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CANADIAN BORN 
















iL u _ 


















CANADIAN BORN 


BY 

E. PAULINE JOHNSON 

(TEKAHIONWAKE ) 


TORONTO 

GEORGE N. MORANG & CO., Limited 

1903 



Entered according to the Act of the Parliament of Canada 
in the year One Thousand Nine Hundred and Three, by 
George N. Morang & Company, Limited, in the Office of the 
Minister of Agriculture. 


3fnsmptfon 


Let him who is Canadian born regard 
these poems as written to himself — whether 
he be my paleface compatriot who has given 
to me his right hand of good fellowship, in 
the years I have appealed to him by pen 
and platform, or whether he be that dear 
Red brother of whatsoever tribe or Province, 
it matters not — White Race and Red are 
one if they are but Canadian born. 


THE AUTHOR. 









CONTENTS 


PAGE 

Canadian Born.i 

Where Leaps the Ste. Marie.3 

Harvest Time.4 

Lady Lorgnette.6 

Low Tide at St. Andrews.8 

Beyond the Blue.9 

The Mariner.14 

Lullaby of the Iroquois.16 

The Corn Husker.18 

Prairie Greyhounds.19 

Golden—of the Selkirks.21 

The Songster.23 

Thistle-Down.25 

The Riders of the Plains.27 

Silhouette.31 

A Prodigal.33 

Through Time and Bitter Distance.34 

vii 






















CONTENTS 


PAGE 


At Half-Mast.36 

The Sleeping Giant.40 

The Quill Worker.42 

Guard of the Eastern Gate.45 

At Crow’s Nest Pass.46 

Give Us Barabbas.47 

Your Mirror Frame.50 

The City and the Sea.52 

Fire-Flowers.54 

A Toast.55 

Lady Icicle.57 

The Legend of Qu’ Appelle Valley.59 

The Art of Alma-Tadema.65 

Good-bye. 67 


viii 
















CanaDtan TBotn 


We first saw light in Canada, the land be¬ 
loved of God; 

We are the pulse of Canada, its marrow and 
its blood ; 

And we, the men of Canada, can face the 
world and brag 

That we were born in Canada beneath the 
British flag. 

Few of us have the blood of kings, few are 
of courtly birth, 

But few are vagabonds or rogues of doubt¬ 
ful name and worth; 

And all have one credential that entitles us 
to brag— 

That we were born in Canada beneath the 
British flag. 


CANADIAN BORN 


We’ve yet to make our money, we’ve yet 
to make our fame, 

But we have gold and glory in our clean 
colonial name ; 

And every man’s a millionaire if only he can 
brag 

That he was born in Canada beneath the 
British flag. 

No title and no coronet is half so proudly worn 

As that which we inherited as men Canadian 
born. 

We count no man so noble as the one who 
makes the brag 

That he was born in Canada beneath the 
British flag. 

The Dutch may have their Holland, the 
Spaniard have his Spain, 

The Yankee to the south of us must south 
of us remain; 

For not a man dare lift a hand against the 
men who brag 

That they were born in Canada beneath the 
British flag. 


2 


MJ&ere leaps tfce ®te. Oracle 


I 

What dream you in the night-time 
When you whisper to the moon? 
What say you in the morning? 

What do you sing at noon? 

When I hear your voice uplifting, 

Like a breeze through branches sifting, 
And your ripples softly drifting 
To the August airs a-tune. 

II 

Lend me your happy laughter, 

Ste. Marie, as you leap; 

Your peace that follows after 

Where through the isles you creep. 
Give to me your splendid dashing, 

Give your sparkles and your splashing, 
Your uphurling waves down crashing, 
Then, your aftermath of sleep. 


3 




flattest Cfrne 


Pillowed and hushed on the silent plain, 
Wrapped in her mantle of golden grain, 

Wearied of pleasuring weeks away, 

Summer is lying asleep to-day,— 

Where winds come sweet from the wild-rose 
briers 

And the smoke of the far-off prairie fires. 

Yellow her hair as the goldenrod, 

And brown her cheeks as the prairie sod ; 

Purple her eyes as the mists that dream 
At the edge of some laggard sun-drowned 
stream ; 

But over their depths the lashes sweep, 

For Summer is lying to-day asleep. 

The north wind kisses her rosy mouth, 

His rival frowns in the far-off south, 


4 


HARVEST TIME 


And comes caressing her sunburnt cheek, 
And Summer awakes for one short week, 

Awakes and gathers her wealth of grain, 
Then sleeps and dreams for a year again. 


5 










HaUp Lorgnette 


I 

Lady Lorgnette, of the lifted lash, 

The curling lip and the dainty nose, 

The shell-like ear where the jewels flash, 
The arching brow and the languid pose, 
The rare old lace and the subtle scents, 

The slender foot and the fingers frail,— 

I may act till the world grows wild and tense, 
But never a flush on your features pale. 
The footlights glimmer between us two,— 
You in the box and I on the boards,— 

I am only an actor, Madame, to you, 

A mimic king ’mid his mimic lords, 

For you are the belle of the smartest set, 
Lady Lorgnette. 

ii 

Little Babette, with your eyes of jet, 

Your midnight hair and your piquant chin, 
Your lips whose odors of violet 

Drive men to madness and saints to sin,— 

5 


LADY LORGNETTE 


I see you over the footlights’ glare 

Down in the pit ’mid the common mob,— 
Your throat is burning, and brown, and bare, 
You lean, and listen, and pulse, and throb ; 
The viols are dreaming between us two, 

And my gilded crown is no make-believe, 
I am more than an actor, dear, to you, 

For you called me your king but yester eve, 
And your heart is my golden coronet, 

Little Babette. 


7 







Loto CiDe at ^t. anDretos 

(NEW BRUNSWICK) 

The long red flats stretch open to the sky, 
Breathing their moisture on the August air. 
The seaweeds cling with flesh-like fingers where 
The rocks give shelter that the sands deny; 
And wrapped in all her summer harmonies 
St. Andrews sleeps beside her sleeping seas. 

The far-off shores swim blue and indistinct, 
Like half-lost memories of some old dream. 
The listless waves that catch each sunny gleam 
Are idling up the waterways land-linked, 
And, yellowing along the harbor’s breast, 
The light is leaping shoreward from the west. 

And naked-footed children, tripping down, 
Light with young laughter, daily come at eve 
To gather dulse and sea clams and then heave 
Their loads, returning laden to the town, 
Leaving a strange grey silence when they go,— 
The silence of the sands when tides are low. 


8 


TSeponD tfte 15lue 


Speak of you, sir? You bet he did. Ben 
Fields was far too sound 

To go back on a fellow just because he 
weren’t around. 

Why, sir, he thought a lot of you, and only 
three months back 

Says he, “ The Squire will some time come 
a-snuffing out our track 

And give us the surprise.” And so I got 
to thinking then 

That any day you might drop down on Rove, 
and me, and Ben. 

And now you’ve come for nothing, for the 
lad has left us two, 

And six long weeks ago, sir, he went up 
beyond the blue. 

Who’s Rove ? Oh, he’s the collie, and the 
only thing on earth 

That I will ever love again. Why, Squire, 
that dog is worth 


9 







BEYOND THE BLUE 


More than you ever handled, and that’s quite 
a piece, I know. 

Ah, there the beggar is! — come here, you 
scalawag! and show 

Your broken leg all bandaged up. Yes, sir, 
it’s pretty sore; 

I did it,— curse me,— and I think I feel the 
pain far more 

Than him, for somehow I just feel as if I’d 
been untrue 

To what my brother said before he went 
beyond the blue. 

You see, the day before he died he says to 
me, “ Say, Ned, 

Be sure you take good care of poor old 
Rover when I’m dead, 

And maybe he will cheer your lonesome 
hours up a bit, 

And when he takes to you just see that 
you’re deserving it.” 

Well, Squire, it wasn’t any use. I tried, but 
couldn’t get 

The friendship of that collie, for I needed 
it, you bet. 

io 


BEYOND THE BLUE 


I might as well have tried to get the moon 
to help me through, 

For Rover’s heart had gone with Ben, ’way 
up beyond the blue. 

He never seemed to take to me nor follow 
me about, 

For all I coaxed and petted, for my heart 
was starving out 

For want of some companionship,—I thought, 
if only he 

Would lick my hand or come and put his 
head aside my knee, 

Perhaps his touch would scatter something 
of the gloom away. 

But all alone I had to live until there came a day 

When, tired of the battle, as you’d have tired 
too, 

I wished to heaven I’d gone with Ben, ’way 
up beyond the blue. 

• •«••••••• 

One morning I took out Ben’s gun, and 
thought I’d hunt all day, 

And started through the clearing for the 
bush that forward lay, 






BEYOND THE BLUE 


When something made me look around — I 
scarce believed my mind — 

But, sure enough, the dog was following 
right close behind. 

A feeling first of joy, and then a sharper, 
greater one 

Of anger came, at knowing ’twas not me, 
but Ben’s old gun, 

That Rove was after,— well, sir, I just don’t 
mind telling you, 

But I forgot that moment Ben was up 
beyond the blue. 

Perhaps it was but jealousy—perhaps it was 
despair,— 

But I just struck him with the gun and 
broke the bone right there; 

And then — my very throat seemed choked, 
for he began to whine 

With pain—God knows how tenderly I took 
that dog of mine 

Up in my arms, and tore my old red necktie 
into bands 

To bind the broken leg, while there he lay 
and licked my hands; 


12 


BEYOND THE BLUE 


And though I cursed my soul, it was the 
brightest day I knew, 

Or even cared to live, since Ben went up 
beyond the blue. 

I tell you, Squire, I nursed him just as 
gently as could be, 

And now I’m all the world to him, and he’s 
the world to me. 

Look, sir, at that big, noble soul, right in 
his faithful eyes, 

The square, forgiving honesty that deep 
down in them lies. 

Eh, Squire? What’s that you say? He's got 
no soul? I tell you, then, 

He’s grander and he’s better than the mass 
of what’s called men; 

And I guess he stands a better chance than 
many of us do 

Of seeing Ben some day again, ’way up 
beyond the blue. 


13 



Cfte farmer 

“ Wreck and stray and castaway — Swinburne. 

Once more adrift. 

O’er dappling sea and broad lagoon, 
O’er frowning cliff and yellow dune, 

The long, warm lights of afternoon 
Like jewel dustings sift. 

Once more awake. 

I dreamed an hour of port and quay, 

Of anchorage not meant for me; 

The sea, the sea, the hungry sea 
Came rolling up the break. 

Once more afloat. 

The billows on my moorings press’t, 
They drove me from my moment’s rest, 
And now a portless sea I breast, 

And shelterless my boat. 

Once more away. 

The harbor lights are growing dim, 

The shore is but a purple rim, 


14 


THE MARINER 


The sea outstretches gray and grim, 
Away, away, away ! 

Once more at sea, 

The old, old sea I used to sail, 

The battling tide, the blowing gale, 
The waves with ceaseless under-wail 
The life that used to be. 


i.5 






Hulla&p of tbc jtoquois 


Little brown baby-bird, lapped in your 
nest, 

Wrapped in your nest, 

Strapped in your nest, 

Your straight little cradle-board rocks you 
to rest; 

Its hands are your nest, 

Its bands are your nest; 

It swings from the down-bending branch of 
the oak; 

You watch the camp flame, and the curling 
gray smoke; 

But, oh, for your pretty black eyes sleep is 
best,— 

Little brown baby of mine, go to rest. 

Little brown baby-bird swinging to sleep, 
Winging to sleep, 

Singing to sleep, 

Your wonder-black eyes that so wide open 
keep, 


16 


LULLABY OF THE IROQUOIS 

Shielding their sleep, 

Unyielding to sleep, 

The heron is homing, the plover is still, 
The night-owl calls from his haunt on 
hill, 

Afar the fox barks, afar the stars peep,- 
Little brown baby of mine, go to sleep. 


Clje Corn busker 


Hard by the Indian lodges, where the bush 
Breaks in a clearing, through ill-fashioned 
fields, 

She comes to labor, when the first still 
hush 

Of autumn follows large and recent 
yields. 

Age in her fingers, hunger in her face, 

Her shoulders stooped with weight of 
work and years, 

But rich in tawny coloring of her race, 

She comes a-field to strip the purple ears. 

And all her thoughts are with the days gone 

by. 

Ere might’s injustice banished from their 
lands 

Her people, that to-day unheeded lie, 

Like the dead husks that rustle through 
her hands. 

18 


Prairie ©rep&ound 0 

C. P. R. “NO. I,” WESTBOUND 

I swing to the sunset land — 

The world of prairie, the world of plain, 
The world of promise and hope and 
gain, 

The world of gold, and the world of 
grain, 

And the world of the willing hand. 

I carry the brave and bold — 

The one who works for the nation’s bread, 
The one whose past is a thing that’s 
dead, 

The one who battles and beats ahead, 

And the one who goes for gold. 

I swing to the “ Land to Be,” 

I am the power that laid its floors, 

I am the guide to its western stores, 

I am the key to its golden doors, 

That open alone to me. 


19 


PRAIRIE GREYHOUNDS 


C. P. R. “NO. 2,” EASTBOUND 

I swing to the land of morn; 

The grey old east with its grey old seas, 
The land of leisure, the land of ease, 

The land of flowers and fruits and trees, 
And the place where we were born. 

Freighted with wealth I come ; 

For he who many a moon has spent 
Far out west on adventure bent, 

With well-worn pick and a folded tent, 

Is bringing his bullion home. 

I never will be renowned, 

As my twin that swings to the western 
marts, 

For I am she of the humbler parts, 

But I am the joy of the waiting hearts ;' 
For I am the Homeward-bound. 


,'20 


©olDen — of t&e Selkirks 


A trail upwinds from Golden; 

It leads to a land God only knows, 

To the land of eternal frozen snows, 

That trail unknown and olden. 

And they tell a tale that is strange and wild— 
Of a lovely and lonely mountain child 
That went up the trail from Golden. 

A child in the sweet of her womanhood, 
Beautiful, tender, grave and good 
As the saints in time long olden. 

And the days count not, nor the weeks avail; 
For the child that went up the mountain trail 
Came never again to Golden. 

And the watchers wept in the midnight gloom, 
Where the canons yawn and the Selkirks 
loom, 

For the love that they knew of olden. 


21 


GOLDEN—OF THE SELKIRKS 


And April dawned, with its suns aflame, 

And the eagles wheeled and the vultures came 
And poised o’er the town of Golden. 

God of the white eternal peaks, 

Guard the dead while the vulture seeks! — 
God of the days so olden. 

For only God in His greatness knows 
Where the mountain holly above her grows, 
On the trail that leads from Golden. 


22 


C6e ©onptct 


Music, music with throb and swing, 

Of a plaintive note, and long ; 

’Tis a note no human throat could 
sing, 

No harp with its dulcet golden string,— 

Nor lute, nor lyre with liquid ring, 

Is sweet as the robin’s song. 

He sings for love of the season 

When the days grow warm and long, 

For the beautiful God-sent reason 
That his breast was born for song. 

Calling, calling so fresh and clear, 

Through the song - sweet days of 
May; 

Warbling there, and whistling here, 

He swells his voice on the drinking 
ear, 

On the great, wide, pulsing atmosphere 
Till his music drowns the day. 


23 


THE SONGSTER 


He sings for love of the season 

When the days grow warm and long, 
For the beautiful God-sent reason 
That his breast was born for song. 


24 


€t)tet Ie*Dotam 


Beyond a ridge of pine with russet tips 

The west lifts to the sun her longing lips, 

Her blushes stain with gold and garnet dye 

The shore, the river, and the wide far sky; 

Like floods of wine the waters filter through 

The reeds that brush our indolent canoe. 

I beach the bow where sands in shadows 
lie; 

You hold my hand a space, then speak good¬ 
bye. 

Upwinds your pathway through the yellow 
plumes 

Of goldenrod, profuse in August blooms, 

And o’er its tossing sprays you toss a 
kiss; 

A moment more, and I see only this— 


25 


THISTLE-DOWN 


The idle paddle you so lately held, 

The empty bow your pliant wrist propelled, 

Some thistles purpling into violet, 

Their blossoms with a thousand thorns 
afret, 

And like a cobweb, shadowy and gray, 

Far floats their down — far drifts my dream 
away. 


26 


Cfte BtOers of tfje plains* 


Who is it lacks the knowledge? Who are 
the curs that dare 

To whine and sneer that they do not fear 
the whelps in the Lion’s lair? 

But we of the North will answer, while life 
in the North remains, 

Let the curs beware lest the whelps they dare 
are the Riders of the Plains; 

For these are the kind whose muscle makes 
the power of the Lion’s jaw, 

And they keep the peace of our people and 
the honor of British law. 

A woman has painted a picture,— ’tis a neat 
little bit of art 

The critics aver, and it roused up for her 
the love of the big British heart. 

*Note. —The above is the territorial pet name for the Northwest Mounted 
Police, and is in general usage throughout Assiniboia, Saskatchewan and Al¬ 
berta. At a dinner party in Boston the writer was asked, “ Who are the North¬ 
west Mounted Police?” and when told that they were the pride of Canada’s 
fighting men the questioner sneered and replied, “Ah! then they are only some 
of your British Lion’s whelps. IVe art not afraid of them.” His companions 
applauded the remark. 


27 


THE RIDERS OF THE PLAINS 


’Tis a sketch of an English bulldog that 
tigers would scarce attack, 

And round and about and beneath him is 
painted the Union Jack, 

With its blaze of color, and courage, its 
daring in every fold, 

And underneath is the title, “What we have 
we’ll hold.” 

’Tis a picture plain as a mirror, but the 
reflex it contains 

Is the counterpart of the life and heart of 
the Riders of the Plains ; 

For like to that flag and that motto, and 
the power of that bulldog’s jaw, 

They keep the peace of our people and the 
honor of British law. 

These are the fearless fighters, whose life in 
the open lies, 

Who never fail on the prairie trail ’neath the 
Territorial skies, 

Who have laughed in the face of the bullets 
and the edge of the rebels’ steel, 

Who have set their ban on the lawless man 
with his crime beneath their heel; 

28 


THE RIDERS OF THE PLAINS 


These are the men who battle the blizzards, 
the suns, the rains, 

These are the famed that the North has 
named the “ Riders of the Plains,” 

And theirs is the might and the meaning 
and the strength of the bulldog’s jaw, 
While they keep the peace of the people 
and the honor of British law. 

These are the men of action, who need not 
the world’s renown, 

For their valor is known to England’s throne 
as a gem in the British crown; 

These are the men who face the front, whose 
courage the world may scan, 

The men who are feared by the felon, but 
are loved by the honest man; 

These are the marrow, the pith, the cream, 
the best that the blood contains, 

Who have cast their days in the valiant ways 
of the Riders of the Plains; 

And theirs is the kind whose muscle makes 
the power of old England’s jaw, 

And they keep the peace of her people and 
the honor of British law. 


29 


THE RIDERS OF THE PLAINS 


Then down with the cur that questions,— 
let him slink to his craven den,— 
For he daren’t deny our hot reply as to 
“who are our mounted men.” 

He shall honor them east and westward, he 
shall honor them south and north, 

He shall bare his head to that coat of red 
wherever that red rides forth. 

’Tis well that he knows the fibre that the 
great Northwest contains, 

The Northwest pride in her men that ride 
on the Territorial plains,— 

For of such as these are the muscles and 
the teeth in the Lion’s jaw, 

And they keep the peace of our people and 
the honor of British law. 


30 


©tl&ouette 


The sky-line melts from russet into blue, 
Unbroken the horizon, saving where 
A wreath of smoke curls up the far, thin air, 
And points the distant lodges of the Sioux. 

Etched where the lands and cloudlands touch 
and die 

A solitary Indian tepee stands, 

The only habitation of these lands, 

That roll their magnitude from sky to sky. 

The tent poles lift and loom in thin relief, 
The upward floating smoke ascends between, 
And near the open doorway, gaunt and lean, 
And shadow-like, there stands an Indian 
Chief. 

With eyes that lost their lustre long ago, 
With visage fixed and stern as fate’s decree, 
He looks towards the empty west, to see 
The never-coming herd of buffalo. 


3i 


SILHO UE TTE 


Only the bones that bleach upon the plains, 
Only the fleshless skeletons that lie 
In ghastly nakedness and silence, cry 
Out mutely that nought else to him 
remains. 


32 


a proDfgal 


My heart forgot its God for love of you, 
And you forgot me, other loves to learn; 
Now through a wilderness of thorn and rue 
Back to my God I turn. 

And just because my God forgets the past, 
And in forgetting does not ask to know 
Why I once left His arms for yours, at last 
Back to my God I go. 


33 


“C&rougl) Cirne artD TSftter 
Di0tan ce”* 

Unknown to you, I walk the cheerless shore. 

The cutting blast, the hurl of biting brine 
May freeze, and still, and bind the waves at 
war, 

Ere you will ever know, O! Heart of 
mine, 

That I have sought, reflected in the blue 
Of those sea depths, some shadow of your 
eyes ; 

Have hoped the laughing waves would sing 
of you, 

But this is all my starving sight descries — 

I 

Far out at sea a sail 

Bends to the freshening breeze, 
Yields to the rising gale 
That sweeps the seas ; 

*For this title the author is indebted to Mr. Charles G. 
D. Roberts. It occurs in his sonnet, “Rain.” 

7 i 


34 


THROUGH TIME AND BITTER DISTANCE 


II 

Yields, as a bird wind-tossed, 

To saltish waves that fling 
Their spray, whose rime and frost 
Like crystals cling 

III 

To canvas, mast and spar, 

Till, gleaming like a gem, 

She sinks beyond the far 
Horizon’s hem, 

IV 

Lost to my longing sight, 

And nothing left to me 
Save an oncoming night,— 

An empty sea. 


35 


at t£alf*ma0t 


You didn’t know Billy, did you? Well, Bill 
was one of the boys, 

The greatest fellow you ever seen to racket 
an’ raise a noise,— 

An’ sing! say, you never heard singin’ ’nless 
you heard Billy sing. 

I used to say to him, “Billy, that voice that 
you’ve got there ’d bring 

A mighty sight more bank-notes to tuck 
away in your vest, 

If only you’d go on the concert stage instead 
of a-ranchin’ West.” 

An’ Billy he’d jist go laughin’, and say as I 
didn’t know 

A robin’s whistle in springtime from a barn¬ 
yard rooster’s crow. 

But Billy could sing, an’ I sometimes think 
that voice lives anyhow,— 

That perhaps Bill helps with the music in 
the place he’s gone to now. 


36 


AT HALF-MAST 


The last time that I seen him was the day 
he rode away ; 

He was goin’ acrost the plain to catch the 
train for the East next day. 

’Twas the only time I ever seen poor Bill 
that he didn’t laugh 

Or sing, an’ kick up a rumpus an’ racket 
around, and chaff, 

For he’d got a letter from his folks that 
said for to hurry home, 

For his mother was dyin’ away down East 
an’ she wanted Bill to come. 

Say, but the feller took it hard, but he sad¬ 
dled up right away, 

An’ started across the plains to take the 
train for the East, next day. 

Sometimes I lie awake a-nights jist a-thinkin’ 
of the rest, 

For that was the great big blizzard day, 
when the wind come down from west, 

An’ the snow piled up like mountains an’ 
we couldn’t put foot outside, 

But jist set into the shack an’ talked of Bill 
on his lonely ride. 


37 






AT HALF-MAST 


We talked of the laugh he threw us as he 
went at the break o’ day, 

An’ we talked of the poor old woman dyin’ 
a thousand mile away. 

Well, Dan O’Connell an’ I went out to search 
at the end of the week, 

Fer all of us fellers thought a lot,— a lot 
that we darsn’t speak. 

We’d been up the trail about forty mile, an’ 
was talkin’ of turnin’ back, 

But Dan, well, he wouldn’t give in, so we 
kep’ right on to the railroad track. 

As soon as we sighted them telegraph wires 
says Dan, “ Say, bless my soul! 

Ain’t that there Bill’s red handkerchief tied 
half way up that pole?” 

Yes, sir, there she was, with her ends a-flippin’ 
an’ flyin’ in the wind, 

An’ underneath was the envelope of Bill’s 
letter tightly pinned. 

“Why, he must a-boarded the train right 
here,” says Dan, but I kinder knew 

That underneath them snowdrifts we would 
find a thing or two; 

38 


AT HALF-MAST 


Fer he’d writ on that there paper, “ Been 
lost fer hours,— all hope is past. 
You’ll find me, boys, where my handkerchief 
is flyin’ at half-mast.” 


39 


Cfte Sleeping <2>iant 

(THUNDER BAY, LAKE SUPERIOR) 

When did you sink to your dreamless 
sleep 

Out there in your thunder bed? 

Where the tempests sweep, 

And the waters leap, 

And the storms rage overhead. 

Were you lying there on your couch 
alone 

Ere Egypt and Rome were born? 

Ere the Age of Stone, 

Or the world had known 

The Man with the Crown of Thorn. 

The winds screech down from the open 
west, 

And the thunders beat and break 
On the amethyst 
Of your rugged breast,— 

But you never arise or wake. 


40 


THE SLEEPING GIANT 


You have locked your past, and you keep 
the key 

In your heart ’neath the westing sun, 
Where the mighty sea 
And its shores will be 

Storm-swept till the world is done. 


41 


Cfte £unll Mlorfeer 


Plains, plains, and the prairie land which 
the sunlight floods and fills, 

To the north the open country, southward 
the Cypress Hills ; 

Never a bit of woodland, never a rill that 
flows, 

Only a stretch of cactus beds, and the wild, 
sweet prairie rose; 

Never a habitation, save where in the far 
southwest 

A solitary tepee lifts its solitary crest, 

Where Neykia in the doorway, crouched in 
the red sunshine, 

Broiders her buckskin mantle with the quills 
of the porcupine. 


Neykia, the Sioux chief’s daughter, she with 
the foot that flies, 

She with the hair of midnight and the won¬ 
drous midnight eyes, 


42 


THE QUILL WORKER 


She with the deft brown fingers, she with 
the soft, slow smile, 

She with the voice of velvet and the thoughts 
that dream the while,— 

“Whence come the vague to-morrows? 
Where do the yesters fly? 

What is beyond the border of the prairie 
and the sky? 

Does the maid in the Land of Morning sit 
in the red sunshine, 

Broidering her buckskin mantle with the 
quills of the porcupine?” 

So Neykia, in the westland, wonders and 
works away, 

Far from the fret and folly of the “Land of 
Waking Day.” 

And many the pale-face trader who stops at 
the tepee door 

For a smile from the sweet, shy worker, and 
a sigh when the hour is o’er. 

For they know of a young red hunter who 
oftentimes has stayed 

To rest and smoke with her father, tho’ his 
eyes were on the maid; 


43 






THE QUILL WORKER 


And the moons will not be many ere she in 
the red sunshine 

Will broider his buckskin mantle with the 
quills of the porcupine. 


44 


©uarD of tfte (Eastern ©ate 


Halifax sits on her hills by the sea 
In the might of her pride,— 

Invincible, terrible, beautiful, she 
With a sword at her side. 

To right and to left of her, battlements rear 
And fortresses frown ; 

While she sits on her throne without favor 
or fear, 

With her cannon as crown. 

Coast guard and sentinel, watch of the weal 
Of a nation she keeps ; 

But her hand is encased in a gauntlet of steel, 
And her thunder but sleeps. 


45 






at Croto ’0 Jl3e0t pas# 


At Crow’s Nest Pass the mountains rend 
Themselves apart, the rivers wend 
A lawless course about their feet, 

And breaking into torrents beat 
In useless fury where they blend 
At Crow’s Nest Pass. 

The nesting eagle, wise, discreet, 

Wings up the gorge’s lone retreat 
And makes some barren crag her friend 
At Crow’s Nest Pass. 

Uncertain clouds, half-high, suspend 
Their shifting vapors, and contend 
With rocks that suffer not defeat; 

And snows, and suns, and mad winds meet 
To battle where the cliffs defend 
At Crow’s Nest Pass. 


46 


(3$ 'ISarab&as”* 


There was a man — a Jew of kingly blood, 
But of the people—poor and lowly born, 
Accused of blasphemy of God, he stood 
Before the Roman Pilate, while in scorn 
The multitude demanded it was fit 

That one should suffer for the people, 
while 

Another be released, absolved, acquit, 

To live his life out virtuous or vile. 

“Whom will ye have—Barabbas or this Jew?” 

Pilate made answer to the mob, “The choice 
Is yours; I wash my hands of this, and you, 
Do as you will.” With one vast ribald 
voice 

The populace arose and, shrieking, cried, 
“Give us Barabbas,we condone his deeds!” 
And He of Nazareth was crucified — 

Misjudged, condemned, dishonored for 
their needs. 

*Note. —Written after Dreyfus was exiled. 


47 








‘ ‘ GIVE US BARABBAS ’ » 

An^ down these nineteen centuries anew 
Comes the hoarse-throated, brutalized re¬ 
frain, 

“Give us Barabbas, crucify the Jew! ” 

Once more a man must bear a nation’s 
stain,— 

And that in France, the chivalrous, whose 
lore 

Made her the flower of knightly age 
gone by. 

Now she lies hideous with a leprous sore 
No skill can cure — no pardon purify. 

And an indignant world, transfixed with hate 
Of such disease, cries, as in Herod’s 
time, 

Pointing its finger at her festering state, 

“ Room for the leper, and her leprous 
crime! ” 

And France, writhing from years of torment, 
cries 

Out in her anguish, “Let this Jew endure, 

Damned and disgraced, vicarious sacrifice. 
The honor of my army is secure” 

48 


GIVE US BARABBAS ” 


4 4 


And, vampire-like, that army sucks the blood 
From out a martyr’s veins, and strips his 
crown 

Of honor from him, and his herohood 

Flings in the dust, and cuts his manhood 
down. 

Hide from your God, O! ye that did this act! 
With lesser crimes the halls of Hell are 
paved. 

Your army’s honor may be still intact, 

Unstained, unsoiled, unspotted,— but un¬ 
saved. 


49 



gout Mirror jFrarne 


Methinks I see your mirror frame, 
Ornate with photographs of them. 

Place mine therein, for, all the same, 

I’ll have my little laughs at them. 

For girls may come, and girls may go, 

I think I have the best of them; 

And yet this photograph I know 

You’ll toss among the rest of them. 

I cannot even hope that you 

Will put me in your locket, dear ; 

Nor costly frame will I look through, 
Nor bide in your breast pocket, 
dear. 

For none your heart monopolize, 

You favor such a nest of them. 

So I but hope your roving eyes 

Seek mine among the rest of them. 


50 


YOUR MIRROR FRAME 


For saucy sprite, and noble dame, 

And many a dainty maid of them 
Will greet me in your mirror frame, 
And share your kisses laid on them. 

And yet, sometimes I fancy, dear, 

You hold me as the best of them. 
So I’m content if I appear 

To-night with all the rest of them. 


5i 





Cfte Citp atto tfte ©ea 


I 

To none the city bends a servile knee ; 

Purse-proud and scornful, on her heights 
she stands, 

And at her feet the great white moaning 
sea 

Shoulders incessantly the grey-gold 
sands,— 

One the Almighty’s child since time began, 
And one the might of Mammon, born of 
clods ; 

For all the city is the work of man, 

But all the sea is God’s. 

II 

And she — between the ocean and the town— 
Lies cursed of one and by the other blest; 

Her staring eyes, her long drenched hair, her 
gown, 

Sea-laved and soiled and dank above her 
breast. 


52 


THE CITY AND THE SEA 


She, image of her God since life began, 

She, but the child of Mammon, born of 
clods, 

Her broken body spoiled and spurned of 
man, 

But her sweet soul is God’s. 


53 


t 






JFire =jFIotpet0 


And only where the forest fires have sped, 
Scorching relentlessly the cool north lands, 
A sweet wild flower lifts its purple head, 
And, like some gentle spirit sorrow-fed, 

It hides the scars with almost human 
hands. 

And only to the heart that knows of grief, 
Of desolating fire, of human pain, 

There comes some purifying sweet belief, 
Some fellow-feeling beautiful, if brief, 

And life revives, and blossoms once again. 


54 


3 Coast 


There’s wine in the cup, Vancouver, 

And there’s warmth in my heart for you, 
While I drink to your health, your youth, 
and your wealth, 

And the things that you yet will do. 

In a vintage rare and olden, 

With a flavor fine and keen, 

Fill the glass to the edge, while I stand up 
to pledge 

My faith to my western queen. 

Then here’s a Ho ! Vancouver, in wine of 
the bonniest hue, 

With a hand on my hip and the cup at 
my lip, 

And a love in my life for you. 

For you are a jolly good fellow, with a 
great, big heart, I know ; 

So I drink this toast 

To the “Queen of the Coast.” 

Vancouver, here’s a Ho! 


55 


r 







A TOAST 


And here’s to the days that are coming, 

And here’s to the days that are gone, 
And here’s to your gold and your spirit 
bold, 

And your luck that has held its own ; 
And here’s to your hands so sturdy, 

And here’s to your hearts so true, 

And here’s to the speed of the day de¬ 
creed 

That brings me again to you. 

Then here’s a Ho! Vancouver, in wine of 
the bonniest hue, 

With a hand on my hip and the cup at 
my lip, 

And a love in my life for you. 

For you are a jolly good fellow, with a 
great, big heart, I know; 

So I drink this toast 

To the “Queen of the Coast.” 

Vancouver, here’s a Ho! 


56 


HaDp Icicle 


Little Lady Icicle is dreaming in the north- 
land 

And gleaming in the north-land, her pillow 
all a-glow; 

For the frost has come and found her 
With an ermine robe around her 

Where little Lady Icicle lies dreaming in the 
snow. 

Little Lady Icicle is waking in the north-land, 

And shaking in the north-land her pillow 
to and fro; 

And the hurricane a-skirling 
Sends the feathers all a-whirling 

Where little Lady Icicle is waking in the 
snow. 

Little Lady Icicle is laughing in the north- 
land, 

And quaffing in the north-land her wines 
that overflow ; 


57 







LADY ICICLE 


All the lakes and rivers crusting 
That her finger-tips are dusting, 

Where little Lady Icicle is laughing in the 
snow. 

Little Lady Icicle is singing in the north- 
land, 

And bringing from the north-land a music 
wild and low; 

And the fairies watch and listen 
Where her silver slippers glisten, 

As little Lady Icicle goes singing through 
the snow. 

Little Lady Icicle is coming from the north- 
land, 

Benumbing all the north-land where’er her 
feet may go; 

With a fringe of frost before her 
And a crystal garment o’er her, 

Little Lady Icicle is coming with the snow. 


58 


C&e JLegenO of dtrappelle ©allep 


I am the one who loved her as my life, 

Had watched her grow to sweet young 
womanhood; 

Won the dear privilege to call her wife, 

And found the world, because of her, was 
good. 

I am the one who heard the spirit voice, 

Of which the paleface settlers love to tell; 
From whose strange story they have made 
their choice 

Of naming this fair valley the “Qu’Appelle.” 

She had said fondly in my eager ear — 

“When Indian summer smiles with dusky lip, 
Come to the lakes, I will be first to hear 
The welcome music of thy paddle dip. 

I will be first to lay in thine my hand, 

To whisper words of greeting on the shore; 
And when thou would’st return to thine own 
land, 

I’ll go with thee, thy wife for evermore.” 


59 


THE LEGEND OF QU’APPELLE VALLEY 


Not yet a leaf had fallen, not a tone 

Of frost upon the plain ere I set forth, 

Impatient to possess her as my own — 

This queen of all the women of the 
North. 

I rested not at even or at dawn, 

But journeyed all the dark and daylight 
through — 

Until I reached the Lakes, and, hurrying 
on, 

I launched upon their bosom my canoe. 

Of sleep or hunger then I took no heed, 

But hastened o’er their leagues of water¬ 
ways; 

But my hot heart outstripped my paddle’s 
speed 

And waited not for distance or for 
days, 

But flew before me swifter than the blade 
Of magic paddle ever cleaved the Lake, 

Eager to lay its love before the maid, 

And watch the lovelight in her eyes 
awake. 


60 


THE LEGEND OF QU 'APPELLE VALLEY 


So the long days went slowly drifting past; 

It seemed that half my life must intervene 

Before the morrow, when I said at last — 

“ One more day’s journey and I win my 
queen! ” 

I rested then, and, drifting, dreamed the more 

Of all the happiness I was to claim,— 

When suddenly from out the shadowed shore, 

I heard a voice speak tenderly my name. 

“Who calls?” I answered; no reply; and 
long 

I stilled my paddle blade and listened. 
Then 

Above the night wind’s melancholy song 

I heard distinctly that strange voice 
again — 

A woman’s voice, that through the twilight 
came 

Like to a soul unborn — a song unsung. 

I leaned and listened—yes, she spoke my 
name, 

And then I answered in the quaint French 
tongue, 


61 


THE LEGEND OF QU'APPELLE VALLEY 

“Qu’Appelle? Qu’Appelle?” No answer, 
and the night 

Seemed stiller for the sound, till round me 
fell 

The far-off echoes from the far-off height— 
“Qu’Appelle?” my voice came back, 
“Qu’Appelle? Qu’Appelle?” 

This — and no more; I called aloud until 
I shuddered as the gloom of night in¬ 
creased, 

And, like a pallid spectre wan and chill, 

The moon arose in silence from the east. 

I dare not linger on the moment when 
My boat I beached beside her tepee 
door ; 

I heard the wail of women and of men,— 

I saw the death-fires lighted on the 
shore. 

No language tells the torture or the pain, 
The bitterness that flooded all my life,— 

When I was led to look on her again, 

That queen of women pledged to be my 
wife. 


62 


THE LEGEND OF QU 1 APPELLE VALLEY 


To look upon the beauty of her face, 

The still closed eyes, the lips that knew 
no breath; 

To look, to learn,— to realize my place 

Had been usurped by my one rival— 
Death. 

A storm of wrecking sorrow beat and broke 
About my heart, and life shut out its light 

Till through my anguish some one gently 
spoke, 

And said, “Twice did she call for thee 
last night.” 

I started up — and bending o’er my dead, 
Asked when did her sweet lips in silence 
close. 

“She called thy name — then passed away,” 
they said, 

“Just on the hour whereat the moon arose.” 

Among the lonely lakes I go no more, 

For she who made their beauty is not 
there; 

The paleface rears his tepee on the shore 
And says the vale is fairest of the fair. 

63 




THE LEGEND OF QU'APPELLE VALLEY 


Full many years have vanished since, but still 
The voyageurs beside the campfire tell 

How, when the moonrise tips the distant hill, 
They hear strange voices through the 
silence swell. 

The paleface loves the haunted lakes they say, 
And journeys far to watch their beauty 
spread 

Before his vision; but to me the day, 

The night, the hour, the seasons all are 
dead. 

I listen heartsick, while the hunters tell 

Why white men named the valley The 
Qu’ Appelle. 


64 


Cfte att of aima^Cadema 


There is no song his colors cannot sing, 

For all his art breathes melody, and 
tunes 

The fine, keen beauty that his brushes 
bring 

To murmuring marbles and to golden 
Junes. 

The music of those marbles you can hear 
In every crevice, where the deep green 
stains 

Have sunken when the grey days of the 
year 

Spilled leisurely their warm, incessant 
rains 

That, lingering, forgot to leave the ledge, 
But drenched into the seams, amid the 
hush 

Of ages, leaving but the silent pledge 
To waken to the wonder of his brush. 

65 


* 1 -. r 



THE ART OF ALMA-TADEMA 


And at the Master’s touch the marbles leap 
To life, the creamy onyx and the skins 
Of copper-colored leopards, and the deep, 
Cool basins where the whispering water 
wins 

Reflections from the gold and glowing sun, 
And tints from warm, sweet human flesh, 
for fair 

And subtly lithe and beautiful, leans one — 
A goddess with a wealth of tawny hair. 


66 


<S5ooD*6p e 


Sounds of the seas grow fainter, 
Sounds of the sands have sped ; 
The sweep of gales, 

The far white sails, 

Are silent, spent and dead. 

Sounds of the days of summer 
Murmur and die away, 

And distance hides 
The long, low tides, 

As night shuts out the day. 


67 




































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