In Divers Tones

by Charles G.D. Roberts

Edited by Tracy Ware


 

AN ODE FOR THE CANADIAN CONFEDERACY


 

Awake, my country, the hour is great with change!
   Under this gloom which yet obscures the land,
From ice-blue strait and stern Laurentian range
   To where giant peaks our western bounds command,
A deep voice stirs, vibrating in men’s ears
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   As if their own hearts throbbed that thunder forth,
A sound wherein who hearkens wisely hears
   The voice of the desire of this strong North,—
            This North whose heart of fire
            Yet knows not its desire
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Clearly, but dreams, and murmurs in the dream.
The hour of dreams is done. Lo, on the hills the gleam!

Awake, my country, the hour of dreams is done!
   Doubt not, nor dread the greatness of thy fate.
Tho’ faint souls fear the keen confronting sun,

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   And fain would bid the morn of splendor wait;
Tho’ dreamers, rapt in starry visions, cry
   “Lo, yon thy future, yon thy faith, thy fame!”
And stretch vain hands to stars, thy fame is nigh,
   Here in Canadian hearth, and home, and name,—
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            This name which yet shall grow
            Till all the nations know
Us for a patriot people, heart and hand
Loyal to our native earth, our own Canadian land!

O strong hearts, guarding the birthright of our glory,
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   Worth your best blood this heritage that ye guard!
These mighty streams resplendent with our story,
   These iron coasts by rage of seas unjarred,—
What fields of peace these bulwarks well secure!
   What vales of plenty those calm floods supply!
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Shall not our love this rough, sweet land make sure,
   Her bounds preserve inviolate, though we die?
            O strong hearts of the North,
            Let flame your loyalty forth,
And put the craven and base to an open shame,
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Till earth shall know the Child of Nations by her name!