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Title: Poems
Author: Matheson, D. M.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Poems" ***

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                                 POEMS

                                  BY

                            D. M. MATHESON

                             EX-PRINCIPAL

                        ALEXANDER MCKAY SCHOOL

                       [Illustration: colophon]

                            HALIFAX, N. S.



CONTENTS


Indian Summer                            3-4

Mother Love                                4

Petoobok                                 5-6

Langemarc                                  7

Edith Cavell                               8

Cardinal Mercier                           8

The Bard of Ayr                            9

The Soul of Flanders                      10

The Gardens                               11

Keep the Gardens Growing                  12

An Elegy Written in Richmond           13-17

The Cottage School                     18-21

December Sixth 1917                    22-23

Life Is But One Darn Thing After Another  24

Courcellette                           25-26

Vimy Ridge                             27-28

God Save Our Empire                       29

The Veteran                               30



INDIAN SUMMER


    Fair are fleets of white winged prows
      Swiftly sailing o’er the sea;
    Fair are herds of homing cows,
      Winding slowly o’er the lea;
    Fair are orchards, when replete
      With rich blossoms pink and white;
    Fair are fields of ripening wheat
      Shining in the morning light;
    Fair is any mountain sheet
      Burnishing in colors bright;

    Fair are all Acadia’s lands;
      All its streams and wooded lakes,
    Headlands high and pebbly strands,
      When the early morning breaks,
    Fair its scented flowers and trees,
      And its many landlocked bays,
    Rippling in the summer breeze;
      Themes for minstrel muses’ lays--
    But far fairer than all these
      Are Acadia’s autumn days.

    Made from heavenly design
      By some unseen Artisan;
    Gift of Architect divine,
      To Acadia’s Weather man.
    Fairest season of the year,
      When boon Nature’s at her height
    Robed in all her beauty sere,
      And fair Luna sheds her light
    With a more bewitching cheer
      Through the watches of the night.

    And God’s lowly creatures all,
      Who the freeman’s burden bore,
    Having heeded labor’s call
      Now have plentitude in store,
    And from every household hearth
      Nightly offered up the “word”.
    As a sacrifice of worth
      To a kind and gracious Lord
    For the riches of the earth,
      Filling thus the family board.

    And a thrill of peaceful joy
      Permeates the human breast
    And the starry vaulted sky
      Seemingly is at its best,
    For old Sol in all his pride
      Scorpion doth then adorn,
    Midway in his yearly ride
      ’Twixt the Line and Capricorn.
    In this lovely Autumntide
      Was Waegwoltic’s wedding morn.

[Illustration: decoration of text]



MOTHER LOVE


    Mother! All that’s blest and good,
      Centres round that treasured word,
    Mother-love and motherhood!
      Sweetest sounds man ever heard,
    Mother! blest and sweetest name,
      Spoken by the human tongue,
    Age and youth do thee acclaim,
      Angels have thy praises sung,
    And the greatness of thy fame,
      Hath through all the ages rung.

    Mother-love! whose fountain flow,
      Feedeth man the living breath,
    And which burns with tenser glow,
      Even when he’s cold in death;
    Blest and wondrous gift divine
      Of the master Artisan
    In fair Eden’s holy shrine
      To the fallen creature man,
    When fell Satan did design
      To destroy Creation’s plan.

[Illustration: decoration of text]



PETOOBOK


    Of Petoobok and of its golden sea,
      The fairest gem of Nature’s fashioning
    The beauty spot of beauteous Acadie,
      Its summer and its winter scenes I sing:
    Here in primeval days great Neptune wise
      Conspired with Fora, bounteous and free,
    To make a masterpiece, a paradise,
      Where Nymphs and Naiad’s might forever woo;
    And now by night and day it ever lies
      Reflecting in its waters, deep and blue
    The heavenly wonders of the vaulted skies.

    In splendour, wild and picturesque and grand,
      Beneath its sentinel hills like crystal set
    With rarest taste by God and Nature’s hand.
      It mirrors in its depth the silhouette
    Of mountains, which, like heroes of romance,
      Along its lovely shores forever stand,
    To guard the waters of its vast expanse,
      And holds to-day the same bewitching charm
    Of loveliness divine, you to entrance,
      As on the morn the cry of Golden Arm,
    Burst from the lips of sons of sunny France.

    Lake Petoobok, on summer afternoon
      Looks fair and lovely to the mortal gaze,
    And lovely too, what time the hunter’s moon
      Illuminates it with her bewitching rays,
    As it lies sleeping ’neath its guardian hills
      By Flora robed in beauty, rare and boon,
    With foliage of variegated frills
      On which the dancing beams like fairies glint
    And from Dame Nature’s ample store distils
      Those dyes of one and thousand autumn tints
    Wrought by some magic hand in fairy mills.

    But Petoobok is fairest to behold
      On Autumn morn, when orient Sunlight breaks
    In radiant glory on its arm of gold,
      And gentle noosuk[A] into the ripples shakes,
    The placid surface of its crystal sea,
      And to the eye a vista doth unfold,
    A wondrous scene of heavenly alchemy,
      Like that told us by John in Holy Writ,
    Which fills the soul with perfect ecstasy,
      And which once seen, though time be preterit
    In after life in dreams you’ll ever see.

 [A] West wind.s



LANGEMARC

(1915)


    Sleep on ye brave Canadians,
    In Langemarc’s blood-stained mead,
    Your glorious act will ever rank
    A truly golden deed,
    Sleep on with France and Briton
    And Belgian, side by side,
    Sleep ye and they your last long sleep,
    The last roll call to bide.

    And mother nature, gentlest nurse,
    Will ever nightly lave
    Your lowly grave with kindly dews
    While weeping willows wave;
    And kindly zephyrs every day,
    And every night will sigh,
    A sweet memoriam for aye,
    Your tomb to sanctify.

    And Belgian maids and matrons, too
    Will often leave the loom
    To gather wilding flowers,
    To beautify your tomb;
    And peasants when they pass your way,
    Oft to their sons will say:
    “’Twas here the brave Canadians
    The fierce Huns held at bay.”

    And when the Angel Gabriel,
    Shall sound the trumpet blast,
    Then you shall all awaken
    From your seeming death at last,
    And, standing at attention,
    While angel voices sing,
    In unison you will salute,
    The universal King.



EDITH CAVELL

(1916)


    Dear martyred maid, thy cruel death hath thrilled
    With loathing deep the whole of human kind
    Against the Hun who thy death sentence signed;
    Thy barb’rous death all manly hearts hath filled
    With feelings such as never can be stilled;
    In every home thy name is hence enshrined,
    Thy death scene pictured clear in every mind
    In thy life’s blood, the murd’rous Hun hath spilled
    Angelic maid, could we but lift the veil
    Which hides from mortal eyes God’s holy land
    With Joan of Arc and Florence Nightingale,
    Thy wounded temple with a filet bound,
    With harp in hand, thy head with glory crowned,
    Amidst the heavenly choir we’d see thee stand.

[Illustration: decoration of text]



TO CARDINAL MERCIER

(1916)


    Illustrious shepherd of the Prince of Peace,
    With priestly zeal you watched thy Belgian fold,
    Any aye performed its duties manifold,
    That love and virtue did therein increase,
    And want and sorrow all the while surcease,
    While Christian culture her rich page enrolled
    Heroic men and women chaste to mould;
    The cross, thy sceptre, and the crook, thy creese:
    But when the robber Hun assailed thy flock,
    Then stood you forth, the patriot and priest,
    With clarion call to champion the right,
    And met the onset of the Prussian beast
    And all the hosts of his embattled might,
    Firm and immovable, as Zion’s Rock.



THE BARD OF AYR

(1915)


    Oh come sweet muse, with well tuned lyre,
      On this our Robbie’s natal day,
    A rustic poet’s mind inspire
      That he may sing a homely lay.

    Of all the warblers ever born,
      I dearly love the bard of Ayr,
    Whose lovely songs both night and morn,
      Have freed my wearied mind from care.

    If fault he had, ’twas Nature’s fault,
      And man, beware that you have none,
    Before you do yourself exalt,
      To cast at Robbie Burns a stone.

    I wish he was with us tonight,
      To pass a pleasant hour or two,
    And fill all hearts with rare delight,
      As he was ever wont to do.

    Methinks e’en now I see him sit
      The centre of an eager throng,
    And hear his ceaseless flow of wit,
      Or words of some soul stirring song.

    His lovely songs will e’er be sung,
      And greener grow his memory,
    ’Mong people whether old or young,
      Till father Time has ceased to be.



THE SOUL OF FLANDERS

(1916)


    The chimes that oft from old Malines,
    Rang out their sacred strain,
    At morning, noon and eventide,
    Shall never ring again;
    That voice that called the living,
    Or sadly mourned the dead,
    Is still and silent now for aye:
    The soul of Flanders’ fled.

    The peasant at his daily toil,
    Shall listen now in vain,
    From early morn till evening,
    To hear those chimes again;
    But never shall such silver sounds
    By harmony inbred,
    Fall on his ever listening ears;
    The soul of Flanders’ fled.

    Those lovely chimes, which e’er were wont
    To sound with morn’s first beams,
    And ’wake the tourist from his sleep,
    Will haunt his waking dreams;
    But never more those dulcet sounds
    Will rouse him from his bed,
    And fill his soul with ecstasy:
    The soul of Flanders’ fled.

    ’Tis strangely sad such chimes as those,
    Which seemed a heavenly dow’r,
    Should fall a prey to tyranny,
    And war’s barbaric pow’r,
    A city new will rise again
    Up from its ashen bed,
    But those old chimes shall ring no more:
    The soul of Flanders’ fled.



THE GARDENS

(1914)


    Lovely Gardens, Eden’s bower,
    Lovely in sunshine and shower.
    Winding walks and shaded seats,
    Babbling streams and cool retreats,
    Flowing fountains throwing spray,
    O’er the fishes at their play,
    Geese and ducklings in the pond,
    By the white swan chaperoned,
    Grassy plots well trimmed and neat,
    Decked with flowers, gay and sweet,
    Trees and shrubs so sweetly blending
    All its beauties never ending;
    Fit place for the aged to talk
    And for babes to learn to walk;
    Wandering swains and straying madams,
    Modern Eves and modern Adams;
    Place where friend a friend may meet;
    Lovers here each other greet,
    And a groom and summer bride
    On their honeymoon abide.



KEEP THE GARDENS GROWING

(1918)


    We were summoned from the play-ground,
    We were called in from the wood,
    And our country found us ready
    At the stirring call for food.
    Do not add unto our burden,
    If you hap to pass along,
    For, although our backs are breaking,
    You can hear us sing this song:--

    CHORUS

    Keep the gardens growing,
    Digging, planting, hoeing;
    If you plant and weed aright
    The crop will grow.
    Do not stand repining
    While the sun is shining,
    Turn the good soil inside out,
    And fertilize and sow.

    Mother Britain sent a message,
    To her daughter in the West,
    “We need every kind of food-stuffs,”
    So we’re bound to do our best;
    For the soldiers in the trenches
    And the homeland we must feed,
    And no worthy son will fail her,
    When his mother is in need.



AN ELEGY WRITTEN IN RICHMOND


I

    Low in the eastern sky the breaking light
    Pales in the vault of heaven the morning star,
    Presaging me the dying hour of night,
    And that the twilight gray is not afar;


II

    For night is slowly changing into morn,
    And through the gloom the forms of ships appear.
    Across the Arm below, the bugle horn
    Reveille’s call brings to my listening ear.


III

    No other sound is on the morning air
    To echo back from hills and dales around;
    No home has man; no beast has here lair,
    And desolation seems to own the ground;


IV

    Save me who sit beneath an aged elm
    Which some one’s home at Richmond once did grace,
    Ere fell misfortune did it overwhelm
    And left this tree alone to mark the place.


V

    Yet here I am beneath this hoary tree
    And ruminate upon the recent past--
    If such events again should hap to be--
    The ruins round their gloomy bodings cast.


VI

    But still I sit amidst these scenes of death
    Which call to mind that dire December day,
    When Fate unkindly blew his blighting breath,
    Reducing homes to dust, and men to clay.


VII

    And question thus: “Was there no law amiss?
    Had no officials power to prevent
    A devastation, dark and drear, as this?
    Was Richmond’s loss naught but an accident?”


VIII

    And in my breast a rising hate I feel
    For man-made Laws which oft protect the High
    And leave the Low their grievous wounds to heal
    And bear their load of sorrow till they die.


IX

    A sense of sadness passes through my soul,
    An earthly grief akin to human-kind,
    But ere this sorrow sad doth reach its goal
    Celestial musings fill my troubled mind.


X

    The hatred lately felt within my breast
    And which I vainly thought naught could allay
    Until my spirit passed to its last rest;
    I surely find is speeding fast away.


XI

    Some Spirit sweet seems near to me abide
    Who doth from me remove all earthly dread,
    And in most soothing ways my senses chide
    That I hold counsel with the living dead.


XII

    I look around to see whose is the voice
    Whose cadence falls so sweetly on my ear
    As thus to make my hating heart rejoice,
    But vain my quest, no living soul is near.


XIII

    A spirit voice I know, it needs must be
    That sounds upon the air with silv’ry tone
    And yet, withal, no fears arise in me,
    Though midst the ruins here I am alone.


XIV

    The voice now cautions me to listen well,
    And in harmonious tones with lightning speed
    This story he narrates for me to tell,
    And thus I write it down that all may read.


XV

    “That fatal morn, when Richmond felt secure,
    With many more I ran to yonder hill
    To watch the burning ship, all feeling sure
    That nothing round could do us harm or ill.


XVI

    “And why should aught around fill us with fears
    Did we not know: The flag that braves the breeze
    On land and sea for full one thousand years,
    Flew o’er our city still and o’er our seas?


XVII

    “The scene was bright and beautiful and grand,
    With florid streamers shooting far on high,
    And none who viewed the scene from sea or land
    Were cognizant they were so soon to die.


XVIII

    “Whose was the fault is not for me to tell.--
    The Judge of All shall surely justice mete
    To those who prematurely rang our knell
    When they are come to His just judgement seat.


XIX

    “You wonder why I wander ’neath the vault
    Of heaven here and fain would ask--
    ’Tis but to beg forgiveness of a fault
    And do again another ill-done task.


XX

    “Though young in life, in wisdom now I’m old,
    For I’ve passed through the chast’ning purge of fire;
    My harp, though silver now, will soon be gold,
    When time has passed and I have mounted higher.


XXI

    “Along the path with slow increasing pace
    Into the realms of peace where all is light;
    ’Till I have reached my time allotted seat,
    There, to enjoy the beatific sight.


XXII

    “Of God for aye and His hosannas sing,
    Amidst the saints of His twice chosen few,
    Before the treble throne of God, our King,
    The vision of whose glory’s ever new.


XXIII

    “The path is long, yet shorter may be made
    By alms and prayers and other deeds of worth;
    The happy day may, too, long be delayed
    By thoughtless unforgiving hearts on earth.


XXIV

    “Then do good deeds while in the flesh, my friend
    And trespassers forgive, lest you forget
    Such charity, till you have reached the end
    Of life with some one unforgiven yet.


XXV

    “Take heed that you will e’er remember this,
    Lest you, as others did so oft before,
    May cross that cold and ever dark abyss
    Which separates earth from the spirit shore.


XXVI

    “Which lieth far beyond the farthest sun,
    And trembling stand before high Heaven’s court
    With unforgiven thought and task undone;
    No camouflage to which you can resort.


XXVII

    “Be ye a man of lore, unlearned or youth,
    Will there, as here on earth, avail you aught;
    Nor will forensic speech conceal the truth
    In your account of deed and word and thought.


XXVIII

    “In stilly night I’ve often wandered here
    Far from those realms beyond the starry sky,
    O’er that long way, so lonely, dark and drear,
    But now the hour of bliss for me draws nigh.


XXIX

    “For soon the pearly gates, which now bar me,
    Through which the sainted souls have ever trod
    Will open wide and I shall ever see
    The pristine glory of the throne of God.”



THE COTTAGE SCHOOL.


I

    Summer time was in the waning,
      Vesper Sun was wending low,
    And reminiscences brought me
      Back to school days long ago
    There the school-house stood before me,
      And I was on hallowed ground,
    Where each old association
      Inspiration breathed around.


II

    Full in view the school was standing
      Near the road and yet aloof,
    Four square walls in ochre painted,
      Topped off with a cottage roof.
    In the distance old Atlantic
      Glistened as in days of yore,
    While upon his glimmering bosom,
      White caps rolled towards the shore.


III

    On the diamond boys were playing
      Base-ball, with eclat and shout;
    Saw the batter three times fanning,
      Heard the umpire’s “Batter’s out.”
    Saw some other hit a grounder,
      Speed away like a winged bird;
    Heard the rooters merry shouting,
      As he landed safe on third.


IV

    Heard the maidens merry laughter,
      As they played upon the green,
    And the rythm of their footfalls,
      Skipping o’er the hard terrene,
    Saw the little boys and maidens
      Drinking at the nearby well:
    And upon the air vibrating
      Heard again the master’s bell.


V

    Plainly heard the foot-step sounding
      On the floor with measured beats,
    While the boys and girls were filing
      Through the aisles towards their seats.
    Saw the whole class sitting upright,
      In position, one and all;
    Heard distinctly “Here” and “Absent,”
      Answered to the master’s call.


VI

    I could see the master’s visage,
      With its look of learned lore,
    While Sol’s summer shadows lengthened
      Slowly o’er the school house floor;
    O’er his head there hung a motto
      With the words, “God Bless Our School”
    Standing in the left-hand corner
      Was the oft-used Dunces’ stool.


VII

    Heard him from the Holy Bible
      Read from some New Testament,
    And to each and every passage,
      Young and old, attention lent.
    Heard once more the school repeating
      Earnestly the Saviour’s prayer,
    While around a holy stillness
      Floated on the ev’ning air.


VIII

    Saw the school take first position
      At the sound of warning gong,
    Heard the master’s voice intoning
      Some old school or college song;
    Saw all in position standing
      With demeanour calm and still;
    Saw them going through the movements
      Of the military drill.


IX

    On the walls the maps were hanging,
      Colored in blue, red and gold,
    Ornamented with the pictures
      Of the noted men of old.
    Moral maxims, plainly written
      On the board in plain relief,
    “Order Is First Law of Heaven,”
      With some others terse and brief.


X

    Summaries of all the home-work
      By to-morrow to be learned;
    Saw, too, some make interchanges
      When the master’s back was turned.
    On their slates the younger pupils
      Strove to make their cranes and hooks,
    While the older ones were busy
      Writing in their copy books.


XI

    Heard them spell and give the meaning,
      And pronounce in unison;
    Heard them too, in concert reading,
      Reading also, one by one.
    Saw them, on the Black-board, parsing
      With and without formal line;
    Use of “a” and “n” explaining
      “These” and “those” and “thy” and “thine.”


XII

    Heard them drill at combinations,
      Learn to multiply and add,
    Now subtracting, now dividing,--
      Doing as the master bade;
    Saw them on the map locating
      Chiefest places of the earth;
    Heard them give events in History,
      ’Fore and since our Saviour’s birth.


XIII

    Heard them, too, at Nature lessons,
      Saw the card within their hands,
    With the Flora and the Fauna
      Of our own and other lands;
    Heard the master talk on Civics,
      And our duties to the State,
    And on Etiquette and Hygiene,
      Heard him, too, at length dilate.


XIV

    Not an incident was missing
      Of those school days long since fled,
    Though so many of its members
      Now were numbered with the dead.
    And too swiftly passed the vision
      Retrospective of the past,
    And upon my soul its setting
      Fleeting specks of sadness cast.



DECEMBER SIXTH, 1917.


I

    It was a clear and cool December dawn,
    And bright the Sun in all his glory rose
    And shed his radiant rays in plenty on
    The lovely arm which by our city flows,
    And on the hills and dales and distant trees
    By Nature robed in early winter mien:
    All Labour was awake; the docks and quays
    Were all astir and formed a busy scene;
    The flag flung to the breeze o’er Citadel
    Gave heart to all: last night the sentry cried,
    As o’er his beat he trod, that all was well,
    And old and young thought but of Christmas-tide.
    “Lord God of Hosts,” what is that awful roar
    Upon all ears rolls from the Richmond shore;


II

    I’ll ever hear that death-portending sound
    And see the dead as side by side they lie,
    And see the desolation wrought around
    And hear the dying’s dissolution cry;
    And see the houses bursting into flame
    And those within consumed in tongues of fire,
    And that long line of young, and old, and lame
    Move slowly on when ordered to retire
    From their wrecked homes to seek some safe retreat.
    With falt’ring step and slow and wearied gait;
    And see the motor cars whirl down the street
    Full laden with their bloody, human freight:
    For not, till in my breast the spirit dies
    Will these sad scenes evanish from my eyes.


III

    And ever see the op’ning hour of school,
    And hear the bell sound on the morning air,
    And see each little one with reticule
    And well-trained poise and step assembling there,
    And each pale-faced teacher in her place
    And all the children there on bended knees,
    With innocence imprinted on each face,
    And hear their prayer borne on the morning breeze,
    And hear the glass and falling timbers crash,
    And see the children through the windows leap
    With blood fast flowing from each gaping gash
    Upon their heads and faces, long and deep;
    And fain am I to fall into despair
    That scenes so sad should follow children’s prayer.


IV

    And ever see the blinded lying low
    At Bellevue, Camp Hill, and College Hall;
    And ever see the corpses, row on row,
    Their mangled faces covered with a pall:
    And curses such as tongue could never speak
    Rise in my heart and flutter through my mind
    Upon the man who did such ruin wreak
    And leave such grief and misery behind;
    And then a change comes o’er my angry thought
    And I can see outlined upon the Cross
    The Man of Sorrows, and I think of what
    He did that Death be not our loss;
    And bowing down I cry on bended knee
    My Lord, my God, I yet have faith in Thee.



LIFE IS BUT ONE DARN THING AFTER ANOTHER.


I

    Whether in childhood or when you grow older,
    Whether in summer or when it grows colder,
    Whether in sunshine or lightning and thunder,
    Be it on land or sea over or under,
    Whether winter frosts freeze you or summer heat smother,
    This you will find until life’s cord will sunder,
    Life is but one darn thing after another.


II

    Whether you cry from grief or smile with laughter,
    Think of the present or past or hereafter,
    Whether you’re rooming or whether house-keeping,
    Sewing or darning or dusting or sweeping,
    Dreaming of yours or some other girl’s brother,
    This you will find whether waking or sleeping,
    Life is but one darn thing after another.


III

    If you have peace of mind or if you worry,
    If things move slowly or if in a hurry,
    If you make hasty steps or if you tarry,
    If you stay single or if you marry,
    Whether you barren be, whether a mother,
    This you will find whate’er hap or miscarry,
    Life is but one darn thing after another.



COURCELLETTE.


    Early on an autumn morning,
      Facing famous Courcellette,
    Lay the Twenty-fifth battalion,
      In the trenches damp and wet;
    Far away from home and kindred,
      Near the far-famed river Somme,
    Here and there a man lay dying,
      Stricken by a shell or bomb.

    Men of every trade and calling,
      Of each company formed a part,
    Downy youth and bearded manhood
      From the farm and from the mart,
    Miners, farmers, sailors, tradesmen,
      From each hamlet, town and glen,
    Born of Nova Scotian mothers
      From the breed of manly men.

    All alert and ever watching,
      On the guard both day and night,
    Each one ever his part doing,
      In the struggle for the right;
    Thinking always of the homeland
      Far away in Acadie,
    Of a mother, wife, or sister
      Whom they never more might see.

    On the high hills overlooking,
      All the country down below,
      In their deep concreted dugouts,
      Lay the ever watchful foe;
    With artillery commanding
    All the hills for miles around,
    Through which, like a thread of silver,
      River Somme its free way wound.

    There were Saxons and Bavarians
      In the Hun’s embattled host,
    And the fierce and bloody Uhlans
      Whom the Kaiser loves to toast;
    Where they stood in close formation
      Like a solid human block
    Fronted by the famous fighters
      Called the troops of battle shock.

    When upon the morn in question,
      Just about the break of day,
    Word the Twenty-fifth was given
      To make ready for the fray;
    And they sprang up from their trenches
      Like the wild lynx with a bound,
    And they rushed without a falter
      Right across the barrage ground;

    And they fell upon the Germans
      Like an avalanche of hail,
    And the Teutons bent before them
      Like the grain before the gale.
    And with irresisting fury
      They assailed the faltering Hun,
    And before the day was over
      Famous Courcellette was won.

    Then let mothers tell their babies
      Whom they nurse upon their breasts,
    And the teachers tell the children
      In our schools from east to west,
    How at Courcellette’s fierce battle,
      An undying name was made
    By the Twenty-fifth battalion
      Of the fighting fifth brigade.



VIMY RIDGE.


      For days the cannon roaring
      With loud incessant peal,
      The terrane and the trenches
        Had torn with lead and steel;
      Which told the boys in khaki
      Of fighting near at hand,
      And eagerly all waited
        The long wished for command.

      Within the first line trenches,
        The highland laddies lay,
      Their thoughts were of their mothers
        Or sweethearts far away;
    Each one of them was thinking
        Of home and native sod,
    And like a Christian soldier
        Had made his peace with God.

      The morn broke dark and stormy
        With hail and snow and sleet,
      Which made for many soldiers
        Ere night, their winding sheet;
      The shrapnel bits were flying,
        Like swarms of summer midge,
      When Borden’s highland laddies
        Charged up the Vimy Ridge.

      On the top of this famed mountain,
        Nearby the city Lens,
      The enemy in dugouts
        Lay like lions in their dens;
    The mountain strong by nature,
        The Germans stronger made
      With cannon and with mortar,
        On concrete bases laid.

    And thousands of machine guns,
      In their allotted place,
    And thousands of their snipers,
      With rifle and with brace;
    And lines of barbed wire fencing
      Of every strength and size,
    And aught else which their science
      Or cunning could devise.

    Their seeming sense of safety,
      The Teutons did elate,
    And all were glibly chanting
      The Kaiser’s hymn of hate,
    When, lo! the pibroch’s skirling
      Their first line did astound
    And Donald, Rod and Angus
      Came on them with a bound.

    And ere they had recovered
      From their astonishment
    The foremost of their gleemen
      To sing elsewhere were sent;
    And midst the cry of Kam’rade
      In broken English spoke,
    Both Prussian and Bavarian
      Went down from bayonet stroke.

    And furious was the struggle,
      ’Twixt Highlander and Hun,
    For hand to hand the fighting
      On Vimy Ridge was done.
    The shock troops of the Kaiser,
      And all his proud array,
    Fled fast before the Bluenose
      On that eventful day.

    And when the war is over,
      And peace again is come,
    We’ll give our gallant laddies
      A highland welcome home;
    With flags and banners waving,
      With singing and with cheer,
    We’ll celebrate the glory
      Of Vimy day each year.

[Illustration]



GOD SAVE OUR EMPIRE GREAT.


    God save our empire great,
    And to her board of state,
      Wise Counsel bring;
    May we in union free,
      Mother and daughters be,
    Ever one family:
      God save the king.
    Grant that there will arise,
    Beneath Canadian skies,
      Freedom’s offspring;
    May we be always free,
      From hate and bigotry,
    Co-heirs of liberty:
      God save the king.



THE VETERAN


    A veteran too was there with shoulders broad
    As is the marsh in Amherst’s neighborhood;
    Of stature high and of a kingly stride,
    And in his face there shone a noble pride.
    His eyes bespoke a soul to never yield
    In fair fought fight at home or battle field.
    A civic man before the war began
    And since its end again a civic man.
    Beloved by all his comrades, young and old,
    For wise decisions and for action bold;
    His head was cool but kindly was his heart,
    In every act of war he did his part--
    In digging in to use the lowly spade,
    In battle field to wield the bloody blade,
    In trench, in rest, to eat the soldiers’ fare,
    A man of manly breed, his wounds to bear.
    Three years he served where colored poppies grow
    Between the wooden “crosses, row on row,”
    Observing all, so well could tell a tale
        of Bourlon Wood or bloody Pachendaele.


Typographical errors corrected by the etext transcriber:

An Elegy Writtne in Richmond=> An Elegy Written in Richmond

Burnihing in colors=> Burnishing in colors

now ’Im old=> now I’m old

The Tuetons did elate=> The Teutons did elate

Of lovliness divine=> Of loveliness divine

perfect ecastasy=> perfect ecstasy

A sweet momoriam for aye=> A sweet memoriam for aye





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