Canada

A poem by Joseph Horatio Chant

Dear Canada, our native land,
Our love for thee grows day by day;
Our fathers left the olden strand,
O'er sea and rapids made their way,
And by their energy and skill
They laid thy firm foundation deep,
And sowed the seed o'er vale and hill
Which we, their sons, are called to reap.

The wilderness blooms as the rose;
The old-time hardships are unknown;
And wealth in streams of commerce flows
From sea to sea--a nation grown--
Still youthful, but with thews of steel
To throttle foes that may arise;
Yet loving touch sore hearts to heal,
And lift us nearer to the skies.

We cannot boast as blue a sky
As smiles o'er many an Alpine plain,
Nor are our mountain peaks as high
As theirs, yet we have other gain;
Our hills are rich in yellow gold,
Our plains are broad and fertile too;
Our lakes and streams hold wealth untold,
And grander forests never grew.

Our sky is bright to healthy eyes;
Pure ozone lades the air we breathe;
Our climate we have learned to prize;
Nor do we o'er our winters grieve;
For nature throws her ermine robe
O'er purple hills and vales as well;
No portion of this earthly globe
As gay as this, with sleigh and bell.

But soon the winter wears away,
And plants long sheltered now are seen,
And April showers and smiling May
Soon clothe the earth in living green.
Monotony is thus unknown--
Each season is a glad surprise,
In which God's truth and love are shown,
And hope within us never dies.

Our sons, inured to noble toil,
Grow strong in arm and broad in mind;
Some stay at home to till the soil,
Others in various callings find
Their missions--but where'er their place
In the great drama of our day,
They, as a class, win in the race,
And the behests of Heaven obey.

The gold of monarchy have we,
Without the useless silt and dross;
And like our cousins, all are free,
Yet we have no election boss.
No union here of Church and State,
Yet Church and State full well agree
That nations never can be great
If they refuse to bow the knee.

We make the nation's weal or woe,
As one may shape his future life.
"God's mill," 'tis said, "grinds fine, tho' slow,"
A fact lost sight of in the strife
For place and power in Church and State,
And think God cares not what we do;
But to our doubt he whispers "wait,"
And time proves Him both just and true.

From England and from sunny France
Our fathers came, long years ago;
On Abraham's plain with sword and lance
They fought as foes--gave blow for blow.
The victors and the conquered now
Recall that day with mutual pride;
To their grand destiny all bow,
And as true peers, stand side by side.

So give me Canada before
The fairest land beneath the sky.
We stretch our arms from shore to shore
And all are free, both low and high;
An infant nation yet, 'tis true,
But strong in muscle and in nerve,
We hold our own, give all their due,
And God's great purpose humbly serve.

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