Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
The Maple
By Henry Faulkner Darnell (1831–1915)
ALL hail to the broad-leaved Maple,
  With its fair and changeful dress!
A type of our youthful country
  In its pride and loveliness.
Whether in Spring or Summer,        5
  Or in the dreary Fall,
’Mid Nature’s forest children
  She ’s fairest of them all.
Down sunny slopes and valleys
  Her graceful form is seen,        10
Her wide, umbrageous branches
  The sunburnt reaper screen;
’Mid the dark-browed firs and cedars
  Her livelier colours shine,
Like the dawn of a brighter future        15
  On the settler’s hut of pine.
She crowns the pleasant hill-top,
  Whispers on breezy downs,
And casts refreshing shadows
  O’er the streets of our busy towns;        20
She gladdens the aching eyeball,
  Shelters the weary head,
And scatters her crimson glories
  On the graves of the silent dead.
When Winter’s frosts are yielding        25
  To the sun’s returning sway,
And merry groups are speeding
  To sugar-woods away;
The sweet and welling juices,
  Which form their welcome spoil,        30
Tell of the teeming plenty
  Which here waits honest toil.
When sweet-voiced Spring, soft-breathing,
  Breaks Nature’s icy sleep,
And the forest boughs are swaying        35
  Like the green waves of the deep;
In her fair and budding beauty
  A fitting emblem she
Of this our land of promise,
  Of hope, of liberty.        40
And when her leaves, all crimson,
  Droop silently and fall,
Like drops of lifeblood welling
  From a warrior brave and tall,
They tell how fast and freely        45
  Would her children’s blood be shed,
Ere the soil of our faith and freedom
  Should echo a foeman’s tread.
Then hail to the broad-leaved Maple,
  With her fair and changeful dress!        50
A type of our youthful country
  In its pride and loveliness.
Whether in Spring or Summer,
  Or in the dreary Fall,
’Mid Nature’s forest children        55
  She ’s fairest of them all.

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