Memories of Canada and Scotland - Speeches and Verses
by John Douglas Sutherland Campbell
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CANADA, 1882




































































































CANADA, 1882.

"Are hearts here strong enough to found A glorious people's sway?" Ask of our rivers as they bound From hill to plain, or ocean-sound, If they are strong to-day? If weakness in their floods be found, Then may ye answer "Nay!"

"Is union yours? may foeman's might Your love ne'er break or chain?" Go see if o'er our land the flight Of Spring be stayed by blast or blight; If Fall bring never grain; If Summer suns deny their light, Then may our hope be vain!

"Yet far too cramped the narrow space Your country's rule can own?" Ah! travel all its bounds and trace Each Alp unto its fertile base, Our realm of forests lone, Our world of prairie, like the face Of ocean, hardly known!

"Yet for the arts to find a shrine, Too rough, I ween, and rude?" Yea, if you find no flower divine With prairie grass or hardy pine. No lilies with the wood, Or on the water-meadows' line No purple Iris' flood!

"You deem a nation here shall stand, United, great, and free?" Yes, see how Liberty's own hand With ours the continent hath spanned, Strong-arched, from sea to sea: Our Canada's her chosen land, Her roof and crown to be!


O fortress city, bathed by streams Majestic as thy memories great, Where mountains, floods, and forests mate The grandeur of the glorious dreams, Born of the hero hearts who died In founding here an Empire's pride; Prosperity attend thy fate, And happiness in thee abide, Pair Canada's strong tower and gate!

May Envy, that against thy might Dashed hostile hosts to surge and break, Bring Commerce, emulous to make Thy people share her fruitful fight, In filling argosies with store Of grain and timber, and each ore, And all a continent can shake Into thy lap, till more and more Thy praise in distant worlds awake.

Who hath not known delight whose feet Have paced thy streets or terrace way; From rampart sod or bastion grey Hath marked thy sea-like river greet.

The bright and peopled banks which shine In front of the far mountain's line; Thy glittering roofs below, the play Of currents where the ships entwine Their spars, or laden pass away?

As we who joyously once rode Past guarded gates to trumpet sound, Along the devious ways that wound O'er drawbridges, through moats, and showed The vast St. Lawrence flowing, belt The Orleans Isle, and sea-ward melt; Then by old walls with cannon crowned, Down stair-like streets, to where we felt The salt winds blown o'er meadow ground.

Where flows the Charles past wharf and dock. And Learning from Laval looks down, And quiet convents grace the town. There swift to meet the battle shock Montcalm rushed on; and eddying back, Red slaughter marked the bridge's track: See now the shores with lumber brown, And girt with happy lands which lack No loveliness of Summer's crown.

Quaint hamlet-alleys, border-filled With purple lilacs, poplars tall, Where flits the yellow bird, and fall The deep eave shadows. There when tilled The peasant's field or garden bed, He rests content if o'er his head From silver spires the church-bells call To gorgeous shrines, and prayers that gild The simple hopes and lives of all.

Winter is mocked by garbs of green, Worn by the copses flaked with snow,— White spikes and balls of bloom, that blow In hedgerows deep; and cattle seen In meadows spangled thick with gold, And globes where lovers' fates are told Around the red-doored houses low; While rising o'er them, fold on fold, The distant hills in azure glow.

Oft in the woods we long delayed, When hours were minutes all too brief, For Nature knew no sound of grief; But overhead the breezes played, And in the dank grass at our knee, Shone pearls of our green forest sea, The star-white flowers of triple leaf Which love around the brooks to be, Within the birch and maple shade.

At times we passed some fairy mere Embosomed in the leafy screen, And streaked with tints of heaven's sheen, Where'er the water's surface clear Bore not the hues of verdant light From myriad boughs on mountain height, Or near the shadowed banks were seen The sparkles that in circlets bright Told where the fishes' feast had been.

And when afar the forests flushed In falling swathes of fire, there soared Dark clouds where muttering thunder roared, And mounting vapours lurid rushed, While a metallic lustre flew Upon the vivid verdure's hue, Before the blasts and rain forth poured, And slow o'er mighty landscapes drew The grandest pageant of the Lord:

The threatening march of flashing cloud, With tumults of embattled air, Blest conflicts for the good they bear! A century has God allowed None other, since the days He gave Unequal fortune to the brave. Comrades in death! you live to share An equal honour, for your grave Bade Enmity take Love as heir!

We watched, when gone day's quivering haze, The loops of plunging foam that beat The rocks at Montmorenci's feet Stab the deep gloom with moonlit rays; Or from the fortress saw the streams Sweep swiftly o'er the pillared beams; White shone the roofs, and anchored fleet, And grassy slopes where nod in dreams Pale hosts of sleeping Marguerite.

Or when the dazzling Frost King mailed Would clasp the wilful waterfall, Fast leaping to her snowy hall She fled; and where her rainbows hailed Her freedom, painting all her home, We climbed her spray-built palace dome, Shot down the radiant glassy wall Until we reached the snowdrift foam, As shoots to waves some meteor ball.

Then homeward, hearing song or tale, With chime of harness bells we sped Above the frozen river bed. The city, through a misty veil, Gleamed from her cape, where sunset fire Touched louvre and cathedral spire, Bathed ice and snow a rosy red, So beautiful that men's desire For May-time's rival wonders fled:

What glories hath this gracious land, Fit home for many a hardy race; Where liberty has broadest base, And labour honours every hand! Throughout her triply thousand miles The sun upon each season smiles, And every man has scope and space, And kindliness, from strand to strand, Alone is born to right of place!

Such were our memories. May they yet Be shared by others, sent to be Signs of the union of the free And kindred peoples God hath set O'er famous isles, and fertile zones Of continents! Or if new thrones And mighty States arise, may He Whose potent hand yon river owns Smooth their great future's shrouded Sea!



A moment's pause before we play our parts, To speak the thought that reigns within your hearts.— Now from the Future's hours, and unknown days, Affection turns, and with the Past delays; For countless voices in our mighty land Speak the fond praises of a vanished hand; And shall, to mightier ages yet, proclaim The happy memories linked with Dufferin's name.

Missed here is he, to whom each class and creed, Among our people lately bade "God speed;" Missed, when each Winter sees the skater wheel In ringing circle on the flashing steel; Missed in the Spring, the Summer and the Fall, In many a hut, as in the Council Hall; Where'er his wanderings on Duty's hest Evoked his glowing speech, his genial jest. We mourn his absence, though we joy that now Old England's honours cluster round his brow, And that he left us but to serve again Our Queen and Empire on the Neva's plain!

Amidst the honoured roll of those whose fate It was to crown our fair Canadian State, And bind in one bright diadem alone, Each glorious Province, each resplendent stone, His name shall last, and his example give To all her sons a lesson how to live: How every task, if met with heart as bold, Proves the hard rock is seamed with precious gold, And Labour, when with Mirth and Love allied, Finds friends far stronger than in Force and Pride, And Sympathy and Kindness can be made The potent weapons by which men are swayed. He proved a nation's trust can well be won By loyal work and constant duty done; The wit that winged the wisdom of his word Set forth our glories, till all Europe heard How wide the room our Western World can spare For all who nobly toil and bravely dare.

And while the statesman we revere, we know In him the friend is gone, to whom we owe So much of gaiety, so much which made Life's duller round to seem in joy repaid. These little festivals by him made bright, With grateful thoughts of him renewed to-night, Remind no less of her who deigned to grace This mimic world, and fill therein her place With the sweet dignity and gracious mien The race of Hamilton has often seen; But never shown upon the wider stage Where the great "cast" is writ on History's page, More purely, nobly, than by her, whose voice Here moved to tears, or made the heart rejoice, And who in act and word, at home, or far, Shone with calm beauty like the Northern Star!

Green as the Shamrock of their native Isle Their memory lives, and babes unborn shall smile And share in happiness the pride that blends Our country's name with her beloved friends!



From our Dominion never Take Thy protecting hand, United, Lord, for ever Keep Thou our fathers' land! From where Atlantic terrors Our hardy seamen train, To where the salt sea mirrors The vast Pacific chain. Aye one with her whose thunder Keeps world-watch with the hours, Guard Freedom's home and wonder, "This Canada of ours."

Fair days of fortune send her, Be Thou her Shield and Sun! Our land, our flag's Defender, Unite our hearts as one! One flag, one land, upon her May every blessing rest I For loyal faith and honour Her children's deeds attest Aye one with her, &c.

No stranger's foot, insulting, Shall tread our country's soil; While stand her sons exulting For her to live and toil. She hath the victor's guerdon, Her's are the conquering hours, No foeman's yoke shall burden "This Canada of ours." Aye one with her, &c.

Our sires, when times were sorest, Asked none but aid Divine, And cleared the tangled forest, And wrought the buried mine. They tracked the floods and fountains, And won, with master-hand, Far more than gold in mountains, The glorious Prairie-land. Aye one with her, &c,

O Giver of earth's treasure, Make Thou our nation strong; Pour forth Thine hot displeasure On all who work our wrong! To our remotest border Let plenty still increase, Let Liberty and Order, Bid ancient feuds to cease. Aye one with her, &c.

May Canada's fair daughters Keep house for hearts as bold As theirs who o'er the waters Came hither first of old. The pioneers of nations! They showed the world the way; Tis ours to keep their stations, And lead the van to-day. Aye one with her, &c.

Inheritors of glory, O countrymen! we swear To guard the flag whose story Shall onward victory bear. Where'er through earth's far regions Its triple crosses fly, For God, for home, our legions Shall win, or fighting die! Aye one with her, &c.


1. We have poled our staunch canoe Many a boiling torrent through; Paddling where the eddies drew, Athwart the roaring flood we flew.

Chorus— Dip your paddles! make them leap, Where the clear cold waters sweep. Dip your paddles! steady keep, Where breaks the rapid down the steep.

2. Where the wind, like censer, flings Smoke-spray wider as it swings, Hark! the aisle of rainbow rings To falls that hymn the King of kings.

3. Lifting there our vessel tight, Climbed we bank and rocky height, Bore her through thick woods, where light Fell dappling those green haunts of Night.

4. O'er the rush of billows hurled, Where they tossed and leaped and curled, Past each wave-worn boulder whirled, How fast we sailed, no sail unfurled!

5. Laughs from parted lips and teeth Hailed the quiet reach beneath, Damascened in ferny sheath, And girt with pine and maple wreath.

6. Oh, the lovely river there Made all Nature yet more fair; Wooded hills and azure air Kissed, quivering, in the stream they share.

7. Plunged the salmon, waging feud 'Gainst the jewelled insect-brood; From aerial solitude An eagle's shadow crossed the wood.

8. Flapped the heron, and the grey Halcyon talked from cedar's spray, Drummed the partridge far away;— Ah! could we choose to live as they!


Is it Man alone who merits Immortality or death? Each created thing inherits Equal air and common breath.

Souls pass onward: some are ranging Happy hunting-grounds, and some Are as joyous, though in changing Form be altered, language dumb.

Beauteous all, if fur or feather, Strength or gift of song be theirs; He who planted all together Equally their fate prepares.

Like to Time, that dies not, living Through the change the seasons bring, So men, dying, are but giving Life to some fleet foot or wing.

Bird and beast the Savage cherished, But the Robins loved he best; O'er the grave where he has perished They shall thrive and build their nest.

Hunted by the white invader, Vanish ancient races all; Yet no ruthless foe or trader Silences the songster's call.

For the white man too rejoices, Welcoming Spring's herald bird, When the ice breaks, and the voices From the rushing streams are heard.

Where the Indian's head-dress fluttered, Pale the settler would recoil, And his deepest curse was uttered On the Red Son of the soil.

Later knew he not, when often Gladness with the Robin came, How a spirit-change could soften Hate to dear affection's flame:

Knew not, as he heard, delighted, Mellow notes in woodlands die, How his heart had leaped, affrighted At that voice in battle-cry.

For a youthful Savage, keeping Long his cruel fast, had prayed, All his soul in yearning steeping, Not for glory, chase, or maid;

But to sing in joy, and wander, Following the summer hours, Drinking where the streams meander, Feasting with the leaves and flowers.

Once his people saw him painting Red his sides and red his breast, Said: "His soul for fight is fainting, War-paint suits the hero best;"

Went, when passed the night, loud calling, Found him not, but where he lay Saw a Robin, whose enthralling Carol seemed to them to say;

"I have left you! I am going Far from fast and winter pain; When the laughing water's flowing Hither I will come again!"

Thus his ebon locks still wearing, With the war-paint on his breast, Still he comes, our summer sharing, And the lands he once possessed.

Finding in the white man's regions Foemen none, but friends whose heart Loves the Robins' happy legions, Mourns when, silent, they depart.



Though the ebbing ocean listens To Ugond's throbbing roar, Calm the conquering flood-tide glistens Where the river raved before. [1]

[1] The Bay of Fundy tide rises to such a height that it flows up the St. John River channel to some distance, silencing the roar of the Calls, which pour over a great ledge of rock left by the ebbing sea. Taken very literally from a tale in the "Amaranth Magazine," 1841.

So the sea-brought strangers, stronger Than their Indian foes of old, Conquered, till were heard no longer War-songs through the forests rolled.

Yet the land's wild stream, begotten Where its Red Sons fought and died, With traditions unforgotten Strives to stem Oblivion's tide; Tells the mighty, who, like ocean, Whelm the native stream, how they First in far dim days' commotion, Wrestling, fought for empire's sway.

Hear the sad cascade, ere ever Sinks in rising tides its moan, True may be the tale, though never By the victor ocean known.

Now the chant rings softly, finding Freedom as the sea retires; Loudly now, through spray-tears blinding Throb and thunder silver lyres;

Silenced when the strong sea-water To its great' heart, limitless, Rising, takes the valley's daughter, Soothes the song of her distress.


For a while the salt brine leaves me O'er my terraced rocks to fall, And my broad swift-gliding waters Olden memories recall.

Ere the tallest pines were seedlings With my life-stream these were blent; As a father's words, like arrows Straight to children's hearts are sent,

So my currents speeding downwards, Ever passing, sing the same Story of the days remembered, When the stranger people came. Men of mighty limbs and voices, Bearing shining shields and knives, Painted gleamed their hair like evening, When the sun in ocean dives.

Blue their eyes and tall their stature, Huge as Indian shadows seen When the sun through mists of morning Casts them o'er a clear lake's sheen.

From before the great Pale-faces Fled the tribes to woods and caves, Watching thence their fearful councils, Where they talked beside the waves.

For they loved the shores, and fashioned Houses from its stones, and there Fished and rested, danced at night-time By their fire and torches' glare.

Sang loud songs before the pine-logs As they crackled in the flame, Raised and drank from bone-cups, shouting Fiercely some strange spirit's name.

Turning to the morning's pathway, Cried they thus to gods, and none Dared to fight the bearded giants, Children of the fire and sun.

From their bodies fell our flint-darts, Yet their arrows flew, like rays Flashing from the rocks where polished By the ice in winter days.

Then the Indians prayed the spirits Haunting river, bank, and hill, To let hatred, like marsh vapour, Rise among their foes and kill.

And they seemed to heed, for anger Often maddened all the band, Fighting for some stones that glittered Yellow on Ugond's sand.

Seeing axe and spear-head crimson, Hope illumined doubt and dread, And our land's despairing children Called upon the mighty dead.

All the Northern night-air shaking, Rose the ancients' bright array, Burning lines of battle breaking Darkness into lurid day.

But the stranger hearts were hardened, Fearless slept they; then at last Our Great Spirit heard, and answered From his home in heaven vast.

For his waving locks were tempests, And the thunder-cloud his frown; Where he trod the earthquake followed, And the forests bowed them down.

As his whirlwind struck the mountains, Rent and lifted, swayed the ground; Winged knives of crooked lightning Gleamed from skies and gulfs profound.

Floods, from wonted channels driven, Roared at falling hillside's shock; What was land became the torrent, What was lake became the rock.

Now the river and the ocean, Whispering, say: "Our floods alone See white skeletons slow-moving Near the olden walls of stone."

Moving slow in stream and sea-tide, There the stranger warriors sleep, And their shades still cry in anguish Where the foaming waters leap.


For strife against the ocean tribe The Mohawks' war array Comes floating down, where broad St. John Reflects the dawning day.

A camp is seen, and victims fall, And none are left to flee; A maid alone is spared, compelled A traitress guide to be. The swift canoes together keep, And o'er their gliding prows The silent girl points down the stream, Nor halt nor rest allows.

"Speak! are we near your fires? How dark Night o'er these waters lies!" Still pointing down the rushing stream, The maiden naught replies.

The banks fly past, the water seethes; The Mohawks shout, "To shore! Where is the girl?" Her cry ascends From out the river's roar.

The foaming rapids rise and flash A moment o'er her head, And smiling as she sinks, she knows Her foemen's course is sped;

A moment hears she shriek on shriek From hearts that death appals, As, seized by whirling gulfs, the crews Are drawn into the falls!


There's a warrior hunting o'er prairie and hill, Who in sunshine or starlight is eager to kill, Who ne'er sleeps by his fire on the wild river's shore, Where the green cedars shake to the white rapids' roar.

Ever tireless and noiseless, he knows not repose, Be the land filled with summer, or lifeless with snows; But his strength gives him few he can count as his friends, Man and beast fly before him wherever he wends,

For he chases alike every form that has breath, And his darts must strike all,—for that hunter is Death!! Lo! a skeleton armed, and his scalp-lock yet streams; From this vision of fear of the Iroquois' dreams!



Cherry bloom and green buds bursting Fleck the azure skies; In the spring wood, hungering, thirsting, Faint an Indian lies.

To behold his guardian spirit Fasts the dusky youth; Prays that thus he may inherit Warrior strength and truth.

Weak he grows, the war-path gory Seems a far delight; Now he scans the flowers, whose glory Is not won by fight.

"Hunger kills me; see my arrow Bloodless lies: I ask, If life's doom be grave-pit narrow, Deathless make its task.

"For man's welfare guide my being, So I shall not die Like the flow'rets, fading, fleeing, When the snow is nigh.

"Medicine from the plants we borrow, Salves from many a leaf; May they not kill hunger's sorrow, Give with food relief?"

Suddenly a spirit shining From the sky came down, Green his mantle, floating, twining, Gold his feather crown.

"I have heard thy thought unspoken; Famous thou shall be; Though no scalp shall be the token, Men shall speak of thee.

"Bravely borne, men's heaviest burden Ever lighter lies; Wrestling with me, win the guerdon; Gain thy wish, arise!"

Now he rises, and, prevailing, Hears the angel say: "Strong in weakness, never failing, Strive yet one more day.

"Now again I come, and find thee Yet with courage high, So that, though my arms can bind thee, Victor thou, not I.

"Hark! to-morrow, conquering, slay me, Blest shall be thy toil: After wrestling, strip me, lay me Sleeping in the soil.

"Visit oft the place; above me Root out weeds and grass; Fast no more; obeying, love me; Watch what comes to pass."

Waiting through the long day dreary, Still he hungers on; Once more wrestling, weak and weary, Still the fight is won.

Stripped of robes and golden feather, Buried lies the guest: Summer's wonder-working weather Warms his place of rest.

Ever his commands fulfilling, Mourns his victor friend, Fearing, with a heart unwilling, To have known the end.

No! upon the dark mould fallow Shine bright blades of green; Rising, spreading, plumes of yellow O'er their sheaves are seen.

Higher than a mortal's stature Soars the corn in pride; Seeing it, he knows that Nature There stands deified.

"'Tis my friend," he cries, "the guerdon Fast and prayer have won; Want is past, and hunger's burden Soon shall torture none."


Bright are the countless isles which crest With waving woods wide Huron's breast,— Her countless isles, that love too well The crystal waters whence they rise, Far from her azure depths to swell, Or wanton with the wooing skies;

Nor, jealous, soar to keep the Day From laughing in each rippling bay, But floating on the flood they love, Soft whispering, kiss her breast, and seek No passions of the air above, No fires that burn the thunder-peak.

Algoma o'er Ontario throws Fair forest heights and mountain snows; Strong Erie shakes the orchard plain At great Niagara's defiles, And river-gods o'er Lawrence reign, But Love is king in Huron's isles.



A land untamed, whose myriad isles Are set in branching lakes that vein Illimitable silent woods, Voiceful in Fall, when their defiles, Rich with the birch's golden rain, See winging past the wildfowl broods.

Blue channels seem its dented rocks, So steeply smoothed, but crusted o'er With rounded mosses, green and grey, That oft a Southern coral mocks Upon this Northern fir-clad shore, 'Neath tufted copse on cape and bay. Here sunshine from serener skies Than Europe's ocean-islands know Ripens the berry for the bear, And pierces where the beaver plies His water-forestry, or slow The moose seeks out a breezy lair.

The blaze scarce spangles bush or ferns, But lights the white pine's velvet fringe And its dark Norway sister's boughs; At eve between their shadows burns The lake, where shafts of crimson tinge The savage war-flotilla's prows.

Far circling round, these seem to shun An isle more fair than all beside, As if some lurking foe were there, Although upon its heights the sun Shines glorious, and its forest pride Is fanned by summer's joyous air.

For 'mid these isles is one of fear, And none may ever breathe its name. There the Great Spirit loves to be; Its haunted groves and waters clear Are homes of thunder and of flame; All pass it silently and flee,

Save they who potent magic learn, Who lonely in that dreaded fane Resist nine days the awful powers: And, fasting, each through pain may earn The knowledge daring mortals gain, If life survive those secret hours!


Away to the west! Westward ho! Westward ho! Where over the prairies the summer winds blow!

Why known to so few were its rivers and plains, Where rustle so tall in their ripeness the grains? The bison and Red-men alone cared to roam O'er realms that to millions must soon give a home; The vast fertile levels Old Time loved to reap The haymaker's song hath awakened from sleep.

Away to the West! Westward ho! Westward ho! Why waited we fearing to plant and to sow?

Not ours was the waiting! By God was ordained The hour when the ocean's grey steeds were up-reined, And green marshes rose, and the bittern's abode Became the Lone Land where the wild hunter strode, And soils with grass harvests grew rich, and the clime For us was prepared in the fulness of Time!

Away to the West! Westward ho! Westward ho! For us 'twas prepared long ago, long ago! There came from the Old World at last o'er the sea, The bravest and best to this land of the free; And, leal to their flag, won the fruits of the earth By might that has given new nations a birth, But found in our North-land a bride to be known More worthy than all of the love of the throne. Away to the West! Westward ho! Westward ho! God's hand is our guide; 'tis His will that we go!

To lands yet more happy than Europe's, for here We mould the young nation for Freedom to rear. Full strongly we build, and have nought to pull down, For, true to ourselves, we are true to the Crown; The will of the people its honour shows forth, As pole-star, whose radiance points steadfastly north.

Away to the West! Westward ho! Westward ho! Where rooted in Freedom shall Liberty grow!

Right good is the loam that for five score of days Its rolling lands show, or its plains' scented ways: Nor used is the pick, if the earth has concealed The waters it keeps for the house and the field; The spade finds enough, until burst on the sight Our Rocky Sierras' sweet rivers of light.

Away to the West! Westward ho! Westward ho! From mountains and lakes there the great rivers flow!

If told of Brazil or great Mexico's gold, Of Cotton States' warmth and of Canada's cold, Go say how we prize, like the ore of the mine, The snows sapphire-shadowed in winter's sunshine; —Our gayest of seasons! which guards the good soil For races who won it through faith and through toil.

Away to the West! Westward ho! Westward ho! Bright sparkles its winter, and light is its snow!

There gaily, in measureless meadows, all day The sun and the breeze with the grass are at play, In billows that never can break as they pass, But toss the gold foam of the flower-laden grass, The bright yellow disks of the asters upcast On waves that in blossoms flow silently past.

Away to the West! Westward-ho! Westward ho! Where over the prairies the summer winds blow.

The West for you, boys! where our God has made room For field and for city, for plough and for loom. The West for you, girls! for our Canada deems Love's home better luck than a gold-seeker's dreams. Away! and your children shall bless you, for they Shall rule o'er a land fairer far than Cathay.

Away to the West! Westward ho! Westward ho! Thou God of their fathers, Thy blessing bestow!


[Manitoba, Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, Athabasca, Alberta, and British Columbia.]

At a feast in the east of our central plains, Girt with the sheaths of the wheaten grains, Manitoba lay where the sunflowers blow, And sang to the chime of the Red River's flow: "I am child of the spirit whom all men own, My prairie no longer is green and lone, For the hosts of the settler have ringed me round, And his bride am I with the harvest crowned."

On her steed at speed o'er her burning grass We saw Assiniboia pass: "The bison and antelope still are mine, And the Indian wars on my boundary-line; Where his knife is dyed I love to ride By the cactus blooms or the marshes wide, While the quivering columns of thunder fire Give light to the darkened land's desire."

"To the North look ye forth," cried the voice of one, Who dwells where the great twin rivers run;— "Or farther yet," Athabaska cried, "Where mightier waters the hills divide: 'Peace' is their name, and the musk ox there Still feeds alone on the meadows fair." "Nay, stay," said the first; "the white man's word Hath called me the kindest to horse and herd."

From on high where the sky and the snow-born rill Each morn and eve to the rose-tints thrill, Sang the fairy Sprite of the Fountain Land: "A daughter of her, whose sceptred hand With the flag of the woven crosses three Hath rule o'er the ocean, hath christened me, And my waves their homage repeat again, And that standard greet in the loyal main."

And their lays in her praise then sang the four: "Alberta has all we can boast and more: The scented breath of the plains is hers, The odours sweet of the sage and firs; There the coal breaks forth on her rolling sod, And the winters flee at the winds of God. Columbia, come! for we want but thee; Now tell of thyself and thy silent sea!"

"Clad with the silver snow, a pine Guarded the grot of a golden mine, And dark was the shade which the mist-wreaths cast Though brightly they shone on the mountain vast. Stars and sun o'er that cavern swept, Where on the glittering sand I slept; But none could behold me, or know where was stored More treasure than monarch e'er won with the sword. Floods in fathomless torrents fall Through the awful rifts of the Alpine wall, Where I passed in the night over forest and glen, O'er the ships on the sea and the cities of men— Swifter than morn! His shafts of love Behind me caught the peaks above, But touched not my wings: I had gone e'er he came Where the vine-maple fringed the deep forest with flame. Strewn o'er the sombre walls of green In saffron or in crimson sheen, How lovely those gardens of autumn, where rolled In smoke and in fire the red lava of old! Soon I reached my sea-girt home Sheltered from the breakers' foam. Seek not for mine isle, for a thousand and more Lie asleep in the calm near the mountainous shore. Oft I roam in moon ray clear With the puma and the deer; From the boughs of Madrna that droop o'er a bay I watch the fish dart from the beams of the day. Mine are tranquil gulfs, nor give Sign to lovers where I live; But the sea-rock betrays where my netting is hung, When the meshes of light o'er its mosses are flung!" She ceased, and then in chorus strong The blended voices floated long:—

"No sirens we, of shore or wave, To sing of love and tempt the brave: We fled their path, and freedom found Where blue horizons stretched around, And lilies in the grasses made A double sunshine on each blade. No wooers we, but, wooed by them, We yield our maiden diadem, And welcome now, no longer mute, Tried hearts so true and resolute!"


The Noon-Sun prayed a prairie rose To blanch for him her blossom's hue, But to the Plain all love she owes; Beneath that mother's grass she grew.

And sheltered by her verdant blades, Their tints of green she made her own; But still the Sun sought out her shades And said, "Be my white bride alone!"

Then, sorrowing for his grievous pain, Her sister loved the amorous god, And blushed, ashamed, as o'er the plain His parting beams illumed the sod.

So one sweet rose yet wears the green, And one in sunset's crimson glows; Still one untouched by love is seen, And one in conscious beauty blows.


"Did earth ever see On thy prairie's line Tribes older than thine, Old Chief of the Cree?"

"Before us we know Of none who lived here; Our shafts bade them go.

"But others have share Of lake and of land, A swift-footed band No arrow can scare.

"Their coming has been When flowers are gay; On islet and bay Their footprints are seen.

"There dance little feet Light grasses they break; Beneath the blue lake Must be their retreat.

"We listen, and none Hears ever a sound; But where, lily-crowned, Floats the isle in the sun,

"Three children we see Like sunbeams at play. And, voiceless as they, Dogs bounding in glee.

"Of old they were there! Ever young, who are these Whom Death cannot seize? What Spirits of air?"


Morning, lighting all the prairies, Once of old came, bright as now, To the twin cliffs, sloping wooded From the vast plain's even brow: When the sunken valley's levels With the winding willowed stream, Cried, "Depart, night's mists and shadows; Open-flowered, we love to dream!" Then in his canoe a stranger Passing onward heard a cry; Thought it called his name and answered, But the voice would not reply; Waited listening, while the glory Rose to search each steep ravine, Till the shadowed terraced ridges Like the level vale were green.

Strange as when on Space the voices Of the stars' hosannahs fell, To this wilderness of beauty Seemed his call "Qu'Appelle? Qu'Appelle?" For a day he tarried, hearkening, Wondering, as he went his way, Whose the voice that gladly called him With the merry tones of day?

Was it God, who gave dumb Nature Voice and words to shout to one Who, a pioneer, came, sunlike, Down the pathways of the sun? Harbinger of thronging thousands, Bringing plain, and vale, and wood, Things the best and last created, Human hearts and brotherhood!

Long the doubt and eager question Yet that valley's name shall tell, For its farmers' laughing children Gravely call it "The Qu'Appelle!"



Where the snow-world of the mountains Fronts the sea-like world of sward, And encamped along the prairies Tower the white peaks heavenward; Where they stand by dawn rose-coloured Or dim-silvered by the stars, And behind their shadowed portals Evening draws her lurid bars, Lies a country whose sweet grasses Richly clothe the rolling plain; All its swelling upland pastures Speak of Plenty's happy reign; There the bison herds in autumn Roamed wide sunlit solitudes, Seamed with many an azure river Bright in burnished poplar woods.


Night-dews pearled the painted hide-tents, "Moyas" named, that on the mead Sheltered dark-eyed women wearing Braided hair and woven bead. Never man had seen their lodges, Never warrior crossed the slopes Where they rode, and where they hunted Imu bulls and antelopes. Masterless, how swift their riding! While the wild steeds onward flew, From round breasts and arms unburdened Freedom's winds their tresses blew. Only when the purple shadows Slowly veiled the darkening plain Would they sorrow that the Sun-god Dearer loved his Alp's domain.


Southward, nearer to the gorges Whence the sudden warm winds blow, Shaking all the pine's huge branches, Melting all the fallen snow, Dwelt the Sksika, the Blackfeet; They whose ancestor, endued, With the dark salve's magic fleetness, First on foot the deer pursued. Gallantly the Braves bore torture While their Sun-dance fasts were held, While the drums beat, and the virgins Saw the pains by manhood quelled. As each writhing form triumphant Called on the Great Spirit's might, On his son, whose voice in thunder Summons airy hosts to fight.


"Star-Child," praised as bearing all things, Praised as Brave who never feared, Young, but famed above his elders, Chief to man and maid endeared, Went with comrades, quiver-harnessed, O'er the hills, and face to face, Where the bright leaves trembled round them, Found the fearless huntress race Was it peace or was it warfare? Starting back, their bows they drew, But a mystic power compelled them, And no word, no arrow flew. Nearer to each other drawing, Strength and beauty beckoned "Peace," Each the other envious eyeing, Jealous lest their hunt should cease!


"They are strong; could not they aid us?" Thought the maiden band amazed; "Conquered, these could well obey us!" Dreamed the warriors as they gazed. Falsely answered cunning "Star-Child," Smiling as they slowly met, While the women's frequent questions Were to laughter's music set, "Who is chief among you, tell us?" "He is far! Is she your queen With the shells and deer-teeth broidered, Decked with sheen of gold between?" "Yea; she slays the bear, the grizzly: Light her empire on us lies; With the love she rules her courser Guides and guards us 'Laughing Eyes'!"


Vaunted then the men their "Star-Child:" "Peerless soldier, keen-eyed king! From the girl he weds shall heroes Worthy war-god's lineage spring. Know ye not how old enchantment Saw his storm-born sire appear, Armed, upon a peak dark-lifted O'er the snows and glaciers drear? His the darts divine, whose breaking Thrice hath some disaster sent, Shafts that killed and then returning, Kept his armoury unspent." "Give us of these arrows. Bring him!" Cried the maidens. "Nay," they said; "Come with us and share our hunting Ere the autumn leaves are shed."


Answered they: "In painted lodges Berries we have dried and meat; Come again! e'er comes the winter, Let us hear your horses' feet." And they sprang into their saddles, Swept, white-splashing, through a stream Red and saffron hued, the pageant Crossed the blue translucent gleam. Then unwilling, as they vanished, "Star-Child" slow to camp returned; Told the council of the Blackfeet All the marvels he had learned; Dressed him in his chief's apparel, Rode to where, within the glen, Lay the trail that led him onward To the town, unknown of men.


From each Moya thronged the dwellers: "Hath the chief the arrows sent?" "I am Chief; behold me; trust me. Lead me to your ruler's tent." "He hath not the shafts enchanted; Thus unarmed came never chief!" Bent a thousand bows around him: "Back or die, impostor, thief!" Angry, yet afraid to anger, Lest he lose those "Laughing-Eyes," He, obeying, vowed to conquer; Scorning to make vain replies, Went; and weary seemed the journey! All along the yellow plain Red as rose-leaves in the grasses Flushed his dusky cheeks with pain.


Grave, in silent circles seated 'Neath their Moya's smoke-tanned cone, Round the fire his chieftains heard him, Holding each a pipe's red stone. Pausing long, they gave their counsel, Different from their wont; for here All the young men spoke for kindness, All the old men were severe. But the Braves rode forth at morning, Half the magic darts they bore; Pledge so precious of their friendship None had thought to give before! To the huntress nation welcome, Waking song in every tent, Where the hours were passed in feasting And the days to love were lent!


Thus the maidens were the victors, For to them the warriors came: "Laughing-Eyes" but loved the "Star-Child" When his shafts her own became. Ah! but where is man or woman Who may boast of triumph long? Nought abides, and mighty nations Cannot ever more be strong. So each huntress found a master, Yielding to her heart's new birth, And no more along the prairie Beat her steed the sounding earth. Yearly yet the Blackfeet women Meet and dance and sing the day When through love they won, and, winning, Freedom passed with love away!


Grey-cowled monk, whose faith so earnest Guides these Indians' childlike hearts, As their hands to toil thou turnest, Teaching them the Builder's arts, Speak thy thought! as now they gather Round the white walls on the plain, Rearing them for God the Father, And the glory of New Spain.

"Thou, St. Gabriel, knowest only Why thy holy bells I raise, To no turret proud and lonely, There to sound the hours of praise;— Why I keep them close beside me, Framed within the church's walls, Here where heathen lands shall hide me Until death to judgment calls."

Then St Gabriel in high heaven Told the saints this mortal's lot, As the Angelus at even Rose to day that dieth not; And from out the nightly wonder Of the darkened world would float, Mingling with the near sea's thunder, Yonder belfry's golden note.

"Two there were, whose loves were blighted By the Spanish pride abhorred, And their vows and wealth they plighted To the Missions of the Lord. For his church these bells she gave him, When within their glowing mould, She had cast what were her treasures, —All her ornaments of gold.

"So do these, that to his seeming Were but good as touched by her, Ring to seek for love redeeming All who sorrow, all who err. Yes, though human love be ever Heard upon the throbbing air, This shall make his life's endeavour Stronger through a woman's prayer.

"God is not a Lord requiring Sacrifice of memories dear, And their love in life untiring To His life hath brought then near. Thus his wish to have beside him That which seems her voice, is good: Lovingly the Lord hath tried him, And his heart hath understood."


A ceaseless, awful, falling sea, whose sound Shakes earth and air, and whose resistless stroke Shoots high the volleying foam like cannon smoke! How dread and beautiful the floods, when, crowned By moonbeams on their rushing ridge, they bound Into the darkness and the veiling spray; Or, jewel-hued and rainbow-dyed, when day Lights the pale torture of the gulf profound! So poured the avenging streams upon the world When swung the ark upon the deluge wave, And, o'er each precipice in grandeur hurled, The endless torrents gave mankind a grave. God's voice is mighty, on the water loud, Here, as of old, in thunder, glory, cloud!



Among white peaks a rock, hewn altar-wise, Marks the long frontier of our mighty lands. Apart its dark tremendous sculpture stands, Too steep for snow, and square against the skies. In other shape its buttressed masses rise When seen from north or south; but eastward set, God carved it where two sovereignties are met, An altar to His peace, before men's eyes. Of old there Indian mystics, fasting, prayed; And from its base to distant shores the streams Take sands of gold, to be at last inlaid Where ocean's floor in shadowed splendour gleams. So in our nations' sundered lives be blent Love's golden memories from one proud descent!


Spake one upon the vessel's prow, before The sinking sun had kissed the glittering seas: "'Twas here Columbus with his Genoese Steered his frail barks toward the unknown store, With hope unfaltering, though all hope seemed o'er; Calm 'mid the mutineers the prophet mind Saw the New World to which their eyes were blind, Heard on its continents the breakers' roar, Told of the golden promise of the main, While cursed his crew, and called a madman's dream The land his ashes only hold for Spain! It rose on dim horizon with the gleam Of morn, proclaiming to the kneeling throng All treasures theirs, because one heart was strong."


[This Province was called after the Princess, one of whose Christian names is Alberta.]

In token of the love which thou hast shown For this wide land of freedom, I have named A province vast, and for its beauty famed, By thy dear name to be hereafter known. Alberta shall it be! Her fountains thrown From alps unto three oceans, to all men Shall vaunt her loveliness e'en now; and when, Each little hamlet to a city grown, And numberless as blades of prairie grass, Or the thick leaves in distant forest bower, Great peoples hear the giant currents pass, Still shall the waters, bringing wealth and power, Speak the loved name,—the land of silver springs— Worthy the daughter of our English kings.




Oft the savage Tale in telling Less of Love than Wrath and Hate, Hath within its fierceness dwelling Some pure note compassionate.

Mark, if rude their nature, stronger, Manlier are the minds that keep Thought on rightful vengeance longer Than on those who can but weep.

Better sing the horrid battle Than its cause of crime and wrong; Sing great life-deeds! the death-rattle Is too common for a song.

Lays where man in fight rejoices Sang our Sires, from Sire to Son; Heard and loved the hero voices, "Dare, and more than life is won!"


Lo, a castle, tall, lake-mirrored, Ringed around by mountain forms, Roofless, ruined, still defying Summer's rains and winter's storms.

Every shattered lifeless window, Every stone in every wall, Keep and gable, broken stairway, Woman's faithful love recall. Colin, called "the Swarthy," famous In the annals of Lochow, When a child, was gently fostered Near where Orchy's waters flow.

The Black Knight, his sire, could value Vassal's love and hardy fare; To a gudewife gave him, saying, "Train him with the sons you bear."

Strong he grew, and brave, till armies Praised in him a man of men. Came a peace—then love;—a lady Ruled with him the Orchy's glen.

But afar from over Ocean Rose a cry for Christian aid: Blessed of Pope, 'neath holy banners Sailed he for the great crusade.

Leaving with his weeping lady Half their marriage ring, whereon Written stood his name, and taking Half where hers, engraven, shone.

"If no tidings reach thee, darling, Blame my death." But she through tears Answered: "I'll believe thee living Though I hear not seven years."

Lonely lived the lady, lonely: Riches grew, and brought her all Save the loving words whose echo Seemed to linger in his hall.

Voiceless passed the years; and Rumour Falsely slew him, whose steel mail Flashed o'er white walls, azure sea girt, Watched, and feared by Moslem sail.

Rhodes' fair island saw his valour; 'Mid her gardens he had bled; Glowing as her sun, his love-words Homeward to his lady sped.

Ah, they reached her not, to banish Days of care, and nights of woe; Their warm sunshine never parted Clouds that darkened o'er Lochow,

Weary is her lot whose favour For her wealth is held a prize; Oft she finds no truthful homage, Sees no love in pleading eyes.

Man gains strength from gold, but woman Worse than dross her wealth may call; Avarice is her haunting suitor, Giving naught and seeking all.

Messages from the Crusader Fell into a Baron's hands; Who, with subtle treason working, Coveted dark Colin's lands:

Spread the base and cruel rumours, Preyed upon the aching heart, Asked her year by year in marriage, Falsely played the lover's part.

And the heartless seasons vanished, Other twain were nearly sped; Then at last his suit seemed answered, Silently she bent her head.

Gaily, loudly, laughing o'er her, Named the Baron hour and day. But she said: "No, for this wedding First I'll build a castle gay.

"When its halls are built, we'll tarry Where our guests can praise our cheer; When the feast-smoke from its chimneys Rises, then the day is near."

So the building rose, and slowly Walls and stairway, keep and tower Stone by stone completed, sadly Heralded the wedding hour.

Shall it come, and never mercy Shown of God avert the doom? Shall the longing for the absent Turn to feasting o'er his tomb?

Yes. The Castle's new possessor Soon shall follow thronging guests: As the Lake reflects the turrets Men shall second his behests.

Mournful, where they laughed so gladly, A poor beggar, haggard, grey, Trod with pain the stony roadside, Often halting by the way.

He too reached the Castle's portal, Stood within its archway grim, Loitering in the path of others; Who would step aside for him?

Pushed a henchman rudely, saying, "Get you hence," but still he stood: Then they gave him bread and water, "Loiter not, you have your food."

Twice came others, in his wallet Thrusting bread and meat, and said: "Now away, why stand you troubling, Here you cannot make your bed."

"Drink from her own hands imploring, Tell your Lady here I wait!" Wondering went she where the beggar Shadowed stood within the gate.

Now she pours the crystal water, Quickly he the cup returns; Oh! what golden circlet broken Sees she there that gleams and burns?

Eagerly she grasped the token, Turning to the light away; Came again, and crying "Colin!" On the beggar's breast she lay.

Spoke he sadly: "Hast thou truly Still the heart I loved? I know— They have told me—that thou takest To thy love my deadly foe.

"The gudewife, my foster mother, Unto whom I made me known When I reached the Orchy, told me How the rumour base had grown:

"I was dead, or cared not for thee Who received no word of mine; 'Twas thy lover's doing, woman, Hungering for my wealth and thine!

"'Take,' the gudewife said, 'a beggar's Old attire; and see the mist Where the wedding smoke is ordered By the lips which thou hast kissed.'

"Thou hast put our ring together Can it be as one again?" Then she raised her face, and proudly Spoke unto her serving-men:

"See you where the Baron's people Come with him along the road? Go and tell them quickly, 'Colin Rules again his own abode.'"

Fled the traitor, pulses beating, Not with love, but craven fear; And the beggar found the treasure That to noble hearts is dear.

Found the love no time had altered, Honoured lived, and honoured died; And in Rhodes and in Glenorchy Honoured shall his name abide.



Dark, with shrouds of mist surrounded. Rise the mountains from the shore, Where the galleys of the Islesmen Stand updrawn, their voyage o'er.

Horns this morn are hoarsely sounding From Loch By's ancient wall, While for chase the guests and vassals Gather in the court and hall.

Hounds, whose voices could give warning From far moors of stags at bay, Quiver in each iron muscle, Howl, impatient of delay.

Henchmen, waiting for the signal, At their chiefs imperious word Start, to drive from hill and corrie To the pass the watchful herd.

Closed were paths as with a netting, Vain high courage, speed, or scent; Every mesh, a man in ambush Ready with a crossbow bent.

"Eachan, guard that glade and copsewood, At your peril let none by!" Cries the chief, while in the heather Silently the huntsmen lie.

Shouting by the green morasses Where the fairies dance at night, Yelling 'mid the oak and birches Come the beaters into sight.

And before them, rushing wildly Speeds the driven herd of deer, Whose wide antlers toss like branches In the winter of the year.

Useless was the vassal's effort To arrest the living flow; And it passed by Eachan's passage Spite of hound, and shout, and blow.

"Worse than woman! useless caitiff! Why allowed you them to pass? Back, no answer! Hark, men, hither! Take his staff and bind him fast"

Hearing was with them obeying, And the hunter's strong limbs lie Bound with thongs from tawny oxen, 'Neath the chieftain's cruel eye.

"More than twoscore stags have passed him, Mark the number on his flesh With red stripes of this good ashwood, Mend me thus this broken mesh!"

Ah, Loch By! faint and sullen Beats the heart, once leal and free, That had yielded life exulting If it bled for thine and thee.

Deem'st thou that no honour liveth Save in haughty breasts like thine? Think'st thou men, like dogs in spirit, At such blows but wince and whine?

Often in the dangerous tempest, When the winds before the blast Surging charged like crested horsemen Over helm, and plank, and mast, He, and all his kin before him, Well have kept the clansman's faith, Serving thee in every danger, Shielding thee from harm and skaith.

'Mid the glens and hills, in combats Where the blades of swordsmen meet, Has he fought with thee the Campbells, Mingling glory with defeat.

But as waters round Eorsa Darken deep, then blanch in foam, When the winds Ben More has harboured Burst in thunder from their home,

So the brow fear never clouded Blackens now 'neath anger's pall, And the lips, to speak disdaining, Whiten at revenge's call!


Late, when many years had passed him, And the Chiefs old age begun, Seemed his youth again to blossom With the birth of his fair son.

Late, when all his days had hardened Into flint his nature wild, Seemed it softer grown and kinder For the sake of that one child.

And again a hunting morning Saw Loch By and his men, With his boy, his guests, and kinsmen, Hidden o'er a coppiced glen.

Deep within its oaken thickets Ran its waters to the sea: On the hill the Chief lay careless, While the child watched eagerly.

'Neath them, on the shining Ocean, Island beyond island lay, Where the peaks of Jura's bosom Rose o'er holy Oronsay.

Where the greener fields of Islay Pointed to the far Kintyre, Fruitful lands of after-ages, Wasted then with sword and fire.

For the spell that once had gathered All the chiefs beneath the sway Of the ancient Royal sceptre Of the Isles had passed away.

Once from Rathlin to the southward, Westward, to the low Tiree, Northward, past the Alps of Coolin, Somerled ruled land and sea.

Colonsay, Lismore, and Scarba, Bute and Cumrae, Mull and Skye, Arran, Jura, Lew's and Islay Shouted then one battle-cry.

But those Isles that, still united, Fought at Harlaw, Scotland's might, Broken by their fierce contentions Singly waged disastrous fight.

And the teaching of forgiveness, Grey Iona's creed, became Not a sign for men to reverence, But a burning brand of shame.

Still among the names that Ruin Had not numbered in her train, Lived the great Clan, proud as ever Of the race of strong Maclaine.

And his boy, like her he wedded, Though of nature like the dove, Showed the eagle-spirit flashing Through her heritage of love.

Heir of all the vassals' homage Rendered to the grisly sire, He had grown his people's treasure, Fostered as their heart's desire.

Surely Safety guards his footsteps; Enmity he hath not sown: Yet who stealthily glides near him, Whose the arm around him thrown?

It is Eachan, who has wolf-like Seized upon a helpless prey! Fearlessly and fast he bears him Where a cliff o'erhangs the bay.

There, while sea-birds scream around them, Holding by his throat the boy, Eachan turns, and to the father Shouts in scorn and mocking joy:

"Take the punishment thou gavest, Give before all there a pledge For my freedom, or thy darling Dying, falls from yonder ledge.

"Take the strokes in even number As thou gavest, blow for blow, Then dishonoured, on thine honour Swear to let me freely go."

Silent in his powerless anger Stood the Chief, with all his folk; And before them all the ransom Was exacted stroke for stroke.

Then again the voice of vengeance Pealed from Eachan's lips in hate: "Childless and dishonoured villain, Expiation comes too late.

"My revenge is not completed!" And they saw in dumb despair How he hurled his victim downward Headlong through the empty air.

Then they heard a yell of laughter As they turned away the eye; And they gazed again where nothing Met their sight but cliff and sky;

For the murderer dared to follow Where the youthful spirit fled, To the Throne of the Avenger, To the Judge of Quick and Dead.


Now of the hard strait of the Feinne this legend's verse shall tell: When Fionn's men had fought and won, and all with them was well, And victory on Erin's shores had given spoil which they Alone could win whose swords of old were mightiest in the fray: For in those days the bravest hand, and not the craftiest brain, Got gold, and skill in gallant fight was found the surest gain. Great Fionn's wont it was to give, when foes had bled and broke, A feast to nobles and to chiefs and all the humble folk: Upon the plain they sat, and ate the meat which smoking came From layers of stone, well laid on pits half filled with charcoal flame, Where 'neath the covering roof of turf that kept the heat aglow.

The boar was quickly roasted whole, with many a stag and roe. And while the feast, with laugh and jest, gave careless time to most, Two watchers bold kept guard the while, and gazed o'er sea and coast— Two watchers good, and keenly eyed, sent out by Fionn to mark If danger rode upon the sea, with Norway's pirate bark. Full well they watched, although behind they heard the shouted song, And knew the wine was bathing red the fair beards of the strong, While chanted verse, and music's notes, arose upon the air, And the briny breeze itself half seemed a savoury steam to bear; Nor left their post, when from the clouds the hailstones leaped to ground, And plaids were wrapt o'er shoulders broad, and o'er deep chests were wound. But Fionn's plaid untouched lay yet upon the earth outspread, And white it grew as lichened rock, or Prophet's hoary head. "Oh would it were all ruddy gold, there lying thickly strewn; What joy were ours to share alike, and bear away each stone." And laughingly each filled his hands, forgetful of the twain, Their comrades good, on guard who stood to watch the moor and main. But when their lonely vigil o'er, they, Roin and Aild, came, And found how little friendship counts, when played the spoiler's game, Sore angered that no hand for them had set apart a prize, They murmured. "With such men of greed all faith and kindness dies! When thus they deal with us in peace, how shall we fare when blood Runs from the wounds to blind the eyes to aught but selfish good?" They swore that they forgotten thus were better far away, And sailed to Lochlin's distant shore, and served in her array. Their fame was great in Norway's realm, and love for Aild came To melt the heart of Norway's queen, a sudden quenchless flame. She fled with Aild from the King, and soon on Scotland's coast She trod, a messenger of ill, a danger to the host Great Eragon, far Lochlin's King, was not the man to know The blood mount hot at insult's stroke without an answering blow, His dragon keels were rolled to waves that shouted welcome loud To glittering helm and painted shield beneath each spar and shroud Oh! strong was Eragon in war, in battle victor oft, From many a rank, from many a mast his banner streamed aloft; With forty ships he set to sea, and scores of glancing oars Streaked white his wake on fiord and loch along the echoing shores. The Shetland Islands saw them pass, where on the tides, their sails Shone like a flight of mighty swans, fast borne on wintry gales: Hoarse as the raven's note their oath rang over all the seas, False Fionn's host should bend and break before the Northern breeze. And southward, onward still they steered, and up Loch Leven bore, As you may know, for one great ship was lost upon the shore: The sunken rock on which she drove and inlet where she lay Were called the Galley's Crag and Port, and bear the name to-day. They left her, taking all her crew, and landing near Glencoe, On level ground their tents were set, thick planted row on row.

To Fionn of the Feinne that day, King Eragon sent word, To yield him homage or abide the hard doom of the sword; But grievous then was Fionn's strait, for thrice a thousand men, His best and bravest, far away were hunting hill and glen. The wives, the old and feeble folk alone were left, and these He gathered, asking how to blind the strangers of the seas? Then gave they counsel: "We are weak. By thee must peace be sought, E'en though with massy store of gold the boon to-day be bought; And if all this do not avail," they said, "O Fionn, thou Shouldst yield thy daughter as the price, our ransom on her brow!" Their messenger then offered these before the set of sun; When flamed the wrath from Norway's King: "I ask not what I've won, Your master stands before you now, my vengeance is my own; For Aild's deed the Feinne as slaves in Norway shall atone." Back went the messenger in haste, and sadly Fionn knew The threat was uttered by the strong, against the old and few. But homeward from the forest soon he saw each hero's hound Come swiftly back, in front of all he saw his Oscar bound; And when the foremost hunters came, he told their noble band How fight was sought with them this day upon the Northern strand. Then looked they for some ground whose strength would quickly hide and save Their little force, till gathering might gave fortune to the brave. They dug four trenches deep, where firs above the birches flung Red gnarled limbs that glowed at eve the dark green plumes among; There hidden silently they watched, while rugged, scarred, and high, Just at their rear a peak appeared to move against the sty. Steep were its rocky ledges, strewn with jagged stones that lay So loose one hand might send a mass on its resistless way, While from the neighbouring hills the mount was sundered by a glen, Where lightly crossed the grey cloud mists, but never mortal men. Such was the chosen fort The Feinne into the trenches went; For succour through all Alban's realm their messengers were sent; To the green slopes of deep Glencoe the warriors summoned came, Alas, too few to brave in fight the men of Norway's name.

They held long counsel, and the chief sent forth that hostage fair His daughter, with a chosen band, his words of peace to bear; And Fergus, his young son, to speak on his behalf, that they Might change to love the king's black thought, and all his wrath allay— For Fergus' speech, like ivy wreath, o'er heart of rock could wind Till tender thoughts, like nestling birds, would come and shelter find. Wealth to awake the Northmen's greed should weight his tempting word For quaichs of gold and precious belts, and magic stones which stirred The torpid blood of all disease to vigorous life once more, And fivescore mares of iron grey, and hunting hawks threescore, Were gifts to promise, with good herds, and cows with calves at side. They placed the maid upon a horse, and bade her boldly ride; With Fergus marching at her rein, his comrades close at hand, They came to where the fleet and camp thick covered sea and land.

And halting there, young Fergus spake across a space of ground Unto the king, who foremost stood with mailed men around; He offered all the tribute rich, and that fair lady proud. But when he ceased a silence fell, and then the answer loud In Eragon's deep voice rang forth: "Let Fionn bring me all, All that he hath on earth, and here let him before me fall, Him and his wife before me here upon the shore, that I May see them on their knees to me swear troth and fealty, While as they homage make I shall above them rear my blade To spare, or slay them at my feet, if so their debt be paid."

Then called in scorn the lady's voice, "No, Eragon, your might Hath not across the broad salt seas brought such a host to fight As e'er shall cause my father's knees to bend to you in prayer, Nor shall you ever call me bride, or spoil of Erin wear." She quickly turned her horse and went, but Fergus stood and waved The signal banner for the chief, and for awhile he braved The onset of the foe, and fought until the evening fell. Then gave the council their advice to Fionn. "It were well That Aild should himself defy the king, and man to man With sevenscore 'gainst sevenscore contend before the van." And thus they fought, and Aild fell, and Eragon defied An equal band to equal fight, for great had grown his pride. Then paused and pondered Fionn long, and doubted whom to ask To lead in such a venture great, and dare so grave a task. But Goll, the son of Morna, named at Fionn's call, went forth And matched with equal force, back drove the boasters of the North. And yet again a band as strong was overcome and made To own our heroes' swords were best, when man to man arrayed; But Eragon in fury cried his men should conquer yet. For eight days more aye sevenscore 'gainst sevenscore were set, And when the blood had flowed in streams, to utter madness urged Against the trenches of the Feinne their baffled army surged.

Then sparkled swords like gleams of light upon the ocean's spray When tossed aloft to wind and sun where battling currents play. In that fierce fray did Eragon the son of Morna greet, And, striking fast their mighty blades ascend and flashing meet; Then sank the stranger king in death, and Goll sore wounded fell, Against the Northmen went the day; and of their slain they tell That from Glen Fewich to the shore they lay, and of the host So few escaped that galleys twain alone left Scotland's coast. Nay, even they ne'er reached a port, so that in Norway none Could tell how Eragon revenged the deed by Aild done. But sorrow came upon the Feinne for all their strongest, dead; And Fionn found that from that time his fortune waned and fled, For ne'er again in equal strength the Feinne in arms were seen Since the dark days of Aild's love, and Norway's evil queen.

Note.—This story was taken down by J. Dewar in prose from oral recitation in Gaelic in 1860. Translated by H. McLean, of Islay. It is rendered here nearly literally.



In the vapour and haze on the ocean, Where the skies and the waters meet, There's a form that drifts, phantom-like, onward As it follows the grey clouds' feet.

O'er the sea come the winds and the billows, And they howl to the rocks, and they cry, They will bring them a wreck on the morrow, Ere the joy of the tempest die.

The shade looming dark in the distance Is naught but a galleon proud; And the spray has long battered her turrets, And loosened each yard and each shroud;

But not on the surf-beaten islands, Nor yet upon Morven's land, Does she drive, for her rudder, unshattered, Is firm in the steersman's hand.

No mist wreath, no cloud, was the shadow That moved on the height of the seas; Like a castle how steep are her bulwarks, Her spars like a forest of trees!

She is safe from the gales for a season, In the shelter and calm of the sound; A harbour named after the Virgin, The "Well of Our Lady" she found.

She may rest in that haven, hill-girdled, Near the shade of the woods on the shore, Where the hush of the forest is deepened By the waterfall's song evermore.

How grandly her masts rise to heaven, How glitters the blest Mary's form, High placed o'er the stern, and upholding The Prince of our Peace through the storm!

Now waters their orisons murmur As they fold her bright robes to their breast, Where they mirror the galleried windows, And the flag and the face of the Blest.

Again with that sign and the banner Of the gold and the crimson of Spain, Shall this ship front the foes of the Virgin, And the English be chased from the Main.

Yes, again on the heretic Saxon Her cannon shall thunder in scorn, Till in triumph through insolent England Shall the Faith and King Philip be borne.

But the rows of dark mouths that have spoken Defiance with sulphurous breath, Glisten black, stretching forth in the silence, And in vain ask the presence of death.

Yes, repose and surcease of all hazard, A truce to all war for a time! The cliffs and the pines only echo The laugh of a sunnier clime.

And gaily the dark-visaged seamen Quaff, cursing the mists and the rain; Gravely drinking from goblets of silver Sits their chief, Don Fereija of Spain. [1]

[1] This galleon was said to have been "The Florida," commanded by Don Fereija. A search at Madrid among the archives shows that the only vessel named the "Florida" in the Armada, was a small ship which came safely back to Santander Roads after the destruction of the fleet. No commander had the name assigned to the captain of the vessel sunk at Tobermory. The identity of this galleon remains, therefore, a mystery.

But the souls of the men to whose nostrils Had risen the smoke of the fight, Soon tired of the shore and of slumber, Soon yearned for the red battle light.

And courtesy fled from the weary, From idleness arrogance grew; And all they received as a favour They haughtily claimed as their due.

Then answered the Islesmen in anger, "The food you demand as your own, By our people's free favour long given Shall be bought by your gold now alone."

"Now, down with the savage's envoy, Set sail and away on our track! Carthagena's sweet girls shall deride him, And jeer the red locks on his back."

Below, in the dark narrow spaces, The Islesman gropes, down in the hold; Unnoticed, and one among many; What harm can his hatred unfold?

Swarm the men to the rigging, and swiftly Shine clouds of white canvas, and clank The links of the anchor's great cable, Creaks, trampled on deck, every plank:

Swings round the huge bowsprit, and slowly With motion majestic and free, The galleon, vast, gilded, and mighty, Passes on, passes forth, to the sea.

Her colours still paint all the ripples, Repeated her banners all seem, Her sails, and her gold, and her cannon Float on like a gorgeous dream.

Came a flash, and a roar, and a smoke-cloud Rushed up, and spread far o'er the sky; Sank a wreck, black, and rugged, and blasted, While the sound on the winds swept by.

And the mountains sent back the dull thunder As though to all time they would tell The vengeance that pealed to the Heavens From the Harbour of "Mary's Well."


Yon vale among the mountains, So sheltered from the sea, That lake which lies so lonely, Shall tell their tale to thee.

Here stood a stately convent Where now the waters sleep, Here floated sweeter music Than comes from yonder deep. Above the holy building The summer cloud would rest, And listen where to heaven Rose hymns to God addressed; For the hills took up the chanting, And from their emerald wall The sounds they loved, would, lingering, In fainter accents fall.

Hard by, beside a streamlet Fast flowing from a well, A nun, in long past ages, Had built her sainted cell: To her in dreams 'twas given As sacred task and charge, To keep unchanged for ever The bright Spring's mossy marge. "Peace shall with joys attendant For ever here abide, While reverently and faithfully You guard its taintless tide."

And when she knew her spirit Was summoned to its rest, To all around her gathered She gave that high behest; And many followed after To seek the life she chose, Till, like a flower, in glory The cloistered convent rose.

Through Scotland's times of bloodshed, Of foray, feud, and raid, Their home became the haven Where storm and strife were stayed. Men blessed each dark-robed Sister, And thought an angel trod, Where walked in love and meekness A lowly maid of God!

Right happy were they, lighting With love those days of doom; For heart need ne'er be darkened By any garment's gloom. Yes, often life thereafter Was here with gladness crowned, For, sad as seemed their vesture The peace of God was found His holiness in beauty Made every trial seem A rock that lies all harmless Deep hidden in a stream. While life was pure there never Was wish in thought to gain The world, where far behind them The black nuns left their pain; And time but flew too quickly O'er that friend-circle small, Where each one loved her neighbour, And God was loved of all.

Still from its beauteous chalice, That well's unceasing store Poured forth, through whispering channels, The crystal load it bore. Hope seemed to bring the fountain To seek the light of day; Faith made it bright; Obedience Smoothed, hallowing, its way. Full many a gorgeous Summer Woke heather into bloom, And oft cold stars in Winter Looked on a Sister's tomb; Before the joy had withered That virtue once had nursed; Before their Lord and Master Grew love for things accursed. Lo! then the stream neglected Forsook its wonted way: In stagnant pools, dark-tainted, Its wandering waters lay.

There choked by moorland ridges, Black with the growth of peat, Beneath the quaking surface The fetid floods would meet; Till rising, spreading ever Above the chalice green Of that fair Well, they covered The place where it had been. Then, near the careless convent, Within the hill's deep shade, The Fate which works in silence A lake had slowly made. As evil knows not halting When passions strongly flow, So daily deeper, deeper Would those dark waters grow; Till on an awful midnight, When red the windows flamed And song and jest and revel The Vesper hour had shamed, And wanton sin dishonoured The time Christ's birth had crowned, They burst their banks in darkness, And with their raging sound The rocks of all the valley Rung for a few hours' space; Then the wide Loch at morning Reflected heaven's face.

Few voices now are heard there, Around the wild deer feed; And winds sigh loud in Autumn Through copse, and rush, and reed. Men say that when in darkness They pass the water's verge, Each hears, mid sounds of revel The "Miserere's" dirge; That faintly, strangely, ever Upon the Loch's dark breast, Beneath, above, around it Shine lights that never rest.

Of all such ghastly phantoms, Bred of the night and fear, By hope of our salvation None meets the noontide clear! The blue sky's tender beauties Upon the strong floods shine, As God's eternal mercy Dwells with His might divine! Pure as their mystic fountain They sleep and flow unstained, Although the hue of sorrow Hath in their depths remained.

The swallow, swiftly passing Flies low to kiss the wave When rippling gently over Some pure saint's holy grave: The hunter's eyes discover Beneath those waters still The walls of that proud convent, Where God hath worked His will.


A brother's eye had seen the grief That Duart's lady bore; His boat with sail half-raised flies down The sound by green Lismore. Ahaladah, Ahaladah! Why speeds your boat so fast? No scene of joy shall light your track Adown the spray-strewn blast.

The very trees upon the isle Rock to and fro, and wail; The very birds cry sad and shrill, Storm driven, where you sail; O when for yon dim mainland shore You launched your keel to start You knew not of the load 'twill bear, The heavier load your heart.

See what is that, which yonder gleams, Where skarts alone make home; Is that but one oft-breaking sea, Some frequent fount of foam? The morn is dark and indistinct, Is all through drift and cloud; Around the rock white waters toss, As flaps in wind a shroud.

It cannot be a leaping jet, Nor form of rock or wave There stands some being saved by God In mercy from the grave! "Down with the sail, out oars! the boat Can reach the leeward side: Mother of Heaven! look you, men, Where breaks that roaring tide."

"A living woman, do I dream Or stands my sister there, Where only at the middle ebb The shelving ledge is bare?" O white as surf that sweeps her knee, She falls, but not to die; Ahaladah is at her side, He bears her up on high.

Away from Duart now he steers; Why curses he its lord; Why flee to Inveraray's strength, As though he feared his sword? Proud triumph's notes were often heard Where Aray's waters sing, And mourners there have often wept The slain for faith and king.

But never would that lady's lips There speak her grievous woe, Though in her chamber in the night Her frequent tears would flow. She dreamt of wrong where love was sought, Of crafty cruel eyes, Of one steep stair, of grasping hands That stifled piteous cries;

Of wind which tore the hissing waves, And howled o'er mountains bare; Where swollen burns in feathery clouds Were dashed into the air. Of one wet rock, of horror wild, When she was left alone, Till madness seemed to whelm her thought And, with a shuddering moan,

Again she heard the surges rush, And, where she shrinking turned, The seaweed there, like woman's hair, The murderous billows spurned. Again the night and wind were joined To mock her hope of aid, Till shrieking, she awoke, where once She slept a happy maid.

But none would she accuse, and dumb Rebuked the vengeance call, Till one dark eve at supper-time Within the old dim hall, She heard some whisper, and she saw Her brother leave his place, Go forth, and entering, beckon out A band, with stern set face.

Again he came, and o'er her bent, And whispered "Sister dear, Let fall your veil about your head, Nor tremble when you hear That Duart comes in mourner's guise! Lo, there he takes his seat. Chief, tell us why your mien is sad, When friends and kinsmen meet?"

"My woes are great, my wife lies dead, But yester week these hands Closed her sweet eyes, and now I bring Her body to your lands." Then was the arras drawn aside And girt with wake lights drear, Beneath the archway's carven vault, Was borne a white-crossed bier.

And Duart rose; his shifting eye Moved like a marsh-fire pale, But circling back, still restless scanned The lady of the veil. Then through the silence broke a voice, "Know you that lady, chief? She too, a guest with us, like you, Well knows the pangs of grief.

"You come from far, bring wine." To each The ruddy goblet passed. The lady raised her hand, and back The heavy veil she cast. Strong Duart reeled as from a stroke; He stared as at the dead: How could her glance o'er that dark face Such deathly palor spread?

"Your play is out, ah cursed fiend!" Ahaladah cried loud; "Your death shall be no phantom false, No empty mask your shroud: If hospitality's high law Here shields your life awhile, By all the saints you yet shall feel The vengeance of Argyll."

* * * * *

In Edinburgh Duart's Lord Strides down the shadowed town; The white moon glints on roofs o'erhead, And on St Giles's crown. Another step is on the street, The watchmen hear no cry; But drenched in blood lies Duart, where Ahaladah passed by.


Colin, Chief of Diarmid's kin, Strode alone to Ederlinn.

Night, and heath, and deep morass Hear the chain-mailed warrior pass. Ambushed lay the treacherous foe, Ear to earth, and dart on bow.

Vain their arrows' ringing hail Fell on pointed helm and mail.

As he backward leaped, there flew Moonlight down the sword he drew.

In his front the lonely man Saw approach the hostile van:

Near him on the moor a tarn; On a knoll a wattled barn.

Refuge bad, yet near its door Sank the hot pursuit's uproar.

For, unsheathed his battle brand, There they saw great Colin stand.

Dauntless cried he: "Here within Rest I, then to Ederlinn!"

Yelled the circling hounds in ire, Set the woven wall on fire.

Sword in hand he stood, the light Gleaming on his limbs of might,

Like a cloud-built column high, Red, in sunset's flaming sky.

All too hot for mortal frame Glowed his armour, wrapped in flame.

Hidden by the wreaths of smoke, Hewing through the wall, he broke,

Felling seven, onward sped Plunging through the lake's reed-bed.

Hiss the waters where he springs, Hatred's yell again forth rings.

But he throws his mail away, Dives, and darkness hides his way.

Smiling hears their lessening din; Onward strides to Ederlinn.

Ages since have passed, yet still Tales recount his dauntless will.

"Pool of the Iron shirt," thy name Keeps, in Erse, the hero's fame.

Look you, race of ancient Gael, Never let such memories fail!

Set them far o'er gems and gold, For your sons to have and hold.

Steadfast Will its goal shall win. Fairer e'en than Ederlinn!


Does death cleanse the stains of the spirit When sundered at last from the clay, Or keep we thereafter till judgment, Desires that on earth had their way? Bereft of the strength which was given To use for our good or our bane, Shall yearnings vain, impotent, endless, Be ours with their burden of pain?

Though flesh does not clothe them, what anguish Must be known in the world of the dead, If the future lies open before them, And fate has no secret unread. And yet, oh how rarely our vision May know the lost presence is nigh; How seldom its purpose be gathered, Be it comfort, or warning to die!

With mute or half breathed supplication Permitted to utter their prayer, Demanding earth's justice, but ever Poor phantoms of mist and of air; If in aught our belief may be certain Where founded on witness of man, They come; and no tomb e'er imprisoned The shade when corruption began.

They come: and oh swiftly they follow The track of the murderer vile; He is haunted for ever; his refuge A hell on far ocean or isle! Though he fly as once fled from Barcaldine Young Donald's assassin, to claim Guest-right, where all mercy a treason To kinship and justice became.

"Inverawe, Inverawe, give me shelter, I have shed a man's blood in a fray; Oh swear that you will not betray me, By your dirk, by the dear light of day!" And the prayer in his kindness he answered, But aghast heard the voices that cried; "Your cousin lies slain! Can a stranger Have passed by the steep river side?"

Then bound by his oath he deceived them; But night brought a dream full of fear, His cousin's pale image stood o'er him, Came a voice he had loved to his ear: "Inverawe, Inverawe, give no shelter To the man by whom blood has been shed:" And he went to his guest, saying, "Leave me, I obey the dear voice of the dead."

"By your oath, by the light of God's heaven Your word has been passed for your guest" "Then sleep in the cave in the mountain, If Donald allow you to rest!" Again shone the vision more awful, Ere the hours of the darkness had fled; "Inverawe, Inverawe, give no shelter To the man by whom blood has been shed."

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