
They deemed them real, and longing, only feared
  Life was too short for all the promised bliss.

And then came war, blood-spattered, cruel as hell,
  And clamored with its iron voice for life--
Mother and sister and the wedding-bell.
  The hero left, and hastened to the strife.

In vain he struck for liberty, and fell
  A captive, in his earliest affray;
Then, threatening death, fierce Haynau bade him tell
  Where and how strong the patriot forces lay.

"I will not tell," he cried, with eyes aflame,
  "Do what thou wilt with me, I will not bring
Doom to my land, and soil my honored name:
  From these sealed lips thou shalt no secret wring."

His captor only laughed. "He croweth well,
  Go, bring his mother and his sister here,
And they shall die, if he refuse to tell!"
  The hero answered not, but paled with fear.

The brutal soldiers to the brutish court
  Dragged the weak women, and they stood o'er-awed,
Each to the other clinging for support,
  And praying in her misery to God.

The fell decree the shrinking creatures heard,
  And long in vain essayed to make reply,
For their weak speech could find no fitting word
To bear the burden of their agony.

Tears came at last. The brutal Haynau smiled,
  But all too soon. Weeping, the mother said:
"Be not thy country's, traitor, oh! my child!
  Too old am I the loss of life to dread."

Then spake the sister: "Brother mine, be brave!
  Life hath no charms, if with dishonor bought;
Think not of us, our bleeding country save--
  Life is so short at best, death matters naught."

The hero made no answer, but he drove
  His nails into his palms, and choked for breath;
His captor bade the soldiery remove
  The noble women--and they went to death.

"He hath a sweetheart," Haynau said again:
  "Go, bring her hither;" and they brought her there,
Weeping with fear, and wailing low with pain,
  Amid the golden ringlets of her hair.

Then from the earth she sprang, frenzied with fear,
  Into her lover's arms, and kissed his cheek,
And strok'd his hair, and called him "love" and "dear,"
  And prayed him for her sake to yield and speak.

He thrust her from him, clasped her yielding form
  In his lithe arms again, and then once more
Repulsed her gently, and the deadly storm
  That raged within him smote him to the floor.

Groping, he rose and spoke. None knew his voice:
  It sounded as though coming from a tomb.
"Oh! darling, it must be--I have no choice--
  Thou would'st not have me seal my country's doom?"

Haynau made sign. "Away with her," he cried.
  They seized their prey, but life to her was sweet,
And, bounding from the soldiers at her side,
  Screaming she crouched, and clasped her lover's feet.

"Oh! for the love you bear me, save my life!
  Tell what he asks, and we will fly this place
Into some unknown land, where all this strife
  Shall be forgotten in love's sweet embrace."

He made no answer save by bending low,
  And kissing her damp brow. They raised their prize,
And bore her to the door, as pale as snow,
  With all her soul outwelling from her eyes.

But here she turned, calm in her death despair,
  And in a voice that trembled with its hate,
"My dying curse be on you everywhere,
  False love," she cried, "who send me to my fate."

There was a silence, then a fusilade
  Of musketry, a woman's scream and moan,
Then silence. That was all, and in the shade
  Of night the hero laughed. Reason had flown.



_A CHILD'S KISS_.


Sweet is the maiden's kiss that tells
  The secret of her heart;
Holy the wife's--yet in them dwells
  Of earthliness a part;

While in a little child's warm kiss
  Is naught but heaven above,
So sweet it is, so pure it is,
  So full of faith and love.

'Tis like a violet in May
  That knows nor fear nor harm,
But cheers the wanderer on his way
  With its unconscious charm.

'Tis like a bird that carols free,
  And thinks not of reward,
But gives the world its melody
  Because it is a bard.



THE GRAVE AND THE TREE.


Of double depth they made her grave,
  And covered it with massive stone,
And there, where silvery birches wave,
  They left her sleeping all alone.

These words were chiselled on her tomb:
  "This grave, bought for eternity,
Even to and through the day of doom,
  And ever, shall unopened be."

For years the passing stranger saw
  The epitaph of Caroline,
And wondered, with a shuddering awe,
  That it could dare the wrath divine.

Time is of God. He does not need
  To work his purpose in an hour:
Years came and went, and then a seed,
  Borne downwards by a summer shower,

Fell gently on the scanty earth.
  Among the heaped-up stones that lay,
And soon a tiny birch had birth,
  And grew in stature day by day.

The sun, the shower, the passing wind,
  All helped the youthful tree to grow;
Its little roots ran far to find
  Subsistence in the depths below.

Years passed, until at last the tree
  Sundered the stones, and made the grave
Yawn wide, that hoped eternally
  The ravages of Time to brave.

Vain was the exercise of skill
  To seal the grave of Caroline;
And vain is every human will
  That strives to break the law divine.



A MOTHER'S JEWELS.

The daughter of a hundred earls,
  No jewels has with mine to mate,
Though she may wear in flawless pearls
  The ransom of a mighty state.

Hers glitter for the world to see,
  But chill the breast where they recline:
My jewels warmly compass me,
  And all their brilliancy is mine.

My diamonds are my baby's eyes,
  His lips, sole rubies that I crave:
They came to me from Paradise,
  And not through labors of the slave.

My darling's arms my necklace make,
  'Tis Love that links his feeble hands,
And Death, alone, that chain can break,
  And rob me of those priceless bands.



NOTES.


EXPLANATORY NOTES.


THE CAPTURED FLAG.

The incident described in these verses took place during the
unsuccessful siege of Quebec by Admiral Sir William Phipps, in 1690.
Admiral Phipps, after capturing Port Royal, now Annapolis, Nova Scotia,
sailed up the St. Lawrence, in October, arriving at Quebec on the 5th.
Frontenac, then Governor of New France, was taken almost by surprise,
yet, when summoned to surrender, he haughtily refused to do so, using
the words attributed to him in the ballad. Phipps was beaten off,
leaving with the French the cannon of his troops and this flag, which
had been shot away, and which was picked up by a Canadian, who swam out
after it. A medal was struck in France, and a church erected in Quebec,
in honor of this victory.


PÈRE BROSSE.

A full account of this pious legend will be found in Mr. J. Lemoine's
_Chronicles of the St. Lawrence_, pages 242, 243, and 244. Father
de La Brosse was, at the time of his death, a priest at Tadousac, at
the mouth of the Saguenay, and about seventy miles below the Isle aux
Coudres, where he celebrated the first mass, in 1765. He died at
midnight, on the 11th April, 1782, and, so says the legend, his death
was preceded and followed by miraculous occurrences. He is said to have
foretold it, and to have bidden his people seek Père Compain on the
Isle aux Coudres, and bring him to perform the funeral offices. There
would be a storm, which they were not to heed, for he guaranteed them
against harm, and they were to find Père Compain awaiting them. All
came true: Père Brosse was found dead at midnight with his head on the
altar of his chapel; the men set out, and though the waves rolled
mountains high on every side, there was peace where their canoe
floated. They found Père Compain awaiting them, for he had been
supernaturally informed of his colleague's death, and he went with them
to Tadousac. All the bells of the missions where Père Brosse had
labored are said to have been rung without hands that night.


L'ORDRE DE BON TEMPS.

This company of _Bon Vivants_ was formed in 1606, during the
sojourn of Champlain and de Poutrincourt at Port Royal. An account of
its organization and doings will be found in Parkman's _Champlain and
His Associates_, Chapter iv.


CHAMPLAIN.

This poem is a _resumé_ of the life of him whom Parkman calls "The
Æneas of a destined people." "Yon fair town" alludes to Quebec, which
Champlain founded July 3rd, 1608. His defiance of Admiral Kirkt took
place in 1628, and was successful for a season, but a second summons
from Kirkt next summer led to the first surrender of Canada to England.
Champlain died on Christmas Day, 1635, after twenty-seven years of
labor for the country in which his name can never be forgotten.


THE PRIEST AND THE MINISTER.

In the opening paragraphs of the third chapter of Parkman's
_Champlain and His Associates_, will be found an account, of which
these verses are little more than a paraphrase. When de Monts was
commissioned to settle New France, the Roman Catholic clergy insisted
that they be given charge of the souls of the heathen in the new land.
De Monts was, himself, a Huguenot, and brought his own ministers with
him, so that the ship that sailed to Acadia in 1604 bore with it clergy
of both sects. This was the cause of ceaseless quarrels. "I have seen
our _curé_ and the minister," says Champlain, "fall to with their
fists on questions of faith. I cannot say which had the more pluck, or
which hit the harder; but I know the minister complained to the Sieur
de Monts that he had been beaten." Sagard, the Franciscan friar, gives
an account of the death of two of the disputants and of their burial in
one grave. I have taken the liberty of making them the central figures
of the dispute, though, actually, they were subordinates.


PILOT.

Pilot was one of a number of dogs sent from France to Montreal shortly
after its foundation, in order to assist the brave colonists in their
warfare with the savages. She and her offspring were invaluable in
detecting ambuscades. An account of her useful life will be found in
Parkman's _Jesuits in North America_, chap. xviii.


THE SECRET OF THE SAGUENAY.

Although one legend, and, perhaps, the best substantiated one, asserts
that Roberval was assassinated in Paris, there is another to the effect
that, fired by the recitals of Cartier of untold wealth to be found in
the Saguenay district, he sailed up the river of that name, and was
never heard of again. This legend will be found in the _Illustrated
History of Canada_.


JULES' LETTER.

The date of this letter would be about 1670. From 1665 to 1673,
bachelors in Canada underwent a martyrdom of great severity, and Jules'
fear lest he find himself married in spite of himself is hardly an
exaggeration. From 1665 to 1673, about one thousand girls were sent out
from France to find husbands in Canada. Each couple married was given
an ox, a cow, a pair of swine, a pair of fowls, two barrels of salted
meat, and eleven crowns in money. Girls under sixteen and youths under
twenty were given twenty livres when they married, and were encouraged
to marry at fourteen and eighteen respectively. To such an extent was
this rage for marriage carried that, it is said, a widow was married
before her first husband's body had been consigned to the grave. Large
bounties were paid to parents having from ten to fifteen children, and
the slightest sign of courtship between the unmarried officers and
ladies of Quebec and Montreal, was chronicled in official documents and
transmitted to France. For further particulars, the reader is referred
to Parkman's _The Old Regime in Canada_, chapter xiii.


THE OAK.

The two villages referred to are Hochelaga and Ville Marie, now
Montreal. The latter place was founded by Maisonneuve in 1642. In Sir
William Dawson's _Fossil Men_ is a picture of Hochelaga as seen by
Cartier, with an oak tree near it. This oak is sketched from one in the
McGill University grounds, and it needs but a little stretch of the
imagination to consider them identical, though actually this is not so.
The poem traces the history of Montreal from its foundation up to the
present time.  Jacques Cartier's visit was made in October, 1535, when
he was well received by the Hochelagans. When Champlain came, in 1611,
Hochelaga had disappeared. The reference to the flood occurs again in
"Nelson's Appeal for Maisonneuve." The incident took place in 1642, and
Maisonneuve actually fulfilled his vow and bore a heavy cross to the
mountain top, where it was planted. Dollard, with seventeen Frenchmen
and fifty Indians, by heroic self-sacrifice, in 1660, saved Canada from
destruction by the Iroquois. Vaudreuil surrendered Canada to the
English on September 8th, 1760. He had been driven to Montreal, and was
surrounded by 17,000 men, under General Amherst. The Americans took
Montreal in 1775, and were defeated at Chateauguay, October 26th, 1813,
and at Chrysler's Farm, November 11th, of the same year. In both cases,
the Canadians were greatly outnumbered.


NELSON'S APPEAL FOR MAISONNEUVE.

This is supposed to be spoken by Horatio, Lord Nelson, whose statue,
standing on Jacques Cartier Square, by the magnificent river St.
Lawrence, is, with the exception of the bronze image of our Queen, the
only one in the city of Montreal. In five years, Montreal will see its
250th anniversary. Shall it be said that we have forgotten its founder,
when that day comes? The pages of Parkman may again be referred to for
an explanation of any points in this poem. _The Jesuits in North
America_, chapter xv., contains a long account of the foundation of
Montreal, and subsequent pages chronicle the life of Maisonneuve.


THE SPIRIT WIFE.

This is a free paraphrase of a prose tale by Israel G. Owen.


LACHINE.

Misled by the information given him by the Indians, and also by the
size of the St. Lawrence, Jacques Cartier [La Salle?] gave to Lachine
its present name, thinking that by it a western passage to China was
possible. The Canadian Pacific Railway has furnished this passage by
land, and now a large portion of China's merchandise comes overland to
Montreal for shipment to Europe.


DE SALABERRY AT CHATEAUGUAY.

During the Anglo-American War of 1812, the brunt of the fighting fell
upon the Canadian Volunteers, and one of their most notable exploits is
that which I have striven to portray in this poem. Hearing of the
advance of the Americans, De Salaberry, with 400 Voltigeurs, entrenched
himself at the junction of the Chateauguay and Outarde rivers, not many
miles from Montreal. On the morning of October the 26th, this little
band of heroes was attacked by 3,500 Americans. In spite of the most
determined bravery, the Canadians would have been overcome by sheer
force of numbers, but for the ruse described in the poem, assisted by a
rapid discharge of musketry from new ambuscades. The Americans
withdrew, and Lower Canada was saved.


TENNYSON.

This poem was written shortly after the appearance of "Sixty Years
After," by Lord Tennyson, and while the critics on both sides of the
Atlantic were, for the most part, tearing him to pieces.


A GREATER THAN HE.

Glooskap is to the Penobscot Indians much what Hiawatha was to those of
Longfellow's wonderful poem. He is supposed to be making arrows in a
long hut, waiting for the time, when, like Barbarossa, he shall come to
save his countrymen. The only time that he was defeated was when he
strove to conquer a baby. The story will be found in C. G. Leland's
_Algonquin Legends_.


DAUNTLESS.

This is a true episode of the Hungarian rebellion of 1849. The young
man's name was Ferenz Renyi, and he died recently in the asylum at
Buda-Pesth. Haynau was attacked in Barclay's Brewery, London, in 1850,
for cruelties of this kind, and barely escaped with his life from the
infuriated employes.





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