Pine, Rose and Fleur de Lis

by Susie Frances Harrison


 

CHATEAU PAPINEAU


 

                                                 (Afloat.)

                                                        I.

The red til’d towers of the old Château
       Perch’d on the cliff above our bark,
Burn in the western evening glow.

The fiery spirit of Papineau
       Consumes them still with its fever spark,

5
The red til’d towers of the old Château!

Drift by and mark how bright they show,
       And how the mullion’d windows—mark!
Burn in the western evening glow!

Drift down, or up, where’er you go,

10
       They flame from out the distant park,
The red til’d towers of the old Château.

So was it once with friend, with foe;
       Far off they saw the patriot’s ark
Burn in the western evening glow.

15

Think of him now! One thought bestow,
       As, blazing against the pine trees dark,
The red til’d towers of the old Château
Burn in the western evening glow!
20


                                                (Ashore)

                                                        II.

Within this charmèd cool retreat
       Where bounty dwelt and beauty waits,
The Old World and the New World meet.

Quitting the straggling village street,
       Enter, —passing the great gray gates,

25
Within this charmèd cool retreat.

Where thrives a garden, ancient, neat,
       Where vulgar noise ne’er penetrates,
The Old World and the New World meet.

For mouldering vault and carven seat

30
       Tell us that France predominates
Within this charmèd cool retreat,

Though Canada be felt in beat
       Of summer pulse that enervates.
The Old World and the New World meet

35

In dial, arbour, tropic heat.
       Enter! And note, how clear all states—
That in this charmèd cool retreat,
The Old World and the New World meet.

                                                        III.

The garden’s past. ’Tis forest now

40
       Encircling us with leafy tide,
Close clustering in green branch and bough.

So beautiful a wood, we vow,
       Was never seen, so fresh, so wide.
The garden’s past, ’tis forest now,

45

’Tis more, ’tis Canada, and how
       Should feudal leaven lurk and hide
Close clustering in green branch and bough?

Quaintly the dial on the brow
       Of yonder open glade is spied;

50
The garden’s past, ’tis forest now,

Yet doth the dial straight endow
       The green with glamour undenied,
Close clustering in green branch and bough.

Such relics who would disallow?

55
We pause and ponder; turn aside;
       The garden’s past, ’tis forest now,
Close clustering in green branch and bough.

                                                        IV.

The glint of steel, the gleam of brocade,
       “Monseigneur” up in his tarnish’d frame,

60
A long low terrace, half sun, half shade;

Tapestry, dusty, dim and fray’d,
       Fauteuil and sofa, a flickering flame,
A glint of steel, a gleam of brocade;

“Mdme” on the wall as a roguish maid,

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       Later—some years—as a portly dame,
The long low terrace, half sun, half shade,

Where “Mdme’s” ghost and “Monsieur’s” parade,
       And play at ombre, their favorite game!
The glint of steel, the gleam of brocade

70

Hang over hall and balustrade.
       Paceth a spectral peacock tame
The long low terrace, half sun, half shade.

Waketh a nightly serenade
       Where daylight now we see proclaim

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The glint of steel, the gleam of brocade,
The long low terrace, half sun, half shade!

                                                        V.

The spell of Age is over all,
The lichen’d vault, the massive keep,
The shaded walks, the shadowy hall,

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And mediæval mists enthral
The senses bath’d in beauty sleep,
The spell of age is over all!

No marvel if a silken shawl
Be sometimes heard to trail and sweep

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The shaded walks, the shadowy hall.

No marvel if a light footfall
Adown the stair be heard to creep—
The spell of age is over all.

A foot—we muse—both arch’d and small,

90
Doth often tread this terrace steep,
Those shaded walks, this shadowy hall,

A foot as white as trilliums tall—
Musing, the wall we lightly leap.
The spell of Age is over all!

95
The shaded walks—the shadowy hall.

 


 

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