Modernist Canadian Poets
29th Jun 2016Posted in: Modernist Canadian Poets 0
Westmount in Song and Story

[unnumbered page, includes handwriting:
To John Fair Esq. with kind regards from the author Charles Benedict 20/2/36]

[blank page]


By Charles Benedict

Printers Westmount, P. Q.
[unnumbered page]


March, 1933
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FOREST – Farm – Orchard – Village – Town – City, these are the steps that in less than one hundred years have brought Westmount to its present pitch of perfection, and the end is not yet. For the first sixty years of this period, progress was slow, even in 1888, forty-five years ago, the street cars stopped at Atwater avenue, and the toll-gate at Greene avenue was a sort of Ultima Thule, beyond which lay farms and orchards, and a few scattered houses. Then Time evolved the village of Cote St. Antoine, commemorated to-day in the Cote St. Antoine Road, originally an Indian trail. Later on when the village had grown to be a town, it changes its name to Westmount, and now as the City of Westmount, it stands as a model to Montreal and all surrounding districts, as an ideal realized by one happy community can achieve by disinterested devotion on the part of its citizens to the common weal.
It has been said “happy is the country that has no history” for History is made up of the crimes and blunders of previous generations. Westmount has pursued the even tenor of its way ever striving [page 3] to improve itself during the last forty-five years, and attracting to itself in increasing numbers the best class of people, who find within its limits everything to make life pleasant. Magnificent schools for their children, parks and playgrounds, entertainment halls and a library should be. With all these attractions, Westmount can challenge comparison with whatever is considered best in civic management on the North American Continent. [page 4]

C o n t e n t s

Westmount 7
So This Is Westmount 8
The Growth of Westmount 9
Cosmopolitan Westmount 11
Westmount’s Traffic Lights 12
Blackbirds Seen in N.D.G.  13
The Lights of Westmount 14
Westmount’s Winter Garden 15
Westmount’s R.M.R. 16
Keeping The Home Fires Burning 17
The Approach to Westmount 18
Westmount’s New York 19
Westmount’s Police Force 20
Westmount’s Fire Brigade 21
Westmount’s General-Manager 22
Westmount in January 23
The Snow Storm 24
Westmount’s Snow Scoop 25
Westmount’s Goldfish 26
A Haven of Rest 27
A February Fantasy 28
Mountaineering Winter Sports 30
Westmount in March 31
Sounds of Spring 32
On Guard 33
To The Reverend Edward Bushell 34
Spring Comes to Westmount 35
What Price Civilization? 36
Westmount in April 38
Spring Cleaning 39
Victoria Day 40
The Time Is Short 41
The Rising Generation 42
The Children’s Friend 44
The Bug Gun In The Park 46
The Holiday Season 47
Rus In Urbe 48
[page 5]
Westmount in August 49
The New Park 50
Night Thoughts 51
Cricket In The Park 52
A Lament 53
Westmount’s Public Library 54
City Hall Peonies 56
The Age of Innocence 57
The Pleasant Lanes of Westmount 58
The Sailing Pond 59
Laying Out The Park 60
Mosquitoes In Westmount 61
Westmount’s New Church 62
In Westmount Park 63
Victoria Hall 65
Listening to The Band 66
Where To Go 67
Exceeding the Speed Limit 68
On Cutting Corners 69
Beside the Park 70
The Wilds of Westmount 71
A Rainy Day 72
Taking Shape 73
How to Keep Healthy—Walk 74
Scene Shifting 75
Those Traffic Signals 76
The Return of the Natives 77
Music in Westmount 78
September in Westmount 79
Sunday in Westmount Park 80
A Perfect Day 81
A Wayside Tragedy 82
September Meditations 83
Autumn Days 84
October in the Park 85
Street Noises 87
Autumn Leaves 88
A Warm Day in November 89
All Saints’ Day 90
Westmount in November 91
Winter Comes to Westmount 92
The Slump 93
Sunset in Westmount Park 94
Ode to Westmount 95
Armistice Day – 1918-1929 98
[page 6]


What is it makes the stranger pause, and check his flying wheel?
Is it not plain that here he finds something that makes him feel
The men who wrought this miracle were touched by an ideal!

Brains! Honesty! Will wonders work, but there is more beside
In Westmount than these valued gifts, and that is—Civic Pride,
’Tis this, we claim, out city’s name, is spreading far and wide.

We’ve men who care, we’ve men who dare, and will not simply rest,
With “just as good” or “that will do”, but bring things to the test;
And ever strive to keep alive the love of all that’s best.

While Westmount can find citizens her interests to serve,
Whose single aim is Westmount’s fame, whom nothing tempts to swerve—
Will Westmount Town, its fair renown, increase and long preserve! [page 7]

So This is Westmount

A model city, run by men who know
Their business. Every year we see it grow
More beautiful, with money wisely spent
By those who have in charge its management.
Parks, Playgrounds, Civic Buildings, Streets, and Lanes,
Prove to the World, here Law and Order reigns.
Critics who come to scoff, remain to praise,
Only too glad to find the means and ways
To buy a house and lot, and settle down
Within the confines of this model town.
No resident was ever known to knock it—
(A vulgar word, I should have said. To mock it.)
But all, with one accord, delight to sing
Its praise in Summer, Winter, Fall, and Spring;
While those who travel—wheresoe’r they roam,
Still point with pride to Westmount as their home! [page 8]

Three hundred years ago, and Westmount’s site,
That fills us now with wonder and delight,
Was mountain, swamp, and rugged pine-clad glen,
Untrodden, save by forest denizen.
Our lovely winding Cote St. Antoine Road
Was just a path where Indian warriors strode;
Leading from Hochelaga, to the lake
Above the rapids, where they used to take
Canoes, in search of game, or, bent on war,
Would roam the sylvian glades on either shore.

A hundred years have passed—the wilderness
Is getting tamed, in spite of storm and stress.
The Indian tribes retreat; the slow advance
Gathers momentum, as the sons of France
Push ever westward, hardy, unafraid.
Towards the setting sun, in search of trade.
The farmer followed—lo! amidst the trees,
A house appears! — the home of Hurtubise,
The first inhabitant to till these lands,
His ancient homestead, braving Time, still stands!

The Land changed hands – another hundred years
Has passed, and now the early settlers fears
Of ambuscades have vanished; wild alarms
Of Indian raids have ceased, and orchards—farms,
Spread out. At length, amidst the peaceful tillage,
A hamlet rises – Cote St. Antoine Village!
Westward, the tide of traffic ever flowed,
Between the fields, where farmers reaped and sowed
In time, where apples grew, and cattle fed,
Long rows of lamp-lit streets appear instead. [page 9]

The years rolled on, the Twentieth Century came,
And with it Westmount’s growing wealth and fame.
Who would have though, when brave Jacques Cartier stood,
Gazing o’er rapids, rocks, and virgin wood,
The future held the promise that we see,
Translated into this reality!
Parks, winding roads, tree planted avenues,
At every turn disclose enchanting views,
So that where e’r we roam, North, South, East, West,
To Westmount’s favoured citizens – Home’s best! [page 10]

Cosmopolitan Westmount

Westmount is cosmopolitan,—
     A world metropolis,—
Containing Russians, Germans, Danes,
     Rumanians, Belgians, Swiss,
French, Hebrews, Greeks, and one or two
     From other foreign regions.
Poles, Finns, Czechoslovakians,
     Armenians and Norwegians.
We rub our eyes, in mild surprise,
     and wonder what they do.
We did not know we harbored such 
     A Pentecostal crew.
We always thought of Westmount as
     The home of Sleep and Rest,
And not a place for foreigners
     To come and build their nest.
But, here they are, and, as it seems,
     They have to—to buy and sell—come.
We’ve got to make the best of it
     And try to make them welcome.
We only hope they will forget
     Their age-old national fights,
Because we do not want to have
     Our sleep disturbed o’ nights.
Westmounters are a peaceful lot,
     Our town is noted for
Its air of solid comfort and
     Respect for civic law.
So, foreigners, be pleased to note,
     Whatever comes and goes,
You’re welcome, only please respect
     Our dignified repose. [page 11]

Westmount Traffic Lights

The traffic cop no more will stop
     Your motor, but instead,
By day and night, you watch the light—
     Red, “Stop!” Green, “Go ahead!”

A yellow light, a warning sight,
     Without policemen bossing,
Just means the need for brakes or speed,
     If you would clear the crossing.

Don't get annoyed, if you’d avoid
     A scrap about your rights,
Though motors throng, you can’t go wrong,
     If you just “Watch the Lights”! [page 12]

Blackbirds Seen in N.D.G.

Westmount rejoice! With cheerful voice,
     Your hope of Spring renew!
Blackbirds were seen, themselves to preen,
     On Melrose Avenue.

The early bird is seen, not heard,
     Hopping from perch to perch;
But not a worm is seen to squirm,
     And thus reward his search.

No doubt he’ll trust to pick a crust
     Out of a garbage can;
And beg or steal a scanty meal
     To feed the inner man.

Though stiff and cold, yon blackbird bold
     A welcome message bring,—
We see, with glee, in N.D.G.,
     These harbingers of Spring. [page 13]

The Lights of Westmount

The Lights of Westmount throw a mellow gleam
     Upon the statue of her honoured dead,
And on the stately City Hall a stream
     Of glowing radiance over all is spread
Lighting the clock that tells the passing time,
     A friendly monitor, whose honest face
Shines out upon our snow-clad winter clime,
     Home of a sturdy, law-abiding race,
Whose dwellings, Art and Nature here adorns
     With flower beds and shrubs and well kept grounds,
Tree shaded avenues and velvet lawns,
     While Peace and Plenty, everywhere abounds,
Like Paul of Tarsus, Westmounters can cry,—
     “A citizen of no mean city, I!” [page 14]

Westmount’s Winter Garden

There is a winter garden, under glass
Where everyone is welcome. You who pass
Along the street, may come inside and see,
Disposed with admirable taste and skill,
Flowers that with pure delight your senses fill.
Narcissus, hyacinths, azaleas,
Poinsettas, daffodils, and primulas;
While to enhance the beauty of the sight,
A tinkling fountain plashes, day and night;
Where goldfish dart, and sparkle as they swim,
Or rest below, in coral grotto dim.
Here you can stroll or sit and ruminate
In calm contentment at your happy state,
Assured a welcome, hearty as ’tis free,
In Westmount’s handsome new Conservat’ry. [page 15]

Westmount’s R. M. R.
(Royal Montreal Regiment)

Hark! what was that! borne on the evening breeze,
Stirring the blood, with war-time memories.
Bugles are blown, drums beat, the steady tramp
Of marching men is heard. Songs of the camp
They sing, their lusty voices carry far,
Westmount turns out to greet the R.M.R.!
Here come the men who bore War’s awful load,
Swinging along the Cote St. Antoine Road,
This is the way they chased the savage Huns,
Back to, and far beyond, the gates of Mons.
We cannot look with eyes undimn’d at these
Men, who now march beside our maple trees
And well kept lawns without a thought of those 
Long silent lanes of crosses—rows on rows—
Far off they sleep, their silent ranks are dress’d
Our kith and kin, who take their honoured rest.
Our streets would echo to the martial tread
Of foreign troop, but for those glorious dead,
’Twas for our children and our careful wives,
They fought and bled and sacrificed their lives.
Thank God! we still have men, in Peace and War,
To “carry on” in Westmount’s R. M. R. [page 16]

Keeping the Home Fires Burning

We look with sad misgivings at the hole,
That in the Fall was filled with anthracite
At fourteen bucks the ton; we hoped it might 
Have lasted us till Spring. The blooming coal.

Is disappearing at a frightful rate,
We wonder—will it last till May the first?
We might try coke, if worst comes to the worst!
Or even briquettes in the parlour grate!

Wood’s so expensive, and you have to sit
And watch it, or it will go out on you,
While half the heat is wasted up the flue!
Or else it’s damp and smokes and won’t stay lit.

Cheer up! Spring is not very far away,
What though ’midst dust and cinders your perspire,
Does not this news with hope your soul inspire—
Robins were seen in Westmount Park to-day. [page 17]

The Approach to Westmount

     The pedestrian will stop stumbling
     And the motorist qui grumbling
At the dusty holes disgracing Sherbrooks Street,
     Dirt, delay, debris, disorder,
     For, once safe across the border,
Westmount’s roads provide an unexpected treat.

     Though our traffic lights may phase him,
     There are sights that will amaze him,
When he comes to where two handsome streets conjoint,
     Form a tapering triangle,
     Where, though trolley-bells may jangle,
He can’t help slowing down, —’tis Garden Point!

     Next our City Hall stands stately,
     ’Midst its velvet lawns sedately 
Setting off the grey stone walls and pediment,
     And that bronze group, so appealing,
     Full of grace and tender feeling,
Composing Westmount’s Soldiers Monument.

     Read the names engraved upon it,
     The Peace we have, —they won it!
’Twas for us they bled and passed beyond the veil,
     Bowed, in gratitude, we linger,
     Where the angel’s beckoning finger,
Points a moral and adorns their tale. [page 18]

Westmount’s New Park

     Every day now they are working
     In a manner disconcerting
At laying out the Cote St. Antoine Park,
     Tons of rock and soil extracting,
     Nervous people quite distracting,
Blasting holes from early morn ’til nearly dark.

     We know that such improvements
     Must cause erratic movements
Of trees and rocks and earth, if in the way,
     So should you pass by scorning
     The tin horn’s raucous warning,
You may not know what hit you some fine day.

     The Lord loves a careful liver,
     (As He does a cheerful giver),
Be advised then, as the soldiers were in France,
     Round this sector, though annoying,
     You had better keep deploying,
Or Fate may not hand you out another chance!

     You will have no cause to worry,
     If you are not in a hurry,
Just be careful when you hear the bugle sound,
     Westmount’s fame is ever growing,
     And we all will soon be blowing
About our fine new Recreation Ground! [page 19]

Westmount’s Police Force

     We have always though it proper
     To salute a Westmount copper,
Not because from him a favour we expect,
     If you think so, you’re mistaken,
     ’Tis because they all awaken
A sincere and friendly feeling of respect.

     They investigate complaints,
     And will exercise restraints
On howling doges and snow-ball throwing boys,
     Also do their level best
     Speeding road-hogs to arrest,
Whose hooting horns our peace of mind destroys.

     If at night secure we sleep,
     ’Tis because they try to keep 
An eye on every hold-up man and thief,
     Our confidence they win it,
     They’re on the job each minute,
From roundsman to the ever courteous Chief.

     Westmount’s many great attractions,
     Are the fruit of past transactions,
Extending back through years of war and peace,
     And its growing reputation
     In the public’s estimation,
Reflects well-founded trust in the Police. [page 20]

Westmount’s Fire Brigade

     With a rush and a roar,
     They sweep past the door,
As out of the window, we lean,
     And shout, Where’s the fire!
     Clothed in scanty attire,
And a costume not meant to be seen.

     When we hear that loud gong,
     We are sure something’s wrong,
And are thankful ’tis not our abode,
     Where is it? we wonder,
     As onward they thunder,
And vanish in smoke down the road.

     It’s a marvel to me
     And I’m blest if I see
How they manage to stick to their seats;
     As they swing round the curves,
     They must have iron nerves,
To indulge in such perilous feats.

     There are few who would rob
     Our brave boys of their job,
Their pay, each one earns, that is certain:
     While from burning, their zeal
     Makes each householder feel
As safe as an asbestos curtain! [page 21]

Westmount’s General Manager

We are apt to take for granted,
As long as things go right,
Such services as Pavements—Drains—
Water—Electric Light.
Nor do we ever stop to think
Just what it means to be
The man who overseas it all
In our Community.

He needs Job’s patience to contend
With Mr. Daily Jinks,
Who tries to queer things, leaving him
To straighten out the kinks.
He has to gladly suffer fools,
Bees in whose bonnets buzz,
Who hint that they could run the Town
Much better than he does.

He has to keep his finger on
The pulse of Westmount’s life,
And watch its temperature all day
For any signs of strife,
While if his strict attention slips,
Or judgment goes astray,
He can be sure that soon or late
There’ll be Old Nick to pay!
So Westmount’s G.-M. we salute—
From troubles we are rid,
As long as, at the City Hall,
He’s sitting on the lid. [page 22]

Westmount in January

We wonder why so many fly
     From Home and think it grand
When Winter comes to spend large sums
     Upon a foreign strand!

For if they would, I’m sure they could
     Find Health and Recreation,
In Canada, nor travel far
     For Change and Relaxation.

We do not plead for those who need,
     Or think they do, a rest
From Winter’s grip, let them take ship,
     And go where they think best.

But Westmount’s joys my Muse employs,
     To circumambulate,
And glide and skim in costume trim,
     On ski and flashing skate.

With cheeks aglow we tread the snow,
     The blue sky overhead,
Our happy lot, around this spot
     To earn our daily bread.

Who would compare the hot, damp air
     Of Palm Beach, Florida,
With oak and pine, and air like wine,
     In Westmount, Canada! [page 23]

The Snow Storm

A leaden sky, and a North-East wind,
     From Greenland’s ice-bound coast;
Brings hurtling clouds, in jostling crowds,
     That carry the Storm King’s host.

Who come in their countless legions,
     To fall on the sleeping town;
Filling the streets with blinding sheets
     Of snow-flakes swooping down.

Whirling around the lamp posts,
     Sweeping across the lawns,
Over houses and shacks, and tramcar tracks
     To drift as the dark day dawns.

Till the sun bursts out in splendor,
     As the storm clouds melt away,
And we hail anew the stainless blue
     Of a perfect Winter Day! [page 24]

Westmount’s Snow Scoop>

     O say, have you seen
     The snow scoop machine?
Have you heard how it clanks and it clunks?
     When it passes our door
      It emits a loud roar,
While the snow piles, it swallows in chunks!

     It has blades that turn round
     As it covers the ground;
(If you get in its way you’ll be sorry);
     Tin cleats, belt and bracket
     That make a loud racket,
And the snow slides right into a lorry.

     Though no doubt most efficient,
     Its noise is sufficient
To fracture or break one’s tympanum;
     And if nervous or sickly,
     Would drive you quite quickly
To Longue Pointe or even Jahannum!

     Be it ever so humble,
     There’s no place to grumble
Like Home, ’tis a man’s relaxation,
     But this wonderful scoop
     Makes one get up and whoop
For Westmount! – and Civilization! [page 25]

Westmount’s Goldfish>

O where have Westmount’s goldfish gone?
     Not one is in the pool!
We miss them where they used to float
     Beneath the fountain cool.

Their saurian companions, too! 
     What ruthless predators
Have ravaged from their pleasant haunt
     The placid alligators!

Some say that thoughtless children threw
     Stones at them as the swum,
And fed them deleterious things—
     Pop-corn, and chewing gun!

The fountain still plays on in the 
     Depopulated tank!
Perhaps the goldfish have been placed
     For safety, in the Bank!

For window-dressing purposes,
     Inside a jar or crock,
They look quite well, but after all,
     They’re only watered stock.

The fact is, gold fish must be class’s
     In spite of their agility,
Not as a liquid asset, but
     A floating liability.

Their shining scales remind us of 
     So much, that Life embitters,
’Tis sum’d up in the ancient saw—
     All is not Gold that glitters! [page 26]

A Haven of Rest

The Library, in Westmount’s lovely Park,
A haven is where we can disembark
From Life’s hard-ships, and find an easy chair
To read a book in and so banish care.
Tables abound with all the magazines,
With pictures of events in distant scenes.
And heavy tomes of solid information,
With lighter tales for rapid circulation.
Ripe fruit we pick here from the Tree of Knowledge,
Without the vast expense of going to College;
Or search within the Dunce’s panacea—
Encyclopaedia Britannica!—
A mine of knowledge and authentic facts,
That students, in pursuit of Truth, attracts.
This splendid acquisition is a joy
To those who care their leisure to employ
In finding out what experts have to mention
About the newest wonderful invention—
On Land, or Sea, or Air, no matter where,
They’ll find it writ and illustrated there.
The purchase of this work we think displays
Great enterprise, and so deserves our praise.
The citizens indeed are fortunate 
To have a Management so up-to-date.
Havens of Rest we need, and all agree
One of the best is Westmount Library! [page 27]

A February Fantasy>

A cloudless sky above a snow clad land,
With drifts blown into ridges, like the sand.
Tree tops, fern shaped, against the stainless blue,
In vistas make each stately avenue.
Westmount, in winter garb, delights the eye,
As all who make their home here testify.
The new park, facing Cote St. Antoine Road,
(For which thanks to our city council’s owed),
Is filled with happy children who resort
In crowds to its enticing slopes for sport.
Skiing, tobogganing, they swoop and slide,
Or on the spacious rink revolve and glide.
Glowing with health, their laughter fills the air,
As to this favoured play ground they repair.
When Winter can such joy to children bring,
’Tis base ingratitude to sigh for Spring! [page 28]

Mountaineering In Westmount

     People talk in ecstasies
     Of the Alps and Pyrenees
With their glaciers like a torrent frozen stiff,
     And their lofty snow crowned peaks,
     Which the mountain climber seeks
At the risk of falling off some icy cliff.

     They are beautiful and grand,
     Yet we do not understand
Why people love to scramble up their slops,
     With spiked boots and alpenstocks,
     Dodging landslides and loose rocks,
With guides who are attached to them by ropes.

     You may think it odd and queer,
     But we’d rather stay right here,
Frankly, we consider travelling a bore;
     And if we have the time,
     We much prefer to climb
On a mountain that is anchored at our door!

     Above the Boulevard
     The going is not hard,
There are steps and platforms, if you care to hike it;
     With no avalanche alarming,
     From the top the view is charming,
You may roam the world and yet find nothing like it. [page 29]

Westmount’s Winter Sports

     It is pleasant to look round
     On the white, snow covered ground,
When the sun is shining brightly in the sky;
     And to skim upon the ice
     In this winter paradise,
As all who live in Westmount testify.

     To the parks the children crowd,
     Where they romp and shout aloud,
On skates, toboggans, skiis, they pass the time;
     While the hours seem all too short
     To indulge their love of sport,
In Westmount’s famous sunny winter clime.

     Spring will soon arive, we know,
     To melt all the ice and snow,
When our furs and overshoes we’ll put away;
     So each healthy girl and boy,
     Should our winter sports enjoy,
And get all the fun that’s going while they may. [page 30]

Westmount in March

     If the price you can afford,
     It is nice to go abroad
And thus the whirling winds of March escape,
     To Bermuda, or those outdoors,
     And the juicy, yellow fruit that’s misnamed Grape.

     But though travellers may sneer,
     There are compensations here,
For those who cannot take the time to roam.
     We’ve no reason to repine,
     There are many who incline
To prefer the simple joys they find at home.

     Every visitor remarks
     Our splendid winter parks,
There’s no better place for sport, as all agree,
     You may go to Florida,
     Or to some place similar,
But Westmount, P.Q.,’s good enough for me! [page 31]

Signs of Spring

Have you noticed how much brighter it is getting,
That the sun, when shining, is much later setting,
     And, although it still keeps snowing,
     There’s no doubt that Winter’s going,
Which not many people waste their time regretting.

It is evident to me when I’m out walking,
In Westmount Park, and listen to men talking,
     For they don’t make any bones,
     But will speak in gleeful tomes,
Of the days when o’er the “fairway” they’ll be stalking.

Golf—that game beginners find is so provoking—
They will play, no matter if the ground is soaking;
     Soon the fields and tennis courts,
     Will be used for summer sports,
And the benches in the parks by “has - beens”
—smoking! [page 32]

On Guard
(Dedicated to the Royal Montreal Regiment)

Of Westmount’s handsome Armoury I sing!
Headquarters of our gallant Infantry,
It stands four-square for Country—Alter—King!
The Home of Westmount’s youthful chivalry,
Who made the World safe for Democracy—
Giving themselves for all we cherish most—
Smashing the savage Hun’s autocracy—
When Duty called, they did not count the cost,
But sacrificed their lives in that red holocaust!

The Nations now are paying wars may cease—
’Tis an old story. After every war
They’re sick of fighting, and the cry for Peace
Comes from the headache of “the night before”.
They want to sleep, lull’d in the lap of Law—
’Twas ever thus, Peace! Peace! is now the cry,
Fighting they will indulge in never more!
Well! Britons never did no Force rely,
They put their trust in God—and keep their powder dry.

Hark! what was that! a bugle’s vibrant call—
A drum taps,—Come! with its insistent beat—
Words of command are heard, while over all,
The Union Jack waves proudly o’er the street.
Follows, the steady tramp of marching feet—
Led onward by the Regimental Band,
Westmount’s Battalion once again we greet,
As when they marched upon a foreign strand,
To fight for Canada at Duty’s stern command. [page 33]

To The Reverend Edward Bushell
On His Retirement
After Thirty-eight Years’ Service as Rector of
St. Matthias Church, Westmount

For eight and thirty years, as men record,
He labored in the vineyard of the Lord.
Building his house on rock, not shifting sands,
A living temple, strong and sound it stands.
His Faith he showed in Works. Afflictions came.
The Fatherhood of God he did proclaim,
And Brotherhood of Man. So year by year,
He taught his flock to love and persevere.
Now, as the shadows fall, he turns away,
To seek his well-earn’d rest at close of day.
And as he looks back on the well-fought field
While younger hands take up his sword and shield,
He can repose, assured, Life’s battle won,
To hear, some day, his Master say,—“Well done!” [page 34]


Spring Comes to Westmount

Westmount is throwing off its winter garb,
The flower beds that lay for months below
Their deep soft blanket of protecting snow,
With tulip bulbs safe sheltered from the barb.

Of icy winds descending from the Pole,
Are now appearing to delight our eyes,
The sleeping beauties of our parks arise,
Their charms displaying, as their leaves unroll.

Soon boys and girls will sit around and spoon
In Westmount Park. They’re getting out the seats
As well as sea-saws, swings, and other treats,
The geese and ducks will be out paddling soon.

The latter seem to have the happy knack
Of getting what they want. They are not slack
In letting people know just what they lack,
And if they’re sick, they just call in a quack. [page 35]

What Price Civilization

[Health Commissioner Wynne speaks for the whole medical profession when he says that noise wear on the nerves, and that is has a particularly bad effect on the sick.—New York Times, Sept. 17th, 1929.]

In Westmount Library there is a book
By Francis Parkman, “The Oregon Trail,”
That tells us how, as a young man, he took
A trip out West. It is a well told tale 
Of strange adventure over hill and dale,
And on the prairie, where the buffalo
Roamed in vast herds. The story cannot fail
To interest because it helps to show
How, when the white man came, the red man had to go.

Six weeks he lived, a guest, of the wild Sioux,
Moving about with them from place to place;
And his description of them, if ’tis true,
Will give us food for though, for we can trace
Through savage forms, the customs of out race.
The Indian children played, like ours, with toys;
The “braves” enjoyed the pleasures of the chase;
But what impressed him most, was, men and boys
Were bent on seeing who could make the loudest noise. [page 36]

He tells us, among other things, he found
It quite impossible to sleep at night.
The camp with yells and hootings would resound,
Young “bucks” were always spoiling for a fight,
While mongrel curs would howl and snap and bite;
A nervous wreck, he bid the tribe adieu.
This book we recommend. It throws a light,
Not only on the Past, but ’tis a clue
To what destroyed the Red, and may the White man too. [page 37]

Westmount in April

The south wind helps the sun at banishing
The snow, ’tis gone or quickly vanishing,
     While the trilliums shyly peep
     From their beds of balmy sleep,
And decide its time to wake and greet the Spring.

Dame Nature seems to stir before our eyes,
And, throwing off her winter blankets, rise,
     While the warm and gentle rain
     Brings the robins back again,
With Daylight Saving Time for exercise.

The tennis-courts will soon have up their nets
And be filled with happy, children playing sets
     While their elders stoop to bowls,
     And forget about the coals,
Winter’s over, and ’tis gone without regrets! [page 38]

Spring Cleaning

[“It is rather strange that nobody has though of writing a poem or an elegy upon spring cleaning.” – Montreal Gazette, May 8 – 29]

          ’Tis considered a condition,
          Hallowed by a long tradition,
That our homes should be turned inside out in Spring;
          And the Montreal Gazette
          Wonders why no poet yet
Has this annual upheaval tried to sing.

          If this tip you feel like scorning,
          Just stay home some fine May morning,
And you’ll see what looks like a bombarded town;
          Or an earthquake, —such a mess—
          Everything that you possess
Will be on the floor or standing upside down.

          In the passage an halls,
          You will risk some nasty falls,
By tripping over kitchen mops and pails;
          And while in this situation,
          You may get an inspiration
That Hoffman would have envied for his “Tales”.

          For the deep-toned droning hum
          Of the vibrant “Vacuum”,
Sings a Spring Song without words, but full of meaning;
          There’s no arguing with “must”
          There’s no palm without the dust,
That’s the lesson inculcated by Spring Cleaning. [page 39]

Victoria Day

Once more we celebrate, as Britons should,
The birthday of Victoria the Good.
Children have long looked forward to the date,
On lawns and side-walks they will congregate,
From early morn ’til far into the night,
For on this day, we know, ’tis their delight
To let off crackers, bombs, and make a noise,
A thing that every healthy child enjoys.
While parents try in vain to hide their fears,
And nervous folk stuff cotton in their ears;
Watching the trail of each high soaring rockets,
Thinking it fine, yet half inclined to “knock” it.
Squibs splutter underneath pedestrians’ feet,
While flaring roman candles light the street;
Flags flutter everywhere that flags can hang,
And can’d torpedoes go off with a bang.
What though, the morning after, we confess,
The avenue is in an awful mess:
It proves, if proof were needed, far and near,
That Westmount’s annual tribute was sincere.
On each recurring twenty-fourth of May,
’Tis this celebrate Victoria Day. [page 40]

The Time is Short

     A few more days will pass, 
     For only few remain,
And Westmount’s scholars soon will rest
     Till Autumn comes again.
     We hope they’re well primed for
     Examination Day,
So they can, with a quiet mind,
     Put all their books away.

     A few more sums are set
     Before there comes the time
When they will be where lessons are
     Regarded as a crime.
     We hope they will enjoy
     Their summer holidays;
We’ll miss them on the Avenue
     With all their noisy ways.

     A few more hectic nights,
     To con their lessons o’er,
A few more crams to pass exams,
     And they will cram no more.
     By river, lake and sea,
     They’ll paddle, bathe and climb,
And dad will take them sailing, in
     The Good Old Summer Time. [page 41]

The Rising Generation

[“The Graduation Exercises of the Westmount High School and the Westmount Public Schools will take place early next month.”—News Item]

Westmount is well supplied with handsome schools,
In which the rising generation learns,
By means of graded classes and strict rules,
All sorts of subjects, that promotion earns,
By working hard before the school adjourns.
And when, at last, they pass the highest grade,
The Lamp of Knowledge, which to brightly burns,
Shines out upon their path, and by its aid,
They start on Life’s rough journey, unafraid.

But yet, three subjects, do not seem to be
Given much attention, though we think they are
Perhaps more useful than Geography,
Or even History and Algebra.
We’ve often thought it rather singular,
Both sexes should grow up so inefficient—
Neglect of these, their future prospects mar—
In Writing, Spelling, many are deficient,
While in Good Manners, few appear proficient. [page 42]
When they, at last, the friendly shelter leave,
Of Home, and School, to earn their daily bread;
They’ll fins that those who would success achieve,
Must be polite if they would forge ahead.
If they think otherwise, they’ve been misled,
A courteous manner should be taught all the books they’ve read.
Disaster waits in those who ridicule,
The Business value of The Golden Rule! [page 43]

The Children’s Friend

[At the opening and closing hours of the schools, there is no sight more delightful than to see the smaller children with the police. They vie with each other in being first to reach the officer, and hold his hand. They show perfect confidence in him as a protector and friend, and he seems fully to enjoy his contact with the children.—Press Clipping.]

It is a charming sight to see
     The children, as they run
To greet their friend the “Traffic Cop”
     As soon as school is done.
They push and crowd to hold his hand,
     And smile up in his face;
They feel that they are safe with him;
     There is no need to race
Across the street, for he will stop
     All traffic with a wave
Of his right arm, and then they know
     The autos must behave.
School children have the right of way,
     Their friend, the Traffic Cop,
In whom they have such confidence,
     Makes every driver stop,
Until they reach the other side,
     Then with a rush and roar,
The stream of traffic sweeps along,
     Just as it did before.
’Tis said that the Policemen’s lot
     Is not a happy one— [page 44]
To tramp the street, upon their beat,
     In cold and heat, or rain and sleet,
Lacks elements of fun.
     Yet it has compensations which
Good fellows comprehend,
     When tiny tots race out of school
To greet “The Children’s Friend.” [page 45]

The Big Bun in the Park

There is a German gun in Westmount Park
Half hidden by the trees, its outline dark
Is seen, with muzzle plug’d and open breach,
Silent and grim, yet does its presence preach
A sermon to all those who hurry by
Who think the End such Means can justify!
Its deep toned voice once uttered dreadful things,
Broadcasting the last argument of Kings!
Who vainly sought with it to save their crowns.
Forsaken now, in woodland frame it frowns,
A monster, rusting in the snow and rain,
Dreaming perchance of hecatombs of slain!
Blind slave and instrument of ruthless war,
It drown’d all other voices, with its roar,
Death and destruction hurling far and wide,
O’er tortured towns and deep-scar’d countryside.
Never again will it to us dictate,
Its message—Murder! and its motive—Hate!
But stand, a sign, that men from War should cease,
And turn to paths of pleasantness and Peace! [page 46]

The Holiday Season

     In the hot month of July,
     All the neighbours seem to hie
To the country where they claim it’s much more cool;
     To the seaside or the lakes,
     Every family betakes
Themselves until the kids go back to school.

     The people left behind,
     Don't greatly seem to mind,
Or if they all conceal their grief;
     For the quiet in the street
     Is to them a welcome treat,
And they’re thankful for the respite and relief.

     Westmount’s children—girls and boys—
     Are adepts at making noise,
And though money’s spent like water on our parks;
     The children do not use ’em,
     There’s nothing will induce ’em
To change the “place of venue” for their larks.

     But morning, noon, and night,
     Like wild Indians they delight
In noise, for noise’s sake, and think it fun
     To scuffle in the gutter,
     And the raucous cries they utters
Is one reason for asylums, like Verdun! [page 47]

Rus in Urbe
(Country in Town)

     People who must stay in town,
     Find the sun will tan them brown,
Just as if they went and spent three hundred dollars,
     At the sea-side or a lake,
     For the rest and change’s sake,
And the pleasure of discarding coats and collar,

     Yet may think, when they get home,
     That the cost of going to roam,
Is hardly worth the trouble at its best;
     For, though it may seem strange,
     The waiters get the change,
While railways and hotels will take the rest.

     If you want to get away,
     And can’t afford to pay
The prices asked, which always seem a crime;
     There’s Ste. Anne’s or Bout de l’Isle,
     You can go to and not feel
Completely broke ’til it is Christmas time.

     Then there’s Cartierville, Lachine,
     With many a sylvan scene
With Chateauguay, and Woodlands, not so far—
     Why enrich the State of Maine,
     When it’s cheaper to remain,
And just as nice, in Westmount, Canada. [page 48]

Westmount in August

O you who fly, we wonder why,
     To mountain, lake or beach,
And leave your homes when August comes,
     It seems a waste of speech.

To tell you how much nicer now 
     It is in Westmount Town,
The neighbors’ boys, with horrid noise,
     Don't turn things upside down.

We stand and talk, or take a walk
     On pavements free from “scooters”,
Nor ask the cop to put a stop
     To football and pea-shooters.

The alamanack will bring them back,
     To shatter and dismember
Our peace—we know the awful row
     Will start up in September. [page 49]

The New Park

Which I wish to remark, and my language in plain,
That the new Westmount park they are getting in train,
       Is going to be a humdinger! which 
            We soon will be taxed to maintain.

There’s a field first of all for engaging in sports,
Such as foot, and base ball, also four tennis courts,
       While below are two pools for the kiddies,
            For sailing, and wading in shorts.

There’s corner laid out for clock golf, I am told,
You can play it no doubt when you’re feeling too old
       To engage in the pastimes of youngsters,
            Who like to be reckless and bold.

A rock garden below, with paths winding round,
Will make a fine show, while upon a green mound,
       The crest of the City in flowers,
            Has made an impression profound.

Which is why I remark, and it’s hard to refrain
From repeating it over and over again,
       Our new park will be a humdinger, which
            We all will be proud to maintain. [page 50]

Night Thoughts

The moon climbs upward in a cloudless sky,
Above the sleeping city, and its beams
Light up the landscape and intensify
The silence as their mellow radiance streams
O’er empty streets and trees lined avenues
And velvets lawns sparkling with evening dews.

The lamp posts stand like watchful sentinels
On either side of each broad thoroughfare;
Where tramway tracks, in long drawn parallels,
In daytime all the tides of traffic bear,
’Neath filaments stretched out like spiders’ webs,
That guide the current as it flows and ebbs.

Moon’s midnight magic dulls each drowsing sense,
While tired Time appears to stand quite still;
Pausing to rest ere he will re-commence
His flight and human destiny fulfill.
Weary and worn with world-wide wandering,
He sinks to sleep beneath Night’s sable wing.

A pallid light spreads upward from the East,
The spell is broken—Time resumes his flight;
’T would seem as though his speed had been increased
To make up for the hours he lost at night.
A distant murmur rises to a roar—
The stream of Life flows onward as before. [page 51]

Cricket in the Park

There is a game, provided you have leisure,
In which one can indulge in Westmount Park;
Or if too old you’ll find it is a pleasure
To sit at ease upon a bench and mark
The ball, as it describes a graceful arc,
Hurled by the bowler at the bail-top’d wicket,
Caught by the short-stop, as we hear him bark,
“How’s that”! The batsman having the game of Cricket.

Now, like a stone thrown from a catapult,
The next ball swiftly leaves the bowler’s hand;
There is no doubt this time of the result,
The batsman – captain of his sturdy band –
Steps out to meet it with a gesture grand –
Crack! and behold the hard hit leather sphere
Soars upward, onward, over the grand-stand.
We watch it, breathless, in its wild career,
While all around the air is rent with cheer on cheer!

The game proceeds, while underneath the trees,
We watch the gay and animated scene,
Puffing our pipe and very much at ease,
Beside a sunny wide expanse of green,
In calm contentment, and with placid mien.
The younger set may vote such pleasure tame,
They’d rather rush about in a machine –
We know, when we were young, we did the same—
We’ve had our innings; ’tis their turn to “play the game”. [page 52]

A Lament

[The two magnificent elms, which have stood near the head of Arlington Avenue, by the side of the Cote St. Antoine Road for one hundred year, are to be cut down as part of the “improvements?” in that section. Their destruction is caused by the necessity for providing more room for the increasing for providing more room for the increasing motor traffic.—news Item.]

Brother! what means this sound of drill,
That all my inmost being fills
          With waves of nameless dread?
I feel our mortal enemies,
The executioners of trees,
          Advance with stealthy tread.

Alas! our friends they’ve hack’d and hewn,
Their limbs are by the roadway strewn,
          And soon ’t will be our fate
To fall, fresh victims to the breed
Of Adam, whose insensate greed,
          We all have cause to hate.

No sense of beauty will restain
These man, before whose crafty brain
          All living things must bow;
The foliage that our branches spreads,
To shield the sun-glare from their heads,
          Means nothing to them now!

A hundred years we’ve cast around
Our sylvan shade upon this ground,
          And now, condemn’d to die,
All we can ever hope to be
In future, is a memory,
          Regretted with a sigh! [page 53]

Westmount’s Public Library

The Civic Library in Westmount Park,
Provides a port from which we may embark
On voyages of discovery and share 
The thrills of travel from an easy chair.
In ships or aeroplanes explore the Poles,
Fixing our straining eyes on distant goals,
Through jungles march for many a weary mile
To find at last the sources of the Nile,
Though short of wind, we climb the highest Alps,
Though timid, in New Guinea risk our scalps.

Passports we do not need, and frontiers scorn,
We circle Earth upon the Wings of Morn.
Enchantment here all find awaiting them,
Who step inside this architectural gem.
The men who plan’d it shoes a perfect site,
Which gives the maximum of space and light.
Its  weathered bricks and gables ’midst the trees,
Blend with the landscape. Everyone agrees
It forms a perfect picture, where repose
The many treasures that its walls inclose.

Gazing around, one sees two spacious halls,
With tables, on which periodicals
Of every type are places with cosy nooks
Where you can sit and look at picture books,
Or glance through volumes, handsomely encased
In bookshelves round the walls in order placed.
Then through a palm-decked passage pass to see
The hall that form the Children’s Library.
Above are fire-proof stacks that safely house
Thousands of book, enticing you to browse. [page 54]

Upon the stored up wisdom of the Past,
An endless feast, with courses duly classed,
History; Biography; Philosophy;
Plays; Memoirs; Travels; Humour; Poetry.
“From grave to gay, from lively to severe”
No matter what you seek you’ll find it here.
Westmount has many charms, but all agree
The greatest is its Civic Library! [page 55]

City Hall Peonies

A thing of beauty is no joy forever
In spite of what John Keats said years ago.
We’d like to think it is, but did he never
Behold the lilies of the valley grow,
Blossom, and fade—a fleeting joy. we know
The brightest flowers, wither, droop, and fade,
Passing away like alpine afterglow,
Or scent of lavender in which is laid
The fragrant memory of some dear departed maid.

Behold the peonies! a riotous display
Of colour, growing round our City Hall.
A joy, alas! too soon to pass away.
A week or so, and they’ll decline and fall
Like every living thing. they hear the call
Of Nature, and make ready to depart,
No matter how deep rooted, strong and tall,
Or well preserved, a numbness grips their heart,
When Death, with bony fingers, points at them his dart.

The inevitable changes that we see,
Are signs that warn us also to prepare
To pass from Time into Eternity.
’Tis only for a moment that we share
This life, derived from water, earth, and air.
The coming generation soon will sweep
Us, with the dry, dead leaves of yester-year,
Into oblivion, there to rest and sleep.
A “rendezvous with Death” all living things must keep! [page 56]

The Age of Innocence

Somewhere, upon Prince Albert Avenue,
       The passer-by, on bright and sunny days,
If he is lucky, may obtain a view
       Of a small girl who round about there plays.
Her age, perhaps, is four, and should she raise
       Her face, and stop to watch you as you pass,
You will most likely stand still in amaze,
       Longing to sit with her upon the grass,
The playmate of this little smiling lass.

A sun-kiss’d skin, and wavy golden hair;
       Blue eyes, and rosy cheeks, with legs and arms
Uncovered, showing dimples everywhere;
       Unconsciously displaying childhood’s charms:
The “Age of Innocence”, before alarms
       Of adolescence come to cast a shade
About her frolic footsteps. It disarms
       Detraction, calling chivalry to aid,
To guard from harm this little fairy maid.

O childhood! how in cautious, crusty age,
       We see thee through a far off golden haze;
Playing, as we did in those halcyon days,
       Care free, unheeding of the future years—
And burdens Life upon our shoulders lays—
       The gloom, the lamp of Hope so faintly cheers—
The vain regrets—the scalding bitter tears! [page 57]

The Plesasant Lanes of Westmount

The pleasant lanes of Westmount,
         By art and nature made;
Connecting streets and avenues,
         So full of regretful shade.
’Tis there pedestrians find relief
         From noise and smoke and glare;
No growling ’bus or roaring tram
         Can follow them in there.

Here gardens bloom with hollyhocks,
         Sweet peas, geraniums;
With roses and bright peonies,
         And gay nasturtiums.
Smooth, clean cement beneath our feet
         Makes walking here a joy;
No jostling crowds distract our thoughts,
         Or sense of peace and alloy.

The weekly washing adds a note
         To this domestic scene,
Where, from the back verandahs,
         The busy housemaids lean.
Westmount has many beauty spots,
         That civic pride maintains,
But we would call attention to
         Her cool and shady lanes. [page 58]

The Sailing Pond

              It is a pretty sight
              To see the keen delight
Of children round the pond in Westmount Park,
              As they sail their little boats,
              In fact anything that floats,
From model racing yacht to Noah’s ark.

              We’re too old to stoop and bend,
              But we feel we’d like to lend
A hand, if we were sure they would not wet us;
              In the hope we might recapture
              The long lost careless rapture
Of the days that are no more, if they would let us.

              Grown up people waste their time
              In a frantic race to climb
To the top, and those who get there tell us after,
              Though they spent their lives to win it,
              Though is really nothing in it,
And they’ve lost delight in games, and fun, and laughter.

              So we pass upon our way,
              Feeling old, and far from gay,
For all that we can do is but remember
              Our childhood’s happiness,
              As sadly we confess
May flowers will not bloom in bleak December. [page 59]

Laying Out the Park

Rock garden, wading, sailing pool,
Are taking shape in the news park;
With shady nooks providing cool
Retreats where one can sit and mark
The children playing on the grass,
Or, in the blue, and airplane pass.

Or watch the Cote St. Antoine Road,
Which, since it has been widened out,
Had lifted many an anxious load
From minds of motorists no doubt
Who, even if they weren’t addicted
To speeding, found it too constricted.

Four splendid tennis-courts, we find
Have been constructed, and a net
Encloses them, one need not mind
How hard, when playing in a set,
We hit the ball, it will rebound,
And roll in plain view on the ground.

And then, by Westmount Avenue,
There is a restful green expanse,
From it we get a lovely view,
Where History melts into Romance.
For ruthless redmen used to roam
On ground we stand on and call—Home! [page 60]

Mosquitoes in Westmount

Westmount has many pleasing points which make
It an ideal resort for those who choose
To spend the summer here, and not betake
Themselves away, but one point we could lose,
It is the cause of much domestic woe—
The point of annopheles mosquito.

It seems they have a breeding place close by,
Upon the surface of the lower pond
Within the Park, if so, we wonder why
It is not cleaned, it cannot be beyond
The wit of Westmount to apply a cure
To what no one would willingly endure.

’Tis Ann O’Pheles, so we have been told—
“The female of the species” once again—
Who shows herself more deadly and more bold
Than other pests, and therefore must be slain,
We must do something if we’d “save our face”
So why provide Ann with a breeding place?

Mosquitoes are mankind’s relentless foes,
They carry germs about in their proboscis,
They are the cause of countless mundane woes,
So experts say, who take a wide synopsis
Of their activities, and now what’s what,
Meanwhile there is on remedy, —that’s swat. [page 61]

Westmount’s New Church

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever!”—
So John Keats sang, a hundred years ago.
When looking in our newest church we never
Could think of doubting it—it charms us so!
We watched it like a lovely flower grow,
Until at length appeared, by slow degrees,
Four graceful pinnacles, as compare with these—
Gleaming—a dream in stone—above the trees!

The architect who plan’d this miracle,
Deserves our grateful thanks. We hope his name
Will be preserved by some memorial
Within the church, his genius to proclaim
To future years. perhaps they’ll put the same
Inscription, as in Wren’s cathedral mighty,
Whose soaring dome perpetuates his fame,
Instead of effigy, in marble icy—
“Si monumentum quaeris – circumspice!*

*If you seek his monument—look around you. [page 62]

In Westmount Park

’Twas after church, ’twixt twelve and one;
We strolled quite carefree in the sun
And sniffles the balmy, spring-like breeze
In Westmount Park, beneath the trees.
When near the tennis courts, a shock
We felt that made our reason rock.

’Twas not an earthquake made us reel
And trembling shake from head to heel,
But something there which met our eyes
And filled us with a wild surmise;
Nailed to a tree, a strange, mad sight,
A legend writ in blue and white.

In any other spot but this
It would not seem so much amiss,
But in the sacred precincts kept
Free from the Demon Rum, inept,
Outrageous and quite out of place
Stuck, staring us, slap in the face.

Here are the words—judge, we who read,
If we exaggerate the need
Of something to sustain and tune us—
“Wine Cherry,” then “Rum Cherry,” “Prunus”.
“Serotina”! – Have one on me –
A new brand by the Q.L.C. [page 63]

To think that Westmount Park is lent
For cherry wine advertisement!
Prune Rum as well! and Serotina!
This surely is a misdemeanor.
O! what a falling off is there!
Boy! page the aldermen and mayor!

Some say no harm is meant, that these
Are not rum ads., but names of trees.
It may be so; to us it seems
A yarn that’s told to the marines,
Rum, wine and prunes with Serotina
Would make one see an amphisboena.

N.B.—That last word’s not a fake;
It just means a two-headed snake.
They chase pink squirrels after dark
Around the lake in Westmount Park
And up the prune wine cherry trees
In Serotina rum D.T.’s.

Take warning, all this tale you read;
No matter what you think you need
By way of stimulant, do not,
We pray for you, linger near that spot.
Take our advice, nor risk D.T.,
But stick to brands marked Q.L.C. [page 64]

Victoria Hall

Our “Peoples’ Palace”, in a garden set,
A realized ideal in stone! It stands
On Sherbrooke Street, with tower and parapet,
Fulfilling Art’s most critical demands.
Inside ’tis decorated by the hands
Of men who study modern means and ways
To charm the eye; and as the Town expands,
Our hall, its cost a hundredfold repays,
While all unite its management to praise.

The theatre has a gallery and stage,
With space to easily accommodate
A thousand people, which we can engage
For meetings, lectures, concerts, or debate;
For all such purposes ’tis adequate.
There is a splendid pipe-organ as well,
Whose mellow tone our senses captivate;
Softly it sounds, anon, to rise and swell,
Bidding us yield to music’s magic spell.

Below are smaller rooms in which we meet
For various kinds of social gayety;
With catering facilities complete
For entertaining High Society.
Lodge rooms, designed with quiet dignity,
On the top floor, display what modern art
Can do with furniture and drapery.
Victoria Hall is Westmount’s civic heart—
You’ll travel far to find its counterpart! [page 65]

Listening to the Band

The moon shine down upon a happy crowd,
Sitting or walking round a rustic stand.
Here young and old, the gentle and low-brow’d.
In Westmount Park, are listening to the band.
See, the conductor, as he lifts his wand,
Commanding silence – gracefully he saws
The air, and at the motion of his hand,
The drums roll, and the big brass trumpet roars,
Eliciting tumultuous rounds of loud applause.

Perhaps a waltz tune next they’ll start to play,
If so let’s hop it is no jazz-band tune,
But one that will recall that far off day,
When we were young beneath the same old moon;
“Dreamland Faces”; or “The Blue Danube”; soon
We’re drifting back, on silver waves of sound,
To times when tender hearts were not immune
To whispered words on Youth’s enchanted ground,
Where, at the rainbow’s end, the pot of gold is found!

After an interval, they start again,
This time “The Overture from William Tell”.
We love to hear the old familiar strain,
Although each note and bar we know so well—
The storm; the huntsman’s horn, clear as a bell;
The chase; the view halloo; we understand
The shouts that echo in the hollow dell;
The pounding hoofs upon the shaking strand;
All this we visualize while listening to the band! [page 66]

Where to Go

       In the good old summer time,
       To escape the soot and grime,
And the noise of motor horns that hoot and screech;
       If we cannot all afford
       An expensive trip abroad,
There are mountains, lakes, and rivers we can reach.

       At Lachine, on Lake St. Louis,
       There are cottages “a louer”,
Some are cheap and some of course, are more expensive;
       You can rent a house and lot
       In a nice retired spot,
With bathing beach and water view extensive.

       Then for people who prefer
       To enjoy the mountain air
There’s the Adirondacks and the fames Laurentians;
       And if one has the time
       And energy to climb,
They will find them all the picture guidebook mentions.

       But if you’re short of cash,
       And cannot cut a dash
At such place, don't feel grouchy or despair;
       When the weather’s blazing hot,
       The most comfortable spot
Is the back verandah, and an easy chair! [page 67]

Exceeding the Speed Limit

        When approaching Westmount Town,
        On your brake you should press down,
And exercise the very utmost caution,
        Otherwise a zealous cop
        With his hand will signal, Stop!
And a fat and juicy fine will be your portion.

        Cough up, and grin and bear it,
        What though you cannot spare it,
If you live in Westmount City, you must know,
        Is costs a lot to run it,
        So speed fiends learn to shun it,
For Westmount cops will see that they go slow.

        Do not blame our blue protectors,
        They are placed there as detectors
Of those who break the by-laws as to speed,
        Although just now you’re mad,
        Some day you may be glad,
To call on them, and find them friends in need. [page 68]

On cutting Corners

[The sharp corner at Arlington Avenue on the Cote St. Antoine Road is to be eliminated.—West End News.]

       There’s a corner on our street,
       Where motor drivers meet,
And blow their horns all day and half the night.
       It is quite near our abode,
       On the Cote St. Antoine Road,
And the noise they keep on making is a “fright”.

       In their headlong mad career,
       They will sometimes swoop and veer,
Then climb the curb and crash into the fence;
       Where, amidst the broken glass,
       They will curse the silly ass
Who was crowding them, in language quite intense.

       Now we’re glad to read, that owing 
       To the danger, they are going
To cut away that corner very soon;
       And, perhaps, when it is finished,
       The noise will be diminished,
If so, we’ll all be thankful for this boon.

       But alas! we are afraid,
       When the new improvement’s made,
We will still in gloom have cause to be immersed;
       For the traffic will increase,
       So the noise will never cease,
And our last state will be much worse than our first. [page 69]

Beside the Park

On Melville Avenue we mark,
In Westmount, opposite the Park,
Two red brick buildings close together,
Built to resist all kinds of weather.
One has an ivy-mantled tower,
The other, flat roofed, is much lower.
Inside the first all sounds of strife
Are hush’d for here the bread of life
Is promised, on the Sabbath Day,
To those who meekly kneel and pray,
In words familiar, with bow’d head:
“Give us this day our daily bread.”
And, though the words are never uttered,
They hope the bread will be well buttered. 

The lowly building close beside,
Six days a week is open wide.
“All people that on earth do dwell,”
Will recognize at once the smell,
It is a bakery, we know,
Where men work hard to raise the dough,
For well bred men who sickness dread
Are never well without the bread.
One day a week our earthly food
Is mixed with heavenly for our good.
And as no church can rise and grow
Without the help of common “dough”,
What bakers knead, and church need,
They both must have, we’re all agreed. [page 70]

The Wilds of Westmount

Behold the glen in Westmount’s civic park!
Tree lined, steep bank’d, where in its shady bed,
A cool stream slowly wanders through the dark
Towards a pool where ducks and geese are fed;
’Neath rustic bridges on towards a shed
For feathered denizens to roost at night,
With wings that cover each a drowsy head,
Free from all care and hidden out of sight
Until the sun scatters their dreams with shafts of light!

Here is a spot where children love to creep—
A fairy region, full of Indians! Bears!
Lurking behind the trees, they crouch, and leap
Upon the bold adventurer, unawares.
Only a scout or hardy trapper dares
To range these wilds, such courage it demands;
But in pursuit if scalps, or gold, or furs,
They follow and attack the fiercest bands,
With hunting knife and rifle ready in their hands.

Who would have though, so close to Sherbrooke Street,
With citizen, unconscious, walking by,
Within a stone’s throw, almost at their feet,
Red Indians in their war paint, waiting, lie,
To tomahawk some nurse maid on the sly;
While grizzly bears will hug them after dark—
In day time they refrain because they’re shy—
Oh! hunting in the glen was quite a lark
When we were very young, in Westmount Park. [page 71]

A Rainy Day

Why is it, on a rainy day,
The shining car tracks stretch away
Into the distance, just as far
As you can see without a car
In sight, and as you stand and fret
You can’t help getting very wet,
While motor-busses lumber by,
With passengers who look quite dry.
Then motor cars your clothes will splash,
The drivers look on you as trash,
And when your street car heaves in sight,
You’re sure to get another fright,
From some road-hog who thinks it smart
Between you and the steps to dart.
However, once a board the cars
You’re safe, at least ’till you alight,
And can enjoy the leasing sight
Of office flappers, who expose
Their nether limbs in flesh-tint hose,
One girl there is, you’d like to warn her
She’s showing, —hullo! here’s your corner.
’Tis just as well, for we suppose
She might get mad—and so it goes [page 72]

Taking Shape

Slowly but rarely, every day,
They’re carting stones and earth away,
       And, as we look around,
’Tis interesting to remark
The changes made in Murray Park
       By levelling the ground.

The big stone house has disappeared,
The underbrush has all been cleared,
        And winding paths laid out;
A football field, and tennis courts,
A bowling green, and other sports
       We will enjoy no doubt.

The children are to have a pool
To splash about in and keep cool,
       Which every child enjoys;
Another pond will be a place
Where boys their model yachts can race—
       The nicest kind of toys.

Already we have seen them swoop,
Last winter, such a happy troop,
       With a many a bump and fall,
On slender skiis, and squat bob-sleighs,
So all concerned have earned our praise
       At Westmount’s City Hall! [page 73]

How to Keep Healthy – Walk!

       When the days are bright and sunny,
       Motor folk just think it funny,
Up and down the Cote St. Antoine Road to race;
       And they get upon our nerves!
       As they swoop around the curves,
Like an ambulance responding to a “case”.

       To them, it may seem queer,
       That we should still adhere
To a mode of locomotion out of date;
       But although they sneer and scoff,
       At Shank’s Mare, it can ward off
Many plagues that sitting still will aggravate.

       They complain of aches and chills,
       While they dose themselves with pills,
But, if they’d stop to think instead of talking;
       They would guess the simple cause,
       And stop breaking Nature’s laws,
And cure themselves by getting out and walking! [page 74]

Scene Shifting

Our park in Westmount, everyone agrees,
Is just the place to sit when it is hot.
There are so many seats beneath the trees,
Where you can always find a shady spot,
Withdrawn from where the automobile hoots,
And watch the children sliding down the chutes.

Or, if you should be studiously inclined,
The public Library invites you in,
There you will find refreshment for the mind,
Free from the tramcar’s intermittent din,
Books, magazines, and newspaper galore—
In easy chairs you can the world explore.

The “crimpled rose-leaf” near this Hall of Grace,
Is the peculiar fancy that would lift
Trees by the roots, and wantonly replace
Them up against a window,—’tis a gift
We could dispense with. Why not choose a site
In some spot that would not shut out the light?

The Tree of Knowledge flourishes inside
The portals of our Civic Library,
From there, its fruit is scattered far and wide,
As History — Poetry — Philosophy!
Why cast a shadow o’er this peaceful shrine,
By planting—much too close—a scrubby pine?! [page 75]

Those Traffic Signals

           Westmount placed, at great expense,
           Warning lights, that men of sense
Watch carefully,—they’re yellow, red, and green;
           Also sign that bid you stop,
           Or be held up by a cop,
In blue and white, quite plainly to be seen.

           But in spite of prohibitions,
           And repeated admonitions,
There are motorists, we much regret to say;
           Who, these wise precautions scorning,
           Disregard the friendly warning
And are being caught and summon’d every day.

           When they count the gain and loss,
           They will slow down ’ere they cross
For “musts” we know take precedence of “mights”,
           It will save a lot of trouble,
           For next time they’ll find ’em double,
To impress on them pedestrians have their rights.

           When you hear the road-hogs squealing,
           You may have a fellow feeling,
And consider they are being soaked unfairly;
           But to beat our Westmount Force,
           Take this tip, which they’ll endorse,
You will find you’ve got to get up bright and early! [page 76]

The Return of the Natives

The summer holidays are nearly done,
And Westmount’s children will be coming home;
They’ll have to say good-bye to all their fun;
For them, “the melancholy days have come”.
School doors re-open early in September,
And stay that way till sometime in December
How quickly has the summer slip’d away,
The holy calm, descending late in June,
Will now be shattered by the noisy play
Of whooping kids, who doubtless are a boon
To parents, and repay them for their neighbours.

“The heart of man is desperately wicked”
The Good Book says. As for a growing child,
A boy is like a stamp, unless you lick it
He will not “stick it”, and will grow up wild.
Train children in the way that they should go,
Or else prepare for an old age of woe.

Parents who spend their week-ends in their cars,
And let their children run about the streets,
Will find them later on frequenting bars,
And pool room, also holding down the seats
At race courses, which, after all is said,
Is not the way to earn one’s daily bread. [page 77]

Music in Westmount
Music is the universal language of mankind.—Longfellow

We do not know why Montreal should be
So lacking in a just appreciation
Of music and Musicians, yet we see
Great artists come and go, without elation,
And even when some famous aggregation,
From the Old Country, whom we should be glad
To welcome, without any instigation,
Visit our neighbours, they depart quite sad,
We grieve to say that Westmount’s just as bad.

Musicians need support to keep alive,
They cannot, like chameleons, live on air,
We do not know how some of them contrive
To live, and not give way to blank despair.
Some folk will say, ’tis none of our affair,
And yet, such Philistines, we would remind,
Music can soothe the breast and banish care,
It speaks to all—the lame, the halt, the blind,
The universal language of mankind! [page 78]

September in Westmount

I remember, I remember,
       ’Twas the first week in September,
(How I wish it was December,
       With the snow-drift round the door).
In my parlor I was grieving,
       August quiet, passed retrieving,
For I could not help perceiving 
       That the holidays were o’er.

On our street was wild commotion,
       Like the waves upon the ocean,
Which inspire us with the notion,
       They obey no law or rules.
Children on the side-walk swarming,
       All the neighbourhood transforming,
Like wild animals performing,
       On lawns, steps, and vestibules.

So I sat and listened sadly,
       For my head was acing badly,
While the noise continued madly,
       In and out and up and down.
Horns on bicycles were squeaking,
       Scooters on the pavements streaking,
Red Indians! — howling — shrieking —
       Westmount’s kids were back in Town! [page 79]

Sunday in Westmount

Sunday, alas! comes only once a week,
Perhaps that’s why we all enjoy it so,
The other days lead upward to this peak,
From whence we can survey the passing show.
Six days of labour only add a zest
To what we used to call—The Day of Rest.

But now—to tear along a country road
At forty miles and hour in a car,
Bumping and swaying, is the modern mode—
Swift movement always has been popular.
Only a few take refuge, ’til it’s dark
Beneath the spreading trees of Westmount Park.

These happy few enjoy the peaceful scene,
The flag-staff with its waving Union Jack—
The flower beds, and all the shades of green
In grass, shrubs, trees! They leave the beaten track,
To watch the clouds—mind, heart, and soul expanding,
There is the Peace that passeth understanding! [page 80]

A Perfect Day

A cloudless sky, a gentle breeze,
The grateful shade of branching trees,
          And, melting in the haze,
A distant prospect of a lake,
These natural beauties help to make
          The charm of Autumn days.

Then, to enjoy the landscape wide,
A dear companion by one’s side,
          Will double the delight,
As each discovers points of view,
That seem to them to offer new
          Entrancements to their sight.

The sun sinks, gorgeous in the West,
In all its rainbow colours dress’d,
          And evening shadows come,
Like curtains drawn around our heads,
Till high above the full moon sheds
          Its light to guide us home.

The mountain gleams with myriad sparks,
That each some street or dwelling marks,
          Like jewels they display
The beauty Night cannot conceal,
While on our minds they set the seal
          Of one more Perfect Day! [page 81]

Wayside Tragedy

Two little darting squirrels, full of life,
Playing about on Western Avenue.
Chasing each other in their mimic strife,
As happy children and all wild things do;
Climbing the wayside trees till out of breath,
Without a thought of danger, much less death!

Autumn had spread her carpet ’neath the trees.
From lightly shaken boughs, by flying feet,
Leaves, gently wafted by the evening breeze,
Deadened Death’s stealthy footsteps on the Street,
Who passed, unheard, unseen, upon his way,
And marked one little squirrel for his prey.

Two streaks of grey have now the sidewalk gained,
And raced across it out into the road—
One darted back in time, and so attained
To safety—only to blind luck he owed
The fact he was not lying over there,
A piteous lump of crimpled blood-stained fur!

A motor struck his little playmate down;
The wheels pass’d over him—he just had strength
To drag himself, before his like had flown,
Into the gutter where he lay full length,
Quite dead, and though the sight would make one sick,
Death had been merciful and killed him, quick! [page 82]

September Meditations

For a place to meditate,
We should like to indicate
A bench in Westmount Park beneath the trees;
Though the leaves begin to fade
There is still a lot of shade
Where one can sit and smoke and take one’s ease.

The air is not too cool, 
And children, out of school,
Add a happy note of joy and animation;
Squirrels play at his and seek,
Round the trees beside the creek,
Where the duck and geese indulge in recreation.

A warm day in September
Is something to remember,
For the seat will soon be taken all away;
Then the park will be deserted,
And you’ll wander disconcerted,
Like the disembodies ghost of yesterday.

For the smoke from dead leaves burning,
Warns us Winter is returning,
As it drifts across the empty tennis courts;
Though it is no use denying,
Soon the old year will be dying,
We console ourselves with thought of Winter Sports. [page 83]

Autumn Days

If there is something sad about the Fall,
It has its golden days to compensate,
When Autumn, in a mood majestical,
Dresses herself in robes of royal state
To greet her conqueror—a potentate
Before whose arms all living things retire—
Thus splendidly arrayed she meets her fate,
To be despoiled and strip’d of her fate,
Gathered in heaps to make her funeral pyre.

There is a charm, on fine October days,
In walking in a carpet of dead leaves,
When Autumn, to our wondering amaze,
The crowning triumph of the year achieves.
The slanting sunshine through the forest cleaves,
Where every yellow leaf reflects the light.
Through winding paths the saunterer perceives
Vistas which seem his footsteps to invite,
And lure him onward to some fairer sight.

There is a pathway that the top bisects 
Of Westmount mountain. From it one can view
Above the trees, the lovely cloud effects,
With droning airplanes circling in the blue,
Or trace the course of street and avenue.
While on a Sunday, when the air is clear,
Far purple peaks one can pick out anew,
Sky piercing rugged outlines, they appear 
Like outposts of some fairy hemisphere. [page 84]

October in the Park

There is a bench in Westmount Park,
Where one can sit at ease and mark,
          In safety, out of view,
The automobiles as they go,
Like shuttles, streaking to and fro,
          On Western Avenue.

Or watch the clouds in varied forms,
The harbingers of coming storms,
          Change swiftly, as they pass;
Like fairy castle in the sky,
A giant cumulus glides by,
          In a majestic mass.

Or, fan-like, form far overhead,
With streamers o’er the Mountain spread,
          And as we gaze around,
They shape themselves to ships with sails,
Rose-pink and pearl, as daylight fails,
          Whose shadows sweep the ground.

October chills the woodland green,
And soon on every had is seen,
          In amber tints and gold,
Signs that portend the end is near,
Summer is gone, and Autumn’s here,
          The year is growing old. [page 85]

Each Season’s welcome in its turn,
For Westmounters the home fires burn,
          And in their cosy glow;
We sit around, and take our ease,
And while Novemeber trips the trees,
           Prepare for Ice and Snow.

They bring with them a keener zest,
Our Winter climate is the best,
          For sport and exercise;
Skating and skiing help along,
They keep us young and well and strong—
          What, though the Old Year dies! [page 86]

Street Noises

       Children, playing with their toys,
       Simply love to make a noise,
And it’s perfectly delightful, in our parks,
       On some long, hot, summer day,
       As they run about and play,
On a shady bench, to watch them at their larks.

       What we cannot understand,
       With our parks so close at hand,
Why so many round their homes prefer to stick;
       Where they shout, and shriek, and yell,
       Which is hard to bear when well,
But is undiluted Hades when you’re sick.

       And when they’re put to bed,
       You cannot rest your head,
But have to lie and listen through the night,
       To the hog, who shrifts his gears,
       With a noise to split one’s ears,
And blows his motor-horn with all his might.

       So it goes on all the time,
       And, although it seems a crime,
Complaints to the Police just seem to rile ‘em;
       They admit they cannot stop it,
       You’ll be strongly urged to drop it,
And sell your house, or—go to the asylum! [page 87]

Autumn Leaves

Rustling over the house tops,
        Whirling around the eaves;
Yellow, and brown, and golden
        Fast fall the autumn leaves.
Rolling along the car tracks,
        Leaping in air again,
Or gleaming wet on the pavement,
        In the chill October rain.
Dried in the brilliant sunshine,
        They hurry along the street,
Or gather in heaps round corners,
        And friends and neighbours greet,
Walnut, and oak, and poplar,
        Willow, and silver beech, 
Sycamore, chestnut, and maple,
        In the woodland’s whispered speech.
Sibilant, soft, and secret,
        Tripping by twos and threes,
Or tumbling over the tufted turf,
        Round the roots of trysting trees.
They have tales of trusting lovers,
        Who craves their friendly aid,
To pledge their troth and true love,
        ’Neath their sacramental shade.
Their work now done, the Wind and Sun
        Have bid them go their ways,
To play or rest as each thinks best
        In the golden Autumn days. [page 88]

A Warm Day in November

        When the trees are strip’d and bare,
        And the dead leaves everywhere
Proclaim the fact that Winter’s on the way;
        While the squirrels scamper round
        Hunting nuts upon the ground,
And their wonderful agility display.

        It is pleasant to sit still
        When the air is not too chill
And watch the children playing in the Park;
        In their sport we’d like to share,
        Kicking footballs in the air,
If our legs were not too stiff for such a lark.

        But we have to be content,
        Being slightly corpulent,
To take our ease while basking in the sun;
        Only thankful for the chance
        To look on while others prance,
Knowing well that our athletic days are done.

        For a warm day in November
        Is a pleasure to remember
Ere the grass is covered deep beneath the snow;
        And we stoke the furnace fires,
        While the mercury retires
And, for days on end, remains at “ten below!” [page 89]

All Saints’ Day

Do “ye who pass by” ever wonder why
The Christian churches set aside this day;
Or ask yourselves what it may signify?
What message to your souls it may convey! —
Why churchgoers their annual homage pay
To “ALL the Saints” that sleep beneath the sod,
Who, when alive, decided to obey
The voice of Conscience, as they daily trod
The straight and narrow path that led them up to God!

As children, we were taught our lives to plan 
So that we might their virtues imitate.
A “saint” is first of all a gentle man,
Who makes some effort to ameliorate
The lot of those who are less fortunate;
And never stoops to violence or fraud,
But is content to work on and await
The call to those true servants of the Lord,
Who, in a future life, receive their just reward.

Their aim is Service, always, here and now;
To sacrifice themselves for The Great Cause.
They do not stop in Rimmon’s House to bow,
Or even his gorgeous gateway pause
To mingle with the crowd that Mammon draws
To worship there. Content to bear the blame,
They do not try to win the World’s applause,
Or pander to the mob for Wealth and Fame—
Christians they are in dead. Their motto,— “In His Name!” [page 90]

Westmount in December

The trees are bare in Westmount Park,
With rain drops frozen to the bark,
While drifting smoke floats everywhere,
Like incense in the Autumn air.
No merry children romp and play,
Their playthings have been put away,
The sailing pond is drained and dry,
No model yachts go skimming by,
The fountain has stop’d playing, too,
As if discouraged at the view.
November winds in accents drear,
Warn us that Winter’s drawing near;
But lights gleam in the Library,
A warm and friendly sanctuary,
Where we can sit at ease and read,
Books, magazines,—whate’r we need,
But if these seem too much like Duty,
There is the Greenhouse, steeped in beauty;
A fairy land of flowers and palms,
That never tires and always charms.
To Westmount’s spell we here succumb,
And laugh at Winter—let it come! [page 91]

Winter Comes to Westmount

The North-West wind sweeps over Westmount Park
In blasts that fling the flakes of whirling snow
Straight in our faces, while the trees stand stark,
Their topmost branches swaying to and fro.
The park lamps, shining with a frosty glow,
Direct us to the path amidst the trees,
Across the rustic bridge. Beyond we know
A welcome waits us, sheltered from the breeze,
In Westmount’s Library, where we can take our ease.

Then, if we are not studiously inclined,
The greenhouse provide a place to rest,
’Midst palms, ferns, tinkling fountains, we will find,
In all the colours of the rainbow dress’d
Rare specimen of plants to interest
And charm the eye, from tropic forests brought.
While, if of Entertainment we’re in quest,
Victoria Hall—the last word in forethought—
Caps Westmount’s claim to be an All-Years-Round-Resort! [page 92]

The Slump

           When a desert, dark and dismal,
           Full of yawning pits, abysmal,
Spreads around them, and no matter where they tread,
           The path is soft and sticky,—
           Topographically tricky—
Bleating “lambs” complain that they have been misled.

           If the action of “Brazillian”
           Makes them see a dark vermillion,
And “Alcohol” just lays down on the job;
           While stocks, both Oil and Mining,
           Are very hour declining,
While one can’t get near the Ticker for the mob.

           As we watch Dame Fortune fickle,
           Playing “cup-and-ball” with “Nickle”,
And even “Bridge” drops down below one hundred;
           They may have some cause to grumble,
           As the “Blue Chips” take a tumble,
For it looks as if the optimists had blundered.

           No doubt it makes one weary,
           And Life seems dull and dreary,
But we only make it worse by useless whining;
           Remember, when they’re slumping,
           Good stocks can take a thumping,
And behind the blackest clouds the sun is shining! [page 93]

Sunset in Westmount Park

The sun has set, but all the western sky
Is filled with flame. A rosy after glow
Spreads fan-shaped, north and south, to glorify
The dying day. Clouds, curved like palms, endow
The scene with magic beauty, as they throw
Their fronded leaves to form a canopy
Above the trees, whose topmost branches show
Like lace work in their twisted tracery,
A sight to fill the soul with ecstacy!

The vision fades, too beautiful to last,
Rose pink, pearl grey, and then a deeper hue,
In which appear, as in a temple vast,
Stars gleaming in a cloudless vault of blue;
As if an angel with a taper, flew,
On silent wing, athwart the firmament,
Lighting the dome, and then, Night’s curtain drew,
Reminding us, with gesture eloquent,
On Earth, ’tis only change that’s permanent! [page 94]

Ode to Westmount

Non Montrealis bum—
Civis Wesmountis sum!

No Montreal dead – beat you spy –
A citizen of Westmount, I –

Sweet Westmount! oft our sober feet
       Have stayed within thy wood,
Or wandered round those Upper Heights,
       Where dwell the “unco gude”.
Or sat beside thy placid pond
       And marked the trickling rill
The leaves its source for regions coarse
       Below thy sacred hill.
Home of the Tired Business Man,
       Whose awnings gay, unfurl’d
Proclaim his cool contentment to
       A hot and dusty world.
Home of the fly-screen’d sleeping porch,
       Where, in a portly heap,
Our local Babbitts, tucked away,
       Lie even in their sleep.
They emerald lawns, and maple trees,
       Surrounding house and lot,
Where second mortgages stick out
       Above each chimney-pot.
Thy Cote St. Antoine Road that winds
       Through many a sylvan scene,
Where motors streak and leave a reek
       Of oil and gasoline.
Thy Park so gay, where sport all day
       Round swing, and chute, and pond, [page 95]
The children free of St. Henri,
       And of Ste. Cunegonde.
Thy bandstand that on summer nights
       Such eager throngs invest,
To watch the bandsman smoke and talk
       And take a well earn’d rest.
And take Victoria Hall, and O!
       Thou Greenhouse and Aquarium,
And O! the palms and flowers in
       The handsome new Solarium!
Thou Floral Clock, that marks the Time,
       Of fleeting, summer hours,
With motto—Tempus Fugit—done
       In shrubs, —why not in flowers?
And O! thou Library that’s free
       To all, no matter who,
From 2 to 10 p.m., why not
       From 10 a.m. to 2?
Thou Civic Hall and Monument—
       New Park—and so it goes;
No wonder that we have to gasp
       At all our City O’s!
No Liquor store dare flaunt its wares
       Within thy sacred strip,
Or ever will while Westmounters
       Can pack a well fill’d grip.
Thou Oasis of all that’s good,
       Around whose borders flow
The dirt and squalor of Quebec—
       So like Ontario!
Dear Westmount! where I take my rest,
       You have my heart to keep, [page 96]
Though howling dogs and hooting horn,
       Rob me of hours of sleep.
You have so many charms, I wish
       One more—to keep me cool—
Why not—just for the summer months—
       An outdoor swimming pool?
If I should ever hang my harp
       By Babylonia’s waters,
I’ll n’er forget thee, Westmount, or
       Thy short-skirt, bob-hair’d daughters. [page 97]

Armistice Day

The burgles rang out in the cold autumn air,
And the troops of the Allies stood still where they were;
While the news round the world flashed, — “The Armistice signed!”
Sent a wild surge of joy through the heart of mankind.

Peace at last! after four years and more of war’s strain;
Of advance and retreat, o’er ground red with the slain;
Unbow’d by disaster, bruised, bloody, they’d stood
In the trenches of fought in the shell-splintered wood.

In the furnace of War they were tested and tried;
For their Country they bled, for our safety they died!
Serene and determined they Day’s Work to face,
Death disdaining, they fought in the pride of their Race.

Two words on their lips, from Youth’s bright Lexicon,
Which they caught from their comrades who fell,—“Carry On!”
Defeat could not daunt them, they bided their time,
Till Fortune rewarded their courage sublime. [page 98]

Hey had conquered at last! — o’er the far western foam,
There were fond hearts awaiting them, calling them home!
But they stood there in silence, their arms at their side,
With one thought in their hearts, — for the men who had died!

If only they also the triumph could share,
Who the burden and heat of the day had to bear!
They who died in their thousands, on land and on sea,
Giving all that they had that the World might be free!

May we never forget them, but each year convene
To keep Armistice Day, and their memory green;
And remember them always, whenever we song,
With hearts full of gratitude, —

“God Save the King!
[page 99]

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