Sagas of Vaster Britain: Poems of the Race, the Empire and the Divinity of Man

by William Wilfred Campbell


 

TO THE CANADIAN PATRIOT


 

THIS is the land of the rugged north; these wide
Life-yielding fields, these inland oceans; these
Vast rivers moving seaward their wide floods,
Majestic music; these sky-bound plains
And heaven-topping mountains; these iron shores,
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Facing toward either ocean; fit home alone
For the indomitable and nobly strong.
In that dread hour of evil, when thy land
Is rent with strifes and ground with bigotry,
And all looks dark for honour, and poor Truth
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Walks cloaked in shadow, alien from her marts;
Go forth alone and view the earth and sky,
And those eternal waters, moving, vast,
In endless duty, ever rendering pure
These mild or angry airs; the gladdening sun
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Reviving, changing, weaving life from death,
These elemental uses Nature puts
Her patient hours to; and then thou shalt know
A larger vista, glean a greater truth
Than man has put into his partial creeds
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Of blinded feud and custom; thou shalt know
That Nature’s laws are greater and more sure,
More calm, more patient, wise and tolerant,
Than these poor, futile efforts of our dream;
That human life is stronger in its yearning
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Than those blind walls our impotence builds between
And underneath this calloused rind we see—
As the obedient tides the swaying moon—
A mightier law the whole wide world obeys;
And far behind these mists of human vision
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God’s great horizon stands out fixed and sure.