FAIR Canada,—within whose snowy arms
      My infant breath was nurtur’d,—yet once more
   The dark blue sea, hath borne me to thy charms
      To hail with manhood’s voice,—my native shore;
   Far years have glided, since my heart first wore
      The youthful bright impressions of the scene
   Still hallow’d fondly in my bosom’s core
      Which Memory’s font supplies;—altho’ between
Those fairer hours, and me, some shadows intervene.


Yet hath remembrance cherish’d in my breast

      Thoughts of my boyhood, and of infant mirth,
   When all was youthful innocence possess’d
      And Time with pleasure crown’d each moment’s birth,
   And these are thoughts which spring—my parent Earth,
      With melancholy feelings to retrace,
   Days when such hours came sweetly smiling forth
      And blue-eye’d Hope with soft unclouded face
Ran in delighted round, its golden circled race.


   Clime of my birth,—of cataract and wood,
      Where the vast river-god’s titanic hand

   Hath mark’d the roaring pathways of the flood,
      Whose rapid waters foam along the land,—
   Where boundless forests, gloomily,—yet grand,
      Wave their high tops to the wild storm upcurl’d,
   Still unexplor’d save by some savage band
      Thro’ ages—since Columbus first unfurl’d
The banner of his fame upon the Western world:—


   To thee, the tribute of my lowly strain
      Is offer’d gratefully at such a shrine:
   Pure is the incense, which it now would deign

      To shower with filial heart on thee and thine;
   And tho’ the chaplet which my muse can twine
      Meet the rude fingers of contempt and scorn,
   And he who homag’d to the heavenly Nine
      Droop his head low, by hopeless feelings torn,
Watering with silent tears, the soil where he was born:—


   Yet on thy bosom, let me lay the wreath,
      Such as thy minstrel’s humble powers could bind
   ’Tis all that Fate hath giv’n me to bequeath,
      The fervent praises of a grateful mind;

   And as the fragrance carried on the wind,
      From flowers exhal’d,—perfumes with balmy sighs,
   So shall fair memory, (whereso’er inclin’d
      My footsteps rove,)—its fairy visions rise,
And paint thy scenes anew, with their endearing ties,


   Recalling pastimes, when I lov’d to stray
      In youth’s diversion, smilingly from home,
   Where the swift Montmorenci pours its spray
      In the loud cataract’s convulsive foam;
   Or o’er the Diamond Cape, still led to roam,

      Bounded along ’midst jocund school-boy train,
   When Summer’s beams illumin’d nature’s dome,
      And blithely sporting thence, o’er Abraham’s Plain
Tripp’d o’er its flower-crown’d site—brave Wolfe’s
                                                       immortal fane.


   Yet lisping then, in Poesy’s first words,

      Creation seem’d the Spring of joyous hours,—
   The roar of waters, and the song of birds,
      The voice of Zephyrus thro’ rosy bowers,
   The incense sweet, which fragrant nature showers
      O’er all her gifts, bespoke the brim of mirth,
   And if awhile the thunder’s awful powers
      Shook its repose, and caus’d a moment’s dearth,
Soon did th’ ensuing bloom—woke to a lovelier birth.


   To haunt along thy green embowering woods,
      Where the sweet plant, and perfum’d floweret springs

   In the cool bosom of its solitudes
      Where many a squirrel chirps, and wild bird sings;—
   To muse beneath, where the loud torrent rings
      Its volum’d waters in the gulph below,
   From whence the glittering spray, its moisture flings,
      And the white vapour mounts—a cloud of snow,
O’er which the Iris sweet, shines with celestial glow.


   Past hopes,—past joys,—Care with increasing age,
      Heaps up its increase too, and the rous’d soul
   Journeying thro’ Life’s uncertain pilgrimage,

      Plods, with the rest to the same awful goal;—
   We are all pilgrims, whose contentions roll
      With Time into Eternity,—albeit
   The sword,—or state,—the silver’d heap, or scroll,
      Charm our rous’d passions with the glittering cheat, 80
Still do we grasp, allur’d,—by what we deem most sweet.


   But mine,—maternal Nature, is to be
      Infatuation’s spell at thy fair shrine,
   In the wild wanderings of my minstrelsy,
      To revel o’er thy charms, and to entwine

   The song of praise, where Fancy’s rays incline;
      And whilst all aspirations high, inspire
   Man in temptation of each proud design,
      I seek no fame,—fair land,—than the warm fire
Which can accent thy praise, upon my lowly lyre.


   Peace to thy hearths, and Plenty in thy halls,—
      Could happiness be heard to ask for more?
   These, and the many which our varied calls
      On nature seek,—alight upon thy shore;
   And when this fleeting life, which wanes, is o’er,

      And Death hath set its seal on this cold frame,
   Glanc’d on this page, some heart may ’chance restore,
      A passing thought of him—whose loftiest aim
Was to conjoin at last, his Memory with thy name!—