THE RISING VILLAGE 1825
|Thou dear companion of my early years,
Partner of all my boyish hopes and fears,
To whom I've oft address'd the youthful strain,
And sought no other praise than thine to gain;
Who oft hast bid me emulate the fame
|Of him who form'd the glory of our name:
Say, when thou canst, in manhood's ripen'd age,
With judgment scan the more aspiring page,
Wilt thou accept this tribute of my lay,
By far too small thy fondness to repay?
|Say, dearest Brother, wilt thou now excuse
This bolder flight of my advent'rous muse?
If, then, adown your cheek a tear should flow,
For Auburn's village and its speechless woe;
If, while you weep, you think the "lowly train"
|Their early joys can never more regain,
Come, turn with me where happier prospects rise,
Beneath the sternness of our Western skies.
And thou, dear spirit! whose harmonious lay
Didst lovely Auburn's piercing woes display,
|Do thou to thy fond relative impart
Some portion of thy sweet poetic art;
Like thine, oh! let my verse as gently flow,
While truth and virtue in my numbers glow:
And guide my pen with thy bewitching hand
|To paint the Rising Village of the land.|
How chaste and splendid are the scenes that lie
Beneath the circle of Britannia's sky!
What charming prospects there arrest the view,
How bright, how varied, and how boundless too!
|Cities and plains extending far and wide,
The merchant's glory, and the farmer's pride.
Majestic palaces in pomp display
The wealth and splendour of the regal sway;
While the low hamlet and the shepherd's cot,
|In peace and freedom, mark the peasant's lot.
There nature's vernal bloom adorns the field,
And Autumn's fruits their rich luxuriance yield.
There men, in bustling crowds, with men combine,
That arts may flourish, and fair science shine;
|And thence, to distant climes their labours send,
As o'er the world their widening views extend.
Compar'd with scenes like these, how dark and drear
Did once our desert woods and wilds appear;
Where wandering savages, and beasts of prey,
|Display'd, by turns, the fury of their sway.|
What noble courage must their hearts have fired,
How great the ardour which their souls inspired,
Who leaving far behind, their native plain,
Have sought a home beyond the Western main;
|And brav'd the perils of the stormy seas,
In search of wealth, of freedom, and of ease!
Oh! none can tell but they who sadly share
The bosom's anguish, and its wild despair,
What dire distress awaits the hardy band,
|That ventures first to till the desert land.
How great the pain, the danger, and the toil,
Which mark the first rude culture of the soil.
When, looking round, the lonely settler sees
His home amid a wilderness of trees:
|How sinks his heart in those deep solitudes,
Where not a voice upon his ear intrudes;
Where solemn silence all the waste pervades,
Height'ning the horror of its gloomy shades;
Save where the sturdy woodman's strokes resound,
|That strew the fallen forest on the ground.
See! from their heights the lofty pines descend,
And crackling, down their pond'rous lengths extend.
Soon, from their boughs, the curling flames arise,
Mount into the air, and redden all the skies;
|And, where the forest late its foliage spread
The golden corn triumphant waves its head.*
How bless'd did nature's ruggedness appear
The only source of trouble or of fear;
How happy, did no hardship meet his view,
|No other care his anxious steps pursue;
But, while his labour gains a short repose,
And hope presents a solace for his woes,
New ills arise, new fears his peace annoy,
And other dangers all his hopes destroy.
|Behold! the savage tribes, in wildest strain,
Approach with death and terror in their train;
No longer silence o'er the forest reigns,
No longer stillness now her pow'r retains;
But hideous yells announce the murd'rous band,
|Whose bloody footsteps desolate the land;
He hears them oft in sternest mood maintain
Their right to rule the mountain and the plain:
He hears them doom the white man's instant death,
Shrinks from the sentence, while he gasps for breath;
|Then, rousing with one effort all his might,
Darts from his hut, and saves himself by flight.
Yet, what a refuge! Here a host of foes,
On ev'ry side, his trembling steps oppose.
Here savage beasts terrific round him howl,
|As through the gloomy wood they nightly prowl.
Now morning comes, and all th' appalling roar
Of barb'rous man and beast is heard no more;
The wand'ring Indian turns another way,
And brutes avoid the first approach of day.
*The golden corn triumphant waves its head. The process of clearing land, though simple, is attended with a great deal of labour. The trees are all felled, so as to lie in the same direction; and after the fire has passed over them in that state, whatever may be left is collected into heaps, and reduced to ashes. The grain is then sown between the stumps of the trees, which remain, until the lapse of time, from seven to fifteen years, reduces them to decay.
| Yet, though these threat'ning dangers round him roll,
Perplex his thoughts, and agitate his soul,
By patient firmness and industrious toil,
He still retains possession of the soil;
Around his dwelling scatter'd huts extend,
|Whilst ev'ry hut affords another friend.
And now, behold! his bold aggressors fly,
To seek their prey beneath some other sky;
Resign the haunts they can maintain no more,
And safety in far distant wilds explore.
|His perils vanquish'd, and his fears o'ercome,
Sweet hope portrays a happy peaceful home.
On ev'ry side fair prospects charm his eyes,
And future joys in ev'ry thought arise.
His humble cot, built from the neighb'ring trees,
|Affords protection from each chilling breeze;
His rising crops, with rich luxuriance crown'd
In waving softness shed their freshness round;
By nature nourish'd, by her bounty bless'd,
He looks to Heav'n, and lulls his cares to rest.
The arts of culture now extend their sway,
And many a charm of rural life display.
Where once the pine uprear'd its lofty head,
The settlers' humble cottages are spread;
Where the broad firs once shelter'd from the storm,
|By slow degrees a neighbourhood they form;
And, as its bounds, each circling year, increase
In social life, prosperity, and peace,
New prospects rise, new objects too appear,
To add more comfort to its lowly sphere.
|Where some rude sign or post the spot betrays,
The tavern first its useful front displays.
Here, oft the weary trav'ller at the close
Of ev'ning, finds a snug and safe repose.
The passing stranger here, a welcome guest,
|From all his toil enjoys a peaceful rest;
Unless the host, solicitous to please,
With care officious mar his hope of ease,
|With flippant questions, to no end confin'd,
Exhaust his patience, and perplex his mind.
Yet, let us not condemn with thoughtless haste,
The hardy settler of the dreary waste,
Who, long within the wilderness immur'd,
In silence and in solitude, endur'd
A banishment from all the busy throng,
|And all the pleasures which to life belong;
If, when the stranger comes within his reach,
He long to learn whatever he can teach.
To this, must be ascrib'd in great degree,
That ceaseless, idle curiosity
|Which over all the Western world prevails,
And ev'ry breast, or more or less, assails;
Till, by indulgence, so o'erpowering grown,
It sighs to know all business but its own.
Here, oft, when winter's dreary terrors reign,
|And cold, and snow, and storm, pervade the plain;
Around the birch-wood blaze the settlers draw,
"To tell of all they felt, and all they saw."
When, thus in peace, are met a happy few,
Sweet are the social pleasures that ensue.
|What lively joy each honest bosom feels,
As o'er the past events his mem'ry steals,
And to the list'ners paints the dire distress,
That mark'd his progress in the wilderness;
The danger, trouble, hardship, toil, and strife,
|Which chas'd each effort of his struggling life.|
In some lone spot of consecrated ground,
Whose silence spreads a holy gloom around,
The village church, in unadorn'd array,
Now lifts her turret to the op'ning day.
|How sweet to see the villagers repair
In groups to pay their adoration there;
To view, in homespun dress, each sacred morn,
The old and young her hallow'd seats adorn,
|While, grateful for each blessing God has giv'n,||175|
|They waft, in pious strains, their thanks to Heav 'n.*|
Oh, heav'n-born faith! sure solace or our woes,
How lost is he who ne'er thy influence knows,
How cold the heart thy charity ne'er fires,
How dead the soul thy spirit ne 'er inspires!
|When troubles vex and agitate the mind
(By gracious Heav'n for wisest ends design'd),
When dangers threaten, or when fears invade,
Man flies to thee for comfort and for aid;
The soul, impell'd by thy all-pow'rful laws,
|Seeks safety, only, in a Great First Cause!
If, then, amid the busy scene of life,
Its joy and pleasure, care, distrust, and strife;
Man, to his God for help and succour fly,
And on the Saviour's pow'r to save, rely;
|If then each thought can force him to confess
His errors, wants, and utter helplessness;
How strong must be those feelings which impart
A sense of all his weakness to his heart,
Where not a friend in solitude is nigh,
|His home the wild, his canopy the sky;
And, far remov'd from ev'ry human arm,
His God alone can shelter him from harm.
While now the Rising Village claims a name,
Its limits still increase, and still its fame,
|The wand'ring Pedlar, who undaunted trac'd
His lonely footsteps o'er the silent waste;
Who travers'd once the cold and snow-clad plain,
Reckless of danger, trouble, or of pain,
To find a market for his little wares,
|The source of all his hopes, and all his cares,|
*They waft, in pious strains, their thanks to Heav'n. I cannot avoid here stating how much the province of Nova Scotia is indebted to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. Since the first settlement of the country their funds have been liberally bestowed, to assist in the building of churches, and for the maintenance of Missionaries; there being now not less than thirty in this Province.
|Establish'd here, his settled home maintains,
And soon a merchant's higher title gains.
Around his store on spacious shelves array'd,
Behold his great and various stock in trade.
|Here, nails and blankets, side by side, are seen,
There, horses' collars, and a large tureen;
Buttons and tumblers, codhooks, spoons and knives,
Shawls for young damsels, flannels for old wives;
Woolcards and stockings, hats for men and boys,
|Mill-saws and fenders, silks, and infants' toys;
All useful things, and join'd with many more,
Compose the well assorted country store. *
The half-bred Doctor next here settles down,
And hopes the village soon will prove a town.
|No rival here disputes his doubtful skill,
He cures, by chance, or ends each human ill;
By turns he physics, or his patient bleeds,
Uncertain in what case each best succeeds.
And if, from friends untimely snatch'd away,
|Some beauty fall a victim to decay;
If some fine youth, his parents' fond delight,
Be early hurried to the shades of night,
Death bears the blame, 'tis his envenom'd dart
That strikes the suff'ring mortal to the heart.
Beneath the shelter of a log-built shed
The country school-house next erects its head.t
No "man severe," with learning's bright display,
Here leads the op'ning blossoms into day:
*Compose the well assorted country store. Every shop in America, whether in city or in village, in which the most trifling articles are sold, is dignified with the title of a store.
tThe country school-house next erects its head. I must here again express the gratitude that is due to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, whose funds are so nobly appropriated to the support of schools in this province. There are, at present, forty schoolmasters, who receive a small salary from the society; twelve scholarships at King's College, and twelve exhibitions at the Collegiate School, in Windsor, to assist the education of persons destined for Holy Orders.
|No master here, in ev'ry art refin'd,||235|
|Through fields of science guides th' aspiring mind;
But some poor wand'rer of the human race,
Unequal to the task, supplies his place,
Whose greatest source of knowledge or of skill
Consists in reading or in writing ill;
|Whose efforts can no higher merit claim,
Than spreading Dilworth's great scholastic fame.
No modest youths surround his awful chair,
His frowns to deprecate, or smiles to share,
But all the terrors of his lawful sway
|The proud despise, the fearless disobey;
The rugged urchins spurn at all control,
Which cramps the movements of the freeborn soul,
Till, in their own conceit so wise they've grown,
They think their knowledge far exceeds his own.
As thus the Village each successive year
Presents new prospects, and extends its sphere,
While all around its smiling charms expand,
And rural beauties decorate the land.
The humble tenants, who were taught to know
|By years of suff'ring, all the weight of woe;
Who felt each hardship nature could endure,
Such pains as time alone could ease or cure,
Relieved from want, in sportive pleasures find
A balm to soften and relax the mind;
|And now, forgetful of their former care,
Enjoy each sport, and every pastime share.
Beneath some spreading tree's expanded shade
Here many a manly youth and gentle maid,
With festive dances or with sprightly song
|The summer's ev'ning hours in joy prolong,
And as the young their simple sports renew,
The aged witness, and approve them too.
And when the Summer's bloomy charms are fled,
When Autumn's fallen leaves around are spread,
|When Winter rules the sad inverted year,
And ice and snow alternately appear,
Sports not less welcome lightly they essay,
To chase the long and tedious hours away.
Here, ranged in joyous groups around the fire,
|Gambols and freaks each honest heart inspire:
And if some vent'rous youth obtain a kiss,
The game's reward, and summit of its bliss,
Applauding shouts the victor's prize proclaim,
And ev'ry tongue augments his well earn'd fame;
|While all the modest fair one's blushes tell
Success had crown'd his fondest hopes too well.
Dear humble sports, Oh! long may you impart
A guileless pleasure to the youthful heart;
Still may thy joys from year to year increase,
|And fill each breast with happiness and peace.|
Yet, though these simple pleasures crown the year,
Relieve its cares, and ev'ry bosom cheer,
As life's gay scenes in quick succession rise,
To lure the heart, or captivate the eyes;
|Soon vice steals on, in thoughtless pleasure's train,
And spreads her miseries o'er the village plain.
Her baneful arts some happy home invade,
Some bashful lover, or some tender maid;
Until, at length, repress'd by no control,
|They sink, debase, and overwhelm the soul.
How many aching breasts now live to know
The shame, the anguish, misery, and woe,
That heedless passions, by no laws confin'd,
Entail for ever on the human mind.
|O Virtue! that thy powerful charms could bind
Each rising impulse of the erring mind,
That every heart might own thy sov'reign sway,
And ev'ry bosom fear to disobey;
No father's heart would then in anguish trace
|The sad remembrance of a son's disgrace:
No mother's tears for some dear child undone
Would then in streams of poignant sorrow run,
Nor could my verse the hapless story tell
Of one poor maid who lov'dand lov'd too well.
|Of all the youths that graced their native plain,
Albert was foremost of the village train;
The hand of nature had profusely shed
Her choicest blessings on his youthful head;
His heart seem'd generous, noble, kind, and free,
|Just bursting into manhood's energy.
Flora was fair, and blooming as that flow'r *
Which spreads its blossoms to the April show'r;
Her gentle manners and unstudied grace
Still added lustre to her beaming face;
|While every look, by purity refin'd,
Display'd the lovelier beauties of her mind.
Sweet was the hour, and peaceful was the scene
When Albert first met Flora on the green;
Her modest looks, in youthful bloom display'd,
|Then touch'd his heart, and there a conquest made.
Nor long he sigh'd, by love and rapture fired,
He soon declar'd the passion she inspir'd.
In silence, blushing sweetly, Flora heard
His vows of love and constancy preferr'd;
|And, as his soft and tender suit he press'd,
The maid, at length, a mutual flame confess'd.
Love now had shed, with visions light as air,
His golden prospects on this happy pair:
Those moments now roll'd rapidly away,
|Those hours of joy and bliss that gently play
Round youthful hearts ere yet they've learn'd to know
Life's care and trouble, or have felt its woe.
The ring was bought, the bridal dress was made,
The day was fix'd, and time alone delay'd
|The anxious moment that (in joy begun)
Would join their fond and faithful hearts in one.
'Twas now at evening's hour; about the time
When in Acadia's cold and northern clime
The setting sun, with pale and cheerless glow,
|Extends his beams o'er trackless fields of snow,
That Flora felt her throbbing heart oppress'd
By thoughts, till then, a stranger to her breast.
* Which spreads its blossoms to the April shower. The
May-flower (Epigaea repens) is
|Albert had promised that his bosom's pride
That very morning should become his bride:
|But morn had come, and pass'd; and not one vow
Of his had e'er been broken until now.
Yet, hark! a hurried step advances near,
'Tis Albert's breaks upon her list'ning ear;
Albert's, ah, no! a step so harsh and drear
|Ne'er bounded Albert to his Flora dear.
It was the postman's rude approach that bore,
With eager haste, a letter to the door;
Flora received it, and could scarce conceal
Her rapture, when she kiss'd her lover's seal.
|Yet, anxious tears were gather'd in her eye,
As on the note it rested wistfully;
Her trembling hands unclos'd the folded page,
That soon she hoped would ev'ry fear assuage,
And while intently o'er the lines she ran,
|In broken half breathed tones she thus began:|
"Dear Flora, I have left my native plain,
And fate forbids that we shall meet again:
'Twere vain to tell, nor can I now impart
The sudden motive to this change of heart.
|The vows so oft repeated to thine ear
As tales of cruel falsehood must appear.
Forgive the hand that deals this treach'rous blow,
Forget the heart that can inflict this woe:
Farewell for ever! think not of Albert's name,
|His weakness pity, now involv'd in shame."|
Ah! who can paint her features as, amazed,
In breathless agony, she stood and gaz'd?
Oh, Albert, cruel Albert! she exclaim'd,
Albert was all her falt'ring accents nam'd.
|A deadly feeling seized upon her frame,
Her pulse throbb'd quick, her colour went and came;
A darting pain shot through her frenzied head,
And from that fatal hour her reason fled!
The sun had set; his ling'ring beams of light
|From western hills had vanish'd into night.
The northern blast along the valley roll'd,
Keen was that blast, and piercing was the cold.
When, urged by frenzy, and by love inspir'd,
(For what but madness could her breast have fir'd?)
|Flora, with one slight mantle round her wav'd,
Forsook her home, and all the tempest brav'd.
Her lover's falsehood wrung her gentle breast,
His broken vows her tortur'd mind possess'd;
Heedless of danger or the drift that lay
|Along the snowy road, she bent her way
Towards Albert's home; with desperate zeal pursu'd
Her steps through night's thick darkness unsubdu'd,
Until, at length, her fair and fragile form
Yielded beneath the fury of the storm;
|Exhausted nature could no further go,
And, senseless, down she sank amid the snow.
Just as the morn had streak'd the eastern sky
With dawning light, a passing stranger's eye,
By chance directed, glanc'd upon the spot
|Where lay the lovely suff'rer: To his cot
The peasant bore her, and with anxious care
Tried ev'ry art, till hope became despair.
With kind solicitude his tender wife
Long vainly strove to call her back to life;
|At length her gentle bosom throbs again,
Her torpid limbs their wonted pow'r obtain;
The loit'ring current now begins to flow,
And hapless Flora wakes once more to woe.
But all their friendly efforts could not find
|A balm to heal the anguish of her mind.|
|Come hither, wretch, and see what thou hast done,
Behold the heart thou hast so falsely won;
Behold it, wounded, broken, crush'd, and riv'n,
By thy unmanly arts to ruin driv'n;
|Hear Flora calling on thy much lov'd name,
Which, e'en in madness, she forbears to blame.
Not all thy sighs and tears can now restore
One hour of pleasure that she knew before;
Not all thy prayers can now remove the pain
|That floats and revels o'er her madden'd brain.
Oh, shame of manhood! that could thus betray
A maiden's hopes, and lead her heart away;
Oh, shame of manhood! that could blast her joy,
And one so fair, so lovely, could destroy.
| Yet, think not oft such tales of real woe
Degrade the land, and round the village flow.
Here virtue's charms appear in bright array,
And all their pleasing influence display;
Here modest youths, impress'd in beauty's train,
|Or captive led by love's endearing chain,
And fairest girls, whom vows have ne'er betray'd
(Vows that are broken oft as soon as made),
Unite their hopes, and join their lives in one,
In bliss pursue them, as at first begun.
|Then, as life's current onward gently flows,
With scarce one fault to ruffle its repose,
With minds prepar'd, they sink in peace to rest,
To meet on high the spirits of the bless'd.
While time thus rolls his rapid years away,
|The Village rises gently into day.
How sweet it is, at first approach of morn,
Before the silv'ry dew has left the lawn,
When warring winds are sleeping yet on high,
Or breathe as softly as the bosom's sigh,
|To gain some easy hill's ascending height,
Where all the landscape brightens with delight,
And boundless prospects stretch'd on every side,
Proclaim the country's industry and pride.
Here the broad marsh extends its open plain,
|Until its limits touch the distant main;
There verdant meads along the uplands spring,
And to the breeze their grateful odours fling;
Here crops of corn in rich luxuriance rise,
And wave their golden riches to the skies;
|There smiling orchards interrupt the scene,
Or gardens bounded by some fence of green;
The farmer's cot, deep bosom'd 'mong the trees,
Whose spreading branches shelter from the breeze;
The saw-mill rude, whose clacking all day long
|The wilds reecho, and the hills prolong;
The neat white church, beside whose walls are spread
The grass-clod hillocks of the sacred dead,
Where rude cut stones or painted tablets tell,
In labour'd verse, how youth and beauty fell;
|How worth and hope were hurried to the grave,
And torn from those who had no power to save.
Or, when the Summer's dry and sultry sun
Adown the West his fiery course has run;
When o'er the vale his parting rays of light
|Just linger, ere they vanish into night,
'Tis sweet to wander round the woodbound lake,
Whose glassy stillness scarce the zephyrs wake;
'Tis sweet to hear the murm'ring of the rill,
As down it gurgles from the distant hill; *
|The note of Whip-poor-Will 'tis sweet to hear,
When sad and slow it breaks upon the ear,
And tells each night, to all the silent vale,
The hopeless sorrows of its mournful tale.
Dear lovely spot! Oh may such charms as these,
|Sweet tranquil charms, that cannot fail to please,
For ever reign around thee, and impart
Joy, peace, and comfort to each native heart.
Happy Acadia! though around thy shore
Is heard the stormy wind's terrific roar;
|Though round thee Winter binds his icy chains,
And his rude tempests sweep along thy plains,
Still Summer comes with her luxuriant band
Of fruits and flowers, to decorate thy land;
Still Autumn, smiling o'er thy fertile soil,
|With richest gifts repays the lab'rer's toil;
With bounteous hand his varied wants supplies,
And scarce the fruit of other suns denies.
*The note of Whip-poor-Will 'tis sweet to hear. The
|How pleasing, and how glowing with delight,
Are now thy budding hopes! How sweetly bright
|They rise to view! How full of joy appear
The expectations of each future year!
Not fifty Summers yet have bless'd thy clime
(How short a period in the page of time!)
Since savage tribes, with terror in their train,
|Rush'd o'er thy fields, and ravag'd all thy plain.
But some few years have roll'd in haste away
Since, through thy vales, the fearless beast of prey,
With dismal yell and loud appalling cry,
Proclaim'd their midnight reign of horror nigh.
|And now how chang'd the scene! The first, afar,
Have fled to wilds beneath the northern star;
The last have learn'd to shun the dreaded eye
Of lordly man, and in their turn to fly.
While the poor peasant, whose laborious care
|Scarce from the soil could wring his scanty fare;
Now in the peaceful arts of culture skill'd,
Sees his wide barns with ample treasures fill'd;
Now finds his dwelling, as the year goes round,
Beyond his hopes, with joy and plenty crown'd.
And shall not, then the humble muse display
Though small the tribute, and though poor the lay,
A country's thanks, and strive to bear the fame
To after ages, of Dalhousie's name.
He who with heroes oft, through fields of gore,
|The standard of his country proudly bore;
Until on Gallia's plain the day was won,
And hosts proclaim'd his task was nobly done.
He who "not less to peaceful arts inclin'd,"
Cross'd the deep main to bless the lab'ring hind:
|The hardy sons of Scotia's clime to teach
What bounteous Heav'n had plac'd within their reach.
He saw the honest uninstructed swain
*The hardy sons of Scotia's clime to teach The
provinces of Nova Scotia and New
|Exhaust his strength, and till his lands in vain;
He call'd fair science to the rustic's aid,*
|And to his view her gentle path display'd.
His fruitful field with Britain's soil now vies,
And, as to Heav'n his grateful thanks arise,
Thy name, Dalhousie, mixes with his prayers,
And the best wishes of the suppliant shares.
Nor culture's arts, a nation's noblest friend,
Alone o'er Scotia's field their power extend;
From all her shores, with every gentle gale,
Bright commerce wide expands her swelling sail:
And all the land, luxuriant, rich, and gay,
|Exulting owns the splendour of their sway.
These are thy blessings, Scotia, and for these,
For wealth, for freedom, happiness, and ease,
Thy grateful thanks to Britain's care are due;
Her pow'r protects, her smiles past hopes renew;
|Her valour guards thee, and her councils guide;
Then, may thy parent ever be thy pride!
Oh, England! although doubt around thee play'd,
And all thy childhood's years in error stray'd;
Matur'd and strong, thou shin'st, in manhood's prime,
|The first and brightest star of Europe's clime.
The nurse of science, and the seat of arts,
The home of fairest forms and gentlest hearts;
The land of heroes, generous, free, and brave,
The noblest conqu'rors of the field and wave;
|Thy flag, on ev'ry sea and shore unfurl'd,
Has spread thy glory, and thy thunder hurl'd.
*He call'd fair science to the rustic's aid.
Earl of Dalhousie assumed the command of the province of Nova Scotia, its agriculture was
in a deplorable state; for though large tracts of land were under cultivation, yet the
mode of tillage was so unskilful, and an adherence to old customs so obstinate, that the
most fertile soil was often very unproductive.
|When, o'er the earth, a tyrant would have thrown
His iron chain, and call'd the world his own,
Thine arm preserv'd it, in its darkest hour,
|Destroy'd his hopes, and crush'd his dreaded pow'r:
To sinking nations life and freedom gave,
'Twas thine to conquer, as 'twas thine to save.
Then, blest Acadia! ever may thy name,
Like hers, be graven on the rolls of fame;
|May all thy sons, like hers, be brave and free,
Possessors of her laws and liberty;
Heirs of her splendour, science, pow'r, and skill,
And through succeeding years her children still.
Then as the sun, with gentle dawning ray,
|From night's dull bosom wakes, and leads the day,
His course majestic keeps, till in the height
He glows one blaze of pure exhaustless light;
So may thy years increase, thy glories rise,
To be the wonder of the western skies;
|And bliss and peace encircle all thy shore,
Till sun, and moon, and stars shall be no more.