My forest brave, my Red-skin love, farewell;
We may not meet to-morrow; who can tell
What mighty ills befall our little band,
Or what you'll suffer from the white man's hand?
We first saw light in Canada, the land beloved of God;
We are the pulse of Canada, its marrow and its blood:
And we, the men of Canada, can face the world and brag
That we were born in Canada beneath the British flag.
And only where the forest fires have sped,
Scorching relentlessly the cool north lands,
A sweet wild flower lifts its purple head,
And, like some gentle spirit sorrow-fed,
So near at hand (our eyes o'erlooked its nearness
In search of distant things)
A dear dream lay--perchance to grow in dearness
Had we but felt its wings
Pillowed and hushed on the silent plain,
Wrapped in her mantle of golden grain,
Wearied of pleasuring weeks away,
To-night the west o'er-brims with warmest dyes;
Its chalice overflows
With pools of purple colouring the skies,
Aflood with gold and rose;
And then the sound of marching armies 'woke
Amid the branches of the soldier oak,
And tempests ceased their warring cry, and dumb
The lashing storms that muttered, overcome,
Crown of her, young Vancouver; crest of her, old Quebec;
Atlantic and far Pacific sweeping her, keel to deck.
There's wine in the cup, Vancouver,
And there's warmth in my heart for you,
While I drink to your health, your youth, and your wealth,
And the things that you yet will do.