Eos: An Epic of the Dawn, and Other Poems

By Nicholas Flood Davin


 

YOUNG CANADA.

    “The hulking young giant beyond St. Lawrence and the Lakes”
W. D. Howells in “Their Wedding Journey.”



A youthful giant, golden-haired
    With fearless forehead, eye of blue,
And large and clear its frosty depths,
    With fire within its darkn’ing hue.

His spear which dwarfs the tallest pine,
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    Is bound around with yellow grain,
His shield is rich in varied scenes,
    To right and left loud roars the main.

A-top eternal snow is piled;
    Bright chains of lakes flash down through woods
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Now bleak, now green, now gold, now fire,
    Touched by the season’s changing moods.

He dreameth of unborn times;
    With manhood’s thoughts his mind is braced;
He’ll teach the world a lesson yet,
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    And with the mightiest must be placed.

Heaven’s best star his footsteps guide!
    Give him to know what’s truly great!
Not wealth ill-got or ill-enjoyed;
    For power—no thrall to lust or hate; [Page 133]
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But equal heart—the thirst for truth—
    A mind strong to produce and pry—
The love of man—the generous heat
    That makes the hero glad to die!

If pure in purpose as he’s strong,
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    Nothing of danger need he fear;
But better far than base success,
    To ride on an untimely bier.

But fear be hushed! Good omens beckon;
    Who counselled wrong will soon be far.
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Beyond the hill a voice is calling,
    Its notes ring clear above the jar

Of passing strifes and paling passions—
    Hell’s wild battle ’mid mortal graves;
And with it, hark! the great bass mingles
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    Of Atlantic and Pacific waves:

“Not Scotch, nor Irish, French, nor Saxon,
    But all of these and yet our own;
There are no beaten paths to greatness;
    Who’d scale those heights must climb alone.
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Ierne’s heart, compact of joy
    And sorrow, wealth of feeling brings;
France, sweetness for each word and act—
    The gaiety that ever sings.

From Scotland, thrift and strength you borrow—
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    John Knox’s strength and Burns’ liberal heart;
The Saxon breadth and compromise
    Shall lend; but you the larger part [Page 134]

Of your own destiny must be;
    Yours to direct—you light the fire—
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The animating soul’s your gift,
    For all fair things the high desire.”

The voice dies o’er the dews of morning,
    Which round him glitter while shadows flee,
Bright concord beams from shore to shore,
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    Glad union peals from sea to sea!

April, 1878.
[Page 135]