CANADIAN BALLADS,

AND

OCCASIONAL VERSES.

By Thomas D’Arcy McGee


 

THOMAS MOORE AT ST. ANNES. (12)



                                        I.


On these swift waters borne along,
       A Poet from the farther shore
Framed as he went his solemn song,
       And set it by the boatman’s oar.

                                        II.
 


It was his being law to sing

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       From morning dawn to evening light—
Like nature’s choristers, his wing
       And voice were only still’d at night.


                                        III.
 


Nor did all nights bring him repose:
       For, by the moon’s auspicious ray,

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Like Philomela on her rose,
       His song eclipsed the songs of day.


                                        IV.
 


He came a stranger summer bird,
       And quickly passed; but as he flew
Our river’s glorious song he heard,

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       His tongue was loos’d—he warbled too. [Page 42]


                                        V.
 


And, mark the moral, ye who dream
       To be the Poets of the land:
He nowhere found a nobler theme
       Than you, ye favor’d, have at hand.

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                                        VI.
 


Not in the storied summer Isles,
       Not ’mid the classic Cyclades,
Not where the Persian Sun-God smiles,
       Found he more fitting theme than these.


                                        VII.


So, while our boat glides swift along,
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       Behold! from shore there looketh forth
The tree that bears the fruit of song—
       The Laurel tree that loves the North. [Page 43]