The Huron Chief, and Other Poems

by Adam Kidd


 

SPENCER-WOOD.


 

Through thy green groves, and deep receding bowers,
    Loved SPENCER-WOOD! how often have I strayed,
Or mused away, the calm, unbroken hours,
    Beneath some broad oak’s cool, refreshing shade.

There, not a sound disturbed the tranquil scene,
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    Save welcome hummings of the roving bee,
That quickly flitted o’er the tufted green,
    Or where the squirrel played from tree to tree.

And I have paused beside that dimpling stream,
    Which slowly winds thy beauteous groves among,
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Till from its breast retired the sun’s last beam,
    And every bird had ceased its vesper song.

The blushing arbours of those classic days,
    Through which the breathings of the slender reed, [Page 157]
First softly echoed with Arcadia’s praise,
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    Might well be pictured in this sheltered mead.

And blest were those who found a happy home
    In thy loved shades, without one throb of care—
No murmurs heard, save from the distant foam,
    That rolled in columns o’er the great Chaudiere.*
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And I have watched the moon in grandeur rise,
    Above the tinted maple’s leaffy breast,
And take her brilliant path-way through the skies,
    Till half the world seemed lulled in peaceful rest. [Page 158]

Oh! these were hours, whose soft enchanting spell
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    Came o’er the heart, in thy grove’s deep recess—
Where e’en poor Shenstone might have loved to dwell,
    Enjoying the pure calm of happiness!

But soon, how soon, a different scene I trace,
    Where I have wandered, or oft musing stood:—
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And those whose cheering looks enhanced the place
    No more shall smile on thee, lone SPENCER-WOOD!*
[Page 159]



* The falls of the Chaudiere are about nine miles from Quebec, on the south shore of the St. Lawrence, and for beauty, and romantic scenery, perhaps not surpassed in all America. They are not so magnificent as Niagara, but certainly far more picturesque. The Cohos, on the Mohawk river—the Catskill—the Genesees, which flow into Lake Ontario, and many other falls that I visited, through the United States, are no more than the overflowings of a glass of soda-water, when put in comparison with the enchanting grandeur of the Chaudiere. [back]

* This is one of the most beautiful spots in Lower Canada, and the property of the late HON. MICHAEL HENRY PERCEVAL, who resided there with his accomplished family; whose polished, and highly educated minds, rendered my visits to SPENCER-WOOD, doubly interesting.—It is handsomely situated on the lofty banks of the St. Lawrence, a little more than two miles from Quebec. The grounds, and gravel walks are tastefully laid out, interspersed with a great variety of trees, planted by the hand of nature. The scenery is altogether magnificent, and particularly towards the east, where the great precipices overhang WOLFE’S COVE. This latter place has derived its name from that hero, who, with his British troops, nobly ascended its frowning cliffs, on the night of the 11th of September, 1759, and took possession of the plains of Abraham. [back]