THE MANY-MANSIONED HOUSE
AND OTHER POEMS


By
EDWARD WILLIAM THOMSON




 

TO CANADA*

FROM THE SCLAVONIC



O FREE and fresh-home Canada!  Can we,
Born far o’er-seas, call thee our country dear?
I know not whence nor how that right may be
Gained through but sharing blessings year by year.

We were not reared within thy broad domains,

5

Our parents’ graves and corpses lie afar;
They did not fall for Freedom on thy plains,
Nor we win Victory beneath thy star.

Yet have we Liberty from sea to sea;
Frankly and true you gave us Manhood’s share,

10

We who, like wandering birds, flew hopefully
To gather grain upon thy acres fair.

We swarmed from ancient worlds by wrong opprest,
Many as ants, to scatter on thy land,
Each to the place you gave, aided and blest

15

And freed from fear of Kings and Nobles grand.

And are you not, O Canada, our own?
Nay, we are still but holders of thy soil,—
We have not earned by sacrifice and groan
The right to boast the country where we toil.

20


But, Canada, our hearts are thine till death,
Our children shall be free to call thee theirs,
Their own dear land where, gladly drawing breath,
Their parents found safe homes, and left strong heirs [Page 150]

Of homes, and native freedom, and the heart

25

To live and strive and die, if need there be,
In standing manfully by honor’s part
To guard the country that has made us free.

They shall as brothers be to all the rest,
Yet proud to own the blood from which they sprang,

30

True to their Fathers’ creed, and His behest,
For whom the bells of yester Christmas rang. [Page 151]




* The original is by Michael Gowda, a Ruthenian of Edmonton, Alberta, who furnished an English prose translation here versified.  “Fresh-home” is Mr. Gowda’s own happy adjective. [back]