Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry III: From Tennyson to Whitman
   English Poetry III: From Tennyson to Whitman.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
657. The Canadian Boat Song
J. Wilson (?) (19th century)
LISTEN to me, as when ye heard our father
  Sing long ago the song of other shores—
Listen to me, and then in chorus gather
  All your deep voices as ye pull your oars:
    Fair these broad meads—these hoary woods are grand;        5
    But we are exiles from our fathers’ land.
From the lone shieling of the misty island
  Mountains divide us, and the waste of seas—
Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland,
  And we in dreams behold the Hebrides:        10
    Fair these broad meads, &c.
We ne’er shall tread the fancy-haunted valley,
  Where ’tween the dark hills creeps the small clear stream,
In arms around the patriarch banner rally,
  Nor see the moon on royal tombstones gleam:        15
    Fair these broad meads, &c.
When the bold kindred, in the time long-vanished,
  Conquered the soil and fortified the keep,—
No seer foretold the children would be banished,
  That a degenerate Lord might boast his sheep:        20
    Fair these broad meads, &c.
Come foreign rage—let Discord burst in slaughter!
  O then for clansmen true, and stern claymore—
The hearts that would have given their blood like water,
  Beat heavily beyond the Atlantic roar:        25
    Fair these broad meads—these hoary woods are grand;
    But we are exiles from our fathers’ land.


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