Poems and Essays

by Joseph Howe




    [Presented to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, at Windsor, by Lady Laura Phipps, in behalf of the ladies of Hants county.]
Queen of the thousand Isles! whose fragile form,
’Midst the proud structures of our Father Land,
Graces the throne, that each subsiding storm
That shakes the earth, assures us yet shall stand
Thy gentle voice, of mild yet firm command, [Page 74]

  Is heard in ev’ry clime, on ev’ry wave,
Thy dazzling scepter, like a fairy wand,
Strikes off the shackles from the struggling slave,

And gathers, ’neath its rule, the great, the wise, the brave.
But yet, ’misdt all the treasures that surround
  Thy Royal Halls, one bliss is still denied,—
To know the true hearts at thy name that bound,
Which ocean from thy presence must divide,
Whose voices never swell the boisterous tide
But yet who cherish, with a Briton’s pride,
  And breathe to infant lips, from year to year,
The name thy budding virtues taught them to revere.
How little deem’st thou of the scenes remote,
In which one word, all other words above,
Of earthly homage seems to gaily float
  On every breeze, and sound through every grove—
A spell to cheer, to animate, to move—
To bid old age throw off the weight of years,
To cherish thoughts of loyalty and love,
To garner round the heart those hopes and fears
  Which, in our Western Homes, VICTORIA’S name endears.

’Tis not that, on our soil, the measured tread
Of armed legions speaks thy sovereign sway,
’Tis not the huge leviathans that spread
Thy meteor flag above each noble bay, [Page 75]
  That bids the soul a forced obedience pay!
—The despot’s tribute from the trembling thrall—
No! At our altars sturdy freemen pray
That blessings on VICTORIA’S head may fall,

And happy household groups each pleasing trait recall.
And gladly, with our Country’s choicest flowers,
Thy son and Heir Acadia’s maidens greet,
Who shared thy roof, and deigns to honor ours
For moments rapt’rous, but alas! how fleet!
And if in future times the thoughts be sweet
  To him, of humble scenes beyond the sea,
When turning home his mother’s smile to meet,
And mingle with the high born and the free—
We’ll long remember Him who best reflected Thee!
      1860. [Page 76]