Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts 1860–1943



O CHILD of Nations, giant-limbed,

Who stand’st among the nations now,

Unheeded, unadored, unhymned,

With unanointed brow:

How long the ignoble sloth, how long

The trust in greatness not thine own?

Surely the lion’s brood is strong

To front the world alone!

How long the indolence, ere thou dare

Achieve thy destiny, seize thy fame;

Ere our proud eyes behold thee bear

A nation’s franchise, nation’s name?

The Saxon force, the Celtic fire,

These are thy manhood’s heritage!

Why rest with babes and slaves? Seek higher

The place of race and age.

I see to every wind unfurled

The flag that bears the Maple-Wreath;

Thy swift keels furrow round the world

Its blood-red folds beneath;

Thy swift keels cleave the furthest seas;

Thy white sails swell with alien gales;

To stream on each remotest breeze

The black smoke of thy pipes exhales.

O Falterer, let thy past convince

Thy future: all the growth, the gain,

The fame since Cartier knew thee, since

Thy shores beheld Champlain!

Montcalm and Wolfe! Wolfe and Montcalm!

Quebec, thy storied citadel

Attest in burning song and psalm

How here thy heroes fell!

O Thou that bor’st the battle’s brunt

At Queenston, and at Lundy’s Lane:

On whose scant ranks but iron front

The battle broke in vain!

Whose was the danger, whose the day,

From whose triumphant throats the cheers,

At Chrysler’s Farm, at Chateauguay,

Storming like clarion-bursts our ears?

On soft Pacific slopes,—beside

Strange floods that northward rave and fall,—

Where chafes Acadia’s chainless tide,—

Thy sons await thy call.

They wait; but some in exile, some

With strangers housed, in stranger lands;

And some Canadian lips are dumb

Beneath Egyptian sands.

O mystic Nile! Thy secret yields

Before us; thy most ancient dreams

Are mixed with far Canadian fields

And murmur of Canadian streams.

But thou, my Country, dream not thou!

Wake, and behold how night is done,—

How on thy breast, and o’er thy brow,

Bursts the uprising sun!