GUELPH'S

50TH ANNIVERSARY.

A POEM.


 

 

GUELPH

FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY.

 

Just fifty years ago to-day,

Noble Galt and Dunlop stood—

With brandy flask and powder horn—

Within a pathless wood;

An Indian cabin nestled there, 5

Offering shelter from the storm:

Gladly they sought its humble shade,

To rest each weary'd form.

 

Galt struck the monarch of the wilds,

With strong manhood's earnest might;

10
Dunlop, Prior and the wood men fell'd

It, on that thrice-honored night:

For good King George, our patron saint,

Made it famous in his day—

When chivalry and brave knighthood 15

Held firm undisputed sway.

 

Great Shakspeare, the prince of poets,

Entered this blooming world;

On that same day, in after years—

His life in death was furled.

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Galt gave England's royal honored name

To the then far distant town:

Never let ignoble acts or deeds

Tarnish its bright renown.

 

Let us take a retrospective glance

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Over the then and now:

Then forests, Indians and wild beasts,

Alone crown'd nature's brow;

Guelph of to-day in honor stands—

A bright imperial gem,

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Which our Queen need ne'er blush to own

As a star in her diadem.

 

Her Churches, gems of modern art,

With their lofty sparkling spires,

Leads one to hope that Christian grace, 35

Noble thoughts and deeds inspires;

Her Hospitals are doing a noble work—

Where her sick meet tender care

From the sisters and nurses—woman's hands

Render loving duties there.

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Her Schools, magnificent structures, stand

Wherein intelligence and grace

Are cultured by an efficient band,

Bright ornaments in any place;

Her Agricultural College, the farmer's pride 45

There their sons are wisely taught

The science of tilling dear old Earth,

With such wealth and beauty fraught.

 

A home from the aged and the maim,

Will shortly lift its head

50
An asylum for distress and pain,

There the helpless may have bread;

Her Ministers, gentle Christian men,

Working in their Master's name:

Striving to lift poor straying souls 55

From the depths of sin and shame.

 

Her Doctors, men of scientific skill,

Stand foremost in the ranks;

For this, their gentle healing art,

We yield them warmest thanks.

60
Her Lawyers, men of scholastic lore,

Winning laurels and renown:

From our Senate Halls, we hear the voice

Of a resident of our Town.

 

Her Editorial staff are managed by

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Brilliant minds and willing hands,

Assisted by telegraph and steam engines,

Bringing in news from foreign lands.

Her Courts and Councils are govern'd well,

By men of good common sense,

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Who give their influence and time,

Her means and justice to dispense.

 

Her Merchants, kindly courteous men,

Stand ready, with bows and smiles,

To lead us gently through the maze 75

Of subtle fashion's changing wiles.

Her Mechanics, men of honest worth,

A mighty bulwark stand,

With gifted minds and simple faith,

A tower of strength in our land.

80
 

Her Farmers, sturdy sons of toil

To them we yield the palm

For independence and sweet peace,

And fair primeval calm.

Her brave Volunteers—God bless them!— 85

Stand ready to defend

Their homes at a moment's warning,

And their Queen—the people's friend.

 

Her Daughters fill an honored place

Fair maidens, and blooming wives

90
And mothers; Heaven's blessing rest

On their self-sacrificing lives.

Then come forth, ye aged veterans,

Ye early settlers come:

Enjoy the peace and pleasure 95

Flowing from each pleasant home.

 

Many friends have fallen in our midst

This is the lot of man:

To love, to labor and to die

Life is such a little span.

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Brave Galt, the founder of our Town.

Now sleeps on Scotia's shore;

His kind colleagues of those early days

Are known on earth no more.

 

Thus our retrospect is sadly tinged

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By changes and dire decay:

Who will be here, of this vast crowd,

To greet Guelph's Centennial day?

Fling sadness aside, let each glad heart

Rejoice in laughter and song;

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Let kind good will and merry cheer

The joyous hours prolong.

 

Three cheers for our beloved Queen!

Three cheers for our patron saint!

And three times three for dear old Guelph, 115

May her brave hearts never faint!

To God let each glad homage bring

On this bright auspicious day;

Long may it in our memories ring,

Fragrant as the breath of May.

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