Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
By Emily McManus
SOFTLY the shadows of prairie-land wheat
Ripple and riot adown to her feet;
Murmurs all Nature with joyous acclaim,
Fragrance of summer and shimmer of flame:
Heedless she hears while the centuries slip:—        5
Chalice of poppy is laid on her lip.
Hark! From the East comes a ravishing note,—
Sweeter was never in nightingale’s throat—
Silence of centuries thrills to the song,
Singing their silence awaited so long;        10
Low, yet it swells to the heaven’s blue dome,
Child-lips have called the wild meadow-land ‘Home!’
Deep, as she listens, a dewy surprise
Dawns in the languor that darkens her eyes;
Swift the red blood through her veins, in its flow,        15
Kindles to rapture her bosom aglow;
Voices are calling, where silence has been,
‘Look to the future, thou Mother of Men!’
Onward and onward! Her fertile expanse
Shakes as the tide of her children advance;        20
Onward and onward! Her blossoming floor
Yields her an opium potion no more;
Onward! and soon on her welcoming soil
Cities shall palpitate, myriads toil.

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