O I was thine, and thou wert mine, and ours the boundless plain,
Where the winds of the North, my gallant steed, ruffled thy tawny mane,
But the summons hath come with roll of drum, and bugles ringing shrill,
Startling the prairie antelope, the grizzly of the hill.
'Tis the voice of Empire calling, and the children gather fast
From every land where the cross bar floats out from the quivering mast;
So into the saddle I leap, my own, with bridle swinging free,
And thy hoofbeats shall answer the trumpets blowing across the sea.
Then proudly toss thy head aloft, nor think of the foe to-morrow,
For he who dares to stay our course drinks deep of the Cup of Sorrow.
Thy form hath pressed the meadow's breast, where the sullen grey wolf hides,
The great red river of the North hath cooled thy burning sides;
Together we've slept while the tempest swept the Rockies' glittering chain;
And many a day the bronze centaur hath galloped behind in vain.
But the sweet wild grass of mountain pass, and the battlefields far away,
And the trail that ends where Empire trends, is the trail we ride to-day.
But proudly toss thy head aloft, nor think of the foe to-morrow,
For he who bars Strathcona's Horse, drinks deep of the Cup of Sorrow.