RAISE THE FLAG
and other Patriotic
“Raise the Flag! Our Glorious Banner!
Raise this fair Canadian Land.”
ROSE PUBLISHING CO.
RAISE THE FLAG
PATRIOTIC CANADIAN SONGS
“Shall we break the plight of youth And pledge us to an alien love? No! We hold our faith and truth, Trusting to the God above. Stand, Canadians, firmly stand Round the flag of Fatherland!”
ROSE PUBLISHING COMPANY.
CANADA! Maple-land! land of great mountains! Lake-land and river-land! Land ’twixt the seas! Grant us, God, hearts that are large as our heritage, Spirits as free as the breeze. Grant us thy fear that we walk in humility, Fear that is rev’rent—not fear that is base— Grant to us righteousness, wisdom, prosperity, Peace—if unstained by disgrace. Grant us thy love and the love of our country; Grant us thy strength for our strengths in thy name; Shield us from danger, from every adversity, Shield us, Oh Father! from shame! Last born of nations! The Offspring of freedom! Heir to wide prairies, thick forests, red gold! God grant us wisdom to value our birthright, Courage to guard what we hold! [unnumbered page]
IN February last a deputation consisting of a large number of influential men, of all parties and creeds, waited upon the Minister of Education, to advocate the raising of a flag on the school houses on national anniversaries. The Toronto School Board had already taken steps towards the same end, and the movement has since been spreading throughout the Province. The anniversary of the battle of Queenston Heights was most successfully commemorated in all the public schools of Toronto, on the 13th October last, large numbers of essays upon the battle being written in all the schools. The Empire newspaper has also offered a large flag to the school in each county which produces the best essay on the subject of “Raising the Flag.”
As an encouragement to the children, who have written the best essays in each school, and who would otherwise receive no recognition of their success, a few loyal Canadians have compiled (and subscribed the cost of producing) this little collection of Patriotic Songs and Poems, as the most appropriate remembrance to be given to the scholars who have written the best essays on these subjects.
The songs and poems selected, although few in number, strike the keynote of Canadian history and sentiment. Among them may be found the romantic and touching story of the foundation of this Province by the United Empire Loyalists; who, driven from their homes in the revolted colonies, disappeared in the gloomy recesses of the unbroken wilderness of Upper Canada, and amid the most terrible hardships, privations, and trials,
“Won from the Canadian wild A home on British lands.”
The guiding principle of these men was contained in the text “Fear God, honor the King.” Piety and loyalty and steadfast endurance being their distinguishing characteristics.
From the pathos of this period we come to the war of 1812, when once more these men and their sons had to take up arms to defend the humble homes they were carving out of the forest. A scant people, then only 70,000, they faced enormous odds, and in three long years of incessant war, [unnumbered page] drove back invasion after invasion of vastly superior numbers. The triumphant martial spirit of a victorious people breaks out exultingly in the poems of this war—Queenston Heights, the Capture of Detroit, and the brave exploit of Laura Secord being described in stirring verse.
There is nothing so striking in Canadian poetry as the great change that has come over it during the last few years. The tone of confidence in our country, the buoyant faith in our great future, the deep feeling of loyalty to Canada and the Empire, that is shown in all the fugitive pieces of the last five years is most remarkable. Mr. Wm. D. Lighthall, to whose excellent collection of “Songs of our Great Dominion,” this work is indebted for several extracts, notices this fact in his introduction, but since he wrote, the change is even more marked. Still we notice the same dominant idea of fearing God and honoring the king. The piety of the later poems is as marked as the loyalty.
Canada has been compelled to defend her frontiers in open war in 1755 and in 1812-15, and from filibusters in 1837 and 1838, and again in 1866 and 1870. Every generation of our people for one hundred years has seen Canadian lives given up freely in defence of her soil and institutions and restrictions, and fishery disputes, have been used to retard our progress or coerce us into annexation. Yet with it all our poems are singularly free from unfriendliness. There is no tone of aggression, but a steadfast determination to trust in God and stand firm for the right. The only tinge of bitterness that is shown, here and there, is towards those of our own people who lack faith in our future. The feeling towards our neighbors is shown in Mr. Cockin’s lines:
“Peace, an’ they will, nay more, a friendly land, But not one foot of our Canadian land.”
Grateful acknowledgement is hereby given to the authors, whose poems are here published with the object of spreading among the children of our land those loyal and patriotic sentiments which animated our fathers and helped them to defend and hand down to us the rights and privileges which we now enjoy. [page iv]
|Raise the Flag||E.G. Nelson.||7|
|Canada to the Laureate||“Fidelis.”||8|
|This Fair Canadian Land||H. C. Cockin.||9|
|An Ode to the Canadian Confederacy||C. G. D. Roberts.||10|
|Empire First||J. Talon Lesperance||11|
|The Maple Leaf Forever||Alex. Muir.||12|
|Upon the Heights at Queenston||J. L. Hughes.||13|
|The U. E. Loyalists||Wm. Kirby.||14|
|The Battle of Queenston Heights||W. T. White.||17|
|Brothers Awake||Aimee Huntingdon.||21|
|Destiny||T. E. Moberly.||22|
|My Own Canadian Home||E. G. Nelson.||23|
|In Memory of William A. Foster||C. Mair.||24|
|A Ballad for Brave Women||C. Mair.||27|
|The United Empire Loyalists||LeRoy Hooker.||31|
|The Capture of Detroit||C. Mair.||35|
|God Save the Queen||63|
RAISE THE FLAG
Patriotic Canadian Songs and Poems.
BY E. G. NELSON.
RAISE the flag, our glorious banner, O’er this fair Canadian land, From the stern Atlantic Ocean To the far Pacific strand. Chorus. Raise the flag with shouts of gladness, ’Tis the banner of the free! Brightly gleaming, proudly streaming, ’Tis the flag of liberty! Raise the flag o’er hill and valley, Let it wave from sea to sea; Flag of Canada and Britain, Flag of right and liberty!—Chorus. Raise the flag, and with the banner Shouts of triumph let us raise; Sons of Canada will guard it, And her daughters sing its praise.—Chorus. Raise the flag of the Dominion, That the world may understand, This will be our ensign ever In our broad Canadian land.—Chorus. Raise the flag! who dare assail it, Guarded by the Empire’s might? Raise the flag of our Dominion, - - Stand for country, God, and right!—Chorus. [page 7]
CANADA TO THE LAUREATE.
“And that true North, whereof we lately heard A strain to shame us! Keep you to yourselves. So loyal is too costly! Friends, your love Is but a burden; loose the bond and go! Is this the tone of Empire?”
TENNYSON’S Ode to the Queen.
WE thank thee, “Laureate,” for thy kindly words Spoken for us to her to whom we look With loyal love, across the misty sea; They noble words whose generous tone may shame The cold and heartless strain hat said “Begone, We want your love no longer; all our aim Is riches—That your love can not increase.” Fain would we tell them that we do not seek To hang dependent, like a helpless brood That, selfish, drag a weary mother down; For we have British hearts and British blood That leaps up, eager, when the danger calls! Once, and again, our sons have sprung to arms To fight in Britain’s quarrel—not our own— And drive the covetous invader back, Who would let us, peaceful, keep our own, So we had cast the British name away. Canadian blood has dyed Canadian soil For Britain’s honour, that we deemed our own; Nor do we ask but for the right to keep, Unbroken still, the cherished filial tie That binds us to the distant sea-girt isle Our father loved, and taught their sons to love, As the dear home of freemen brave and true, And loving honour more than ease or gold! [page 8]
THIS FAIR CANADIAN LAND
BY H. C. COCKIN.
How fair is this land which the might of our fathers Bequeathed to their children to have and to hold; From lonely Belleisle, where Atlantic foregathers, To Mackenzie that down thro’ the ages has roll’d! Yes, fair is the land, with its great inland waters, Vast links, forg’d of God, in the national chain, That shall teach our brave sons and our virtuous daughters To attune heart and voice to the patriots’ strain; Then patriots say, Shall alien footsteps stand In triumph on this fair Canadian land? O Britain, dear Britain, ever glorious nation! Whose strong arm in peace nigh engirdles the earth: Canadians turn yet, aye, in proud exultation, To the mother of nations that gave to them birth. Oh, where be the hearts that in trait’rous illusion Would barter for pottage a birthright so fair; On each be the brand of dark shame and confusion, And the stews of sedition his crime-haunted lair. God make his hope but as the rope of sand, And one and indivisible this land. Of the people who dwell in the land on our borders We are kinsmen—not lovers—and can never be one; Apart lies our future, and He will afford us The help of His arm till our destiny’s done. We like them, but yet are the ways not as our ways; There, the marriage-tie’s but a tale that is told; There, the Bench and the Forum are equally powerless When Justice and Honour are ravish’d by gold. Peace, an’ they will—nay more—a friendly hand, But not one foot of our Canadian land! [page 9]
AN ODE FOR THE CANADIAN CONFEDERACY
BY CHARLES G. D. ROBERTS.
AWAKE, my country! the hour is great with change! Under this gloom which yet obscures the land, From ice-blue strait and stern Laurentian range, To where giant peaks our western bounds command, A deep voice stirs, vibrating in men’s ears As if their own hearts throbbed that thunder forth, A sound wherein who hearkens wisely hears The voice of the desire of this strong North,— This North whose heart of fire Yet knows not its desire Clearly, but dreams, and murmurs in the dream. The hour of dreams is done! Lo, on the hills the gleam! Awake, my country! the hour of dreams is done! Doubt not, nor dread the greatness of thy fate. Tho’ faint sails fear the keen confronting sun, And fain would bid the morn of splendour wait; Though dreamers, rapt in starry visions, cry— Lo, yon thy future, yon thy faith, thy fame!” And stretch vain hands to stars, they fame is nigh, Here in Canadian hearth, and home, and name;— This name which yet shall grow Till all the nations know Us for a patriot people, heart and hand, Loyal to our native earth—our own Canadian land. O, strong hearts, guarding the birthright of our glory, Worth your best blood this heritage that ye guard! These mighty streams resplendent with our story, These iron coasts by rage of seas unjarred,— What fields of peace these bulwarks well secure! What vales of plenty those calm floods supply! Shall not our love this rough, sweet land make sure, Her bounds preserve inviolate, thought we die? [page 10] O, strong hearts of the North, Let flame your loyalty forth, And put the craven and base to an open shame, Till earth shall know the child of nations by her name!
BY JOHN TALON LESPERANCE—“Lacléde.”
Shall we break the plight of youth, And pledge to us an alien love? No! We hold our faith and truth, Trusting to the God above. Stand Canadians, firmly stand Round the flag of fatherland! Britain bore us in her flank, Britain nursed us at our birth, Britain reared s to our rank ’Mid the nations of the earth. Stand, Canadians, firmly stand, Round the flag of fatherland! In the hour of pain and dread, In the gathering of the storm, Britain raised above her head Her broad shield and sheltering arm. Stand Canadians, firmly stand, Round the flag of fatherland! O triune Kingdom of the brave! O sea-girt island of the free! O Empire of the land and wave! Our hearts, our hands, are all for thee. Stand Canadians, firmly stand, Round the flag of fatherland! [page 11]
THE MAPLE LEAF FOR EVER.
BY ALEX. MUIR.
In days of yore, from Britain’s shore, Wolfe, the dauntless hero, came, And planted firm Britannia’s flag, On Canada’s fair domain. Here may it wave, our boast and pride, And, joined in love together, The Thistle, Shamrock, Rose entwine The Maple Leaf forever! At Queenston’s Heights and Lundy’s Lane, Our brave fathers, side by side, For freedom, homes, and loved ones dear, Firmly stood and nobly died. And those dear rights which they maintained, We swear to yield them never! Our watchword evermore shall be, The Maple Leaf forever! Our fair Dominion now extends From Cape Race to Nootka Sound; May peace forever be our lot, And plenteous store abound; And may those ties of love be ours Which discord cannot sever, And flourish green o’er freedom’s home, The Maple Leave forever! On merry England’s fare famed land, May kind Heaven sweetly smile; God bless old Scotland evermore, And Ireland’s Emerald isle! Then swell the song, both loud and long, Till rocks and forests quiver. God save our Queen, and heaven bless The Maple Leaf forever! [page 12]
UPON THE HEIGHTS AT QUEENSTON.
BY JAMES L. HUGHES.
UPON the heights at Queenston, One dark October day, Invading foes were marshalled In battle’s dread array; Brave Brock looked up the rugged steep, And planned a bold attack, “No foreign flag shall float” said he, “Above the Union Jack!” His loyal-hearted soldiers Were ready, every one, Their foes were thrice their number— But duty must be done. They started up the fire-swept hill With loud resounding cheers, While Brock’s inspiring voice rang out— “Push on York Volunteers!” But soon a fatal bullet Pierced through his manly breast, And loving friends, to help him, Around the hero pressed; “Push on,” he said, “do not mind me,” And ere the setting sun, Canadians held the Queenston Heights— The victory was won. Each true Canadian patriot Laments the death of Brock. Our country told its sorrow In monumental rock; And if a foe should e’er invade Our land in future years, His dying words will guide us still— “Push on brave volunteers!” [page 13]
THE U. E. LOYALISTS.
An Extract from “The Hungry Year.
BY WM. KIRBY.
THE war was over, seven red years of blood Had scourged the land from mountain top to sea; (So long it took to rend the mighty frame Of England’s empire in the western world) Rebellion won at last, and they who loved The cause that had lost, and kept their faith To England’s crown, and scorned an alien name, Passed into exile, leaving all behind Except their honour, and the conscious pride Of duty done to country and to king. Broad lands, ancestral homes, the gathered wealth Of patient toil and self-denying years, Were confiscate and lost; for they had been The salt and savor of the land; trained up In honour, loyalty and fear of God. The wine upon the lees, decanted, when They left their native soil with sword belts drawn The tighter; while the women only wept At thought of old firesides no longer theirs, At household treasure reft, and all the land Upset, and ruled by rebels to the king. Not drooping like poor fugitives they came In exodus to our Canadian wilds, But full of heart and hope, with heads erect And fearless eyes victorious in defeat. With thousand toils they forced their devious way Through the great wilderness of silent woods, That gloomed o’er lake and stream, till higher rose The northern star above the broard domain Of half a continent, still theirs to hold, Defend and keep for ever as their own, Their own and England’s to the end of time. [page 14] The virgin forests, carpeted with leaves Of many autumns fallen, crisp and sear, Put on their woodland state; while overhead Green seas of foliage roared a welcome home To the proud exiles, who for empire fought And kept, though losing much, this northern land A refuge and defence for all who love The broader freedom of a commonwealth That wears upon its head a kingly crown. Our great Canadian woods of mighty trees, Proud oaks and pines that grew for centuries, King’s gifts upon the exiles were bestowed. Ten thousand homes were planted; and each one With axe, and fire, and mutual help made war Against the wilderness and smote it down. Into the opened glades, unlit before, Since forests grew and rivers ran, there leaped The sun’s bright rays, creative light and heat, Waking to life the buried seeds that slept Since time’s beginning in the earth’s dark womb. The tender grass sprang up, no man knew how, The daisies eyes unclosed, wild strawberries Lay white as hoar frost on the slopes, and sweet The violets perfumed the evening air; The nodding clover grew up everywhere; The trailing rasp, the trefoil’s yellow cup Sparkled with dew drops, while the humming bees And birds and butterflies, unseen before, Found out the sunny spots and came in throngs. But earth is man’s own shadow, say the wise; As wisdom’s secrets are twofold, and each Responds to other both in good and ill; A crescent thought will one day orb to full, And on the earth reflect true light of heaven. [page 15] But long and arduous were their labours ere The rugged fields produced enough for all, For thousands came ere hundreds could be fed; The scanty harvests gleaned to their last ear Sufficed not yet, men hungered for their bread Before it grew, yet cheerful bore the hard, Coarse fare and russet garb of pioneers, In these great woods, content to build a home And commonwealth where they could live secure, A life of honour, loyalty and peace
* * * * *
The world goes rushing by The ancient landmarks of a nobler time, When men bore deep the imprint of the law Of duty, truth and loyalty unstained. Amid the quaking of a continent Torn by the passions of an evil time, They counted neither cost nor danger, spurned Defections, treasons, spoils; but feared God, Nor shamed of their allegiance to the king. To keep the empire one in unity And brotherhood of its imperial race, For that they nobly fought and all but won, Where losing was to win a higher fame In building up our northern land, to be A vast dominion stretched from sea to sea; A land of labour but of sure reward, A land of corn to feed the world withal, A land of life’s best treasures, plenty, peace, Content and freedom, both to speak and do; A land of men to rule, with sober law, This Christian commonwealth, God’s gift, to keep This part of Britain’s empire next the heart, Loyal as were our fathers, and as free. [page 16]
THE BATTLE OF QUEENSTON HEIGHTS.
A Patriotic Poem Written on the Anniversary of that Great Victory.
BY WILLIAM THOMAS WHITE.
Ho! ye who are Canadians, and glory in your birth, Who boast your land the fairest of all the lands on earth, To-night go home with cheerful heart and lay all care aside, And set aglow your brightest lamps and throw the shutters wide. Heap high with coal the fire, till its merriest sparks you win, And send out all your messengers to call the neighbors in. Then when the evening well is spent with feast and mirthful sound, In circle deep about the hearth range girls and boys around. Bring forth the book of heroes’ deeds, and to your listening flock, Read reverently of Queenston Heights and the death of Isaac Brock. Oh, there are some amongst us who spurn the patriot’s name, Who say our country has no past, no heroes known to fame. They talk of bold Leonidas who held the pass of blood, And how HoratiusCocles braved swollen Tiber’s flood. They never tire of dark Cortez who spared nor blood nor tears, Nor yet of Arnold Winkelreid, who broke the Austrian spears. Their glory is of Waterloo, that crimson-memoried fight, Of the “thin red line” of Inkerman and Alma’s bloody height. [page 17] For Canada their voice is mute, yet history’s pages tell That braver blood was never split than where her heroes fell To-day o’er Queenston’s lofty eights the autumn sky is drear, From drooping limbs the withering leaves hang bloodless, wan and sere. From fertile sward the plough has gone, and from the field the wain, In bursting barns the famer views his wealth of garnered grain. Those fields are sacred and that sward shall be Canadian’s boast, The spot where valor’s few hurled back the dark invader’s host. The tale shall live while grow the trees, while rippling water runs, Of fame’s bright birth to Canada from the life-blood of her sons. You know it well! The invaders crossed with the first grey dawn of light, And foot by foot their numbers told and gained the stubborn height. The guns are ta’en! on Dennis’ flank the reinforcements pour, While from the battery on the hill the crashing round-shot tore. And backward, surely backward, the patriot heroes move, With death to left and death to right and death on high above. But hark! When hope has almost fled, at the hour of sorest need, Is heard the clatter of iron hoofs, and the neigh of a coursing steed. [page 18] Now let the martial music breathe its most inspiring notes, As bursts the shout of welcome from the faltering veterans’ throats! What spell so much could nerve them in that losing battle’s shock, “Courage, boys! It is the General! Onward comrades! On with Brock!” Now forward to the battery! They lend a ready ear; There’s a hero’s form to lead them and hero’s voice to cheer, And o’er the level plain they press, and up the sloping hill, ’Mid hiss of shot and volleys’ smoke his cry is “Onward!” still. And now they pass the low ravine, they clamber o’er the wall; The fatal death-shot strikes him; they see their leader fall. “Push on, push on, York volunteers!” brave words—they were his last, And like the vision of a dream the charging column passed. He heard their cry of vengeance as they reached the mountain’s crest, Then rushed in purpling tide the flood of life-blood from his breast. You’ve read the rest; their comrades came to stay their second flight, Dashed on to meet the foe in blue and hurled them from the height. Then, Canada, was seen they might! by equal ardour led, Fought like Indians like white men, and coloured men like red [page 19] One spirit moved one thought inspired that gallant little band, That foot of no invading foe should e’er pollute their land. A thousand men laid down their arms to force inferior far; Blush, fickle land of commerce, for theymyrmidions of war. Sleep, heroes! Rest upon the hill where valor’s deed was done, No flower shall ever wither in a crown so nobly won. While Canada can rear her sons, the bravest of the brave, From the tempests of Atlantic to the placid western wave, So surely as shall come the day that tells your deathless fame, Shall future patriots mourn you and festal rites proclaim. And thou, whose sacred dust entombed on yonder summit lies, Beneath that noble monument far-reaching toward the skies, Thy name shall be a holy word, a trumpet-note to all, When bravery’s arm is needed and they hear their country’s call. And future sires shall take their sons at evening on their knee, And tell the old take over, and thus shall speak of thee— “His is the noblest name we have in all our bright array; He taught our youth to falter not tho’ death might bar the way; “He showed our might, he led our arms, he conquered, tho’ he fell; He gave up all he had—his life—for the land he loved so well.” [page 20]
BY AIMEE HUNTINGDON, PICTOU, N. S.
BROTHERS awake! There are traitors around us, Seeking their country and ours to betray; Striving to sever the links that have bound us To dear Mother England for many a day. List to their pitiful, cowardly croaking, Bidding us barter our heritage grand; Bend, like dumb cattle, our necks to the yoking, Yield unto strangers our glorious land. Surely too long we have borne with their scheming; Now let them learn that forbearance is o’er! Teach them that Canada’s sons are not dreaming; Brothers awaken! and slumber no more. Say, shall not we, whom our country has nourished, Fight for her weal ’gainst the treacherous crew? Shall it be said that foul treason has flourished “’Neath the proud folds of the Red, White and Blue. Never! With courage undimmed and undaunted, Crush, ere it blossoms, the seed they have sown; Back in their teeth fling the boasts they have flaunted, Pause not, nor rest, till the day be our own. Croakers and cravens and patriot-haters, Soon shall their schemes in the dust be laid low; Then shall this land of ours, freed from the traitors, To her bright destiny joyfully go. [page 21]
BY T. E. MOBERLY.
AWAKE! awake! old England, Rise from thine island lair; The sun of empire dawning, Gleams on thy dew-wet hair. Outstretch thy limbs majestic! Peal out they thund’rous roar! Thy lion brood will greet thee From every sea and shore. Temptations now beset them, Foes from behind, before; Her children look to England, They wait the lion’s roar— The royal invitation To the lion brood afar, To share the royal burden, Be it in peace or war. To share the royal honour, Bright guerdon of the day! When England and her offspring Shall join in equal sway. Awake! awake! old England Rise from thine island lair. Thy lion brood are longing Thy destiny to share. [page 22]
MY OWN CANADIAN HOME.
BY E. G. NELSON.
THOUGH other skies may be as bright, And other lands as fair; Though charms of other climes invite My wandering footsteps there, Yet there is one, the peer of all Beneath bright heaven’s dome; Of thee I sing, O happy land, My own Canadian home! Thy lakes and rivers, as “the voice Of many waters,” raise To Him who planned their vast extent, A symphony of praise. Thy mountain peaks o’erlook the clouds— Thy pierce the azure skies; They bid thy sons be strong and true— To great achievements rise. A noble heritage is thine, So grand, and fair, and free; A fertile land, where he who toils Shall well rewarded be. And he who joys in nature’s charms, Exulting, here may view— Scenes of enchantment—strangely fair, Sublime in form and hue. Shall not the race that tread thy plains Spurn all that would enslave? Or they who battle with thy tides, Shall not that race be brave? Shall not Niagara’s mighty voice Inspire to actions high? ’Twere easy such a land to love, Or for her glory die. [page 23] And doubt not should a foeman’s hand Be armed to strike at thee, Thy trumpet call throughout the land Need scarce repeated be! As bravely as on Queenston’s Heights, Or as in Lundy’s Lane. Thy sons will battle for thy rights, And freedom’s cause maintain. Did kindly heaven afford to me The choice where I would dwell, Fair Canada! that choice should be, The land I love so well. I love thy hills and valleys wide, Thy waters’ flash and foam; May God in love o’er thee preside, My own Canadian home!
IN MEMORY OF WILLIAM A. FOSTER.
BY CHARLES MAIR.
AND he is gone who led the few Forecasters of a nation fair: That gentle spirit strong and true, As ever breathed Canadian air! Forever fled! the kindly face, The eager look, the lambent eye, Still haunted by a boyish grace— Can these from recollection fly? The counsel sound, the judgment clear, The mild thought brooding over all; The ready smile, the ready tear— Can these from recollection fall? [page 24] Ah! well do I remember still The sultry day, whose sun had set; The hostel near the tower-crowned hill, The parlour dim where first we met; The flush of joy, when o’er the wine, On that pale eve of loftier times, He put his friendly hand in mine. And praised my poor Canadian rhymes; And sung the old Canadian songs, And played the old Canadian airs, Then turned his smile on fancied wrongs, And laughed away a youth’s despairs; And said: “Throw sickly thoughts aside— Let’s build on native fields our fame; Nor seek to blend our patriot pride While alien greed or alien shame! “Nor trust the falterers who despond— The doubting spirits which divine No stable future save beyond Their long, imaginary line! “But mark, by fate’s strong finger traced, Our country’s rise; see time unfold, In our own land a nation based On manly worth, not lust of gold. “Its bourne, the home of generous life, Of ample freedom, slowly won, Of modest maid and faithful wife, Of simple love ’twixt sire and son. “Nor lessened would the duty be To rally, then, around the throne, [page 25] A filial nation, strong and free— Great Britain’s child to manhood grown! “But lift the curtain which deceives, The veil that intercepts the sight, The drapery dependence weaves To screen us from the nobler light. “First feel throughout the throbbing land A nation’s pulse, a nation’s pride, The independent life—then stand Erect, unbound, at Britain’s side!” And many a year has fled, and now The tongue which voiced the thought is stilled, The veils yet hangs o’er many a brow, The glorious dream is unfulfilled. Yet ocean unto ocean cries! For us their mighty tides go forth. We front the sun—behind us lies The mystery of the unconquered North! And ardent Aspiration peers Beyond the clouds, beyond the night, Beyond the faltering, paltering years, And there beholds the Breaking Light. For though the thoughtful mind has passed From mortal ken, the generous hand— The seed they sowed has sprung at last, And grows and blossoms through the land. And time will realize the dream, The light yet spread o’er land and wave; And Honour, in that hour supreme, Will hang his wreath o’er Foster’s grave. [page 26]
A BALLAD FOR BRAVE WOMEN.
BY CHARLES MAIR.
A STORY worth telling, our annals afford, ’Tis the wonderful journey of Laura Secord! Her poor crippled spouse hobbled home With the news That Bœrstler was nigh! “Not a minute to lose, Not an instant,” said Laura, “for stoppage or pause— I must hurry and warn our brave troops at Decaws.” “What! you!” said her husband “to famish and tire!” “Yes, me!” said brave Laura, her bosom on fire. “And how will you pass the gruff sentry?” said he, “Who is posed so near us?” “Just wait till you see; The foe is approaching, and means to surprise Our troops, as you tell me. Oh, husband, there fliew No dove with a message so needful as this— I’ll take it, I’ll bear it, good bye, with a kiss.” Then a biscuit she ate, tucked her skirts well about, And a bucket she slung on each arm, and went out ’Twas the bright blush of dawn, when the stars melt from sight, Dissolved by its breath like a dream of the night; When heaven seems opening on man and his pain, Ere the rude day strengthens, and shuts it again. But Laura had eyes for her duty alone— She marked not the glow and the gloom that were thrown By the nurslings of morn, by the cloud-lands at rest, By the spells of the East, and the weirds of the West. [page 27] Behind was the foe, full of craft and of guile; Before her, a long day of travel and toil. “No time this for gazing,” said Laura, as near To the sentry she drew. “Halt! you cannot pass here.” “I cannot pass here! Why sirrah you drowse, Are you blind? Don’t you see I am off to my cows.” “Well, well you can go.” So she wended her way To the pasture’s lone side, where the farthest cow lay, Got her up, caught a teat, and with pail at her knees, Made her budge, inch by inch, till she drew by degrees To the edge of the forest. “I’ve hoaxed, on my word, Both you and the sentry,” said Laura Secord. With a lingering look at her home, then away She sped through the wild wood—a wilderness gray— Nature’s privacy, haunt of a virgin sublime And the mother who bore her, as ancient as Time; Where the linden had space for its fans and its flowers, The balsam its tents, and the cedar its bowers; Where the lord of the forest, the oak, had its realm, The ash its domain, and its kingdom the elm; Where the pine bowed its antlers in tempests, and gave To the ocean of leaves the wild dash of the wave, And the mystical hemlock—The forest’s high-priest— Hung its weird, raking, top-gallant branch to the east. And denser and deeper the solitude grew, The underwood thickened, and drenched her with dew; She tripped over moss-covered logs, fell, arose, Sped, and stumbled again by the hour, till her clothes Were rent by the branches, and thorns, and her feet Grew tender and way-worn and blistered with heat. And on, ever on, through the forest she passed, Her soul in her task, but each pulse beating fast, [page 28] For shadowy forms seemed to flit from the glades And beckon her into their limitless shades: And mystical sounds—in the forest alone, Ah! who has not heard them:?—the voices, the moan, Or the sigh of mute nature, which sinks on the ear, And fills us with sadness or thrills us with fear? And who, lone and lost, in the wilderness deep, Has not felt the strange fancies, the tremors which creep, And assemble within, till the heart ’gins to fail, The courage to flinch, and the cheeks to grow pale, ’Midst the shadows which mantle the spirit that broods In the sombre, the deep haunted heart of the woods? She stopped—it was noonday. The wilds she espied Seemed solitudes numberless. “Help me!” she cried; Her piteous lips parched with thirst, and her eyes Strained with gazing. The sun in his infinite skies Looked down on no creature more hapless than she, For woman is woman where’er she may be. For a moment she faltered, then came to her side The heroine’s spirit—the Angel of Pride. One moment she faltered. Beware! What is this”? The coil of the serpent! the rattlesnake’s hiss! One moment, then onward, What sounds far and near? The howl of the wolf, yet she turned not in fear Nor bent from her course, till her eye caught a gleam From the woods of a meadow through which flowed a stream, Pure and sweet with the savour of leaf and of flower. By the night dew distilled, and the soft forest shower; Pure and cold as its spring in the rock crystalline, Whence it gurgled and gushed ’twixt the roots of the pine. And blessed above bliss is the pleasure of thirst, Where there’s water to quench it; for pleasure is nursed In the cradle of pain, and twin marvels are they Whose inter-dependence is born with our clay. Yes, blessed is water, and blessed is thirst, [page 29] Where there’s water to quench it; but this is the worst Of this life, that we reck not the blessings God sends, Till denied them. But Laura, who felt she had friends In heaven as well as on earth, knew to thank The giver of all things, and gratefully drank. Once more on the pathway, through swamp and through mire, Through covert and thicket, through bramble and brier, She toiled to the highway, then over the hill, And through the next woods, till at sunset, she came To the first British picket and murmured her name; Thence, guarded by Indians, footsore and pale She was led to Fitzgibbon, and told him her tale. For a moment her reason forsook her; she raved, She laughed, and she cried—“They are saved, they are saved!” Then her senses returned, and with thanks loud and deep Sounding sweetly around her she sank into sleep. And Bœrstler came up, but his movements were known, His force was surrounded, his scheme was o’erthrown By a woman’s devotion—on stone be’t engraved— The foeman was beaten and Burlington saved. Ah! faithful to death were our women of yore! Have they fled with the past to be heard of no more? No, no! Though this laurelled one sleeps in the grave, We have maidens as true, we have matrons as brave; And should Canada ever be forced to the test— To spend for her country the blood of her best! When her sons lift the linstock and brandish the sword, Her daughters will think of brave Laura Secord! [page 30]
THE UNITED EMPIRE LOYALISTS
BY THE REV. LE ROY HOOKER
IN the brave old Revolution days, So by our sires ’tis told, King’s-men and Revels, all ablaze With wrath and wrong, Strove hard and long: And, fearsome to behold, O’er town and wilderness afar, O’er quaking land and sea and air, All dark and stern the cloud of war In bursting thunder rolled. Men of one blood—of British blood, Rushed to the mortal strife; Men brothers born, In hate and scorn Shed each the other’s life. Which had the right and which the wrong It boots not now to say; But when at last The war-cloud passed, Cornwallis sailed away; He sailed away, and left the field To those who knew right well to wield The powers of war, but not to yield, Though Britons fought the day. Cornwallis sailed away, but left Full many a loyal man, Who wore the red, And fought and bled Till Royal George’s banner fled Not to return again. What did they then, those loyal men, When Britain’s cause was lost? Did they consent, And dwell content Where Crown, and Law and Parliament Were trampled in the dust? [page 31] Dear were the homes where they were born; Where slept their honored dead; And rich and wide On every side Their fruitful-acres spread; But dearer to their faithful hearts Than home, or gold, or lands, Were Britain’s laws, and Britain’s crown, And Britain’s flag of long renown, And grip of British hands. They would not spurn the glorious old, To grasp the gaudy new; Of yesterday’s rebellion born, They held the upstart power in scorn— To Britain they stood true, With high resolve they looked their last On home and native land; And sore they wept O’er those that slept In honored graves that must be kept By grace of stranger’s hand. They looked their last, and got them out Into the wilderness, The stern old wilderness, All dark and rude And unsubdued; The savage wilderness, [page 32] Where wild beasts howled, And Indians prowled; The lonely wilderness, Where social joys must be forgot, And budding childhood grow untaught; Where hopeless hunger might assail Should autumn’s promised fruitage fail; Where sickness, unrestrained by skill, Might slay their dear ones at its will; Where they must lay Their dead away, Without the man of God to say The sad sweet words, how dear to men, Of resurrection hope! But then ’Twas British wilderness! Where they might sing, God save the King! And live protected by his laws, And loyally uphold his cause! ’Twas welcome wilderness! Though dark and rude And unsubdued; Though wild beasts howled And Indians prowled; For there their sturdy hands, By hated treasons undefiled, Might win from the Canadian wild A home on British lands! These be they heroes, Canada! These men of proof, whose test Was in the fevered pulse of strife When foeman thrusts at foeman’s life; And in that stern behest When right must toil for scanty bread, While wrong on sumptuous fare is fed, And men must choose between! [page 33] When right must shelter ’neath the skies, While wrong in lordly mansion lies, And men must choose between! When right is cursed and crucified, While wrong is cheered and glorified, And men must choose between! Stern was the test, And sorely pressed, That proved their blood best of the best. And when for Canada you pray, Implore kind Heaven That, like a leaven, The hero-blood which then was given May quicken in her veins always:— That from those worthy sires may spring, In number as the stairs, Strong-hearted sons, whose glorying Shall be in Right, Though recreant Might Be strong against her in the fight, And many be her scars! So, like the sun, her honored name Shall shine to latest years the same. [page 34]
THE CAPTURE OF DETROIT,
Being part of Act IV. Of Charles Mair’s Drama of
War is declared, unnatural and wild, By Revolution’s calculating sons! So leave the home of mercenary minds, And wing with me, in your uplifted thoughts, Away to our unyielding Canada! There to behold the Genius of the Land, Beneath her singing pine and sugared tree, Companioned with the lion, Loyalty.
SCENE FIRST.—A ROOM IN FORT GEORGE.
Enter GENERAL BROCK reading a despatch from Montreal.
BROCK. Prudent and politic Sir George Precost! Hull’s threatened ravage of our western coast, Hath more breviloquence than your despatch. Storms are not stilled by reasoning with air, Nor fires quenched by a syrup of sweet words. So to the wars, Diplomacy, for now Our trust is in our arms and arguments Delivered only from the cannon’s mouth!
Enter an ORDERLY.
ORDERLY. Your Exc’llency? BROCK. Bid Colonel Proctor come!
[Exit Orderly. [unnumbered page]
Now might the head of gray Experience Shake o’er the problems that surround us here. I am no stranger to the brunt of war, But all the odds so lean against our side That valor’s self might tremble for the issue. Could England stretch its full, assisting hand Then might I smile though velvet-footed time Struck all his claws at once into our flesh; But England, noble England, fights for life, Couching the knightly lance for liberty ’Gainst a new dragon that affrights the world. And, now, how many noisome elements Would plant their greed athwart this country’s good! How many demagogues bewray its cause! How many aliens urge it to surrender! Our present good must match their present ill. And, on our frontiers, boldest deeds in war, Dismay the foe, and strip the loins of faction.
Enter COLONEL PROCTOR.
Time waits not for conveniency; I trust Your preparations have no further needs. PRCOTOR. All is in readiness, and I can leave For Amherstburgh at once. BROCK. Then tarry not, For time is precious to us now as powder. You understand my wishes and commands? PROCTOR. I know them and shall match them with obedience. BROCK. Rest not within the limit of instructions If you can better them, for they should bind The feeble only; able men enlarge And shape them to their needs. Much must be done That lies in your discretion. At Detroit Hull vaunts his strength, and meditates invasion, And loyalty, unarmed, defenceless, bare, May let this boaster light upon our shores Without one manly motion of resistance. [page 36] So whilst I open Parliament at York, Close it again, and knit our volunteers, Be yours the task to head invasion off. Act boldly, but discreetly, and so draw Our interest to the balance, that affairs May hang in something like an even scale, Till I can join you with a fitting force, And batter this old Hull until he sinks. So fare-you-well —success attend your mission! PROCTOR. Farewell, sir! I shall do my best in this, And put my judgment to a prudent use In furtherance of all.
BROCK. Prudent he will be—’tis a vice in him. For in the qualities of every mind There’s one o’ergrows, and prudence in this man Tops all the rest. ’Twill suit our present needs. But, boldness, go with me! for, if I know My nature well, I shall do something soon Whose consequence will make the nation cheer, Or hiss me to my grave.
ORDERLY. Your Exc’llency, Some settlers wait without. BROCK. Whence do they come?
Enter COLONEL MACDONELL.
ORDERLY. From the raw clearings up Lake Erie, Sir. BROCK. Go bring them here at once. (Exit ORDERLY.) The very men Who meanly shirk their service to the crown! A breach of duty to be remedied, For disaffection like an ulcer spreads Until the caustic ointment of the law, Sternly applied, eats up and stays corruption.
Enter DEPUTATION OF YANKEE SETTLERS.
Good morrow, worthy friends; I trust you bear Good hopes in loyal hearts for Canada. [page 37] 1ST SETTLER. That kind o’ crop’s a failure in our county. Gen’ral, we came to talk about this war With the United States. It ain’t quite fair To call out settlers from the other side. BROCK. From it yet on it too! Why came you thence? Is land so scarce in the United States? Are there no empty townships, wilds or wastes In all their borders but you must encroach On ours? And, being here, how dare you make Your dwelling-places harbours of sedition And furrow British soil with alien ploughs To feed our enemies? There is not scope, Not room enough in all this wilderness For men so base. 2ND SETTLER. Why, General, we thought You wanted settlers here. BROCK. Settlers indeed! But with the soldier’s courage to defend The land of their adoption. This attack On Canada is foul and unprovoked; The hearts are vile, the hands are traitorous That will not help to hurl invasion back. Beware the lariat of the law! ’Tis thrown With aim so true in Canada it brings Sedition to the ground at every cast. 1ST SETTLER. Wel, General, we’re not your British sort, But if we were we know that Canada Is naught compared with the United States We have no faith in her, but much in them. BROCK. You have no faith! Then take a creed from me! For I believe in Britain’s Empire, and In Canada. its true and loyal son, Who yet shall rise to greatness, and shall stand At England’s shoulder helping her to guard True liberty throughout a faithless world. Here is a creed for arsenals and camps, For hearts and heads that seek their country’s good; So, go at once, and meditate on it! [page 38] I have no time to parley with you now— But think on this as well! that traitors, spies, And aliens who refuse to take up arms, Forfeit their holdings, and must leave this land, Or dangle nearer heaven than they wish. So to your homes, and ponder your condition.
[Exeunt Settlers ruefully.
This foreign element will hamper us. Its alien spirit ever longs for change, And union with the States. MACDONELL. O fear it not, Nor magnify the girth of noisy men! Their name is faction, and their numbers few. While everywhere encompassing them stands The silent element that doth not change; That points with steady finger to the Crown— True as the needle to the viewless pole, And stable as its star! BROCK. I know it well, And trust to it alone for earnestness Accordant counsels, loyalty and faith. But give me these—and let the Yankees come! With our poor handful of inhabitants, We can defend our forest wilderness, And spurn the bold invader from our shores.
Re enter ORDERLY.
ORDERLY. Your boat is ready, sir! BROCK. Man it at once— I shall forthwith to York.
SCENE SECOND.—YORK, THE CAPITAL OF UPPER CANADA. THE SPACE IN FRONT OF OLD GOVERNMENT HOUSE.
Enter two U. E. LOYALISTS, separately.
1ST U. E. LOYALIST. Well met, my friend! A stirrer like myself. [page 39] 2ND U. E. LOYALIST. Yes, affairs make me so. Such stirring times. Since Brock returned and opened Parliament! Read you his speech? 1ST U. E. LOYALIST. That from the Throne? 2ND U. E. LOYALIST. Ay, that! 1ST U. E. LOYALIST. You need not ask, since ’tis on every tongue, Unstaled by repetition, I affirm Words never showered upon more fruitful soil To nourish valor’s growth. 2ND U. E. LOYALIST. That final phrase— Oh it struck home: a sentence to be frame And hung in every honorable heart For daily meditation.
“ We are engaged in an awful and eventful contest. By unanimity and dispatch in our councils, and by vigour in our operations, we may teach the enemy this lesson, that a country defended by free men, enthusiastically devoted to the cause of their king and constitution, can never be conquered.”
1ST U. E. LOYALIST. That reaches far; a text to fortify Imperial doctrine and Canadian rights. Sedition skulks, and feels its blood a cold, Since first it fell upon the public ear. 2ND U. E. LOYALIST. There is a magic in this soldier’s tongue. O language is a common instrument; But when a master touches it—what sounds! 1ST U. E. LOYALIST. What sounds indeed! But Brock can use his sword Still better than his tongue. Our state affairs, Conned and digested by his eager mind Draw into form, and even now his voice Cries, Forward! To the front! 2ND U. E. LOYALIST. Look—here he comes! 1ST U. E. LOYALIST. There’s matter in the wind; let’s draw a-near. [page 40]
Enter GENERAL BROCK, accompanied by MACDONELL, NICHOL, ROBINSON and other Canadian Officers and friends conversing.
BROCK ’Tis true our Province faces heavy odds; Of regulars but fifteen hundred men To guard a frontier of a thousand miles; Of volunteers what abidance we can draw From seventy thousand widely scattered souls. A meagre showing ’gainst the enemy’s If numbers be the test. But odds lie not In numbers only, but in spirit too— Witness the might of England’s little isle! And what made England great will keep her so— The free soul and the valour of her sons; And what exalts her will sustain you now If you contain her courage and her faith. So not the odds so much are to be feared As private disaffection, treachery— Those openers of the door to enemies— And the poor crouching spirit that gives way Ere it is forced to yield. ROBINSON. No fear of that! BROCK. I trust there is not; yet I speak of it As what is to be feared more than the odds. For like to forests are communities— Fair at a distance, entering you find The rubbish and the underbrush of states, ’Tis ever the mean soul that counts the odds, And, where you find this spirit, pluck it up— ’Tis full of mischief. MACDONELL. It is almost dead. England’s vast war, our weakness, and the eagle Whetting his beak at Sandwich, with one claw Already in our side, put thought to steep In cold conjecture for a time, and gave A text to alien tongues. But, since you came, Depression turns to smiling, and men see [page 41] That dangers well opposed may be subdued Which shunned would overwhelm us. BROCK. Hold to this! For since the storm has struck us we must face it. What is our present count of volunteers? NICHOL. More than you called for have assembled, Sir— The flower of York and Lincoln. BROCK. Some will go To guard our frontier at Niagara. Which must be strengthened even at the cost Of York itself. The rest to the Detroit, Where, with Tecumseh’s force, our regulars, And Kent and Essex loyal volunteers, We’ll give this Hull a taste of steel so cold His teeth will chatter at it, and his scheme Of easy conquest vanquish into air.
Enter a COMPANY of MILITIA with their OFFICERS, unarmed. They salute, march across the stage, and make their exit.)
What men are those? Their faces are familiar. ROBINSON. Some farmers whom you furloughed at Fort George, To tend their fields, which still they leave half-reaped To meet invasion. BROCK. I remember it! The jarring needs of harvest-time and war, ’Twixt whose necessities grave hazards lay. ROBINSON. They only thought to save their children’s bread, And then return to battle with light hearts. For, though their hard necessities o’erpoised Their duty for the moment, these are men Who draw their pith from loyal roots, their sires, Dug up by revolution, and cast out To hovel in the bitter wilderness, And wring, with many a tussle, from the wolf Those very fields which cry for harvesters. [page 42] BROCK. O, I observed them closely at Fort George— Red-hot for action in their summer sleeves, And others drilling in their naked feet— Our poor equipment (which disgraced us there) Too scanty to go round. See they get arms, An ample outfit and good quarters, too. NICHOL. They shall be well provided for in all.
Enter COLONELS, BABY* and ELLIOTT.
BROCK. Good morning both; what news from home, Baby? BABY. None, none your Exc’llency—whereat we fear this Hull is in our rear at Amherstburg. BROCK. Not yet; what I unsealed last night reports Tecumseh to have foiled the enemy In two encounters at the Canard bridge. A noble fellow as I hear, humane, Lofty and bold, and rooted in our cause. BABY. I know him well; a chief of matchless force. If Mackinaw should fall—that triple key To inland seas and teeming wilderness— The bravest in the west will flock to him. BROCK. Not yet; what I unsealed last night reports Tecumseh to have foiled the enemy In two encounters at the Canard bridge. A noble fellow as I hear, humane, Lofty and bold, and rooted in our case. BABY. I know him well; a chief of matchless force. If Mackinaw should fall—that triple key To inland seas and teeming wilderness— The bravest in the west will flock to him. BROCK. ’Twere well he had an inkling of affairs. My letters say he chafes at my delay, Not mine, but thine, thou dull and fatuous House— Which, in a period that whips delay, When men should spur themselves and flash in action, Let’st idly leak the unpurchasable hours From our scant measure of most precious time! BABY. ’Tis true, Your Exc’llency, some cankered minds Have been a daily hind’rance in our House. No measure so essential, bill so fair But they would foul it by some cunning clause, Wrenching the needed state from its aim By sly injection of their false opinion. But this you cannot charge to us whose hearts Are faithful to our trust; nor yet delay;
*Pronoucned Baw-bée. [page 43]
For, Exc’llency, you hurry on so fast That other men wheeze after, out of breath, And hast itself, disparaged, lags behind. BROCK. Friends, pardon me, you stand not in reproof. But haste, the evil of the age in peace, Is war’s auxiliary, confederate With time himself in urgent great affairs. So must we match it with the flying hours! I shall prorogue this tardy Parliament, And promptly head our forces for Detroit. Meanwhile, I wish you, in advance of us, To speed unto your homes. Spread everywhere Throughout the West, broad tidings of our coming. Which, by the counter currents of reaction, Will tell against our foes and for our friends. As for the rest, such loyal men as you Need not our counsel; so, good journey both! BABY. We shall not spare our transport or ourselves. Enter a travel-stained MESSENGER. ELLIOTT. Good-bye. BABY. Tarry a moment, Elliott! Here comes a messenger—let’s have his news. MESSENGER. It is his Excellency whom I seek. I come, sir, with despatches from the west. BROCK. Tidings I trust to strengthen all our hopes. MESSENGER. News of grave interest, this not the worst.
[Handing a letter to GENERAL BROCK.
BROCK. No, by my soul, for Mackinaw is ours! That vaunted fort, whose gallant capture frees Our red allies. This is important news! What of Detroit? MESSENGER. Things vary little there Hull’s soldiers scour our helpless settlements, Our aliens join them, but the loyal mass— Sullen, yet overawed, long for relief. BROCK. I hope to better this anon. You, sirs,
[To his aides:
Come with me; here is matter to dispatch At once to Montreal. Farewell, my friends.
[To Baby and Elliott.
BABY. We feel now what will follow this, farewell!
[Exeunt BABY, ELLIOTT and MESSENGER.
BROCK. Now, gentlemen, prepare against our needs, That no neglect may check us at the start, Or mar our swift advance. And, for our cause, As we believe it just in sight of God, So should triumph in the sight of man, Whose generous temper, at the first, assigns Right to the weaker side, yet coldly draws Damning conclusions from its failure. Now Betake you to your tasks with double zeal; And, meanwhile, let our joyful tidings spread!
SCENE THIRD.—THE SAME.
Enter two OLD MEN of York, severally.
1ST OLD MAN. Good morrow, friend! a fair and fitting time To take our airing, and to say farewell. ’Tis here, I think, we bid our friends God-speed, A waftage, peradventure, to their graves. 2ND OLD MAN. ’Tis a good cause they die for, if they fall. By this grey pate, if I were young again, I would no better journey. Young again! This hubbub sets old pulses on the bound As I were in my teens.
Enter a CITIZEN.
What news afoot? CITIZEN. Why everyone’s afoot and coming here. York’s citizens are turned to warriors; The learned professions go a-soldering, [page 45] And gentle hearts beat high for Canada! For, as you pass, on every hand you see, Through the neglected openings of each house— Through doorways, windows—our Canadian maids Strained by their parting lovers to their breasts; And loyal matrons busy round their lords, Buckling their arms on, or, with tearful eyes, Kissing them to the war! 1ST OLD MAN. The volunteers Will pass this way? CITIZEN. Yes, to the beach, and there Embark for Burlington, whence they will march To Long Point, taking open boats again, To plough the shallow Erie’s treacherous flood. Such leaky craft as farmers market with: Rare bottoms, one sou-wester-driven wave Would heave against Lave Erie’s wall of shore, And dash to fragments. ’Tis an awful hazard— A danger which in apprehension lies, Yet palpable unto the spirit’s touch, As earth to finger. 1ST OLD MAN. Let us hope a calm May lull this fretful and ill-tempered lake Whilst they ascend.
[Military music is heard.
CITIZEN. Hark! here our soldiers come.
Enter GENERAL BROCK, with his aides, MACDONELL and GLEGG, NICHOL, and other officers, followed by the Volunteers in companies. A concourse of citizens.
MACDONELL. Our fellows show the mark of training, sir, And many, well in hand, yet full of fire, Are burning for distinction. BROCK. This is good: Love of distinction is the fruitful soil From which brave actions spring; and superposed On love of country, these strike deeper root, [page 46] And grow to greater greatness. Cry a halt— A word here—then away!
[Flourish. The Volunteers halt, form line, and order arms.
Ye men of Canada! Subjects with me of that Imperial Power Whose liberties are marching round the earth: I need not urge you not to follow me, Though what befalls will try your stubborn faith In the fierce fire and crucible of war. I need not urge you, who have heard the voice Of loyalty, and answered to its call. Who has not read the insults of the foe— The manifesto of his purposed crimes? That foe, whose poison plant, false liberty, Runs o’er his body politic and kills Whilst seeming to adorn it, fronts us now! Threats our poor Province to annihilate, And should he find the red men by our side— Poor injured souls, who but defend their own— Calls black Extermination from its hell, To stalk abroad, and stench your land with slaughter. These are our weighty arguments for war, Wherein armed Justice will enclasp its sword, And sheath it in its bitter adversary; Wherin we’ll turn our bayonet-points to pens, And write in blood:—Here lies the poor invader; Or be ourselves struck down by hailing death: Made stepping stones for foes to walk upon— The lifeless gangways to our country’s ruin. For now we look not with the eye of fear; We reck not if this strange mechanic frame— Stop in an instant in the shock of war. Our death may build into our countrys life, And failing this, ’twere better still to die Than live the breathing spoils of infamy. Then forward for our cause and Canada! [page 47] Forward for Britain’s Empire—peerless arch Of Freedom’s raising, whose majestic span Is axis to the world! On, on, my friends! The task our country sets must we perform— Wring peace from war, or perish in its storm!
[Excitement and leave-taking. The volunteers break into column and sing:
O hark to the voice from the lips of the free! O hark to the cry from the lakes to the sea! Arm! arm! The invader is wasting our coasts, And tainting the air of our land with his hosts. Arise! then, arise! let us rally and form, And rush like the torrent, and sweep like the storm, On the foes of our King, of our country adored, Of the flag that was lost, but in exile restored! And whose was the flag? and whose was the soil? And whose was the exile, the suffering, the toil? Our Fathers’! who carved in the forest a name, And left us rich heirs of their freedom and fame. Oh, dear to our hearts is that flag, and the land Our Fathers bequeathed—’tis the work of their hand! And the soil they redeemed from the woods with renown The might of their sons will defend for the Crown! Our hearts they are one, and our hands they are free, From clime unto clime, and from sea unto sea! And chaos will come to the States that annoy, But our Empire united what foe can destroy? Then away! to the front! march! comrades away! In the lists of each hour crowd the work of a day! We will follow our leader to the fields far and nigh, And for Canada fight, and for Canada die!
[Exeunt with military music.
SCENE FOURTH.—FORT DETROIT.—THE AMERICAN CAMP.
Enter GENERAL HULL, COLONEL CASS and other Officers.
CASS. Come, General, we must insist on reasons! Your order to withdraw from Canada Will blow to mutiny, and put to shame That proclamation which I wrote for you, Wherin ’tis proudly said, “We are prepared To look down opposition, our strong force [page 48] But vanguard of a mightier still to come!” And men have been attracted to our cause Who now will curse us for this breach of faith. Consider, sir, again! HULL. I am not bound To tack my reasons to my orders; this Is my full warrant and authority—
[Pointing to his Instructions.
Yet, I have ample grounds for what I do. CASS. What are they, then? HULL. First, that this proclamation Meets not with due response, wins to our side The thief and refugee, not honest men. These plainly rally round their government. 1ST OFFICER. Why, yes; there’s something lacking in this people, If we must conquer them to set them free. HULL. Ay, and our large force must be larger still, If we would change these Provinces to States. Then, Colonel Proctor’s intercepted letter— Bidding the captor of Fort Mackinaw Send but five thousand warriors from the West, Which, be it artifice or not, yet points To great and serious danger. Add to this Brock’s rumoured coming with his Volunteers, All burning to avenge their fathers’ wrongs, And our great foe, Tecumseh, fired o’er his; These are the reasons; grave enough, I think, Which urge me to withdraw from Canada, And wait for further force; so go, at one, And help our soldiers to recross the river. CASS. But I see—— HULL. No “buts”! You have my orders. CASS. No solid reason here, naught but a group Of flimsy apprehensions—— HULL. Go at once! Who kicks at judgment, lacks it. [page 49] CASS. I—— HULL. No more! I want not wrangling but obedience here
[Exeunt CASS and other officers incensed.
Would I had ne’er accepted this command! Old men are out of favour with the time. And youthful folly scoffs at hoary age There’s not a man who executes my orders With a becoming grace; not one but sulks. And puffs his disapproval with a frown. And what am I? A man whom Washington Nodded approval of, and wrote it too! Yet here, in judgement and discretion both, Ripe to the dropping, scorned and ridiculed. Oh, Jefferson, what mischief have your wrought— Confounding Nature’s order, setting fools To prank themselves, and sit in wisdom’s seat By right divine, out-Heroding a King But I shall keep straight on—pursue my course, Responsible and with authority, Though boasters gird at me, and braggarts from
SCENE FIFTH.—SANDWICH, ON THE DETROIT.—A ROOM IN THE BABY MANSION.
Enter GENERAL BROCK, COLONELS PROCTOR, GLEGG, BABY, MACDONELL, NICHOL, ELLIOTT, and other Officers.
BABY. Welcome! thrice welcome! Brave Brock , to Sandwich and this loyal roof Thank God, your oars, those weary levers bent In many a wave, have been unshipped at last; And, no, methinks those lads who stemmed the flood Would boldly face the fire. BROCK. I never led Men of more cheerful and courageous heart, [page 50] But for whose pluck, foul weather and short seas, ’Twere truth to say, had made an end of us. Another trial will, I think, approve The manly strain this Canada hath bred. PROCTOR. ’Tis pity that must be denied them now, Since all our enemies have left our shores. BROCK. No, by my soul, it shall not be denied! Our foe’s withdrawal hath a magnet’s power And pulls my spirit clean into his fort. But I have asked you to confer on this. What keeps Tecumseh? ELLIOTT. ’Tis his friend, Lefroy, Who now rejoins him, after bootless quest Of Iena, Tecumseh’s niece. BROCK. Lefroy! I had a gentle playmate of that name In Guernsey, long ago. BABY. It may be he. I know him, and, discoursing our affairs, Have heard him speak of you but in a strain Peculiar to the past. BROCK. He had in youth All goods belonging to the human heart, But fell away to Revolution’s side— Impulsive ever, and o’er prompt to see In kings but tyrants, and in laws but chains. I have not seen or heard of him for years. BABY. The very man! BROCK. ’Tis strange to find him here! ELLIOTT. He calls the red men freedom’s last survival; Says truth is only found in Nature’s growth— Her first intention, ere fast knowledge rose To frame distinctions, and exhaust the world. BROCK. Few find like him the substance of their dreams. But, Elliott, let us seek Tecumseh now. Stay, friends, till we return.
[Exeunt BROCK and ELLIOTT. [page 51]
GLEGG. How odd to find An old friend in this fashion! PROCTOR. Humph! a fool Who dotes on forest tramps and savages. Why, at the best, they are the worst of men; And this Tecumseh has so strained my temper, So over-stept my wishes, thrid my orders, That I would sooner ask the devil’s aid Than such as his. NICHOL. Why, Brock is charmed with him! And, as you saw, at Amherstburg he put Most stress upon opinion when he spoke. MACDONELL. Already they’ve determined on assault. PROCTOR. Then most unwisely so! There are no bounds To this chief’s rashness, and our General seems Swayed by it too, or rashness hath a twin. NICHOL. Well, rashness is the wind of enterprise, And blows its banners out. But here they come Who dig beneath their rashness for their reasons.
Re-enter GENERAL BROCK and COLONEL ELLIOTT accompanied by TECUMSEH, conversing.
TECUMSEH. We have been much abused! and have abused Our fell destroyers, too—making our wrongs The gauge of our revenge. And still forced back From the first justice and the native right, Ever revenge hath sway. This we would void, And, by a common boundary, prevent. So, granting that a portion of our own Is still our own, then let that portion be Confirmed by sacred treaty to our tribes. This is my sum of asking—you have ears! BROCK. Nay, then, Tecumseh, speak of it no more! My promise is a pledge, and from a man Who never turned his back on friend or foe. The timely service you have done our cause, Rating not what’s to come, would warrant it. [page 52] So, if I live, possess your soul of this— No treaty for a peace, if we prevail, Will bear a seal that doth not guard your rights. Here take my sash, and wear it for my sake— Tecumseh can esteem a soldier’s gift. TECUMSEH. Thanks, thanks, my brother, I have faith in you; My life is at your service! BROCK. Gentlemen, Have you considered my proposal well Touching the capture of Detroit by storm? What say you, Colonel Proctor? PROCTOR. I object! ’Tis true. the enemy has left our shores, But what a sorry argument is this For his withdrawal, which some sanguine men, Jumping all other motives, charge to fear, Prudence, more deeply searching, lays to craft. Why should a foe, who far outnumbers us, Retreat over this great river, save to lure Our poor force after him? And, having crossed— Our weakness seen, and all retreat cut off— What would ensue but absolute surrender, Or sheer destruction? ’Tis too hazardous! Discretion balks at such a mad design. BROCK. What say the rest? 1ST OFFICER. I fear ’tis indiscreet. 2ND OFFICER. ’Twould be imprudent with our scanty force. BROCK. What say you, Nichol, to my foolish scheme? NICHOL. I think it feasible and prudent too. Hull’s letters, captured by Tecumseh, prove His soldiers mutinous, himself despondent. And dearly Rumor loves the wilderness, Which gives a thousand echoes to a tongue That ever swells and magnifies our strength. And in this flux we take him, on the hinge Of two uncertainties—his force and ours. [page 53] So, weighed, objections fall; and our attempt, Losing its grain of rashness takes its rise In clearest judgment, whose effect will nerve All Canada to perish, ere she yield. BROCK. My very thoughts! what says Tecumseh now? TECUMSEH. I say, attack the fort! This very night I’ll cross my braves, if you decide on this BROCK. Then say no more! Glegg, take a flag of truce, And bear to Hull this summons to surrender. Tell him Tecumseh and his force are here— A host of warriors brooding on their wrongs, Who, should resistance flush them to revenge, Would burst from my control like wind-borne fire, And match on earth the miseries of hell. But, should he yield, his safety is assured. Tell him Tecumseh’s word is pledged to this, Who, though his temperate will in peace is law, Yet casts a loose rein to enforced rage. Add what your fancy dictates; but the stress Place most on what I speak of—this he fears, And these same fears, well wrought upon by you, May prove good workers for us yet. GLEGG. I go, And shall acquit myself as best I can.
BROCK. Tecumseh, wonder not at such a message! The guilty conscience of your foes is judge Of their deserts, and hence ’twill be believed. The answer may be ‘nay,’ so to our work— Which perfected, we shall confer again, Then cross at break of morn.
[Exeunt all but TECUMSEH.
TECUMSEH. This is a man! And our great father, waking from his sleep, Has sent him to our aid. Master of Life, Endue my warriors with double strength! May the wedged helve be faithful to the axe, [page 54] The arrow fail not, and the flint be firm! That our great vengeance, like the whirlwind fell, May cleave, through thickets, of our enemies, A broad oath to our ravaged lands again.
SCENE EIGHTH.—THE HIGHWAY THROUGH THE FOREST LEADING TO FORT DETROIT—THE FORT IN THE DISTANCE; CANNON AND GUNNERS AT THE GATE.
Enter TECUMSEH, STAYETA, and other Chiefs and Warriors.
TECUMSEH. There is the Long Knives’ fort, within whose walls We lose our lives, or find our lands to-day. Fight for that little space—’tis wide domain! That small enclosure shuts us from our homes There are the victors in the Prophet’s strife— Within that fort they lie—those bloody men Who burnt your town, to light their triumph up, And drove your women to the withered woods To shudder through the cold slow-creeping night, And help their infants to out-howl the wolf. Oh, the base Long-Knife grows to head, not heart— A pitiless and murdering minister To his desires! But let us now be strong, And, if we conquer, merciful as strong! Swoop like the eagles on their prey, but turn In victory your taste to that of doves; For ever it has been reproach to us That we have stained our deeds with cruelty, And dyed our axes in our captives’ blood. So, here, retort not on a vanquished for, But teach him lessons in humanity. Now let the big heart, swelling in each breast, Strain every rib for lodgment! Warriors! Bend to your sacred task, and follow me. STAYETA. Lead on! We follow you! [page 55] KICKAPOO CHIEF. Advance ye braves! TECUMSEH. Stay! make a circuit in the open woods— Cross, and recross, and double on the path— So shall the Long-Knives overcount our strength. Do this, Stayeta, whilst I meet my friend— My brave white brother, and confer with him.
Enter GENERAL BROCK, PROCTOR, NICHOL. MACDONELL and other Officers and Forces, on the highway. TECUMSEH goes down to meet them.
BROCK. Now by God’s providence we face Detroit, Either to sleep within its walls to-night, Or in deep beds dug by exulting foes. Go, Nichol, make a swift reconnoissance— We’ll follow on. NICHOL. I shall, but, ere I go I do entreat you, General, take the rear; Those guns are shrewdly placed without the gate— One raking fire might rob us of your life, And, this lost, all is lost. BROCK. Well meant, my friend! But I am here to lead, not follow, men Whose confidence has come with me thus far! Go, Nichol, to your task!
[Exit NICHOL. TECUMSEH advances.
Tecumseh, hail! Brave chieftian, you have made your promise good. TECUMSEH. My brother stands to his! and I but wait His orders to advance—my warriors Are ripe for the assault. BROCK Deploy them, then, Upon our landward flank, and skirt the woods, Whilst we advance in column to attack.
[TECUMSEH rejoins his warriors.
Signal our batteries on the farther shore To play upon the Fort! Be steady friends— [page 56] Be steady! Now upon your country turn Your multiplying thoughts and strike for her! Strike for your distant and inviolate homes, Perfumed with holy prayer at this hour! Strike! with your fathers’ virtue in your veins You must prevail—on, on, to the attack!
[BROCK and forces advance towards the Fort. A heavy cannonading from the British batteries.
Re-enter NICHOL hastily.
NICHOL. Stay, General! I saw a flag of truce Cross from the Fort to the Canadian shore. BROCK. Halt! There’s another from yon bastion flung; And, see! another waves adown the road— Borne by an officer—what think you, Nichol? NICHOL. Your threats are conquerors! The Fort is ours! GLEGG. Yes, look! the gunners have been all withdrawn Who manned the cannon at yon western gate. PROCTOR. So many men to yield without a blow! Why, this is wonderful! It cannot be! BROCK. Say, rather, should not be, and yet it is! ’Tis plainly written in this captain’s face.
[Officer with flag of truce approaches.
OFFICER. This litter from our General contains Proposals to capitulate—pray send An officer to ratify the terms.
[GENERAL BROCK reads letter.
BROCK. You have a wise and politic commander! OFFICER. Our General, knowing your superior force— NICHOL. (Aside.) O this is good! ’tis barely half his own! OFFICER. And noting your demand of yesterday With clearer judgment, doth accede to it, To bar effusion of much precious blood By reasonable treaty of surrender. BROCK. Why, this is excellent, and rare discretion! [page 57] OFFICER. He fears your Indians could not be restrained. Our women’s prayers—red visions of the knife— We know not what—have melted his stout heart, And brought him to this pass BROCK. Ay, ay, how good! Great judgment and humanity combined. Glegg and Macdonell go at once and sign Those happy stipulations which restore Fair Michigan to empire and the crown.
[Exeunt GLEGG, MACDONELL and Officer with Flag.
We shall await our officers’ return— But now prepare to occupy the Fort! With colours flying we shall enter it, And martial music, as befits the scene. No Sunday ever saw a finer sight— Three cheers for Canada and England’s right!
[Shouts and congratulations from th’ soldiery.
SCENE NINTH.—FORT DETROIT.—A TUMULT OF AMERICAN SOLDIERS AND CITIZENS
Enter GENERAL HULL and one of his officers, accompanied by BROCKE’S Aides, GLEGG and MACDONELL.
HULL. Here is the paper! Tell your General Divine humanity, which hath in me A deeper root than fear of him, thus yields: A sheer compunction lest the savage axe Should drink too deeply in confused revenge. GLEGG. Depend upon it, we shall tell him so, And shall away at once.
[Exeunt GLEGG and MACDONELL
HULL. ’Tis well I lived To stop this bloody work! Deferment played Into the hands of death. OFFICER. Oh, sir, I think That what begins in honor so should end— [page 58] First deeds, not stained, but dusted by the last; For, thus the long day of a useful life, Seems burnished by its close. HULL. My friend, had all Been trusty as the men of your command! But—I am great in silence and shall speak No more of this! What’s done is for the best.
OFFICER. A bleached and doting relic of stale time! His best is bad for us.
[A squad of Volunteer Militia insultingly surround the General, hooting and groaning.
1ST VOLUNTEER. Hull! hold the fort! 2ND VOLUNTEER. Resist! We’ll back you up! HULL. Insolent ruffians! Some men are here in whose sincerity And courage I have perfect faith—but you!— Untaught, unmannerly and mutinous— Your muddy hearts would squirm within your ribs If I but gave the order to resist! You would command me! You who never learned The simple first note of obedience! Stand off, nor let me! I regard you not. Fine Volunteers! whom we were forced to coax, And almost drag upon the forest march. Oh, if I had a thousand more of men, A thousand less of things—which is your name— I would defend this Fort, and keep it too. Stand off and let me pass!
[The GENERAL walks off.
1ST VOLUNTEER. The General Talks well, boys, when he’s mad! [page 59]
Enter an OFFICER.
OFFICER. Fall in! Fall in! Here come the British troops—the Fort’s surrendered!
Enter GENERAL BROCK and Forces, with Colors flying and military music. The American soldiers sullenly ground arms, and march out of the Fort.
BROCK. This is a happy end! you, Nichol, make— With Proctor—rough lists of our spoils of war, Then join with us in grateful prayers to heaven.
[Exeunt NICHOL and PROCTOR.
Enter TECUMSEH and STAYETA (the latter wearing BROCK’S sash) with other Chiefs and Warriors, and LEFROY.
TECUMSEH. My valiant brother is the rising sun— Our goes the night, which disappears before him! Our people think him, and their hearts are his! BROCK. Why, here is misdirection! For their thanks— They fall to you, Tecumseh, more than me! And, lest what lies in justice should too long Stand in expectancy—’till thanks seem cold— Take mine, Tecumseh! for your servies Have won, with us, the honours of the day, And you shall share its spoils. TECUMSEH. Freedom I prize, And my poor people’s welfare more than spoils! No longer will they wander in the dark, The path is open, and the sky is clear. We thank you for it all! BROCK. Nay, then, our thanks We’ll interchange—take mine, as I take thine! But how is this? Is friendship’s gift unused? Where is my brother’s sash?— TECUMSEH. That gift I deemed Conferred on me as on a warrior, And, when I saw a worthier than myself, I could not wear it. ’Tis Stayeta’s now— He keeps it ’till he finds a worthier still. [page 60] BROCK. Noble Tecumseh! thou art still the best! Men envy their own merit in another— Grudging e’en what’s superfluous to themselves— But thou—great valour’s integer, wouldst share Its very recompense with all the world! Here are my pistols—take them from a friend— Nay—take them! Would I had a richer gift To mark my heart’s approval of your worth!
Re-enter GENERAL HULL.
HULL. You ask not for my sword—but here it is! I wielded it in honour in my youth, And now to yield it, tarnished, in old age, Vexes me to the soul. BROCK. Then keep it, sir! HULL. Trenton and Saratoga speak for me! (Aside.) I little thought that I should have to knead In my gray years, this lumpy world again. But, when my locks were brown, my heart aflame For liberty, believe me, sir, this sword Did much to baffle your imperious King! BROCK. That stands not in dispute, so keep the sword! ’Tis strange that those who fought for liberty, Should seek to wrench it from their fellow men. Impute not guilty war to Kings alone, Since ’tis the pastime of Republics, too! Your’s has its dreams of glory, conquest, spoil— Else should we not be here. But, General, Wilt dine with us? We shall discuss this matter! HULL. Nay, let me to my house; I cannot eat. BROCK. Sir, as you will—but prithee, be prepared! I sail in six days for Niagara, And you for Montreal. HULL. Till then, adieu!
[Exit GENERAL HULL.
TECUMSEH. Why should my brother leave Detroit so soon? [page 61] BROCK. Our foes are massing at Niagara, And I must meet them; Colonel Proctor stays In this command. TECUMSEH. I know him very well. My brother’s friend says “go!” but you say “come!” BROCK. (Aside.) How am I straitened for good officers! (To TECUMSEH.) Friend Proctor’s prudence may be useful here. TECUMSEH. I do misgive me o’er my brother’s friend.
Re-enter NICHOL and PROCTOR.
NICHOL. Large stores, munitions, public properties; A rare account of needed stands of arms; A brig of war, and military chest— These are the spoils of bloodless victory.
[Handing GENERAL BROCK a list
BROCK. Naught is much prized that is not won with blood! GLEGG. And yet I would old England’s victories Were all as bloodless, ample and complete. MACDONELL. O, ’tis a victory fitly gained this day; Great turning point of our Canadian fortunes! This day forever should red-lettered stand In all the calendars of our loved land!
[Exeunt. [page 62]
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.
God save our gracious Queen, Long live our noble Queen, God save the Queen; Send her victorious, Happy and glorious, Long to reign over us; God save the Queen! O Lord our God, arise, Scatter her enemies, And make them fall! Confound their politics, Frustrate their knavish tricks, On Thee our hopes we fix; God save the Queen! Thy choicest gifts in store On her be pleased to pour, Long may she reign; May she defend our laws, And ever give us cause To sing with heart and voice, God save the Queen!
HUNTER, ROSE & CO., PRINTERS, TORONTO.
[2 blank pages]
[illustration: For Queen & Country.]