Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
By Phillips Stewart (1864–1892)
From ‘Lines to My Mother’

TRUE greatness is the struggle to be free,
And he who would be truly great must bear
A thorny heart for lovely Freedom’s sake.
Ignominy and gloom, curses, blind lies,
The scorn of little minds, the bitter hemlock bowl,        5
Are all he wins in life. Hail, noble Queen!
Thy reign is growing larger every hour.
Hail to the light of thine eternal brow!
The little lights must fade in thee, as moths
Dissolve in flame—the little lights must die.        10
Is it a sin to doubt the past, that speaks
The darkened mind? Hail, light unquenchable!
From Thee priestcraft and superstition skulk
Into oblivion, and caves of night,
And mumbling mouths that mourn the outworn past.        15
The rights and lives of men are but half built,
When inhumanity hath greater power
Than love; what wonder that the world is full
Of clanking chains, and rayless cells of gloom!

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