Eos: An Epic of the Dawn, and Other Poems

By Nicholas Flood Davin


 

REGINA.*

Verses supposed to be recited on Victoria Street, in the year of the City A.U.C. 22.


 

A pleasant city on a boundless plain,
Around rich land where peace and plenty reign;
A legal camp, the province wisdom’s home,
A rich cathedral, learning’s splendid dome;
A teeming mart, wide streets, broad squares, bright flowers,
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A marble figure whence a fountain showers–
What city’s this? A gentle princess, famed
For happy genius, it Regina named.
Its youth— (though born beneath a happy star)—
Was stormy, and each cur, from near and far,
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Bark’d at the town; each ribald loudly talked,
Hirelings—projectors whose vile plans were balked.
They lied, they swore; loud was the ceaseless bray;
Reginians smiled—Regina held her way,
The while traducers perished one by one.
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And fate o’ertook each guilty mother’s son.
Failing to bleed the tenderfoot, they bled
Themselves, or like their sires by hempen thread
Expired; and Winnipeg the city where
They lived and died, soon perished like a pear
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That had the yellows. Long the Times is dead;
The Sun has set; the Free Press’ days are fled;
The lot of one wild scribbler stands alone;
The gods in anger turned him into stone,
And by an irony Ned called “divilish quare,”
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Made him a fountain in Regina’s square,
And there he stands—no wonder you’re amused—
Spouting the water he so oft abused. [Page 123]


 

 

* The Winnipeg Times of January 3rd, 1884, had a poem headed “Pile of
Bones” by Futuro.

“What mounds are those, carefully ploughed around?
Some hunters’ graves or Indian burial ground?
Not so, my friend—some twenty years gone by,
A town sprang up right here where you and I
Now stand, which first as Pile of Bones was known.”

And the writer went on to abuse the water, etc. At the time one of the foremost writers in Canada was editing the Times, and was supposed to have penned the verses. I did not think them worth answering, but on entering a store on Broad Street, a gentleman suggested I should answer them. I thereupon took up a pen and wrote the above impromptu. One of the prophecies is fulfilled—but I hope the Free P ress and Sun may long flourish, even though they should continue to be my bitter enemies. [back]
[Page 122]