Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
Prayer for Dominion Day
By Agnes Maule Machar (1837–1927)
WITH head uplifted towards the Polar star,
  And feet half buried in the vines and corn,
  Our country, of the nations latest born,
Stretches one hand the Atlantic’s waves to bar,
The other—to the setting sun afar—        5
  Rolls back the wide Pacific towards the morn!
  And yet, methinks, distracted and forlorn
She looks—from things that were to things that are—
With doubtful eyes, that all uncertain sweep
  The wide horizon, as if searching there        10
For one strong love to make her pulses leap
  With one strong impulse! Wayward passions tear
The heart that should be set in purpose deep,
  And cloud the eyes that should be raised in prayer!
O God of nations, who hast set her place        15
  Between the rising and the setting day,
  Her part in this world’s changeful course to play,
Soothe the conflicting passions that we trace
In her unrestful eyes—grant her the grace
  To know the one true perfect love that may        20
  Give noble impulse to her onward way—
God’s love, that doth all other loves embrace!
Gird her with panoply of truth and right
  In which she may go forth her fate to meet—
Ithuriel’s spear, to crush with angel might        25
  The brood of darkness crouching at her feet;
With faith to nerve her will and clear her sight,
  Till she shall round a destiny complete!

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