Daniel Clark
Selections from Scottish Canadian Poets

SCOTTISH CANADIAN POETS.

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[unnumbered page, includes illustration: Dr. Daniel Clark, Rev. Prof. Clark, Dr. George Kennedy, and Wm. Campbell]

SELECTIONS FROM

SCOTTISH CANADIAN POETS

BEING

A COLLECTION OF THE BEST POETRY WRITTEN BY SCOTSMEN AND THEIR DESCENDANTS IN THE DOMINION OF CANADA

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY

DR. DANIEL CLARK

INCLUDING NUMEROUS BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES AND PORTRAITS OF THE AUTHORS

——————

PUBLISHED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF

THE CALEDONIAN SOCIETY OF TORONTO

——————

Entered according to the Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year 1900 by WILLIAM CAMPBELL, Toronto, at the Department of Agriculture.

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Toronto:

PRINTED BY IMRIE, GRAHAM & COMPANY, 31 CHURCH STREET, 1900

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ERRATA

LOCATION

ERROR

Page vi, 22.6

“par icular” corrected to “particular”

Page xviii, 12.9

“,” added after “affection”

Page 62, 22.5

“eldrich” corrected to “eldritch”

Page 64, 22.3

“deevils” corrected to “devils”

Page 68, 1.4

“grevious” corrected to “grievous”

Page 71, 17.10

“’” after “still.”

Page 82, 10.10

“.” added after “children”

Page 91, 6.4

“ ’ “ added to “lion s”

Page 94, 1.2-3

“-“ added between “a” and “day”

Page 104, 18.12

“.” added after “honours”

Page 126, 11.1

“—” added before “H. ISABEL GRAHAM.”

Page 126, 32.1

“—” added before “H. ISABEL GRAHAM.”

Page 129, 2.10

“22rd” corrected to “22nd”

Page 130, 6.6

“gr und” corrected to “ground”

Page 257, 28.11

Closing quotes added after “Canada,”

Page 174, 16.9

“Dr” corrected to “Dr.”

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CONTENTS.

——

PREFACE

iii

INTRODUCTION

v.

ANDERSON, REV. R. S. G.

287

BOYD, ROBERT

51

BRACK, MRS. JESSIE WANLESS

296

BRUCE, REV. G., D. D.

82

BURGESS, MRS. MARGARET BEATRICE

268

CLARK, DR. DANIEL

169

GRAHAM, MISS H. ISABEL

123

HARPER, DR. JOHN MURDOCK

215

IMRIE, JOHN

40

LAIDLAW, THOMAS

149

LOCKHART, REV. A. J.

246

MCCAIG, DONALD

180

MCLACHLAN, ALEXANDER

71

MACCOLL, EVAN

28

MACCORMACK, MALCOLM

233

MACFARLANE, JOHN

236

MACKAY, MRS. ISABELLE ECCLESTONE

221

MACKERACHER, W. M.

242

MACNAB, REV. ANDREW

302

MAITLAND, MRS. MARY A.

89

MARSHALL, MRS. J. R.

110

MORTIMER, JOHN

194

MUIR, ALEXANDER

294

MURDOCK, WILLIAM

117

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MURRAY, WILLIAM

96

NELSON, EDWIN G.

225

NEWHALL, MRS. GEORGINA FRASER

257

PIRIE, GEORGE

129

REID, ROBERT

158

ROSS, ALLAN

189

SIMPSON, JOHN

11

SMITH, REV. WILLIAM WYE

135

STEELE, JOHN

278

TELFORD, WILLIAM

174

TYTLER, AGNES

140

WANLESS, ANDREW

104

WINGFIELD, ALEXANDER H.

262

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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

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FRONTISPIECE

i.

BOYD, ROBERT

50

BRUCE, REV. G., D. D.

83

CLARK, DR. DANIEL

168

GRAHAM, MISS H. ISABEL

122

HARPER, DR. JOHN MURDOCH

214

IMRIE, JOHN

41

LAIDLAW, THOMAS

148

MCCAIG, DONALD

181

MCLACHLAN, ALEXANDER

70

MACCOLL, EVAN

29

MACCORMACK, MALCON

232

MACFARLANE, JOHN

237

MACKAY, MRS. ISABELLE ECCLESTONE

220

MACKERACHER, W. M.

243

MACNAB, REV. ANDREW

303

MAITLAND, MRS. MARY A.

88

MARSHALL, MRS. J. R.

111

MORTIMER, JOHN

195

MURDOCK, WILLIAM

116

MURRAY, WILLIAM

97

NEWHALL, MRS. GEORGINA FRASER

256

PIRIE, GEORGE

128

REID, ROBERT

159

ROSS, ALLAN

188

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SIMPSON, JOHN

9

SMITH, REV. WILLIAM WYE

134

STEELE, JOHN

279

TELFORD, WILLIAM

175

TYTLER, AGNES

141

WANLESS, ANDREW

105

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PREFACE.

——

THE idea of collecting and publishing a book of Scottish-Canadian poetry originated with Dr. Daniel Clark, and was undertaken by the Caledonian Society of Toronto at a meeting held on May 14th, 1895. A strong feeling existed that, besides what had already been published, there was much meritorious poetry scattered throughout the country, which had never passed through a printer’s hands; and a desire was expressed that all the richer specimens be collected and printed in book form, and thus preserved to posterity. The work of collection began in the fall of 1896, and has proceeded with more or less activity ever since. The task—if it can be so-called—has proved a very pleasant one. The project has met with universal sympathy and countenance, and those with whom letters have been exchanged seem to have vied with each other in an effort to help on the good work. Not only have the authors lent ready aid by forwarding specimens of their writings, but they have in numerous instances given timely hints that have led to the discovery of many fine productions which, but for their intervention, would, in all probability, have remained in oblivion to the end of time. To those friends warm thanks are due and hereby cordially tendered. Special thanks are due to Mr. Charles C. James, Deputy Minister of Agriculture for the Province of Ontario, for the use of several volumes of Scottish-Canadian poetry. [unnumbered page]

      In most instances the consent of authors has been obtained to make selections from their writings, and in no instance has this permission been refused; on the contrary every facility has been afforded in the direction of making the collection as representative as possible. Should it be found, however, that poems have been included in this volume without the consent of the author, an apology is hereby tendered, which, it is hoped, may mollify any one who considers that a liberty has been taken.

      Gratifying features of the work of collection have been the many friendships formed, the interesting correspondence elicited, and the general interest aroused throughout the Dominion on the subject of Scottish-Canadian poetry; an interest which, it is felt, will be greatly intensified as soon as the volume gets into the hands of the public.

                                                                           WM. CAMPBELL,

                                                                 Secretary Toronto Caledonian Society. 

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INTRODUCTION.

——

BY DANIEL CLARK, M.D. TORONTO.

THE Greek root for the word “Poet” means a composer, a maker, a creator. The true poet has a creative individuality as distinctive in its peculiarities and outlines as is the human face. The mere copyist of style, whose modes of thought and verbal utterances ape some glowing apocalypse of song, which, like a gem,

“On the out-stretched finger of all time sparkles forever,”

is only an imitator of the great children of transcendent song. Jingling rhymes may be pleasant to the ear, and smooth versification may command attention, but if a poetic soul has not been breathed into the nostrils of all such creations they are not legitimate children of genius and of immortality. The true poet clothes everything he descants upon with pathos, beauty, or sublimity. The varied workings of the human mind in its aspirations, emotions, affections, and desires,—the beautiful flowers, the rippling brooks, the roaring cataracts, the vast resounding sea, the hoary mountains and the spangled heavens, are all the richest heritage of the Muse. It matters not if it be the tragic Muse, delineating human passion in its deepest earnestness; the comedy, full of glee and gladness; the epic, in its rolling measures of Runic rhyme of deeds and daring in the ages of [unnumbered page] chivalry; or lyric song, fit for harp or lady’s bower,—all are full of inspiration to sage or unlearned, and to child or hoary-headed. At the same time mechanical rhymsters cannot climb to this height nor fathom these depths. They are for the few whose minds are saturated with poetic frenzy, and whose names and productions have been left as legacies throughout the ages to humanity.

     Of all the forms of poetry, the songs of a country wield the greatest influence on the mind-life of a people. They are the simplest forms of poetic expression, and were usually sung with instrumental accompaniments. The ancient mural paintings of the Egyptians show beyond a doubt that they used musical instruments and songs in their religious ceremonies and social entertainments. They were a gay people and were fond of cheerful social life. Their instruments of music were prototypes of modern structures of melody. A short time ago there was found in a mausoleum in Thebes a harp, with cat-gut strings, that had lain silent for three thousand years. The moment a human hand swept the strings they gave forth the old delightful melody and harmony. In their hieroglyphics the Egyptians also preserved their songs. One in particular has been translated and is found to be the song of the threshers who beat out the wheat. Two Babylonian songs have been recently discovered, which plowmen sang in their fields. So at the same time that Hebrews sang the songs of Sion on the hills of Judea or in captivity, swarthy Egyptians and cultured Babylonians were singing their lyrics on the banks of the Nile or the Euphrates.

     The gay Troubadours for 250 years sang war and love songs, which in structure and rhyme have never been surpassed. [page vi] The ideal sentiment of devotion to women found expression in songs of rare excellency.

     The song is human nature finding expression in impassioned words, set to music. Milton called music and words combined a marriage relation and a unity. The true lyrist is not a machine poet but sings out of the fulness of an overflowing heart. Is he sad?—He composes a dirge. Does he mourn the loss of a friend?—He writes an elegy; poems flow from tongue and pen. Is he in love?—Sapphic verse is spun from his throbbing brain. Is he patriotic?—Burning heroic stanzas set pulsations of martial ardor beating in hut or hall, in peasant or monarch. The true poet sets free an electric spark of intense glow, which touches into flame the finer and nobler feelings of our nature.

     The lyric in ode, elegy and song, in its highest flights, has a subtle charm,—an inspiration, a lovely harmony and a melody, which rouse the human heart to doing and daring beyond any other influence known to humanity. This statement refers to sacred as well as to secular songs. We see it in the songs of Shakespeare—in the epithalamium of Spencer—in the love-warblings of Herrick—in the cultivated lays of Collins and Gray—in the ethereal music of Shelley and in the undying, impassioned, pathetic and thrilling songs of Burns and Moore. Such as these cling to the generations.

     The select songs of the sweet singer of Israel in his wailings at the tragedy of Gilboa, in his terrific descriptions of a quaking earth, vibrating mountains and utter darkness—the water-spouts and mirky skies are intense verbal pictures, when arrows, coals of fire, hailstones and lightnings were looked upon as the instruments of vengeance of offended Majesty. [page vii]

     It is interesting to note that the song-writers who have filled best the popular heart are and were usually self made men. They sang their best in their younger days and often in want and misery. The irresistible impulse to warble immortal lyrics defied external circumstances and conditions. They needed not culture nor education to evoke the poetic fire. With them invention, inspiration, and genius were the ruling forces. We see this intuitive instinct in the odes of Sappho, Anacreon, and Pindar, who were the song-writers of ancient Greece; in the verse composing of Lucretius in the palmy days of Rome; in the Petrarch of modern Italy, and in the Beranger of France. None of these, however, can compare with James Hogg, Allan Ramsay, Burns, Tannahill, Falconer, Motherwell, Cunningham or Wilson. You may apply any test you like to estimate their comparative merits. Judge of them by the effect they produce on your own mind; weigh them by the influence they have on a people; analyze them as products of the imagination; measure them by the experiences of our own lives; test them as word-pictures of the pulsations of our inner nature in its many-sided manifestations, and Scottish songs have had no equals in the recorded history of the world. I speak not of the sacred songs of to-day, which seem to be an out-crop of modern religious belief. These have had a great influence for good in using music, rhyme and religious sentiment to stimulate devotion. Hymnology has had its thousands of composers, but a small trunk would hold all the genuine and inspired sacred songs which have been written within the last hundred years. Our hymn books, our religious and secular periodicals, and our newspapers are full of the veriest trash in jingling rhymes, or stately measures, but seeing they contain [page viii] religious sentiments we do not challenge the mechanical and commonplace performances of those who flood our religious literature with outlines of the mere skeleton of poetry, but who have not been endowed with the native gifts and graces to clothe it with beauty and breathe into it the Divine life. There are many grand hymns, but the writers are few. It has often been a question with me if education has not made so-called poets of many who never would have been heard of, because devoid of inherent poetic inspiration. Take away from Pope and Dryden education, taste and wit, and it is possible they never would have been heard of as rhymsters. Strip Wordsworth and Tennyson of culture and there is reason to believe their versification would have been very commonplace in form and idea. Natural poets are better with education, but they do not depend on its advantages. The sublime Milton is a good illustration of this class. He was born a son of the Muse, but his well-stored mind enabled him to give a classic bent and polish to his transcendent imaginings.

     The cynics say the Scottish people are of a cold nature, are unsympathetic, and too much self-contained to make good citizens in the social and national relations. This charge is not in accordance with historic fact. The Scot is of a reticent and retiring disposition. He does not wear his heart upon his sleeve. A thread or two of healthy melancholy runs through the warp and woof of his being. The undercurrent of his life-stream is tinged with pathos. These traits make him an earnest and intense man. He is not full of impulses and ebullition, but is a slow, steady, persistent plodder, and with a purpose. Even his grim humor has a streak of feeling and sentiment in it. It does not sparkle [page ix] and scintillate like wit, nor does it go out like a rocket in the darkness. His humor is philosophic, sarcastic, biting, but full of an inward chuckle of enjoyment. The fact is, pathos and humor are not the ill-matched pair that some would assert,—they are twin sisters in the same nature.

     These are the salient points in Scottish national character. The proof is seen in the ballads of many centuries which caught the popular fancy, fired the national heart, and were perpetuated from sire to son, even echoing down the ages out of the thick mists of the pre-historic times. The history of the world can be challenged to produce such a galaxy of popular song writers as little Scotland has called into existence. These rhymes are sung by other nationalities as well as by the sons of Auld Scotia, wherever the English tongue is spoken, and simple because they touch the inner chords of all natures and voice the many sided emotions, affections and desires of a common humanity.

                  “For doth not song

                    To the whole world belong?

                    Is it not given wherever tears can fall,

                    Or mirth and sadness mingle as they flow—

                    A heritage to all?”

     The land of Burns is said to have produced over three thousand poets of greater or less degree. This may seem a poetic exaggeration of a patriotic arithmetician. The statement is possibly within the mark, when we consider that history gives us a list of them from the days of Thomas the Rhymer (the day-star of Scottish song) down to John Campbell (known to us as the Marquis of Lorne). Between these two periods we have an interval of 700 years in the annals of Scotland. No other known nation in the world’s history has produced so many bards as Scotland, and this [page x] without regard to population. Its hills and valleys inspired them; its streams, glens and mountains filled their souls with enthusiasms; its birds, flowers, dancing streamlets and deep blue lochs were the music of Nature whose score was full of harmonies. Monarchs and rustics, chiefs and vassals; hardy mountaineers and sturdy Lowlanders; plaided shepherds and village rustics, brown-faced sailors; lady in her bower and lord on the battlement, all sang of this rugged land in undying lays, which have come down through the centuries in immortal measures, and fill the hearts of Scottish people and their descendants in all climes with sympathetic and patriotic ardor. They are a nation of song-writers and sturdy thinkers. The Muse may not be cultured and classic. It is the heart-throbbing, loving, genial intuitions of nature finding even untaught expression in gentle emotion; divine passion, spirit-flooding impulses and ennobling affections, which must saturate—as with a sweet perfume—every gifted daughter and son of the Muse, who wishes to reach after true nobility and immortal remembrance. Such belong to the ages. No impediment can check the ardor, instincts, and outpourings of a native-born poet. Penury, misfortune, chilling neglect and cold disdain can no more impede the scintillations of genius than could human effort arrest or stop the mad and headlong flow of Niagara. To such the song-giving is life, and it is as spontaneous as is the morning song of the lark, or the murmur of the mountain stream. It is not, however, our purpose to discuss at present the philosophy of song, nor is it our province to seek for the causes which operated to make Scotland possess these characteristics more than nations which had far greater advantages in culture, climate, riches, rural beauty and domestic environments. [page xi]

     We need no evidence beyond what we know of in modern times to prove the potency of song. Operas, oratorios and anthems can never move the masses of humanity like the simple lays of the peasant poets who tune their measures to the symphonies of Nature. The verse may be rugged and the words may be rough to the cultured and fastidious ear, but the pathos, the intensity, the affection, the tenderness, and the touches of soul aspirations reach the nooks and crannies of the great human heart.

     There is not a Scot or even Anglo Saxon who does not conjure up by association pleasant or sad memories in even hearing the titles of Scottish songs. The old grey crags and beetled precipices against which have beaten the giant waves of ocean throughout the centuries; the mountain torrent and the peaceful burn as they leap and dance and sing through the purple heather on their meandering way to the sea; the cozy dell or yawning chasm where silence reigns supreme; the bosky woods or gowan-covered meadows, or humble but cozy “biggins” where youth and love and beauty had a dwelling place; the valleys and glens and mountain-passes which have become historic in legend, chronicle and song; the battlefield where doing and daring crowned victory or honorable defeat; the witch and wizard, ghost and goblin, haunted nooks and crannies of every country-side; the trysting spots of guileless and sympathetic youth in Nature’s bowers on some braeside “’tween the gloamin’ and the mirk,” all are stamped on our mind more deeply because of our matchless songs in which these national beauties and characteristics have been powerfully portrayed.

     Poetry, it has been well said, teaches the enormous force [page xii] of a few words, and in proportion to the inspiration checks redundancy. It requires that splendor of expression which carries with it the proof of great thoughts. These in poetic minds insure musical modes of speech. Every word should be the right word in the right place. The true poets—not the mere rhymsters—are they who see that the spiritual is greater than any material force,—in short that thought rules the world. The great poets are judged by the frame of mind they induce; and to them of all men the severest criticism is due. They must be tested by the sublime heights they may reach in grandeur, pathos and beauty.

     The direct and clear utterances of our song writers are refreshing after reading the vague and often meaningless lyrics of so many poets, so-called, of to-day. It is now thought to be profundity to write in such a strain of ambiguity that even clubs are formed to try and fathom the writer’s meaning, and extract interpretations out of what is evidently mere metaphysical subtlety, or dreamy vaporings partially expressed, instead of the outpouring of born poets in simple Doric or robust Anglo Saxon.

     Because of these attributes the song life of a nation is very tenacious. The creations of a Homer, a Sophocles, a Virgil, a Shakespeare, a Milton, a Tasso, and even the scintillating fragments of a burning Sappho come shining adown the ages bright as when these torches of genius were first lighted.

     Thus heroic deeds—love’s heart-throbs—yearning lyric aspirations, and sublime tragedy, have become immortal;

              “Sages and chiefs long since had birth,

                   Ere Cæsar was or Newton named;

                Those raised new empires o’er the earth

                   And these new heavens and systems framed; [page xiii]

                Vain was the chief’s, the sage’s pride,

                   They had no poet, and they died;

                In vain they schemed, in vain they bled,

                   They had no poet, and are dead!”

     The emotions, affections, and desires of humanity reach a depth and climb a height far beyond the capacity of any other mental activity, excellent and practical as many of these may be. The sensitive touch of poetic genius feels the wild beatings of a heart which no philosophy can explain, and no austere conditions can ever quench. It is, however, true in a generic and noble sense, that

                        “All are architects of fate

                             Working in these walls of time;

                         Some with massive deeds and great,

                             Some with ornaments of rhyme.”

     The foregoing remarks are suggested to the writer because it will be seen that many of the songs in this volume are constructed somewhat on the model of the Scottish lyrics. The Scots who have made Canada their home, and that of their children after them to several generations, were and are so permeated with the literature of Scotland, especially the poetry of Burns and Scott, that they are almost intuitively led to adopt to some extent the form and prominent constructive features of these song-writers.

     Any one who is acquainted with the Scoto-Canadian people must notice this characteristic, based, as it is, on intense love for Auld Scotia, and for those immortals who in song and story have justly magnified its name, glorified its heroes, and are proud of its sturdy peasantry. Many of the latter, by thrift, honesty of purpose, pertinacity and devotion, have become inhabitants of all lands on the face of the globe, [page xiv] and carry with them that integrity which makes them welcome in all climes and among all peoples.

     The songs in the within volume are only a few of hundreds which might have been selected as worthy of an abiding place in such a collection. They do not aspire to be perfect in form and sentiment, yet many of them, if fairly judged, are equal to anything which has been published for many a year. In some the metrical arrangement may be somewhat defective, in others the best words may not have been used to indicate the meaning, in a few the writers may be forgiven in running to excess where descriptive features are prominent. These slight blemishes are excusable, for the great poets themselves write commonplace lyrics, and many of them show the poetic inspiration in only a small part of their outpourings. These, however, disclose to us in part the spiritual power of the transcendent children of song.

     Were it not that it might look invidious the writer could select many examples from this volume which would compare favorably with any of the productions of our Scottish bards. There is no doubt that many readers will agree with this statement after a study of the within productions.

     We are not asked to go into raptures over mediocrity even when displayed in fellow-countrymen, but it is unpatriotic to neglect and fail to appreciate the heart-outpourings in verse of our sons and daughters when their work is of such an excellent standard that any country should be proud of it. Many have longed after a knowledge of what Goethe calls the “open secret” that is, Nature’s mysterious book, the title page of which is seldom read by the myriads of humanity. This divine reaching after what Fichte calls [page xv] “the profound deep,” belongs to the gifted few who are endowed with second sight to look into the beautiful, the good and the true, in universal nature, subjective and objective. Many such explorers fret for more knowledge of the unseen and are urgently seeking for some key to unlock the arcanum of the great mystery of life in all its relations and manifestations.

     Some poems have been inserted because of their historical importance, some for their weight of sense, some for single verses of rare excellence, some for the magic of style; and, although some betray defects in minor respects, yet such have a wealth of truth which ought to have created rhythmical expression. The didactic mutilates poetry as a rule, but much prose may be more poetic than verbal diction set in musical measures. Carlyle truly says that Jean Paul was a poet, and among the highest of his time, though he wrote no verses. Many prose writings are so chaste, elegant, and appropriately worded that they could, with few verbal changes, be put into blank verse.

     It would be affectation not to acknowledge that a number of the selections are not far removed from the commonplace, when measured from a poetic standpoint. They are, however, retained because the ideation may be original, and have a robustness of expression which commends them apart from uncouth versification and an unhappy selection of words. The writers of a few may shew a lack of that instinct or intuition which chooses the best words and rhythmical selection to produce verbal harmony. Even the ear of the author does not correct this defect which is so harsh to a poetically constructed mind. At the same time, in the writer’s uncouthness, there is a ring of genuine ideality [page xvi] which lifts the work above the mere prosaic and common place. The words which are the vehicles of thought are unhappily selected to express that which is worthy of commendation and preservation. Some of the best have the ideality badly clothed, and thereby ungainly. These defects might be expected to exist in a miscellaneous collection, yet such are not unworthily selected because of their intrinsic value apart from their halting lines. On the other hand many of the poems in construction and thought are of intrinsic merit. At least two or three dozen are far above the jingle and rhyme of the mere versifier. In fact they are equal to any such productions in the English language and are worthy of perpetual preservation. Had the authors been writers in the centres of intellectual activity where the national heart beats most vigorously their work would not be allowed to die from neglect. Their production in this volume is worthy of all commendation, as many will survive that oblivion which is the fate of much that is worthy of immortality. It is astonishing how much of merit survives simply because of adventitious circumstances and environment that otherwise would have perished.

     In closely examining the within poems it will be seen how many of them have a general similitude to the standard Scottish lyrics. It does not follow that the writers were mere imitators of the songs of their forefathers, but rather that the national traits, characteristics, and bent of mind were likely to conjure up in the imagination of the son or daughter of the same race ideas based upon physiological and mental heredity.

     The ideality is woven along the lines of a greater aptitude through the strands of the mental warp and woof of the same [page xvii] kindred. Here are a people of a practical nature, sturdy, proud, and intensely national. They are fond of vigorous thinking, hence their excellency in mental philosophy and their robustness in religious beliefs and fondness for the abstruse and recondite in metaphysics and theology.

     These features have been reproduced in their offspring on this continent, hence the natural likelihood of a family resemblance in many of the songs. The originality is evident, but the natural trend often crops up.

     The historical, the weight of common sense, the appreciation of the integrity of purpose, the intensity of affection, emotion and legitimate desire are stamped everywhere in a generic sense.  The love of nature in all its moods and variety, and the word picturing seem at first thought to be what could not be expected in the productions of such a hard-headed, reticent, and cool-blooded people. The one condition seems to be in an antithesis to the other, although they are really complements of one another. Were it not invidious, examples might be given, but the discriminating reader can select them for himself. He will notice that these poets might be divided into three classes. 1. Those whose poetry is subjective. They revel in singing about mind manifestations and all their wonderful groupings as revealed to each individual in the study of introspection. 2. Those who write generally and principally of what they perceive in nature around them. The beauties of this world of ours are seen with the poetic sense in all its varied and perpetual panoramic changes. 3. Those who blend in an eminent degree the mental bent of both, and in the phenomena of mind and matter conceive a rounded whole of transcendent [page xviii] knowledge in which is great delight to the poet of this mental make-up.

     This volume contains good examples of all, and it is interesting to discern how tenaciously the diverse minds adhere to the natural leanings and idiosyncrasies of each.

     The Caledonian Society of Toronto has done well in publishing this volume, and it is to be hoped that the effort will be appreciated to such an extent that encouragement will be given to issue a second volume equally meritorious.

                                 DANIEL CLARK, M.D., Chairman.

               Editors      REV. WILLIAM CLARK, L.L.D.

                                 GEORGE KENNEDY, L.L.D.

[page xix]

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 [unnumbered page, includes illustration: JOHN SIMPSON.]

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SCOTTISH CANADIAN POETS.

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JOHN SIMPSON.

——

     MR. JOHN SIMPSON was born in Elora, Ont., on July 2nd, 1855. Both of his parents, who are now deceased, were born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, his father’s name being Peter Simpson, and his mother’s maiden name Janet Catanach. On the paternal side his ancestors were farmers for generations; on his mother’s side his progenitors were of a decidedly literary turn of mind. His mother’s father was distinguished in mathematics, and was a school-master in active service for fifty years. His mother’s eldest brother, William Catanach, carried off the highest honors in classics and mathematics at King’s College, Aberdeen, in 1831, and obtained not only the first bursary, but a higher standing than had been obtained by any other student during the thirty previous years. Other members of the Catanach family were also noted for their scholarly attainments and love of literature.

     Mr. Simpson obtained his education at the Elora public and High Schools, and at Toronto University. From the latter institution he obtained the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1884, and the degree of Master of Arts in 1887. Before obtaining his degree he taught in several schools in the neighborhood or Elora. Since graduating most of his time has been spent in teaching in several High Schools of Ontario. At different times he acted as assistant in the Vienna and Cayuga High Schools, and as principal of the Markham and Port Dover High Schools. During part of 1896 and 1897 he was on the editorial staff of the San Francisco Argonaut, which is the leading literary paper of the Pacific Coast. He also lived for a year in Victoria, B.C., being on the staff of Victoria College, and afterwards on that of Victoria Collegiate Institute. While in Victoria he had an attack of illness, which led him to give up school work for some time and move to California. He is again back in his native land, however, and is at present a resident of Cascade City, B.C. [unnumbered page]

THOU GOD OF NATIONS, GUARD OUR LAND!

Thou God of nations! guard our land,

Thy blessings on our country pour!

Our shield and succor evermore

        Be Thine Almighty hand!

Thou high and mighty King of kings,

Thou Maker of all earthly things,

Support us with thy leading-strings,

        Alone we cannot stand!

The mighty empires of the past

Have fallen, and in ruins lie;

Their walls, that towered once on high,

        Upon the earth are cast:

Great Babylon is lying low,

Proud Carthage is a scene of woe,

In Rome corroding lichens grow

        On ruins that are vast.

No human hand can shackle time:

Though Petra from the rocks was hewn,

In heaps its fragments now are strewn

        Within a desert clime:

O Lord, lest such a direful fate

Our land and nation should await,

To Thee we fain would consecrate

        Our lives with faith sublime.

Our nation ever shall be free,

No dweller in our broad domain

Shall ever guiltless wear a chain,

        Or pine in slavery:

In praising Thee each shall alone

The guidance of his conscience own;

Our land shall never hear the groan

        Of dying liberty. [page 12]

Dark heathen lands upon us call;

Our aim shall be to sow the seeds

Of truth within them, that their deeds

        No longer may appal.

If we should leave the path, O God,

That by Thy children should be trod,

Recall us with Thy scourging rod,

        Ere ruin on us fall.

A thousand years are as a day

With Thee, and human life, a breath;

All mortals journey straight to death,

        Nor lag upon the way:

If Satan smite the earth with jars

Of earthquakes famines, plagues, and wars,

And darkness hide the sun and stars,

        Be Thou our guide and stay.

                                                  —JOHN SIMPSON

————

THE BANKS OF THE IRVINE.

The banks of Irvine! the home of my childhood!

    What feelings of joy from my heart ever well,

When rambling again as of yore in the wildwood,

    And culling the fern and the fairy bluebell!

In years that have vanished, the Indian, pursuing

    His course by the river, was wont on his way

To gaze with delight on the rocks that were wooing

    The waters, as if they would lure them to stay.

Perchance the fell war-whoop, the signal of battle,

    Rose thrilling and loud by the beautiful stream:

Methinks I can still hear the swift arrows rattle,

    And see in the forest the tomahawks gleam. [page 13]

The waters move onward, now peaceful, now dashing,

    The pæan they sing is the song of the free:

What melody equals the sound of their plashing,

    While speeding their course to the far-away sea?

At night, when the moon through the cloud-rack is gleaming,

    And shedding her beams on the river below,

It glads me to stand on the bridge fondly dreaming

    Of pleasures that charmed in the sweet long ago.

Ofttimes at the even-song, pensively kneeling,

    Beneath the green trees on the bank of the stream,

I dreamily list to the bells that are pealing,

    And memory glamors my eyes as I dream.

The face of a child that is beaming with laughter,

    Looks smilingly up as in days that are past;

No knowledge of life’s dreary way to come after

    Is seen in the image of the clear waters cast.

My pleasure is fleeting, the image must vanish,

    My mind must return to the burdens of life;

Though but for a moment, tis joyous to banish

    All thoughts of the days that with troubles are rife.

The brave pioneers of the forest are sleeping

     Beneath the white stones on the brow of the hill;

They peacefully rest where the willows are weeping,

     Their labors are over, their voices are still.

The Irvine flows onward as blythely as ever,

    Adown the ravine speed its waters with glee:

What recks it though mortals their presence must sever?

    The cliffs everlasting companions will be.

Enthroned on its banks are Elora’s fair bowers,

    O’erlooking the spot where the clear waters meet;

The cedars, the waters, the cliffs, and the flowers

    Becharm every eye with their harmony sweet.

                                                                —JOHN SIMPSON

[page 14]

NOBODY’S CHILD

Alone in the cold, ’mid the wildering snow,

    With the shivering frame she is staggering on;

Her eyes are bedimmed by the deepest of woe,

    Her last feeble hope is nigh shattered and gone;

Bewildered she roams through the city so drear,

    And shrinks from the force of the tempest so wild;

 No mother to cherish, no father to cheer,

    Neglected and spurned, she is nobody’s child.

O’erborne by the breath of the withering blast,

    Dire agony dwells in her piteous sigh,

And scanty the rags that around her are cast,

    While craving her life from those passing her by;

The shadows of death seem around her to creep,

    She pleads for her life but is only reviled,

And coarse are the jests and the curses are deep,

    That chill the poor waif who is nobody’s child.

Still fiercer and deadlier groweth the storm,

    And slower the tread of her numb weary feet,

And dragging along her weak weary form,

    She walks through the length of the chill, dreary street;

And mothers look on with scorn in their air,

    And pass her as something that’s vile and defiled;

Lone, fatherless, motherless, filled with despair,

    Oh! who will have pity on nobody’s child?

She struggles along though her strength is so frail,

    She pauses—she reels—she is tottering down;

Her life passes forth with a desolate wail,

    She dies on the street of the pitiless town;

The sheltering snow on her face ever falls,

    The face on whose beauty no mother has smiled,

And covers from view with the fairest of palls

    The rags of the waif who is nobody’s child. [page 15]

At daybreak, though silent and peaceful she lies,

    Inquisitive hands are disturbing her rest;

No light glimmers forth from her sad dreary eyes,

    No throbbing of life doth appear in her breast.

Away to the gloom of the morgue she is borne,

    Those seeking for missing ones slowly have filed

In dread by her side and have left her forlorn,—

    They came not to sorrow for nobody’s child.

They bear her away to the pitying tomb,

    No mourner doth follow with quivering eye,

No longer the streets in the hours of the gloom

    Are startled at hearing her wavering cry;

But hidden at last from the world’s cold jeer,

    She lies as the damp earth is over her piled,

The equal in death of the prince and the peer,

    Is she, the poor waif who was nobody’s child.

                                                               —JOHN SIMPSON.

————

GOD BLESS THE MAPLE LEAF.

Where stately ships at anchor ride

Upon the blue Atlantic’s tide,

And swelling billows beat with pride

        On many a wave-worn reef,

The banner of our country flies,

And upward to the smiling skies,

From countless lips the words arise:

        “God bless the Maple Leaf!”

Where brave Montcalm unflinching bled,

And Wolfe his blood for Britain shed,

Their monument uprears its head

        In token of our grief;

The men who scaled the frowning rock,

Met foemen of a noble stock;

Their sons shall arms in friendship lock

        Beneath the Maple Leaf. [page 16]

Where fair Ontario’s breakers foam,

The Indian erst was fain to roam;

But forest glades, that were the home

        Of many a famous chief,

Have vanished long, and given place

To dwellings of Britannia’s race,

Whose actions never shall debase

        Our noble Maple Leaf.

The prairies of our land extend

A thousand miles from end to end,

Their varied hues in beauty blend.

        Their emblem is the sheaf;

The freeborn dwellers on the plains,

Whose harvests fill unnumbered wains,

Shall make the burden of their strains,

        “God bless the Maple Leaf!”

Upon the broad Pacific’s strand,

Whose rivers teem with golden sand,

Columbia’s mountains, stern and grand,

        Stand forth in bold relief;

Her sentinels are giant hills,

That guard her valleys, decked with rills;

One sentiment her people fills,

        “God bless the Maple Leaf!”

God guides our country’s destiny,

Our nation spreads from sea to sea;

Our Canada some day may be

        Of all earth’s lands the chief;

Upon the grand historic race,

From which our proud descent we trace,

May no Canadian bring disgrace,

        And stain the Maple Leaf.

                                               —JOHN SIMPSON

[page 17]

THE FLAG OF OUR COUNTRY.

The flag of our country, the emblem of glory,

    Uplifts in the sunlight, its folds to the breeze;

The heart beats with pride at the thought of its story,

    The symbol of freedom, the queen of the seas!

The cross of Saint George, when fair Zion was dreary

    With groans of the pilgrims who knelt on her crest,

Was borne by Crusaders who succored the weary

    And gave them on Zion a haven of rest.

The cross of Saint Andrew has weathered for ages

    The fierce shocks of war and the storms of the main;

The cross of Saint Patrick on history’s pages

    Has never been linked with dishonor or stain.

The triple-cross banner, the banner of freemen,

    As stars gem the heavens, begems the blue sea;

From Albion’s vales to the Isle of Van Diemen,

    May none dwell beneath it, but those who are free!

When Nelson, the hero, lay wounded and dying,

    Sweet feelings of joy brought the tear to his eye;

The flags of his foemen in tatters were lying,

    But Britain’s old banner still floated on high.

The marshals of France their bright trophies were wearing,

    Napoleon rode onward with pride in his mien;

The flags of all Europe his soldiers were bearing,

    The proud British banner alone was unseen.

A captive stood hopeless, no succor appearing,

    His captors had taken their deadliest aim;

The Consul drew near with his gentle words cheering.

    And draped with a mantle his quivering frame.

Oh! why did their leader’s heart sudden grow warmer,

    And why did their rifles drop at his behest?

A far stronger shield than the thickest of armor,

    The flag of our country hung over his breast. [page 18]

What Briton can see without signs of emotion

    The banner that proud in the breeze ever streams?

Can see without joy in all parts of the ocean

    The flag on whose glory the sun ever beams?

                                                               —JOHN SIMPSON

————

THE SCOTTISH EMIGRANT’S LAMENT.

My own native land! thou art dear to my heart,

    The thought of thee fills me with deepest emotion;

Stern Fortune condemned me from thee to depart,

    To cross the rude waves of the deep-rolling ocean.

Ah! well I remember the day that I left

    My home by the side of the clear Annan Water;

Since then I, as if of a mother bereft,

    Have mourned like a motherless son or daughter.

Afar from thy shore in this land of the West

    I’ve patiently struggled and reared me a dwelling;

But still in my mind doth my memory rest,

    And deepen the love from my heart ever welling.

Though fair is the landscape that greeteth my eye,

    I pine for the sight of thy dark, rugged mountains;

No beauteous heather, no gowans are nigh,

    No more can I bask by the clearest of fountains.

When lone in the gloaming I sit by my door

    And list to the wind through the forest trees sighing,

I wander in thought to thy far-away shore,

    And long for the spot where my fathers are lying.

Till Death lay me low with his withering hand,

   The image of thee from my sight shall ne’er vanish

The mem’ry shall linger, thou far distant land,

    And naught for a moment the love of thee banish.

                                                                   —JOHN SIMPSON

[page 19]

THE ECHOES OF SIXTY YEARS.

I.

From heaven’s dome the sunlight softly streams,

And gilds Westminster Abbey with its beams;

On columns, statues, altars, tombs, and walls,

The mellow radiance beautifying falls.

A vast assembly throngs the storied fane

    To see a noble and historic crown

Adorn a brow, that in unbroken chain

    The line of royal Alfred bringeth down

               To grace the present day.

In state in royal Edward’s chair the Queen

Majestic sits and views the brilliant scene;

Beneath the chair the stone of fate doth rest,

From Scotland borne at regal Edward’s ’hest;

Around her in their tombs quiescent lie

    The heroes who the arms of England led

At Agincourt and Crecy, when the cry,

    “Saint George and England,” to the heavens sped

               Its proud triumphant way.

With measured step and calmly solemn air

The honored primate seeks the royal chair;

With stately grace the Queen is duly crowned,

The welkin doth with loud acclaims resound;

In notes of praise a thousand voices rise,

    The blare of trumpets soundeth loud and clear;

The cannon’s boom doth pierce the smiling skies,

    The very sun rejoicing doth appear

               To shed a brighter ray.

II.

The glad bells of England are merrily pealing

    A season of joy is at hand;

Sweet feelings of happiness softly are stealing

    O’er all in the ocean-girt land. [page 20]

A prince, true and knightly, whose eye beameth brightly,

    Has won the true heart of the Queen;

His scutcheon untarnished with honor is garnished,

    And stately and noble his mien.

Like Bayard of yore, no shade passeth o’er

    His bright and unsullied fame;

His deeds ever grace his kingly old race,

    His proud and historic name.

A true troubadour, sweet music doth lure

    His heart with its wonderful charm;

And every emprise, benignant and wise,

    In him has a champion warm.

       The merry bells peal,

       Sweet music doth steal

    Through the chapelry of St. James;

       And ladeth the air

       With melody where

    Courtly lieges and high-born dames

Are assembled to see their beloved young Queen

Wed a prince of such noble and chivalrous mien.

III.

A wondrous palace, beautiful and grand,

    Doth sparkle in the sunlight’s lucent stream;

    So fair, it seems the vision of a dream,

A structure fashioned by some magic hand.

Here countless treasures sent from every land

    Arrest the eye, where’er it chance to stray;

    Here pleasure-seekers while the time away,

Admiring wonders brought from every strand,

               That courts the dashing spray.

The sympathetic sun doth kindly smile

    With radiant beams upon the varied scene,

     And gild the palace with a beauty sheen,

That lighteth up the fair palatial pile. [page 21]

Green palms are waving over every aisle;

    Symmetric statues of the purest white

    Are interspersed with flowers sweet and bright;

The sound of plashing fountains doth beguile

               The sunny first of May.

Amid the splendor doth the Queen proceed,

    Her princely consort at her side has place;

    A look of gladness lights his noble face

At seeing on all sides the wondrous meed

Of efforts he has made to spread the creed,

    That one benignant Father rules above,

    Whose children should permit the star of love

The nations to millennial peace to lead

               With its celestial ray.

On every side the eye with joy surveys

    Fair aisles adorned with flowers, flags, and palms;

    The air is laden with the scent of balms,

The organ loud its pealing notes doth raise,

Melodious voices utter sounds of praise,

    The meeting of all nations has begun,

    And every land beneath the smiling sun

Doth hopeful on the bright assemblage gaze,

               And hail the natal day.

IV.

Cool fragrant breezes make their way

    With gentle murmurs through Crimean vales;

Benignant Peace doth hold her happy sway,

    Unruffled in the calm secluded dales;

The radiant sun doth speed his course on high,

    And gild the summits of the wooded hills;

Fair olive groves and vineyards charm the eye,

    And songsters warble sweetly by the rills.

But hark! a boding sound the air pervades,

    The soldiers’ heavy tread, the beat of drums;

The peaceful dwellers in the sylvan shades

    In terror hasten from the scourge that comes: [page 22]

The fleeing peasants know those sounds afar,

They herald the approach of gruesome war.

        The bugle’s piercing note

        Doth through the valleys float,

Anon is heard the cannon’s sullen boom;

        A thousand echoes wake,

        The mountains groan and quake.

And nature wears a cloak of deepest gloom.

        The musketry doth rattle,

        And from the field of battle

The roars of bursting bombs incessant rise,

And send their dreadful echoes to the skies;

Anon are heard from the sad, despairing cries

Of wounded men, whose dim and dying eyes

        Shall nevermore behold

        With happiness untold

The loving friends who wait them far away,

Where limpid streams through verdant valleys stray.

        The foe doth flee in fear

        The smoky air doth clear;

The sun in horror hides his visage bright,

Unwilling to behold so dread a sight.

        The warblers’ happy notes

            Have given place to moans;

       Upon the breeze there floats

            The sound of dying groans;

All beauty from the earth has taken flight.

V.

The night is dark and drear, the wind doth moan

    Unceasing round old Windsor’s hoary towers;

The ancient walls re-echo sorrow’s groan,

    A cloud of gloom within the castle lowers.

Pale Death doth stalk with unrelenting tread,

    A visitor in castle and in shieling;

Upon a pillow lies a stricken head,

    While mourner stand around with looks appealing. [page 23]

For them skies are clothed in utter gloom.

    For them the future seemeth dark and dreary;

For him an angel’s hand doth light the room.

    And beckon where the days are never weary.

To him is borne from regions fair and bright

    The blissful sound of angels’ voices singing;

Celestial music from the realms of light

    In his enraptured ear is ever ringing.

He turns his dying gaze with love on one

    Who long has held his faithful heart in keeping;

The light of life its course has almost run,

    His children round his couch are sadly weeping.

With fervent faith in Heaven’s mighty King

    He speeds away from every earthly sorrow;

He knoweth that the night of earth doth bring

    To him a happy and eternal morrow.

           The dreary tidings speed afar,

           The setting of so bright a star

               Beglooms all Christendom;

           From every sea and every strand,

           From high and low in every land,

               The sounds of sorrow come.

With deep and mournful sound the bells are tolling,

The banners of all nations droop condoling;

And tears are shed for him, whose object ever

Has been to bridge the streams that nations sever;

The seeds of peace with faith he has been sowing,

’Tis hard to go just when the buds are showing;

He is not gone, his spirit still doth leaven

The thoughts of men, and raise them nearer Heaven;

His creed that all are children of one Father

Will yet in brotherhood the nations gather.

        The dismal scenes of war

        All progress upward mar,

And keep mankind from distancing the brute;

        Then let all mortals lay

        Their ruthless swords away,

Exchange the warlike bugle for the lute. [page 24]

        The fierce unlettered savage

        Will battle still and ravage,

But Christian men should rise above his plane;

        The rifle and the arrow

        Alike the angels harrow,

Of Christian brotherhood each is the bane,

Each brings upon the earth the curse of Cain.

Can gorgeous trappings sanctify the art

    The painted savage makes his primal care?

Can virtue dwell within the steely heart

    That scorns the love that seeks to harbor there?

Is he a murderer, who in his ire

    Assails a single life with deadly blow?

A hero he, who thoughts of fame inspire

    To fill a hundred thousand homes with woe?

Can martial music check the widow’s groan,

    And dry the tear that fills the orphan’s eye?

Can shouts of triumph still the mother’s moan,

    Whose youthful sons before her slaughtered lie?

All hail the advent of the happy day,

    When war shall be a relic of the past;

When universal peace its blessed ray

    O’er one united brotherhood shall cast!

VI.

Five decades have eventful passed away

Since gray Westminster saw the bright array

        Within her ancient walls,

Assembled to behold the diadem

Of England, bright with fleur-de-lis and gem,

        Placed on youthful brow.

Again a brilliant cortege threads the street

Again the air with plaudits is replete;

        The sound of cheering falls

Upon the ear in one unceasing wave;

The King of kings is called upon to save,

        And with His grace endow [page 25]

The Queen of England, whose glad jubilee

Is celebrated with deep loyalty

        By those who near her throng;

Her coach is drawn by prancing creamy steeds,

With gracious smiles the plauding crowd she meeds,

        That hails her with acclaim.

The Abbey reached, in royal robes of state,

She sits enthroned, while princes round her wait:

        The loud and solemn song

Of praise arises high to Heaven’s King,

In unison a thousand voices sing

        The glory of His name.

VII.

        Full sixty years have fled,

        Their rapid course have sped,

Since Queen Victoria’s happy reign began;

        With fervor o’er the sea

        Come joyous notes of glee

From every British land the heavens span.

        A monument sublime,

        The glory of her time,

Through all the coming centuries will last,

        Constructed by the men,

        Who with the mighty pen

The light of knowledge o’er their race have cast.

        Their meed has been to scroll

        Their names upon the roll,

That resteth in the during hands of Fame.

        ’Tis wondrous to behold

        The characters of gold,

The halo that environeth each name.

        The bard, whose lofty strains

        Can banish mental pains,

His name indelibly has written there;

        The calm and thoughtful sage,

        Who readeth nature’s page, [page 26]

The robe of immortality doth wear;

        Nor is his glory dim,

        Whose magic skill doth limn

The canvas till it speaketh loud and clear;

        And every lofty art

        Has nobly done its part,

Sent names that in the golden list appear.

        Though those that lowly moil,

        Whose lives are full of toil,

Are ne’er rewarded with the gifts of Fame,

        There is a higher goal.

        A more enduring scroll,

On which the humblest may inscribe his name.

        All hail the jubilee!

        May War forever flee,

May hallowed Peace in every country reign;

        May Friendship’s welcome hand

        Extend from every land

To Queen Victoria o’er the smiling main.

                                                           —JOHN SIMPSON

[illustration]

[page 27]

EVAN MACGOLL.

——

     THE outstanding facts of the quiet and unostentatious life of Evan MacColl, the “Bard of Lochfyne,” are quickly told. Born at Kenmore, Lochfyne-side, on the 21st September, 1805, he received the education and did the work ordinarily falling to the lot of a Highland lad in moderate circumstances; and being observant and quick-witted, besides having the rich stores of old legend and song at his command through his talented mother, he, from his youth, became impressed with the characteristics of the Gaelic peasantry, with the grandeur of the glorious bens which shut in his horizon, and with the heroic and noble in the traditions of the people. His poetic longings found vent in numbers when he was still young, and the Muse refused not to yield to his touch he was still young, and the Muse refused to yield to his touch until his ninetieth year he passed away to join the choir above. In 1839 he was appointed to a clerkship in H.M. Customs at Liverpool. In 1850 he visited his father’s family, who had settled in Canada, and was prevailed upon to transfer his engagement from the British to the Canadian service. He was stationed at Kingston and remained there until superannuated at 1880. His later years were spent in Toronto, where he died on the 24th of July, 1898, beloved by his friends and esteemed by all who knew him. His remains rest in Cataraqui Cemetery, Kingston.

     His first edition of poems was published in 1836, and quite a number of editions of his Gaelic and English poems have since been called for. His work elicited high praise from Hugh Miller, Norman Macleod, Robert Carruthers, Robert Chambers, and many other leading literary men. His best efforts have been in his native Gaelic tongue, and he will live as a Gaelic poet. He stands in the van of the Celtic Renaissance. His genius is entirely lyrical and in this class he is an undoubted master. Hugh Miller says that “in point, glitter, and polish, he is the Moore of [page 28] 

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: EVAN MACCOLL.]

[blank page]

Highland song,” a verdict generally accepted by those qualified to judge his Gaelic productions. He left some poems on political and other topics and a mass of interesting correspondence in the hands of Mr. Alexander Fraser, Toronto, part of which may see the light, in conjunction with a biographical sketch, which is in course of preparation.

SNOWFALL IN A HIGHLAND GLEN.

Offspring fair of cloud and cold,

Glorifying wood and wold,

Who could, mute, thy grace behold?

        Welcome, welcome, snow!

Painter matchless! nought to me

Gives more gladness than to see

Earth thus beautified by thee:

        Welcome, welcome, snow!

Unlike Flora’s offerings fair,

Partial spread—thy kindly care

Beautifies her everywhere:

        Welcome, welcome, snow!

At thy touch, behold, to-day

The dark holly looks as gay

As the hawthorn does in May:

        Welcome, welcome, snow!

See how ’neath thy gentle tread,

Bright as bride to altar led,

Bends the lady-birch her head:

        Welcome, welcome, snow!

Yonder cascade, in its glee,

Down the hillside dashing free,

Looks like darkness matched with thee:

        Welcome, welcome, snow! [page 31]

Fields that late looked bare and brown,

Whiter now than solan-down,

Well uphold thy fair renown:

        Welcome, welcome, snow!

Let him boast of landscapes green

Who no Highland glen hath seen

Mantled in thy chaster sheen:

        Welcome, welcome, snow!

O, to be thus always nigh

When Glen-Urquhart, lovingly,

Dons the virgin livery

        Of the falling snow!

Ha! thou ceasest—scarce a flake

Falleth now o’er bank or brake

Good-bye Meekley’s lovely lake!

        Good-night, gentle snow!

                                          —EVAN MACCOLL.

————

TO THE MORNING STAR.

                Fairest and rarest gem

                Placed in Night’s diadem!

Morn’s happy usher! who would not with joy

                Welcome thy presence bright,

                Over yon distant height,

Queenly resuming thy place in the sky?

                The dawn-loving lark now

                Is stirring—and hark now

The joyful ado at thy coming she makes;

                While, glad at thy showing

                The darkness now going,

The amorous black-cock his harem awakes. [page 32]

                The elfin knights prancing,

                The elfin maids dancing,

The witch at her cantrips, thou fill’st with dismay;

                Ghosts from thy presence fly,

                Owlets no longer cry,—

Wand’rer benighted, now smile on thy way!

                Star of the golden gleams,

                Where dost thou hide thy beams

When the young Morn her fair eyelids unclose?

                Charms such as hers to see

                Well worth thy while might be

Exit less hasty thus from us to choose.

                Lo, in the twilight grey

                Vanish thy sisters gay;

Soon must thou also be lost to my view!

                Harbinger dutiful

                Of the Dawn beautiful,

Now, till thy next glad returning, adieu!

                                                     —EVAN MACCOLL.

————

THE LAKE OF THE THOUSAND ISLES.

Though Missouri’s tide may majestic glide,

    There’s a curse on the soil it laves;

The Ohio, too, may be fair, but who

    Would sojourn in a land of slaves?

Be my prouder lot a Canadian cot

    And the bread of a freeman’s toils;

Then hurrah for the land of the forests grand,

    And the Lake of the Thousand Isles!

I would seek no wealth, at the cost of health,

    ’Mid the city’s din and strife;

More I love the grace of fair nature’s face,

    And the calm of a woodland life; [page 33]

I would shun the road by ambition trod,

    And the lore which the heart defiles;

Then hurrah for the land of the forests grand,

    And the Lake of the Thousand Isles!

O, away, away! I would gladly stray

    Where the freedom I love is found;

Where the pine and oak by the woodman’s stroke

    Are disturbed in their ancient bound;

Where the gladsome swain reaps the golden grain,

    And the trout from the stream beguiles;

Then hurrah for the land of the forests grand

    And the Lake of the Thousand Isles!

                                                    —EVAN MACCOLL.

————

THE CHILD OF PROMISE.

A translation from the Gaelic of Evan MacColl, by the lave Rev. Dr. Buchanan, of Methven, Perthshire.

She died—as dies the roses

    On the ruddy clouds of dawn,

When the envious sun discloses

    His flame, and morning’s gone.

She died—like waves of sun-glow

    Fast by the shadows chased;

She died—like heaven’s rainbow

    By gushing showers effaced

She died—like flakes appearing

    On the shore beside the sea;

Thy snow as white! but, nearing

    The ground-bright swell broke on thee.

She died—as dies the glory

    Of music’s sweetest swell;

She died—as dies the story

    When the best is still to tell. [page 34]

She died—as dies moon beaming

    When scowls the rayless wave;

She died—like sweetest dreaming,

    That hastens to its grave.

She died—as died she early:

    Heaven wearied for its own.

As the dipping sun, my Mary,

    Thy morning ray went down!

                                             —EVAN MACCOLL.

————

THE HILLS OF THE HEATHER.

Give the swains of Italia ’mong myrtles to rove,

Give the proud, sullen Spaniard his bright orange grove,

Give gold-sanded streams to the sons of Chili,

But O, give the hills of the heather to me!

        CHORUS—

Then, drink we a health to the old Highland Bens

Whose heads cleave the welkin, whose feet press the glens:

What Scot worth the name would not toast them with glee?

The red heather hills of the Highlands for me!

The hills whose wild echoes delight to prolong

The soul-stirring pibroch, the stream’s gushing song—

Storm-vexed and mist-mantled though often they be,

Still dear are the hills of the heather to me.

        CHORUS—

Then, drink we a health to the old Highland Bens

That fondly look down on the clan-peopled glens:

What Scot worth the name would not toast them with glee?

The red heather hills of the Highlands for me!

Your carses may boast o their own fertile farms,

Yet give me the glens, shielding well in their arms

Blue lakes, grandly glassing crag, cliff, tower and tree:

The red heather hills of the Highlands for me! [page 35]

        CHORUS—

Then, drink we a health to the old Highland Bens,

Their deer-haunted corries, and hazelwood dens:

What Scot worth the name would not toast them with glee?

The red heather hills of the highlands for me!

’Tis there ’neath the tartan beat hearts the most leal—

Hearts warm as the sunshine, yet firm as he steel;

There only this heart can feel happy or free:

The red heather hills of the Highlands for me!

        CHORUS—

Then, drink we a health to the old Highland Bens,

Glad leaving to England her flats and her fens;

What Scot worth the name would not toast them with glee?

The red heather hills of the Highlands for me!

                                                            —EVAN MACCOLL.

————

BEANNACHD DHEIREANNACH AN EILTHRICH GHAELICH.

AIR FONN: “Eirionn Gu Brath.”

Bha long nan crann caol,

    Mach o Mhaol dhubh Chinntire—

Air bòrd bha iad lionmhor

    Dh’ fhàg tìr nam beann àrd;

Bha ’ghrian ait gu leòir,

    Anns a mhòr chuan a’ sìoladh:—

Ciod uime tha mì-ghean

    Air laoch a chùil bhàin?

Cha ’n e ’n cuan dùmhail

    Dh’ fhàg Dùghall fo champar—

’Se bhi fàgail a dhùthcha

    Fliuch sùilean an t-sean-duin’,

’Se coimhead, fad uaithe,

    Nan cruach b’feàrr leis teann air—

Tir bhòidheach nam Beann,

    Ris nach till e gu brath. [page 36]

“A dhuthaich mo ruin,”

    Arsa ’n diùlanach duaichnidh,

“Cò air nach biodh smuairean

    A’ gluasad bho d’thaobh?

Droch dheireadh do’n ghràisg

    Tha gad fhàsachadh ’n uair so!

‘S e ’n drochbheairt thug bhuam-sa

    Gleann uaine mo ghaoil.

Mo chreach! bho nach buan

    Ar sean uachdairean treunail,

’S am fonn bha ’n an sealbh

    Nis aig balgairean breunail,

Tha Gàidheil ’g am fògradh

    Mar cheò bharr do shéibhtean,

’S ma lean riut cinn-fheadhn’,

    ’S ann air caoirich a ’s féidh!

O Albuinn! ’n àm dùsgadh

    Thoirt sgiùrsadh do d’ nàimhdean

Co’ eil’ ach an Gàidheal—

    Na Gàidheil ’s gach cruas!

An cuimhn’ leat gach cruaidh-chath

    ’S an d’fhuair iad buaidh-laraich,

’S a nis bhi ’g am fògradh

    Bho d’ chòrsa, ’n e ’n duais?—

’G am fògradh air sgàth

    Barrachd mail ann am pòca

Nan triath air bheag nàir’

    Dh’ fhag ’n a fàsaich tìr m’ òige!

B’ e ’cur eadar màthair

    ’S a ceud leanabh bòidheach,

B’ e ’n rùsg thoirt bho ’n chraoibh

    Bhi an éiginn do uait!

’Thìr steallaireach, alltach,

    Ard choillteach, thiugh-spréigheach—

’Thìr àiridheach, fhraoch-shliosach,

    Ghorm-lochach, àrd; [page 37]

’Thìr bhreacanach, cheòlraidheach,

    Oranach, aoidheach,

Bu tu tìr nan sgeul—

    Dachaidh ghreadhnach nam Bàrd!

Ach co an tìr chéin

    A ni’n sgeulachd a dhùsgadh?

Co ’thogas dhuinn òran

    Tìm bròin no tìm sùgraidh?

Co ’sguabas na teudan

    Le caol-mheura siùbhlach,

No chuireas air seinn

    Pìob mhòr bhinn nan dos àrd?

O m’ òige! ’s tu mheall mi;—

    ’S beag, aon uair, a shaol mi

Ri dachaidh mo ghaoil

    Bhi ’s an dòigh so ’cur cùl—

Gleann gorm nam ban bòidheach

    Fhuair còir air ’bhi beul-bhinn,

Mar ùiseag nan speura

    Tràth Céiteinn nam flùr.

O m’ anam! ’d e ’m feum dhuit

    ’Bhi meodhrachadh suaimhneis—

Feall-shonas a dh’fhag thu

    Gu bràth, a ’s bu luath sin!

Cha phill e an t-og-mhios’

    Air ròsan bhi bruadar;

O, imrich na truaigh,

    B’ fhearr an uaigh leam na thu!

A rionnag ud shuas,

    ’S tuille ’s luath rinn thu dùsgadh!

Tha ’n oidhche a dùnadh uam

    Duathaich mo ghaoil;

Tha gheallach gu càirdeil

    A’ snàmh thar a stùchdan

Ach monadh no stùchd

    Nis do m’ shùilean ca léir! [page 38]

A lòchrana aoibhinn!

    ’S ann ruibhse tha m’ fharmad,—

Ged ruaigeas an là sibh

    A lath’ir tìr nan garbh-chrioch,

Gu ’m pill sibh gu gàireach

    ’Chur fàilt’ oirr ’gach anamoch;

Mo thruaigh! cha bu shearbh

    Ach bhi ’falbh uaip’ a chaoidh!

A bhan-righ nan cuan,

    Beannachd buan leat! ach cuimhnich

An ath auair a dh’aomas

    Luchd-streupa ’n a d’ dhàil,

Bi ’dh d’ ionndrain, gun stath

    Air na h-àrmuinn a sgaomadh,

Do nàimhdean mar sgaomas

    Gaoth éitidh an càth!

Uair eile, ’s gu bràth,

    Beannachd bhlàth leat, mo dhùthaich!

Ged robh gu Lath’ luain

    Falach cuain ort bho m’ shùil-sa,

Gu deireadh mo chuairt,

    Geàrr no buan, bi ’dh mi ’g ùrnuigh,

O! Ard-rìgh nan dùl,

    Beannaich dhùthaich mo ghràidh!

                                              —EVAN MACCOLL.

[illustration]

[page 39]

JOHN IMRIE.

——

     DR. JOHN D. ROSS, in his interesting book, published in New York in 1897, entitled, “A Cluster of Poets,” devotes twenty-two pages to a review of the poems of Mr. John Imrie. In introducing Mr. Imrie, Dr. Ross says: “Few Canadian poets of to-day are more popular or better known throughout the great Dominion than is the subject of our present sketch, Mr. John Imrie, of Toronto, and the reason of this is at once obvious: merit will always command attention, and Mr. Imrie is a poet of a very high order of merit. His poems are the out-pouring of a heart that is imbued with the sensitive and finer feelings of a poet. They are pure, intellectual, vigorous, patriotic, and sincere; and, in a great number of instances, they contain similes and thoughts which are morally and poetically beautiful. His subjects are well chosen, and such as he is capable of treating successfully; his sentiment is affectionate and loyal; his versification easy and correct; his style free and simple; his command of language ample for his purpose.”

     Mr. Donald F. Smith, of Camlachie, Ont., has paid a lasting tribute to Mr. Imrie in an address, which stamps the writer as a poet of no ordinary calibre. Following are the three opening verses:—

                   

                    “John Imrie, ye’re a gifted chiel,

                      Yer clinkin’ sangs I lo’e them weel,

                      Ye needna heed the woralt’s heel,

                                   Wi’ a’ her wrangs;

                      For ye could earn yer meat an’ meal

                                   Jist writin’ sangs.

                    “There’s mony poets in oor lan’

                      Jist made o’ common lime an’ san’,

                      But, Jock, ye’re jist the metal drawn

                                   An’ shappit weel,

                      By guid Dame Nater’s honest han’,

                                   Frae head to heel. [page 40]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: JOHN IMRIE.]

[blank page]

                    “It’s sweetly dae ye gar it clink,

                      Wi’ pathos yoked tae ilka link;

                      Lang may yer canty muse aye blink

                                   Sae blythe and clear,

                       Till ye’re oot o’er Parnassus’ brink,

                                   Withoot a peer.”

     Mr. Imrie is a native of Glasgow, Scotland, and came to Canada in 1871. He at once settled in Toronto, and in Toronto he has continued to reside. He is engaged in the printing business, and the firm in which he is a partner—Imrie, Graham & Co.—is well known.

     Mr. Imrie has just published a fourth edition of his poems, the total number of volumes issued in the four editions being seven thousand. He has also issued “A Bouquet of Sonnets,” besides a number of songs in sheet music form.

CA’ ME “SCOTTY!”

Yes! ca’ me “Scotty” if ye will,

For sic’ a name can mean nae ill;

O’ a’ nick-names just tak’ yer fill,—

        I’m quite content wi’ “Scotty!”

To be a Scot is nae disgrace.

Maist folk can trust a guid Scotch face!

He’s never lang oot o’ a place,—

        The honest, faithful, “Scotty!”

A Scotchman has the knack to plod,

Through thick an’ thin he’ll bear his load;

His trust is aye in richt an’ God,—

        The perseverin’ “Scotty!”

He’s ’tentive baith to kirk an’ mart,

To freens he’s true an’ hard to part;

In life’s great race he needs nae start,—

        “I’ll win or dee,” says “Scotty!” [page 43]

An’ if he meets wi’ ane or twa

O’ Scotlan’s sons when far awa’,

They’ll ’gree like brithers ane an’ a’,—

        A “clannish” man is “Scotty!”

Though aft he travels far frae hame,

He’s aye a Scotchman a’ the same,

An’ prood to crack o’ Scotlan’s fame,—

        A loyal son is “Scotty!”

Should Scotlan’ ever need his help,

He’ll gie her enemies a skelp,

An’ mak’ them rin like frichted whelp,

        And gie respect to “Scotty!”

Then, ca’ me “Scotty if ye will,

Nick-name like that can work nae ill;

I’ll shake yer han’ wi’ richt guid-will,

        Whane’er ye ca’ me “Scotty!”

                                                —JOHN IMRIE.

————

WHUSTLE AS YE GO!

When troubles rise, like cluds in skies,

    An’ a’ things eerie seem,

Keep up your heart, though freens depart,

    Nae time is that to dream!

The weakest man in a’ the lan’,

    Is he that has nae foe;

Trust mair in self than freens or pelf,

    An’ whustle as ye go!

CHORUS.—Just whustle to yoursel’, my man,

                          Some cantie tune ye ken;

                      The diel himsel’ can’t stan the spell,

                          O’ cheery, whustlin’ men! [page 44]

Should Love beguile, just wait awhile,

    There’s guid fish in the sea,

The fickle jaud may get nae lad,

    She’s no’ the lass for thee;

Tak’ time to think, an’ in a blink,

    The richt lass ye will see,—

Just whustle some, an’ she will come,

    Wi’ love-licht in her e’e!—CHO.

Some married men, as ye may ken,

    Hae sometimes cause to dree—

A scoldin’ wife may vex his life,

    An’ oot the hoose he’ll flee!

But don’t dae that, lke frichted cat,

    Just tak’ advice frae me:—

Be unca fain, an’ haud the wean,

    An’ syne she’ll mask the tea!

CHORUS.—She canna whustle like you, guid man,

                          An’ that ye brawly ken;

                      But she can sing, an’ comfort bring

                          To cheery, whustlin’ men!

                                                          —JOHN IMRIE.

————

SCOTCH DAINTIES.

Gie a Scotman a guid cog o’ brose,

    Wi’ milk just new-drawn frae the coo’,

Feth, ye’ll no see him turn up his nose,

    But tak’ them, an’ then smack his moo’!

CHO.—Brose, parritch, kail, haggis, an’ bannocks,

                   Are dainties abune a’ compare!

               Nae English, French, Yankees, or Canucks,

                   Could mak’ such a gran’ bill o’fare!

Guid parritch for weans is sae healthy,

    It mak’s them grow strong, fat, an’ weel;

Dyspeptics are aye ’mang the wealthy,—

    They eat what wad sicken an eel!—CHO. [page 45]

Noo, what is sae guid as Scotch kail,

    Wi’ carrots, an’ turnips, an’ leeks;

Hielan’men are braw, hearty, an’ hale—

    Yet gang a’ the year without breeks!—CHO.

But the haggis is king o’ the table,—

    A Scotchman’s maist toothfu’ delight,

By dining on that he is able

    To match ony twa in a fight!—CHO.

When spying for game in Glen Sannox,

    Ahint a wheen stanes on my knees,

What’s sweeter than crumpin’ oat bannocks,

    An’ eating a’ whang o’ guid cheese?—CHO.

Brose, parritch, kail, haggis an’ bannocks

    Wad mak’ lean consumptives grow fat;

Though they’d sleep oot at nicht in hammocks,

    They’d ne’er be a bit waur o’ that!—CHO.

Then, gie us oor dainty Scotch farin’,

    We’ll honour the auld muckle pat!

For pastry an’ pies we’re no carin’,

    Scotch laddies are no built wi’ that!—CHO.

                                                           —JOHN IMRIE.

————

THE TOUCH OF THE DIVINE.

Each grain of sand by sounding sea,

Each trembling leaf on quivering tree,

Each blade of grass on dewy lea,

    Speaks volumes of God’s love to me!

The pearls that deep in ocean lie,

The twinkling stars that gem the sky,

The sunbeam, caught from noontide’s eye,

    Direct my thoughts, O god, to Thee! [page 46]

The flowers that deck the fragrant dell,

And o’er me cast their beauty-spell,

I love them—for they seem to tell

    The story of God’s love to me!

No matter where I wander free,

By river, lake, or boundless sea,

The touch of God’s dear hand I see,

    And know by these He loveth me!

Oh, God! Thou doest all things well,

Earth, sea, and sky Thy wisdom tell,

In heaven what must it be to dwell

    Forever, O my God, with Thee!

                                                    —JOHN IMRIE.

————

GORDON HIGHLANDERS AT DARGAI.

“Gordon Highlanders! Charge!”—The pipers play’d,

Not a soul drew back—not a man afraid!

“The Cock o’ the North!” crow’d loud in their ears,

As they answer’d back with three British cheers!

Up the Dargai Heights the Gordons flew,—

It was “Death or Victory” well they knew;

Yet, as long as they heard the pipers play,

Foot-by-foot they climb’d for the bloody fray!

While the enemy rain’d down deadly shot,

And the ranks were thinn’d where the fire was hot,

Still, the pipers play’d on with might and main,

As the Gordons charged for the heights again!

With a rush and a bound they scal’d the height,—

Hark!—“Bayonets, Charge!”—how the Gordons fight!

While, ’mid carnage and blood, the pipers fell,

On stumps play’d they “Cock o’ the North” right well! [page 47]

’Ere the bugle sounded at set of sun,

The heights were taken!—the battle was won!

’Mid the groans of dying and wounded men,

Findlater was heard “at his pipes” again!

It cheer’d the dying in their last despair,—

Such music and “Victory!” rent the air:—

Through “the valley of Death “then march’d they forth,

To the martial strains of “Cock o’ the North!”

Oh! mothers are home! mourn not for your sons,

Though they bravely fell ’neath the rebel guns;

Their deeds shall be told till the end of time,—

To fall like a hero is death sublime!

In the battle of life this lesson teach,—

We all have “Our Dargai Heights” to reach;

And, gain we the summit, or, fighting, fall,

God crowns His heroes at Death’s roll-call!

                                                  —JOHN IMRIE.

[illustration]

[page 48]

[blank page]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: ROBERT BOYD.]

ROBERT BOYD.

————

     MR. ROBERT BOYD was a pioneer as well as a poet. He came to Canada in 1830, from Ayrshire, and he died in Guelph in February, 1880, aged eighty-three years. His whole life in this country, with the exception of four years spent in Guelph, was lived at Paisley Block. Mr. Boyd was possessed of more than ordinary intelligence, and being a great reader he kept himself well-informed at all times on the leading questions of his day. He was a prime favorite with young and old alike, and his death called forth expressions of deep regret from a very large circle of friends and acquaintances.

SONG FOR THE BACKWOODSMAN.

Hark to the sound of the woodman’s axe

    Through the tangled forest pealing;

See the proud oak how it totters and shakes,

    Then straight to the ground is reeling.

CHORUS:—Then chop away, my merry good lads,

                         Let each be a friendly neighbor

                      There’s health and wealth in the falling woods,

                         A sure reward for our labor.

There nature reign’d a despotic Queen,

    Yet her sway was none of the sorest;

But when man appeared she left the scene,

    And crown’d him King of the forest.

                        CHORUS—Then chop away, &c.

We proudly can boast the land is our own,

    By strength of our arms we’ve won it;

And it shall descend from father to son,

    With kind heaven’s blessings on it.

                        CHORUS—Then chop away, &c.

Yon blazing pile is a beacon of light

    To exiles, laden with sorrow,

And here they’ll rest, their wrongs made right,

    And awake to a joyous morrow.

                        CHORUS—Then chop away, &c.

Soon shall our fields be waving with grain,

    And o’er them cattle be roaming,

And if we toil hard ’twill not be in vain,

    For a brighter day is coming.

                        CHORUS—Then chop away, &c.

Then cease not to wield the gleaming axe,

    And pile up the logs for burning,

For time well spent to the farmer makes

    A bright and happy morning.

                        CHORUS—Then chop away, &c.

                                                            —ROBERT BOYD.

————

STANZAS.

The dark e’e o’ e’ening’s beginning to drap

The tears o’ its kindness in Nature’s green lap;

Ilk wee modest gowan had faulded its blossom

To sleep a’ the night wi’ a tear in its bosom.

The lauch o’ the shearers gaun hame frae their wark,

The howlet’s wild cry, the dog’s warning bark;

The sang o’ the Burnie sae soothing and clear

A’ tell me in kindness the trysting day’s near. [page 52]

And the sweet siller moon is abroad in the sky

To light my dear lassie whose comin’ is nigh,

To the haunt of our love by yon moss grey stane,

Where we love aye to meet when the daylight is gane.

What though I work sair frae mornin’ till e’en,

I never feel weary when gaun to meet Jean;

A sweet loving kiss and a witching smile

Weel repays me for a’ my travel and toil.

And yonder she comes the green meadow through!

O sweet is the meeting when lovers are true!

And she ne’er will hae ony cause to complain

That she met me at e’en by the moss grey stane,

                                                           —ROBERT BOYD.

————

THE HERD LADDIE.

When I was a wee boy and herded the cows,

And row’d in my plaid on the bonny green knowes,

Listening the laverock’s sang mang the cluds,

And the sweet gush o’ music that rang through the woods.

Whiles catching trouts, bauldly harrying bikes,

And seeking birds’ nests ’mang the whins and the dykes,

Amidst all my sports light-heated and glad aye,

And few were the cares o’ the wee herd laddie.

Biggin’ wee houses and theekin’ them bien

Wi’ the lady-fern and the rashes green,

And in aneath them at times I would cower

To keep mysel’ dry frae the weeting shower;

Reading auld ballads contented I’d sit,

My faithful auld collie asleep at my fit;

Their sweet melting lays made my heart loup wi’ joy,

And the tear dim the e’e o’ the wee herd boy. [page 53]

Whiles pu’ing flowers that grew at my feet,

The red heather bell and the fringed gowan sweet,

The yellow primrose that grew ’neath the shade,

As if to be seen was halflin afraid;

The stately foxglove wi’ its cups a’ fu’

Wi’ the drappin rain and the pearly dew;

Then to arrange them my art I’d employ,

For nae lame florist was the wee herd boy.

Saugh whistles I made and blew on them loud,

Till each echo was charm’d from his nap in the wood;

And kites, too, I made, tied to a lang string,

And loupit wi’ joy when I saw them take wing;

Then wished I had wings with them I might soar,

Far up aboon amang the cloudlets hoar,

To hear the stars sing their anthems of joy,

And make the heart glad o’ the we herd boy.

Away, away, through the welkin to glide,

The lark, my mate, singing sweet by my side,

To traverse secure in bright vapour glens,

Where no foot has trod and naebody kens;

Where silence reigns and in solitude broods—

Save when the thunder rolls deep through the cloods;

When wearied to rest on the painted brow

Surveying the landscape spread far out below.

Such were the pastimes of life’s early morn

Which never again to me will return,

In the march of life, I’m far on the way,

And soon must recline in the wee house o’ clay;

But not without hope that again I’ll rise

To a fairer clime above in the skies,

The mind illumined with heavenly truth,

Like the eagles, ever renewing my youth.

                                                  —ROBERT BOYD.

[page 54]

SONG.

AIR: “Gude-nicht, and joy be wi’ ye a’.”

Though now far frae our native hame

    That on our youth sae sweetly smil’d,

Auld Scotia, dear remember’d name,

    Wi’ a your heathy mountains wild;

Though now we’re far frae thee exil’d,

    Thy hills, thy dales, thy streams and a’,

Still memory speaks in accents mild—

    Dear is the land that’s far awa’.

Though Nature here has used her skill,

    And great and grand her work has been,

To stretch the lawn and raise the hill,

    Wi’ mony flow’ry spots between;

Extending forests waving green,

    And streams and lochs that might be twa;

Yet, still, dear Scotia, still, I ween,

    They’re no’ like thine that’s far awa’.

Nae minstrel yet o’ note or fame

    Has ever blessed our woody shores,

To gie her streams and hills a name

    And make them famous, too, like yours;

To sing her bonnie woods and bowers,

    Where lovers meet at e’ening’s fa’,

And make mair ken’d her birds and flow’rs

    Like thine, dear land, that’s far awa’.

O, would some minstrel sweet arise

    To sing as thy ain Robin sang,

To paint the fears, the hopes, the joys,

    Of those that live our woods amang.

Or Watty Scott, unken’d sae lang,

    But now the brightest name of a’;

A’ would be right that now is wrang

    With this dear land of Canada. [page 55]

To tell the glorious deeds here wrought,

    By Wolfe and a’ his heroes bright;

Or gallant Brock who boldly fought

    And nobly died on the Queenston height.

And we in ony cause that’s right,

    Ready still our swords to draw;

Our dads could for auld Scotland fight,

    And we will fight for Canada.

In hopes a bard will yet appear

    An’ make to ring our forests green;

We’ll give another rousing cheer

    For Britain and our much lov’d Queen;

And our ain land where freedom’s wing

    Will never cower to tyrant’s law;

Then let us all rejoice and sing

    For that dear land is Canada.

                                                  —ROBERT BOYD.

————

THE RIVER ST. LAWRENCE

St. Lawrence! greatest chief of streams!

    Long is thy course, thy channel wide,

Surpassing far the poet’s dreams,

    Where countless ships in triumph ride.

Before the Indian’s footsteps trod

    Thy flow’ry banks and meadows green,

Thou murmur’dst pæans sweet to God,

    To human ken unheard, unseen.

E’en then thy waters madly sped

    O’er Niagara’s dizzy height,

And foaming in their rocky bed,

    Mirror’d rainbows pure and bright. [page 56]

To see thy mighty torrents leap

    Trembling and struck with awe we stand;

Yet He who doth us guide and keep

    Holds thee in the hollow of His hand.

When on thy pure transparent breast

    The red man launched his frail canoe,

Thou bore him to his home of rest

    O’er which the trees their shelter threw.

And now in every creek and bay

    Bold Commerce doth adventurous roam,

And thousands on thy borders stray

    To find a cozy, sheltered home.

And still thy waters proudly bear

    Vessels fraught and brimming o’er

With treasures rich we well can spare

    To those on a far distant shore.

Many long years have glided by

    Since thou didst start upon thy course,

And yet thy channel ne’er runs dry

    And still exhaustless is thy source.

And still incessant thou shalt run,

    Till time itself shall cease to be,

To where thy waters all have gone—

    Thy rest sublime—the wide, saut sea.

                                                    —ROBERT BOYD.

[page 57]

A CURLING SONG.

AIR: “Green Grows the Rashes O.”

Now bleak and cauld the north winds blaw

    And fleecy snaw is whirlin’, O,

But what care we for frost and snaw

    When at the game o’ curlin’, O.

CHORUS—Fair fa’ the curlin’, O,

                    Fair fa’ the curlin, O,

                    There’s no a game amang them a’

                    Can be compar’d wi’ curlin’, O.

Some feckless loons may glunch and gloom,

    And roun’ the fire sit snarlin’, O,

While we wi’ channel stane and broom

    Are joyous at the curlin’, O.—CHO.

The weaver he has left his loom

    Although the wife is quarrelin’, O,

But wife and bairns may sink ot soom—

    They canna’ stop his curlin’, O.—CHO.

The suter he has left his last,

    The wooer left his darlin’, O,

And han’ in han’ away they’ve past

    And at the rink are curlin’, O.—CHO.

The tailor though wi’ wark is thrang,

    And folk’s auld duds are tirlin’, O,

For him they a’ may naked gang

    But he maun hae his curlin’, O.—CHO.

The merchant, busy, keen, and hard

     To catch the gowd that’s sterlin’, O,

Has leap’d the counter like a bird

     And ‘mang the lave is curlin’, O.—CHO. [page 58]

The priest, the laird, and ilka ane

    Wha scorn the name o’ warlin’, O,

In bick rin haste awa’ are gane,

    And a’ are glorious curlin’, O.—CHO.

And when the gloamin’ clouds the west

    Our groat we will birlin’, O,

And beef and greens wi’ Allan’s best

    Will close the day o’ curlin’, O.

CHORUS—Fair fa’ the curlin’, O,

                    Fair fa’ the curlin, O,

                    Your glasses toom to stane and broom,

                    And the royal game o’ curlin, O.

                                                          —ROBERT BOYD.

————

A WELCOME TO SPRING.

My bonnie maiden, you’re welcome again

    To our land of lakes and fam’d maple tree;

And welcome the minstrels that come in your train,

    Whistling a chorus of gladness round thee.

We thought your fair face we never would see.

    Why have you tarried so long by the way?

No flowers yet are seen on meadow or lea

    To deck the fair bosom of dear lov’d May.

But now since you’re come and winter is fled,

    And you to Nature still kindly and true,

We’ll raise up our fair ones again from the dead

    To bask in the sun and bathe in the dew.

Then on with your work and do not delay,

    Again let beauty and gladness be seen; [page 59]

Flowers starring the mead, the bank and the brae,

    And the brown fields cloth’d with carpets of green.

Again let the trees with mantles be clad,

    Waving with joy in the soft balmy gale;

The streamlet burst forth in murmurings glad,

    Proclaiming you’ve come as it winds through the vale.

The lambkins again will sport on the green;

    The pigeon with bright wing dart through the air;

Around the May pole shall dance a fair queen,

    With light-hearted ones that never know care.

The bee releas’d from his dark, gloomy cell,

    Again round the flow’rs will joyously sing;

The wee humming bird in whispers will tell

    The sunshine and warmth your presence doth bring.

The aged again their youth will renew,

    While grateful they look on Nature abroad,

With thoughts raised to Heaven, the good and the true,

    The source of themselves—the ever-wise God.

The weak and the weary that long have lain

    On beds of sickness through lone, dreary hours,

Will rise to new life and vigor again

    When viewing the fields and sweet blooming flow’rs.

Though winters be long, yet let us not fret

    While He who reigns is our God and our King;

Blythe Summer and bounteous Autumn we’ll get

    With leal, kind-hearted, beautiful Spring.

                                                             —ROBERT BOYD.

[page 60]

THE BACHELOR IN HIS SHANTY.

’Tis something strange a chiel like me

Should frae his native country flee,

And leave his freens o’ social glee—

                   And loves sae dear,

And cross the braid Atlantic sea

                   In quest o’ gear.

To come to this strange land o’ trees,

The vile abode o’ frogs and fleas,

Wi’ no ane near to sympatheese,

                   Or yet to hate us;

Devour’d alive by slow degrees

                   By curs’d mosquitoes.

To tremble ’neath the ague’s power,

Cauld and het hour after hour;

Drinkin’ vile Peruvian stour

                   And ironwood sass,

Wi’ mony ither auld wife’s cure—

                   Would kill an ass.

Roasted by the summer’s heat—

Till life’s weak pulse can scarcely beat,

Half drown’d in streams o’ creeshy sweat

                   That gem my beard,

As thick as morning’s dewy weet,

                   On flow’ry sward.

Followed by Winter’s biting breeze,

That tears the mantle off the trees,

Nips a’ the flow’rs, kills a’ the bees

                   Wi’ savage sway;

And ilka birdie frightened flees,

                   To the south away. [page 61]

And oh, I dread the coming scaith,

O’ surly Boreas’ cauldrife breath,

And smooring snaws whirlin’ in wrath,

                   Wi’ mony a’ flourish;

And scarce o’ blankets too, in faith

                   I’m sure to perish.

When storms are o’er we look for calms,

And sae did I midst a’ my dwams,

Yet e’en last nicht while Hope’s sweet balms

                    Cur’d every sore,

The wolves commenc’d their eldrich psalms

                    At my very door.

Their music I was doom’d to hear,

Though far frae pleasant to the ear;

But waur than that, twa lambs sae dear,

                   And baith their mithers,

Were aff next morn, I ne’er ken’d where,

                   Tail, head, and shouthers!

A grumphy, too, I fed with care,

Till he might weigh twal’ stane or mair;

And when about to scrape his hair,

                   Though no’ that able,

A muckle black and ugly bear

                   Saved me the trouble.

Hens, ducks and geese, a motley group,

Were carried off at ae fell swoop;

Nae wonder that my spirits droop,

                   And heart turns sair,

And sunk ayont a’ earthly hope

                   In fell despair. [page 62]

A farmer too I’m called by name,

Nay—even a Laird—so much for fame,

Which makes me blush wi’ burnin’ shame

                   The truth to tell,

For a’ my craps scarce fill my wame

                   And nane to sell.

Twa-three bits o’ potato hills,

For stumps are sworn foes to drills

Some pumpkins big as cadger’s creels,

                   Is a’ my crop;

For aught I raise, markets and mills

                   Might a’ gie up.

I hear o’ farmers bien and braw,

Who’re proud their horse and kye to shaw,

And servants ready at their ca’,

                   And this and that;

As for my stock I’ve only twa—

                   A dog and cat.

But if there’s breed my collie has ’t—

My cat’s the real Muskovy cast;

But if the future’s like the past,

                   I fear and dread

We’ll soon a’ sleep in quiet rest

                   Among the dead.

Immur’d in this low dismal dwallin’,

Wi’ no’ a neighbor I can call in,

Frae morn to e’en with bull frogs brawlin’

                   I’m deav’d and fretted;

I’m sure while life contains this saul in

                   I’ll ne’er forget it. [page 63]

Wi’ my bit shanty, too, I’m hurt,

It’s a’ o’ergane wi’ fleas and dirt;

For me to clean’t I want the art

                   Although right willing;

Reduc’d too to my hindmost shirt,

                   And hindmost shilling.

And not a morsel yet I’ve cooket

But what’s been either burnt or smoket;

My last teacup yestreen I broke it,

                   Oh! what a ruin;

Wi’ no’ a farthing in my pocket

                   To buy a new ane.

And oh! the mice are sic a pest,

They eat my meat and spoil my rest;

Whatever suits their palate best,

                   They’re sure to win it;

Blast their snouts, they e’en build their nest

                   In my auld bonnet!

The crickets squeak like sucking pigs,

And dance about my fire their jigs,

Syne eat my stockings, feet and legs,

                   The hungry deevils;

Sure Egypt e’en wi’ a’ her plagues

                   Had ne’er sic evils.

Oh! had I but some sonsy quean,

To keep me warm and keep me clean,

I would not care the frosts a preen,

                   Nor heats nor agues;

But then to court the beats me clean

                   And that the plague is. [page 64]

Last week my humble suit I paid

To bonnie, smirking Maggie Shade;

She seem’d to list to what I said,

                   But mark, ye fates,

Straightway wi’ guessing Sam she fled

                   Aff to the States.

Anither lass wi’ witchin’ e’e,

I tauld my love forth frank and free,

She pointed to my shanty wee

                   And bauld and crouse,

Said, “Ere ye get the like o’ me,

                   Get a new house.”

To me it seems there’s nae relief

Frae ills that bring me muckle grief,

A sma’ respite, however brief,

                   Would raise my spirit;

But mischief following mischief—

                   ’Tis hard to bear it.

Oh! were I on my native hills,

’Mong speaking rocks and prattling rills,

Where sweet remembrance, painting, fills

                   The mind and eye

With early scenes that touching thrills

                   The heart with joy.

To hear again the lav’rock sing

While soaring high on flutt’ring wing,

And list the blackbird caroling

                   Adown the glade;

And mark the primrose, child of Spring,

                   Peep ’neath the shade. [page 65]

To see again the heather wave

Above the lonely martyrs’ grave,

Who died their country’s rights to save,

                   Her say and shield;

And sit on cairn where died the brave

                   On battle-field.

To see my native streamlet play,

By hazel copse and flow’ry brae,

Where oft I’ve run in life’s young day

                   With buoyant will;

And now when far frae thee away

                   Thou’rt dearer still.

With feelings warm again to join

The early friends o’ dear langsyne,

To clasp again their hands in mine,

                   What joy and bliss;

Instead of living here to pine

                   In wretchedness.

There ’mang those scenes where maids are rife,

I’d choose myself a virtuous wife,

And live contented, foes to strife,

                   Aye crouse and canty;

But ne’er again would trust my life

                   In any shanty.

But oh! I fear sic hopes are vain;

Auld Kyle I’ll never see again;

Weel, since it’s sae, I’ll here remain

                   Anither year yet,

I may be blessed, for a’ that’s gane,

                   Wi’ routh o’ gear yet.

                                                     —ROBERT BOYD.

[page 66]

ADDITIONAL VERSES TO THE SHANTY.

And here in death may close my een,

Unknown, unpitied, and unseen,

With nae kind, sympathising freen’

                   To heave a sigh;

And days and weeks and months I ween

                   Unnoticed lie.

The very claes that’s on my body

Are noo sair worn and getting duddy,—

They were at first the worst o’ shoddy,

                   Yet dear they cost me;

And to get new anes makes me wud aye,

                   For nane will trust me.

Unless, like Adam, our auld dad,

And Eve, his partner, winsome maid,

I could wi’ forest leaves be clad

                   At a sma’ cost;

But then I fear I’d run stark mad

                   When comes the frost.

I fear unless come better times,

Or mair o’ the plagu’d things ca’d dimes,

I’ll hae to flee to warmer climes

                   If I could mak’ it;

There ’mang the cane-brakes and the limes

                   Rin halflins naket.

But, O! losh me! what a strange figure

I’d mak’ alang-side o’ a nigger,

Brewing rum and making sugar

                    And driving asses,

In wi’ wams low, hugar mugar,

                    ’Mang nigger lasses. [page 67]

Na, na; though grievous here’s my lot

Mair schemes I’ll try ere I try that;

For though I’m scarcely worth a groat

                   I’m still a freeman;

And ne’er could think in dirt to squat

                   ’Mang sic like women.

                                                     —ROBERT BOYD.

————

PER CONTRA.

Now, my good frien’s, these tidings hear:

Of all my ills I’m moistly clear;

I’ve got a wife whom I lo’e dear—

                   A thrifty quean.

She mends my claes, and guides the gear,

                   And keeps me clean.

Now, I haud up my head fu’ crouse,

My shanty down, I’ve got a house;

I lead a happy life and douce

                   And weel respecit,

And hae nae fear o’ thievin’ mouse

                   Or yelpin’ cricket.

I’ve sheep and oxen, horse and kye,

And fat pigs gruntin’ in the stye,

And mony ither things forbye,

                  That lighten cares;

Nae langer noo the wolves come nigh,

                  Or hungry bears.

All you in this Dominion wide

With puirtith’s ills are sorely tried,

Haud up your heads in manfu’ pride

                  And dream o’ plenty;

And think on me, your freen’, Rab Boyd,

                  And his wee shanty.

                                                   —ROBERT BOYD.

[page 68]

[blank page]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: ALEXANDER MCLACHLAN.]

ALEXANDER MCLAGHLAN.

————

     MR. ALEXANDER MCLACHLAN was born in Johnston, Renfrewshire, Scotland, in the year 1820. Long before coming to Canada, indeed while in his teens, young McLachlan courted the Muses, and wrote many pieces that were well worthy of preservation. By-and-bye, when through commendable effort he had supplemented the somewhat scanty education he received when a boy, his ambition took a higher and nobler flight, and he soon took a foremost position among those Scottish bards who found a home in the New World. Rev. Dr. Dewart, in commenting on Mr. McLachlan’s powers as a poet, said:—“As long ago as 1864, in my ‘Selections from Canadian Poets,’ I said of Mr. McLachlan: ‘It is no empty laudation to call him the Burns of Canada. In racy humor, in natural pathos, in graphic portraiture of character, he will compare favorably with the great peasant bard; while in moral grandeur and beauty he frequently strikes higher notes than ever echoed from the harp of Burns. After nearly a quarter of a century I am prepared to stand by this estimate still.’” And Dr. Daniel Clark says: “His ‘Britannia’ and ‘Garibaldi,’ stir us as would the clarion notes of a bugle call on a battle-field. His ‘Lang-Heided Laddie’ shows his quiet humour, versatility, and good-intended sarcasm. His ‘Balaclava’ does not lose by comparison with Macaulay’s ‘Lays of Ancient Rome,’ or Aytoun’s ‘Historic Ballads of Scottish Chivalry.’”

     In 1855, Mr. McLachlan published a small collection of his poems; in 1858 another book entitled “Lyrics;” in 1861 appeared his “Emigrant and Other Poems;” and in 1874 “Poems and Songs,” a large volume containing nearly all his writings up to that date. Since the poet’s death on March 20th, 1896, his daughter had been preparing his works for publication in a two-volume form, but death has since claimed her also; however, the work is at present in the hands of literary admirers, and will yet be published. [page 71]

ROBERT BURNS.

Hail to thee, King of Scottish song,

    With all thy faults we love thee;

Nor would we set up modern saints,

    With all their cant, above thee.

There hangs a grandeur and a gloom

    Around thy wondrous story,

As of the sun eclipsed at noon,

    ’Mid all his beams of glory.

A marvel, and a mystery!

    A king set on a throne,

To guide the people’s steps aright,

    Yet cannot guide his own.

A marvel, and a mystery!

    A strange, a wondrous birth;

Since Israel’s King there has not been

    Thy likeness upon earth.

Because thou wert ordain’d of Heaven,

    Thy mission’s high and holy;

To thee the nobler work was given,

    To lift the poor and lowly.

Thy words are living vocal things,

    Around the world they’re ringing;

Hope’s smiles they bear, and everywhere

    Set weary hearts a-singing.

Untutor’d child of Nature wild,

    Whose instinct’s always true;

O, when I’m weary of the saints,

    I turn with joy to you.

The bigot and the blockhead still

    Are at thy memory railing,

Because thou wert a son of Eve,

    And had a human failing. [page 72]

A benefactor of our race,

    Yet on the face they strike thee;

And, like Pharisee of old,

    Thank God they are not like thee.

Well, let them rave above thy grave,

    Thou canst not hear their railings;

We take thee to our heart of hearts,

    With all thy faults and failings.

For they were human at the worst—

    True hearts can but deplore them;

The faults from which great virtues spring,

    O, throw a mantle o’er them!

And loving souls in every place

    Still hail thee as a brother;

Like thee, thou glory of our race,

    Where shall we find another?

                                        —ALEX. MCLACHLAN.

————

UP! AND BE A HERO!

Up! my friend, be bold and true,

There is noble work to do,

Hear the voice which calls on you—

               “Up! and be a hero!”

What tho’ fate has fixed thy lot

To the lowly russet cot;

Tho’ thou art not worth a groat,

               Thou may’st be a hero!

High, heroic deeds are done,

Many a battle’s lost or won

Without either sword or gun—

                Up! and be a hero! [page 73]

Not to gain a worldly height,

Nor for sensual delight,

But for very love of right,

                Up! and be a hero!

Follow not the worldling’s creed,

Be an honest man indeed,

God will help thee in thy need—

                Only be a hero!

There is seed which must be sown,

Mighty truths to be made known,

Tyrannies to be o’erthrown—

                Up! and be a hero!

There are hatreds and suspicions,

There are social inquisitions,

Worse than ancient superstitions—

                Strike them like a hero!

In the mighty fields of thought

There are battles to be fought,

Revolutions to be wrought—

                Up! and be a hero!

To the noble soul alone

Nature’s mystic art is shown,

God will make his secrets known

                Only to the hero!

If thou only art but true,

What may not thy spirit do?

All is possible to you—

                Only be a hero!

—ALEX. MCLACHLAN.

[page 74]

THE MAPLE TREE.

O, Maple tree! O, Maple tree!

O, thou’rt a pride and joy to me;

Of all trees of the forest green

There’s none compares with thee, I ween;

Long may you stand, so green and grand,

Pride and joy of our happy land—

                                  O, Maple tree!

And all the birds they love thee best,

And sing the sweetest in thy breast;

And there’s no shade, nor spreading tree,

The free-foot rovers love like thee;

Long may you stand, so green and grand,

Pride and joy of our happy land—

                                  O, Maple tree!

And in the merry month of Spring,

Ere yet the birds begin to sing,

O, how the school-boy shouts to see

The drops of nectar fall from thee!

Long may you stand, so green and grand,

Pride and joy of our happy land—

                                  O, Maple tree!

And maidens, on their bridal morn,

With boughs the festal halls adorn—

And children clap their hands to see—

How old men love the Maple tree;

Long may you stand, so green and grand,

Pride and joy of our happy land—

                                  O, Maple tree!

And all our sons, where’er they roam,

Still twine thy name with thoughts of home;

Tho’ far away from thee, I ween,

Yet memory keeps thy branches green! [page 75]

Long may you stand, so green and grand,

Pride and joy of our happy land—

                                  O, Maple Tree!

                                      —ALEX. MCLACHLAN.

————

THE RAIN IT FALLS.

The rain it falls and the wind it blows,

And the restless ocean ebbs and flows,

But the why and the wherefore no one knows.

The races come and the races go,

But alas! alas! what do they know?

They but repeat the old tale of woe.

The years they come and they hurry on,

Ah, just as they did in the days agone!

And bear us back to the vast unknown.

We can’t resist the decrees of Fate,

And there’s nothing for us but to wait

Till Death shall open or shut the gate.

For the rain may fall, and the wind may blow,

And the generations come and go,

But the why and the wherefore none may know.

—ALEX. MCLACHLAN.

[page 76]

WHERE’ER WE MAY WANDER.

Where’er we may wander,

    Whate’er be our lot,

The heart’s first affections

    Still cling to the spot

Where first a fond mother

    With rapture has prest,

Or sung us to slumber,

    In peace on her breast.

Where love first allured us,

    And fondly we hung

On the magical music

    Which fell from her tongue!

Tho’ wise ones may tell us

    ’Twas foolish and vain,

Yet, when shall we drink of

    Such glory again?

Where hope first beguiled us,

    And spells o’er us cast,

And told us her visions

    Of beauty would last;

That earth was an Eden,

    Untainted with guile,

And men were not destined

    To sorrow and toil.

Where friendship first found us,

    And gave us her hand,

And linked us for aye to

    That beautiful band.

Oh, still shall this heart be,

    And cold as the clay,

Ere one of their features

    Shall from it decay. [page 77]

O fortune, thy favors

    Are empty and vain;

Restore me the friends of

    My boyhood again;

The hearts that are scattered,

    Or cold in the tomb,

O give me again, in

    Their beauty and bloom.

Away with ambition,

    It brought me but pain;

O give me the big heart

    Of boyhood again;

The faith, the friendship,

    The rapture of yore,

O shall they re-visit

    This bosom no more?

                                                  —ALEX. MCLACHLAN.

————

HURRAH FOR THE NEW DOMINION.

Let others raise the song in praise

    Of lands renowned in story;

The land for me, of the maple tree,

    And the pine, in all his glory!

Hurrah! for the grand old forest land,

    Where Freedom spreads her pinion;

Hurrah! with me, for the maple tree,

    Hurrah! for the New Dominion!

Be hers the light, and hers the might,

    Which Liberty engenders;

Sons of the free, come join with me—

    Hurrah! for her defenders. [page 78]

And be their fame in loud acclaim—

    In grateful songs ascending—

The fame of those who met her foes,

    And died, her soil defending.

Hurrah! for the grand old forest land

    Where Freedom spreads her pinion;

Hurrah! with me, for the maple tree,

    Hurrah! for the New Dominion!

                                                  —ALEX. MCLACHLAN.

————

GOD.

God of the great old solemn woods,

God of the desert solitudes,

           And trackless sea;

God of the crowded city vast,

God of the present and the past,

           Can man know Thee?

God of the blue sky overhead,

Of the green earth on which we tread,

           Of time and space;

God of the worlds which Time conceals,

God of the worlds which Death reveals

           To all our race.

From out Thy wrath the earthquakes leap,

And shake the world’s foundations deep,

           Till Nature groans.

In agony the mountains call,

And ocean bellows throughout all

           Her frightened zones. [page79]

But where Thy smile its glory sheds,

The lilies lift their lovely heads,

           And the primrose rare;

And the daisy, decked with pearls

Richer than the proudest earls

           On their mantles wear.

These Thy preachers of the wild-wood,

Keep they not the heart of childhood

           Fresh within us still?

Spite of all our life’s sad story,

There are cleans of Thee and glory

           In the daffodil.

And old Nature’s heart rejoices,

And the rivers lift their voices

           And the sounding sea;

And the mountains old and hoary,

With their diadems of glory,

           Shout, Lord, to Thee!

                                                  —ALEX. MCLACHLAN.

————

MYSTERY

                   Mystery! Mystery!

                   All is a mystery!

Mountain and valley, and woodland and stream;

                   Man’s troubled history,

                   Man’s mortal destiny,

Are but a phase of the soul’s troubled dream.

                   Mystery! Mystery!

                   All is a mystery!

Heart-throbs of anguish and joy’s gentle dew—

                   Fall from a fountain

                   Beyond the great mountain,

Whose summits forever are lost in the blue. [page 80]

                   Mystery! Mystery!

                   All is a mystery!

The sigh of the night-winds, the song of the waves;

                   The visions that borrow

                   Their brightness from sorrow,

The tales which flowers tell us, the voices of graves.

                   Mystery! Mystery!

                   All is a mystery!

Ah, there is nothing we wholly see through!

                   We are all weary,

                   The night’s long and dreary—

Without hope of morning, O, what would we do?

                                                  —ALEX. MCLACHLAN.

[illustration] 

[page 81]

REV. G. BRUCE, D.D.

——

     REV. G. BRUCE is of Scottish birth, having been born near Aberdeen. He came to Canada very early in life, and was brought up near Toronto. He attended the Normal School in Toronto, and Grammar School in Whitby. He took his degree of B.A. at Toronto University in 1868, and he, along with six others, was made a D.D. on the occasion of Knox College Jubilee. Dr. Bruce married Miss Emily Dickson, of Kingston, daughter of the late Mr. John Dickson, founder and president of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, by whom he has had five children. He was ordained at St. Catharines, Ont., and is now in charge of St. Andrew’s College for Boys, Toronto.

MAY SONG.

Wild flowers in the meadow,

    Grass upon the lea!

Little streamlet flashing,

    Sunlight in its glee!

Babbling o’er its pebbles,

    Murmuring in its bed,

As it steals so slyly

    Where the shadows spread.

Shadows of the branches

    Of the grand old trees,

With their thousand leaf-tongues

    Laughing in the breeze. [page 82]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: REV. G. BRUCE, D.D.]

[blank page]

Here and there the fleece-clouds

    Floating up on high,

Here and there through fleece-clouds

    Flecks of azure sky.

Over all, the sunlight

    In a golden flood,

Deluging with life-power

    Field and flower and wood.

While the joy of nature

    Fills the glorious day,

With the voice of gladness

    Singing “It is May!”

                                                  —REV. G. BRUCE, D.D.

————

LIFE.

TO MISS K———.

Like a dewdrop on a flower,

Sparkling brightly for an hour

In the new-born morning power

                Of the sun:

Like a little mountain stream,

With a murmur, like a dream,

Silvered in the stronger gleam

                Of the day:

Like a current deep and wide,

Sweeping on in stronger tide

As it leaves the mountain side

                For the vale: [page 85]

Like a river calm, amain

Making glad the thirsty plain,

And the fields of golden grain

                Far and wide:

Till with an unbroken sheen

In the distance it is seen

To mingle with the green

                Rolling tide:

Such is life, from morn to close,

In its turmoil or repose,

Till the moment when it flows

                Back to God.

May your life thus deeply filled,

Strongly urged, or calmly stilled,

Reach the ocean that is thrilled

                By His love.

                                                  —REV. G. BRUCE, D.D.

[illustration] 

[page 86]

[blank page]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: MRS. MARY. A. MAITLAND.]

MRS. MARY A. MAITLAND.

——

     MRS. MAITLAND is a native of Elgin, Scotland. She is a daughter of Mr. Davidson, the first teacher in the Infant School of Elgin, and a maternal grand-daughter of the late Provost Wilson of that town. Mrs. Maitland came to Canada with her father in 1857, when she was eighteen years of age. She had, before leaving Scotland, written some creditable verses, but it was not until she came to this country that her merits as a poetess were fully acknowledged. In a short time her contributions found their way into the S.S. Times, New York Observer, Christian at Work, Godey’s Magazine, Gems of Poetry, Woman’s Magazine, and other Standard American periodicals. Mrs. Maitland’s own estimate of her poems is: “I am well aware that they contain no high poetic flight, or lofty imagery; perhaps their only merit is their tenderness.” As might be anticipated, her modesty has made her fall far short of a proper estimate of her work. A writer in “Daughters of America” who was familiar with Mrs. Maitland and her writings, said of her that she is “one of the sweetest singers of the day,” and the “Idea” says in a sketch of her: “Mrs. Maitland is by nature a poet—one in whom the most natural form of expression is in rhyme and rhythm.”

     Mrs. Maitland was married in Hamilton, Ont., to Mr. M. A. Maitland, photographer, but she now resides with her husband in Stratford, Ont. By the death of a son, a number of years ago Mrs. Maitland sustained a crushing blow, which not only affected her health but her pen-work as well, many of her poems, after the sad event, being tinged with sadness. A number of hymns, written by Mrs. Maitland, have been set to music. Her poems have been collected and prepared for publication, and it is her intention to have them launched upon the world in book-form some day; it is to be hoped in the near future. [page 89]

AWAKE, AND AWAY!

Awake! my dull soul, from thy dreams in the valley,

    And plume thy long indolent pinions for flight;

No more at the shrine of thy broken gods dally,

    No longer abide where the ruin lieth white.

Away! break away from the flesh and its thraldom,

    An era of loftier purpose begin;

Arise in the might of thy God-given freedom

    And cleave every fetter without and within!

Who walketh with God treadeth not in the valley,

    ’Mid trophies of battle and bones of the slain;

’Mid ruins of glory and relics of folly,

    And echoes of footsteps that come not again.

Who walketh with God hath his feet on the mountain,

    His eye on the lode-star that pointeth the way;

His hand on the chalice that hangs at the fountain,

    His heart on the treasures that cannot decay.

Away to the uplands! Perchance on the morrow

    Some mountain may there prove a Nebo to thee,

On whose sacred summit thy vision may borrow

    A glimpse of the bliss and the glory to be.

A glance at the country where summer supernal,

    Folds valley and hill to her evergreen breast;

Where billows are hushed to a slumber eternal,

    Where tempests break not the sweet “rapture of rest!”

                                                  —MRS. M. A. MAITLAND.

[page 90]

TRUE VICTORY.

He stood with a foot on the threshold,

    And a cloud on his boyish face,

While his city comrade urged him

    To enter the gorgeous place.

“There’s nothing to fear, old fellow!”

    It isn’t a lion’s den!

Here waits you a royal welcome

    From the lips of the bravest men.”

’Twas the old, old voice of the tempter,

    That sought in the old, old way,

To lure with a lying promise

    The innocent feet astray.

“You’d think it was Blue Beard’s closet,

    To see how you squirm and shrink!

I tell you there’s naught to harm you—

    It’s only a game and a drink!”

He heard the words with a shudder—

    “It’s only a game and a drink!”

And his lips made bold to answer

    “But what would my mother think?”

The name that his heart held dearest

    Had started a secret spring,

And forth from the wily tempter,

    He fled like a hunted thing.

Away till the glare of the city,

    And its gilded halls of sin,

Are shut from his sense and vision,

    The shadows of night within. [page 91]

Away! till his feet have bounded

    O’er fields where his childhood trod;

Away! in the name of virtue,

    And the strength of his mother’s God!

What though he was branded “coward!”

    In the blazoned halls of vice,

And banned his baffled tempter,

    Who sullenly tossed the dice;

On the page where the angel keepeth

    The record of deeds well done,

That night was the story written

    Of a glorious battle won.

And he stood by his home in the starlight—

    All guiltless of sword and shield—

A braver and nobler victor

    Than the hero of bloodiest field!

                                                  —MRS. M. A. MAITLAND

————

THE HOME-MAKER.

               Is it wealth that makes a home?

               Is it pillar, tower, or dome,—

Costly tapestries of silk and frescoed walls;

               Mossy floors your steps that hush,

               Gorgeous furnishings of plush,

And attendants who obey your slightest calls?

               If these make the home, you say,

               I will quickly tell you “Nay!

And am ready my assertion bold to prove;

               For I know a blissful cot

               Where these luxuries are not—

Where the only precious garnishing is Love! [page 92]

               You may rear a lofty pile,

               You may furnish it with style,

If you will, call virtuoso to your aid;

               But if yet there is a dearth

               Of love’s glow upon its hearth,

’Tis a house and not a home that you have made.

               Love doth home’s foundations lay!

               Love can hallow huts of clay!

It can smooth life’s rugged path and rocky steep;

               It can make the bitter sweet,

               It can wing the leaden feet,

It can light the cypress vale where mortals weep!

               When these homes that we have known,

               Shall at last be overthrown,

When the sun and moon and stars are quenched above;

               Still with radiance divine,

               Will this star immortal shine,

For eternity’s Home-maker will be Love!

                                                  —MRS. M. A. MAITLAND

————

HEY-A-DAY! HO-A-DAY!

Hey-a-day! Ho-a-day! What shall I sing?

Baby is weary of everything;

Weary of “Black Sheep” and “Little Boy Blue,”

Weary of “Little Jack Horner,” too,

Weary of “Ding-Dong” and “Caper and Crow,”

Weary of “Pretty Maids all in a Row”;

Though I have sung to her ditties a score,

Little blue eyes are as wide as before! [page 93]

Hey-a-day! Ho-a-day! What shall I sing,

Sleep to the eyes of my baby to bring?

Sing her a song of her own little self,

Mystical, whimsical, comical elf!

Sing of the hands that undo with their might

More in a day than my own can set right;

Sing of the feet ever ready to go

Into the places no baby should know.

Hey-a-day! Ho-a-day! Thus will I sing,

While in her cradle my baby I swing;

Sing of her tresses that toss to-and-fro,

Shading pink cheeks on a pillow of snow;

Sing of the cherry lips of guarding for me

Treasures as rare as the pearls of the sea;

Sing of the wonder and the marvellous light

Hid in the blue eyes now blinking “Good-night!

Hey-a-day! Ho-a-day! Joy makes me sing,

Who would have thought that a baby could bring

Into my bosom a love so divine,

Into my heart all this music of mine,

Into my home such a halo of light,

Unto my hands such a magical might,

Unto my feet all the fleetness of wings,

Into my being such wonderful things!

                                                  —MRS. M. A. MAITLAND

————

AULD GRANNY GRAHAM.

Auld grandmither sits in her son’s ingle-neuk,

    As couthie as couthie can be;

And love lichts her een as she reads the Guid Beuk,

    Or dandles the bairn on her knee. [page 94]

She hears na the sang o’ the lass in her teens,

    The sang that she sings o’ her Jo,

Yet kens it’s the same that—the gayest o’ queans—

    She sang in the lang, lang ago!

She hears na a soun’ frae the lips o’ her ain,

    Wha’s first spoken word was her name;

Their speech is a’ lost, be it ever so fain,

    On the dull ear o’ auld Granny Graham.

Yet cheery she sits in her neuk by the fire,

    Aye patient and eidant is she;

Her hairt never faints and her hands never tire,

    Though lanely sae aft she maun be.

She kens that the waitin’ can nae be for lang,

    Nor far noo her cross maun she bear;

That sune wi’ the ransomed she’ll sing the new sang,

    In yon golden city ower there.

She kens that the day is close by when her ear

    Will thrill wi’ the tones o’ langsyne;

When Jesus Himsel’ she will joyfully hear

    Say, “Come unto Me, thou art mine!”

Auld grandmither sits at her son’s ingle side,

    The mists o’ fourscore in her e’e;

Her feet are fast nearin’ the incomin’ tide,

    And sune ower the breakers she’ll be.

But sure is the Hand that will guide her across,

    And strong are the airms that will bear;

And she will forget ilka sorrow and loss

    When hame wi’ her Lord evermair.

                                                  —MRS. M. A. MAITLAND. 

[page 95]

WILLIAM MURRAY.

————

     MR. WILLIAM MURRAY is of Scottish birth, having been born on May 25th, 1834, at Finlarig, Breadalbane, Perthshire, a spot famous alike for its picturesque situation, and for many stirring events in the history of the Breadalbane family which have there been enacted. The old Castle of Finlarig, the stronghold of Black Duncan, head of the house of Breadalbane, overshadowed the old-fashioned house in which the poet was born, his father having held the position of head gardener on the Breadalbane estates for over thirty-five years. Mr. Murray got as good an education as could be procured in the Highlands at the time. Shortly after completing his studies he emigrated to Canada. He first took a position in Toronto, being then in his twenty-first year; but he afterwards removed to Hamilton where he has had a very successful business career. He was connected for a great many years with the well-known dry goods house of W. A. Murray & Co. For some time past he has lived in retirement—that is retirement from business; but his snug home, Athole Bank, has a wide-open door for his many friends, who are always welcome. Mr. Murray is well-to-do, having, by his industry and careful attention to business, amassed quite a fortune.

     Mr. Murray has written poetry sufficient to make two volumes, but he has never ventured on the publication of his works. His poems include many religious pieces in addition to his secular work, and many of his poems have appeared in print although not in book form.

     For twenty-six years Mr. Murray has been Bard of the St. Andrew’s Society of Hamilton, and of the Caledonian and Gaelic Societies as well, and his bardic addresses at the anniversaries of these societies have been greatly admired. [page 96]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: WILLIAM MURRAY.]

[blank page]

MY BIRTHPLACE.

  When first my eyes awoke to light,

  The Grampian hills were full in sight;

  The Dochart and the Lochy joined,

  Repose in deep Loch Tay to find.

  Two rows of cots, a church and inn,

  Combined to form what’s now Killin;

  There, girt by huge memorial stones,

  Repose the mighty Fingal’s bones;

  There in their old sepulchral nest,

  Black Duncan* and his family rest,—

  Duncan, whose still existing tower

  Attests what once was feudal power,—

  That Duncan, whose twelve giant sons

  (For so the old tradition runs)

  Fighting for what they deemed their rights,

  Perished together on yon heights.

  And yonder, in the Dochart stream,

  Scarce open to a sunlight beam,

  A huge, dark mass of rock and heath,

  The weird, romantic “Isle of Death,”

  Guarded all round by ancient trees

  Which seem to wail with every breeze,

  And join in chorus with the river,

  Which dashes foaming past forever.

  There, each below his own rude slab,

  Repose the chieftains of McNab;

“Sons of the Abbot,” hence the name,

  When Abbots liked fair maids for game;

  Long ere the stern and sturdy Knox

  Appeared the papists’ ears to box—

  Before Fitz James fought Roderick Dhu,

  Or Lowland laird the highlands knew.


*The founder of the Breadalbane branch of the Clan Campbell— “Donnacha dubh nan Caisteal.”


[page 99]

  Here, high above a rocky ledge,

  Spanning the torrent, is the bridge

  Where, riding reckless, frenzy-filled,

  Lord Robert and his horse were killed;

  Careless of rein, or spur, or danger,

  To fear or fate alike a stranger.

  With foaming mouth and eyes aglare,

  The horse rose wildly in the air,

  And quick as lightning’s sudden blow,

  Dashed horse and rider dead below!

  Not far beyond lies Fortingall,

  The scene of many a bloody brawl;

  But chiefly, here the Roman shield

  Was driven shattered from the field;

  Here Cæsar’s chivalry first felt

  The metal of the Highland Celt,

  And with his finger in his mouth

  Enquired the shortest passage south!

  Now, rise with me to yonder hill,

  Watered by many a crystal rill,

  Covered by Scotia’s darling heather,

  With here and there a hill-bird’s feather,

  And foxglove’s mazy tangled knots,

  Holding its own until it rots;

  And—to the sportsman ever dear—

  The grouse and blackcock crouching near;

  The lark rejoicing up on high,

  The eagle swooping through the sky;

  But best of all to a grazier’s eye,

  The hardy black sheep passing by,

  Nibbling away with sharp white teeth

  Their perfumed provender, the heath,

  And never deem their journey high

  ’Till hidden in the misty sky;

  Nor must we ever overlook [page 100]

  The theme of farmer, butcher, cook,

  The cause of many a feud and battle—

  The wild and shaggy Highland cattle,

  Famous from John O’Groat’s to Selkirk,

  Adored at Amulree and Falkirk;

  Nor for a moment deem it folly,

  To cast a glance at useful collie,

  The ever faithful shepherd’s dog,

  Faithful through frost, and snow, and fog.

  But worse than blameful would I be,

  Were human friends forgot by me,—

  Those friends who cheer’d my early years,

  Increased my joys and soothed my fears;

  Who nursed me, taught me, and caressed me,

  And when I left them, sighed, and blessed me!

  However primitive their talk,

  Unstudied and untrained their walk—

  Altho’ they wore the simple plaid

  Which their own thrifty hands had made,

  And were content with Highland bonnets,

  Highland whiskey, Highland sonnets,—

  They were a noble race of men

  Whose like we ne’er shall see again,—

  Their faults I hardly wish to hide,

  Their virtues I admire with pride.

  How can I evermore forget

  When with old Donald Roy I met;

  To teach me (my best schoolboy wish)

  With rod and fly the streams to fish,—

  And when upon the mossy banks

  My speckled captives lay in ranks,

  I tried to think of some good plan

  To recompense the dear old man.

  Yet, while I here, far from these scenes,

  Appreciate all that money means, [page 101]

  A something says, with thrilling tones,

“In Scotland you must lay your bones!”

—WILLIAM MURRAY.

———

THE SCOTTISH PLAID.

The plaid amang our auld forbears

Was lo’ed ower a’ their precious wares,

Their dearest joys wad be but cares

           Without the plaid.

And when the auld guidman was deid,

’Twas aye, bye a’ the hoose agreed,

That to his auldest son was fee’d

           His faither’s plaid.

Ah! gin auld plaisd could speak or sing,

Our heids and hearts wad reel and ring,

To hear the thrillin’ tales that cling

           To Scotia’s plaid.

To hear hoo Scottish men and maids,

’Mang Scotland’s hills and glens and glades,

Baith wrocht and fought wi’ brains and blades

           In thae auld plaids.

The star o’ Scotland ne’er will set,

If we will only ne’er forget

The virtues in our sires that met

           Aneath the plaid.

Amang the Scottish sichts I’ve seen,

Was ane that touched his baith heart and een,—

A shepherd comin’ ower the green

           Wi’ crook and plaid, [page 102]

And i’ the plaid a limpin’ lamb,

That on the hill had lost its dam,

And, like some trustfu’ bairnie, cam’

            Row’d i’ the plaid.

Anither sight I think I see—

The saddest o’ them a’ to me—

The Scottish martyrs gaun to dee

            I’ their auld plaids.

But let’s rejoice, the times are changed,

The martyrs hae been a’ avenged—

An English princess has arranged

            To wear the plaid.

—WILLIAM MURRAY.

[illustration]

[page 103]

ANDREW WANLESS.

——

     MR. ANDREW WANLESS has been before the public as an author for over forty years, and during that time he has published two volumes of poems, the second of which reached a second edition.

     Mr. Wanless was born in Langformachus, Berwickshire, Scotland, on May 25th, 1824. His father, who was a graduate of Edinburgh University, was parochial teacher in the parish, where he lived for more than fifty years. Young Wanless, after leaving school, was sent to Dunse, where he learned the book-binding. He was afterwards foreman in a large book-binding establishment in Edinburgh; and during his residence there he frequently met and conversed with Prof. Wilson (Christopher North) Hugh Miller, Robert Chambers, Francis Jeffrey, Lord Cockburn and other literary men of that day. In 1851 Mr. Wanless emigrated to Canada and opened a book-binding establishment in Toronto; but his enterprise met with disaster, as his shop was burned, and he was left without a penny. In 1861 he removed to Detroit, and he died there on December 22nd, 1898, full of years and honours. He built up a good business as a bookseller, and at his death he had an extensive and valuable collection of old books. Mr. Wanless’ Muse has been used, as he informs us, “To recall the scenes of our early years, to bring up in imagination the braw lads and bonnie lasses that we forgathered with in the days of the lang syne, and attempt to describe, on this side of the Atlantic, the wimpling burns, the gowany braes, the bonny glens, the broomy dells, and the heather clad mountains of our native land: the land where Wallace and Bruce wielded the patriotic sword, and where Ramsay, Burns, Scott, Tannahill, and many more sang the songs of love and liberty.” [page 104]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: ANDREW WANLESS.]

[blank page]

OUR MITHER TONGUE.

It’s mony a day since first we left

    Auld Scotland’s rugged hills—

Her heath’ry braes and gow’ny glens,

    Her bonnie winding rills;

We lo’ed her in the by-gane time,

    When life and hope were young;

We lo’e her still, wi’ right guid-will,

    And glory in her tongue!

Can we forget the summer days

    Whan we got leave frae schule,

How we gaed birrin’ down the braes

    To daidle in the pool?

Or to the glen we’d slip awa’

    Where hazel clusters hung,

And wake the echoes o’ the hills

    Wi’ our auld mither tongue.

Can we forget the lonesome kirk

    Where gloomy ivies creep?

Can we forget the auld kirkyard

    Where our forefathers sleep?

We’ll ne’er forget that glorious land,

    Where Scott and Burns sung;

Their sangs are printed on our hearts

    In our auld mither tongue.

Auld Scotland! land o’ muckle fame!

    The land where Wallace trod,

The land whose heartfelt praise ascends

    Up to the throne of God;

Land where the martyrs sleep in peace,

    Where infant freedom sprung,

Where Knox in tones of thunder spoke

    In our auld mither tongue. [page 107]

Now, Scotland, dinna ye be blate

    ’Mang nations crousely craw:

Your callants are nae donnert sumphs,

    Your lasses bang them a’;

The glisks o’ heaven will never fade

    That were around us flung,

When first we breathed the tale o’ love

    In our auld mither tongue.

O! let us ne’er forget our hame,

    Auld Scotland’s hills and cairns,

And let us a’, where’er we be,

    Aye strive “to be guid bairns.”

And when we meet wi’ want or age

    A-hirpling owre a rung,

We’ll tak’ their part and cheer their heart

    Wi’ our auld mither tongue.

                                                  —ANDREW WANLESS.

———

WHA DAUR MEDDLE ME?

Scotland! how glorious is the theme,

    That in the days by-gone,

Your patriot sons undaunted stood

    And battled for their own.

Time after time the foe advanced,

    Your rights to trample down,

To blot your name forever out,

    And grasp your royal crown.

Your sons could never bow the knee,

    Nor brook the tyrants’ chains;

Nature had written on your hills—

    “Here freedom ever reigns!” [page 108]

Sons of the brave! your hearts were one,

    That Scotland must be free;

Now far and near the cry is heard—

    “Wha daurs to meddle me?”

Forward! See Scotland’s gallant sons

    Dash on to meet the foe,

Their strong right hand grasps Freedom’s sword

    And Freedom guides the blow;

Their bows are bent, their swords are keen,

    And with their matchless might,

Strongly they stand to crush the wrong,

    And battle for the right.

The battle rages fierce and fell,

    Till o’er the deadly fray

The welkin rings—“The victory’s won!”

    Scotland has won the day!

While heather blooms on Scotland’s hills,

    And while her thistles wave,

Freedom will flourish on her soil,

    And guard the warriors’ grave!

                                                  —ANDREW WANLESS.

[illustration]

[page 109]

MRS. J. R. MARSHALL.

“SANDY GRANT.”

——

     MRS. AGNES MARSHALL (“Sandy Grant”), daughter of Mr. James Henderson, who now resides in St. Catharines, Ont., was born at Selkirk, Scotland, in 1848, and came to Canada with her parents when only seven years of age, settling first in Blenheim Township. Although fond of innocent mirth, and able to hold her own with the joyfullest of the joyful, Mrs. Marshall seldom let pleasure interfere with study. Her favorite reading was poetry, chiefly of the ballad order, but in prose literature, too, she is very well read. The most eventful day of her life was the 27th of Feburary, 1889, for on that day she was married at Chesterfield to Mrs. John R. Marshall; and on the same day the train in which she and her husband were travelling to Hamilton left the rails when nearing St. George’s bridge, between Paris and Harrisburg, and plunged into the abyss.  Mr. and Mrs. Marshall were so badly hurt that they had to remain in the hospital for ten weeks. As soon as they were able to travel again they proceeded to Regina, N.W.T., where they are both now living. Although Mrs. Marshall’s literary efforts have chiefly been in poetry, she has written no inconsiderable amount of prose, mostly in the Scottish dialect, and under the nom de plume of “Sandy Grant.” Possessed as she is of a retentive memory, and being a brilliant conversationalist, Mrs. Marshall’s society is much sought after, and her friends have found her a safe and willing adviser in matters literary or otherwise. Mrs. Marshall has two brothers living, both of them teachers. John Henderson, M.A., the elder, is now Principal of the Collegiate Institute at St. Catharines.

     The above sketch of “Sandy Grant” has been supplied by one who has the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with her. [page 110]

[unnumbered page, illustration: MRS. J. R. MARSHALL.]

[blank page]

ST. ANDREW’S DAY, 1896.

St. Andrew’s Day comes aince a year,

    And in oor minds we tak’ a peep

At oor auld mither that we left

    Across the saut and stormy deep.

We loe oor mither ane and a’,

    And each year as it passes brings

A closer tie, a stronger love,

    As memory tae her fondly clings.

We’re bairns again; the heather hills

    We climb wi’ never weary feet;

The bonnie gowan gems we pu’,

    An’ wreath oor brows wi’ garlands sweet

By Yarrow’s stream we’ve often strayed,

    Where the last minstrel sang his lays

Of different times and changed friends,

    Whom he had known in happier days.

Scott mak’s oor land a holy ground,

    A Mecca tae the pilgrim’s feet;

Where, if he listens, he will hear

    The Land and Water Spirit meet;

They dinna speak tae every ane,

    For cares and sorrows clog the ear;

But he that hath a poet’s soul

    There wee sma’ voice can often hear.

They soothe us wi’ their magic spell—

    The world around us is forgot;

And men wi’ care the whole warld ower

    Revere and bless the name of Scott.

We canna tae oor mither cling,

    Although we loe her still sae dear;

Fair Canada demands oor theme—

    The land of our adoption here. [page 113]

Like aulder lands we canna boast

    Of fairy glen and haunted tower,

Where spirits tell their eerie tale

    At midnight’s most unhallowed hour;

But Nature, wi’ a lavish hand,

    Has furnished us wi’ grander themes,

Of mighty lakes and mountains high,

    And torrents wild, and woodland streams.

We boast of Nature’s masterpiece—

    Niagara thundering ower the steep,

Where long ago the flower crown’d maid

    The Indian gave wi’ reverence deep;

And we on the majestic scene

    Gaze, too, wi’ awe that ceases not;

Adoring God in the clear faith

    Of later days and happier lot.

We boast of forest-wealth and mine—

    Of shores by distant oceans bound,

Of fertile plains and prairies wide,

    And fields wi’ richest harvest crowned;

In this fair land we ca’ oor hame,

    We’ve Scottish faith and Scottish pride;

We trust in God and dwell content:

    “A man’s a man” whate’er betide.

                                                  —MRS. J. R. MARHSALL, (“Sandy Grant.”)

[illustration]

[page 114]

[blank page]

[unnumbered page, illustration: WILLIAM MURDOCH.]

WILLIAM MURDOCH.

——

     WM. MURDOCH was born in Paisley, Scotland, on the 24th February, 1823, and came to St. John, N.B., along with his parents in 1854, where he was engaged in various occupations, the last twelve years of his life being devoted to journalistic work. He married, on Sept. 6th 1844, Margaret Smith, a native of Glasgow, who survived him ten years. Mr. Murdoch died on May 4th, 1877. In his youthful days Mr. Murdoch was intimately acquainted with Walter Watson, who wrote the well-known song “Sit ye doon, my crony, and gie u your crack,” and before Mr. Murdoch departed from Canada Mr. Waterson walked all the way from Kilmarnock to bid farewell to his brither-poet, and with him Godspeed in the land of his adoption.

A PRAYER.

Almighty Jehovah! before Thee we fall

Creator, sustainer, and Lord over all,

    Great source of all pleasure and pain;

At whose nod from on high the wild tempests are driven,

At whose word streameth forth the fierce lightning of heaven,

By whose will the dark mountains asunder are riven,—

    Oh, let not our prayers be in vain!

Great essence of goodness, of justice, and love,

From eternity throned in thy cœlum above—

    Immutable, infinite God;

By whose power the vast ocean is chained to its bed,

By whose power in their circles the planets are led,

By whose power heaven’s dome was with stars overspread,

    Oh, guide us from sin’s fatal road! [page 117]

From the depths of the ocean to earth’s utmost bound,

In ravine and valley, O God, Thou art found,

    By all who would seek Thee aright;

Could we penetrate earth to its innermost cave,

Or were mountains on mountains laid over our grave,

Were the floods of the ocean above us to rave,

    We could not be hid from Thy sight.

Thou source of all being, of measureless worth,

At whose breath yonder ball of effulgence had birth,

    To Thee we are in suppliance cry!

The universe, Father, is filled with Thy grace,

From the throne of bright heaven to uttermost space!

E’en for us, a rebellious, iniquitous race—

    Thou gavest the Saviour to die.

Oh, Father of worlds—omnipotent God!

Support us, thy creatures, who groan ’neath a load

    Of transgressions by nature our own;

When Thy thunders shall over this universe boom,

And awake all who are, or have been, from the tomb,

May we number with those who in glory shall bloom

    Eternally around Thy white throne.

                                                  —WILLIAM MURDOCH.

———

OF A’ THE LADS E’ER SCOTLAND SAW.

     Of a’ the lads e’er Scotland saw

     Since first her hills were clad wi’ snaw,

     Nane e’er Apollo’s pipe could blaw

     Like canty ploughman Robin.

     His master-mind was aye at hame,

     Whate’er the spirit o’ his theme,

     Be’t gentle love, or war’s red flame,

         A’ cam’ alike to Robin. [page 118]

CHORUS—Then let us cheer his honoured name,

                    Sae dear to Scotland and to fame,

                    And on our feet, wi’ loud acclaim,

                    Cry, “Hip, hurrah for Robin!”

     He gar’d ilk Scot his bonnet raise,

     Sae loud he sang in Scotland’s praise—

     Rocks, dingles, glens and heath-clad braes

         Rang wi’ the strains o’ Robin.

     Ilk hill that cocks its neb on high,

     He viewed wi’ true poetic eye,

     And sang till echo, in reply,

         Rebounded back to Robin.

CHORUS—Then let us cheer, &c.

     He loved, when gloamin’ on wad steal,

     To muse on Scotland’s wae and weal;

     But O! her lassocks, fair and leal,

         Entranced the heart o’ Robin!

     He sang in strains that warmed the saul,

     O’ langsyne heroes, stout and baul’,

     What sternly strove, frae foreign thrall,

         To save the land o’ Robin.

CHORUS—Then let us cheer, &c.

     Earth couldna bind his Muse’s micht,

     Sae, through the cluds he took a flicht,

     And revelled ’mang the stars o’ nicht—

         A comet muse had Robin;

     And while aboon he shone sae clear,

     That a’ the planets o’ our sphere

     Stood still, and kentna how to steer,—

         A second sun seemed Robin.

CHORUS.—Then let us cheer, &c. [page 119]

     He dived to ocean’s deepest cave,

     And rode upon its wildest wave;

     Nae power could mar him, till the grave

         Received the banes o’ Robin;

     And noo our thistle hings its heid,

     Dark gloom o’erspreads baith hill and mead,

     For silence grasps the Scottish reed

         Sae aften tuned by Robin.

CHORUS.—But still we’ll cheer his honoured name,

                     Sae dear to Scotland and to fame,

                     And on our feet, wi’ loud acclaim,

                         Cry, “Hip, hurrah for Robin!”

                                                  —WILLIAM MURDOCH.

[illustration]

[page 120]

[blank page]

[unnumbered page, illustration: H. ISABEL GRAHAM.]

MISS H. ISABEL GRAHAM.

———

     MISS H. ISABEL GRAHAM was born in Harpurhey, a village on the outskirts of the town of Seaforth. Her father, the Rev. Wm. Graham, was a native of Comrie, Perthshire, Scotland, and one of the pioneer ministers of the Presbyterian Church in Western Canada. Her mother, Elizabeth Gouinlock, is a native of Roxburghshire, Scotland, and is, herself, of a poetic turn of mind.

     Miss Graham has produced many contributions to Canadian literature, among them an interesting pamphlet entitled “Fifty Years of Presbyterianism in Egmondville,” commemorative of the Jubilee of the church over which her father was for thirty years pastor. A short poem of hers, “Mistress Aberdeen,” which appeared in the Toronto Globe, was suggested by hearing some one speak of Her Excellency as Mrs. Aberdeen. The Countess wrote Miss Graham expressing her appreciation of the sentiment contained in the verses. Of late years Miss Graham’s attention has been turned more in the direction of song-writing, and she has recently published a sacred song in collaboration with Mr. E. A. Humphries, which has obtained much popularity.

THERE’S AYE A SOMETHING.

Ye think the warld’s turned upside doon,

And scunner at yer ain auld toon,

But gin ye tramp the country roon

            There’s aye a something.

Ye hae a freen wha’s guid and great,

But syne ye thocht him unco blate,

And sae yer wander desolate,

            Because o’ something. [page 123]

Ye’re verra apt tae think ye ken

A hantle mair than ither men,

But gin ye get the farther ben

            Ye’ll aye fin’ something.

Ye meditate and wonder why

Ilk pot o’ ointment has its fly;

If in the happy by-and-bye

            There maun be something.

There’s aye a thorn wi’ every rose,

And wee bit grits amang the brose;

And ne’er a chiel but sadly knows

            There’s aye a something.

Sae dinna fash yer heid, ye fool,

But tak’ a seat in Wisdom’s school,

And learn this guid, auld-fashioned rule—

            There’s aye a something.

Be weel content wi’ what ye hae,

An’ dinna look sae sad and wae;

Dae what ye like, gang whaur ye may,

            There’s aye a something.

—H. ISABEL GRAHAM.

———

DOES MEMORY LIVE?

Thine eyes behold the jasper walls,

Thy feet have touched the golden street,

The seraph’s song of rapture falls

Upon thine ears in accents sweet;

Say, dearest, does there come to thee,

’Midst all that bliss, a dream of me? [page 124]

Does Memory live in realms above?

In fancy dost thou sometimes rove

Like dove from out the ark of love,

To seek a cool and shady grove,

Perchance to leave a spirit-kiss

As everywhere thy form I miss?

It matters not; I know that thou

Art free from every earthly pain;

A crown of glory wreathes thy brow—

I would not have thee come again;

My plaint is but a child’s low cry

O’er treasured toys that broken lie.

—H. ISABEL GRAHAM.

———

NO COUNTRY’S LIKE OUR OWN DEAR LAND.

     (Written by request for the International Convention of the Christian Endeavor Society held in Washington, D.C., July, 1896.)

No country’s like our own dear land,

    Where mighty torrents flow,

Her fair form covered from the blast

    By jewelled shield of snow.

Where can you find such happy homes.

    Such calm sweet eventides;

Such rugged beauty as adorns

    Her lofty mountain-sides?

No country’s like our own dear land,

    For quiet Sabbath rest;

No spot on earth more loved of heaven,

    And none so richly blest.

Fair, virgin land of Canada!

    Long may thy banners wave [page 125]

Above a free and loyal race

    That vice can ne’er enslave.

May temperance, truth, and righteousness

    Go forward hand in hand,

And Christ, the King, be glorified

    By our Endeavor band.

No country’s like our own dear land;

    God grant her sons may be

Worthy the broad and great domain,

    That rolls from sea to sea.

                                                          —H. ISABEL GRAHAM.

———

THE PRODIGAL CHILD.

Far from the light and the comfort of home,

Out where the feet of the desolate roam,

Wanders a son from his parent astray,

Bruised by the thorns of life’s rough, weary way;

Father, have mercy, the night’s dark and wild,

Save in his weakness Thy prodigal child.

Fall’n like a star from the firmament bright,

Hiding in darkness, away from Thy sight;

Gone are the false, fleeting pleasures of earth,

Dim are the marks of his right royal birth;

Yet Thou dost love him where’er he may stray,

Bidding him come to Thy bosom to-day.

See! how the heart of the great Father yearns

Through the long years till the wanderer returns,

Waiting to welcome the son of His love

Back from the sin to a mansion above;

Father, what love can compare unto Thine,

Patient, forgiving, amazing, divine!

                                                          —H. ISABEL GRAHAM.

[page 126]

[blank page]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: GEORGE PIRIE.]

GEORGE PIRIE.

———

     MR. GEORGE PIRIE was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, on Feb. 28th, 1799, and died in Guelph, Ont., on July 22nd, 1870. He was twice married and had a large family by both wives.  Jane Pirie, his second wife, died in Dundas on Oct. 24th, 1895, having survived him a quarter of a century. There are three children by the first wife living, and seven by the second. Mr. Pirie published the Guelph Herald for twenty-two years, and was Secretary of the St. Andrew’s Society for Guelph for twenty-one years. On his retiring from the Secretaryship of St. Andrew’s Society he was presented with a service of silver plate. Wm. Lyon Mackenzie, a Scotsman like himself, although opposed to him in politics, said of him that hew as one of the ablest writers in Canada. Mr. Alex. F. Pirie, proprietor and editor of the Dundas Banner, is a son of the late Mr. Pirie.

THE MURDER OF THOMAS SCOTT.

     Mr. Mair, who was a prisoner with Scott, murdered by the miscreant Riel and his fellow-traitors at Fort Garry, says: “Scott was murdered in cold blood. He was placed in a kneeling position and shot, three balls entering his body, and he fell to the ground but not dead. Seeing that he still lived, one Parisen, a relative of the murderer of Sutherland, ran up and fired a revolver into his ear. The ball glanced between the scalp and the skull. He was then transferred to his coffin, where he lay for over an hour, still quivering and alive.”

IN MEMORIAM.

  He fell not in breach nor in battle-field,

      In the rally, the route, or the raid;

  They bore him not back on his batter’d shield,

      By the meteor flag overspread. [page 129]

  They doomed him to death, that rebel band,

      Defiance in speech and eye—

  A loyal son of the dear old land,

      For the brave old flag to die.

  By traitors beset, not a comrade nigh,

      He knelt on the snow-clad ground;

  And they murdered him there for his loyalty,

      As they’d slaughtered a mangy hound.

  A voice has gone out from that blood-stain’d pile,

      A shout like an eagle’s scream,

“Shall Britons be butchered on British soil,

      For their fealty to Britain’s Queen?”

  Let our bugles respond with a thrilling knell

      That will startle the wolves in their lair;

  The muster, the march—and the passing bell,

     That will tell the avenger is there.

                                                  —GEORGE PIRIE.

————

THE TEMPERANCE CASE.

AIR: “The Boatie Rows.

    A noble hand, we fill the land,

        A noble cause we plead;

    The fair and true the wide world through

        Are wishing us good speed.

CHORUS—The plea goes on, the day’s our own,

                        The good cause must succeed;

                    A noble band, with heart and hand,

                        Are aiding it to speed. [page 130]

    The potion foul, the drunkard’s bowl,

        We pledge to mix no more;

    The drunkard’s name, the drunkard’s shame,

        We’d banish from our shore.

CHORUS—The plea goes on, &c.

    The cause of youth, the cause of truth,

        The cause of man we plead;

    The cause that dries the mother’s eyes,

        And gives the children bread.

CHORUS—The plea goes on, &c.

    From Labrador to Erie’s shore,

        The cause goes cheerily on;

    The shouts that rise ’neath the eastern skies,

        We echo from Huron.

CHORUS—The plea goes on, &c.

    On ev’ry sea our navies be,

        On ev’ry shore an host;

    There ne’er was a plan devised by man,

        A league so large might boast.

CHORUS—The plea goes on, &c.

    With such array, who dreads the fray?

        Press onward to the goal;

    By night or day, by deed or say,

        No truce with Alcohol!

CHORUS—The plea goes on, &c.

                                                  —GEORGE PIRIE.

[page 131]

THE FORGET-ME-NOT.

This little flower with azure eye,

You love it, lady, tell me why;

It seems to me nor rich nor rare,

It breathes no fragrance on the air,

Nor splendid form nor colors bright,

May give it value in thy sight.

If not for perfume nor for show,

Pray tell me why you prize it so.

It is not rich, it is not rare,

This little flower—yet, ah, how fair.

Through it no merit else may claim

But this, “the magic of a name,”

Each tiny leaf into my ear

Is breathing names to memory dear;

The dead, the absent, the forgot,

Are whisp’ring here, “Forget-me-not.”

                                                  —GEORGE PIRIE.

[illustration]

[page 132]

[blank page]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: REV. WILLIAM WYE SMITH.]

REV. WILLIAM WYE SMITH.

———

     REV. WILLIAM WYE SMITH, of St. Catharines, is well-known as a writer of poetry, and his fame is not confined to Canada. His poems have called forth unstinted praise from the best judges in the New World as well as in the Old. His published collection of poetry was warmly welcomed when it appeared, and a reviewer in a New York Weekly, in speaking of the book, said: “Many of the Scotch poems are marked by pure patriotism, lofty sentiment and pretty fancies.”

     Mr. Smith was born in Jedburgh, and came to America with his parents when he was only three years of age. His father carried on business in New York for some years, but subsequently engaged in farming near Galt. The facilities for obtaining an education were sadly missed by young Smith, but what with the smattering of tuition obtained in New York, and his untiring diligence in the evening, after his day’s work was done, he fitted himself to “pass” as a school-teacher, and with the money earned by teaching he was able to proceed to New York and there take two terms in the classical department of the University Grammar School. Mr. Smith married in 1851 and began life as a general store-keeper in St. George. About this time he took a prize of $100 offered by the Sons of Temperance for the best essay advocating a Prohibitory Liquor Law in Canada, thus proving himself a master in prose as well as in poetry. In 1855 Mr. Smith removed to Owen Sound, but having obtained a clerkship in one of the Courts he gave up business. Besides courting the Muse he edited the Sunday School Dial, the first illustrated Sunday School paper published in Upper Canada; in 1862 he visited Scotland; in 1863 he bought out the Owen Sound Times; in 1865 he became pastor of the Congregational church in Listowel, and afterwards of the congregation of Pine Grove near Toronto. For three years he ministered in a Congregational church in an Eastern township of [page 135] Quebec; but he is now a resident of St. Catharines, his time being for the most part devoted to editorial work in connection with the Canadian Independent.

     Mr. Smith has, of late years, become famous as a translator of the Scriptures into “braid Scots,” his last and perhaps his crowning effort being the rendering of the Gospel of St. Matthew into the Doric. Mr. Smith is still hale and hearty, and his Muse is not allowed to slumber for long.

LOUIE CAMPBELL.

The purple mist hangs on the brow of Ben Cruachan,

    And sparkles at morn in the dews of the vale;

But purer and brighter is she of Balmoral,

    That chooses her lot in the land of the Gael!

There are Campbells in council, and Campbells in battle,

    And Campbells as fair and as bright as the morn,—

But the fairest and brightest that e’er wore the tartan,

    Is sweet Louie Campbell, the Lady of Lorn!

Let the sun shine in beauty on high Bedan-amran,

    And waters in music descend from Loch Awe;

The winds be a pibroch of triumph and glory

    To hail the best day that the Highlands e’er saw!

She has left her proud home in the old royal towers,—

    And the side of the throne, in whose shade she was born,

And wrapt her within the green plaid of the Highlands,

    The sweet Louie Campbell, the Lady of Lorn!

No more shall the Gael, on her own Loch Etive,

    Look sadly away to a grave o’er the deep;

But nourished at home like his own mountain-heather,

    Take root in the soil where his forefathers sleep.

No more shall the moorcock and grouse take the place

    Of the cot of the clansman, sublime in his scorn;

But gentle and brave in the shade of his mountains,

    He’ll bless Louie Campbell, the Lady of Lorn. [page 136]

There’s glory to win in the wide world before him,

    And fame to the clansman is calling afar;

But gladly he’d leave all his fame and his glory,

    To please the blue eyes of the Lass from Braemar!

Who thinks that the Highlander e’er is unfaithful

    Or the love of the Gael not a gem to be worn—

Let him go where the sceptic is silenced forever,

    And ask Louie Campbell, the Lady of Lorn!

                                                  —WILLIAM WYE SMITH.

———

WI’ THE LAVEROCK I’ THE LIFT.

Wi’ the laverock i’ the lift, piping music i’ the skies,

When the shepherd lea’s his cot, and the dew on gowan lies—

Up, up, let me awa’ frae the dreams the night has seen

And ask what is the matter wi’ my heart sin’ yestere’en?

The laverock i’ the lift, i’ the wildest o’ his flight,

Sees whaur his love abides, wi’ throbbings o’ delight,—

But I behold her cot, and awaken to my pain—

It canna sure be love, or I’d sune be weel again!

Adown the sunny glade, there’s a bower that cottage nigh,

Whaur the flowers aye are sweetest, and the burn gangs singin’ by,—

’Twas there we partit late, wi’ a kiss or twa between,—

But what can be the matter wi’ my heart sin’ yestere’en?

I’ll to yon garden hie, ere the gloaming close it’s e’e,

I’ll tell her o’ my pain, and ask what it can be;

It may be she can cure wha gar’t me first compleen,

For ah! there’s something wrang wi’ my heart sin’ yestere’en!

                                                  —WILLIAM WYE SMITH.

[page 137]

O, THE WOODS!

O, the woods! the woods! the leafy woods,

    And the laughing face of Spring!

When the birds return from their far sojourn,

    Their latest new songs to sing!

Then let me hie to the leafy woods,

    And banish my woe and care—

O, I’ll never repent of the day I went

    To learn a sweet lesson there!

O, the woods! the woods! the Summer woods!

    And the coolness of their shade!

Where in wildwood dell all the Graces dwell,

    There to wait on a sylvan maid!

I’ll seek for flowers to deck her bowers,

    And twine in her golden hair;

And I wonder much if she thinks of such

    As I, when the Winter’s there.

O, the woods! the woods! the Autumn woods,

    And the chestnuts ripe and brown!

When the leaves hang bright in the changing light,

    Like the banners of old renown!

And south-winds ripple across the lake,

    Like chiming of marriage bells;—

O, I wouldn’t much grieve, if I’d never leave

    These wildest of woodland dells!

O, the woods! the woods! Canada’s woods,

    And the sweet flowers nourished there!

O, the beechen shade, and the sylvan maid

    That garlands her golden hair!

Her name may change with the magic ring—

    Her heart is the same for aye!—

In my little canoe there is room for two,

    And sweetly we glide away!

                                                  —WILLIAM WYE SMITH.

[page 138]

WHITE HEATHER.

It’s ill to be puir and leal!

    And it’s ill to keep lint frae the lowe!

And it’s ill to hae bauchles sae doon at the heel

    That the weary fit wanders throwe!

But whether this poortith will flee,

    While the leal and the true shall remain?

And whether my Jeanie will smile upon me?

    Is a “Read-me-my-Riddle!” again.

She tell’t me “she riches despised,”

    But she didna ken I was so puir!

And a sprig o’ white heather—a gift that I prized—

    She plucked as we gaed ower the muir.

I wad that I wasna sae puir!

    And I wad that I aye might be leal!

But I wad, aboon a’, to be certain and sure

    O’ what bonnie Jeanie may feel?

We gang to the sun for its shine—

    And we gang to the wuds for their shade—

And I’ll e’en to my luve, in my dool and my pine,

    And speir what that “White Heather” said!

—WILLIAM WYE SMITH.

[page 139]

AGNES TYTLER.

——

     AGNES TYTLER, the subject of this brief sketch, was of good Scottish stock, her father being from Aberdeenshire and her mother from Banff. She was born in the Township of Nichol, County of Wellington, Ontario, in 1837. Her school-life was very brief as she was required, at the age of ten, to help with home-duties, she being the eldest of the family. Fortunately she was enabled to gratify a taste for reading, having free access to a good library. In due time her mind got well stored with useful information, and being intelligent and thoughtful she was enabled to make a good use of the information so obtained.

THERE THE WEARY ARE AT REST.

There is plenty room in heaven

    For the weary and opprest,

Wha here are sairly driven,

    An’ can never get a rest,

Sae I’ll aye be lookin’ forrit,

    An’ the days will sune be dune;

Syne I’ll hear the welcome signal,

    To lay my burden doon.

An’ oh but I’ll be willin’,

    An’ I’ll gladly tak’ the Han’

That will help me thro’ the valley,

    Up to the better lan’.

He’ll lead me to the portal,

    An’ free frae a’ my sin;

Clad only wi’ His righteousness,

    They’ll surely lat me in. [page 140]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: AGNES TYTLER.]

[blank page]

He spak’ o’ makin’ mansions,

    An’ dootless He kens best

But in some lowly biggin

    I’d gladly tak’ ma rest.

For I’ve ne’er been used to riches,

    E’en comforts hae been sma’;

An’ I dreed in costly palaces,

    I’d get nae rest ava.

An’ I’m sair, sair tired an’ weary,

    For the fecht’s been unco lang:

Sae whan the Maister’s willin’.

    I’ll be richt glad to gang.

                                                  —AGNES TYTLER.

———

THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH.

Even in the youngest baby-days

    The dark shade hovers nigh,

As oft we are reminded

    There is none too young to die.

And still broods above us,

    While we wander through the vale,

Where oft our footsteps falter,

    As we hear the mourner’s wail.

Then the Shepherd kindly leads us,

    Where the pleasant waters flow,

Till we forget the shadow—

    Forget the pain and woe.

But soon, alas! It lowereth,

    That shade so dark and drear;

In bitter care and sorrow,

    Wells out the falling tear. [page 143]

Yet all along we’re sheltered

    By His protecting rod,

Till the valley joins the mountain,

    And we climb up to our God.

The world was fair and beautiful,

    When I was young and gay;

I find so much that is sorrowful,

    When I am turning gray.

I did not think of growing old,

    Nor thought of death’s chill gloom;

I’ve looked my last on faces loved,

    And laid them in the tomb.

I did not think that friends could change,

    Or lovers prove untrue;

But I have seen them pass away,

    Swift as the morning dew.

I dreamed full many a joyous dream

    Of deeds of noble worth;

Realities of direful wrong

    Are rampant on the earth

Tired, from this weary, weary world

    I turn my thoughts on high,

Where dwelleth holy peace and love,

    And naught can fade or die.

We need not wealth or power

    To reach the heavenly shore;

Freely God gives us, day by day,

    And bids us ask for more.

We need not wisdom rare

    To search out all His will;

But seek in simple faith to know

    He’ll guard and guide us still. [page 144]

But not with slothful hands,

    To sit and wait for heaven;

The time is short, we needs must do

    The work that God hath given.

It may but be work for bread

    Or weary watch and wait,

O guide some erring soul to Him

    Ere yet it be too late.

                                                  —AGNES TYTLER.

———

AGAIN WE MEET.

Again we meet with saddened hearts,

    Again must farewell words be spoken;

And from the chain that binds our band

    The strongest link must now be broken.

And yet we would not be too sad,

    But trust the ever faithful Word,

That all together work for good

    To those who trust and fear the Lord.

We know we’ll miss the ready hand,

    The heart and head that wisely planned;

Aye ready at the duty call,

    Obedient to the Lord’s command.

That heathen nations sunk in vice

    And shrouded in the darkest night,

Might hear the joyous Gospel call

    And wake to see its glorious light. [page 145]

May He, we trust, surround your path,

    With many loving friends to cheer;

While yet you keep the mem’ry green

    Of those that you have walked with here.

And trusting thus we say good speed,

    And God be with you all the way

That, sometimes rough and sometimes smooth,

    Leads upward to the eternal day.

                                                  —AGNES TYTLER.

[illustration]

[page 146]

[blank page]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: THOMAS LAIDLAW.]

THOMAS LAIDLAW.

——

     NO man in or around Guelph is better of more favorably known than Mr. Thomas Laidlaw, and few, if any, have done as much to encourage everything Scotch—sometimes in prose but oftener in poetry—than has this veteran Scot. He was born in 1825, and came to Canada with his parents when he was only six years of age. He entered into possession of the soil when the Royal city was only four years old, and he and Guelph have made history together. In the summer of 1854 Mr. Laidlaw visited his native land; and, having got married, on his return he settled down on a farm of his own; near the old homestead, and there he lived until 1884, when he sold out to his brother and moved into Guelph, where he is now living, his daughter his sole companion, his wife having died about seven years ago. Mr. Laidlaw has been for years bard of the St. Andrew’s Society in Guelph, and he was president in 1896. In the days when there was a Caledonian Society in Guelph he was the bard of that organization also, and wrote, on two occasions, an invitation in verse to the annual games of the Society. Mr. Laidlaw’s efforts of late years have been more in the direction of prose writing, as the columns of the Mercury show.

THE OLD SCOTTISH SONGS.

O, sing us to-night from the old Scottish songs—

    The songs which our mothers would hear

In the old cottage homes, that were covered with thatch,

    In a land that will ever be dear.

To the true Scottish heart they feelingly speak,

    As they waft us in spirit away

To the great moon-lit glens, with their deep hazel dens,

    And the “bens” that are prouder than they; [page 149]

To the green- margined burn, wimpling far up the strath,

    To the moors with their red heather bells,

Where the lone curlews cry till the echoes reply—

    Where Nature in solitude dwells.

And out from the stream, and beyond the thatched roofs,

    The kirk of our fathers appears;

’Tis the auld parish kirk, looking grey through the mirk,

    And embalmed with the memories of years.

And we stroll up the glen, past the quaint water mill,

    And round by the old castle tower,

Enshrouded with mystery, of ghost-troubled history,

    And lonely at night’s witching hour.

With the sweet-scented gowan the meadows are gemmed,

    And the lark sings its song from the sky;

All nature rejoices, and the hills have the voices

    Of freedom that never will die.

In the days of unrest, when the land was in gloom,

    And the godly their Zion bewailed;

When the hunters of men searched the soul-stricken glen,

    And the heart of the truest had quailed.

To the hills then they looked for the spirit and power

    To strike from oppression the rod;

Nor were they denied, and they fought as they died

    For the kirk and their covenant God.

Yes, the spirit that stemmed the invasion that sought

    To wrest from the kingdom its crown;

That spirit untamed down the ages has flamed

    With untarnished, unsullied renown.

Dear land of the wild rugged mountain and glen,

    With a spirit that dares to be free, [page 150]

We rejoice in the fame that enlustres your name,

    And the world that is centred in thee.

Then sing us to-night from the old Scottish songs—

    The old songs which our mothers would hear

In the old cottage homes, that were covered with thatch,

    In a land that will ever be dear.

                                                  —THOMAS LAIDLAW.

———

IN MEMORY OF DAVID KENNEDY, THE DISTINGUISHED SCOTTISH VOCALIST. *

To night we lift the minstrel harp,

    With tears of sorrow wet,

And strike with reverent hand its chords

    To wailings of regret;

We strike in numbers sad and low,

    And dirgeful notes prolong;

We mourn to-night for one who reigned

    A prince of Scottish song.

His songs were fragrant with the breath

    Of broom and heather bells;

They echoed to the murmuring streams

    And music of the dells;

He brought auld Scottish scenes to view,

    As if by magic wand;

We loved him! O, “A Nicht at Hame”

    With Kennedy was grand.

The sighs and vows that lovers breathe

    Were sacred in his hands;

He wove them into garlands rare,

    Entwined with vestal bands;


* David Kennedy died at Stratford, Ont., October 13th, 1886.


[page 151]

And honest worth more noble seemed,

    As with exultant swell

He sang how independent minds

    All other minds excel.

With all the bearing of a prince

    To front with battle brought,

He grandly sang of honored fields

    By Scottish valor fought.

He held us, as he seemed to rend

    Tyrannic chains with scorn,

And led us with him as he soared

    On wing of Freedom borne.

He sketched the lore of Scottish song

    With true perceptive art;

His stories, with a wondrous power,

    Revealed the human heart.

Now tender, pawky, shrewd, and wise,

    Anon with humor rife,

As told by him with unction rare,

    Were true to Scottish life.

His voice had stirred the flagging soul,

   And rapturous plaudits won

In every clime, in wintry zones,

   Or ’neath the tropic’s sun.

And in our land, whose shores again

   His welcome foot had pressed,

Expectance reigned in every heart—

   The heart to joy confessed.

Alas, for hope! within yon room

    The Scottish minstrel lies,

Where weeping friends close round his bed

    And breathe their burdened sighs. [page 152]

Hand clasps with hand, in kind farewell,

    Lips tender words convey,

While soul-lit eyes with touching glance

    Say more than words can say.

He breathes a wish to hear that hymn,

    “The Rock of Ages cleft;”

Friends in that deeply solemn hour

    Their trembling voices lift.

The dying minstrel feebly joins,

    Yet sings in faith and love,

Yet while he sings, his spirit soars

    To sing the song above.

Yet though on earth his voice was hushed,

    And on a foreign strand,

His dust is in the auld kirkyard

    And in his native land;

Amid the scenes of which he sang,

    Of which he was a part,

Where on his grave the lark doth rain

    The music of its heart.

Ye autumn winds that drift the lea

    With heavily burdened sigh,

Ye limpid streams that gently flow

    Beneath a leaden sky,—

In concert sing with muffled voice,

    And join, ye woodland throng,

In liquid notes, for one who reigned

    A Prince of Scottish song.

                                                  —THOMAS LAIDLAW.

[page 153]

SCOTIA’S THISTLE.

Scotia’s thistle, honored gem,

To-night we round your rugged stem

        A wreath of laurel bind;

Your fame would date, as legends say.

From time remote, now dim and gray,

And down the years through feud and fray;

        In loyal hearts enshrined.

And we awhile to-night would scan

The scene whereon your fame began.

The mists of years rest thick between

The present and the distant scene;

Yet fancy sheds a ray of light

Across that legendary night,

As camped upon the heath there lay

The Scots at rest awaiting day;

Nor had a thought foreboding ill,

All nature seemed serene and still,

Save when in gusts the wind would pass

To shake the waste and withered grass;

Or from the bleak, adjacent hill,

The bark of fox, heard sharp and shrill;

Yet neither wakeful eye nor ear

Would say a foe was lurking near.

Yet foe there was—Danes, stout and bold,

Sea-rovers in the days of old—

Lurked in the gloom, their scouts ahead

With ear intent and stealthy tread,

Shot through the night an eagle eye

A point of vantage to espy—

Some place less guarded to assail,

To strike and by surprise prevail.

With bated breath they grope their way,

Barefooted lest their steps betray; [page 154]

With crouching form, till in arrest

A foot is on the Thistle prest;

Its cruel jags the wrongs resent—

A shriek throughout the darkness went—

A shriek,—the imprecating yell

At once on the encampment fell!

Each Scot shook off his slumber light,

And in an instant stood upright—

An instant held the scene in view,

Then grasped his blade with courage true,

And out beneath the star-lit sky

He rushed with yell and battle-cry;

Wild as the torrent’s maddened leap

Adown the rugged mountain steep,

So rushed the Scots, the Danes opposed,

And Scot with Dane in combat closed.

Their reeking blades life’s current drank,

Down to the dust the victims sank;

Until beneath the potent sway

Of Scottish swords the Danes gave way,

And, routed on the field, in flight

They sought the darkness of the night.

With vigor on the trampled heath

The Scots did win the victor’s wreath,

And as the pale-rayed level sun

Lit up the field their valor won,

In justice to ascribe a meed

Of honor to a timely deed,

           They hailed the Thistle then

In fealty and with honor due,

While ages roll, the emblem true,

           Of Scotland hill and glen.

Fit choice and meet, so full replete

           With rugged stem and jag;

We in our emblem do rejoice

And shout with an united voice,

           Long may the Thistle wag.

                                                  —THOMAS LAIDLAW.

[page 155]

“QUIT YE LIKE MEN.”

Brothers—men God’s image bearing,

    Nobly walking, brow erect—

Men, God’s loving-kindness sharing,

    Should ye fail in self-respect?

Men endowed with gift of reason—

    Men of conscience, mind and will,

Time is an important season,

    In it you’ve a place to fill—

                       “Quit ye like men!”

Be not slaves to sinful passion,

    Cleanse your skirts and keep from stain;

Be nor lured by empty fashion,

    Unsubstantial, light and vain;

Rise to manhood’s truer bearing,

    Sinful habits blight and sere;

In the conflict be ye daring,

    Let the proudling taunt and sneer—

                       “Quit ye like men!”

Live and act that in an audit

    You may court the clearest light,

Pleased if ye may win the plaudit

    Of a conscience just and right;

Mean and base is he that reckons

    On the gain that wrong may buy;

Follow ye where honor beckons,

    Listen to her clarion cry—

                       “Quit ye like men!”

Never lose the pure and holy

    Lessons that we learned in youth;

Leave the sceptic with his folly

    Rather than compromise truth; [page 156]

Seek the truth in all its beauty,

    Cling to all that’s good and pure,

Never swerve nor shrink from duty,

    Never ye your faith abjure—

                           “Quit ye like men!”

Yes, be men—be true and upright,

    Quit the fogs that lead astray,

Rising to the purer sunlight

    Of a clearer, better day;

Rising to completer union

    With diviner, holier things,

It is yours to seek communion

    Even with the King of kings—

                           “Quit ye like men!”

                                                  —THOMAS LAIDLAW.

[illustration]

[page 157]

ROBERT REID.

——

     MR. ROBERT REID, or as he frequently loved to style himself in his younger days “Rob Wanlock,” was born at Wanlock, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, on June 8th, 1850. When fifteen years of age he went to Glasgow, where he entered the counting-house of the well-known manufacturing firm of Stewart & Macdonald. Four years afterwards he went to Belfast, Ireland, but he soon returned to Glasgow, and entered the employment of the late Mr. Wm. Cross, himself a prominent song-writer and the author of the “Disruption,” etc. 1877 he came to Canada, and he has ever since occupied a prominent position in the wholesale dry-goods warehouse of Messrs. Henry Morgan & Co., Montreal.

     The New York Home Journal of July 18th, 1894, contains a lengthy and interesting sketch of Mr. Reid from the pen of Mr. John D. Ross. In his introductory remarks Mr. Ross said of Mr. Reid: “At the age of twenty-four he appeared before the public with a volume of poems and songs entitled ‘Moorland Rhymes.’ Although he was for many years previous to this a welcome contributor to the poet’s corner in many of the local newspapers and magazines, he was comparatively unknown to the literary world, but the superior tone and the general excellence of his musings, as displayed in this little volume, at once attracted attention everywhere. He was hailed by the press as a new poet of a high order; his book was eagerly bought up, and his reputation thus established has increased with each succeeding year, until he is now classed among the finest of the Scottish poets at present domiciled abroad.”

     In 1894 Mr. Reid published an enlarged edition of his works with the title “Poems, Songs and Sonnets.” It contains what may be considered the riper fruit of his former book “Moorland Rhymes,” with a large addition of new matter, notably in the sonnet form. [page 158]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: ROBERT REID.]

[blank page]

     Since 1894 Mr. Reid has not so frequently responded to the Muse’s call as of yore, yet his harp has not been altogether silent, and many fine pieces have come into notice, among them “Ken ye the Land,” and “A Song of Canada,” the one a tribute to his native land, and the other a song in praise of the land of his adoption.

THE WHAUP.

Fu’ sweet is the lilt o’ the laverock

    Frae the rim o’ the clud at morn;

The merle pipes weel in his mid-day biel’,

    In the heart o’ the bendin’ thorn;

The blythe, bauld sang o’ the mavis

    Rings clear in the gloamin’ shaw;

But the whaup’s wild cry, in the gurly sky

    O’ the moorlan’, dings them a’.

For what’s in the lilt o’ the laverock

    Tae touch ocht mair than the ear?

The merle’s lown craik in the tangled brake

    Can start nae memories dear;

And even the sang o’ the mavis

    But waukens a love dream tame,

Tae the whaup’s wild cry on the breeze blawn by

    Like a wanderin’ word frae hame.

What thochts o’ the lang gray moorlan’

    Start up when I hear that cry!

The times we lay on the heathery brae

    At the well, lang syne gane dry;

And aye as we spak’ o’ the ferlies

    That happened afore-time there,

The whaup’s lane cry on the win’ cam’ by

    Like a wild thing tint in the air. [page 161]

And though I ha’e seen mair ferlies

    Than grew in the fancy then,

And the gowden gleam o’ the boyish dream

    Has slipped frae my soberer brain;

Yet—even yet—if I wander

    Alane by the moorlan’ hill,

That queer wild cry frae the gurly sky

    Can tirl my heart strings still.

                                                  —ROBERT REID.

———

THE CRY OF THE HILLMEN.

God o’ the hameless, shield Thy bairns!

    Lout laich frae oot Thy halie hauld,

And I’ the bield o’ Thy richt airms

    This remnant o’ Thy flock enfauld;

Else ane by ane we’ll dwine awa’

    Like lilts o’ sang-birds frae the hill,

When e’ening mirk begins to fa’,

    And gleds and hoolits work their will.

For never did the lintie’s heid

    Clap closer to the bien hillside

While owre her swept that form o’ dreid,

    Than God’s ain folk are fain to hide;

A’ day we shun the licht; at e’en

    We seek the dusht and darksome glen,

Weel if the midnicht’s murky screen

    But hap us frae oor fellow-men!

Here, stowlins, amang craigs and howes,

    In cauld and weet, we’re forced to bide;

Oor only feres the tods and yowes

    That raik alang the mountain-side; [page 162]

The wild bird’s wheeple frae the lift

    The only leevin’ voice we hear,

Save when in some lane glen we lift

    Oor ain to Thee in dule and fear.

Nocht ken we o’ the joys of life,

    The ingle-neuk, the heartsome ha’;

Oor bonnie bairns and blithe gudewife,

    For Thy sake, Lord! We’ve tint them a’;

Yet wad we coont oor losses gains,

    Gin Thou in mids’ o’ us wad be

To ease us o’ the skaith and pains

    That we maun for oor Covenant dree.

It’s oh! that we micht bauldly stan’

    In Christ’s ain kirk amang oor kin,

Thy halie Book in ilka han’,

    Thy praise ilk gledsome saul within;

For this oor Covenant we mak’,

    For this we thole, for this we dee;

Oor han’s are on toe pleugh, and back

    Ae wistfu’ glance we maunna gie.

Hoo lang, O Lord! wilt Thou abide

    In Thy heich-hadden withoot sign,

While ravenin’ wolves on ilka side

    Herry and rive this fauld o’ Thine?

The bluid o’ mony a martyr’d saint

    Cries to Thee frae the muirlan’ sod;

O lout and listen to oor plaint,

    Bare Thy richt airm and bield us, God!

                                                  —ROBERT REID.

[page 163]

THE DAYS OF OLD.

In the brave days of old, ere the falchion formed the plough,

    When courage steeled his sinew ’neath the banner and the brand;

When the haughty crest of chivalry was free to every brow,

    And prowess was the test in every land:

O! then the heart was chainless as the wind,—

    The mighty soul of Freedom scorned to pawn its pride for gold;

And manliness and glory were the mottoes of the mind,

                        In the brave days of old.

In that grand reign of right, never coward kept a crown,

    Nor cunning conquered valour with the supple guile of brain;

For the iron heel of honour held the wily serpent down,

    And the majesty was master in the main:

Then love and truth were foremost in the fight,

    The smile of blushing beauty was the guerdon of the bold;

And the victor’s brow was laurell’d in his king and country’s sight,

                        In the brave days of old.

But that bright sun hath set, and the night that gathers round

    Is alive with all iniquities that batten in the gloom;

And vainly does the poet seek to sanctify the ground

    With flowers that are but scattered o’er his tomb.

We hear no more the stirring trump and drum

    That cheer’d the eager warrior when the strife around him roll’d:

And the sweetest sounds that greet us are the memories that come

                        From the brave days of old. [page 164]

O! would that we might wake, as from a hateful dream,

    To wed the noble purpose that our ancestors have shown;

Our barks are ever drifting down upon a golden stream,—

    Wealth is the only standard that we own;

For if we pledge the dearest hopes of life,—

    Brain and sinew, nay, the future of the soul is often sold:

And we seek it as the warrior sought his glory in the strife

                        In the brave days of old.

                                                  —ROBERT REID.

———

THE BURN’S ANSWER.

  Bonnie burn, that rins

      Tae the roarin sea,

  Hae ye no word ava

      Frae the hills tae me?

  Ye row’d by a sheil,

      In a far-aff glen,

  Whaur a bonnie lassie bides

      That we baith suld ken.

  For aft hae we roved

      By your bosky braes;

  Ye tentit a’ oor love-dream,

      Its joys and its waes.

  That gowd glint o’ heaven

      Ye never wad forget;

  O, tell me, bonnie burnie,

      Is her heart mine yet?

  The bonnie burn grat,

      “O, bairn! I wad fain

  Bring the news that ye spier for,

      To cheer ye again. [page 165]

“That shiel in the glen

      Still stan’s by my side,

  And the lang and bosky howms

      In their simmer pride;

“But the lass—wae’s me!—

      She’s a wife lang syne,

  And the gowd dream has faded

      In your heart and mine;

“There’s nocht yonder noo

      Brings gladness tae me,

  And I’m fain tae hurry by

      Tae the roarin’ sea.”

                                                  —ROBERT REID.

[illustration]

[page 166]

[blank page]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: DR. DANIEL CLARK.]

DR. DANIEL CLARK.

——

     DR. DANIEL CLARK was born at Grantown, Inverness-shire, Scotland, and came to Canada when a boy with his parents, who settled near Port Dover. In 1851 he went to California where he spent about two years. It took him nearly four months to cross the continent, and the journey was only accomplished after great hardships and quite a number of adventures. On his return from the Golden West young Clark attended a grammar school near his old home, after which he came to Toronto to attend the University. Being a bright, diligent and capable student, he carried off a number of bursaries. He graduated in Medicine in 1858, at the University of Victoria, and the University of Toronto also bestowed on him the ad eundem degree of M.D. Dr. Clark has been twice elected a member of the Medical Council; he has been thrice elected President of the Medical Council and College of Physicians and Surgeons; he has been president of a number of medical associations, and is at present President of the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane, having been elected at Washington, D.C., in May, 1891. In 1890-91 he was president of the St. Andrew’s Society of Toronto, and he has also been president of the Caledonian Society. He is likewise an honorary member of the Canadian Press Association.

     Dr. Clark, after completing his studies, visited Europe. He spent two years in the University of Edinburgh, and he visited the hospitals of London and Paris.

     In 1885 Dr. Clark published “Pen Photographs.” It consisted of sketches of noted men and historic places seen and noted by the author. Dr. Clark is also the author of numerous pamphlets, monographs, and reviews.

     In 1875 Dr. Clark was appointed medical superintendent of the Asylum for the Insane at Toronto, which responsible position he still holds. His has been a remarkably busy life, divided [page 169] between the duties of his responsible office and his literary labours, yet amid his multifarious engagement he has for some time been Professor of Psychology and Mental Diseases in the Medical Faculty of Toronto University.

     It should also be mentioned that Dr. Clark has “smelt powder” in his day in connection with the American Civil War. He acted as surgeon with the Union Armies in Virginia during the closing year of the war, and his experiences then would form interesting reading were they ever to appear in print.

STRENGTH IN UNION.

Snow-balls gather as they go,

    Strength for every frosty pile;

Singing streamlets as they flow,

    Vibrate waves on every isle.

Crystal sands make granite rocks,

    High as Alpine rugged towers;

Lightning’s nervous scathing shocks

    Reel before cohesive powers.

Silk-worm’s glittering fragile strands

    Break before the passing breeze;

Spin the threads with gentle hands,

    Silken ropes defy the seas.

Warriors on the battle plain,

    Rend the opposing ranks, together;

Courage ebbs not ’mid the slain,

    When feather ever toucheth feather.

Nations untarnished ever stand

    Defiant, knowing no decay;

Ne’er can ruthless vandal hands

    Disintegrate them all away. [page 170]

Fractions of the unit great—

    Segments of the circle wide;

Celt and Saxon cannot hate

    Britain true, and Britain tried.

Send the patriotic blood

    Bounding through the distant parts,

Then, a never-ceasing flood

    Back to Albion’s heart of hearts.

Let the recreant and the knave,

    Who would sink his country’s name

In Oblivion’s darkest cave,

    Hide his head for very shame.

Ours the nation built by men

    Who scorned disunion ever!

Ours the empire held by them

    Who shieldeth it forever.

                                                  —DANIEL CLARK.

———

A LONE GRAVE.

     On seeing a solitary grave in a glen far up the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California.

This simple monument of death,

    Far, far away from haunts of men,

Proclaims that mortals’ fleeting breath

    Exhales on mountain, lake, or plain.

Can no one tell who thou hast been?

    Nor miss thee on a distant hearth?

Have wild-flowers clothed thy grave so green,

    Yet none remember thee on earth? [page 171]

Perhaps the tearless stranger stood

    To see the last convulsive throe;

And then with hand and heart as rude,

    Consigned him to the dust below.

Or Indian fierce with fiendish smile,

    Up-raised his hand, and laid him low;

Then, savage-like, he seized the spoil,

    And heeded not the tale of woe.

Conflicting warriors may stain

    With gore the green sod o’er his head;

Exulting yells may fill the plain—

    Insatiate rapine rob the dead.

Rude storms may shake Nevada’s top,

    And lightnings flash in vales below;

Earthquakes may rend the granite rock,

    Hid far beneath the eternal snow.

But ’tis no matter—he will lie

    As quietly in that mountain bed,

Where sturdy pines a requiem sigh,

    As if among his kindred dead.

                                                  —DANIEL CLARK.

———

TRIALS.

The clouds may hide, but cannot reach,

                The stars afar;

The waves may spend their noisy strength

                On rock or scar.

Vengeful winds may sway the bending fronds

                Of forest trees;

The lightning’s flash may strike in vain

                The rolling seas. [page 172]

The quivering earth may shuddering feel

                The earthquake’s throe;

Mountain torrents may remorseless sweep

                In downward flow.

The soul has storm-clouds in its dire distress,

                But Heaven above;

The waves of anguish sweep against it guarded by

                A Father’s love.

The howling tempests of malignant power

                Beat it in vain;

The lurid chain strikes with vengeful hiss

                At heart and brain.

The spirit quivers and passion’s floods may flow

                In angry quest;

But God commands and says, “Be still,—

                Give rest.”

                                                  —DANIEL CLARK.

[illustration]

[page 173]

WILLIAM TELFORD.

——

     MR. WILLIAM TELFORD was known as the bard of Smith. He came to Canada from the village of Leitholm, Berwickshire, Scotland, in 1850, and died at Smith on April 13th, 1895, aged 67 years. The Peterborough Examiner at the time of Mr. Telford’s death had the following to say about him: “In the death of Mr. Telford a prominent and estimable gentleman is removed from the arena of life. Besides his many noble qualities as a man and a citizen Mr. Telford had not a few sparks of poetic genius in his nature. He has been the honored bard of the St. Andrew’s Society since its organization, and has been present at every annual gathering for 33 years. He was a broad-minded man, with great integrity of character, enjoyed universal esteem among his personal friends, and was recognized on two continents as a worthy member of the guild of Scottish National Poets.”

     Deceased’s remains were interred in Little Lake Cemetery, and the following gentlemen officiated as pall-bearers, viz: Dr. Carmichael, Dr. Cauldwell, Charles Cameron, John Fowler, Alexander Gibson and Wm. Menzies.

ST. ANDREW’S SOCIETY PIC-NIC.

It’s nineteen years, an’ sax months mair,

Sin’ I left Scotia’s hills sae fair;

An’ aft I’ve lang’d wi’ heart fu’ sair

        For sic a day,

When Scots could throw aside their care,

        To sport an’ play. [page 174]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: WILLIAM TELFORD.]

[blank page]

Forsooth, I’m doonricht glad tae see

Baith auld an’ young, in mirth an’ glee;

It gars ma heart sic big thuds gie

        Again’ ma breast;

It brings auld Scotia fresh to me

        In thochts, at least.

This scene reminds us o’ the days

Whan, callants on auld Scotia’s braes,

We joined in a’ the harmless plays;

        Ilk ane in turn

Wad fauld his breeks up legs half ways,

        To wade the burn.

Or clim’ the hills wi’ yer bare feet,

Pu’in’ cowlips an’ the primrose sweet,

But whiles a pain that gar’d ye greet,

        Nae easy borne;

The bluid wad rin frae yer bit feet

        Jagg’d wi’ a thorn.

But, brither Scots I maun tell you,

This day gies me anither view:

Aft yer forefaithers quietly drew

        To sic-like places;

Their persecutors aften slew

        Them for their guid graces.

To worship God, that martyr band

Did spurn the tyrant’s dread command;

Upon the hill ae guard wad stand

        To warn his brother—

He held the Bible in ae hand,

        Sword in the other. [page 177]

Auld Scotia’s glens could tell the tale,

Her rugged crags sic scenes bewail;

Or should her bluid-stained heather fail,

        The faggot, stake,

The rack, the bolt, screw, sharpened nail,

        Wad witness make.

Through bluid they gained religion’s cause,

Their next desire for freedom was;

Their lawfu’ richts they gained by sma’s,

        Dear were they bocht;

Weel may we lo’e auld Scotia’s laws,

        For years they focht.

When foes tried Scotia to subdue,

The giant McNabs to battle flew;

The Campbells, Camerons, quickly drew

        Their wee bit steel;

A Bruce, Douglas, Wallace true

        Sune gar’d them wheel.

Freedom they gained; we claim it still;

There’s nae dragoons upon that hill,

Nae Claverhoose to slay or kill

        For faith or creeds,—

This day ye can do what ye will

        O’ lawfu’ deeds.

Nae sword this day ye need to take,

Unless to slice up your big cake,

Sit, eat an’ sup for stomach’s sake,

        There’s nane will stop ye;

Rin, put, an’ jump, some guid springs make,

        Let nane outstrip ye. [page 178]

Whisht! There’s a sound I ken richt weel,—

That’s just the bagpipe’s vera squeel;

How queer they mak’ a Scotchman feel,

        And gars him spring

Up in a raw for some Scotch reel,

        Or Heilan’ fling.

Freend Scots, I’ve naething mair to say;

Gae, join your cronies in their play,

But a wha’s hair is getting gray,

        Can stop wi’ me.

Wishin’ that sic anither day

        We a’ may see.

                                                  —WILLIAM TELFORD.

[illustration]

[page 179]

DONALD MCCAIG.

————

     In the Canadian Magazine some time ago there appeared a review of Mr. Donald McCaig’s published poems “Milestone Moods and Memories,” by Mr. David Boyle. From that review we borrow the following particulars: “Mr. Donald McCaig was born in the island of Cape Breton on May 15th, 1832. It is almost needless to state that his parents were Scottish—his father of Highland, and his mother of Lowland (Ayrshire) lineage. When four years of age McCaig removed with his parents to Upper Canada, and the family ultimately settled in the southern portion of the County of Wellington. When in his nineteenth year young McCaig attended the Normal School in Toronto during the summer session and three years afterwards, in 1858, he again attended the Normal School, and succeeded in obtaining the highest grade certificate. He taught in the County of Wellington until 1864, and for seven years subsequent to that date he, in conjunction with Mr. McMillan, managed Rockwood Academy, an educational institution of more than local celebrity. After severing his connection with the Academy Mr. McCaig acted as principal in Berlin, Galt and Ottawa public schools. In 1866 he was appointed Public School Inspector for the District of Algoma, and that position he still holds. Before publishing his book Mr. McCaig contributed many pieces to local papers, and in 1885 he wrote the prize poem ‘Moods of Burns’ for the Toronto Caledonian Society.”

EASTERN TWILIGHT.

By Ganges’ stream the shadows fall,

    O’er tower and tomb of ancient day;

O’er moss-grown portal, broken wall,

    O’er crumbling arch and temple grey. [page 180]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: DONALD MCCAIG.]

[blank page]

There light-robed, dusky-limbed and strong,

    Fair priestess, daughter of the sun,

Has watched her shrines and waited long

    For dawn of Brahma’s reign begun.

With solemn swish the stream goes by,

    The creeping shadows sinking low,

Bring now a laugh and now a sigh,

    From hearts that suffered long ago!

And Brahma, heedless laugh or cry,

    Beholds the waters bear along,

With cold unsympathetic eye,

    Their freight of sorrow or of song!

So ever on the waters roll,

    No change can waiting priestess see;

As now a leaf, and now a soul,

    Goes outward, onward to the sea!

O Soul! Like shimmer on the tide,

    That comes from whence, and passes where?

Though Brahma, ever by your side,

    Hears not your cry, nor heeds your prayer.

Gautama’s lamp is burning low,

    The incense lost, the perfume shed

From censers idly swinging now,

    Where soul of Brahma’s life lies dead!

O sages! waiting, watching still,

    For Him whom prophets saw afar,

Behold a light breaks o’er the hill,

    Behold a newly-lighted star!

O priestess! looking to the skies,

    For coming tokens of the morn,

For you this brighter star shall rise,

    For you this nobler Prince be born! [page 183]

Of Him the herald angels sing,

    “He knows His children, feels like them,

A sun with healing in His wing,

    A Star, the Star of Bethlehem!”

                                                  —DONALD MCCAIG.

————

MY ISLAND HOME.

O sing not to me of your tropical glories,

    Of the land of the orange, the fig, or the vine;

Though unclouded the sun may unsparingly pour his

    Warm rays o’er its bosom, still dearer is mine;

Still dearer the land which the moss-circled daisy

    And wild mountain heather bedeck with their bloom,

Where the hero still dreams by the brook winding mazy

    Among the green vales of his own island home!

Among the green vales, where careless his childhood,

    Untrammell’d by fashion, delighted to stray,

And twine on the hill, ’neath the shade of its wildwood,

    A wreath to be worn but in life’s opening day;

Ere the fast-rising waves of life’s stormy ocean

    Should leave him no more thus unheeding to roam,

Or the dark daring struggle of war’s wild commotion

    Divide him by death from his dear island home!

Where love’s waking joys early taught him to ponder

    On visions of greatness seen beaming afar,

And hopefully led him, e’en erring, to wander

    And gather a name ’mid the glories of war;

Yet sing not to me of rich streams from your mountains,

    Of your valleys of diamonds or peal-gilded foam,

For dearer to me are the rills from the fountains

    That flow ’mong the hills of my own island home. [page 184]

’Mong the hills of my home, the land of my fathers,

    The birthplace of heroes, untrodden by slave,

Where Liberty gems for its coronet gathers,

    ’Mong names of the mighty, from rolls of the brave;

Where the rude minstrel’s song in its wild, mystic numbers,

    Though to pale, pedant lore and to science unknown,

Awakes in each bosom the soldier that slumbers—

    The glory to guard of his dear island home!

Of the land where the ashes of patriots sleeping,

    Lie pillarless, left on the fields where they fell;

Yet safe rest the names from oblivion in keeping,

    That sacred to freedom in memory dwell!

And kindle a warm an undying devotion

    In the breasts of her children wherever they roam,

Till the “green vales of Scotland” means one with emotion

    To each wandering son of that dear island home!

Where still from her valleys to melody rising,

    Sounds far up the mountain the bard’s melting strain;

Where fearless her children, oppression despising,

    The terror of tyrants unchanging remain.

Then sing not to me of rich streams from your fountains,

    Of your valleys of diamonds or pearl-gilded foam,

When dearer to me are the rills from the mountains

    That flow through the vales of my own island home.

                                                  —DONALD MCCAIG.

————

EVENING.

Standing by the broken wall,

Where the evening shadows fall,

And the drowsy night-birds call,

            Far, far away! [page 185]

Wither’d flower with broken stem,

Summer morning’s dewy gem,

Old and feeling, I, like them,

            Have had my day!

Leafless grove and silent bower,

Beauty’s charm and music’s power,

Come to bless one fleeting hour,

            Then dark decay!

Youth would laugh and maiden sing,

If ’twere always love and Spring,

But they vanish, all take wing,

           Youth, love and May!

Dear ones slumber in the mould,

All the living grim and cold,

Gone together, gilt and gold,

            Why should I stay!

Time brings Summer to a close,

Autumn into Winter grows,

Cold beneath the silent snows,

            Death holds his sway.

One last though to valleys green,

To sylvan lake in silver sheen,

The love and glory that have been,

            Then whence away?

                                                  —DONALD MCCAIG.

[page 186]

[blank page]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: ALLAN ROSS.]

ALLAN ROSS.

———

     MR. ALLAN ROSS, the subject of this very brief sketch, was born near Edinburgh, Scotland, on March 21st, 1833. In July, 1835, he came to Canada with his parents who settled at Galt; in July 1844, he moved to Own Sound, and in July, 1888, he went to Winnipeg, Man. At present he resides at Treherne. The reader must look to the photo, and to the specimens of his poetry here produced for any further insight they may desire as to the character and the ability of Mr. Ross; he is a very modest man, and not given to talking about himself.

HAGGIS.

The haggis that my mither made,

    I canna tell ye hoo,

’Twas something far abune the things

    They ca’ a haggis noo.

’Twas nannie’s maw and nannie’s pluck,

    Forbye the spice and meal,

Was everything that she put in ’t,

    An’ haith she did it weel.

The maist fastidious couldna help

    But relish sic a dinner,

Be he a beggar, king or duke,

    A humble saint or sinner.

Whan faither wi’ the gulley cut

    The stitches made wi’ cotton,

Each e’e he focused on the sight—

    The grace was clean forgotten. [page 189]

John Bull oot ower his puddin’ smiles,

    Jean Baptiste ower his puddocks;

Gie Uncle Sam his pork an’ beans,

    Newfoundland, cod and haddocks;

The Dutchman relishes his khrout,

    The Italian macaroni;

The Dane gloats ower his beef an’ fish,

    Gie rice to Chinese Johnnie;

Gie blubber tae the Esquimaux,

    The Spaniard marmalade;

Restore tae me, abune them a’,

    A haggis like my mither made.

                                               —ALLAN ROSS.

————

A SONG.

The sun i’ the west had gane doon to rest,

    The face o’ auld Nature blinked bonnie an’ still;

The birds ’mang the boughs had a’ gane to repose,

    But the robin alane sang clearly and shrill.

Still the core i’ my breast was ill at rest,

    For love has cares, let ane dae what ane will;

My cares soon a’ flew when my e’en got a view

    O’ her ain braw cot on the tap o’ Hunthill.

An’ doon i’ the glen was my lassie her lane,—

    My thochts when I saw her, nae mortal can tell;

Her voice was sae sweet as she then did me greet,

    “Yer welcome, dear Johnnie, aye back tae Hunthill.”

The rose in its pride micht hae blushed at her side,

    An’ so micht the lilie that grows i’ the dell;

Ca’ them thegither, they’ll no mak’ anither

    Like Maggie, sweet Maggie, the pride o’ Hunthill.

                                               —ALLAN ROSS.

[page 190]

ON THE DEATH OF WILLIAM BROWN.

  Arouse, auld herp, frae thy lang slumber,

  An’ let us sing anither number

  In memory o’ a frien’ that’s gane,

  Within the vast unkenned domain;

  An’ pit ye on the best ye hae

  An’ we will climb Parnassus brae,

  An’ gie the best we hae tae gie,

  For worthy o’ a sang is he.

  Gien in his ain lo’ed native lays,

  Hoo he did spend his earthly days,

  Nae ither tongue can tell’t sae weel,

  Can touch the heart an’ mak’ it feel

  The pangs o’ grief an’ joys that roll

  In transport o’er the inmaist soul.

  He was imperfect like us a’

  The heritage o’ Adam’s fa’;

  But what was left o’ man divine,

  Frae Paradise’s gowden mine

  O’ pure unsullied, sinless ware,

  His was indeed an ample share;

  To mourn for him wad be a sin—

  ’Tis for his loved anes left behin’.

  He’s better far where nae tears fa’—

“In yon Grand Lodge that’s far awa’.”

  Should we revisit auld Lake Shore,

  His welcome grasp we’d feel no more,

  Nor hear him tell o’ youthfu’ days

  He’d spent ‘mang Scotland’s heathery braes;

  His shepherd’s plaid, and empty chair,

  Could only tell wha aince was there,

  ’Neath the first grund he e’er possessed,

  His weary limbs are laid at rest;

  But far abune the milky way,

  His spirit basks in endless day. [page 191]

  He was a man o’ Nature’s makin’,

  An’ got his learnin’ for the takin’,

  An’ drank frae Nature, pure an’ simple,

  And frae resources vast an’ ample.

  ’Mang men an’ things that did surround him,

  An’ on his clue o’ memory wound ’em,

  He’d gaither threeds the hale day lang,—

  At nicht he’d weave them in a sang;

  It micht be some pathetic lay,

  On a dear frien’ that passed away;

  His theme micht be a timid mouse,

  Or Robbie Barrie’s auld log house;

  Or mony mair that micht be hinted—

  But likely they will a’ be printed.

  The squirrel couldna pass his feet

  Unnoticed, wi’ a heid o’ wheat,

  But frae his pen a sermon brocht,

  Designed to teach mankind forethocht:

  Though no sae rich in punds an’ pence,

  A millionaire in common sense,

  Near five decades their course hae run

  Sin’ oor acquaintance first begun.

  Through a’ these years o’ life’s brief span,

  Somehoo I aye did like the man;

  It seemed tae gie him muckle joy

  Tae joke an’ prattle wi’ a boy;

  Sae, auld an’ young, an’ a’ aroon’,

  Did ye speak weel o’ Wullie Broon.

  He spoke to us in sic a way

  As we were made o’ kindred clay,

  An’ seemed ta see in life’s brief race

  The comin’ man tae tak’ his place,

  An’ frae his lips nocht ever fell

  Wad dae ane’s morals ony ill.

  O! could we a’ dae as he did,

  An’ keep oor evil passions hid

  On Christ the Rock-o’-Ages by, [page 192]

  The Rock on which he did rely,

  Then calmly lay earth’s harness doon

  Far tae tak’ up a heavenly croon.                      

— ALLAN ROSS.

————

THE OLD MOSS BACK.

High perched upon his rural train,

    Upon the topmost sack,

He’s off to market with his grain—

    The old moss-back.

Who smiles out o’er the whiskey jug

     While landlord draws the stopper,

And deftly lifts his rustic plug—

     ’Tis the old clodhopper.

Who sells his grain by sample pock,

     That is very good indeed,

And lies or blows about the joke—

    ’Tis the old hayseed

Who washes every Sunday morn,

    And off to church does pack,

And falls to sleep because outworn—

    ’Tis the old moss back.

Who works the hardest of his kind,

    And gets the smallest copper,

And commonly is left behind—

    ’Tis the old clodhopper.

But better days are drawing near,

    The tide is ebbing back,

United efforts soon will cheer

    And guide the old moss-back.

—ALLAN ROSS.

[page 193]

JOHN MORTIMER.

———

     MR. JOHN MORTIMER’S parents emigrated to Canada from Aberdeenshire in the fall of 1857, and he was born in February of the following year. The family had settled on land in the township of Woolwich, Country of Waterloo, and in the primitive dwelling erected thereon the subject of this sketch first saw the light. At the end of the first year Mr. Mortimer, senior, bought and settled on a farm, partly cleared, in the township of Pilkington, Wellington Country, near the village of Elora, and here the family have continued to reside, and there Mr. John Mortimer lives to the present day. Young Mortimer got his education first at Middlebrook Public School, under Mr. David Boyle, and latterly at the Elora High School.

AFTER A HUNDRED YEARS.

Sweet bard of Ayr, whose honest hand

    On “Mossgiel” held the humble plough!

Loved bard of Ayr, all Scotland wide

    With throbbing breast doth own thee now!

’Twas grief that led thy faithful Jean

    At yon sad hour to doubt thy fame—

The hundred years are passed, and now

    The earth is girdled with thy name!

A name that’s loved in every land,

    Whose magic all true hearts doth thrill!
The “gold,” and not the “guinea’s stamp,”

    Preserves that name unfading still. [page 194]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: JOHN MORTIMER.]

[blank page]

Sweet are thy songs “for Scotland’s sake,”

    Brave heart, tho’ sung ’midst want and care!

Time or misfortune ne’er shall blight

    Nor their unfading charms impair.

“To Mary” and “Sweet Afton” still,

    After a hundred summers, wave,

And yield their fragrance pure and sweet

    As flowers fresh-planted o’er thy grave.

To-day we heave a sigh, great heart,

    That thy stout bark was tempest-tossed,

And mourn the darkness of thy days—

    Yet we have gained where thou hast lost.

For many a soul-ennobling thought,

    And many a maxim deep and sage,

Thou in the furnace of thy grief

    Hast coined to bless each future age.

And they shall bless thee in return,

    And hold thine honored mem’ry dear,

For thy great human heart, and all

    That claims the tribute and the tear!

Then vainly do I laud thy name!
   Forgive, great minstrel, one whose pride

In thee did prompt this artless strain,

    And I will lay my harp aside.

For many an abler bard thy praise

    In nobler strains hath sung before,

Yet none who prized thy honest worth

    And manly independence more.

—JOHN MORTIMER.

[page 197]

THE FELLING OF THE FOREST.

Ye woods of Canada! once forests vast!

To me sweet relics of a varnished past!

I love to linger ‘neath your shades to-day,

And muse o’er scenes and friends long passed away,

Yet unforgotten still; as soldiers tried,

Who fought in many a battle, side by side,

And camped on many a field in stranger lands—

Formed friendships that the gay world understands

But dimly, nor hath further wish to know;

So we who in thick forests, years ago,

Toiled side by side, formed friendships just as true

That mem’ry loves to dwell on and renew

For us who still remain. We backward gaze

And fondly dwell on those loved forest days

With joy the present cannot give nor take;

For age and mem’ry fond companions make,

By present joys untempted—this is meet.

Here in this quiet shade, this still retreat,

While joyous youth and sturdy manhood share

The present’s mirth and gladness, toil and care,

Come back to me the scenes of long ago,

When youth was mine, and all the world aglow

With hope and promise—friends long dear to me

Do throng the world of fancy; I can see

Each honest face and grasp each friendly hand;

I dwell enchanted in this forest land

Revealed to mem’ry’s gaze. Once more I swing

The glittering axe, and hear its echoes ring

Through the deep solitude; with toil once more

Is reared the rude hut by the river’s shore,

On soil whose claim with honest pride we hold.

And thus with those around us, brave and bold

And full of life are they, as needs must be—

Came they not here from o’er the boundless sea,

Knowing what toils and hardships lay before, [page 198]

With sorrowing friends behind them? Never more

To meet on this side Heaven might be their lot!

All this they knew full well, and yielded not.

But there came loved ones with us, and to rear

Homes for those brave, those hopeful ones and dear

Was a beloved ambition; thus inspired

We labored on, undaunted and untired,

Save for that weariness which night’s repose

Chased with her magic wand, and we arose

Refreshed and glad, the fragrant morn to greet,

Alive with uncaged music, wild and sweet.

But slowly did the work advance; to tell

How, thrown with skill, the forest monarchs fell,

To me were pleasant—prone and parallel;

This way and that, their huge boughs interlaced,

Tier over tier, for giant bonfires placed,

With terrible descent; but fearless all

We laid them low and climbed each swaying wall

To cut the higher trunks and boughs, and lay

Compact for burning, at some future day,—

And listening now I hear bonfires roar,

And see great sheets of flame that skyward soar,

Triumphant beacons of thy future great,

Oh, Canada! our dearly loved estate!

Now do those raging bonfires fade and die,

And half-burnt trunks and blackened fragments lie

Thickly along the clearing. Once again

Assembled there are groups of stalwart men,

With grimy faces, blackened arms and bare,

Toiling like Trojans in the heated air.

Loud echoes round a boisterous mirth and din;

Strong oxen drag the coal-black timbers in,

With many a loud “Yo-heave” high piled once more;

Again the hissing firefiends round them roar!
And ever as the flames sink faint and low,

Inward the smoking brands the toilers throw, [page 199]

Till at the dawn of morn there lie revealed

Great beds of ashes on a stumpy field,

With some few piles still burning into day,

That lit those laborers on their homeward way;

For oft was heard the gray owl’s midnight call

Ere sought their several homes those jovial woodmen all.

Thus fared the noblest of our forest trees,

Whose branched mingled, bending in the breeze

For broad, unmeasured leagues on every side,

All green and glorious in their summer pride!

The home of rustling wings and nimble feet,

The Red Man’s shelter, and the deer’s retreat.

—JOHN MORTIMER.

————

SOMEBODY’S CHILD.

How swiftly for her do the years glide away!

    And light is the heart in her bosom that swells,

As she sports with young friends in the gardens so gay,

    Of those time-honored mansions where luxury dwells.

In high, massive halls she is shielded from harm,

    And laughs at the storm when his raging is wild,

With never a feeling of doubt or alarm—

    Protected, and loved, she is somebody’s child.

When through the gay streets of the city she rides,

    A fairy-like creature in splendid attire,

Poor motherless waifs, as before them she glides,

    Forgetting to envy can only admire;

Till her snowy-white raiment they sadly compare

    With their own wretched garments, so tattered and soiled,

So free from all trace of a fend mother’s care—

    Ah! well do they know she is somebody’s child! [page 200]

They must herd with the vulgar, the vile, and profane,

    While the dark things of earth have not entered her mind.

There is science to aid her in sickness or pain;

    There are soft, downy pillows, and nurses most kind,

With soothing, sweet music; but, better than this

    Is a fond mother’s voice, ever gentle and mild;

Her soft, loving touch and affectionate kiss

    More precious than grandeur to somebody’s child.

She may read in rich volumes the “story of old,”

    The words of the wise and the lives of the brave;

Where earth doth its beauties most grandly unfold,

    She may roam for her pleasure o’er mountain and wave;

As the beauties of nature unfold to her sight,

    On whose path all the blessings of freedom have smiled

She dreams that this world is a place of delight,

    And its fountains are flowing for somebody’s child.

Apart from the turmoil, the toil, and the strife

    Of those who must live by the sweat of their brow,

More graceful she grows, every pulse of her life,

    As kindred and friends ever fondly avow.

But the day hurries by her, and eve cometh on—

    The evening of age, from yon wilderness wild;

And youth hath departed and beauty is gone—

    They wait not forever on somebody’s child.

Oh! beauty that fades not, and youth that abides!

    Ye gladden this earth with its frailty and care!

Companions of faith o’er the darkest of tides

    To those beckoning shores that are sinless and fair.

For the ransomed of earth, be they high, be they low,

    From the green shores of Eden shall not be exiled;

How blest those who labor that earth’s waifs may know

    And share Heaven’s welcome with somebody’s child!

— JOHN MORTIMER.

[page 201]

NELLY AND MARY.

“Why, Nelly Jones! Come in, my dear!

    Sit down and let us talk together!

It seems an age since you’ve been here!
   We’ll waste no words upon the weather!

“How are they all at home to-night?

    How is your father since he fell?

Was it his left arm or his right?

    And, tell me, is it getting well?”

“Why Mary! you’ve so much to say—

    So much to ask to me to explain,

And I’ve so little time to stay,

    I think I’ll have to call again!”

“To call again? Yes, certainly!

    A hundred times, and welcome, too!

But here you are, and here you’ll be

    Till morning, if my word be true!”

In language of less sense than sound,

    Awhile they gaily chattered on,

Until they brought the subject round

    That girls most love to dwell upon.

“And were you at the ball last night?”

    Said Mary with expectant air.

“Say, who was dressed in fashion’s height?

    And tell me whom you fancied there?”

“Those hateful balls! oh dear! oh dear!

    So tedious with their heat and din!

I think the absent ones must fear

    Far more the torture than the sin! [page 202]

“Yes, I was there! Well you may smile,

    But who such asking would refuse?

‘Come, only for a little while,

    You needn’t stay unless you choose!’

“And tell you whom I fancied there?

    Well, really, Miss Impertinence!

You seem disposed, I must declare,

    To try my friendly confidence!

“But there was one young traveller there,

    Dear Mary, whom they all did view

Admiringly, and ’tis but fair

    To own that I admired him too.

“The finest girls within the room,

    The gay, the wealthy and the grand,

Their sweetest airs did then assume,

    His kind attentions to command.

“And yet he came and sat with me

    Awhile, and tried to entertain;

The reason why I cannot see—

    I looked so homely and so plain.”

“Ah, Nelly, dear! it may be true

    You were not then just grandly dressed;

And yet this youth may think of you

    More kindly than all of the rest.”

“Me! Think of me! when half the town

    Besieged him, like some port of war?

He think of me? Why, Mary Brown!

    I wonder what you take me for?”

“I do not take you for a queen!

    You were not meant o’er realms to reign!

But just a lass, that once they’ve seen,

    The lads will wish to see again. [page 203]

“Those exquisites, devoid of brains,

    Who strut our streets in foppish pride,

And—proof of what the head contains—

    Do wear the hat set on one side.

“Who by such antics day-by-day

    To all the wise themselves condemn,

It gives but small regret to say

    My Nelly has no charms for them.

“The man of sense, who lives above

    Such follies is the man for me;

Who knows the worth of woman’s love

    And help, and hope, and sympathy.

“And ’tis for such you were designed;

    And such your worth full soon discern.

He wants a helpmate, true and kind,

    Who would life’s lessons wisely learn!”

The stream of words has now begun

    To slacken, and more gravely flow,

And Nelly’s thoughts revert to one

    From whom she parted long ago.

“Ah! Mary! ’tis so sweet a task

    To sit and talk with one another!
I almost had forgot to ask—

    When did you last hear from your brother?”

“Why, Nelly! he was at this ball

    Last night, the only stranger there!

And one young maid amongst them all

    He liked the best, he did declare.

“And then the picture which he drew

    Of her, I am compelled to say,

So very much resembled you—

    Why! what’s the matter now, I pray?” [page 204]

For Nelly’s cheeks were rosy red;

    But here their chattering found a stop;

And as the swift-winged moments fled

    You might have heard a needle drop.

When hark! he comes! this wondrous youth!

    His distant footstep Nelly hears;

And in his eyes are mirth and truth,

    And wintry winds are in his ears.

And Nelly’s eyes are sparking o’er—

    Shall he prove her long-absent Bob?

But now his foot is at the door,

    And now his hand is on the knob.

Thinks Mary: “I shall watch and see,”

    And their first glance explained it all.

But see! they meet! they—Seems to me

    ’Tis time to let the curtain fall!

—JOHN MORTIMER.

————

A DREAM.

Through the shades of mem’ry stealing,

    Oft to me returns the sight

Which I once beheld with terror,

    In a vision of the night!

On that eve I had been reading

    In the wondrous Book Divine—

Reading of the judgement meted

    Unto those of Adam’s line.

Who for many years has traversed

    All sin’s dark unholy ways,

Heedless of their great Creator,

    In this green earth’s early days! [page 205]

I beheld outstretched beneath me

    All earth’s hills and vales, and plains;

Years have passed and yet that vision

    Fixed in mem’ry still remains!

For the scene was wild and dismal:

    Leaden clouds and pouring rain—

Torrents down the mountains dashing,

    Rivers roaring to the main!

 

Night and day the rain descended,

    ’Till I saw, with rising fear,

All the lower vales o’erflooded,

    And their tree-tops disappear!

Saw the drenched and awe-struck people

    From the rising waves retire;

All their voiceless fears increasing

    As their tents were shifted higher!

Night and day the rain descended,

    From those clouds that would not break;

Every hill a sinking island—

    Every vale a rising lake!

Up the slopes I saw the people

    From the rising waves retire;

All their voiceless fears increasing

    As their tents were shifted higher!

Scattered flocks around them bleated,

    Wild beasts in the forests roared;

From those leaden clouds unbroken

    Down the rain in torrents poured!

One by one I saw the hilltops

    Sink into the awful deep—

Heard the cries of drowning creatures,

    With a heart too full to weep! [page 206]

Night and day the rain descended,

    Slowly did the waters rise

Towards the last high mountain’s summit—

    I could ne’er withdraw mine eyes.

Till into the depths it vanished,

    Vanished as the rest had done:

Earth a liquid ball was sailing

    On its journey around the sun!

Then the thick clouds broke and scattered,

    And I saw a lonely bark

In the sunlight calmly floating

    On a boundless ocean dark.

And I thought of those within it,

    And their fate I did deplore—

Helplessly alone and sailing

    On a sea without a shore!

Till a voice of angel sweetness

    Softly whispered in my ear:

“For yon ark and for its inmates,

    Anxious one, thou needst not fear!

“That same earth, by ocean covered,

    Their inheritance shall be;

And through them be thickly peopled—

    Glorious is their destiny!

“Death their vessel ne’er shall enter,

    Billows shall not overwhelm;

Lo! the Omnipotent is with them,

    And His hand is on the helm!”

—JOHN MORTIMER

[page 207]

A WOODLAND VISION.

Oh! glad, sweet days departed!
   How fair the vision lies!

Returned with fourfold beauty

    Unto my aged eyes!

A little spot of clearing,

    Green walled on every side;

A barn and humble dwelling,

    A river’s winding tide.

Oh! dear secluded homestead

    Where kind hearts simply dwell!
And down the wooded hillside

    I hear a tinkling bell;

   

Where peaceful kine are feeding

    ’Midst fragrant flower and leek;

Where strawberries grow, and the children

    Their red, ripe clusters seek.

The fields, rough-fenced and stumpy,

    Are green with springing grain,

Thriving amidst the sunshine

    And early summer rain—

Oh! brick and stone and turmoil!

    Oh! wealth and pomp and pride!

Give me my little kingdom

    By yon calm river’s side!

Give me that little kingdom

    Where long-loved voices call,

And place and name and wealth and fame,

    Oh! ye may take them all!

—JOHN MORTIMER

[page 208]

A SENTIMENT.

Be richer for thy thoughts; think not in vain

    For fleeting honor nor for golden gain;

Not fame nor wealth alone can truly bless,

    The soul ennobled is the best success.

—JOHN MORTIMER

————

A TRIBUTE TO THE TOADS.

(A Spring Poem.)

The Spring has reached our northern clime;

    Crows in the air abound;

The snow is melting, and the time

    For toads will soon be round.

I’m glad the spring will turn them out;

    I love so much to see

Those sober creatures hop about

    Upon the grassy lea.

Around our door they watch for flies,

    In coats of wrinkled brown;

They sit and wink their bulging eyes;

    Their throats move up and down.

They are so lowly in their ways;

    With warts all dotted o’er;

I’ll write these lines to sound their praise

    Though I should write no more!

Oh! may their sober faces long

    Be in our gardens seen!

And may they still be hale and strong

    While fields and grubs are green!

—JOHN MORTIMER.

[page 209]

SONG.

Some seem to think our mission here

            Is only to be glad;

And the way to bless the sons of men

            Is bid them ne’er be sad.

I claim not mirth should rule the earth,—

            No prejudice have I,—

Nor reckon those but friends or foes

            Who make me laugh or cry:

He who would share my joy or care

            Is still the friend for me,

For the heart, you know, where’er you go

            Is won by sympathy.

                    Is won by sympathy,

                    Is won by sympathy;

The heart, you know, where’er you go

                    Is won by sympathy.

When sounds of mirth and gladness fall

            In vain on Sorrow’s ear,

Then strive to comfort those who weep

            And give them cause for cheer;

We may impart to every heart  

            Some sunshine if we try;

’Twill hasten on the joyous dawn

            We hope for bye-and-bye,

Till comes to stay that happy day

            When all shall brothers be,

For the heart, you know, where’er you go

            Is won by sympathy,

                    Is won by sympathy,

                    Is won by sympathy.

The heart, you know, where’er you go,

                    Is won by sympathy.

—JOHN MORTIMER.

[page 210]

QUEEN MORNING.

Far down the Western slopes glides Night away,

    And drowsy eyes at his approach find rest;

Now, modest ’midst her beauty, sweet and gay,

    Stands blushing Morn upon yon Eastern crest.

The dew doth sparkle on the fresh green sward;

    Each spray hath crystal gems without a stain,

And all the feathered choir in sweet accord

    Sing heartfelt praises to her maiden reign.

The fields are grateful for the sun’s warm rays;

    The air is moist and fragrant—it is bliss

To walk and breathe, and with a full heart praise

    Our kind Creator on a morn like this—

How blest to dwell with Thee, oh, gracious King,

    Whose Heaven is fairer than a morn in Spring!

—JOHN MORTIMER.

————

MOTHER.

Farewell, dear mother, kindest friend and best!
Thou hast gone to thine eternal rest.

Thy spirit’s home,—why should we grieve for thee?

Whate’er our future earthly lot may be,

We know that thou art blest, that naught shall e’er

Fill thy fond heart again with grief or care!

No sorrow hid beneath a smiling face

Shall e’er disturb thee in that sacred place!

O! sweet reflection! howsoe’er we mourn,

Joys shared with thee that never shall return,

More blissful far thy portion is to day—

Those heavenly joys that ne’er shall fade away!

And yet we miss thee sadly, and we will; [page 211]

Thy vacant chair shall seem but vacant still,

Whoe’er may sit therein; but we will dwell,

Not on the parting scene, the sad farewell;

Not on our loneliness, for well we know,

Dearest of friends, thou wouldst not have it so;

But we will linger o’er the happy past;

O’er childhood years that flew away so fast,

When all was artless mirth and thoughtless glee

And love of play, dear mother, and of thee;

Whilst all the gladsome years that intervene

Shall laden come with many a pleasant scene

And fond remembrance of thy counsels wise,

And bright example which we e’er shall prize.

It was not thine to leave a deathless name

To be remembered on the scroll of fame.

Thou didst but act within thy sacred sphere

A mother’s part, yet there’s no nobler here!

And those who knew thee best will ever bless

Thy tender love and sweet unselfishness;

Thy patient, cheerful spirit that could see

Through every cloud that hid the sun from thee;

And they shall ne’er forget thee! may they tread

That homeward path that hath thy footsteps led

Unto the heavenly shores! may they while here

All sacred things delight in and revere!

And strive to be through every changeful scene

As happy and as good as thou hast been.

—JOHN MORTIMER.

[page 212]

[blank page]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: JOHN MURDOCH HARPER.]

DR. JOHN MURDOCH HARPER.

———

     JOHN MURDOCH HARPER, M.A., Ph. D., G.E.I.S., was born on the 10th of February, 1845, at Johnstone, in Renfrewshire, Scotland, his father being Robert M. Harper, bookseller and publisher, of that place. Dr. Harper received his early education at the parish school, afterwards going to Glasgow E. C. Training College, where he took the highest certificates granted by that institution. Coming to Canada as a young man, he taught with marked success in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, so much so that in 1877 he was offered the position of Superintendent of Education by the Government of Prince Edward Island, and shortly afterwards was appointed Principal of the Normal School at Charlottetown. In 1880 he accepted the rectorship of the Quebec High School, which position he held until his appointment as Inspector of Superior Schools for the Province of Quebec, his present office. He is a graduate of Queen’s College, Kingston, received the degree of Ph.D. from Illinois University in 1881, and was elected a Fellow of the Educational Institute of Scotland in the same year. Besides being an educationist of prominence, Dr. Harper has devoted himself to literature, in which connection he has been no less successful. His Scottish verse is remarkable for its purity and has gained for him a recognized place among Scottish Poets in America. He was for years editor of the Educational Record, and has contributed many valuable articles and papers to the literature of his day. His “History of the Maritime Provinces,” is a standard text-book; while, in fiction, his latest work, “Our Jeames,” in the “Chronicles of Kartdale,” has passed through several editions, being very warmly received by the reading public. Among other honorary positions held by Dr. Harper has been that of President of St. Andrew’s Society, Quebec. [page 215]

TO A SPRIG OF HEATHER.

My bonnie spray o’ pink and green,

    That breathes the bloom o’ Scotia’s braes,

Your tiny blossoms blink their e’en,

    To gie me glimpse o’ ither days—

The days when youth o’er ran the hills,

    A daffin wi’ the life that’s free,

’Mid muirland music, and the rills

    That sing their psalm o’ liberty.

Your wee bit threads o’ crimpit fringe

    Aince shed their fragrance in the glen,

Whaur silence hears the burnie bringe,

    And o’er the scaur its prattle sen’:

And now your bonnie flow’rets blink,

    To mind me o’ the burnie’s sang.

To move my heart perchance to think

    O’ mirth that thro’ the bygane rang.

Erewhile the hillside breezes kiss’d

    The dew-drops frae your coronet,

Or made you smile as thro’ the mist

    The peep o’ day dispelled the wet:

And now your bloom’s the token sweet

    O’ freenship in a brither’s heart,

That smiles to see our cares retreat,

    When freenship acts a brither’s part.

—JOHN M. HARPER.

———

THE OLD GRAVEYARD.

The summer’s day is sinking fast,

    The gloaming weaves its pall,

As shadows weird the willows cast

    Beyond the broken wall,

And the tombstones gray like sentinels rise,

To guard the dust that ’neath them lies. [page 216]

The whispering breezes solemn bear

    A requiem, knell-intoned,

As the steeple’s throbs alarm the air,

    And through the valley sound,

To bid the weary seek repose,

When dies the day at twilight’s close.

Then silken silence murmurs rest,

    And the peace that reigns supreme

Seems but awaiting God’s behest,

    To wake it from its dream,

While yet it soothes the hearts that weep,

Laments for those that lie asleep.

The moon, deciphering virtue’s claims

    To deeds of duty done,

Illumes anew the graven names,

    That Time hath not o’ergrown,

Through the deeds of all are in the Book

Where Time hath never dared to look.

Five generations slumber here,

    Beneath these crowding mounds,

And still their spirits hover near,

    As memory makes its rounds—

When widowed love here finds retreat,

And sympathetic echoes meet.

The first to find their rest were those

    Who saw the hamlet’s birth,

When hum of industry arose,

    To blend with rural mirth—

When progress first beheld its dawn,

Near by the river’s virgin lawn. [page 217]

But now the glebe a surfeit knows,

    Through scarce a century old,

And undisturbed the rank grass grows

    Above the tear dewed mould,

While men in thousands claim it theirs,

Where lie their kindred and their tears.

And oft ’tis here we learn to die,

    As sorrow sifts the soul,

When love’s sweet longings seem to sigh

    And with our grief condole—

To make us feel what joy it is

To know that death makes all things his.

For if tradition reads its lore

    In lines of dismal light,

Our higher hopes the tints restore

    To dissipate the night—

To ’courage us to think of death,

A change beatified by faith.

—JOHN M. HARPER.

[illustration]

[page 218]

[blank page]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: MRS. ISABELLE ECCLESTONE MACKAY.]

MRS. ISABELLE ECCLESTONE MACKAY.

————

     ISABELLE ECCLESTONE MACKAY is one of the younger members of the bright little band of Canadian singers that is doing so much to win for Canada a name is the world of literature. Though as yet she can scarcely be said to have come before, even the Canadian public, she has already done good work. Her verses, sketches, and short stories, have appeared in many of the Canadian and American newspapers and magazines, but save for a modest little booklet which she prepared for her intimate friends last Christmas, she has not yet attempted any collection of her writings. That she is producing and will produce work worthy to endure, those who have followed her have no doubt. She has the true gift of song. Her expression is free and graceful and her melody spontaneous. There is not the slightest trace in any of her verses of straining or striving after effect. Naturalness, sweetness and spontaneity are the characteristics of her pen. Her note is true and clear, and with experience and development will grow in strength and variety. She comes of good Scotch stock and has the music of hills and the witchery of the lochs by right of direct inheritance. Her father, Donald MacLeod MacPherson, besides being one of Woodstock’s best known citizens, is one of the most persistent, leal, and enthusiastic of Scotchmen.

     For a time Mrs. Mackay was a staff contributor of the Woodstock Daily Express, and over the pen-name ‘Heather,” which she has also used elsewhere, did excellent work. [page 221]

HALLOWE’EN.

Close to the ruddy hearth I draw my chair,

The blazing logs are heaped and trimmed with care;

The short and dark October day is o’er.

And heavy night sits gloomy at the door.

Hark! how the lonely wind makes whisper round,

With half a menace in its mournful sound!

Close to the hearth I draw. The fire, I ween,

Doth burn with brighter glow on Hallowe’en.

Another chair I place beside my right,

For I expect a visitor to-night,—

A visitor who comes a long, lone way

O’er many a shadowed path, and cannot stay

Save to bestow a smile and word of cheer,

And bid me courage for another year.

How the fleet time is passing! Time, I ween,

With lighter wings doth fly on Hallowe’en.

I know her coming, tho’ her quiet tread

Be noiseless as the footfall of the dead;

Her voice is clear, altho’ she speaks so low

’Twould seem an echo from the long ago;

In her calm eyes my vanished life is glassed—

The guest I wait for is my happy past.

Alone I wait my fair one, for I ween

The past,—the present,—is on Hallowe’en.

On every Hallowe’en she comes to me,

And in the mirror of her eyes I see

Old friends whose comradeship my age has missed,

Dear faces whom death’s cruel lips have kissed;

One long-lost love whose face for weary years

I have not seen save through a mist of tears—

I see them all so plain. Ah, yes, I ween

I need no other guests on Hallowe’en. [page 222] 

Ah! she has fled and left an empty chair;

Yet something sweet and precious lingers there—

A subtle perfume through the lonely room,

A sudden lightening of the gathering gloom.

No future can affright my heart and me

While life still holds the sweets of memory;

The happy past will always come, I ween,

To make me young again on Hallowe’en.

—ISABELLE ECCLESTONE MACKAY.

————

DREAMS.

                                              “Beyond the waste, beyond the hills,

                                                    I look far out and dream of life.”—LAMPMAN.

O dreams! so dear you are and sweet,

    So deep within my heart ye hide,

That all the pageant of the real

    Seems but a little thing outside.

I wonder if, all dreaming done,

    Our tired, aching hearts may see

One little dream of all they dreamed

    Become a great reality?

Or shall we still dream on, and dream

    With far-off eyes that always see

Some wond’rous joy, some crowning good,

    Some triumph in the far “to be?”

And seeing are content to wait

    And hope and serve? Perhaps ’tis planned

That we should seek the peace of life

    And find it in the shadow-land,

Come then and go with vagrant will,

    Ye joys and sorrows of the seen!

Ye move me not while I may hold

    Within my silent heart—a dream.

—ISABELLE ECCLESTONE MACKAY.

[page 223]

THE APPLE-PARIN’ BEE.

My gals is struck on parties, the kind that’s known as “balls,”

They spend their lives in dancin’ an’ returnin’ dooty calls;

They never seem to get much fun, in fact it ’pears to me

We were a sight more jolly at an apple-parin’ bee.

The gals don’t think it’s stylish to hanker with regret

For them old days upon the farm, but Gee! I can’t forget;

My dim old eyes go follerin’ back the same old road to see

The friends we used to welcome to our apple-parin’ bee.

Them was the days when nature weren’t all fixed up with art;

To think of them sends happy thrills a-stirrin’ thro’ my heart;

The days we got up with the sun and went to bed at nine

’Cept when we held a rousin’ bee at apple-parin’ time.

I asked the gals one mornin’ “Look here, I’d like to know

Jes’ what you think you’re getting from this everlastin’ show?

We didn’t wake with faded eyes and headaches—no, siree!

The days our greatest frolic was an apple-parin’ bee!”

But then, the gals don’t like it, to hear me talk this way;

They don’t say nothin’, but I know what they would like to say:

They think it isn’t stylish and no more it ain’t, but then

I’d give up bein’ stylish for an apple-bee again.

And I can’t help a-thinkin’ these hazy Autumn days

About the home that used to be and all the dear old ways;

Why, bless their hearts! The gals forget their mother promised me

A walkin’ home by moonlight from an apple-parin’ bee!

—ISABELLE ECCLESTONE MACKAY.

EDWIN G. NELSON.

———

     MR. EDWIN G. NELSON, of St. John, N. B., is the son of Mr. V. H. Nelson, of that place. His mother was a daughter of Mr. William Rodger, Writer to the Signet, in Edinburgh. He commenced his literary career as a contributor to Stuart’s Quarterly, and his poems and short stories then published, earned for him quite a reputation as a writer. His patriotic pieces, especially, have been greatly admired; and by many his poem entitled “My Own Canadian Home,” has been considered the fittest of anything that has yet been written, to be called Canada’s National Anthem. There have been three musical settings to the piece, but the favorite seems to be that of Mr. Morley McLaughlan, of St. John, N. B.

     Mr. Nelson is thoroughly British-Canadian in sentiment, and a zealous supporter of Imperial Federation, the one object of his song-writing being to foster a loyal and patriotic spirit among the people, and especially the young people, of the Dominion.

MY OWN CANADIAN HOME.

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! [page 225]

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—

    They 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 roam,

’Mid scenes of grandeur which adorn

    My own Canadian home.

Shall not the race that treads 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.

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. [page 226]

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!

—E. G. NELSON.

———

RAISE THE FLAG.

 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!—CHO.

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.—CHO.

Raise the flag of the Dominion,

    That the world may understand,

This will be our ensign ever

    In our broad Canadian land.—CHO. [page 227] 

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!—CHO.

—E. G. NELSON.

———

CANADA, LAND OF THE FREE!

There’s a land in the North where the rivers are flowing

    In beauty and majesty on to the sea;

And the bright sun of heaven its glory is showing—

    The land that is dearest of all lands to me.

CHORUS.—Then here’s to the land of the mountain and river,

                          Stretching in glory from sea unto sea;

                      God save our heritage, now and forever,

                          Canada, Canada, land of the free!

When our sires, brave and true, in the wilderness planted

    The standard of liberty, trusting in God,

Though it was but a home on free soil that they wanted.

    They founded our country, in a continent broad.—CHO.

Let us to tell to the world, both in song and in story,

    How bravely our fathers fought, free men to be;

And tho’ thousands have fallen on battle-fields gory,

    Defending their birthright, the land is still free.—CHO.

—E.G. NELSON

[page 228]

[blank page]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: MALCOLM MACCORMACK.]

MALCOLM MACCORMACK.

————

     There need be no doubt in any one’s mind as to the origin of the name Malcolm MacCormack. Mr. MacCormack, speaking of himself, says: “I am of purely Gaelic parentage, both my parents having been born in that shire of ‘Bonnie Scotland’ named Argyle, and in that particular district named Cantyre.” The little village of Crieff, in the County of Wellington, Ontario, was the place of the poet’s birth, and teaching has been his profession since the day he was declared qualified for the work. He has taught in Belleville, Ont.; Stanstead, Quebec; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Guelph, Ont., and he is at present located in Galt, Ont. Early in life Mr. MacCormack made the acquaintance of the venerable “Bard of Lochfyne,” and in later years he enjoyed the fellowship of Ramsay, Laidlaw and McCaig. In such company his love of poetry was powerfully stimulated; and, having in his youthful days become familiar with Burns’ works, Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” Cowper’s “Task” and Longfellow’s “Evangeline,” it is not to be wondered at that his Muse was cultivated to good purpose. His poems appear to have been largely the result of inward impulse, or inspiration received from the contemplation of some beautiful or sublime scene in nature, some moral beauty in character, or some striking part in the great drama in life.

THE GAEL’S HERITAGE.

Sons of the Gael! ’tis yours, with proud elation,

    To guard the fame of the unconquered brave

Who stood erect, disdaining subjugation,

    And scorned to own the hateful name of slave. [page 233] 

’Tis yours to claim the heritage of splendour,

    That gilds with light the old historic page,

Whereon your fathers’ deeds remain to render

    Their fame undying to the latest age.

’Tis yours with grateful homage to remember

    Their glorious deeds in those heroic days,

When Fingal fought his foemen without number,

    And tuneful Ossian sang immortal lays.

Oh, valiant Fingal! thine it was to tender

    A bulwark strong to freedom’s mountain home;

To chase in flight, by Carron winding slender,

    The mail-clad legions of imperial Rome.

Oh, peerless Ossian! ’mid the leafy bowers

    And sunlit banks of Cona’s murmuring streams,

What glorious voices woke thy tuneful powers!
   What gorgeous drapery fringed thy pensive dreams!

Sons of the Gael! ’tis yours with fond affection,

    To speak the tongue our Gaelic Homer sang;

Whose thrilling tones inspired to scorn subjection

    When with his songs the halls of Selma rang.

’Tis yours to feel where’er the rolling thunder

    Of Britain’s host hath rent the cloud of war,

Where deeds were done that bade the nations wonder,

    Your fathers foremost marched ’neath glory’s star!

Sons of the Gael! Oh, them with proud elation,

    Still guard the fame of unyielding brave,

Who stood erect, disdaining subjugation,

    And scorned to own the hateful name of slave!

—MALCOLM MACCORMACK.

[page 234]

THE RIVER.

Softly yon silent moon

    Looks from the midnight sky;

Calm as at summer noon,

    Cloudlets float by.

O’er me the fragrant firs

    Darkly their shadows throw;

Gently the zephyr stirs

    Boughs drooping low.

See the swift current pour,

    Sheer from the dizzy height;

Rises its sullen roar,

    Loud on the night.

Sleeping like airy dream,

    Bathed in the silver light,

Far up the waters gleam,

    Sparkling and bright.

Down then beyond the falls,

    Rushing with foamy glee,

Speed they ’tween rocky walls,

    Down to the sea.

Clasped in its cold embrace,

    Lulled on its heaving breast,

Sadly with yielding grace,

    Sink they to rest.

Emblem of human life,

    Gliding so swift away,

Passing from peace to strife,

    Sinking for aye.

Picture of human life,

    Proving its destiny,

Gaining through toil and strife

    Eternity.

—MALCOLM MACCORMACK.

[page 235]

JOHN MACFARLANE.

“JOHN ARBORY.”

——

     In the neighborhood of Abington, a romantic village situated on the borders of Lanarkshire and Dumfriesshire, are to be found Arbory Hill, Arbory Glen and other similar names. In Abington Mr. John Macfarlane was born, and from the place-names already mentioned he took the nom de plume “John Arbory.” In his boyish rambles Macfarlane became familiar with scenes hallowed by the persecutions of Covenanting days, and in many of his poems he sings the praises and paints the sufferings of the martyrs of those trying times. A work entitled “The Harp of the Scottish Covenant,” published by Mr. Alex. Gardner, of Paisley, and which has obtained a wide circulation among Scotsmen at home and abroad, was edited by Mr. Macfarlane. This well-known poet has long ago made Canada his home, and he at present resides in Montreal. His pen is not idle, as the columns of the Scottish American and other publications show.

WHEN THE HEATHER SCENTS THE AIR.

Canadian woods are bonny,

    And Canadian waters blue,

When the simmer airts the maple,

    And the clover drains the dew;

But a longing comes at mornin’,

    And at e’en the heart is sair,

For the hills o’ bonnie Scotland,

    When the heather scents the air.

        O! hills sae broon and bonnie,

        When the heather scents the air! [page 236] 

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: JOHN MACFARLANE.]

[blank page]

St. Lawrence rolls in grandeur,

    And Ottawa’s dark tide,

’Twixt banks o’ bloom an’ verdure,

    Sweeps onward sunny wide;

But a something here is wantin’,

    And a licht that’s gane is there,—

By the Clyde, the Tweed, the Annan,

    When the heather scents the air.

        O! hame’s my heart in Scotland,

        When the heather scents the air!

—JOHN MACFARLANE.

———

IN WESTERN WOODS.

                     In western woods an exile

                         In dreamy musing stands,

                     The gleaming axe uplifted,

                         And stayed with steady hands;

                     He hears again the murmur

                         As bees the heather sip,

                     And Scottish accents tremble

                         To break upon his lip:

Ah! memory flies—a sunbeam—where gleaming waters glide

And “gowden lichts” are dancing on bonny Elwanside!

                     Again beyond the sunset

                         That gilds each Scottish height,

                     An exile waits, in darkness

                         And pain, the coming night;

                     From scenes of sense fast turning,

                         His eyes but dimly see

                     The distant hills of childhood,

                         The kirk—the glen—the tree!

Ah! spirit, wild and wilful, that crossed the ocean-tide,

Two aged hearts will weep thee on bonny Elwanside!

—JOHN MACFARLANE.

[page 239]

OOR BALDY, THE LOON.

He’s aye in a’ mischief frae mornin’ till nicht,

Wi’ his breeks a’ in tatters, his heid in a fricht;

There ne’er was his marrow in kintra nor toon,

That ne’er dae weel callant—oor Baldy, the loon.

He speels on the yett, or he climbs on the dyke,

Whyles cuttin’ his hands and belyve in a fyke;

Syne thumpin’ a pan for a drum he gangs roun’,

Till I’m perfectly deav’d wi’t—oor Bauldy, the loon.

Yestreen in the gloamin’, an nae faurer gane,

He focht wi’ anither doon by in the lane,

Till a neebor gaed stappin’, brocht ooot by the soun’,

When fleein’ like stour was—oor Bauldy, the loon.

He struts an’ he strides, an’ he mak’s sic a din

When phraisin’ for ocht that I’m gled to gie in,

As wi’ kindly bit grup then he tugs at my goon—

The wee sleekit rascal—oor Bauldy, the loon.

But sometimes I gather— in dreams it maun be,—

A glimpse o’ the future owre life’s rowin’ sea;

When nae mair a laddie, but bearded and broon,

He’ll comfort his mither—oor Bauldy, the loon.

—JOHN MACFARLANE.

———

THE LOST LANGSYNE.

The lost langsyne! O, the lost langsyne!

Wi’ the daylicht sae sweet, an’ the gloamin’ sae fine;

The heart yirms aye, and the thocht winna tyne,

For the years far awa’ i’ the lost langsyne. [page 240]

We trysted at e’en—an’ courtin’ gaed we

When the ’oors sped sae swift ’neath the auld thorn tree,

Sae blythe an sae blate—dae ye min’; dae ye min’;

In the years far awa’ i’ the lost langsyne.

Or, the hairst was afit, and the liltin’ was free,

An’ the sangs that were sung were sae pawky an’ slee,—

For the luve-light was glintin’ an’ young hearts were kin’,

In the years far awa’ i’ the lost langsyne.

The lost langsyne! O, the lost langsyne!

The hopes that were yours an’ the loves that were mine,

Hae shed a’ their bloom like a flow’r i’ the dwine,

Far, far awa’ i’ the lost langsyne.

—JOHN MACFARLANE.

[illustration]

[page 241]

W.M. MACKERAGHER.

———

     MR. W. M. MACKERACHER is the son of the late Rev. C. M. MacKeracher, of Howick, Que., and his father was a native of Aberfeldy, Perthshire, and the son, although born in Canada, inherited an appreciation of things Scottish. His first poem written when he was twelve years of age, was entitled “The Thistle.” Mr. MacKeracher was educated in the High School of Montreal and in McGill University, where he took his bachelor’s degree in 1894, representing his class as valedictorian. He was one of the founders and the second editor-in-chief of the McGill Fortnightly, to which he still contributes humorous college poetry over the pseudonym of “Cap’n Goun.” He has published “Versus of Feeling and Fancy,” “Vacation Verse,” and “Songs of a Sophomore.”

TO A COPY OF BURNS’ POEMS.

(Found in the house of an Ontario farmer).

Large book, with heavy covers worn and old,

    Bearing clear proof of usage and of years,

Thine edges yellow with their faded gold,

    Thy leaves with fingers stained—perchance with tears!

How oft thy venerable page hast felt

    The hardened hands of honorable toil!

How oft thy simple song had power to melt

    The hearts of the rude tillers of the soil!

How oft has memory borne them back to see

    The Scottish peasant at his work, and thou

Hast made them feel the grandeur of the free

    And independent follower of the plough! [page 242]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: W. M. MACKERACHER.]

[blank page]

What careth he that his proud name hath peal’d

    From shore to shore since his new race began,—

In humble cot and “histie stibble field,”

    Who doth “preserve the dignity of man?”

With reverent lands I lay aside the tome,

    And to my longing heart content returns,

And in the stranger’s house I am at home,

    For thou dost make us brothers, Robert Burns.

True Bard, that upward of a hundred years

    Hast waked these sacred passions in the breast,

Who doth accuse thee?—Thou art with thy peers:

    God hath exalted thee, for He knows best.

And Thou, old Book, go down from sire to son;

    Repeat the pathos of the poet’s life;

Sing the sweet song of him who fought and won

    The outward struggle and the inward strife.

Go down, grand Book! from hoary sire to son,

    Keep by the Book of books thy wonted place;

Tell what the human man hath felt and done,

    And make of us and ours a noble race:

A race to scorn the sordid greed of gold,

    To spurn the spurious virtue as the base,

Despise the shams that may be bought and sold,—

    A race of brothers and of men,—a race

To usher in the long-expected time

    Good men have sought and poets have foretold,

When this bright world shall be the happy clime

    Of brotherhood and peace, when men shall mould

Their lives like His who walked in Palestine;

    The truly human manhood thou dost show,

Leading them upward to the pure divine

    Nature of God made manifest below.

—W. M. MACKERACHER.

[page 245]

REV. A. J. LOCKHART.

——

     ARTHUR JOHN LOCKHART was born on May 5th, 1850, in the village of Lockhartville, N. S. His father and mother were both of Scottish origin. In his early days Mr. Lockhart was employed as a printer, but in later life he took to the ministry, and has for many years been an acceptable preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church of Maine, U.S. His writings have attracted no little share of attention, and his essays, apart from his poetry, have earned for him widespread popularity. It has been said of his poems that “they yield more fragrance the closer they are pressed.”

CANADA.

Listen, O Land!

    To thine augury of fame:

What august eye hath scanned

Thy broad states, nobly manned!

    What lips have spoken thy name,—

                                       Canada!

Lion-like, rise,

    Shake thy limbs, and be free!

Behold, where shadows appear

Of a race in high career!

    See thine unwrought destiny,—

                                       Canada!

Listen! O shores!

    O mountain and plain and sea!

Ye people who here abide!

What marvels are prophesied—

    What hopes are cherish’d for thee,—

                                       Canada! [page 246]

Listen, O Land!

    Speak, and the world fulfil!

Let destiny strike the hour,

Thy life-tree shall flame and flower

    To the height of they noblest will,—

                                       Canada!

—REV. A. J. LOCKHART.

———

ST. ANDREW’S BY THE SEA.

Again returns that autumn night

    With smiles of one long dear to me;

Again we wander by moonlight

    In old St. Andrew’s by the sea:

What charm, once more, on wave and shore!

    What romance in each quiet street!

Were all the hours we knew before

    One half so rare, one half so sweet?

How bright the evening star look’d out,

    And trembled, like a drop of gold,

Where ripples, in their sheeny rout,

    Were to the red sands heedless roll’d;

What faerie hush was on the air!

    How clear the far-off tide was heard!

And, rapt in soft enchantment, there,

    ’Twould break the spell—Love’s faintest word!

Your hand in mine,—what falling star

    Down-melting in the vault obscure,—

What waves, on yon portentous bar,

    Could make our hearts seem insecure!

And if your fond eyes answered mine,

    With thoughts that must unspoken be,

Ah! earth and air were all divine,

    In old St. Andrew’s by the sea. [page 247] 

The dog’s shrill barking we could hear

    Sounds from the hill, in that soft hour;

And we could see upon the pier

    The light flash in its friendly tower:

A rill rolled down the wave to greet,

    The wave rush’d in with silvery glee;

And sight and sound with thee were sweet

    In old St. Andrew’s by the sea.

Ah! change and chance since then have been,

    And many a joy has flown away;

But still the moonlit sea serene

    Smiles ’neath the mild September ray:

And still the scene is just as fair,

    And just as fair will ever be;

For, darling, once we wandered there,

    In old St. Andrew’s by the sea!

—REV. A. J. LOCKHART.

———

THE AULD HAME.

O think ye o’ the auld hame,

    Brither dear?

O think ye of the auld hame,

    When nicht is near?

The sun frae the lift is sinkin’,

    Let fa’ a tear

For the auld time, an’ the auld hame,

    Brither dear!

I wearie for the auld hame

    Brither dear!

Theu auld folk i’ the auld hame,

    They hae nae cheer:

The West an’ my heart are burnin’,—

    Down draps the tear

For the auld time, an’ the auld hame,

    Brither dear! [page 248]

I’m gaein’ tae the auld hame,

    Brither dear,

An’ of a’ i’ the auld hame

    I’ll warmly spier;—

I’m gaein’ tae the auld hame,

    Wi’ the fadin’ year;

For there’s nae folk like the auld folk,

    Brither dear!

—REV. A. J. LOCKHART.

———

ACADIE.

Like mists that round a mountain gray

Hang for an hour, then melt away,

So I, and nearly all my race,

Have vanished from my native place.

Each haunt of boyhood’s loves and dreams

More beautiful in fancy seems;

Yet if I to those scenes repair

I find I am a stranger there.

O Acadie! fair Acadie!

Where is thy world of charm for me?

Dull are the skies ’neath which I range,

And all the summer hills are strange.

Yet sometimes I discern thy gleam

In sparkles of the chiming stream;

And sometimes speaks thy haunted lore

The foam-wreathed sibyl of the shore.

Still fondly will my eyes incline

To hill or stream that seems like thine;

If but the robin pipeth clear,

It is thy vernal note I hear. [page 249]

And oft my blood will start in flame

To think I hear thee speak my name,

Or see thy face with gladness shine

To find the joy that once was mine.

—REV. A. J. LOCKHART.

———

GHAISTS.

Sunk is the dowie day, the e’enin’ shadows fa’,

The glancin’ ingle lemes an’ leughs alang the wa’;

The lanely gentle hours lead in a broodin’ train,—

Ye faded forms returns, ye spirits come again!

List! is it lily maid that greeteth fitful, sair,

That steeks her faither’s yett, and sinks in her despair?

Is it a daemon scorn’d that flouts the streamin’ pane,

With dolor of the win’ an’ anguish o’ the rain?

Whase ye, wi’ smilin’ mien—na waesome wan, ava’!

O spirit o’ my youth, ye hae been lang awa’!

An’ wha, ye clust’rin’ ghaists, as rare as moonie beam,

Do I na ken ye weel—each bonnie simmer dream?

In peety hae ye come ta’ cheer my wearie way?

In beauty hae ye come?—We canna come to stay:

Ye blink on us again, ye leughin’ ingle clear,

An’ leuk on us ance mair, O ye wha held us dear!

Alas! they’re soon awa—like flittin’ lichts they’re gane!

I watch the shadowy wa’s, an’ list the sabbin’ rain;

What is there in oor eild for joy to feed upon?

What good is on the earth when youthful dreams are gone?

The grun’ lies winter-bleaked,—nae tinge o’ green is yet,

Nae tender buddin’ thorn, nae first faint violet;

The songless, list’nin’ trees haud up the muffled sky,

An’ o’ the starnie’s dance nae glimmer they espy. [page 250] 

But list! the win’ is whisht, the rain it sabs no more,

Frae highest peak o’ heaven the munelicht tints my floor!

An’ there o’er a’ the lift the starnies twinklin’ free,

Are quickenin’ hopes and loves that beam on weary me.

Then while the flamies leap shall I be dull an’ dour?

And shall a warl’ seem sad, so soon to spring in flower?

And shall I repine, while heart and hope I hae?

Awa’, nicht-broodin’ thochts! bring in the welcome day!

— REV. A. J. LOCKHART.

————

A BOAT SONG.

O lassie, I am comin’, I am comin’,

O lassie, I am comin’ in the e’enin’;

            Stay, lassie, stay

            On the shores sae gray,

    For rough rolls the sea between;

            An’ I’ll be there,

            Wi’ my Kate sae fair,

    Who sae lang I haena seen.

Sae lassie, I am comin’, I am comin’,

Yes, lassie, I am comin’ in the e’enin’.

O lassie, will ye meet me, will ye meet me,

O lassie, will ye meet me in the e’enin’?

            Faem-wet, the sail,

            An’ low the rail,

    Where the wave rins yeasty-green;

            The seas go smack

            When I trim and tack,

    An’ my boatie will careen.

Then, lassie, I’ll be wi’ ye, I’ll be wi’ ye,

Yes, lassie, I’ll be wi’ ye in the e’enin’!

—REV. A. J. LOCKHART.

[page 251]

THE UNSPOKEN.

Be not of thought too eager,

    Be not of speech too bold,

For Love—dear Love—that mystic thing,

    Can never all be told.

It ebbs from our expression,

    It flies Time’s vocal shore;

But o’er the secret brooding soul

    It floweth evermore.

O come upon her gently!
   Break not the spell she wove:

She’ll vanish like a vestal white

    Out of a sacred grove.

When she, our angel, riseth

    To minister, her feet

Hallow the flow; her holy hands,

    Breaking, make bread more sweet.

When Love, the chosen, cometh,

    Her light is a speaking eye;

Her word sounds half a seraph’s song,

    And half a mortal sigh.  

—REV. A. J. LOCKHART.

———

THE GREENWOOD.

O bid me to the greenwood,

    With the butterfly and bee,

With the flower to smile up to me,

    And the brook to welcome me! [page 252]

Give me a child’s sweet cradle

    Under the purring pines;

Then wake me with a carol

    When the lyric morning shines.

A bath in the golden sunset

    Down in the misted vale;

A dream ’mid the haunted mountains,

    By the shores where the cloud-ships sail.

O drench my brain with the dew-fall,

    Let my spirit be new-born;

Then shall I banish the megrims

    With a whiff of homely scorn!

—REV. A. J. LOCKHART.

———

JEANIE.

O come an’ walk wi’ me, Jeanie,

    The lift is saft an’ blue;

An’ as the ray o’ simmer day

    My love is warm an’ true.

O come again! ye ance were fain,

    And ever sae am I;

O come an’ walk wi’ me, Jeanie,

    An’ dinna pass me by!

                Come, Jeanie, come!

    As in the dear auld day, lassie,

        And dinna pass me by.

Winna ye loe me noo, Jeanie?

    Your cauldness I maun rue;

In oor auld day, ’twas not the way

    That ye were wont to do;— [page 253]

Nae simmer win’ sae sweetly kin’,

    Your light locks tossin’ wi’;

 Nae saft consentin star, Jeanie,

    Beamed like thy lovin’ e’e.

            Come, Jeanie, come! etc.

Ye shade the warl’ for me, Jeanie!
   Wi’ your broo’s cloudie gray;

Ah, is it kin’ to change your min’,

    An’ cauldly turn away?
Maun loe’s and frien’s grace simmer scenes,

    Yet fail when red leaves fly?

O tak’ my arm again, Jeanie,

    An’ dinna pass me by!

            Come, Jeanie, come! etc.

O come, an’ walk wi’ me, Jeanie!
   Bleak winter cometh nigh,

When lovers rue, and frien’s are few,

    And we grow sad an’ sigh,—

When, shrill, with snaw, the nicht-win’s blaw,

    An’ mony a hope maun die;

Walk doon the lane the noo, Jeanie,

    An’ dinna pass me by.

            Come, Jeanie, come! etc.

—REV. A. J. LOCKHART.

———

THE ANCIENT BARDS.

Like thunderstorms o’er rivers broad

    Their mighty course they hold;

The sounds of winds and ocean waves

    Are in their harps of gold;

        Like sunset sheen

        Each dazzling mien;

Their speech is strong and bold.

—REV. A. J. LOCKHART.

[page 254]

[blank page]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: MRS. GEORGINA FRASER NEWHALL.]

MRS. GEORGINA FRASER NEWHALL.

————

     Among the many daughters of Albyn whose wooing of the immortal Nine has been limned by winsomeness and grace, none surpasses in charm of touch and style, the subject of this brief sketch. The poetic qualities she displays come to her through a distinguished ancestry, her forebears numbering statesmen, soldiers, and poets. Born in the early sixties of Galt, Ont., where her father, the late Mr. James George Fraser, was a highly esteemed citizen, she received her education at the public and high schools there. In early years she turned to journalism and in that exacting vocation speedily made her mark. She was the first woman in Canada to adopt stenography as a profession, and introduced it to classes in Toronto and the neighboring towns, while still a young girl. In 1884 she married Mr. E. P. Newhall, now assistant superintendent of the Pacific Express Co., and divides her time between her home at Canton, O., and Scarborough, Ont., where she owns a beautifully-situated fruit farm. She has been successful as a writer of short stories, of magazine articles and of verse, which have made her name widely-known. She is bardess to the Clan Fraser Society of Canada, and at its annual gatherings she has shown herself to be possessed of a felicitous eloquence as well as of the gift of song. Her themes are general in character, although naturally Scottish subjects come nearer her heart, as beseems one through whose veins flows the bluest blood of the Mackenzie, MacLeod, Munro, and Fraser Clans. “Fraser’s Drinking Song” from her pen has been adopted as the “Failte” of the “Clan Fraser Society of Canada,” and is sung to a stirring martial tune at the annual gatherings. [page 257]

FRASER’S DRINKING SONG.

(The Fraser Clan Motto “Je Suis Prest”:—“I Am Ready.”)

I.

All ready?

        Let us drink to the woman who rules us to-night,

        To her lands, to her laws, ’neath her flag we will smite

                               Ev’ry foe,

                               Hip and thigh,

                               Eye for eye,

                               Blow for blow—

                                                       Are you ready?

II.

All ready?

        Then here’s to the mothers who bore us, my men;

        To the sheiling that sleeps in the breast of the glen,

                               Where the stag

                               Drinks its fill

                               From the rill

                               By the crag—

                                             Are you ready?

III.

All ready?

        Fill your glass to the maid you adore, my boys;

        Wish her health, wish her wealth, long life, and all joys?

                               Full measure

                               (May it swim

                               To the brim)

                               Of pleasure—

                                              Are you ready? [page 258]

IV.

All ready?

        And here’s to the country we live in, my lads;

        It is here we have struggled and thriven, my lads!

                               God bless it,

                               May Beauty

                               And Duty

                               Possess it—

                                               Are you ready?

V.

All ready?

        A Fraser! A Fraser forever, my friends;

        While he lives how he hates, how he loves till life ends,

                               He is first,

                               Here’s my hand

                               Into grand

                               Hurrah burst—

                                              Are you ready?

                   

                                                                All ready!

                                                                      All ready!!

                                                                            All ready!!!

—GEORGINA FRASER NEWHALL.

———

SONGS I SING.

            In my arms,

Wand’ring locks o’ chestnut hair,

O’er a brow beyond compare,

            Purest white;

Rose-red cheek upon my breast,

Dimpled limbs composed to rest—

            Baby lies. [page 259]

            And I sing,

Softly rocking to and fro,

All the Scottish songs I know,

            Bonnie songs:

Songs my mother sang to me,

As I cuddled on her knee,

            Long ago.

            Tender songs!

Loyal, royal, mirthful, sad,

Songs that for their burden had—

            Love or war—

Drinking, dancing, wooing, sped

Some whose words were tears unshed,

            Deepest woe.

   

            To and fro,

To my list’ning bairn I croon

“Banks and Braes o’ Bonnie Doon”

            Soft and low;

“Allister McAllister”—

All my Scottish blood astir—

            Loud and gay.

            Soon I hear    

Laughter sweet, brown peeping eyes

Open roundly in surprise,

            Half dismay;

Till I murmur Gaelic dirges.

With the moaning of the surges,

            In their tones.

            Do you think

While he lies my heart abune,

Feels it throb with ev’ry tune,

            Vengeful gay,

While he sees me smile or weep,

My sweet lad will ever sleep?

            Bless you, nay! [page 260]

            So I turn,

Slowly rocking to and fro,

To some other songs I know,

            Soft and low;

Words that sterner tongues would spurn,

Melodies that do not turn

            Into wails.

            And he sinks,

Slowly, closer to my breast,

Drifting, dreaming, to his rest

            While I clasp;

Singing idle songs I know,

Slowly rocking to and fro,

            To and fro.

—GEORGINA FRASER NEWHALL.

[illustration]

[page 261]

ALEXANDER H. WINGFIELD.

————

     Mr. Alexander H. Wingfield gives the keynote to his poetry in the following words from his own pen, written some years ago. He said, speaking of his poems: “If there be poetry in them, it is such as comes from homely, natural inspiration, unaided either by varied reading or literary leisure, As I have really felt, or believed, or imagined, so I have written; and whatever fault of expression there may be in my efforts, there is no failure in honesty of intention. Having neither read much, nor travelled far, nor been able to put the world of nature and of history under contribution, I have found my subjects chiefly among the familiar scenes and every-day experiences of my own humble walk in life; taking such color and expression of them as residence in a busy city like Hamilton could not fail to present.” Mr. Wingfield was for eighteen years a mechanic on the Great Western Railway, and it was amid “the noisy rattle of the loom, the birr of wheels, the clang of hammers, the screaming of whistles, and the thundering of rush of the locomotive,” that most of his poems were composed. Mr. Wingfield was equally at home in the humorous and the pathetic, and his sentiments were always expressed in clear and chaste language. The Hamilton Post said of his writings: “That he has penned nothing that can lower or vulgarize life in any of his relations, nor ever pandered to irreligion or sensuality, is something to feel honestly proud of.”

     Alexander H. Wingfield was born in 1818, at Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland, within a stone-throw of the house in which David Livingstone, the great African missionary, and explorer first saw the light. Mr. Wingfield received very little education, as he was sent to work in a cotton factory in Glasgow, at the early age of ten. In respect of education, therefore, and indeed in other respects as well, he was a self-made man. He came to America in 1847, and settled in Auburn, N.Y., but in 1850 he [page 262] removed to Hamilton, Ont., and there he resided until his death, which took place on August 8th 1896. During the closing years of his life, Mr. Wingfield filled a responsible position in connection with H. M. Customs. Mr. Wingfield published his poems in book-form, and so great was the demand for the work that the whole edition of fifteen hundred copies was disposed of inside of two months.

CRAPE ON THE DOOR.

There’s a little white cottage that stan’s ’mang the trees,

Whaur the humming bird comes to sip sweets wi’ the bees,

Whaur the bright morning-glories grow up o’er the eaves,

And the wee birdies nestle amang the green leaves;

But there’s something around it to-day that seems sad,

It hasna’ that look o’ contentment it had,

There is gloom whaur there used to be sunshine before,

Its windows are darkened—there’s crape on the door.

There is crape on the door—all is silent within,

There are nae merry children there making a din;

For the ane that was merriest aye o’ them a’

Is laid out in robes that look white as the sna’;

But yesterday morn, when the sun shone sae bright,

Nae step bounded freer- nae heart was mair light,

When the gloamin’ cam’ round, a’ his playing was o’er,

He was drowned in the burn—sae there’s crape on the door.

Nae mair will he skip like a lamb o’er the lea,

Or pu’ the wild flowers, or gang chasin’ the bee;

He’ll be miss’d by the bairns when they come hame frae schule,

For he met them ilk day comin’ down o’er the hill.

Besides his wee coffin his lone mother kneels,

And she breathes forth a prayer for the sorrow she feels;

Her puir widowed heart has been seared to the core,

For not lang sinsyne there was crape on the door. [page 263]

Her sobs choke her utt’rance, though she strives, but in vain,

To stifle her grief, or her tears to restrain;

Yet she lovingly murmurs, “I winna repine,

Thy will be done, Father; Thy will and not mine;

Though my trials are great, yet I winna complain,

For I ken that the Lord has but ta’en back His ain,

To dwell wi’ the angels above, evermore,

Whaur there’s nae sin nor sorrow, nor crape on the door.”

—ALEXANDER H. WINGFIELD.

———

A SHILLIN’ OR TWA.

Friendship has charms for the leal an’ the true,

There’s but few things can beat it the hale warl thro’,

But ye’ll gey aften find that the best friend ava,

Is that white-headed callan—a shillin’ or twa!
Eh, man, it’s a fine thing, a shillin’ or twa,

Hech, man, it’s a gran’ thing, a shillin’ or twa;

It keeps up your spirits, it adds to your merits,

If ye but inherits a shillin’ or twa!

It’s surprisin’ how much you’ll be thocht o’ by men,

You’ll get credit for wisdom altho’ ye hae nane;

You may be but a dunce, ye’ll be honored by a’,

When they ken that ye hae a bit shillin’ or twa!

Eh, man, it’s a fine thing, a shillin’ or twa,

Hech, man, it’s a gran’ thing, a shillin’ or twa;

Ye’ll ne’er ken what it means to want plenty of frien’s,

Gin ye glamour their e’en wi’ a shillin’ or twa!

But it alters the case when your siller’s a’ dune,

An’ your credit’s a’ gane, an’ nae wab in the loom;

Be sure, then, ye’ll get the cauld shoulder frae a’

If ye ask for the lend o’ a shillin’ or twa! [page 264]

Eh, man, it’s a fine thing, a shillin’ or twa,

Hech, man, it’s a gran’ thing, a shillin’ or twa;

But there’s no mony than that will haud out their han’.

An’ say, “Tak’ this, my man, here’s a shillin’ or taw!”

There are some that for siller wud swap their auld shin,

There are some that wud cheat for’t and ne’er ca’t a sin,

An’ there are some sae devoid o’ mortality’s law,

Wud shake hands wi’ the deil for a shillin’ or twa!

Eh, man, it’s a fine thing, a shillin’ or twa,

Hech, man, it’s a gran’ thing, a shillin’ or twa;

To become rich an’ great, an’ hae flunkeys to wait,

When ye drive out in state aff your shillin’ or twa!

But we scorn the fause loon that for vain worldly pelf

Wad wrang ither folks to get riches himself;

Aye live an’ let live, an’ do justice by a’,

An’ may you ne’er want for a shillin’ or twa!

Eh, man, it’s a fine thing, a shillin’ or twa,

Hech, man, it’s a gran’ thing, a shillin’ or twa;

I’ve aften been scant o’t, and weel ken’t the want o’t,

But now, Gude be thank’t for’t, I’ve a shillin’ or twa’!

—ALEXANDER H. WINGFIELD.

———

THE LAND THAT’S TRULY FREE.

Auld Scotia’s bards in praises sing

    O’ hills and heather bell,

O’ linns gaun loupin’ doon their glens

    Whaur bonnie lassies dwell;

And weel I loe that land mysel’,

    Wi’ a’ its ancient fame,

For whaur’s the Scot whose heart ne’er warms

    Whene’er he thinks o’ hame?

But there’s anither land I trow

    That’s just as dear to me—

’Tis Canada, the only land

    Whose sons are truly free. [page 265]

The Saxon minstrels proudly sing

    O’ deeds their sons hae done,

And vaunt of a’ their works of art,

    And battle-fields they’ve won;

But can they boast a land like ours,

    Whaur peace and plenty smile,

And labor sheds its blessings aye

    On a’ our sons o’ toil?

Na, na, though Englishmen are great,

    They’re no sae blest as we

In Canada, the only land

    On earth that’s truly free.

Auld Erin’s harp has aft been struck

    In wailin’ tones o’ grief,

But here her sons are prosperin’

    Beneath the Maple Leaf;

And tho’ nae doot they think at times

    On glories passed awa’;

The sun shines bright in Canada

    Alike on ane and a’;

And as they hae been in the past,

    Sae will their future be

In Canada, the only land

    Whose sons are truly free.

Let English, Irish, Scotch and French,

    Thegither here combine,

To emulate the deeds their sires

    Hae done in auld lang syne;

We’ll lay their failin’s a’ aside,

    Their virtues we’ll retain,

And in our new Dominion they

    Will bring forth fruit again;

And if our fathers loved their land

    As dearly, so will we

Love Canada, the only land

    On earth that’s truly free. [page 266]  

Though young yet in the warld’s affairs,

    And maybe kind o’ blate,

We may excel our mither yet

    In a’ that’s gude and great;

When speakin’ o’ her dawtit bairn

    She’ll say o’ us wi’ pride,

There’s no a land like Canada

    In a’ creation wide.

Then swell the anthem loud and lang,

    And let your pæans be

To Canada, dear Canada,

    The glorious and the free.

—A. H. WINGFIELD.

[illustration]

[page 267]

MRS. MARGERET BEATRICE BURGESS.

———

     Margaret Beatrice Burgess was born on the 20th of August, 1841, at Portsoy, Banffshire, Scotland. She came to Toronto in July, 1873, and on the 8th of that month was married to Mr. A. M. Burgess, a native of Strathspey, Scotland, at that time on the Parliamentary staff of the Globe. In the following year Mr. Burgess was appointed Deputy Minister of the Interior, a position which he occupied until the day of his death. Mrs. Burgess is the youngest daughter of the late Mr. Thomas Anderson, a journalist of half a century’s standing, and for many years editor and proprietor of the Banffshire Reporter. Mr. Anderson was also the author of a volume of poems and songs published more than fifty years ago, He came to Canada in 1884, and died in Ottawa four years later. Mr. T. Anderson, Jr., also a journalist, and who died in Guelph in 1866, was a brother of Mrs. Burgess. Like his father and sister, he had strong literary proclivities.

FAR AWAY.

Far away to the dear old land

    O’er the ocean’s watery track;

Far away to the dear old home

    My heart has wandered back:

And I long for the gowaned fields,

    The sweet-voiced rippling rills,

And the heather bell that proudly waves

    On Scotia’s misty hills.

I see beneath my father’s roof

    Another vacant chair;

And my heart is sick with bitter grief

    For loved ones lonely there. [page 268] 

The rider pale whom none gainsay

    Rode past with withering breath:

 He has wrapped my brother’s youthful form

    In the cold embrace of death.

Together in our childhood days

    We roamed the rocky shore

To watch the sea gull’s circling flight,

    And hear the breakers’ roar;

We’ve seen the herring fleet glide out

    Across the harbor bar;

And listening, heard the sailors’ chant

    Come sweetly from afar.

We’ve gazed with awe on setting suns

    Whose glory had revealed

The distant peaks of Caithness hills,

    Like serried ranks in field;

When all the sea and all the land

    Was flushed with rosy light;

Till in a violet sky o’erhead

    The evening star hung bright.

I shall not see his face again,

    My comrade true and dear;

I may not pay to his lone grave

    The tribute of a tear;

Yet, putting off this mortal guise,

    He nearer seems to me

Than when, on earth, he severed was

    By leagues of land and sea.

—MARGARET BEATRICE BURGESS.

[page 269]

  MY AULD SCOTTISH HAME.

O dear, bonnie Scotland, the hame o’ my childhood,

    Fu’ fain would I hie me again to your shores;

To roam o’er your braes, an’ your green flowery valleys,

    An’ view your grim rocks where the cataract roars.

Awa’ through your glens I would wander fu’ early—

    They nestle sae snugly atween the brown hills;

Or pu’ the blue hare-bells that I lo’ed sae dearly,

    That grow by the banks o’ your murmurin’ rills.

It’s lang since my feet on the heather hae trodden,

    It’s lang since I smelled o’ the sweet-scented broom;

Yet aft thriugh the far-awa’ past I gang stealin’

    While quietly I sat in the gatherin’ gloom.

I see yet ance mair, wi’ green trees a’ encircled,

    A wee thackit hoose wi’ its yard fu’ o’ kail;

The scene o’ my birth is by memory hallowed,—

    Blaw gently aroond it, ye cauld wintry gale.

An’ there, o’er the road, are the hawthorn hedges,

    Where birds blythely warbled their love-sangs in Spring;

An’ here Capie’s Hillock, where I’ve aften restit,

    When wearied wi’ runnin’ an’ gowans would string.

In the birk’s fragrant branches fu’ aften I’ve hidden

    When twilight stealt o’er a’ the dew spangled leas,

An’ stretched oot my airms to the hames o’ the birdies

    That couthily rocked wi’ the saft summer breeze.

An’ noo in the wee door I maistly can fancy

    The form o’ my mither sae neat and sea trim;

O mony a lang day is’t since I’ve heard her croonin’

    Her auld- farrant sangs when the evenin’s grew dim. [page 270]

O sune was she left, when the leaves were a’ fa’in’,

    To fight life’s stern battle when death took awa’

The love o’ her young days, the husband and father,

    An’ left her unaided to care for us a’.

But leal was her brave heart, and strong was she minded,

    Wi’ richt kind o’ pride that the Scotch surely ken;

An’ nobly she strove frae the door to keep poortith,

    An’ brought up her bairnies to be honest men.

But vain is regret, for it’s years mair than fifty

    Since death saftly closed her bonnie black e’en,

An’ bore her awa’, through it left us sae cheerless,

    To dwell in that land where the flowers are aye green.

An’ mair than the half o’ her dearly lo’ed bairnies

    Sleep peaceful beside her—their graves near the sea—

Close by, where the swift-rolling Spey joins its waters

    To the salt spray that washes the low-lyin’ lea.

It’s lang since I left a’ my kindred an’ neebors,

    An’ years hae gane o’er my head thirty-an’-nine;

But I hae been weel in the lan’ I’ve adopted,

    An’ fortune has smiled on us blythely an’ kin’.

For I noo hae three sons an’ twa winsome daughters,

    An’ they a’ hae plenty—are happy an’ free;

An’ though they have ne’er seen the mist-veiled mountains,

    They lo’e the dear Mither-land far o’er the sea.

An’ aft when the nicht’s wi’ her sable wings creepin’

    Athwart oor neat hame do they gather aroon’.

To hear some auld legend o’ days that are vanished.

    Till high in the lift is the young silvery moon.

O when will I taste o’ the clear rinnin’ waters,

    Or when will I hear the brown mavis’ sweet sang,

That rings through the woodlands frae dawn to the gloamin’

    When Spring has come back an’ the days are grown lang? [page 271]

O dear bonnie Scotlan’! the lan’ o’ the heather,

    Where Bruce bravely fought for his people an’ croon,

Fu’ fain would I hie me awa’ o’er the ocean

    To my auld sheltered hame, an’ in peace lay me doon.

— MARGARET BEATRICE BURGESS.

———

ROBERT BURNS.

Immortal bard, your virtues ha’e been sung

    By brither bards in mony a tongue an’ clime;

Nae thocht ha’e I o’ addin’ mair renown

    Though I put forth a simple strain in rhyme;

But aiblins that my Scottish heart maun choose

    To follow feebly your mair favored Muse.

A gangrel callant at the cairlin’s heels,

    Her ballad lore first stirred the smouldrin’ fire

O’ your poetic genius, soon to flow

    In burnin’ measure frae your matchless lyre;

But tho’ she was the first to fan the flame

    A poet ye were born ye well may claim.

The bonnie banks o’ Doon whaur lovers roam’t

    Ye did enshrine in mony a cantie sang;

The auld enchanted brig that kelpies banned,

    Had they daured cross it, fast the clamourin’ thrang

Had clutched puir drouthy Tam; Meg nor himsel’

    E’er saw the licht o’ day, the tale to tell.

The laverock liltin’ i’ the lift aboon,

    The modest flow’rets on the gowaned lea,

The wounded hare that, limpin’, crossed your gait,

    Ne’er passed unnoticed your keen, kindly e’e.

In sweetest verse ye ga’e them a’ their due,

    Your leal warm hairt wi’ love aye lippin’ fou. [page 272]

The humble lives o’ simple cottar folks

    Richt weel ye could pourtray—their hopes an’ fears;

Their joys, mair sacred that they seldom cam’,

    Their childlike faith in God throughout the years,

Than lords an’ ladies, mair sweet pleasure had

    Puir tremblin’ Jenny an’ her shepherd lad.

Ye worshipped nae the guinea stamp o’ rank

    Unless the owner proved a brither man;

Your patriot hairt spak oot through “Scots wha hae,”

    O’ Bannockburn whaur victory led the van;

Wi’ pawky humor gar’t ye Willie brew

    The peck o’ maut on whilk his freens gat fou.

But best an’ sweetest o’ your tender lays

    Ane stan’s unrivalled far aboon the rest,

The mourfu’ plaint to your lost Highland maid

    Melts ilka hairt that is wi’ feelin’ blest.

“Oh! Mary, dear departed shade!” ye rise

    Immortal through your lover’s tears an’ sighs.

Oh, ploughman Robbie! had it no been for

    The wondrous gift that lichten’t a’ your care,

Auld Scotia’s sons, far scattered as they be,

    Had barely heard o’ the auld toon o’ Ayr,

Whilk, as ye say, “a’ ither toons surpasses”

    For sterling “honest men an’ bonnie lasses.”

O bleak misfortune, drear an’ hard to bide,

    Jean an’ yoursel’ had each your ain sad share;

Your fervid soul alane sae lang had borne

    The brunt o’ hopes delayed, an’ carkin’ care,

Fain wad we pass your fauts—can fellow men

    Thorns i’ the flesh o’ such as you condemn? [page 273]

But chequered as your course had surely been,

    An’ early as the lamp o’ life burned doon,

Your fame will live lang as your ain lo’ed hills

    The purple heather shall wi’ beauty croon—

Your country’s idol! Caledonia wild,

    Can ne’er forget her gifted peasant child.

—MARGARET BEATRICE BURGESS.

———

IN MEMORIAM.

     Battle of Cut Knife Creek, 2nd May, 1885. Private John Rogers, Ottawa Sharpshooters, born in the island of Barbabadoes, West Indies, 6th May, 1858; killed in battle 2nd of May, 1885; aged 27 years less 4 days.

  From a sun-kissed isle in a southern sea

      To this northern land of ours

  A stranger there came, not long ago,

  Whose youthful cheek wore the olive glow

      Of that land of fruits and flowers.

  Possessed of a spirit that could not brook

      The languid life of the south,

  He sailed from his sea-girt home away,

  At the dawn on manhood’s glorious day,

      In the flush and bloom of youth.

  And when through our loved Dominion rang

      The toscin of war’s alarm,

  To the front he went at the bugle’s sound,

  With those who hastened to rally around

      Their colors when called to arm.

  Brave souls were they, though the way was rough,

      And the days and nights were cold;

  O’er the weary gaps,* through the hail and sleet,

  With snow-blind eyes and blistered feet,

      They marched like heroes bold.


     *The C.P.R. was not then completed.


[page 274]

  For their hearts were aflame with patriot zeal,

      And they burned with just desire

  To crush the treacherous rebel horde,

  Who law and truth alike ignored,

      Whose creed was death and fire.

  In the hush of the night, three hundred strong,

      Brave Otter led his men

  O’er the winding trail to face a foe,

  Whose roll did twice that number show,

      When morning lit the plain.

  From dawn till noon that valiant band

      Kept up their steady hail

  Of shot and shell, while with the clang

  Of musketry the war-whoop rang,—

      A hundred red men fell.

  O woe is me! that the virgin soil

      Of this free glorious land

  Should be stained with else than bison’s blood,

  Or what might be shed in a tribal feud,

      By some maurauding band.

  No more shall the stranger’s dark eyes rest

      On the Antilles’ varied green;

  Where the noble Saskatchewan grandly sweeps.

*With the heroes who fought and bled he sleeps

      Far away from that fairy scene.

  O sad that rebellion foul

      Should raise its hydra head

  Through our great North land, for to many a home

  The shadow of woe has already come,

      And bereaved ones mourn their dead.


     *Since the above was written the remains of Private Rogers were removed and now rest in Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa.


[page 275]

  But their names shall live in history’s page

      When this guerilla strife

  With a crafty foe shall have ceased to thrill

  Our hearts with its horrors, and England still

  Shall claim, as of old, for her sons the will

  To do and to dare, with Trojan skill

      For liberty and life.

—MARGARET BEATRICE BURGESS.

———

MEMORIES OF GUELPH.

Low in the west the great day orb descends

While I, with eyes enraptured, gaze upon

A scene of passing beauty,—sky and cloud

Lit with a thousand rays that flash

And quiver in the evening atmosphere.

Well worthy of the royal name it bears,

The city lies before me, stretching out

To east and west its lusty, youthful arms;

Like ancient Athens, resting on the hills.

On every side its schools of learning stand;

The spires of many churches pierce the sky;

Fair villas nestle in the leafy shade

Of feathery elm and stately, sheltering oak,

Of straight-limbed popular and the maple grand,

Which sways alike elastic through the storm,

Or glows with beauty in the autumn moon,—

Its leaves blend, emblematic, with the rose

Of England fair, the fleur de lis of France,

The bearded thistle from stern Scotland’s shores,

And shamrock green, to fitly represent

A diverse people, yet united—one

In courage, wealth and strength—destined to be

A solid, vigorous nation in themselves. [page 276]        

Like vein of steadfast friendship, through the vale                                                                          The quiet Speed meanders on its way,

Serene and peaceful, like the honest lives

Of those who find their homes upon its banks.

Fair Guelph, fair scene, reflected through the years

By memory’s magic mirror to my view,

Thy beauty back shall come to feast my soul;

My pulses stir with gratitude to those

Dear friends and kind who made my summer stay

Within thy borders more than pleasure rare—

A picture that shall fade not with the flowers

Of seasons yet to come.

—MARGARET BEATRICE BURGESS.

 [illustration]

[page 277] 

JOHN STEELE.

——

     Mr. John Steele, of St. John N. B., was born in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, in 1811. In sending along some of his poems Mr. Steele said: “I am a very old man and most of these trifles have been produced since I passed my eightieth year.” He is now eighty-eight, and his Muse is still active.

AULD SCOTLAND.

I’m now an auld and feckless man,

    Yet weel I mind when young,

How oft I heard the gladsome lilt

    Of my Auld mither-tongue.

It haunts me yet in mony a sang,

    And mony a tragic story,

How Scotsmen, in the days gane by,

    Upheld Auld Scotland’s glory.

The noble tale has oft been told

    In ages long ago,

How our forefathers never bent

    The knee to foreign foe:

But oft with broadswords in their hands

    Should King or Country need ’em,

That brave, unflinching, trust band

    Have bled for Scotia’s freedom.

Auld Scotland still can haud her ain,

    In spite o’ a’ opposers;

Wha play wi’ her at games o’ war

    Are sure to be the losers. [page 278] 

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: JOHN STEELE.]

[blank page]

She needna hide her weel-faurt face,

   She still may crousely craw;

Wi’ pen or sword, she stands for richt,

    Amang the nations a’.

—JOHN STEELE.

———

OATMEAL.

My blessing on the happy man

    Who first could ride his carriage:

And double blessing on the man

    Who first invented porridge.

I’d build him up a monument,

    As high as any steeple;

His praise in future should be sung

    By all the honest people.

Look round and tell me where’s the lan’

    That flourishes sae weel,

As where they daily fill their mouth

    With Scotia’s fragrant meal.

Whatever shape it may assume,

    In scone or havercake,

Or haggis, it is welcome aye,

    For dear Auld Scotland’s sake.

It nerves the heart, it nerves the arm,

    For deeds of noble darin’;

When Boney met the kilted lads

    ’Twas then he got his fairin’.

—JOHN STEELE.

[page 281]

ROBERT BURNS.

The child of untamed passion, wild and strong,

With native grandeur poured his soul in song;

At inspiration’s purest altar knelt,

He sang of all he saw and all he felt;

Nor cold neglect, nor penury’s suffering hard

Could bend the free-born spirit of the bard.

Baptised in poverty, the prince of song,

Auld Scotia’s pride, shall be remembered long;

Till latest times the trumpet breath of fame

Shall link the poet with his country’s name.

—JOHN STEELE.

———

AUTUMN AND AGE.

Tho’ music’s scattered round my path

    From Nature’s boundless store,

Yet all the fairy charms of life

    Entrance my eyes no more.

The falling leaf, the withered flower,

    On every hand I see;

The bounding pulse, the fevered brow,

    Now come no more to me.

I court no more the joys of time

    Fast fading to the view;

But, onward look to fairer scenes

    Than Eden ever knew.

—JOHN STEELE.

[page 282]

CARLO.

Our Carlo is a faithful dog,

    By night as well as day;

He guards the house, and often drives

    The thievish tramps away.

And, when by chance the open gate

    Invites the wandering steer,

He says, as plain as dogs can speak,

    “There’s no admittance here.”

Our Carlo is an honest dog,

    He ne’er deceived a friend,

As some dishonest rascals do

    To gain some selfish end.

When Carlo’s numbered with the dead,

    We’ll write upon his stone

That marks his head, “Here lies the dog

    That never stole a bone.”

—JOHN STEELE.

———

RAMBLING THOUGHTS.

TO A FRIEND.

          O’ twa things I am unco proud,

              And proudly own before ye a’,

          I boast of loyal Scottish blood,

              And love my Queen Victoria.

          Wha wadna say, “God save the Queen,”

              Though things gang tapsalteerie, a’,

          For Britain’s guid let him be sent

              Right off to cauld Siberia.  [page 283]

          In that dear land where laverocks sing,

              And blue-bells bloom sae bonnie, a’,

          ’Twas there I first drew vital air,

              In dear auld Caledonia.

          And now I have a peaceful lot

              In Canada sae canny a’,

          Thankful for such a pleasant spot,

              Close linked to old Britannia.

          Though now I’m getting auld and frail,

              My heart is gay and cheerie, O,

          Even when we’re toddlin’ doun the brae,

              There’s naething there to fear ye, O.

P.S.—This hand seems paralysed with age,

              Its movements faint and few;

          It cannot skim across the page,

              As once it used to do.

—JOHN STEELE.

———

DUST TO DUST.

The body sinks to earth away,

    From whence it came;

The soul ascends the shining way,

    A living flame.

The body slumbers in the dust,

    For years untold;

The soul, companion of the just,

    Within the fold.

That heavenly fold, from whence no more

    We careless stray;

For earth and all its trials sore

    Have passed away.

—JOHN STEELE.

[page 284]

SCOTLAND—A LONG TIME AGO.

Sweet freedom’s dear to every Scot,

For liberty their fathers fought,

And with their blood that boon they brought

                                  A long time ago.

And when the battle was begun,

Though oft beset with two to one,

Yet would they rather die than run,

                                  A long time ago.

They knelt to heaven, but not to man,

Trusting to that their right han’,

Their independence thus they wan

                                  A long time ago.

When Roman legions ventured forth

To meet the warriors of the north,

They halted, then recrossed the Forth

                                  A long time ago.

When plundering Scandinavia’s boar

Poured heathen hordes upon our shore,

They fell beneath the old claymore,

                                  A long time ago.

The conquering William came, but here

He met a race devoid of fear,

Who stayed ambition’s bold career,

                                  A long time ago.

And in the glorious days of old,

When Wallace wight, and Bruce the bold,

The Southern forces backward rolled,

                                  A long time ago;

Though haughty Edward looked in scorn

Upon the field of Bannockburn,

In terror thence he fled forlorn,

                                  A long time ago. [page 285]

They met the invader’s felon band

With trusty broadswords in their hand,

Then freedom smiled o’er all the land,

                                  A long time ago.

And ever since, dear freedom dwells

Among her lovely hills and dells,

Her native home, as history tells,

                                  A long time ago.

—JOHN STEELE.

———

TO A FRIEND.

DEAR SIR,

My head has gane useless, an’ sae has my haun,

    They are guid for just naething ava;

But what can ye look for frae sic an auld man,

    An auld man o’ eichty-an’twa?

His memory’s gane gyte, he scarcely can tell

    O’ the ferlies he yesterday saw;

Yet in spite of it a’ he feels pretty well

    For an auld man o’ eichty-an’-twa

Ninety-three is now gane wi’ the rest o’ his race,

    Wi’ his joys an’ his sorrows an’ a’;

Ninety-four is now hurrying into his place,—

    Thus the auld folks are wearin’ awa.’

That you may be prospered a’ through the new year,

    In store and in basket an’ a’,

Wi’ plenty o’ friens, an’ lots o’ guid cheer,

    Prays the auld man o’ eichty-and-twa.

—JOHN STEELE.

[page 286]

REV. R. S. G. ANDERSON.

————

     Rev. R. S. G. Anderson, is a son of the late Rev. Dr. Anderson, of Glasgow, Scotland. Mr. Anderson was born in the quaint old village of Ceres in Fifeshire. When young he removed to Milnathort, close to the shores of Loch Leven, and within sight of the castle where Queen Mary was imprisoned. After leaving the Public School young Anderson attended the famous Dollar Academy. From there he went to Glasgow University and graduated M.A. in 1884. He afterwards attended the U. P. Theological Hall in Edinburgh. In 1887 he took the B.D. degree at Glasgow University. He was appointed assistant Minister in the North U.P. Church, Auchtermuchty, in 1887. In the following year he emigrated to Canada. In May, 1889, he was ordained Minister of the Presbyterian Church, in St. Helen’s, Huron County. He was called to Wroxeter, his present charge, in November, 1894. Mr. Anderson was one of those included in Edward’s “Minor Scottish Poets,” Vol. XI.

THE YOUNG MINISTER.

He’s just a bit callan’ o’ twenty,

        And bran’ new oot frae the collidge;

But they tell me wha ken, that he’s gleg wi’ the pen,

        An’ his heid’s fu’ o’ buik-lear an’ knowledge.

                An’ O, but he’s graun’, graun’,

                An’ O, but he’s deep, deep,

        Though I canna complain for I never knew ane

                That cud send me sae sune to sleep.

He’s the nattiest man i’ the pairish,

        There’s no anither sic bra’,

Wi’ his bonnie surtou’ o’ the bluey-black hue,

        An’ his roond-aboot collar and a’. [page 287]

                An’ O, but he’s spry, spry,

                An’ O, but he’s sweet, sweet,

        Wi’ his “how-d’ ye do?” and “Good-morning-to-you”

                When he passes ye oot i’ the street.

He’s a wise-luikin’ chiel i’ the poopit,

        For he’s no sic an ill-faur’t loon;

An’ the specs on his nose gie a luik o’ repose,

        When they’ve riggit him up in the goon.

                An’ O, but he’s graun’, graun’,

                An’ O, but he’s bra’, bra’,

        He has sicna a po’er, he can daud oot the stour,

                Owre buik-board and choir an’ a’.

He’s the gleggest bit laddie at preachin’,

        Wi’ his stars and the rummelin’ spheres;

There’s no ane cud hear it and every grow wearit,

        We’re aften a’ meltit to tears.

                An’ O, but he’s glib, glib,

                An’ O, but he’s canty, canty,

        If ca’d on to speak either Latin or Greek,

                He’d jist spiel owre yer Shakespir and Danty.

He’s maybe a wee bit conceitit,

       Though I winna jist say that’s a failin’,

An’ he’s apt to forget we’ve oor dinners to het;—

        Eh? What! Is the ither kirk scalin’?

                O! O! but he’s driech, driech,

                O! O! but he’s lang, lang,

        If he’s nae thoct o’ quittin’ I’ll sune tak to flytin’,

                I wish he’d gae aff the fang.

—R. S. G. ANDERSON.

[page 288]

 

THE PRECENTOR.

  We’re fairly deaved on Sawbaths noo,

      Oor vera lugs are sair;

  They’ve got the kist o’ whistles in,

      Wi’ some new-fangled player,

  Whaur Tammas Lowry set the tune

      For fifty years and mair.

  A dour and thrawn-like man was Tam,

      Wi’ lungs o’ brass and airn;

  A massy pow wi’ lyart locks

      Like some aul’ chieftain’s cairn;

  An’ somewhaur ben though sneckit up

      The hert o’ a wee bairn.

  A wilfu’ man maun hae his w’y—

      Tam never cared a haet—

  He picked his tunes and sang them thro’,

      At his ain shaclin’ gait;

“With a spirit,” cried the meenister,

      But Tammas took “Retreat!”

  Noo sicna pride has aye its fa’,

      As Tam fand till his cost;

  An’ frae that waefu’ day o’ shame,

      Ye’d never hear him boast;

  Ae Sawbath morn he took the desk,

      Sair trachled wi’ a hoast.

  He ettled first the “Martyrs” tune,

      When something took the gee,

  An’ aff he gaed to clim’ “Coleshill,”

      But brocht up i’ “Dundee;”

  An’ when he made for “Newington,”

      ’Twas “Martyrdom” to me. [page 289]

  A michty man o’ sang he was

      Afore he ‘gan to dwine;

  Time played the mischief wi’ his voice,

      But left the willin’ min’;

  An’ aye we kept him i’ the desk,

      For days o’ aul’ lang syne.

  Death cam for ithers; lang we thocht

      He’d never come for Tam;

  O, why, man, did ye try high G,

      An’ bring on sic a dwalm?

  Or ever we cud fetch a “nip,”

      Death fand it out and cam,’

—R. S. G. ANDERSON.

———

THE CROFTER’S SONG.

It’s bonnie in the gloaming

    To watch the purple light

Of the sunset on the waters

    Go sinking out of sight;

But it’s nothing half sae bonnie,

    And nothing half sae grand.

As the sunlight on the wheatfields

    In the bonnie prairie-land.

It was waesome at the parting

    And it’s lanesome far awa’,

But I think na lang for Scotland

    Noo I hae rint it a’;

Its ha’s were fair and stately,

    But they hadna half the charm

Of the little wooden shanty

    On my Manitoban farm. [page 290]

It’s merry in the morning

    To hear the laverock sing,

And cheery is the mavis

    That whistles on the wing;

But there’s something far mair touching,

    I canna understand,

In the silence o’ the starlight

    In the open prairie-land.

O, my native land is bonnie,

    An’ will aye be dear to me;

And I’ll wake at nights and listen

    For the sounding o’ the sea.

But a freer land’s about me,

    And a richer sea’s at hand—

The yellow rustling wheatfields

    O’ the bonnie prairie-land.

—R. S. G. ANDERSON.

———

SUGAR-MAKING.

When nights are clear, and frosts are keen,

    And the day is warm in the sun,

The snow wreathes vanish like a breath,

    The sap begins to run.

And through the bush with shout and song,

    The merry toilers go;

For the boys are out of work and fun

    When the sap begins to flow.

When trees are tapped and the pails are hung

    For the nectar of the Spring,

Then over the blazing maple-logs

    The giant kettles swing; [page 291]

And the dipper that stirs the bubbling sap

    From lip to lip doth go;

For there’s nothing so sweet as the syrup that’s made

    When the sap begins to flow.

But it’s best at dusk by the light of the flame,

    In the bonfire’s smoky breath,

Where shadows weird by the caldron crouch

    Like the witches in “Macbeth;”

Shadows that gibber and clutch and writhe,

    With laughter echoing full;

For it’s work to carry the amber juice,

    But it’s fun at the taffy-pull.

When night is clear, and the frost is keen,

    And the sap has ceased to run,

When the sugar is caking clear and crisp,

    The work of the day is done.

And through the bush with shout and song

    The weary toilers go;

But they’ll play it again on the morrow morn

    When the sap begins to flow.

—R. S. G. ANDERSON.

———

CANADA.

Hail to the Northland that cradles a nation

    Lusty and strong as the masts of her pines!

Queen of her own she reigns in her station,

    Mother of freemen she sits in her lines.

                God save the land we love;

                Make her forever prove

        Mother of men, and a home of the free,

                Let every patriot son

                Sing, while the ages run,—

        “Canada! Motherland! Our hearts beat for thee.” [page 292]

 

Honour the land where the knightliest races

    Battled as foemen to win her as prize!

Sons of these bold men we sit in their places,

    Brothers forever by surest of ties,

                God guard the land we hold

                Firm as our sires of old,

        Jealous of honor and fearless and free;

                Standing with arms at rest,

                Call we from East to West,

        “Canada! Motherland! Our hearts beat for thee.”

Blest be our land that has written in story

    Names that are worthy, and deeds that inspire!

Long may her place in the roll-call of glory

    Wake a true pride with the patriot’s fire.

                God ring the Empire round;

                But let our sons be found

        Marching, breast forward, the first of the free.

                True to the larger house

                Still shall we give the rouse,—

        “Canada! Motherland! Our hearts beat for thee.”

—R. S. G. ANDERSON.

[illustration]

[page 293]

ALEXANDER MUIR.

———

     MR. ALEXANDDER MUIR was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1834, and came to Canada while very young. His father taught school at Scarboro’, Ont., and there young Muir received his rudimentary education. He afterwards attended Queen’s University, Kingston, where he took the degree of B.A. in 1851. Mr. Muir’s life-work has been teaching. He first taught in Scarboro’ and subsequently in Newmarket, Beaverton, and other places. He came to Toronto in 1880, and is at present principal of Gladstone Avenue Public School. Mr. Muir is best known to fame as the author of “The Maple Leaf Forever,” which he composed at Leslieville in 1866. The song was set to music by the author.

THE MAPLE LEAF FOREVER.

          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!

                                       CHORUS—

                    The Maple Leaf, our emblem dear,

                        The Maple Leaf for ever;

                    God save our Queen, and Heaven bless

                        The Maple Leaf for ever! [page 294]

          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!
CHORUS—The Maple Leaf, &c.

          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 Leaf forever!

CHORUS—The Maple Leaf, &c.

          On merry England’s far-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!
CHORUS—The Maple Leaf, &c.

—ALEXANDER MUIR.

[page 295]

MRS. JESSIE WANLESS BRACK.

————

     MRS. JESSIE WANLESS BRACK is a sister of the late Mr. Andrew Wanless, the well known poet, of Detroit, Mich., and of Mr. John Wanless, jeweller, Toronto. Mrs. Brack was born in the School House, Longformacus, Berwickshire, Scotland, on September 30th, 1826. On the death of her father in 1867, Mrs. Brack came to Canada, and she now lives with her husband, George Brack, in contented retirement, at Fisherville, Vaughan Township, Ontario.

BONNIE SCOTLAND.

Though far away frae bonnie Scotland,

    Far, far away frae my ain countrie,

Yet my heart still clings to bonnie Scotland,

    To bonnie Scotland ayont the sea.

Where I gathered primroses by the burnie,

    And mountain daisies on yonder lea;

Where heart speaks to heart wi’ words sae bonnie,

    In the glens o’ Scotland ayont the sea.

Its hills and valleys, its woods and waters.

    And heathery braes ever dear to me,

In the halls o’ memory it shines sae bonnie,—

    Hame, o’ our fathers ayont the sea.

I think if I were a bird of passage,

    I would spread out my wings and away I’d flee;

I would soar away to bonnie Scotland—

    Land o’ the true hairts ayont the sea.

I would mak’ my hame by the water courses,

    And sing my songs in yon bonnie dell,

I would build by nest ’mang leafy branches,

    That overshadow the auld kirk bell.

—JESSIE WANLESS BRACK.

[page 296]

THE AULD HAME.

I dream of a house far away in auld Scotland,

    Nestling sae sweetly beside the pine trees,

Spreading their branches sae cool and inviting,

    And waving so graceful when fanned by the breeze.

’Tis the hame of my youth—how I long to behold it!

    And walk on the path I so often have trod,

The one of all others I aye thought so lovely,

    That led by the bridge to the house of our God.

There in the kirkyard so quiet and peaceful,

    And resting the parents I think of in love;

Their dust it is mixed with the clods of the valley,

    But their spirits are yonder in Heaven above.

Home of my love, how I’m longing to see thee!

    And see the dear faces and places once more;

And wander again by the home of my childhood,

    And rest on the old oaken seat at the door.

But time hastens on and in voice to me whispers:

    “Scotland again you will never see more.”

Yet often my waking dreams fly with me homeward,

    To see the auld place and to sit at the door.

—JESSIE WANLESS BRACK.

———

TAM FROTHER’S LAMENT.

AIR:—“Awbody’s Like to be Marrit but Me.”

I hae crossed the saut seas and mysel’ I’ve to blame,

It’s a lang lanesome year since I left the auld hame;

My fither was greetin’ and mother and a’,

When I packed up my trappin’s and e’en cam’ awa’. [page 297]

CHORUS:—

    But I’m gaun away hame, Willie, I’m gaun away hame,

    My hairt it is sair, and I’m gaun away hame.

When I cam’ to this country ’twas a’ new to me,

I wandered about but nae kenned face could see;

I was like to ane lost a’ my ain leefu’ lane,

And sair I did rue for no’ bidin’ at hame.

CHORUS:—

    But I’m gaun away hame, Willie, I’m gaun away hame,

    My hairt it is sair, and I’m gaun away hame.

Auld Richtie sent word I might be a big man

If I’d come oot and conform to his plan;

But his plan is sae queer I dinna like it ava

Sae my bundle is tied up, and I am gaun awa’.

CHORUS:—

    Yes, I’m gaun away hame, Willie, I’m gaun away hame,

    I rue sair my raid, and I’m gaun away hame.    

When I first saw auld Richtie my countenance fell,

For he was a miser, ’twas easy to tell;

And stinginess reigns in his kitchen and ha’

Which mak’s me mair sorry for comin’ awa’.

CHORUS:—

    But I’m gaun away hame, Willie I’m gaun away hame,

    My bundle’s tied up, and I’m gaun away hame.

He e’en grudges the morsel I put in my mooth,

But his ainsel’s sair fashed wi’ a wonderfu’ drouth;

An as for my cleedin’, I get nane ava,

Sae I’ll take far less hame than what I brought awa’. [page 298]

CHORUS:—

    But I’m gaun away hame, Willie, I’m gaun away hame,

    I hae tied up what’s left and I’m gaun away hame.

He thinks the Scotch callant should ne’er sleep ava.

But rest a wee while on a packie o’ straw,

And syne up and at it juist the very same,—

Sae I’m dune wi’ the hale o’t an’ gaun away hame.

CHORUS:—

    Sae fare ye weel, Willie, I’m off away hame,

    Then hurrah for my Jean, for auld Scotland and hame.

Think twice, neighbor Tammas, or ye gang awa’—

There’s no’ muckle siller in Scotland ava—

They hae taen it to Lonnon, although it’s no’ fair,

And they’ve sunk it in stocks an’ we’ll ne’er see’t mair.

CHORUS:—

    Sae dinna ganga hame, Tammas, dinna gang hame;

    Send for your Jean, man, but dunna gang hame.

Sae I’ve sent for my Jean, and my heart’s no’ sae wae,

She’ll help me sae brawly to climb up the brae;

When we get to the top o’t and dune wi’ a’ care,

We’ll gang away hame to see Scotland ance mair.

CHORUS:—

    Yes, we’ll gang away hame when we’re dune w’ oor care,

    To see a’ oor freen’s and auld Scotland ance mair.

—JESSIE WANLESS BRACK.

[page 299]

A SONG.

AIR:—“When the Swallows Come Again.”

The cuckoo is nae langer heard among the leafy trees,

Nor sound of lark’s melodious sang borne on the balmy breeze;

The corn-craik’s discordant note has followed in their train,

But they’ll a’ come back in springtime when the swallows come again.

        CHORUS:—

When the swallows come again, when the swallows come again,

They will come back in the springtime when the swallows come again.

I wander ’mang the brackens wi’ the sweet tear in my e’e,

For the lad that I loe best o’ a’ has crost the deep blue sea;

But faith nad hope are shining bright, though now I sigh alane,

For he is coming back to Jeanie when the swallows come again.

        CHORUS:—When the swallows come again, &c

For time that’s ever on the wing will soon bring round the day

When flowers will bloom and birds will sing on ilka bank and brae;

Then I and he that I loe best so happy will remain,

For our home will be in Beulah when the swallows come again.

        CHORUS:—

When the swallows come again, when the swallows come again,

Our home will be in Beulah when the swallows come again.

—JESSIE WANLESS BRACK.

[page 300]

LANG SYNE.

Lang syne! that is a bonnie word,

    It’s sweet baith said and sung,

It breathes sae grand the dulcet tone

    O’ oor auld mother-tongue.

Lang syne recalls to memory dear

    The friends that were sae true,

Gliding before reflection’s eye

    In panoramic view.

Hearts’ treasures of yon bonnie days  

    That can neae mair return,

When gathering wild flowers on the brae,

    Or wading in the burn.

Lang syne we climbed the Dirrington

    Where fed the fleecy flock;

To quench our thirst frae hallow’d spring

    That gushes from the rock.

And glorious on summer days,

    To climb yon mountain side,

When heather blooms and sweet blue bells

    Were scattered far and wide.

To see the wondrous heap o’ stanes

    On the hill head abune,

That auld herd bodies whispering tell

    Cam’ tumblin’ frae the mune.

There often oor forefathers met

    To hear the words divine

Flow frae the sainted Peden’s lips,

    In days of auld lang syne.

Alas! Alas! to abler hands

    This task I maun resign;

Only in thought can I pourtray

    The beauty o’ lang syne.

—JESSIE WANLESS BRACK.

[page 301]

REV. ANDREW MACNAB.

————

     REV. ANDREW MACNAB, M.A., late of Whitechurch, and at present residing at Lucknow, Ont., was born in the village of Bonhill Dumbartonshire, Scotland on June 8th, 1860. His educational career commenced at Renton, but it was sadly interrupted as he was obliged to engage in various occupations in his boyhood. However, he took advantage largely of night schools, and made good progress. In August, 1880, he came to Canada, and settled down in Toronto for a few months; but he gravitated between Canada and his native land for a year or two and ultimately entered the literary classes of Knox College and Toronto University. He got on so well here that he decided to take a degree in a Scottish University, that he might the better equip himself for the work of the ministry of the Presbyterian Church, to which he had decided to give his life. In 1889 he took the degree of M. A. in Glasgow University, and in the same year entered the Glasgow Free Church College. In 1893 he was licensed as a preacher of the Gospel by the Free Church Presbytery of Glasgow. In 1894 he was ordained to the ministry of the Presbyterian Church in Canada at Whitechurch, Ont., where he has been settled for the last five years. Before this time Mr. Macnab had been engaged in missionary work, both in Scotland and in Canada.

     Mr. Macnab very seldom cultivates poetry now, most of his verses having been written before he entered college. His conception of poetry has so changed since then that, as he himself puts it, “despairs of ever being able to write anything worth anyone’s while to read.” After a perusal of what Mr. Macnab has already written the general reader will scarcely fall in with the author’s view of the case. [page 302] 

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: REV. ANDREW MACNAB.]

[blank page]

WRITTEN IN A BIRCH-BARK ALBUM.

My heart goes out with every word I write

Upon this page, stripped from the living tree,

With warm affection. Both by day and night

A linkless chain binds it to thine and thee.

May God’s best sunshine on thy pathway lie;

May sin and sorrow with their deadly blight

Far from thy heart and dwelling ever flee.

Such is the wish of him thou knowest thine,—

A worse shall ne’er find harbourage in heart of mine.

—A. MACNAB.

———

FAREWEEL TAE SCOTIA’S HILLS AND VALES

Ye hills an’ valleys a’ aroon’,

    Bedecked in a’ yer vernal splendour,

An’ burns that through the ravines croon,

    An’ birds that chant yer lays sae tender;

My constant freens lang hae ye been,

    Some lichtsome days I’ve spent amang ye,

An’ in the sultry simmer’s e’en

    In joyous strains I’ve aften sang ye.

But noo I bid ye a’ fareweel,—

    Ayont the sea a hame I’m seekin’;

Adoon my cheeks the saut tears steal

    Fu’ hurriedly while thus I’m speakin’;

My hert is loupin’ tae my mou’,

    My feelin’s a’ are in commotion,

Tae think that I maun bid adieu

    Tae ye, an’ cross th’ Atlantic ocean. [page 305]

I’ll min’ ye a’ when I’m awa’,

    I’ll see ye aften in my dreamin’,

Ilk nicht I’ll roam through dell an’ shaw,

    An’ see the corries thickly gleamin’;

But should I ever prosperous be,

    Tae be ance mair amang ye roamin’,

I’ll dare the dangers o’ the sea,

    Wi’ a’ its billows wildly foamin’.

—A. MACNAB.

———

THE FIRST-BORN.

A soul new-veiled in a human form

    To our home came down last night,

When the darkness was at the blackest,

    From the land of radiant light.

He came as a blessed message

    From the King on the throne above,

A message of joy and gladness

    A message of peace and love.

He came not alone, for an angel

    Came with him to shew him the way

Through the spaces of mirk and darkness

    To the land of the night and the day.

When weary, the angel bore him

    As he came like a blaze of light

Till he landed his precious burden,

    And brought joy to our home last night.

Thou servant of Him who is highest,

    Thou brightest of angels above,

Speed back to “Our Father” thy Master,

    Who has lent us this bundle of love;

Let Him know that our hearts are brighter,

    That our gratitude cannot be told,

That we praise Him and prize our darling

    Far more than a world of gold.

—A. MACNAB.

[page 306]

THE BIRTH OF THE BAY.

Oh, thou beauteous bay, with thy waters of blue

    So calmly reflecting the sun’s brilliant sheen,

Like a glittering mirror, all flawless and true,

    Pray tell me how long in thy bed thou hast been?

How long hast thou worn thy fait girdle of green?

    How long have thy lime cliffs looked down as in scorn?

Canst thou tell if thou art as thou always hast been

    Since the earliest hour of earth’s earliest morn?

Ah! no, thy white cliffs are a book of the past

    In which we may read of a time that is gone

When thou wert not yet, but a sea deep and vast—

    A life-teeming sea—rolled their waters upon

The place where thou art. For a myriad years

    They abode where they were till the earth as in pain

With the weight of her burden, and crushed too with fears

    Quaked, and heaved her vast breast and gave birth to a plain

That stretched far and wide where the sea rolled before.

    Then the earth became calm, when relieved of her load,

And the sun coursed the heavens and the stars as of yore,

    Till plants, birds and beasts made the plain their abode.

There was peace on the sea; there was peace on the earth

    While ages rolled on. Then again came a day,

The day to be known as the day of thy birth,

    Thou beauteous, blue-shining, green-girdled bay.

Mother earth by wild forces, deep-hidden within,

    Was tortured and torn, till she racked and she rent,

And a loud rumbling roar like the terrible din

    Of a myriad thunders to high heaven she sent.

Then the plain became hollow, the waters rushed in

    And blue they became as they are at this day;

And the cliffs like gaunt spectres all envy within

    Looked with scorn on thy beauty, thou green-girdled bay. [page 307] 

Now we look on thy beauty; we look and adore

    As thy mirror-like bosom reflects the sun’s sheen,

While we think of the sea, and the plain now no more,

    We rejoice that better is now where they’ve been.

—A. MACNAB.

———

TRUE FRIENDSHIP.

Friendship is a band that binds

    Two kindred souls together

A band no earthly power can shake—

    A sympathetic tie, that finds

Most strength in foulest weather,

    And death alone its links can break.

—A. MACNAB.

———

IN MEMORIAM.

Living she breathed a fragrance sweet around,

    Which, wafted by the winds of holy speech

    And holier deeds, to many a heart did reach,

And perfumed ever where it lodgement found.

Dead? nay, asleep, yet more than e’er awake

    Her actions pure, sweet essence of the soul,

    Will still, though she has reached the blissful goal,

Breathe perfume till the morning dawn shall break.

—A. MACNAB.

[page 308]

ALPHABETICAL INDEX

———

Acadie

Lockhart

249

Additional Verses to the Shanty

Boyd

67

After a Hundred Years

Mortimer

194

Again We Meet

Tytler

145

Ancient Bards, The

Lockhart

254

Apple Parin’ Bee, The

MacKay

224

Auld Granny Graham

Maitland

94

Auld Hame, The

Lockhart

248

Auld Hame, The

Brack

297

Auld Scotland

Steele

278

Autumn and Age

Steele

282

Awake, and Away!

Maitland

90

Bachelor in his Shanty, The

Boyd

61

Banks of the Irvine, The

Simpson

13

Beannachd Dheireannach an Eilthirich Ghaelich

MacColl

36

Birth of the Bay, The

MacNab

307

Boat Song, A

Lockhart

251

Bonnie Scotland

Brack

296

Burn’s Answer, The

Reid

165

Ca’ Me “Scotty!”

Imrie

43

Canada

Lockhart

246

Canada

Anderson

292

Canada, Land of the Free

Nelson

228

[unnumbered page]

Carlo

Steele

283

Child of Promise, The

MacColl

34

Crape on the Door

Wingfield

263

Crofter’s Song, The

Anderson

290

Cry of the Hillmen, The

Reid

162

Curling Song, A

Boyd

58

Days of Old, The

Reid

164

Does Memory Live?

Graham

124

Dream, A

Mortimer

205

Dreams

MacKay

223

Dust to Dust

Steele

284

Eastern Twilight

McCaig

180

Echoes of Sixty Years, The

Simpson

20

Evening

McCaig

185

Far Away

Burgess

268

Fareweel tae Scotia’s Hills and Vales

Macnab

305

Felling of the Forest, The

Mortimer

198

First-Born, The

MacNab

306

Flag of Our Country, The

Simpson

18

Forget-Me-Not, The

Pirie

132

Fraser’s Drinking Song

Newhall

258

Gael’s Heritage, The

MacCormack

233

Ghaists

Lockhart

250

God

McLachlan

79

God Bless the Maple Leaf

Simpson

16

Gordon Highlanders at Dargai

Imrie

47

Greenwood, The

Lockhart

252

Haggis

Ross

189

[page 310]

Hallowe’en

MacKay

222

Herd Laddie, The

Boyd

53

Hey-a-day! Ho-a-day!

Maitland

93

Hills of the Heather, The

MacColl

35

Home-Maker, The

Maitland

92

Hurrah for the New Dominion

McLachlan

78

In Memoriam

Burgess

274

In Memoriam

MacNab

308

In Memory of David Kennedy

Laidlaw

151

In Western Woods

Macfarlane

239

Jeanie

Lockhart

253

Lake of the Thousand Isles, The

MacColl

33

Land that’s Truly Free, The

Wingfield

265

Lang Syne

Brack

301

Life

Bruce

85

Lone Grave, A

Clark

171

Lost Langsyne, The

Macfarlane

240

Louie Campbell

Smith

136

Maple Leaf Forever. The

Muir

294

Maple Tree, The

McLachlan

75

May Song

Bruce

82

Memories of Guelph

Burgess

276

Mother

Mortimer

211

Murder of Thomas Scott, The

Pirie

129

My Auld Scottish Hame

Burgess

270

My Birthplace

Murray

99

My Island Home

McCaig

184

My Own Canadian Home

Nelson

225

Mystery

McLachlan

80

[page 311]

Nelly and Mary

Mortimer

202

No Country’s like Our Own Dear Land.

Graham

125

Nobody’s Child

Simpson

15

Oatmeal

Steele

281

Of a’ the Lads e’er Scotland saw

Murdoch

118

Old Graveyard, The

Harper

216

Old Moss Back, The

Ross

193

Old Scottish Songs, The

Laidlaw

149

On the Death of William Brown

Ross

191

Oor Baldy, the Loon

Macfarlane

240

O, the Woods!

Smith

138

Our Mither Tongue

Wanless

107

Per Contra

Boyd

68

Prayer, A

Murdoch

117

Precentor, The

Anderson

289

Prodigal Child, The

Graham

126

Queen Morning

Mortimer

211

”Quit ye Like Men.”

Laidlaw

156

Rain it Falls, The

McLachlan

76

Raise the Flag

Nelson

227

Rambling Thoughts

Steele

283

River St. Lawrence, The

Boyd

56

River, The

MacCormack

235

Robert Burns

McLachlan

72

Robert Burns

Burgess

272

Robert Burns

Steele

282

St. Andrew’s by the Sea

Lockhart

247

St. Andrew’s Day, 1896

Marshall

113

[page 312]

St. Andrew’s Society Pic-nic

Telford

174

Scotch Dainties

Imrie

45

Scotia’s Thistle

Laidlaw

154

Scotland—A Long Time Ago

Steele

285

Scottish Emigrant’s Lament, The

Simpson

19

Scottish Plaid, The

Murray

102

Sentiment, A

Mortimer

209

Shillin’ or Twa’, A

Wingfield

264

Snowfall in a Highland Glen

MacColl

31

Somebody’s Child

Mortimer

200

Song—Through now far frae our native hame

Boyd

55

Song—Some seem to think our mission here

Mortimer

210

Song—The sun i’ the west had gane doon to rest

Ross

190

Song—The cuckoo is nae langer heard

Brack

300

Song for the Backwoodsman

Boyd

51

Songs I Sing

Newhall

259

Stanzas

Boyd

52

Strength in Union

Clark

170

Sugar-Making

Anderson

291

Tam Frother’s Lament

Brack

297

Temperance Cause, The

Pirie

130

There’s aye a Something

Graham

123

There the Weary are at Rest

Tytler

140

Thou God of Nations, Guard Our Land!

Simpson

12

To a Copy of Burn’s Poems

McKeracher

242

To a Friend

Steele

286

To a Sprig of Heather

Harper

216

To the Morning Star

MacColl

32

Touch of the Divine, The

Imrie

46

Trials

Clark

172

[page 313]

Tribute to the Toads, A

Mortimer

209

True Friendship

MacNab

308

True Victory

Maitland

91

Unspoken, The

Lockhart

252

Up! and Be a Hero!

McLachlan

73

Valley of the Shadow of Death, The

Tytler

143

Welcome to Spring, A

Boyd

59

Wha Dur Meddle Me?

Wanless

108

Whaup, The

Reid

161

When the Heather Scents the Air

Macfarlane

236

Where’er We May Wander

McLachlan

77

White Heather

Smith

139

Whustle as Ye Go!

Imrie

44

Wi’ the Laverock i’ the Lift

Smith

137

Woodland Vision, A

Mortimer

208

Written in a Birch-Bark Album

MacNab

305

Young Minister, The

Anderson

287

[illustration]

[page 314]

[3 blank pages]

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