There was a light upon the sea that made
Familiar things mysterious, which to teach,
With inarticulate, alluring speech,
The living wind with lisping tongue essayed.
My little boy is eight years old,
He goes to school each day;
He doesn't mind the tasks they set-
They seem to him but play.
When snow-balls on the horses' hoofs
And the wind from the south blows warm,
When the cattle stand where the sunbeams beat
And the noon has a dreamy charm,
A man! A man! There is a man loose in Canada,
A man of heroic mould, a 'throwback' of earlier ages,
Vigorous, public-spirited, not afraid of work!
A doer of deeds, not a dreamer and babbler;
Toiling through ruined temple-halls, where Time
Had dwelt with Havoc, eager searchers found,
With shattered idols that bestrewed the ground,
An image strange, of lineaments sublime.
How blest is he that can but love and do
And has no skill of speech nor trick of art
Wherewith to tell what faith approveth true
And show for fame the treasures of his heart.
Of all that felt thy spell I envied one,
A youth whose sightless eyes were dimly turned
Where Tosca's soul with breathless passion burned,
Or thrilled with fury, agonized, undone.
I may not tell what hidden springs I find
Of living beauty in this deathless page,
Lest the dull world, that chooses to be blind,
Mock me to shame or lash me in its rage.
The chiselled fineness we can but surmise;
All that is delicate in form and mould
To-day has vanished under fold on fold
Of crystal whiteness that upon it lies.