350 PAGES.BEAUTIFULLY BOUND.
Post Free for $1.00.With Photograph of Author.
INTERSPERSED WITH MUSIC AND ILLUSTRAITONS.
POEMS OF LOVE, HOME, PATRIOTISM AND FRIENDSHIP; INCLUDING SCOTCH SONGS AND READINGS AND A NUMBER OF SACRED SONGS AND HYMNS.
Over 2,000 copies sold, and still in demand. Preparing for a new edition. Read the notices of the Canadian, American and English Press.
IMRIE, GRAHAM, & CO. Publishers,
Corner of Church and Colborne Streets, TORONTO, ONT.
SELECTIONS FROM THE WORK.
THE LINKS THAT BIND US.
OH! the fond links that bind us to this earth, Strong as bands of iron—yet fine as gold; Partings and tears oft mingle with our mirth,— If loving much love can never grow cold! Ah! were it not for partings now and then, Love of home and friends were never tested,— Hardship and trial make the noblest men: Present pain is future joy invested! The patriot’s wistful eyes are dimm’d with tears When parting from his much lov’d native soil, His heart doth throb with many doubts and fears, Yet Hope points FORWARD though his soul recoil! But when the weary years have come and gone, And o’er the sea he homeward ploughs his way, He finds his former doubts and fears have flown,— Midnight with him hath changed to dawn of day! A mother parts with one—her only son, Each shows but half the anguish that they feel,— The voyage finished, or the battle won, What depths of love the meeting doth reveal! Methinks such joy is ours when God, at last, Shall find us gathered ‘neath Heaven’s azure dome; Our journeys, tears, and partings of the past, Will be as naught if we but reach our home! [unnumbered page]
OH! Niagara! as at thy brink I stand, My soul is filled with wonder and delight, To trace in thee that wonder-working Hand, Whose hollow holds the seas in balance light Worthy art thou to be a nation’s pride,— A patriot’s boast—a world’s unceasing wonder; Like some bold monarch calling to thy side Subjects from every clime in tones of thunder! Deep on my soul thy grandeur is impress’d, Thy awful majesty—thy mighty power— Thy ceaseless tumult and thy great unrest, Like nations warring in dread conflict’s hour! Rainbows of glory sparkly round thy shrine, Cresting thy waters with effulgence bright; And in thy foaming currents intertwine Rare coruscations of commingl’d light! Like roar of battle, or like thunder’s call, Thy deep-toned echoes roll with solemn sound! Great pillar’d clouds thy vapors rise, and fall— Like sparkling pearls—upon the thirsty ground! Rush on! rush on! in thy uncheck’d career, With avanlachic power thy course pursue; While rending rocks quake as with mortal fear, And stand in awe to let thy torrents through! Naught but the hand of God could stay thy course, Or drive thee back to Erie’s peaceful keep! Then onward press with thy gigantic force, Till in Ontario’s bosom lull’d to sleep! Emblem of Freedom! who would dare essay To bar thy noisy progress to the sea? Then onward press! while bord’ring nations pray For strength and wisdom to be great and free!
YES! ca’ me “Scotty” if ye will, For sic’ a name can mean nae ill, O’ a’ nick-names jisttak’ yer fill— I’m quite content wi’ “Scotty!” To be a Scot is nae disgrace, Maist folk can trust a guid Scotch face, He’s never langoot o’ a place,— The honest, faithful “Scotty!” [page 4] A Scotchman has the knack to plod, Through thick an’ thin he’ll bear his load, His trust is aye in richt an’ God,— The preservin’ “Scotty!” He’s ‘tentivebaith to kirk an’ mart, To friends he’s true an’ hard to part, In life’s great race he needs nae start,— “I’ll win or dee,” says “Scotty!” An’ if he meets wi’ ane or twa O’ Scotlan’s sons when far awa’, They’ll gree like brithersane and a’,— A “clannish” man is “Scotty!” Though aft he travels far frae home, He’s aye a Scotchman a’ the same, An’ prood to crack o’ Scotlan’s fame,— A loyal son is “Scotty!” Should Scotlan’ ever need his help, He’ll gie her enemies a skelp, An’ mak’ them rin like frichted whelp, And gie respect to “Scotty!” Then ca’ me “Scotty” if ye will, Nick-name like that can warknae ill; I’ll shake yerhan’ wi’ richtguid-will, Whane’er ye ca’ me “Scotty!”
THE SWEETEST WORD ON EARTH IS HOME.
THE sweetest word on earth is home, To loving hearts most dear; Where’er our footsteps seek to roam, Home thoughts are ever near. The mem’ries sweet of life’s spring-day Keep fresh and green forever, Like fragrant flowers they scent the way Adown life’s winding river. CHORUS.—The dearest spot beneath the skies Is that we call “our home!” ‘Tis there we look with longing eyes, Though o’er the earth we roam! Our homes may be where mountains rise Like dark green clouds to heaven; Or where the valley-lily lies Our humble lot be given; [page 5] Or on an island of the sea Oft by the tempest prest, No matter where our homes may be, To each that home is blest. CHO.—“The dearest spot,” etc. The strongest love within man’s breast Is love of life and home; Like fledglings hovering round their nest Our thoughts encircle home; Our years may reach three-score-and-ten, And full of changes be, Yet scenes of home will haunt us then When life was pure and free. CHO.—“The dearest spot,” etc. Where love hath cast her golden spell And kindest deeds are done, Where loving hearts unite to dwell, ‘Tis heaven on earth begun; Then cherish home with jealous care And let not strife prevail; Thus for our “heavenly home” prepare, Secure within the vail. CHO.—“The dearest spot,” etc.
YOUNG CANADA! Arise! Arise! Let wisdom open wide your eyes, Be lulled by neither threats nor lies, Stand well the test of nations! Though others sell their birthright cheap Be ours inviolate to keep The rights and liberties we reap Through contact with great nations! Be true to country, Queen, and laws, Defend the “Statues” clause by clause, Stand by the right and Freedom’s cause, A peer among the nations! Our sires were men of noble birth, ‘Mongnations foremost on the earth, Where mountains rise, and seas engirth The glad homes of free nations! Our heritage—from sea to sea— A glorious home for men shall be, As long as they shall dare be free, And stand among the nations! [page 6] Our boast shall be “The Maple Leaf,” Our toil’s reward—the golden sheaf! Enough for us, and for relief Of other poorer nations! We envy not our neighbour’s land, We’ll guard our own with sword in hand, And by our attitude command Respect from other nations.
A BUNCH OF HEATHER.
DEAR token frae my native lan’, Thou bonnie bunch o’ heather! I’ll shelter ye wi’ tender han’ Frae oor extremes o’ weather; I’ll plant ye in a part o’ mool Brought a’ the way frae Oban, An’ slochan ye wi’ water cool An’ clear as frae Loch Loman’! An’ when the Scotchman’s day comes roon— Saint Andra’s day sae cheerie— I’ll tak’ ye wi’ me to the toon, To busk my auld Glengerrie; An’ you’ll see faces there you ken, Whaspeiledwi’ me the heather,— BrawHielan’ lasses an’ their men Shall dance a reel thegither! Then will I gie ye bit-by-bit, Each ane a sprig o’ heather,— To keep ye a’ I’ll no be fit Aince we meet a’ thegither! At sight o’ you we’ll a’ feel good, We loe sae aneanither, For, ye maun ken, we’re uncoprood O’ Scotlan’ an’ her heather! How aft your purple face has seen Auld Scotia’s heroes gather? How aft the martyr’s bluid hath been Spill’d ruthless on the heather? For Freedom, Liberty, an’ Right, Read Scotland’s deathless story, Our fathers left us by their might A heritage of glory! [page 7]
WHERE DOTH BEAUTY DWELL?
LOOK for the first faint streaks of morn That gild the eastern sky, Another day in beauty born, As mounts the sun on high; Tinting the tops of highest towers With crimson and with gold, Melting the dew-drops from the flowers That peepingly unfold; There doth “the beautiful” abide In calm security; The rosy morn—deck’d like a bride— Of virgin purity! Look for the eyes that beam with love, And sparkle with delight, To meet thy gaze—like stars above— Brightest in thy dark night; Dispelling every thought of sin From out thy heart’s great deep, Chasing the darkness from within, Or soothe thy fears to sleep; There doth “the beautiful” abide In all maturity; And there may thy fond heart reside Through all futurity!
A SOUVENIR OF LOVE.
DEAREST, sweetest, fondest, best, Lean your head upon my breast; Loving arms shall thee entwine, Loving hands be placed in mine; Throbbing hearts with pleasure beat, Happy eyes in gladness meet; Peace and joy now reign supreme, Love our all-absorbing theme. Picture of a living love, True as angel-notes above; Constant as the Polar star Shining in the heavens afar; Deep and boundless as the sea, Ever pure and ever free; Warm and bright as Southern skies, Earthly Eden—Paradise! Love like this doth ever sing, Echoes wake and echoes ring; Love and pain may sometimes meet, Love can make the pain a sweet; [page 8] Grief and care shall flee away, Darkest night be turn’d to day, Winter snows to Summer showers, Autumn leaves to Spring’s fresh flowers. Sordid pleasures have their day, Truth and Love shall ne’er decay; Heaven and earth their blessings give, Love and Truth shall ever live. Then, let Love our bosoms thrill, Empty hearts may have their fill; The poorest may be rich in love, Bless’d on earth and crown’d above!
A KISS THROUGH THE TELEPHONE.
THE telephone In merry tone, Rang “Tinkelty tinkelty-tink!” I put my ear Close up to hear, And what did I hear, do you think? “Papa, hello! ‘Tis me, you know!”— The voice of my own little Miss;— “You went away From home to-day. But you never gave me—a kiss! “It was a mistake, I was not awake, Before you went out of the house; I think that a kiss Will not be amiss If I give it—sly as a mouse! “So here goes, Papa, And one from Mamma, And another when you can come home: Just answer me this, Is it nice to kiss When you want through the dear telefome?” “Hello!” I replied, With fatherly pride, “I’ve got them as snug as can be; I’ll give them all back, With many a smack, As soon as I come home to tea!” [page 9]
MY MITHER’S GRAVE.
I STAN’ beside the cauld head-stane, An’ wat it wi’ my tears; An’ whisper, “Mither, here’s your wean You hav’ na’ seen for years!” Whan last I saw your dear, sweet face, An’ heard your kindly tone, I little thought that this dread place So soon would claim its own. I planned to tak’ you ower the sea To comfort an’ to ease, Whaur you could end your days wi’ me, An’ daemaist as you please; But, ah! the Lord had ither plans, An’ sent for you Himsel’; His ways are no’ aye like to man’s, Yet does He a’ things well! But, though you cannot come to me, I yet shall gang to you, When death shall set my spirit free I’ll mount yon starry blue, Where grief an’ partings are no more Nor Death, nor any pain, You’ll welcome me on Canaan’s shore, We’ll never part again! Farewell! most sacred spot to me, My dear auld mither’s grave, I’ll think o’ thee when ower the sea, Ayont Atlantic’s wave; Our graves may yet be far apart, Our spirits joined shall be, There’s aye a green spot in my heart, My mither dear, for thee!
THE TOUCH OF THE DIVINE.
EACH grain of sand by sounding sea, Each trembling leaf on quivering tree, Each blade of grass on dewy lea, Speaks volumes of God’s love to me! The pearls that deep in ocean lie, The twinkling stars that gem the sky, The sunbeams, caught from noontide’s eye, Direct my thoughts, oh God, to Thee! The flowers that deck the fragrant dell, And o’er me cast their beauty-spell, I love them—for they seem to tell The story of God’s love to me! [page 10] No matter where I wander free, By river, lake, or boundless sea, The touch of God’s dear hand I see, And know by these He loveth me! Oh, God! Thou doest all things well, Earth, sea and sky Thy wisdom tell, In heaven what must it be to dwell For ever, O my God, with Thee!
THERE IS A GOD!
THERE is a God!—I know full well, Though I have never seen His face; Earth, sea, and sky, His power tell, His handiwork in these I trace. There is a God!—the heavens declare His gracious presence night and morn; Sun, moon, and stars in God’s pure air Laugh Infidelity to scorn. There is a God!—each flower I see Seems but to live to speak His praise; Each blade of grass, each leaf-crown’d tree, Their heads in grateful gladness raise! There is a God!—thus saith the sea, Rock’d in the cradle of His hand; Emblem of God’s immensity, Mov’d by the winds at His command. There is a God!—the mountains high Point to His heavenly throne above! The stars that twinkle in the sky Proclaim a God—A God of love! Thou art my God!—Thy Word doth show The imprint of a Hand Divine; ‘Tis from its pages that I know My soul is kindred soul to Thine!
DEAR LAND AYONT THE SEA.
I STAND upon a foreign shore And gaze across the sea, Fond memories bridge the waters o’er, Sweet home-thoughts come to me; Once more I see the bonnie hills, Feel gladsome, young and free, My heart with loyal rapture thrills— Dear land ayont the sea! [page 11] I see once more the gowans fair And scent the hawthorn bloom, I feel the pure sweet mountain air Blow fresh from heather broom; I hear glad voices as of yore Sing songs of love to me, Oh! shall I ever see thee more, Dear land ayont the sea! May Heaven grant me this request Before the day I dee, To see the land I love the best, My birthplace o’er the sea; And oh! methinks I would be blest, When soars my spirit free, To know my body yet would rest At hameayont the sea.
FREEDOM is obedience to righteous law Framed for the guidance of a nation great; Made to be kept—not broken by a flaw Known only to the Rulers of the State! Justice that treats the rich and poor alike, Defending each from favor or attack; Slow to convict—yet ready aye to strike The fatal blow on all who honor lack! A nation’s strength is measured by her laws; Her safety is the welfare of her sons; Industry and loyalty the power that draws In peace her commerce, and in war her guns! Freedom—our birthright, sell it not for gold, Our fathers bought it with their blood of old!
REST is the peaceful calm that follows toil; Sweet to the labouring man who tills the soil; Likewise most precious to the weary brain, Tired with the dull routine of loss or gain; Or to the authors of our learned books, Who show the trace of study in their looks— All value rest—all need those quiet hours As much as doth the plant those welcome show’rs. Which Heaven sends to cool the fevered earth, And cause sweet Nature sing aloud with mirth. When God at first created earth and skies He “rested” in the shades of Paradise! Likewise shall we, earth’s care and labour o’er, Find rest the sweeter for the toils we bore! [page 12]
ADDRESS TO JOHN IMRIE, BY A BROTHER BARD.
JOHN IMRIE, ye’re a gifted chiel, Yerclinkin’ sangs I loe them weel, Ye needna’ heed the woralt’s heel, Wi’ a’ her wrangs, For ye could earn yer meat an’ meal Jistwritin’ sangs. There’s mony poets in oorlan’ Jist made o’ common lime an’ san’, But, Jock, ye’re jest the mettel drawn An’ shappitweel, By giod Dame Nater’s honest han’, Frae head to heel. It’s sweetly dae ye gar it clink, Wi’ pathos yoked to ilka link, Lang may yercanty muse aye blink Sae bluth an’ clear, Till ye’re out o’er Parnassus’ brink Withoot a peer. Ye dinna praise thae daft M.P.’s Whahae a ‘nack o’ tellin’ lees, But aye ye sing the Muse to please As suits thysel’, An’ how ye dae it wi’ sich ease I canna tell. Some poets praise prood fashion’s wiles, Or court aristocratic smiles, An’ never heed the han’ that toils, But this ye’ll grant— Wherever vanity beguiles The muse is scant. Gieme the poet wha can sing O’ Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring, Or spread with a majestic wing The patriot’s page, An’, hark,ye’ll hear his echoes ring Frae age to age. Gie me a bardie like yersel’, Ye sing but why ye canna tell, But when ye tak’ the musey spell Ye hae the airt O’ touchin’ aye the inmost cell O’ ilka heart. [page 13] If critics cock their crabbit nose Heed not, dear Jock, their silly prose; Just turn an’ trample on their toes, They’ll tak’ their heels, They’re but a set o’ feeble foes,— Satire the deils! An’ sud ye happin on sich cattle, Wi’ ony o’ their ill-fauredprattle, Ye needna’ try, wi’ honest battle, To stop their chat, But rhyme satire an’ let it rattle, They’ll no stan’ that. If ony o’ them nip yer line, An’ ye are unco set for time, Gie me he wink—my aid is thine— An’ faith they’ll be, Another daft-like herd o’ swine Droon’d in the sea. So, Imrie, here’s to you this night, An’ may immortal honors bright Crown thee, yea, as a shining light, While folk in thrangs Wi’ kings an’ princes in their might Sing loud thy sangs.
TO JOHN IMRIE.
From ALBERT E. S. SMYTHE, Toronto.
IMRIE, your lyrics pass the laws of kings Whose dread decrees but steel’d the captive’s heart; Your home-taught lays a softer power impart,— Love, joy, and peace, the might that mercy brings: And, though your muse lack flight of angel’s wings, To walk and talk with men is no mean art; Strong in life’s straits, secure against death’s dart, Attuned to truth, foreprizing hallowed things; Not of the mockers, nor of those who make Love’s sacrament a feasting, passion-spic’d; Not lucre-thrall’d, nor canker’d with the ache Of envy; free of almsdeed honour-priced; Not of the world; but humbly, for His sake, Striving the nobler manhood after Christ. [page 14]
A GOLDEN WEDDING.
FIFTY years of wedded life, Half a century of bliss, Since we first were man and wife, What a consummation this! Through the sunshine and the shower, Bound in golden bands in one, Hand-in-hand in darkest hour, We the race of live have run. True to vows of early years, Faithful to each other’s love, Yet with tenderness and tears, Ripening for the courts above. Years of joy, and love and peace, Full of happiness and truth; Learning, as the years increase, God is ever wise and just. Soon at last His voice will call One or other hence away; Still remaining ONE through all, WEDDED THROUGH ETERNITY!
GIE a Scotchman a guid cog o’ brose, Wi’ milk just new drawn frae the coo’, Feth, ye’ll no see him turn up his nose, But tak’ them, and then smack his moo’! CHORUS.—Brose, parritch, kail, haggis an’ bannocks, Are dainties abune a’ compare! Nae English, French, Yankees or Canucks, Couldmak’ such a gran’ bill o’ fare! Guidparritch for weans is sae healthy, It mak’s them grow strong, fat an’ weel, Dyspeptics are aye ‘mang the wealthy,— They eat what wad sicken an eel!—CHO. Noo, what is sae guid as Scotch kail, Wi’ carrots, an’ turnips an’ leeks; Hielan’menarebraw, hearty an’ hale— Yet gang a’ the year withoot breeks!—CHO. But the haggis is king o’ the table,— A Scotchman’s maisttoothfu’ delight, By dining on that he is able To match onytwa in a fight!—CHO. [page 15] When spring for game in Glen Sannox, Ahint a when stanes on my knees, What’s sweeter than crumpin’ oat bannocks, An’ eating a’ whang o’ guid cheese?—CHO. Brose, parritch, kail, haggis an’ bannocks Wad mak’ lean consumptives grow fat, Though they’d sleep oot at nicht in hammocks, They’d ne’er be a bit waur o’ that!—CHO. Then gie us our dainty Scotch farin’, We’ll honour the adult muckle pat! For pastry an’ pies we’re no carin’, Scotch laddies are no built wi’ that!—CHO.
MY HEART IS SCOTLAND’S YET.
OH, weel I loe the Scottish tongue, The language o’ my hame, An’ weel I loe a sang that’s sung In praise o’ Scotland’s fame; It mak’s me think o’ happy days An’ scenes o’ beauty rare, There’s something in my heart that says: There’s naelan’ half sae fair! CHORUS.—My heart is Scotland’s yet, Though I bide ower the sea: I never can forget The lan’ sae dear tae me! When travelin’ in a foreign lan’ I hear a Scottish voice, Instinctively I gie my han’, An’ baith o’ us rejoice; An’ then we crack o’ Scotland’s fame, Recite her battles ower, An’ feel we yet could daur the same Our faithersdaur’d before!—CHO. Oh, Scotland is a bonnie place, Wi’ scenery sublime; Whaur Nature smiles wi’ fairest face That stan’s the test o’ time! Each mountain, river, loch, or glen, Are fu’ o’ storied fame; Wha reads the history o’ her men Can ne’er forget their name!—CHO. In every lan’ roun’ a’ the earth Are leal hearts true tae thee; An’ prood are they tae own their birth Ayont the wide saut sea, [page 16] Whaur towers the mountains bold an’ gran’ Like guardians o the free.— Oh, here’s my heart, an’ there’s my han’ Dear Scotland, aye tae thee!—CHO.
BIRTH of a soul! what mystery Enwraps thy silent history,— In dumb amaze We stand and gaze, Own baffled with thy mystery! Oh, Love! thou art a mystery, Yet old as earth’s dim history,— From birth till death We feel thy breath, Oh, wistful, blissful mystery! Oh, Life, thou art a mystery! Each living soul a history Of hopes and fears, Of joys and tears,— An ever present mystery! Oh, heart of man! thy history Is oft enshrin’d in mystery,— Yet God can scan The heart of man And flood with light its mystery. Oh, death! thou art a mystery, Who knows thy after-history? From heaven or hell None come to tell The living of thy mystery. Oh, Life beyond! Oh, mystery! We yet shall know thy history,— So live each day, That, come what may, Our souls shall fear no mystery. Oh, realms of bliss! what mystery Enshrouds thy sphere and history,— No finite eyes Can pierce the skies To scan thy blissful mystery. Oh, God! Thou art a mystery, Thy love a world’s history,— Most humbly we Shall worship Thee Till Thou shalt solve all mystery! [page 17]
SHE PAYS HER DEBTS WITH KISSES.
I KNOW a winsome little pet With wealth of roseate blisses, Who takes what favors she can get And pays her debts with—kisses! At night when I come home to tea She bribes me with her “kishes,” Then plants herself upon my knee And tastes of all my dishes! She comes off best in every “trade,” And seldom ever misses To catch me in the trap she’s laid, Then “pays me off” with—kisses! She says she wants a “dolly” nice, With long and golden tresses, And if I ask her for the price, Gives kisses and caresses! I dearly love this little maid, Above all other misses; I’ll take back every word I’ve said And “trade” with her for—“TISSES!”
AYE CHEERIE, O!
AYE mak’ the maist o’ every hour, An’ laugh an’ smile fu’ cheerie, O! Gae by the whins and pu’ the flower, An’ think o’ a’ that’s dearie, O! Ne’er flash your heed wi’ future ills, It’s useless wark an’ wearie, O! Gaesingin’ on like mountain rills, An’ no like hooletsdrearie, O! Ne’er let a runkle mar your face, Your heart keep young an’ cheerie, O Sour words an’ looks are oot o’ place Amang your frien’s sae drearie, O! An’ if misfortune should owertak’; An’ things get tapsalterie, O! Guid sense an’ wit shall droon the pack, An’ mak’ them blin’ an’ blearie, O! [page 18]
EXTRACTS FROM NOTICES OF THE PRESS TO THE FIRST EDITION.
From the Toronto Truth.
The volume before us has a mission. It is divinely sent. Its pages glem with the brightness of ennobling thought and injunctions to lofty endeavor. May it “accomplish that whereunto it is sent.”
From the Toronto Mail.
We have received a neatly-bound volume of “Sacred songs, Sonnets and Miscellanous Poems,” by John Imrie, of this city. A number of Mr. Imrie’s poems, among them several contained in this volume, have appeared in the columns of The Mail and other city papers, and have been extensively reproduced elsewhere. Mr. Imrie’s efforts to stimulate national feeling and to infuse a spirit of patriotism into our people, by the agency of song, have from time to time attracted considerable attention, and have met with encouragement.
From the Canada Presbyterian, Toronto.
This excellent volume has many reccomendations. It sings in modest but sweet melodious tones the songs of home and country, which will find a responsive echo in the popular heart. The volume is appreciatively introduced by Mr. G. Mercer Adam. Then follow sacred compositions, sonnets, patriotic songs, songs of love, home and friendship; and the book closes with miscellaneous poems. From beginning to end it breathes an excellent spirit. No one can lay it down without feeling better for the kindly, humane, and Christian tone that pervades the entire volume.
From the Hamilton Daily Spectator.
JOHN IMRIE’S POEMS.—Frequently of the late years the Toronto papers have been graced with dainty little poems from the pen of John Imrie, and those who have read these will be glad to know that the young poet has printed in neat book form, a collection of sacred songs, sonnets and miscellaneous poems. While not claiming to be one of the great poets, Mr. Imrie has succeeded in producing work that will give him high rank, and that will make the world, or at least a portion of it, better and happier.
From the Kingston Daily Whig.
The latest contribution to Canadian poetry is a volume by John Imrie, Toronto, well-known for his patriotic ballads. They are collected and published by request of his friends, ad breathe a healthy air of patriotism, home and friendship, the highest earthly ideals. The versification is good, and the sentiment exalted. Canadian literature will not suffer at the hands of this entertaining collection.
From the Paris Star-Transcript.
LITERARY.—Imrie& Graham have just issued a handsome cloth and gilt edition of John Imrie’s Poems. The book is full of poetical gems from cover to cover and should be read by everyone.
From the Orillia Times.
A FINE WORK.—Received, John Imrie’s poems, neatly bound in cloth, handed over to our poetical editor for criticism. The rhyme and metre is of a high standard, but it is the subjects dilated upon by the hard that call forth our praises. Intensely patriotic, abounding in allusions to our own loved country; Canadian to the back bone, such are John Imrie’s poems; and if they do not have a large sale, it is because true merit is unappreciated by this dollar-serving age.
From the Presbyterian Witness, Halifax.
Mr. Imrie has wooed the muse to some purpose and has furnished the reader with a very neat volume, beautifully illustrated, filled with poems of more or less merit as poetry, but all breathing a fine Christian spirit. His patriotism, and the devotional spirit are faultless and admirable. His verses are creditable, and in some cases fresh, vigorous, and really beautiful. The “Souvenir of Love” is a gem of which any poet might be proud. The “Dying Scot Abroad” is almost touching. [page 19] We might refer to a number of other poems well worthy of commendation but we must conclude by congratulating Mr. Imrie on a volume in which there is not a verse or a line for which he or his friends need blush.
From the Napanee Beaver.
We have received from Mr. John Imrie, of Toronto, a neat volume, containing a collection of original poems, songs and sonnets. The work has an introduction from G. Mercer Adam who speaks in the highest terms of the refined sentiment which prevails throughout this author’s productions. The love of home, friends and country is the distinguishing characteristic of these songs and poems. and they are such as will have a very desirable influence in the family circle.
From the Whitby Chronicle.
Among the many publications sent us for review there has never once come one of equal interest with a nice red covered book containing the poems of John Imrie, Toronto. Mr. Imrie is of the class of poets who touch the heart every time. His book contains a great many of his best writings and will have a large sale.
From the Guelph Mercury.
JOHN IMRIE’S POEMS.—Imrie& Graham, music and general printers, Toronto, have forwarded to this office a neat and well printed book of poems entitled “Poems by John Imrie, Toronto.” The outward appearance of the book is very attractive, but this cannot be for a moment compared with the grace and the taste of the utterances of the poet contained within the two boards of the book. Whoever peruses the volume will find the true poetic spirit in every poem, no matter what the mood of the poet.
From the Royal Templar (Temperance) Buffalo and Hamilton.
IMRIE POEMS.—A book of “Songs, Sonnets and Miscellaneous Poems,” by John Imrie, of Toronto, Ont. We are indebted to the author for a copy, and every moment stolen from our busy round to scan its handsome pages, has been a ray of sunshine. The beauty and power of simplicity stamp the verses, and they insinuate the sentiment of the writer into the tender places of our nature. The book is a worthy addition to the scant but growing stock of Canadian literature.
From the Valley Record, Wallaceburg.
John Imrie, of Toronto, has long been noted for those fine poetical sentiments that have occasionally appeared in the columns of the Toronto press. He has gathered them into a neat volume, a copy of which has been kindly sent us. The poems are all worthy efforts, and conclusively prove that Mr. Imrie does not court the muse in vain. The book is really worthy of a place in every household.
From the Presbyterian Review, Toronto.
Mr. Imrie is well known through his contributions to the Toronto press as the writer of simple, artless, and often touching verses that appeal to some of the best instincts of our nature. He has gathered his effusions into a neat volume, pleasingly illustrated, and in offering them to the public makes his bow and speech with most engaging modesty. Mr. Adam gives him a tender and discerning bit of criticism—with the sentiments of which we heartily agree. To borrow a few words: “Our author comes with his tuneful lyre and sings us the gladsome lays of the home and fireside.”
From the Christian Guardian, Toronto.
This is an unpretending volume of lyrics by a Torontonian, which reveals considerable power of fancy and poetic insight. Most of these poems are marked by a high moral and religious tune, deep human feeling, and power and facility over the difficulties of rhyme and versification.
From the Irish-Canadian, Toronto.
“IMRIE’S POEMS.”—This is a neat volume issued from the press of the author, John Imrie, Toronto. In his preface Mr. Imrie says he would not have ventured on the debatable ground of authorship, were it not for the urgent solicitations of many friends, who read from time to time in the newspapers the pieces which are now so prettily strung together in book form. It is well the author consented, as his verses breath a spirit highly seasoned with the fire and pathos of the poet’s fancy; and will rank as not unworthy of a niche in the temple of our Canadian literature. Mr. Imrie will be complimented as an author whose ability is far beyond his pretension, and whose gifts of song are found in many moods, and all touching most effectively [page 20] the proper chord, whether in the grave and solemn moments of his muse, or in the moments when his inspirations led him to lighter and brighter fancies. We must congratulate Mr. Imrie on his volume of poems. Whether as to the intellectual effort, or as to the printing and binding, the work is a credit, not only to him, but to the literary taste steadily developing in Canada.
From the Dominican Churchman, Toronto.
This attractive volume will, we trust, find much favor with purchasers of gift books, as well as with those who are anxious to see what rank of poet we have in Toronto, and who desire to encourage his work. Mr. Imrie’s muse is of a gentle, loving, home-brooding nature, full of the tenderest sympathy with the young and for the sorrowing. There will be many a smile and many a tear started, and many a heart will be gladdened by these songs of faith and love. The book is handsomely bound and should command a large sale.
From the Dominican AllianceJournal, Toronto.
A book for the home and the fireside. The volume is appropriately illustrated, and produced in very neat style.
From the Canadian Citizen.
A CANDIAN POET.—Mr. John Imrie, of this city, has published in a neat and handsome volume a collection of his “Sacred Songs, Sonnets, and Miscellaneous Poems.” As a writer Mr. Imrie needs no introduction to the readers of the Canadian Citizen, most of whom have read and appreciated the many verses full of deep religious sentiment, and earnest and patriotic feeling. He is a thorough temperance man, and not infrequently brings the help of his ready pen to the promotion of our noble cause. We cordially recommend to our readers this volume of poems.
From Our Own Fireside, Toronto.
We have been favored with a neatly bound volume containing a very fine collection of “Sacred Songs, Sonnets, and Miscellaneous Poems,” from the pen of our fellow citizen, Mr. John Imrie. The author has been a constant contributor to several of our leading magazines and newspapers. At the solicitation of many friends he has been induced to publish this volume. Its pages gleam with bright thoughts of home and friends; and, in fact, from beginning to end, it breathes an excellent spirit. It is impossible to read it without feeling better. An introduction by Mr. G. Mercer Adam speaks volumes for the work. We hope it will have a very large sale.
From the Canadian Methodist Monthly, Toronto.
This is emphatically a collection of songs of the hearth and home. A considerable proportion are directly religious compositions, and there are a number of stirring patriotic poems but the larger number are songs of home, love, and friendship—themes to which every heart will respond. The book is neatly printed and bound and has some graceful illustrations and pieces of music, and a portrait of the author. This volume will make an appropriate holiday gift book.
From The Week, Toronto.
It is gratifying to learn that Mr. Imrie’s poems “have at various times appeared as contributions to the public press, more especially in Toronto, and have afterwards been copied in exchanges over Canada, and in some of the leading city papers and publications in the United States and the Mother Country.” Perhaps the degree of familiarity with which the poems have been thus invested to the public at large will relieve us of the interesting duty of exploiting their merits. For the sake of the few still unfamiliar with them, however, we may say that they are chiefly of a deeply religious or domestic character, and that the metre in which they are written is exceedingly consistent.
From the Canada School Journal, Toronto.
This volume will find its true place, the place for which it is intended, in many a home and heart. Its simple lays breathe throughout the spirit of reverence for God, loyalty to country, and regard for the delights of love, home, and friendship. As such they will be read by the quiet fireside, and minister pleasure and solace to many homes where more elaborate and finished productions, with less heart in them, would fall.
From The Kindergarten, Toronto.
A singularly happy collection, and cannot fail to find a welcome at many a fireside. [page 21]
From Books and Nations, Toronto.
Imrie& Graham, Toronto, publish “Poems by John Imrie,” cloth, $1.00. Many of these have already appeared in print. The division of the book, Love, Home and Friendship, is certainly the best. The inception of some of the poems, and the rhythm, are good. A fine fancy is that of “A Kiss Through the Telephone,” “Papa’s Pet,” and “Teaching the Twins to Walk,” are happy thoughts and make pleasant reading.
From the Toronto Grip.
JOHN IMRIE’S POEMS.—We should at an earlierdate have called attention to this modest volume, the honest work of an honest man. John Imrie’s name is familiar to most newspaper readers in Canada, but many may not be aware that it belongs to a workman—an ardent follow of the printer’s calling, who puts in a sturdy ten hours per day at his office on Colborne street. Poetry is his recreation, not his business, or perhaps it would be more correct to say that it is a propensity which he must gratify after hours. His theme is the Home and its sacred pleasures, and in this day of artificial enjoyments, God be thanked for every joyful home-poet, whether his literary merits be great or small. Mr. Imrie’s poems are not great as such, but they are good and pure, and they have that special quality which marks every utterance that comes from the heart. The book is very neatly bound.
From the Railway Signal, Toronto.
Some time ago reference was made in The Signal to a book of poems, by John Imrie, of Toronto, then in press while one of the poems was cited as a sample. That the creditable volume has appeared is evident, for the author has given us a copy, which fully justifies all that was anticipated by our remarks then. It contains music, several fair illustrations, and a number of meritorious compositions, besides an introduction by G. Mercer Adam, of Toronto. The book will make a very appropriate Canadian Christmas present and New Year’s gift to friends at home and abroad, and its timely appearance makes it possible for our old country folks here to have it placed in the hands of relatives and friends in the old land before the holidays. Do so. Price $1.00; cloth, boards, 350 pages.
From the Merchant and Manufacturer, Toronto.
Mr. John Imrie, of Toronto, has just published his book of poems, which is now for sale in any of the principal bookstores. Mr. Imrie’s name is familiar to most of our readers as a natural poet, and his poems are daily quoted by the leading American and Canadian journals. One thing very noticeable throughout the entire list of poems is the freedom of speech, nothing being forced to make up rhyme, but every sentence pointing to the poetic genius of the author. A celebrated poet of the last century said a man, by learning, might imitate Spenser, Shakespeare or Milton, but except he is born a poet he never could partake of poetical strength. We fully believe Mr. Imrie to be a poet of the latter class. Every true lover of poetry should secure a copy.
From the Montreal Gazette.
SACRED SONGS AND POEMS.—Through the courtesy of the publishers, we have received a handsome book which bears the title: “Sacred Songs, Sonnets, and Miscellaneous Poems.” The author is Mr. John Imrie, a gentleman well known in business, church and social circles in Toronto, and the work is recommended by G. Mercer Adam in a judicious introduction. His themes are love, friendship, home, the duty and the reward of honest labor, the kindly relations that should exist between man and man, the voices of the happy children, the sorrows of the orphan, the sufferings of the poor, charity, patriotism, loyalty, religion, the hope of the world to come. The book is adorned with a portrait of the author and a number of other illustrations.
From the Parkdale Times, Toronto.
Mr. John Imrie, the printer-poet, has published a volume of poems of considerable merit. Mr. Imrie ranks high among poets and writers, and a copy of his works should be in the home of every Canadian.
From The Free Press, Ottawa.
MR. IMRIE’S POEMS.—Mr. John Imrie, of Toronto, who is well known as the author of a large number of fugitive and poetical contributions to the press of the Queen City, has collected into one handy volume a large [page 22] number of his finest productions. The contributions are classified under the headings of sacred compositions, sonnets, patriotic songs; songs of love, home and friendship; and miscellaneous poems. Mr. Imrie’s style is largely descriptive and may be judged by his poem on “Queenston Heights,” where he says:
Here two great nations meet as if to kiss, Divided only by a silver line; Peace, welfare, harmony and mutual bliss, Link fruitful branches of a parent vine. Again in his ode to Lake Ontario: Last of the inland seas—yet nearest home— Thy waters soon shall swell the mighty deep, And mingle with the ocean’s briny foam, There shalt thou rest, and there for ever sleep.
PRESS NOTICES TO THE SECOND EDITION.
“Toronto Globe,” May 26th, 1891.
Songs and Miscellaneous Poems, by John Imrie, with music and illustrations, and an introduction by G. Mercer Adam (Toronto; Imrie& Graham, Colborne street), is the title of a handsomely bound, well got up volume from the pen of this Toronto bard. The author three years ago made his first venture as a poet when he placed an edition of his works before the public, and so gratifying was the encouragement he received that he has now published a larger and more pretentious book. This second edition contains a great many newer and later rhymes of sympathetic tone and healthy sentiment. Quite a number of the songs are set to the music of Toronto composers, and they received under their need of approbation when they appeared from time to time in sheet music form. Love, friendship, home, patriotism, are amongst the many themes on which Mr. Imrie sings. His verses are warm and effusive; they speak to the hearts of the common folks and they speak in unaffected strains, but they are not wanting in sincerity. There is a tone of piety and a thread of religious sentiment running through the book, but they never obtrude themselves too fair, nor does the work savor of dogmas or churches. The volume opens with the patriotic song, “Our Native Land, Fair Canada”—A Canadian national song that may be sung to the air of the National Anthem. The author’s patriotism is pretty evenly divided between “Fair Canada and Bonnie Scotland.” Side by side we have “Songs of Scotland,” “Land of Freedom,” and ode to “Lake Ontario,” “Niagara Falls” and “To Glasca, Scotland.” He tells in his unpretentious way the story of how the thistle came to be the national emblem of Scotland:
One morn before the break of day Our foes crept near our slumbering camp; They might by stealth have won the day Did not one on a thistle stamp. A cry of pain our sentries heard, A quick alarm then was given; At once each gleaming sword was bared, And backward Scotland’s foes were driven.
The home has for Mr. Imrie many charms. He loves to depict the cleanliness and brightness of the humble dwelling, where cheerful contentment and unselfishness prevail; where the children prattle by the parent’s knees, and where piety guides the course through life. Friendship is appreciated at its fullest value, for we find
The friendship of the good and true Is more to me than gold.
It is described as a “golden band,” a “silken cord,” a “beacon light,” an “iron shield,” and finally as the “gift of God.” Among the miscellaneous poems are “A summer’s day—Morning, Noon and Night,” a song of bonnie Rosedale, Toronto’s sylvan suburb. The merits of the Knights of Labor and the Knights of Pythias are sung in appreciative strains. “The Dead Beat” arouses the indignation of the poet, and the doctrine he teaches is the one taught by Paul long ago. “He who will not work should not dare to eat.” Pride would have no place in the ideal world of Mr. Imrie, for it is “Satan’s favorite plant—a noxious weed infernal.” There is a meritorious collection of sonnets upon places, persons and sentiments. One is addressed to “Fair Toronto, Queen City of the West,” another to Toronto Bay, commencing “Oh lovely scene, of ever changing hue.” Under the heading of “Retaliation” Canada is thus addressed:—“Oh Canada, arise in thy young strength and prove thyself a nation of the earth.” Finally the reader if bade adieu, but not farewell—“a word full fraught with sorrow.” These simple strains, we are told, are from a glowing heart that seeks to find an echo to its voice in the hearts of others. The writer’s style is chaste and his sentiments pure, but he is not ornate, and he never attempts to sear the loftier heights of the divine muse. [page 23] We can truly say with Mr. Mercer Adam, whose introduction to the first edition is reproduced, “There is not a puzzling or baffling line in the book.”
Pontiac Advance, Portage-du Fort, Que.
We are favored by the publishers with a copy of “Songs and Miscellaneous Poems by John Imrie, Toronto.” It is a very nice selection of Scotch and other poems, price $1.00. On the frontispiece is a photograph of the author, and an introduction to the first edition by G. Mercer Adam. Here is a sample verse:—
Gie a Scotchman a guid cog o’ brose, Wi’ milk just new drawn frae the coo’ Feth, ye’ll no see him turn up his nose, But tak’ them, an’ then smack his moo’. And take this:— Steady now, young “Chatterbox!” Rosy cheeks and raven locks; Mamma wants your portrait now, Smile again and smooth your brow! Touch your mouth with finger tips, Pearly teeth and ruby lips; Papa’s pride and Mamma’s pet, High upon the cushion set! Send for the book to help you enjoy quiet hours.
Labor Advocate, April 24th, 1891.
We have received a copy of the second edition of John Imrie’s Poems, with an introduction by G. Mercer Adam, published by Messrs. Imrie& Graham, Toronto. Mr. Imrie is one of the best-known of the rapidly-increasing number of Canadian poets. His verse is simple and unpretentious, and totally devoid of that artificial straining after effect which mars the work of so many modern writers, but always characterized by true poetic feeling and melodious expression. His themes are mostly those of every-day life, and are treated feelingly and in a manner which renders it evident that the author writes from the heart. The volume includes a number of songs set to music, and is got up in neat typographical style. It may be commended to all who enjoy the poetry of the domestic affections and the simple joys of life.
Grip, May 2nd, 1891.
While our Canadian bosoms are swelling with pride over the poetic success of William Wilfred Campbell, whose recent contribution to Harper’sMagazine, “The Mother,” is declared by foreign critics to be one of the great poems of the century, it is timely to call attention to a humbler singer who is, however, perhaps more widely known in this section of the Dominion than Mr. Campbell. We refer to honest John Imrie, whose new volume of “Songs and Miscellaneous Poems” has just made its appearance from the press. The reader who dotes on Browning will not find much use for this volume, because it requires no mental effort to understand Imrie’s muse. She is an innocent, plain-spoken little fairy, with a heart brimming over with love and charity for all mankind. She indulges in no high flights, but, on the other hand, she never even suggest a thought which could bring a blush to the cheek of purity itself. Whether these songs and poems entitle their author to a place among Canada’s recognized poets or not, they will certainly secure for him a warm place in the affections of all right-minded readers.
Free Press, Ottawa, May 4th, 1891.
Mr. Imrie has issued a second edition of his poems, finding that his genius has been to some extent appreciated by the Ontario public. The new volume, with the additional songs and poems makes a book of 350 pages. The poet appears at his best in his patriotic poems and songs of home and freedom. Child life also furnishes him with some of his happiest items, and his style is natural and unaffected. Every line is full of sympathetic meaning. Mr. Imrie does not soar into puzzling heights but writes in language which all can understand. His verse is pure and some of his poems are worthy of his great countryman Burns.
Christian Guardian, April 8th, 1891.
SONGS AND MISCELLANOUS POEMS—By John Imrie. With music and illustrations, and an introduction by G. Mercer Adam. Published by Imrie & Graham, 26 and 28 Colborne Street, Toronto. The following from the introduction well expresses the scope and character of the volume: “It would indeed be difficult for thoughts on love, friendship, home, and kindred topics, to fall to find response in the human breast; and the average reader who follows the bent of his own unperverted taste, and is as indifferent to the critics as the poets themselves will find much to please him in the book. The volume is chiefly noteworthy, not only for unassuming sincerity on the part of the [page 24] writer, but for its appeal to the universal and easily-wakened feelings of our common humanity.”
The Mail, Toronto, Friday, April 24th, 1891.
Songs and Miscellaneous Poems, by John Imrie, (Imrie& Graham, Toronto) is an enlarged volume of the author’s poetical effusions, prefaced by an introduction by Mr. G. Mercer Adam. Mr. Imrie’s poetry is very well known to a large number of Canadian readers, and little need be said as to its quality. I has run the gauntlet of the critics in safety, and has found a home in the hearts of lovers of pure thought elegantly and simply expressed. It was won for the author a distinctive place among the bards of Canada, and is widening the circle of his genuine admirers. It is a contribution to the literature of his country of which he need not be ashamed, and of which his countrymen may feel proud. The pieces, varying in range of subject from the patriotic to songs of home, friendship, and love, from the rollicking sailor’s song to the sacred sonnet, one and all breathe the manliness, the sympathy, the sincerity and high purpose which at once reveal the author’s aim, not only to cheer on the toiling thousands whom he chiefly addresses, but to lead them unto moral regions where may be gathered strength and elevation of character and lasting comfort for the trials of life. The fire of his patriotism burns not fiercely but brightly, and ever with a gentle flow which, while it does not dead the hand to the hilt, is clearly from the genuine spark. The author’s efforts, it is pleasing to learn from the preface, have met with an encouraging appreciation, and that greater enjoyment will be derived from this larger edition than from its predecessor may be safely predicted.
Summerside Journal, Summerside, P.E.I., April 23rd, 1891.
John Imrie, of Toronto, does not belong to those authors who appeal in vain to the people, for his “Songs and Miscellaneous Poems” seem to have struck a responsive chord, having reached the second edition, three years from their first appearance in book form. We should like to make selections from each department, but to choose any particular poem, where all are good, and call it the best, would be a difficult undertaking, and we can only advise our readers to procure the work for themselves, as it should be in every home in the land. A noticeable feature of the volume is the excellence of the Scottish poems with which it abounds, and many of which would be worthy of Robbie Burns himself. “Scotty,” “Sons of Scotland,” “My Heart is Scotland’s Yet,” “The Hielan’ Fling,” “Scotch Dainties,” “Toddlin’ Hame,” “The Bonnie Arran Hills,” and “A Scotch Surprise Party,” are especially good. “In many a Scottish family,” says the Week, “these songs will find a warm welcome, as reflecting their traditional verses and melodies.”
Chatham Tri-Weekly Planet, March 23rd, 1891.
Mr. John Imrie of Toronto has long been known to the Canadian public as an exact and skilful versifier. About three years ago, with all a young author’s apprehensions, he issued a book of poems, and the venture met with a kindly and appreciative reception at the hands of the public. Now an enlarged and improved edition has just issued from the press for which the author agin solicits the public favor. The book embraces many themes—patriotism, love, home and friendship each finding a place in Mr. Imrie’s simple, unaffected lays. His patriotic pieces in particular have in them the ring of the true metal, and some of them enjoy a wide circulation in sheet music form. The volume is not wanting in humor, but it is rather the production of a thoughtful mind which regards life as real and earnest. Mr. Imrie is a Scotsman, and some of the matchless scenes of his native land are embalmed in verse written in “braid Scotch.” The volume, containing 350 pages, is nicely bound and illustrated, and, it should be said, contains some of his best songs set to music. Typographically also the work is a credit to the publishers.
Stratford Beacon, Friday, March 13, 1891.
In the field of lyrical compositions of a popular, patriotic Canadian spirit, Mr. Imrie has hardly a rival. His verses are uniformly clear, musical, and of manly Christian sentiment, The Canadian national anthem of the poet, as well as other compositions of a similar spirit, are favorite songs with our school children, and their use among all classes of the community will have a tendency to foster that legitimate patriotism which is as remote from jingoism as it is from folly and impertinence. [page 25]
Dundas Courier, April 18th, 1891.
SONGS AND MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. By John Imrie, Toronto: Imrie& Graham.—The author of this volume is a Scot by birth, and they who peruse it will see that he is no degenerate son of Auld Scotia. He is patriotic to the core, and, at the same time, leal and loyal to the land of his adoption. His compositions have the ring of true poetry in them, and are thus classified “Patriotic,” “Love, Home and Friendship,” “Sacred Poems,” and “Sonnets.” The poem, “My Heart is Scotland’s Yet,” “To Glasgow, Scotland,” “The Thistle,” “Sons of Scotland,” and “Scotty,” all show how dear to the heart of the author is the land of his birth. Some of the more remarkable and attractive characteristics of Mr. Imrie’s poems are the heartiness and enthusiasm expressed in them for all that relates to childhood and the young. A considerable number of the poems are accompanied by the music to which they have been set. Besides a well-executed photo of the author, there are a number of excellent illustrations. The book has reached its second edition, a sufficient proof of its popularity. The volume is handsomely got up, and well printed on good paper.
Kensington Society, London, England, April 18th, 1891.
From “far over the sea” we have here an offering to the lovers of the muse which cannot but prove welcome to all true song worshippers at home and abroad. Like Sir John Macdonald, the really Grand Old Man, and veteran premier of Canada the loyal, Mr. Imrie is a Scotchman to the backbone, and just one of those whose study love and appreciation of everything British has formed the grit of that resisting force which ahs so successfully driven back the turbulent gain-seekers of the Dominion, who have been truckling to and with the plotters in the United States—men who have so long had the subjugation of Canadian interests and Canadian freedom in view. Mr. Imrie is a native of Glasgow, therefore a “Clyde side singer”—one who has followed in the wake of Henry Glassford Bell, HamesHedderwick, Andrew Park (author of “Silent Love”), Alexander Smith, the late A. G. Murdock, and others.
It is in his admiration for and devotion to the land of his adoption that Mr. Imrie shows to most advantage. When enraged in this labor of love, he now warbles like the lark, now thrills like the nightingale, and, better still, now gives forth a voice like that glorious Niagara, whose “awful form” is seen to great artistic advantage as one of the fine illustrations which embellish the volume.
As poet, printer, publisher, and journalist, we wish Mr. Imrie “God speed” in all his vocations; convinced that it is of such men from whom the greatest of our Transatlantic pioneers have come. To him and such as he, the future of our vast colonial possessions will owe much more than it will ever be possible to conceive, muchless to relate.
Dundee Weekly News, April 18th.
We do not wonder that a second edition of this volume of poems has been called for. Mr. Imrie is a sweet singer and a true poet. It is difficult to say whether his patriotism, his love of freedom, his appreciation of Nature’s beauty, or his pathos, is most to be admired. Our author knows how to stir the heart of his reader to high resolve, and while seeing and feeling himself the nobility and the pathos that surround the humblest of lives, can teach others how to see and feel as his does himself. Perhaps in nothing is he more successful than in the poems which deal with love, home, and childhood. Here it is that he unfolds his richer nature. “The Humber Fairy” shows with what a light and graceful touch he can treat the more ideal and poetic themes. His love of the young is seen in “Learning the Twins to Walk,” “His Only Pair of Pants,” “Romping with the Children.” “The Little Newspaper Boys,” and “Oor Johnnie.” “Fair Canada,” “Song of Freedom,” “The Links that Bind Us,” “Ode to Lake Ontario,” and “The Dying Scot Abroad” prove how surely and firmly he can strike the patriotic chord. The songs of labor in the volume are heartfelt expressions of the sympathy which the writer has for the sons of toil. Space prevents us further particularising. We note that the volume is beautifully got up and illustrated, and that a number of the poems are set to music. We can recommend the book most cordially to readers on this side of the Atlantic, believing that if we can induce any of them to procure the work we shall thereby have earned their livelong gratitude.
Guelph Mercury, March 13th, 1891.
John Imrie’s Songs and Poems have been received at this office. It is a [page 26] charming book, and to the true lover of the muse and poesy it is worth its weight in gold. Mr. Imrie is a poet of no mean order, and one of his great charms is in the simplicity and easy grace of his verse. Even a little child can comprehend his words. The best evidence of his popularity as a poet is that the first edition of his poems was bought up inside a couple of years, and now he has presented to the public the second edition, which has been revised and contains all his latest productions up to date. Many of John Imrie’s songs and poems are well known and have gained for themselves popularity and admiration throughout the Dominion and wherever they have been read.
Montreal Witness, March 14th.
Songs and Miscellaneous Poems by John Imrie, Toronto, is a larger edition of a book first published some three years ago, and contains 350 pages instead of the 210 of the first edition. Manyof the poems are patriotic in character; others treat of love, home and friendship, or are religious in their tone. There is an introduction by Mr. G. Mercer Adam, who says: “The volume is chiefly noteworthy not only for unassuming sincerity on the part of the writer, but for its appeal to the universal and easy-awakened feelings of our common humanity. The unobtrusive piety and strain of religious sentiment which run, like threads of gold, through the book, will not the less endear the book to the reverent reader, and to those whose hearts have felt the influence of the Divine.”
London Advertiser, March 21st.
A goodly number of verses are included between these modest blue covers—poems of patriotism, love, home and friendship, miscellaneous poems, sacred compositions and sonnets. “My style is simple,” says the author in his preface to the second edition, “but none the less sincere, and my chief desire is to please and encourage the toiling masses. That these humble heart-thoughts and aspirations for the present and future welfare of my fellow-countrymen and humanity at large may be accepted in the kindly spirit in which they have been composed in my earnest wish.” Such words disarm criticism, and make the inveterately fault-seeking critic a little ashamed.
The Toronto World, March 2nd.
A second edition of “Songs and Miscellaneous Poems” by John Imrie, Toronto, has just been published. The volume is neatly got up and its patriotic strain and the unassuming sincerity of every line should commend it to all who love their home and country. Mr. Imrie truly states that there can be no love of home without a pure and selfish patriotism. The volume appears at a time when its perusal may awaken a just indignation among a people who are brought face to face with the vaulting ambition of an unscrupulous writer who would seel the country they love so well. It is the duty of every loyal citizen to place literature of this kind in the hand of the wavering, and especially the young.
The Canada Presbyterian, Feb. 26th.
Mr. Imrie’s volume of verse published some time ago met with so favorable a reception that already a second edition is called for. The new volume is an improvement on the former one, in that it has added attractions in the way of illustration and music. A number of new poems are added, so that the present volume is one hundred and forty pages larger than the first. Mr. G. Mercer Adam writes a tasteful and genial introduction. Mr. Imrie sings in various tones. He voices the affections, is patriotic and devout. He makes no pretensions to be a poet of the highest rank, but the productions of his muse strike the best chords of the human heart. He desires to benefit and cheer his fellowmen by the warmth and geniality of his rhymed conceptions.
Daily Intelligence, Belleville, April 6th.
Mr. John Imrie, of Toronto, has published a neat volume of his poetical writings. Mr. Imrie is one of the minor poets, but his verse is earnest and moral, and is worthy of being read.
The Canadian Nation, Feb. 26th.
We gratefully acknowledge the receipt of a beautifully bound copy of “Songs and Miscellaneous Poems,” by Mr. John Imrie. This work is a real gem of itself. Between its two handsome covers may be found that which will cater to the tastes of the most fastidious. It is most replete with numerous illustrations, and a very fine photo of its gifted author adorns one of [page 27] its front pages. A large number of the songs are set to music by well-known and accomplished professors. We notice throughout the pages of this pretty gem that while the patriotic heart of the gifted author overflows in verse for dear old Scotland, his native land, that of his adoption is not forgotten.
The Toronto Truth, March 3rd.
“Songs and Miscellaneous Poems” by John Imrie is the name of a new volume just published by this favorite Canadian singer. Those who have seen the former volume will welcome this new and enlarged edition. Mr. Imrie is emphatically the people’s poet. He enters the home and taking his place with the romping boys and girls sings their pleasures in words simple and pure. He joins himself to the father and mother and repeats with them the story of their many and varied experiences. He goes forth with the toiler and, sympathizing with the man whose back is bent to his work, sings of the difficulties that confront him and the hopes that inspire him. Dull indeed, and unsympathetic, must be the spirit that will not find in the 350 pages which constitute this second edition of Mr. Imrie’s poems, something that will inspire with a nobler purpose, fill with kindlier thoughts and lead into a nobler and higher life. The volume, besides a number of appropriate illustrations, contains the music of some twenty-five songs that have lately become very popular. The price of the volume is $1.00.
Whig, Kingston, March 9th, 1891.
Canadian poetic literature has received at the hands of John Imrie, Toronto, a formidable contribution in a volume of 350 pages. The author has a natural gift for melody and rhyme. His enthusiasm and patriotic and moral ardor give force to his writings so that by aid of sterling common sense he is able to present a highly creditable addition to the national library. His poems are popular because simple and euphonious; there are few strained effects or seeking after superior, misty levels. He apparently is a plain, everyday mover among the people, sharing their sympathies and pleasures, and endeavoring to elevate prevailing tastes and ideas while inculcating reverence for higher things. Many of the poems have been set to charming music and this music is given in this volume, which is a second edition, by the way, and a great enlargement on the first effort.
The Week, March 27th, 1891.
We congratulate Mr. Imrie on the issue of a second edition of his poems within a comparatively short period of time. The present edition is considerably larger than the first, the bulk having swelled from 210 to 350 pages. The songs have borne the best of all tests, that of use, for, being published separately with music, they have found a ready sale; and are here reproduced with accompanying airs, most of them, we imagine, original. These verses are domestic, national, and patriotic, following the traditions and spirit of Scottish song, and they could hardly do better. In many a Scottish family these songs will find a warm welcome, as reflecting their traditional tales and melodies.
Ledger, Toronto, March 7th, 1891.
Our well known townsman, Mr. John Imrie, has recently published a second volume of poems of his own composition, some twenty-five of them being set to music. It would be difficult to name a phase of life from babyhood to old age which is not in some way referred to by MR. Imrie in the two or three hundred poems with which his book is filled. The author is a Scotchman and intensely loyal, and these two characteristics are distinctive features of the publication. We hope Mr. Imrie’s venture will be richly rewarded by large sales.
Hamilton Spectator, March 9th, 1891.
From time to time gems from Mr. Imrie’s pen have found a place in the Spectator, and readers of this paper are not unacquainted with his merit as a poet. He has just issued a second edition of his poems. The new book contains all that made the first edition so popular, with much new matter. Mr. Imrie’s patriotic Canadian songs should be in the hands of everybody. He has been able to bring to Canada with him a Scotchman’s great love of country, and finds, under the same glaf in his new home, ample reason for poetic display of patriotism. The book is neatly printed, well illustrated, and gives the music of many of the songs. It is nicely bound, and everybody ought to have it. [page 28]
[Alphabetical Index; includes Music and Illustrations]