Saturday, 7 November 2015

Our Canadian Fatherland


OUR CANADIAN FATHERLAND
By Agnes Maule Machar (~1935)

I
WHAT is our young Canadian land?
Is it fair Norembega’s strand?
Or grey Cape Breton by the sea?
Quebec? Ontario? Acadie?
Or Manitoba’s flower-decked plain?
Or fair Columbia’s mountain chain?
Can any part, from strand to strand,
Be a Canadian’s Fatherland?
Nay, for our young Canadian land
Is greater, grander far than these;
It stretches wide on either hand
Between the world’s two mighty seas.
So let no hostile foot divide
The fields our feet should freely roam;
Gael, Norman, Saxon, side by side,
And Canada our nation’s home;
From sea to sea, from strand to strand.
Spreads our Canadian Fatherland.

II
Where’er our country’s banner spreads
Its folds o’er free Canadian heads—
Where’er our land’s romantic story
Enshrines the memory and the glory
Of heroes who with blood and toil
Laid deep in our Canadian soil
Foundations for the future age,
And wrote their names on history’s page—
Our history—from strand to strand,
Spreads our Canadian Fatherland!
So each to each is firmly bound
By ties all generous hearts should own;
We cannot spare an inch of ground:
No severed part can stand alone.
So Nova Scotia and Quebec
Shall meet in kinship real and true;
New Brunswick’s hills be mirrored back
In fair Ontario’s waters blue.
From sea to sea, from strand to strand,
Spreads our Canadian Fatherland!

III
Where’er Canadian thought breathes free.
Or strikes the lyre of poesy—
Where’er Canadian hearts awake
To sing a song for her dear sake,
Or catch the echoes, spreading far,
That wake us to the noblest war
Against each lurking ill and strife
That weakens now our growing life,
No line keep hand from clasping hand—
One is our young Canadian land.
McGee and Howe she counts her own;
Hers all her eastern singers’ bays;
Frechette is hers, and in her crown
Ontario every laurel lays:
Let CANADA our watchword be,
While lesser names we know no more;
One nation spread from sea to sea,
And fused by love from shore to shore;
From sea to sea, from strand to strand,

Spreads our Canadian Fatherland!

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As an armed forces brat, we lived in Rockcliff (Ottawa), Namao (Edmonton), Southport (Portage La Prairie), Manitoba, and Dad retired to St. Margaret's Bay, NS.
Working with the Federal Govenment for 25 years, Canadian Hydrographic Service, mostly. Now married to Gail Kelly, with two grown children, Luke and Denyse. Retired to my woodlot at Stillwater Lake, NS, on the rainy days I study the life and work of A. Hyatt Verrill 1871-1954.