Part First

     Where does the Sun its richest radiance shed?
Where are the choicest gifts of Nature spread?
On what blest spot does ev’ry simple flower
Bear to the sense a charm of magic power,
While Fancy clothes with beauty every hill
And music murmurs o’er each crystal rill?
Where all the eye surveys can charms impart
That twine, unbroken, round the generous heart?
’Tis where our household Gods securely stand
In the calm bosom of our native land,
Where rest the honor’d ashes of our Sires,
Where burn, undimm’d, our bright domestic fires,
Where we first heard a Mother’s silvery tone,
And felt her lips, enraptured, meet our own,
Where we first climb’d a doting Father’s knee
And cheer’d his spirit with our childish glee.

     Yes, there’s a feeling, that, from pole to pole,
To one dear spot still fondly links the soul.
Exiled from Home Foscari pined and died,
And as the Hebrew, by Euphrates’ side,

Thought of the scenes that blest his childish hours,
Canaan’s verdant groves and rosy bowers,
The founts of feeling, fill’d in other years,
Pour’d o’er his wasted cheek a flood of tears.
The wand’ring Swiss, as through the world he roves,
Sighs to behold the Alpine land he loves;
And ev’n Lapland’s rude, untutored child,
With icy pinnacles around him piled,
Slumbers in peace upon his lichens grey,
Though the gaunt wolf howls round him for his prey.

     And bless the feeling, for it ever leads
To sacred thoughts and high and daring deeds;
’Twas that illumed his eye when Nelson fell,
’Twas that which urged the unerring shaft of Tell,
Inspired the plaintive and the patriot strains
That Burns pour’d freely o’er his native plains,
And breathes the influence of its sacred fire
O’er many a chord of Moore’s seraphic lyre.
With daring hand that feeling bids me now
Twine a rude wreath around my Country’s brow,
And tho’ the flowers wild and simple be,
Take, my Acadia, those I twine for thee.

     Pearl of the West—since first my soul awoke
And on my eyes thy sylvan beauties broke,
Since the warm current of my youthful blood

Flow’d on, thy charms, of mountain, mead, and flood
Have been to me most dear. Each winning grace
E’en in my childish hours I loved to trace,
And, as in Boyhood o’er thy hills I strode,
Or on thy foaming billows proudly rode,
At ev ’ry varied scene my heart would thrill,
For, storm or sunshine, ’twas my Country still.
And now, in riper years, as I behold
Each passing hour some fairer charm unfold,
In ev’ry thought, in ev’ry wish I own,
In ev ’ry prayer I breathe to Heaven’s high throne
My Country’s welfare blends—and could my hand
Bestow one flower’t on my native land,
Could I but light one Beacon fire, to guide
The steps of those who yet may be her pride, 
Could I but wake one never-dying strain
Which Patriot hearts might echo back again,
I’d ask no meed—no wreath of glory crave
If her approving smile my own Acadia gave.

     What though the Northern winds that o’er thee blow

Borrow fresh coolness from thy hills of snow,
And icy Winter, in his rudest form,
Breathes through thy vallies many a chilling storm,
Still there is health and vigor in the breeze
Which bears upon its wing no fell disease
To taint the balmy freshness of the air
And steal the bloom thy hardy children wear.
No with’ring plague spreads o’er thy smiling plains
Its sickening honors and soul-sickening pains;
No wild tornado, with its voice of wrath,
Spreads desolation in its fearful path;
No parching Simoom ’s warm and sickly breath
Casts o’er thy hills the pallid hues of death;
But Health thy rosy youth to labour cheers
And teaches age to brave the blight of years.

     And when mild Spring, with all her magic powers,
Spreads o’er the land her simple robe of flowers,
And fairy zephyrs softly steal along
Sweet as the mingled melody of song,
And Heaven’s unclouded and inspiring ray
O’er wave and mountain lingering, loves to play,
And gentle streamlets through the valleys rove,
And Birds repeat their tender notes of love,
And clad in green thy teeming vales appear,
Oh! then, Acadia, thou art doubly dear.

     ’Tis Spring! ’tis Spring! stern Winter’s reign is o’er,
And North winds bend our forest groves no more.
Now life and beauty breathe on ev’ry hill,
Bidding each heart with hope and gladness thrill.
In flowery valley, and in leafy grove,
Man reads in glowing lines his Maker’s love;
Hears the bright stream its joyous anthem raise,
While gently swelling ocean hymns His praise.

     The Mayflower buds in simple beauty bring
Home to the heart the first glad thoughts of Spring;

A herald more attractive never bore
Tidings to man of pleasure yet in store;
Gently reposing on its mossy bed,
In modest loveliness it rears its head,
And yields its fragrance to the wanton air
That lifts its leaves to rest and revel there.
Long may we greet its charms at early morn;
Long may its buds Acadia’s wilds adorn;
Long may its tints, so delicately rare,
Rival the bloom her lovely daughters wear.

     Fancy ne’er painted to the son of song
Scenes to which more of Nature’s charms belong.

The towering Pines a brighter dress assume
The dark green Fir puts on a richer bloom;
The Maple’s purple blossoms now appear,
And the Birch spreads its verdant leaflets near
The Spruce throws off its dark-hued Winter dress
The Poplar blooms in passing loveliness
The stately Hemlock and the spreading Beech,
Their branches o’er the gentle waters reach,
While the Oak boughs, which many a storm have braved,
In graceful majesty are proudly waved;
The bending Sumach and the downy Palm,
The stately Ash, lend every grove a charm;
The Alder’s tassels wave with every breath
The Laurel spreads seductive flowers of death
The leafy Withe and Juniper are seen
Waving above the fadeless evergreen,
While the sweet Fern and aromatic Bay
Shed perfume for the breeze to bear away.

     Wild flowers and bursting buds are gaily spread
In rich luxuriance whereso’er we tread,
The milk-white Stars are sprinkled o’er the ground
 The rosy Clover spreads its fragrance round,
While here and there the Buttercup displays
Its golden bosom to the Sun’s bright rays,
And azure Violets, whose cerulean dye
Boasts of a deeper blue than Beauty’s eye.
Each lovely flower, and tall majestic tree
Speak to the Spirit, gentle Spring, of thee.

     There the smooth lake its glassy bosom shows,
Calm as the wearied spirit’s last repose;
Here frowns the beetling rock high o’er the tide,
Fanned by the branches of the forest’s pride;
Here gently sloping banks of emerald dye
Kiss the pure waves that on them softly lie,
While buoyant flowers, the lake’s unsullied daughters,
Lift their bright leaves above the sparkling waters.
There foams the torrent down the rocky steep,
Rushing away to mingle with the deep,
Shaded by leaves and flowers of various hues;
Here the small rill its noiseless path pursues,
While in its waves wild buds as gently dip
As kisses fall on sleeping Beauty’s lip.

     So blooms our country—and in ages past,

Such the bright robe that Nature round her cast,
Ere the soft impress of Improvement’s hand,
By science guided, had adorned the land;
Ere her wild beauties were by culture graced,
Or art had touched what Nature’s pencil traced;
When on her soil the dusky Savage stray’d,
Lord of the loveliness his eye survey’d;
When through the leafy grove and sylvan dell,
His fearful shout or funeral chant would swell,
While death notes breathed on every passing gale, 
And blood bedew’d the flowers that sprung along the vale.

     But let us pause, nor deem the labor vain,
O’er scenes which never can return again.
From shore to shore see stately woods extend,
And to the wave their verdant shadows lend;

No treacherous steel assails their stems of pride,
To God they bow, but stoop to none beside,
And ’neath the shelter of these ancient groves,
The Cariboo with fearless footstep roves,
Or the gay Moose in jocund gambol springs,
Cropping the foliage Nature round him flings.
No gallant sails o’er ocean’s bosom sweep,
No keel divides the billows of the deep
That fling o’er rock and shoal their dizzy spray,
Or, softly murmuring, seek some lonely bay.

     But see, where breaking through the leafy wood,

The Micmac bends beside the tranquil flood,
Launches his light canoe from off the strand,
And plies his paddle with a dexterous hand;
Or, as his bark along the water glides,
With slender spear his simple meal provides;
Or mark his agile figure, as he leaps
From crag to crag, and still his footing keeps,
For fast before him flies the desp’rate deer,
For life is sweet, and death she knows is near.
No hound or horse assist him in the chase,
His hardy limbs are equal to the race,
For, since he left, unswathed, his mother’s back
They’ve been familiar with each sylvan track;
They’ve borne him daily, as they bear him now,
Swift through the wood, and o’er the mountain’s brow—
But mark—his bow is bent, his arrow flies,
And at his feet the bleeding victim dies.

     While o’er the fallen tenant of the wild
A moment stands the forest’s dusky child,

From his dark brow his long and glossy hair
Is softly parted by the gentle air.
The glow of pride has flush’d his manly cheek,
And in his eye his kindled feelings speak.
For, as he casts his proud and fearless glance
O’er each fair feature of the wide expanse,
The blushing flowers—the groves of stately pine—
The glassy lakes that in the sunbeams shine—
The swelling sea—the hills that heavenward soar—
The mountain stream, meandering to the shore—
Or hears the birds’ blythe song, the woods’ deep tone—
He feels, yes proudly feels, ’tis all his own.

     Thus, as the am’rous Moor with joy survey’d
The budding beauties of Venetia’ s maid,
Drank in the beamings of her love-lit eye,

Her bosom’s swell, the music of her sigh
He felt, and who can tell that feeling’s bliss,
Moor though he was, her beauties all were his.

     With practised skill he soon divides his prey,
Then to his home pursues his devious way

Through many an Alder copse, and leafy shade,
And well-known path by former rambles made,
To where a little cove, that strays between
Opposing hills, adds beauty to the scene
Which nature’s hand has negligently dressed
With charms well suited to the Indian’s breast.

     The Camp extends along the pebbly shore,
A sylvan city, rude as those of yore,
By Patriarch hands within the desert built,
When fresh from Eden’s joys and Eden’s guilt.

Like those, ’tis man’s abode where round him twine
Those ties that make a wilderness divine.
No architectural piles salute the sky,
No marble column strikes the gazer’s eye;
The solemn grandeur of the spacious hall,
The stuccoed ceiling and the pictured wall,
Art’s skilful hand may sedulously rear;
The simple homes of Nature’s sons are here.

     Some slender poles, with tops together bound,
And butts inserted firmly in the ground,

Form the rude frames—o’er which are closely laid
Birch bark and fir boughs, forming grateful shade,
And shelter from the storm, and sunny ray
Of summer noon, or winter’s darker day.
A narrow opening, on the leeward side,
O’er which a skin is negligently tied,
Forms the rude entrance to the Indian’s home —
Befitting portal for so proud a dome.
A fire is blazing brightly on the ground —
The motley inmates scatter’d careless round.
Some strip the maple, some the dye prepare,
Or weave the basket with assiduous care;
Others, around the box of bark entwine
Quills, pluck’d from off the “fretful porcupine,”
And which may form, when curiously inlaid,
A bridal offering to some dark-eyed maid.
Some shape the bow, some form the feather’d dart,
Which soon may quiver in a foeman’s heart.
The Squaws proceed upon the coals to broil
Steaks cut from off the newly furnished spoil
And these with lobsters, roasted in the shell,
And eels, by Indian palates loved so well,
Complete their frugal feast, for sweet content,
Which thrones have not, makes rich the Indian’s tent.

     As to the West the glorious Sun retires,

The Micmacs kindle up their smouldering fires,
The aged Chiefs around the tents repose,
The dark Papoose to laugh and gambol goes;
While youths and maidens to the green advance,
And clustering round, prepare them for the dance.
Nor smile ye modern fair, who float along,
The dazzling spirits of the nightly throng,
Wafted by mingled music’s softest tone,
With fashion’s every grace around ye thrown,
Smile not at those, who, ere your sires were born,
Danced on the very spot, you now adorn,
Kindling, with laughing eyes, love’s hallow’d fire,
And swelling gallant hearts with fond desire.

     Crossing his legs upon a mossy seat,
With maple wand a youth begins to beat

On some dried bark, with measured time and slow,
A soft low tune—his voice’s solemn flow
Mingling with every stroke. The dance begins,
Not such as now the modern fair one wins
To mazy evolutions, wild and free,
Where forms of radiant beauty seem to be
Like heavenly planets, whirling round at will,
Yet by fixed laws controll’d and govern’d still,
But slow and measured as the music’s tone,
To which the dancers first beat time alone,
Murm’ring a low response. A broken shout,
To mark the changing time, at times rings out,
When all is soft, and faint, and slow again,
Till, by degrees, the music’s swelling strain
Sweeps through the Warriors’ souls with rushing tide,
Rousing each thought of glory and of pride;
Then, while the deeds of other days return,
By music’s power clothed in words that burn,
When ev’n the Dead, evoked by mem’ry’s spell,
Burst into life, to fight where once they fell,
A savage joy the dancers’ eyes bespeak,
A deeper tinge pervades each maiden’s cheek,
The glossy clusters of their long dark hair
Are floating wildly on the ev’ning air,
As from the earth, with frantic bounds they spring,
And rock and grove with shouts of triumph ring.
Thus we may see the River steal along
Noiseless and slow, till growing deep and strong,
Its turbid waters foam, and curve, and leap,
Dashing with startling echo down the steep.

     For ages thus, the Micmac trod our soil,
The chase his pastime, war his only toil,
’Till o’er the main, the adventurous Briton steer’d,
And in the wild, his sylvan dwelling rear’d,
With heart of steel, a thousand perils met,
And won the land his children tread on yet.

     When first the Micmac’s eye discerned the sail
Expanding to the gentle southern gale,
He started wildly up the mountain side,
And look’d with doubting gaze along the tide,

Deeming he saw some giant sea bird’s wing
Cleave the light air, and o’er the waters fling
Its feathery shadow. As the Bark drew nigh,
He thought some spirit of the deep blue sky
Had, for a time, forsook its peerless home
With the red Hunter o’er the wilds to roam;
Or that a God had left his coral cave,
To breathe the air, and skim along the wave.
Lost in amaze the lordly savage stood
Conceal’d within the foliage of the wood,
And watch’d the proud Ship, as she wing’d her way,
Till she cast anchor in the shelter’d bay.
But, when the white man landed on the shore,
His dream of Gods and Spirits soon was o’er;
He saw them rear their dwellings on the sod
Where his free fathers had for ages trod;
He saw them thoughtlessly remove the stones
His hands had gather’d o’er his parents’ bones;
He saw them fell the trees which they had spared,
And war, eternal war, his soul declared.

Part Second

     As Britain’s son hangs o’er the Historic page,
Fraught with the records of a darker age,
When o’er his feeble land each wand’ring horde
Of rude Barbarians roved, with fire and sword,
When freedom’s shrine, by lawless power profaned,
With many a gory sacrifice was stain’d,
While foul oppression o’er the spirit threw
The gloomy influence of its sombre hue.
He lifts his eye, and sees his flag unfurl’d,
The hope—the guide—the glory of a world,
Surveys the fabric, splendid and sublime,
Whose arch, like Heaven’s, extends from clime to clime—
Whose pillars, like the dreadful angel, stand
On the deep sea, as firm as on the land,
While ’neath the dome the sun of Science gleams.
Religion cheers—Imagination dreams,
The Muse’s Lyre ennobling thoughts recalls,
And Art his treasures hangs around the walls.
Struck with the change, his tears embalm the dead
Whose patriot blood on many a field was shed,
Whose fervid eloquence the land awoke,
Whose gifted minds oppression’s fetters broke,
Who, like the fire by night, the cloud by day,
Out from the realms of bondage led the way;
Who reared, by ceaseless toil, the glorious pile
Beneath whose shade reposing millions smile.

     Thus, while Acadia’s charms my eye surveys,
My soul, unbidden, turns to other days,
When the stout-hearted rear’d amidst the wood
Their sylvan Homes, and by their thresholds stood

With stern resolve the savage tribes to brave,
And win a peaceful dwelling, or a grave.
Gone are the Patriarchs—but we still may weep
Where “the forefathers of our Hamlets sleep.”
For us they freely pour’d life’s crimson tide, —
For us they labor’d, and for us they died.
And though they rest in no time-honor’d tomb,
Acadia’s wild flowers o’er their ashes bloom.
Oh! could they now her smiling fields behold,
While in the breezes wave their crops of gold,
While on her thousand hills, her children stand,
And Peace and Plenty crown the happy land,
’Twould glad their spirits, like some Seraph’s strain,
To know they had not toiled, and died in vain.

     They felled the forest trees with sturdy stroke,

The virgin soil, with gentle culture broke,
Scatter’d the fruitful seeds the stumps between,
And Ceres lured to many a sylvan scene.
Then rose the Log House by the water side,
Its seams by moss and sea weed well supplied,
Its roof with bark o’erspread—its humble door
Hung on a twisted withe—the earth its floor,
With stones and harden’d clay its chimney form’d,
Its spacious hearth by hissing green wood warmed,
Round which, as night her deep’ning shadows throws,
The Hamlet’s wearied inmates circling close.
The sturdy settler lays his axe aside,
Which all day long has quell’d the forest’s pride.
The wooden cleats that from the walls extend,
Receive his gun, his oft-tried faithful friend,
Which crowns his frugal board with plenteous meals,
And guards his rest when sleep his eye-lids seals.

     As cautiously the miser locks his store,
The anxious parent barricades the door,
Then, having cleansed the balsam from his palm,

He bends him down, to where with cheek as calm
As summer ev’ning’s close, his Infant lies
Breathing as softly as a floweret sighs,
And while a father’s transports swell his breast,
A kiss upon its coral lips is press’d,
A look of earnest rapture fondly given,
A prayer, in silent gladness, breathed to Heaven.
Meanwhile his wife, the mother of his child,
His dear companion in the dreary wild,
Spreads o’er his humble board their ev’ning fare,
And soothes his spirit with assiduous care,
Returns with grateful lips and fond embrace,
The kiss imprinted on her Babe’s sweet face.
And while her eye betrays a mother’s pride,
Points to her first-born, standing by her side,
Who waits the signal to his arms to spring,
And round his neck with filial transport cling.

     Their supper o’er, the grace with fervor said,
Another log upon the fire is laid,
And, as the blaze its cheering light bestows,

The happy pair their seats together close,
The Father’s arm, the Mother’s waist entwines,
While on their knees the fair-haired Boy reclines,
A prattling go-between, whose heart o’erflows,
Exchanging kisses each in turn bestows,
And oft he begs the story nightly told,
Of monstrous giants slain by Jack the bold;
Or begs his mother to repeat, once more,
Some thrilling ballad from her fruitful store;
And as the simple notes melodious rise,
The tears, uncall’d, bedew the parents’ eyes,
Whose thoughts are borne to scenes, now far away,
Where first their ears drank in that simple lay;
While “absent friends” like spirits round them throng,
By Mem’ry painted with a tint as strong
As though but yesterday the joyous smile
Beam’d from those eyes, that, once in Albion’s isle,
Their rays of gladness scatter’d o’er the flowers
Of hope and joy, in childhood’s sportive hours.

     Then, half forgetful of their present lot,

They rove o’er scenes that ne’er can be forgot,
The joys and griefs of life—the light and shade
Of early thought, that ne’er from memory fade,
Transport their spirits o’er the Atlantic’s foam,
And bid them welcome to their island home.
As now their loved boy rests upon their knee,
They nestled once, as light of heart as he;
Anon they stand beside the narrow bed,
And hear cold earth on aged temples spread,
And mark the bursting sob and tearful eye,
That send to their lone hearts a sad reply.

     The scene is changed—upon a verdant seat,
A glassy streamlet smiling at their feet,
Fast by a crumbling castle, where decay
With silent tooth gnaws stone by stone away,

A gallant oak, extending overhead,
To guard the simple flowers around them spread;
Clasp’d to each other’s bosom they recline,
While, from each heart’s unfathomable mine,
The wealth of mutual love, so long concealed,
By Passion’s magic power is all revealed;
And while their hearts with rapturous feelings swell,
Vows are exchanged they long had burned to tell.

     And then on Albion’s distant shore they stand,
And feel the parting grasp of many a hand,

And see kind eyes bedew’d with many a tear,
While fond farewells fall heavy on the ear,
And scenes they never shall behold again,
And thoughts that burn are thronging on the brain.
“Why do you weep?” exclaims their gentle Boy,
Who knows not what obscures the general joy,
Who understands not how the shadowy past
O’er present bliss a sombre cloud may cast;
The fond enquiry, and the anxious glance,
Arouse their spirits from their waking trance,
And absent friends, and Albion’s polish’d isle,
Are banish’d by their prattling playmate’s smile.
Then other thoughts succeed—while Hope displays
The gifts prepared to gild their future days;
And thus they muse, and plan—now sad, now blest,
Till Nature warns them to their wonted rest.

     For them no stately canopy is spread:
Dried fern and withered leaves compose their bed —
Rough couch—but still their waning strength it cheers,
For Labour sweetens it, and Love endears.

How oft Ambition, on his softest down,
Implores the God of Sleep his cares to drown;
How oft the anxious child of Commerce tries
To calm his thoughts and close his sleepless eyes,
While Slumber mocks his unavailing prayer,
And seeks the hut to strew its poppies there.

     Why starts the mother from that soft repose?
What means the horror that her looks disclose?
Why are her children clasped with eager care,
While Hope seems wildly struggling with Despair?

Why has the father seized the axe and knife,
Like one resolved to combat Death for Life,
And yield no vantage that his arm can hold
Though hungry wolves assail his gentle fold?
Hark to that horrid and soul-piercing yell
That seems the war-cry of a fiend from Hell;
That starts the raven from the lofty pine
On which he closed his wing at day’s decline,
And echoing back from the surrounding hills,
The beating hearts in that lone cottage chills;
For Hate, Revenge, and Murder’s deepest tone,
Tell them the Micmac’s toils are round them thrown.

     From the wild covert of the forest shade,
By stealthy march their slow approach was made,
Now, by the spreading foliage concealed,

Now, by some sudden op’ning half revealed,
As to the settler’s dwelling they drew nigh,
And gazed upon it with malignant eye.
’Twas yet high noon when it appeared in sight,
But for his work the Indian loves the night.
In patient ambush scattered round they lay,
Content to linger ere they seized their prey.
They marked the settler at his weary moil,
And smiled to think how they’d repay his toil;
Saw him partake the draught his boy would bring
To cheer his labor, from the crystal spring,
And vow’d, e’er morning’s dawn, their souls should laugh,
While the parch’d earth his blood should freely quaff;
And when he sought his home at eventide,
To taste the pleasures of his dear fireside,
With ears attentive—footsteps light and true,
And treacherous hearts, around the eaves they drew,
Listen’d the song the mother sung her child,
Heard the light converse that the hours beguiled,
And joyed to think the time would not be long
Ere midnight’s cries would follow evening’s song.

     When sleep had closed the weary cottar’ s eyes,
They sought to take the slumberers by surprise —
Essay’d the door, and then the window tried
With gentle pressure, studiously applied,

Nor knew how light a doting mother sleeps,
When near her babes its watch the spirit keeps.
The first faint whisper of alarm within
Convinced them force, not fraud, their prey must win.
’Twas then their shout of fierce defiance rose,
While fast and vehement their heavy blows
On door and shutter diligently fell,
Each followed by a wild tumultuous yell;
Nor are the inmates idle—logs of wood,
Trunks, cribs, whate’er can make defences good,
Are piled against the bars that still are true,
Despite the efforts of the howling crew.
This done, the gun is seized—the Father fires,
Chance guides—a groan—one bleeding wretch expires.
Again he loads, again a savage dies —
Again the yells upon the welkin rise;
Hope half persuades that till the dawn of day
The fierce besiegers may be kept at bay.
What scene so dark, what stroke of fate so rude,
That Hope cannot a moment’s space intrude?
But soon he flies, for now an Indian flings
Himself upon the roof, which loudly rings
To every stroke the polished hatchet lends;
The bark which bears him to the pressure bends,
It yields—it breaks—he falls upon the floor —
One blow—his fleeting term of life is o’er,
The settler’s axe has dashed his reeking brain
Upon the hearth his soul had sworn to stain.
Fast through the breach two others downward leap,
But, ere they rise, a knife is planted deep
In one dark breast, by gentle Woman’s hand,
Who, for her household, wields a household brand;
The axe has clove the other to the chin.
But now, en masse, the shrieking fiends leap in,
Till wounded, faint, o ’erpowered, the Father falls
And hears the shout of triumph shake his walls.
The wretched Mother from her babe is torn,
Which on a red right hand aloft is borne,
Then dashed to earth before its Parent’s eyes,
And, as its form, deform’d and quivering lies,
Life from its fragile tenement is trod,
And the bruised, senseless, and unsightly clod
Is flung into the soft but bleeding breast
To which so late in smiling peace ’twas press’d.

     Nor does the boy escape—the smouldering fire

Is stirred,—and, as its feeble flames aspire,
In wanton cruelty they thrust his hands
Into the blaze, and on the reddening brands,
Like Montezuma bid him seek repose
As though his couch were but a perfumed rose.
Sated with blood, at length the scalps they tear
Ere life be yet extinct—for these, with care,
The Indian tribes, like precious coins, retain
To count their victories, and the victims slain.

     Now plunder follows death—then one applies

Fire to the bed, from which the flames arise
Fiercely and fast, as anxious to efface
All record of so sad, so foul a place.
Around the cot the Indians form a ring,
And songs of joy and triumph wildly sing
With horrid gesture and demoniac strain,
Then plunge into the forest depths again.

     Such are the scenes Acadia once display’d;
Such was the price our gallant Fathers paid
For this fair land, where now our footsteps rove

From lake to sea, from cliff to shady grove,
Uncheck’d by peril, unrestrained by fear
Of more unfriendly ambush lingering near
Than timid rabbits lurking in the fern
And peeping forth your worst intent to learn;
Or mottled squirrel, frisking round the pines
To seek the buds on which he lightly dines;
Or feather’d fav’rites, who, on ev’ry spray
Cheer and enchant with many a simple lay,
And though their plumage cannot boast the dyes
That deck the feather’d tribes ’neath milder skies,
Their ev’ning songs can sweeter strains impart 
To charm the list’ning ear, or touch the heart.

     While in her backward flight, the Muse essays
To paint the gloomy scenes of darker days,

The bloody strife, the discord, and the fears,
That soiled Acadia’s infant face with tears —
That checked improvement, kept repose at bay,
And frighten’d bright-eyed science far away;
Her vision rests with retrospective glance
Upon the stately Oriflamme of France,
As on the fresh’ning breeze each lilied fold
Gleam’d in the ray of morning’s dazzling gold,
And from Port Royal’s rude but massy wall
Proud warning gave, that here the valiant Gaul
With England’s Sovereign claim’d divided sway,
And strove from England’s Crown to tear away
This western gem—then rayless and obscure,—
Now, wrought by time, so precious and so pure.

     In vain he strove—in vain his thunder peal’d

O’er many a startled wave and gory field, —
In vain his warriors trod Acadia’s hills —
In vain their blood ran down the mountain rills
To lose its tint in Ocean’s boundless wave,
As fades the purple cloud diffused o’er Heaven’s blue nave.

     The alternate conquest, stratagem, and toil,
The leaguer’d fortress and the cruel spoil,
The patient ambush and the dire surprise,
The warrior’s groan, the maiden’s streaming eyes,
The Muse might paint—of fair La Tour might tell,
Who bravely stood where sturdy warriors fell.
True to her faith, her country and her lord,
With high-soul’d valor waved her husband’s sword,
Spurn’d at the foe—their worst revenge defied,
And check’d their power with all a woman’s pride,
Till sold, betrayed, a cruel victor’s hand
Tore from her gentle grasp the purple brand, —
Forced her to view her faithful followers fall
Unarm’d, beside their long-defended wall —
Forced her the ignominious cord to wear,
Unseemly ornament of neck so fair.

     O’er gallant d’Anville’s fate the Muse might bend,
And freshening tints to fading memory lend —
Might paint the fleet, as o’er the western waves
It bore the warriors to ignoble graves,

While hope, and joy, anticipations proud,
Swell’d the warm bosoms of the active crowd,
Who in their dreams, Acadia’s bosom press’d,
And called it theirs. Within that bosom rest
Their mouldering bones—their shatter’d ships repose
Where Bedford’s placid wave above them flows —
Their disappointment, sufferings and despair,
The Muse reluctant leaves to dark Tradition’s care.

     For, ere a moment rests her wearied wing,
E’en sadder scenes across her spirit fling

Their sick’ning shades of anguish and of woe,
And bid her tears in sorrowing gushes flow.
Oh! for the Bard of Auburn’s melting strain!
Oh! for a Harp whose strings are tuned to pain,
To sing the horrors of that fatal day
When from their homes and country torn away,
The sons of Minas left Acadia’s shore
To weep and wander, but return no more, —
To rove o’er hills, and hear in every tone
Of whisp’ring winds—“Oh! these are not mine own;”
To pluck from southern vales the fairest flowers,
And fling them by with thoughts of childhood’s hours —
To mark strange forms—to seek in vain to trace
Some sign of kindred in each unknown face, —
To hear, where all are calm and joyous round,
A general discord in each social sound, —
To feel—what Exiles feel—that earth’s wide breast
Contains but one dear spot where they would rest,
A grave of native mould—whose flow’ry sod
The buoyant steps of childhood lightly trod.

     Methinks I see the sad and mournful throng,
With slow and measured footsteps move along —
Now looking back, and, through the starting tear,
Gazing their last on all their hearts hold dear, —
The joyous streamlet, whose refreshing wave
Strength to their fainting spirits freely gave, —
The budding corn they fondly hoped to reap,
The sportive flocks that round the pastures leap,
The verdant fields their toils had taught to bloom,
The stately woods, whose reverential gloom
A holy fervor to their prayers supplied,
As bow’d their knees at placid eventide.
Oh! power divine! that by a thousand ties
Can bind the heart to all that round it lies,
How many tender thoughts the bosom swell
When e’en to woods and wilds we say farewell.

     Methinks as on the sorrowing Exiles move,
I see their pathway strewed by those they love,
Mark the pale cheek, the swoll’n and streaming eye,
And hear the bursting sob and thrilling cry;

While aged temples to the dust are bow’d,
And wailing infants swell the mournful crowd;
To Boyhood’s breast the form of Beauty springs,
And round his neck with frantic fondness clings,
While looks that waft the eloquence of years,
From soul to soul, are beaming through their tears.
The Father stoops, while yet he may, to trace
His manly features in his infant’s face,
To soothe the anguish of the heaving breast,
That form’d the pillow of his nightly rest,
And knows that ere a few short hours expire
His Wife will want a mate, his child a sire.

     Methinks I hear the solemn hymn they sung,
To calm the cries that through the welkin rung,
To raise their thoughts to Him whose willing ear

The Widow’s moan and Orphan’s sigh will hear.
Methinks I see the shining sails unfurl’d,
The azure waters by the zephyrs curl’d,
While far and wide the flickering flames arise
From burning cots, whose blaze the night defies,
While round their light the frighted watch-dogs bay,
And seek the hearth where erst they loved to play.

*   *   *   *   *    *   *   *

     But when the flowers shall o’er his ashes spring
Who now his country’s charms essays to sing;
When on the sod that decks his lowly rest

The wanderer’s foot unconsciously is pressed;
And when his spirit’s dim and fading fire
Returns to Him who breathed it o’er the lyre;
When his untutored verse and humble name
Not e’en a sigh from dreaming mem’ry claim;
Still my Acadia, may the gentle gales
Fan into loveliness thy peaceful vales;
Still may thy thousand streamlets raise their song
Of joyous music as they steal along;
Still may the brilliant beams of science shine,
And learning’s boundless stores of wealth be thine;
Still may the Muse, to simple nature true,
Her wreaths of fadeless verdure twine for you;
Still may thy Fair—neglecting flimsy art,
Charm by the holy magic of the heart;
May manly breasts with noble feelings thrill
And freemen proudly roam o’er every hill;
And may the storms that rush o’er rock and wave
In their free passage never meet a slave.

*   *   *   *   *    *   *   *

     Who has not marked with an admiring eye,

As storms and clouds obscured the arching sky,
The hostile elements their warfare cease
Assuming lovely forms and moods of peace?
No longer harass’d by unsparing foes,
Thus has Acadia found a sweet repose:
War, and its scenes of hardship and of strife,
The ambush’d savage, and the bloody knife —
The siege,—repulse,—the rescue and surprise,
The mothers’ shriek,—the maidens’ piercing cries;
The manly struggle, and the midnight fray,
With all their horrors, where, oh! where are they?
Go seek the records of a fearful age
In dark Tradition’s stores, or History’s page,
Of scenes like these you now shall find no trace
On fair Acadia’s calm and smiling face.

     O’er the stout hearts that death and danger braved,
The flag of Britain soon victorious waved,
And races, hostile once, now freely blend
In happy union, each the other’s friend;
Striving as nobly for the general good
As once their fathers strove in fields of blood.
Here England’s sons, by fortune led to roam,
Now find a peaceful and a happy home;
The Scotsman rears his dwelling by some stream,
So like to that which blends with boyhood’s dream,
That present joys with old-world thoughts combined
Repress the sigh for those he left behind;
And here the wanderer from green Em ’s shore
Tastes of delights he seldom knew before.
He toils beneath no law’s unequal weight,
No rival parties tempt his soul to hate;
No lordly Churchman passes o’er his field,
To share the fruits the generous seasons yield.
With joy, Acadia welcomes to her strand
These venturous wanderers from their Fatherland —
A Mother’s love bestows—with pride, beholds
Them mark the charms her simple form unfolds —
Then to her breast with filial rapture cling,
And cast their lot beneath her pleasant wing.

     With equal pride a numerous race she rears,

Sons of those sires who braved the Indian spears;
And those who’ve sprung from that devoted band,
Who, when rebellion reared its impious hand,
Spite of her faults, to Albion’s standard true,
Fought ’neath its folds, till fate her power o’erthrew;
Then sought amidst Acadia’s wilds to claim
A Briton’s feelings, and a Briton’s name.
But see, extending upon every side,
Her Cottage Homes, Acadia’s noblest pride;
There honest Industry, by daily toil,
Covers with fruits and flowers his native soil;
And calm contentment, with an Angel’s air,
And humble hopes, and smiling joys, are there.

     But has not time—that drowned the din of arms,
Defaced Acadia’s wild and simple charms,

Broke the deep spells of woodland solitude,
And banished nature with a hand too rude?
Oh! no, together Art and Nature reign,
Smile on the mountain top and deck the plain;
Though Labor’s hand full many a scene has cleared
Of all that erst upon its face appeared,
Yet there are spots by Art still unprofaned
Where Nature reigns as ages since she reigned.

     Such sweet Lochaber, Sydney’s sylvan pride,
Lake of the woods, the forest’s gentle bride —

It is thy lot to be; Life’s bubbling stream
Must cease ere I forget the vivid dream
Of olden time, that tranced me as I stood,
Beneath the shadow of thine ancient wood.
Fresh is the vision—yes I see thee yet,
A sparkling Diamond in an Emerald set.
The morning’s sun illumes thy placid wave
Where chaste Diana might her beauties lave,
Nor fear to be observed—so deep—profound
The lulling stillness that prevails around.
Winding, in graceful folds, ’twixt hills that rise
On either side, the fair Lochaber lies.
Now to the eye its glowing charms revealed,
Now, like a bashful Beauty, half concealed
Beneath the robe of spotless green she wears,
The rich profusion of a thousand years.
No axe profane has touched a single bough,
No sod has yet been broken by the plough;
Far down the ancient trees reflected lie
Stem, branch, and leaf, like fairy tracery
Wove round the homes of some enchanting race,
The guardian nymphs of this delightful place.

     Such is the scene, beneath Canaan’s height,
Where Nature seems to shrink from human sight;
And shun the intruding step, and curious eye,

That seek to know where her deep mysteries lie.
There might you stand, beside that falling stream,
Nor aught of man or of his doings deem;
While high above you towers the rifted rock,
Crowned by old groves, unscathed by tempest’s shock
As from the steep its falling waters spring
And at your feet their broken foam wreaths fling.

     ’Tis evening, and the sun’s retiring ray
From rock and hill is fading fast away;
Yet, like a friend who parts but for a while,

Wears, as he bids farewell, his sweetest smile.
The gentle breeze that blows from off the shore
Scarce curls the blue wave as it dances o’er.
With loaded bill the sea bird seeks its nest
To feed its young, or taste the sweets of rest.
Acadia’s hardy son, with ready hand,
His frail bark launches from her rocky strand,
Hoists his white sail before the gentle wind
And leaves his humble home, far, far behind.
Born on the wave, accustomed to its swell,
His manly bosom loves its motion well.
His reckless spirit toil nor danger fears,
While for the sea his dauntless course he steers;
Ocean and Ocean’s storms he nightly braves,
For God has cast his bread upon the waves.

     As twilight fades, and all around is dark,
He furls his sail and moors his little bark;
And as his line to ocean’s depths descends
In patient hope he o’er the gunwale bends,
And if with plenty Heaven his prayers should bless,
Heeds not the toil that’s followed by success.
But if kind fortune should refuse to smile,
Thought, busy thought, will many an hour beguile;
The swelling billow rarely breaks his rest,
But seems the heaving of a mother’s breast,
For now the moon is up, and all her pride
Of pomp and splendor rests upon the tide;
Dear to the Lover is her silver gleam,
Dear, doubly dear, the Poet loves her beam;
But, holier far, the charms her smiles impart,
To cheer the lonely Fisher’s drooping heart.

     But see, yon little cloud, slow rising o’er
The horizon’s edge, is spreading more and more;
Though but a speck, when first it met the eye,
’Tis stealing fast o’er all the bright blue sky,

Till like the conq’ror’s path, although we find
Beauty before, there’s nought but gloom behind.
The winds are up, and o’er the arch of Heaven
With many a crash the fiery bolts are driven,
While waves o’er waves in Alpine grandeur rise,
As though they spurned the threatenings of the skies.
The Fishers s mooring parts, and high in air
His Bark is tost, but God he feels is there;
Down in some frightful gulf it next descends,
But still on skill and coolness he depends.
Back to the shore his prudent course he steers
And his heart gladdens as a light appears;
But see, yon mighty wave comes rolling on,
Where is his Bark? to ocean’s caves she’s gone;
And where is he? wrapt in the billow’s foam
While maddening thoughts of children and of home
Nerve his strong arm, and animate his soul — 
Life the rich prize,—the shore the longed-for goal —
For oh! tis hard upon the wave to die
With our own firelight gleaming in the eye.

     But vain his struggles, for his shortening breath
And wearied limbs speak fearfully of death.
Ere light-winged Hope deserts him, with a sigh,
He casts one earnest lingering look on high,
And that omniscient Eye which looks o’er all,
And even notes the tiny sparrow’s fall,
Beholds and pities, and while life remains,
A billow wafts him and the beach he gains.

     Lull’d on the lap of luxury and ease,
With cheeks unfann’d but by the mildest breeze,

The listless sons of wealth and pride repose
Nor heed the poor man’s toil—the poor man’s woes.
Oh! little think they, when the snows of Heaven
Around their sheltered homes are wildly driven;
While round their warm and brightly burning fires
Wit lends its mirth, and Beauty’s smile inspires;
Oh! little dream they then, how many poor
Industrious, active, children of the oar
Toil on the waste of waters—while the hail,
And sleet, and snow, their manly limbs assail;
How many weeping wives, and children mourn,
The loss of those who never can return.

     Inured to toil, familiar with the storm,
Around our coast these hardy boatmen swarm,
With nerves well strung to battle with the wave,

And souls as free as are the winds they brave.
Acadia loves to hear her rocky shores
Echo the music of their dashing oars;
And hails the offspring of her sea-girt strand
The strength, the pride, and sinews of her land.

     But let the Muse the willing fancy bear
Home with the Boatman, and behold him there
Safe from the stormy peril of the deep.
With grateful heart he climbs the rocky steep,
To where, just clinging to the mountain side
His humble cot o’erlooks the troubled tide.
Through the clear pane he fondly stops to gaze,
And sees, around the cheerful fagot’s blaze
His little happy flock, his hope and pride,
Whose laughing eyes adorn his fireside, —
Two mend the net, a third, with wonder, reads
Of Crusoe’s hairbreadth ’scapes and daring deeds,
And as strange scenes his infant thoughts beguile,
Half wishes he were cast on Crusoe’s Isle.

     With anxious brow that ill her care conceals,

The watchful mother to the casement steals,
And tries to pierce, with an enquiring eye,
The frightful gloom that darkens earth and sky,
Trembles at every gust that wildly raves,
While her thoughts fly to him upon the waves;
As the wind rises, still her fears increase, —
A step,—a voice—’tis his, and all is peace.

     Oh! Love, in stately dome, or princely bower,
Man owns thy holy soul-subduing power,
Feels that the sweetest charm his spirit knows

From thy unsullied, sacred fountain, flows;
For splendor sheds a cold and cheerless glare,
If Love diffuse no ray of gladness there;
But, if you have a still more precious charm,
A smile more lovely, or a ray more warm,
Oh! it is that which fondly lingers o’er
The rude and lowly cabins of the poor.

     Their humble meal the mother now prepares,
O’er which they soon forget their former cares;
The children’s prattle crowns the parents’ joy,

Who often dwell upon their wandering boy —
For ’twas but yesternight that they received
News too delightful to be disbelieved.
Fraught with glad tidings from a distant land,
The letter trembled in the father’s hand; —
The seal was broke, while all the little crowd
Around him press’d, to hear it read aloud,
For he, the cause of all their anxious fear,
In foreign lands had wander’d many a year,
Led by that ceaseless restlessness of soul,
Which still points onwards to some brighter goal.
O’er many lands his wayward steps had roved,
Since last he bade farewell to all he loved.
They deemed him dead, and long had ceased to mourn,
Or look, or pray, or hope, for his return;
And all they dared to think the scroll could tell,
Was where, and how, and when, the wand’rer fell.
But when the father’s eye, undimmed by age
Had cast one hasty glance upon the page,
And read “Dear Parents,” with a burst of joy,
He cried, “’tis from my Boy, my long-lost Boy!”
While to each heart a throb of gladness sprung,
And prayers and praises faltered from each tongue.
But from the mother’s lips no accents fell,
Though her eye beamed with more than words could tell;
Had she not looked more earthly than the dead,
One might have thought her joyous soul had fled —
And it had fled, on memory’s airy wing,
Back to the past, round sacred hours to cling,
While many a feeling which despair had dried,
Rushed to her heart in one impetuous tide, —
In thought, she saw her first-born on her breast,
And softly lull’d him to his evening rest, —
In thought, descended on her raptured ear
Those faint, first words, to mother’s heart so dear,
While every smile he wore in boyhood’s days,
Like magic sprung ’neath mem’ry’s backward gaze,
’Till her tranced soul, recall’d from former years,
Was soothed and calm’d by one long burst of tears.
The letter told of much that he had viewed,
In busy crowd, or trackless solitude —
Of joys and perils, hours of bliss and pain,
But still his spirit sighed for home again.

     For, though Acadia’s sons may stray at times
To lands more fruitful, and to milder climes,

Still, though the flowers may richer odour breathe,
And, overhead, the vines their tendrils wreathe,
Though the sun’s constant and serenest ray
O’er scenes of beauty fondly loves to stray —
Though all that’s fairest falls from Nature’s hand,
The exile pines to tread his native land;
Her rocky mountains, and her wintry storms,
Her fertile valleys, and her lovely forms,
Crowd on the mind with dreams of mighty power,
And cheer his heart in many a lonely hour.