Poems and Essays

by Joseph Howe




Hail to the day when the Briton came o’er
    And planted his flag where the Mayflower blows,
And gathered the blossoms, unheeded before,
    To entwine with the Shamrock, the Thistle, and Rose.

Let us never forget, while our revels we keep
    ’Neath the shade of the green woods that hang overhead,
The labors of those in our churchyards who sleep,
    But fill up a bumper to honor the Dead.

Oh! dear to our hearts is the land they bequeathed,
    And the standard they reared proudly waves o’er us yet;
While we gather and cherish the flowers they wreathed,
    Let us never the graves of our fathers forget.

They vanquished the forest to make us a home,
    Though the knife of the savage defended each grove;
And, while ocean’s proud waves round our headlands shall foam,
    This day must be honored where’ever we rove. [Page 61]

The valleys their garments of emerald wear,
    The flocks on the mountains unherried repose,
And the songs of our maidens rise mirthful and clear
    By the side of each stream in the starlight that flows.

The Cities are growing with wealth in their train,
    The Hamlet securely expands in the glen;
And our white sails are glancing far over the main,
    To the islands that nourish’d those stout hearted men.

Then fill up a bumper, uncovered, we’ll name,
    And drink to THE DEAD, and the day they’ve endeared;
May the spirit they left, like a circle of a flame,
    Guard forever the homes and the standard they rear’d.
    [Page 62]