Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets
The Amber Army
13th Feb 2014Posted in: Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets 0

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The Amber Army 
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THE AMBER ARMY
And Other Poems

BY
William T. Allison


 TORONTO
WILLIAM BRIGGS
1909
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TO MY WIFE
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CONTENTS


 

PAGE

The Amber Army

7

The Coming of Winter

9

At a Toboggan Meet

10

Earth’s Visitants

11

The November Wind

12

Venimus ad Larem Nostrum

13

The Ancient Man of Spoil

15

Fallen on Evil Days

17

To the Grays and the Browns

18

When Woden Walks the Night

19

Watchmen of the Heights

21

O Lonely Wind!

22

Funditores Imperiorum

24

The Dream of Lucretius

25

The Lament for Thammuz

27

Hymeneal Chant of an Algonquin Maiden

29

A Summer’s Night on the University Lawn

31

A Song in Absence

32

To a Mummy in Victoria College

34

Egerton Ryerson

37

From Fleur-de-lys to Rose

38

The Coronation of King Edward VII.

40

The Intendant Talon’s Farewell to New France

41

Cartier Arrives at Stadacona

43

[page 5]
The Men of the North

45

The Burial of Tecumseh

47

The Return to Nature

49

Abendlied

51

A Galley Slave of Sidon

52

Gray Ghost in June

54

Midnight mass for the Nineteenth Century

56

The Cry of the Romanticist

58

Arius, the Heretic

59

The Larger Hope

60

On a Windless Night

61

A Rainy May Evening

62

O Amber Day Amid the Autumn Gloom

64

The Wander-Thirst

65

The Muezzin’s Call

67

In Times of Solitariness and Pain

68

Vanishings

69

To the Shade of Symmachus

70

The Canadian Pine

72

The Eternal Path

73

The Great Companion

74

Gray Europe to the Golden East

76

The Dream of the Disciples

77

The Living Voice

78

The Dream of the Old Men

80

The Death of La Salle

82

[page 6]

          THE AMBER ARMY

RED-COATED, amber, gray,
The falling leaves to-day 
Drop in dead drifts within the wood, 
As soldiers should. 

In their green, glorious prime, 
Through the short summer-time, 
They swung, like soldiers on parade, 
In sun and shade. 

Then came the stern campaign
With wind and frost and rain,
Making the brilliant countryside
One ruin wide. 

Of hosts so fair and fine, 
Witness the thin red line, 
The sole survivors of the fray 
Of yesterday. [page 7]

Soon the last leaf will fall 
From every tree, and all
The leaves which drew such valiant breath
Lie hushed in death. 

The amber army dies
Under the frosty skies; 
They fall by myriads in the wood
As soldiers should. 

Like the men the leaves go down, 
Careless of all renown, 
But all are heroes, leaves and men, 
In God’s kind ken. 

Life’s grim, courageous fight
Rages by day and night, 
In forest and in city street, 
Charge and retreat. 

But no good ever dies, 
Success in failure lies; 
New life shall spring from out the mould, 
New from the old. [page 8]

The Coming of Winter

THE first snow flies in the autumn skies, 
   And the wind is chill and eerie, 
And night looks down with her pale, cold frown
   On the fields grown gray and dreary. 

For whole nights long with their piping song, 
   In the heavens high and calm, 
The bird-hosts passed from the winter’s blast
   To the cypress and the palm. 

From the chill snowflake and the dark, blue lake, 
   And the river’s reedy mouth, 
The wild duck swings on his whistling wings
   To the rice-swamps of the south. 

A chirp will sound from the frozen ground
On the morrow’s morn full clear—
The whip-like note from the snow-bird’s throat 
   Of the winter’s chime and cheer. [page 9]

At a Toboggan Meet

LIGHT, graceful clouds across the sky
   Are scudding swift to-night,
But fleeter than yon gauze on high
Can flaunt before the moon’s full eye
   Our craft career their flight. 

Bold privateers, they hurry o’er
   A foamy stretch of sea, 
With cargoes laden precious more
Than fabled store on ocean floor, 
   Or wealth of Araby. 

Out in the frosty atmosphere
   From their gay decks are flung
The hearty laugh, the ringing cheer, 
The mirthful notes full sweet and clear
   That fall from Beauty’s tongue.

Adown the long inclines they glide, 
   And over fields below, 
Trim vessels with the wind allied, 
The playthings of our northern pride, 
   Toboggans o’er the snow. [page 10]

Earth’s Visitants

FROM God’s eternal home a myriad souls
   Pass out continually to those bright stars
Which are the peopled worlds of space; as rolls
   That ceaseless stream to slake perchance old War’s
Red thirst, or sink into the sands of Time,—
   A flood of souls to face our mortal pain, 
To meet the heart-aches of our earthly clime
   Until they go unto their own again,— 
As the wide wave of human life outgoes
   To strike upon earth’s shores, one every age, 
In yon celestial choir, moved by our woes
   A man becomes man’s sorrows to assuage. 
Immortal poets, golden-mouthed with song, 
Brave Time, to voice the right, to break the wrong. [page 11]

The November Wind

HARK how the wind drives through the night, 
   Accompanied by the rain; 
He roars, he raves, he sweeps in might
   Across the dreary plain. 

The grasses bend before his face
   And hear him tell their doom; 
He shakes the flowers with surly grace, 
   They tremble in the gloom. 

Then savagely he bounds away
   Toward the forest lone, 
The gnarled old boughs, they fret and sway 
   With many a creak and groan. 

Death and destruction dog his heels, 
   And winter, sad and drear; 
Ten thousand leaves each way he wheels
   Go whirling, brown and sere. 

Blow on, thou melancholy wind, 
   For summer joys are fled; 
In thy loud voice relief I find
   For grief long nourished. [page 12]

Venimus ad Larem Nostrum

THIS was the choicest phrase in ancient Rome, 
   Because they loved religion’s simpler way, 
“We come to our own house, to our own home, 
   Where Lares and Penates hold their sway.” 

What though Olympian Jove with awful frown, 
   With thundrous wrath our pious duties claim,—
We place upon his brow the iron crown, 
   And with low voice his power and pride we name. 

What though Queen Juno, dignified, mature, 
   Compel us to our knees in wondering awe,—
We give her praise, her votive gifts are sure, 
   The mistress of the ordered realm of law. 

 What though Minerva, pale with thought divine, 
   Goddess of wisdom, furtive fancy chain,—
We burn our incense at her quiet shrine, 
   Then turn our thoughts to our own home again. [page 13]

What though these greater gods be served and feared, 
   While in their temples we may linger long,—
Return we at the last; as home is neared
   Our hearts are glad, we lift the festal song. 

And as we come in haste dear Venus hears,
’Tis she with blushing smile that opes the door,—
And we forget our cares, our pious fears, 
   For we have gained our own loved home once more. [page 14]

The Ancient Man of Spoil

A MELANCHOLY man at most is he, 
   Dull-visaged  as he wanders thro’ the fields, 
Where smiling Ceres fills her granary
   With golden store, or counts her precious yields. 
Down thro’ the purple vineyards Autumn reels
   With listless hand lifting the skins of wine; 
      He takes no joy in sunshine, and the flowers 
Fall limp and dead beneath his rusty heels. 
   Idly to watch from some brown hill’s incline
   The dance of whirling leaves in ghostly line, 
      Careworn, he loves to lie in windy bowers. 

Drunk with some misty opiate he lies, 
   While mellow beauty holds the world in fee; 
While maple groves take on the gorgeous dyes
   Of Indian Summer, and each poplar tree
Rains amber tears into the nearest stream. [page 15]
   The smoky incense of the fruitful soil 
      Ascends with rich aromas for the gods, 
If, haply, they will but prolong the dream 
   Of peace enfolding Mother Earth, and foil
   Designing Autumn, ancient man of spoil, 
      The stupid dotard with the tempest rods. 

The old man Autumn shortly wakes from sleep; 
   He shakes his russet locks and sallies forth
Across the wold; then, with a voice as deep 
   As death, he calls upon the bitter North, 
Who sits forever on his throne of cold,
   To loose his storm-clouds and his numbing rain. 
      The skies grow dim and drear; early till late
The wild geese slant their southern flight; the fold
   Harbors the silly sheep; the weather vane
   Swings in the wind and wet, till once again
      Rests Autumn, nature’s avatar of fate. [page 16]

Fallen on Evil Days

STERN soul of him composed, though sad in sooth, 
   To think on those full righteous and flown days 
   When mighty Cromwell smoothed all forward ways
To God’s elect, showing to foes small ruth; 

On him in musing lost gay Whitehall youth, 
   From some wild orgies fled or grosser plays, 
   Down to the dreary lording came to gaze
On Milton, Vindicator of the Truth. 

In room ill-tapestried with rusty green, 
   Devoid of books and comforts all, he sate, 
In black severely clad, devout in mien. 

And while they looked straight vanished all their hate; 
   The clear, gray, sightless eyes, the face serene, 
Claimed love and pity for a poet great. [page 17]

To the Grays And the Browns

LEAGUE upon league of ice and snow, 
   And February’s bitter chill,—
Yet “Bob White” marks with fairy show
   His tiny trail up Indian Hill. 

And through the bitter, blustering day, 
   With snowshoes on her scaly feet, 
The ruffed grouse picks her happy way 
   To her low-hidden, snug retreat. 

Brave little fluffs in grays and browns 
   Breasting the cheerless winter skies, 
Men winter-worn in grumbling towns 
   Might look to you with shame-filled eyes. [page 18]

When Woden Walks the Night

THE moon flees from the wolves of air 
   Across the dismal sky, 
The wind is bleak and full of care, 
   Each star a dead man’s eye. 

For Woden walks the spacious night, 
   Down come from heavenly halls 
Whose eastern casements bloody bright
   Gleam under waving palls. 

O Woden, God of Victory, 
   With heroes girded round, 
Ten thousand German shields to thee
   With warrior praise resound. 

And all the Gothic sires uplift
   Their song of many wars, 
Hoping with thee at last to drift
   Beneath the moon and stars,—[page 19]

“O Woden, onward sweep in might
O’er silent wood and plain, 
While sons of Glory tread the night, 
   Proud spectres in thy train. 

“We love to feel the battle’s thrill, 
   The thrust of spear on shield, 
Gladly our life’s red wine we spill 
   On Woden’s passionate field. 

“Grim god of war, once more we raise
The victors’ age-old song, 
Behold our wounds, receive our praise, 
   And war’s fierce joys prolong.” 

While Teutons in their savage pride
   Fling shouts to hosts above,
O Woden, hear the foeman’s bride
   In darkness mourn her love! [page 20]

   Watchmen Of the Heights

ALONG the mountain peaks of time they stand, 
   Homeric bards, that ever strike the strings
That thrill or soothe, the music of the land
   Ethereal and divine; each poet brings
To those grown dark and torpid in the clay 
   A holy fire, the light that lingers long
About empyrean coasts of heaven’s day; 
   He handeth down the golden gifts of song, 
For all men’s sorrow-cries, and bells that toll, 
All love and life are echoed in his soul. 

Like meteors stream the watch-fires from the steep
   Of eras numberless, and there I mark, 
Limned clear against the blaze, the tireless sweep 
   Of hands across immortal strings, and hark! 
I hear the voices of those blessed few 
   Surge through the upper air of space to God, 
The voices of the night in kinship true
   With those sweet-throated songsters from the sod
Springing triumphant, stirring farthest skies
With passion songs and glorious symphonies. [page 21]

O Lonely Wind

O LONELY Wind, my sudden guest, 
   I hear you coming through the night; 
You veer, you plunge from north to west, 
   The trees are cringing in affright. 

You sweep across the frozen bay, 
   The sand-hills tremble at your breath; 
The snows that slept but yesterday, 
   They sleep no more the sleep of death. 

They dance like spectres in your train
   Across the desolate divide, 
Until with hollow voice again 
   You bid their ghostly forms subside. 

And so across the frosty wold, 
   Old friend and true, you come to me, 
You seek a covert from the cold, 
   You cry the old-time mystery. [page 22]

And yet for all you love to roar
   The same old song for me to-night
That windy Troy town heard of yore, 
   I cannot read your song aright. 

No human ear can understand
   Your mumbled magic or your prayer, 
Can know the penance you have planned
   To please the spirits of the air. 

You bear your burden down the land,—
   Yet, ancient friend, come soon again; 
The sullen voice, the violent hand
   Disguise the immemorial pain. [page 23]

Funditores Imperiorum

O SPIRITS tremendous, titanic, austere, 
   Who founded the empires of earth,
Your fabrics of glory were builded on fear, 
   The music of swords was your mirth. 

Defiant, undaunted, you travelled the path 
   Where Destiny beaconed success, 
And peoples opposing succumbed to your wrath, 
   And Liberty shrieked in distress. 

Like lamps at a feast ye all flamed in your pride, 
   The pomp of great kings was your prize, 
And Lust, your elusive and beautiful bride, 
   Flashed views of far fields in your eyes. 

O Founders of Empire, how massive your tread; 
   How crimson the flower of your fame; 
What visions of glory, invincible dead, 
   Arise at each magical name!

O Masters of Men, notwithstanding your power, 
   Death sought you and vanquished you quite; 
Fate suffered you, each for his one little hour, 
   Then plunged you in nethermost night! [page 24] 

The Dream of Lucretius

GLOOMY with thought, upon the poet’s eyes
   Imagination’s charmed hand was laid, 
Till he forgot the blue of Tuscan skies, 
   The luscious life of Italy, which made 
The ceaseless, sensual holiday of art: 
   Stern son of Rome, the power of ghostly sight
Fell on him, and the passion of his heart
   Smote him with bitter grief, as in the light 
Of revelation he beheld the dead
Sad hosts of time pass with their silent tread. 

From the bright atmosphere of kindly hope, 
   From aspirations and the pride of youth, 
From love as ’twere immortal, from the scope 
   Of eyes that followed full of fear and truth, 
On swept that millioned company of earth 
   With jest or groan towards the fatal shore 
Of that great deep, for whom when man had birth 
   The gods heaved out of chaos; evermore
The death mists trail along that ebon sea, 
Hoarse roll the waves of death eternally. [page 25]

The days that had been he again beheld,—
   Lucretius, fainting, saw the shivering souls
Of men and nations mortal, seized and felled
   By deaf and dumb Oblivion, who controls 
The vast far-reaching shore, beneath the flood
   Plunging those pilgrims from the realms of time. 
The mighty vision fled; the rich warm blood
   Pulsed through the poet’s veins once more; of rhyme
And dalliance he straightaway fonder grew, 
For love and wine were good and days were few. [page 26]

The Lament for Thammuz

THE days begin to wane, and Evening lifts
   Her eyes the sooner towards the vales of sleep; 
The yellow leaf upon the night-breeze drifts, 
   And winter-voices thunder from the deep; 
Thammuz grows pale in death, the Queen of Shades 
Mocks sad-eyed Ishtar and her mourning maids. 

Prostrate along the Babylonish halls, 
   On alabaster floors the women moan, 
All unadmired the lilac-tinted walls 
   Bespangled wantonly, and sculptured stone; 
Thammuz is torn from Ishtar, Queen of Love, 
And she, bereft, upbraids high heaven above. 

Let all the Land between the Rivers sigh, 
   And such as ever danced with throbbing veins
To Ishtar’s music, fill the gloomy sky 
   With lamentation and most doleful strains; 
Thammuz is dead; no more the shepherd leads
His golden flock among Im’s jewelled meads. [page 27] 

Proud Larsam of Chaldean cities blest, 
   Farmed for the glories of her sun-god’s home, 
Erech, where countless kings are laid to rest, 
   And Eridhu, wet with the salt sea foam:—
Princes and priests and lustrous maidens there 
Sing plaintive hymns to Thammuz young and fair. 

And out upon Shumir-Accadian plains, 
   Beneath the orient night, the shepherd boy 
Blows from his oaten pipe the sweet refrains
   That sadly tell of Ishtar’s one-time joy; 
Ana, lord of the starry realms of space
Roams near to earth seeking the young god’s face. 

Yet full-zoned Ishtar will not weep for aye, 
   Nor will the land forever saddened be, 
For Thammuz will return; some springtime day
   He will appear in sweeter liberty: 
Chaldean lovers will take heart again, 
The Queen of Love will kiss the sons of men. [page 28]

  Hymeneal Chant of an Algonquin Maiden

(An exact translation of a French prose version of the original.)

YES, I love you; 
Warrior so noble and tall, 
Straight as the pine, 
Yours is a courage divine
From the Master of Life, 
The good Manitou. 

Yes, I love you; 
For I can see your clear heart, 
Heart now mine own. 
Pure are its veins as the zone 
Of first sunlight which flames
Adown on the dew. [page 29] 

Yes, I love you, 
Brave one, with words ever kind, 
Sweet as the sap 
Filling with sugar earth’s lap
From the maples in spring
When flowers are new. 

Yes, I love you; 
Beam on me, heart for your face
Seemeth a leaf
Trembling in air; oh, my chief, 
So enchanting and gay, 
Be mine the years through! [page 30]

A Summer’s Night on the University Lawn

INFINITE calm of the summer night, 
Warm stars in a measureless distance of space, 
Low voice of the wind in the trees and the towers, 
Silence and gloom round the stately old place. 

Cold, in a splendor of silence, gray, 
Half-hidden in ivy the dense Norman pile, 
Wide home of the arts and the wisdom of men, 
Sleeps in her classic repose for the while. 

Lonely the lawn, yea and lonely, too, 
My heart, as I brush through the wind-shaken grass:
Gone, gone, the fresh gold-woven garment of spring, 
Hesperides’ flowers, first to come, first to pass. 

Sere the long grass, all its hope gone dead,—
Hopeless my heart, for a step here shall fall
No more, and the charm of thy presence alone
Broods like a ghost over campus and hall. [page 31]

  A Song In Absence

I AM in thrall to loneliness, 
   Although I dimly hear
The city’s nightly storm and stress, 
   An undertone of fear. 

Dull-sensed and lonely here in gloom 
   Two thousand miles from you, 
Oh, sadly I recall the bloom
   Of days alas! too few.

Too swiftly fled in places fair 
   Clear to the even-fall; 
Oh, blithe the days, oh, sweet the air, 
   Where love shone over all!

We saw the golden harvest moon
   Rise o’er the silent fields, 
And touch with tenderness full soon 
   The sheaves of famous yields. [page 32]

We heard the wind go organing
   Down through the old pine grove,—
“So long as time is on the wing
   The human heart will love.” 

Then stole a spirit from the skies, 
   With affluent, heavenly art 
He wrote my fate within thine eyes, 
   And bound us heart to heart. [page 33]

To a Mummy in Victoria College

O LITTLE Princess, in profound amaze
   I look upon thy silent, sombre face, 
Whose cheeks in ancient Egypt’s palmy days 
   The proud Rameses kissed with kingly grace. 
And these same tiny feet, in cerements wrapped, 
   Once paced the golden floors of lordly On; 
Where often thou hast petulantly tapped
   Mosaics iris-hued, and frowned upon 
Some Prince of mighty Ind who loved thee well, 
Whose after-grief thou, only thou, couldst tell. 

And did this little head, whose tressèd hair 
   Held stony damp of lonely, desert tomb 
For full three thousand years, contain a share
   Of learning more sublime than all the bloom [page 34]
Of occidental lore?  Ah, if you chose, 
   O relic of a people wondrous wise, 
What unknown sciences couldst thou disclose
   To strike our scholars with a dumb surprise; 
But, Princess, thou art mute and hollow-eyed, 
And past thee dignified the sages stride. 

Canst bear the sunlight fall upon they brow 
   And touch thy dusky cheek with dazzling glare?
’Tis great Osiris, Princess; often thou 
   Hast bowed to Egypt’s chiefest god in prayer. 
Aye, oft this one-time warm and throbbing breast
   Recumbent lay on marble pavement rare, 
As cold as pallid death, whilst thou addressed
   The wingèd deity, till trumpets’ blare
From holy, white-robed, thousand priests was done
In incense-vapored On, the Temple of the Sun. 

When sable Night, o’er whom high Isis reigns, 
   Throws horrid gloom along this college hall, 
Hear’st thou again the clink of golden chains
   On Nubian slaves, the measured rise and fall 
Of ivory oars, as Father Nilus bore
   The royal barge, where beauty sat enshrined, 
A perfume-breathing fairyland before, 
   And lines of glittering palaces behind?
But all I ask is vain, O Princess old, 
Thy tongue is withered and thy heart is cold. [page 35]

Thou mummy, snatched from out Egyptic land, 
   Pathetic emblem of antiquity, 
Full well I know as here by thee I stand
   The common ground of our humanity; 
The Jews were merely slaves when thou wast young. 
   The Pantheon was yet unhewn, fell Rome
Lay nerveless in the womb of Time, unsung
   The song of empire in they present home. 
Princess, a paradox thou art in sooth, 
Of man’s old age, of man’s eternal youth! [page 36]

Egerton Ryerson

HERE in the Chapel’s holy, melting light, 
A tenderness comes o’er the square-hewn face, 
A rich, transforming touch of twilight grace
That makes the brow’s full majesty and might
Seem less severe, and shows the eyes more bright
And gentler in their granite cavities; 
But naught can smooth from this our Hercules
The lines of stress about those lips locked tight. 
For he it was who fought our fight and fared 
Of old as our brave knight, our pioneer
He blazed the easy road for you and me, 
He struggled for us all, he planned, he dared, 
He gave us liberty; behold him here, 
Strong servant of that truth which makes us free. [page 37]

  From Fleur-de-lys to Rose

WHAT sweep of circumstance and turn of fate
   Since Donnacona viewed the alien ships!
Tribe after tribe gone down in savage hate, 
   Or with the name of Christ upon their lips. 

Gone are the glories of the old régime
   Within the stately fortress of the north; 
And that barbarian pomp, a daring dream
   In which Versailles was rudely shadowed forth.

A song, a dance, a kiss in old Quebec, 
   The voyageur has gaily said farewell; 
The intrepid wanderer takes little reck
   Of horrid haps so easy to foretell. 

Sons of fair France, the wooded solitude, 
   The shining river, or the fields of snow, 
Made men, like Frontenac, of fearless mood. 
   The real romancers of the long ago! [page 38]

But Frontenac is dead; the Fleur-de-Lys, 
   So bravely flaunting in the face of doom, 
Is fallen from the place of empery, 
   Changed is that silent land of forest gloom. 

Where stood the wilderness, great cities rise; 
   The Saxon holds the wide, wide North in fee; 
And Canada, a nation, glorifies
   The mighty Island-Mother oversea. [page 39]

The Coronation of King Edward VII.

WHEN Caesar stood and mused in lonely thought 
Upon the chalky cliffs of Kent, and fought 
His battles o’er again, his thin lip curled 
In scorn, there on the limit of his world, 
At this last conquest of a savage race; 
And there was sadness written on his face
Because of barren wars waged for this isle, 
That lay along the sea of darkness, while
The motherland of pomp and pride
Beckoned him home to rule her empire wide.

In this small isle to-day is Edward crowned; 
But this same realm is now encompassed round
With the strong love of lands beyond the foam, 
Kingdoms and empires hailing her as home. 
Vast continents whose shores were still unguessed 
When Caesar gazed toward the boundless west; 
And if our new-made King of British Men
Look but in fancy o’er the world, his ken, 
In searching all earth’s coasts, would seek in vain
For Roman triremes on the southern main. [page 40]

The Intendant Talon’s Farewell To New France

(Quebec, 1672)

THE wind is in the sails, so now farewell
   To crimson woods, coureurs de bois, for, lo!
The smoke is lifting from the citadel; 
The good-bye guns have spoken, and we go. 

Oh, stiff and black the pines on Sillery’s steep, 
   Brave sentinels against the autumn skies; 
The shadows gather on the hills; the sleep
   Of winter steals into Kanàda’s eyes. 

Wrapped in eternal silence frowns Tourmente, 
   Quebec is now a glimmering crown of light, 
And Montmorency pours his hoarse lament, 
   As we slip down the tide into the night. 

The broad St. Lawrence carries us to sea, 
   And we the winding stream shall nevermore 
Unravel, nor the chanson ringing free
Hear round the camp-fire on the lone lake’s shore. [page 41] 

Gone, gone the robust days in forest-land, 
   The flashing paddles of the war canoe, 
The voyageurs, the grim Algonquin band—
   Farewell, Romance, farewell, my friends, to you!

Thou region of prime fellowship, farewell; 
   Farewell, new world of fierce, impetuous joy, 
Where the wild woodland hears the savage yell, 
   And louder yet the cry of “Vive le roi!” 

Come, breath of vastness, blowing through the gloom, 
   Sing to me of the fresh heart of the north: 
O northern land of wonder and of bloom, 
   Thy spell upon me sends me sadly forth! [page 42]

Cartier Arrives At Stadacona

At Stadacona half the sky 
Was crimsoned with the sunset’s dye; 
   The river streaked with gold, 
The broad St. Lawrence, in the pride
Of countless forests by his tide, 
   Out to the ocean rolled. 

They stood on Stadacona’s steep
And gazed towards the boundless deep, 
   Did Donnacona’s braves;
In awe they looked, these savage men, 
To where within their piercing ken
   White wings flew o’er the waves. 

In wonderment they peered, and still
The sea’s strange pinions came, until 
   They flung full on the view. 
Then Donnacona, he, the wise, 
Said these were spirits from the skies
   Sent by the Manitou. [page 43] 

The night crouched in the flapping sails, 
The wind roared down the forest trails, 
   The river dirgedamain. 
And Donnacona dreamed that night
The world through all the year was white,—
   In sleep he sobbed for pain. [page 44]

The Men of the North

FROM out the cold house of the north
Thor’s stalwart children hurtled forth, 
   Forsook their sullen seas; 
Southward the Gothic wagons rolled. 
While bards foretold a realm of gold, 
   And fame, and boundless ease. 

Long rang the shields with sounding blows, 
The furious din of war arose
   Adown the dreary land; 
But Woden held them in his care, 
And safely passed the Teutons there
   By every hostile band. 

At length, one day, the host was thrilled
At that glad cry the foremost shrilled,—
   “The sea!  A southern sea!”
As breathless stood the northmen there, 
The wind swept through their yellow hair, 
   And sang of empery. [page 45]

Rome’s doom was written in their eyes, 
Fell tumult under sunny skies, 
   Death on the Golden Horn:
Now, by the rood, what southern slaves, 
Or land that any south sea laves
   Can face the northern born? [page 46]

The Burial of Tecumseh

THE summer woods were tremulous for grief, 
   Uneasy thunder shook the lips of night, 
As passed his warriors on with their dead chief, 
   Tecumseh, slain while midmost in his might. 

No word they spake as down the leafy ways 
   Their moccasins fell swift; no tear was there
To grace the doleful time—no sign betrays
   The measure of a stoical despair. 

Six forest children bare the hero’s course
   Until they came unto a mournful stream, 
Black-watered, and with neither sound nor force
   To rudely break upon a dead man’s dream. 

They walled the stream with many a log and stone, 
   And in the virgin floor they made a grave,
They made a sepulcher, so dark and lone, 
   To hold the form of him, the proud and brave. [page 47] 

Then looked each one his last and long farewell 
   On him who had renewed his nation’s youth 
Whose deeds and eloquence had flung a spell
   Of hope which promised fair to end in truth. 

Sot there the stately Shawanoes in gloom
   Hid their great chief; the stream rolled on again 
To show no trace of that most kingly tomb
   While princes die and kingdoms wax and wane. 

To-night the stars swing their bright lamps above
   And joy to find them mirror’d where he lies, 
The evening-star of that sad race who rove
   No more light-hearted ’neath the northern skies. [page 48]

The Return to Nature

JUST for a day I fled the town, 
   The rout, the worry and the din, 
   The crowded mart, the gilded sin, 
And speech of purse-proud rogue and clown. 

For one brief day that cloudless sky, 
   The trees, the flowers, were my delight; 
   The things that pleased my childish sight
Swam once again into my eye. 

I found a solace in the wind, 
   The unseen organ of the world, 
   Dispensing music that was whirl’d
O’er Iran’s plains time out of mind. 

The same tempestuous melodies
   And deepest dirges low of tone, 
   That seemed supernal wrath or moan 
To Goths afoot for southern seas. [page 49]

Grown hard with city sleights and moil, 
   I learned to humbly bow once more 
   Upon old Nature’s temple floor, 
The dear brown earth, the kindly soil. 

I felt the peace which Nature gives
   To him who contemplates her face, 
   Who metes by her all time and space, 
The littleness in which he lives. 

For what of splendor or of fame
   Can vaunt itself beneath the sun?
   The race of myriads is run, 
But Nature’s face is e’er the same. 

The secret craft of Memphian priest, 
   The grace of Athens, thews of Rome, 
Sidonian triremes turning home, 
The mellow wonder of the East,—

Who shall see them restored again? 
   The memory of their pride and shame
   Held by the learned few, their name
Strange to the mass of modern men!

Along the great white roads of Time, 
   In spite of pomp and sneering lust, 
   Life’s caravans are blown to dust, 
And only Nature moves sublime. [page 50]

Abendlied

(Translated from the German Of Hoffmann von Fallerslebeu.)

PURPLE Even comes once more
   Over wood and wold, 
Peace she breathes from heaven’s floor, 
   Sleep for young and old. 

Yet the noisy river pours
   O’er the rocks below, 
And it ferments and it roars
   With unceasing flow. 

Comes for it noeven-time, 
   No peace sweet and deep, 
Never twilight-bell can chime 
   Rest-songs till it sleep. 

So art thou, mu striving heart, 
   Struggling to be free;
God alone can peace impart, 
   Give true rest to thee. [page 51]

A Galley Slave of Sidon

A FAIR-HAIRED slave of Sidon, what to him
   Her dream of empire and her fame?
Chained to the trireme’s oar, defiant, grim, 
   He cries his curses on her name. 

And what to him her purple pride, her quest 
For new dominions, unknown seas, 
And all the untouched wonders of the west, 
   And apples of Hesperides?

Dull his poor eyes to pomp, and dead to dreams
   His withered heart; his Dacian home
All but forgot; faint and far-off the screams
   Of his young brood destroyed by Rome. 

How can his sullen eyes see past the oar
   That holds him to his daily death?
Can Sidon’s prayers for her great quest be more
   To this dull slave than idle breath? [page 52]

To him the cheers, the tumult on the quay, 
   Are hollow echoes on the wind;—
The chiefs of Sidon seek the outer sea, 
   Fame lures them far, and fate is blind. 

          .     .      .     .     .     .      .     .

But Sidon’s hopes were doomed, and fickle Fate
   Denied the splendid galley’s quest; 
Fate heard the slave’s prayer daily hissed in hate,—
   His quest was death, his hope was rest! [page 53]

 Gray Ghost In June

GRAY night in June, 
With cold, incessant rain
And wind of melancholy strain, 
I read thy rune
Of mystery, thy meaning full of pain. 

In these the days 
Of summer’s first perfume, 
Of buds flung forth in spacious bloom
O’er winding ways, 
In sunlit areas and nooks of gloom; 

When life runs high, 
Seems death a fantasy
To even such as stoics be; 
With beauty’s eye
Aglow with tenderness of chivalry; [page 54]

Even now is come
A night gray-stoled and drear, 
As though an anchorite austere, 
With visage glum, 
Had boldly walked into a hall of cheer. 

And there aloof, 
But with no speech, had eyed
The sensuous bridegroom and his bride, 
Till such reproof
Had chilled with fear of death their love and pride. 

Gray ghost in June, 
A sombre warning thine:
Beauty will fade howe’er so fine, 
And soon, ah! soon, 
Life’s song will cease and spilled be all her wine! [page 55]

Midnight Mass for the Nineteenth Century 

THE great high altar shines in gold and white, 
   And flutters with the taper’s holy flame; 
The mass of Christ is being said to-night
With gorgeous chasuble and stately rite, 
   And many a mention of our Saviour’s name. 

The same sonorous chant and mumbled prayer
   Of grand liturgic pomp; the incense swung 
With rhythmic lift from right to left; the air
Mistily fragrant in the chancel there
   As when this church of centuries was young. 

Soft are the stains of time on mouldering walls, 
   Worn the mosaics dim which timorous knees
Have pressed long ages since, and grim the stalls 
Grotesquely carved, where the loud Ave falls
   In tones that speak the awful mysteries. [page 56] 

O ancient fane, O venerable shrine, 
O sacred litany untouched of time!
To think that this slow-swelling pomp of thine
Should speak for Him, so simple, yet divine, 
   Who humbly walked in yon far eastern clime! [page 57]

The Cry of the Romanticist

TO-MORROW I shall once again behold
   The bright clear weather after skies of gray, 
   Forever through the unaccustomed day
I shall be puissant in the lists of old. 

Delay not, therefore, shining day of gold, 
   But spring eternal from the fields of night, 
   And lift my soul into far seas of light, 
And bring me near my perfect love, Isolde. 

For in this night of time no more I find
   The fluted dreams, unperishing and high, 
The ringing temper of the ancient mind. 

Glory is gone, while Love, a wasted thing, 
   Looks from dim windows on the passers-by, 
And Love, alas!  has lost the heart to sing! [page 58]

Arius, the Heretic

So came he from the burning Libyan sands
To lift his voice in Alexandria, 
From thence straightaway to set the church in flame. 
But who of all the learned city’s rout
Would fear the name or face of Arius?
He moved like some pale ghost adown their streets, 
A melancholy giant from the west, 
Scarce heeding where he went, so lost in thought
Unorthodox, deep-going, and sublime
On Christ’s relation to the Trinity.
Face ghastly pale, and features lean and worn, 
And eyes adream in sunken cavities; 
A sadness in his mien assorting well
With gray, dishevelled locks and squalid dress; 
And yet there hung about him for his matted hair, 
His eyes of flame, his passion for his dream
Of truth, but he, the unregarded saint—
Abhorred because his thought was something new—
Struck the first blow for freedom of the mind, 
And shook the world. [page 59]

The Larger Hope

OH, sad and doubly sad to think 
   That death, the pitiless, 
From thy soft-speaking eyes will drink
   Their placid loveliness!

But death a larger hope conveys, 
   Works good in cruel guise; 
For in those depths the soul delays, 
   Soul hidden in thine eyes. 

Death will release the soul for aye; 
   While golden aeons roll, 
Shall we, through the exultant day, 
   My love, see soul to soul. [page 60]

On a Windless Night

WITHOUT the windless night was bitter cold, 
   The ice-bound river thundered ’neath the frost, 
   And deftly were the window-panes embossed
By those chill fingers, skilful from of old. 

But January round to June had rolled, 
   For that I held her in true love’s embrace, 
   And all the rose of June was in her face, 
With paler tints that apple-blooms unfold. 

Sweetly reluctant, yielded she to me, 
   Her pure soul shining in her deep, blue eyes, 
As there we closed and kissed our hearts away. 

Our beings mingled on our lips, to be
   In confluence forever and a day, 
Even when this full-veined life descends and dies. [page 61]

A Rainy May Evening

SPRING sends a ceaseless drench of rain 
Aweeping down my window-pane, 
To close the showery day; 
Above the trees a leaden sky
Rolls angrily a cloudy eye
Into the alley-way. 

The trolley cars with muffled roar, 
Like reeking giants pass the door, 
Hoarse phantoms of the night; 
A thousand puddles faintly gleam, 
And shining pavements smoke and steam 
In the electric light. 

Few are the citizens abroad, 
And these in sullen humor plod
Toward a dry indoors; 
From roof to street the whole wet town
Can nothing do but fret and frown,
While the spring deluge pours. [page 62] 

Not so the men in country places; 
Content is written on their faces, 
Their joy is in the rain; 
It sings of flowers and emerald fields, 
Of summer fruits and golden yields,        
A song of life and gain. [page 63]

O Amber Day Amid the Autumn Gloom

O AMBER day amid the autumn gloom, 
   With languid lids drooping on eyes of dream, 
How many ancient poets in their bloom
   Have sung the strange, sad wonder of thy gleam!

O splendid softness of the iron days, 
   Mistress between the haunts of life and death, 
The poets of our day entune thy praise, 
   And love the sweet nepenthe of thy breath. 

And so to them lost in thy purple eyes, 
   Come visions of the Vallombrosan groves, 
Where flaming dawns, and mellow evening skies, 
   And falling leaves saw old unhappy loves. [page 64]

The Wander-Thirst

My blood is beating to the mood to-day
   That moved my sires beside the Baltic Sea, 
      When they looked down the land, 
      And saw on every hand
   The tiny spears of green, Earth’s mystery
When Spring-time hath her way. 

The wander-thirst came on them, and their souls
   Heard voices in the hazy atmosphere
      That lured them with a spell, 
      As strong as death to say farewell
   To shores they knew, and without toil or fear
To go where chance controls. 

My heart is pulsing with their strength to-day,
   The venture-love that stirred their hearts of old, 
      The fever of unrest
      That thrilled each Gothic breast, 
   And filled their eyes with fire, as slow unrolled
The plains of Italy. [page 65]

They won the south, those children of the north, 
   For that they had this ichor in their blood
      That crowds my pulses now, 
      And strangely tells me how
   The spring brings back the old barbarian mood, 
That flung my fathers forth. [page 66]

The Muezzin’s Call

Calls the muezzin in sonorous tone
   From the carved balcony at close of day, 
   And the long hours of strife, on them to pray 
That are faithful and Mohammed own, 

Aside the wares of merchandise are thrown, 
   With eyes to Mecca turned devoutly, bows
   Each Mussulman in muttering his vows,
Although the Moslem heart be cased in stone. 

From no cold mosque, but from my heart a call
   Of sweet compulsion bids me to adore
Thee, placid-browed, the queen of my desire. 

At eve thy matchless charms shall I tell o’er, 
   Quickening my soul with love’s effectual fire,—
So do I till I be no more at all. [page 67]

In Times of Solitariness and Pain

IN times of solitariness and pain, 
   Far spent with fev’rous madness and disease, 
   Haply to me there comes an hour of ease, 
Of brightness for the weary heart and brain. 

Though but in fancy thou art one again
   My own as in the vanished, peerless days, 
   When we went wandering down the orchard ways
Indulging hopes that were to be in vain. 

Nor all, nor all in vain, O love of mine, 
   For if the dread unknown be paradise, 
There shall our love be unity divine. 

And should oblivion catch me from the steep 
   Of time, thy loveliness shall fill my eyes
Before I sink into eternal sleep. [page 68]

Vanishings

THE dark has passed, and the chill Autumn morn
   Unrolls her faded glories in the fields; 
Dead are the gilded air-hosts newly born,
   And hardiest flowers droop their sodden shields,
For lovely Summer hath cut short her stay; 
   The fickle goddess, loaded with delight, 
Grown wantonly unconstant, fled away
   Under the hoar Frost’s mantle yesternight. 
In one brief hour the warm and flashing skies
   Pale in the marble dawn; we cannot choose, 
But marvel, that hearts turn to stone, and eyes
   Brimful of passion all their lustre lose. 
Drear is the morning; love is gone for aye, 
Love done to death in one bright peerless day. [page 69]

 To the Shade of Symmachus

’TWAS Vir Clarissimus they titled thee
   In Rome some sixteen centuries ago,
They made thee Pontifex and bowed the knee, 
And named thee Champion of Victory, 
   And chose thee Quaestor, master of the show. 

And yet for all thy pomp at many a feast, 
   Good friend and gentleman of ancient Rome, 
Inexorable Time counts thee the least
Among the sons of Romulus, Fame ceased
   Long since to hymn her stately praetor home. 

Praetor, whose purple pride has passed away, 
Thine eyes were blinded to the rising light; 
Thy pompous feet found not the better way; 
From the one vital force in that dead day
   Thou stood’st aloof and chose perpetual night. [page 70]

Disdainful Roman Senator, whose pride
   Ignored the lowly life of truest breath, 
The glory of the Cross, what ashen tide
Bears thy dead soul upon its bosom wide
   Far down the listless, endless realms of Death? [page 71]

The Canadian Pine

A KEEN, sweet fragrance lies along the air, 
   The odor of the tall Canadian pine; 
   How soft the sunbeams on his needles shine, 
And where the snow has left the forest bare, 
He spreads his russet carpet everywhere. 
   High in his swaying top the crooning wind 
   Eases his stormy soul,—time out of mind
He sought his ancient, steadfast solace there. 
   And so I find beneath the sturdy pine, 
The spirit of the north, the blessed peace
   That calms this easy-troubled soul of mine, 
And gives to discontent a sure surcease. 
   In all the north I love the pine the best, 
   Emblem of strength, simplicity and rest. [page 72]

The Eternal Path

TIME drives us on along the eternal way, 
   And as we strain toward the unknown goal, 
We hail with joy or grief each new-born day, 
   We bless or curse the seasons as they roll. 

But this our Earth is doomed as well as we;
   She holds her course unwearied round the sun; 
She spins along the path, unwitting she, 
   If ever her long journey will be done. 

And he, our central force, our life, our light, 
   Sun of our little group of starry spheres, 
He plunges on into the infinite, 
   Unknowing what celestial coasts he nears. 

And other suns, a million suns beside, 
   With frightful, unimaginable force, 
Are whirling through aerial deserts wide
   To unknown bournes on the eternal course, 

Secret the way, far-off, unknown the goal, 
   And yet the Father holds us in His care; 
He guides His worlds, He lifts the weary soul; 
   He knows the way, He hears the feeblest prayer. [page 73]

The Great Companion

OH, come my Lord, and walk with me
   Through all the ways of life; 
I need Thy presence, Lord, each day, 
   In quiet or in strife:
Oh, let me feel Thee near
On joyous days or drear. 

Oh, come, dear Christ, and strengthen me 
   My calling to fulfil, 
Make all my service glad and free, 
   And consecrate my will:
My weakness, Lord, I own, 
I cannot walk alone. 

Oh, Man of Sorrows, come to me
   When anguish wrings my soul, 
Fill me with Thy serenity
   And make my spirit whole: 
For life’s Gethsemane
Is glorified by Thee. [page 74] 

And when at last I view the shore
   Of the eternal sea, 
And hear death’s mighty waters roar, 
   Oh, come and pilot me:
Until through storm and night
I reach the world of light. [page 75]

Gray Europe to the Golden East

GRAY Europe to the Golden East, 
   The camel-train from Muscovy 
To where each lean and leathery beast
Rests while the pilgrim riders feast
   Beneath the budding almond-tree. 

Siberian snows, the bitter wind
   Down Tartar plains, dead wastes and drear, 
To where the sun doth burn and blind. 
And spiced breaths of the south wind find 
   The full-blown flowers through all the year. 

Gray Europe to fair Palestine, 
   The green hills for the desert’s frown, 
For iron spire the gorgeous shrine; 
O Pilgrim, Christ’s own joys are thine. 
   From gray to gold, from cross to crown. [page 76]

The Dream of the Disciples

THEY followed their meek Lord from day to day, 
   And ever as they went hung on His power, 
For through the works He did they saw the way 
   That led to the inevitable hour. 

Christ, how they longed for that great stroke divine, 
   When He should seat Himself, Master and Lord, 
O’er God’s own kingdom, heir of David’s line,
   The hope of Israel wielding Heaven’s sword!

By night their sleep was fevered, and their rest
   Fitful and broken in Judean fields, 
Their dream was glory, and the Master’s quest
   To them meant ruin to the Roman shields. 

Imperial Rome already they beheld
   Fawning and prostrate at Immanuel’s feet, 
Her purple pride undone, her might dispelled
   By His supernal word from Zion’s seat. 

And Zion, city of their dreams, her fame
   Should awe the splendid East, and as of old
Her God should dwell in her, and in God’s name
   The Prince of Peace bring in the age of gold. [page 77]

The Living Voice

AND will He speak no more to mortal men, 
The God of Revelation and of Love?
Men passionately cry, “Speak once again, 
Send some convincing word from Heaven above. 

“As if it were the ancient time and Thou 
Didst speak to Moses in the desert flame, 
Source of the non-consuming fire, even now
So call some mighty soul to serve Thy name. 

“As when Thy Spirit stirred the aspen trees
To signal the advance against the foe, 
So now, O Lord, by outward sign to these, 
Thy present soldiers, Thine approval show. 

“Lord God of Life, speak to Thy people, speak!”
Men plead with passionate and choking cry, 
“Thy face, Thy living voice, Lord, do we seek, 
As in the dust of doubt we gasp and die!” [page 78]

The trumpet tones of truth were heard of old 
And Thou dost speak to-day; men seek a sign, 
Men crave the thundrous voice from Heaven rolled
To ratify the immemorial line. 

But they who seek a sign, the Master said, 
Shall not thereby from darkness find release,
For though one come returning from the dead, 
He could not men d their doubts nor bring them peace. 

Hear ye God’s living voice, and see His face
In Jesus Christ; yea, hear His voice to-day 
In all his sons, who, by the Lord Christ’s grace, 
Exemplify the Life, the Truth, the Way. [page 79]

The Dream of the Old Men

   Principal Caven, a leader among those who favor organic church union, pressed the argument not only for the economy of the resources of the churches, but the higher argument from the definite prayer and expressed desire of the Head of the Church that His followers might be one.

   “It would be the fulfillment of my life-dream, the answer to my life-prayer, to see these three Churches one in organization as well as in spirit,” said Chancellor Burwash.  “And the barriers are breaking down.”

Affectionately inscribed to Chancellor Burwash and Principal Caven.

LIFE-DREAMS of fuller love are coming true;
   Revered old age, with shining, undimmed eyes,
Enchanted with the unexpected view, 
   Beholds another dawn of love arise. 

For lo, the barriers are giving way, 
   The age-long obstacles to union fall, 
And the glad dawn brings in the happier day, 
   When Christ, and not the Creed, is all in all. [page 80]

For this they toiled, this was their life-long prayer, 
   This was their hope amid sectarian strife; 
Others abode in doubt, or in despair
   Lost the fair vision of the broader life. 

Others, alas, who prayed with them, passed on
   Into their rest; they saw the far-off goal, 
But not for them the glory of the dawn,
   Three folds of Christ become one mighty whole.

But these our fathers, counselling with us yet, 
   And echoing the Master’s prayer that we, 
His followers, might be one—their eyes are wet 
   With tears of sudden hope, and wistfully

To us they turn for instant aid, to all 
   Their sons of different folds, to merge compact
In one great brotherhood, ere God shall call 
Them home and their dream fail of living fact. 

They long to see this great, new Church go forth
   To holy war, hopeful and strong and free, 
Holding the wide dominion of the north, 
   Her splendid cohorts flung from sea to sea. 

O gentle dreamers, saintly guides, we hear
   Your call; our senseless rivalries shall cease;
The day of fellowship draws very near, 
   And your last song shall be a song of peace. 

March 10th, 1905 [page 81]

The Death of La Salle*

   THE first, warm, prairie-scented breath of Spring
   Blew from the Texan plains and lulled to rest 
   The little camp, men worn with wandering 
   In the despairing, thrice-repeated quest
   Of the lost river, pathway to the west, 
   Wide road to Nouvelle France; in dreams once more,—
   No longer by a mocking fate oppressed,—
   They found the highway home and swiftly bore 
Far northward from the cruel Metagordian shore. 

   Soldiers and priests in the grim bivouac—
   A handful dreaming in the wilderness—
   In fancy reached Quebec and Tadousac
   And told of great exploits, of long duresse, 
   Of Fort St. Louis’ graves, the sore distress
   Of France’s venture in the southern land. 
   Sweetly they dreamed, but no sleep came to bless. 
   The troubled soul of him who dared, who planned, 
Sieur de la Salle, the captain of the forlorn band.

   *See Parkman’s “La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West,” Chapter 27 [page 82]


   That long, long day La Salle had watched in vain 
   For the delayed return of false and true
   With hunters’ spoils, and now he racked his brain 
   For signs or words from which he might construe
   Some grudge they bore him or some devil’s brew
   Of black conspiracy.  Alas!  too well
   The hero’s prescient soul the future knew, 
   Could conjure up his murdered men, foretell
The assassins’ work that made the wilderness a hell!

   With the first break of dawn the leader rose, 
   Determination writ upon his face:
   He armed himself, called for a guide and chose
   A friar to go with him to the place
   Where duty drew, perchance where death’s embrace
   Would be the welcome at the journey’s end. 
   And as they went his talk was of the grace
   Of Heaven, which always surely doth attend
That man who loves to make the most High God his friend. 

   Douay, the friar, inscribed in after days
   The touching words La Salle confessed that morn, 
   Of all he owed to God, a meed of praise
   For all His gracious care since he was born: [page 83]
   How he had braved the hatred and the scorn,
   Escaped the deep designs of countless foes, 
   Of governors and priests, who would have torn
   Him from their path but that the good Lord chose
To save him from their snares, to ward off all their blows. 

   From that far day full twenty years before
   When bright-eyed Danger tempted him to thread
   The lonely woods to find the golden door
   To China and Japan, ever his bed
   Was ’neath the silent stars, his noiseless tread
   Upon the forest floor, or on blue seas
   And lonely lakes and spacious rivers sped
   His light canoe: a hundred tragedies
His eyes had seen and by God’s grace escaped all these. 

   “Wherefore,” he said, “my thanks be unto God
   Who hath in all the dangers I have passed
   Seen fit to spare my life that I may laud
   And bless His name this morn: but whether cast
   Among the Iroquois, or in the blast
   Convulsing Huron sea, my heart has known 
   Death comes but once, to every man at last, 
   And only when God wills: if overthrown,
This day I die without a grief, without a groan.” [page 84]

   These solemn words at end, sadly they came 
   Towards the traitors’ camp, where in the sky
   Two eagles wheeled above the low fire’s flame
   Waiting to seize their prey.  La Salle’s quick eye
   Noted this sign of death, then angrily, 
   Firing his gun, he called to one who stood 
   On guard for news of Moranget.  Reply
   Was made in tones that boded nothing good;
Then hastening on La Salle was lured within the wood. 

Crouch’d in the reed-like grass, their savage hate 
   Still unappeas’d by the bright, dolorous flow
   Of comrades’ blood, the hideous traitors wait 
   With weapons train’d upon the man they know
   So well, once leader, now their helpless foe. 
   Their moment comes: two shots the death proclaim
   Of the inflexible La Salle, brought low
   In the full flower of his deathless fame,—
The foulest crime in all New France’s deeds of shame! [page 85]

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