Eos: An Epic of the Dawn, and Other Poems

By Nicholas Flood Davin


 

FORWARD.


 

Who sneers she’s but a colony—
    No national spirit there;
Race differences, faction’s feuds
    Her flag to tatters tear?

What rises o’er those snowy plains?
5
    What flouts the Western sky?
Whence on the virgin white those stains?
    Whose is that crimson dye?

Rebellion’s ensign blots the blue,
    And mars its fretwork gold,
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And near those stains of crimson hue,
    Canadian hearts lie cold.

Another ensign! Trumpets ring!
    A youth this flag upholds;
And lo! from every side men spring
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    And range beneath its folds.

Nor race, nor creed, the patriot’s sword,
    Nor faction blunts to-day.
“Forward for Canada!” ’s the word,
    And, eager for the fray,
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Our youth press on and carpers shame,
    Their bearing bold and high,
For this young nation’s peace and fame
    Ready to do or die. [Page 136]

They come from hamlet and from town,
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    From hill and wood and glade,
From where great palaces look down
    On streets that roar with trade;

From whence by floe and rocky bar,
    The Atlantic’s held in check;
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From where Wolfe’s glory, like a star,
    Shines down on old Quebec;

From where Mount Royal rises proud
    O’er Cartier’s city fair;
From where Chaudière with thundercloud,
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    Flings high its smoke in air;

From pleasant cities rich and old
    That gem Ontario’s shore;
From where Niagara’s awful plunge
    Makes its eternal roar;
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From each new town, just sprung to life,
    Mid flowery prairies wide;
From where first Riel kindled strife
    To Calgary’s rapid tide

Upon the field, all rancour healed,
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    There’s no discordant hue;
The Orange marches with the Green,
    The Rouge beside the Bleu.

One purpose now fires every eye,
    Rebellion foul to slay,
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“Forward for Canada!” ’s the cry,
    And all are one to-day. [Page 137]