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Canada, 1882.

John Campbell 1845 – 1914

"Are hearts here strong enough to found
A glorious people's sway?"
Ask of our rivers as they bound
From hill to plain, or ocean-sound,
If they are strong to-day?
If weakness in their floods be found,
Then may ye answer "Nay!"
 
"Is union yours? may foeman's might
Your love ne'er break or chain?"
Go see if o'er our land the flight
Of Spring be stayed by blast or blight;
If Fall bring never grain;
If Summer suns deny their light,
Then may our hope be vain!
 
"Yet far too cramped the narrow space
Your country's rule can own?"
Ah! travel all its bounds and trace
Each Alp unto its fertile base,
Our realm of forests lone,
Our world of prairie, like the face
Of ocean, hardly known!
 
"Yet for the arts to find a shrine,
Too rough, I ween, and rude?"
Yea, if you find no flower divine
With prairie grass or hardy pine.
No lilies with the wood,
Or on the water-meadows' line
No purple Iris' flood!
 
"You deem a nation here shall stand,
United, great, and free?"
Yes, see how Liberty's own hand
With ours the continent hath spanned,
Strong-arched, from sea to sea:
Our Canada's her chosen land,
Her roof and crown to be!
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

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John Campbell

John Campbell Shairp (30 July 1819 - 18 September 1885) was a Scottish poet, literary critic and academic. From his youth Shairp was a writer, but he did not publish early. In 1856 he issued a vigorous pamphlet on ‘The Wants of Scottish Universities and some of the Remedies.’ After settling at St. Andrews, he contributed frequently to periodicals. In 1864 he published Kilmahoe: A Highland pastoral, and other poems, in which he revealed his love of nature and of Scottish scenes and interests, and displayed a strong and original, if somewhat irregular, lyrical gift. Among the miscellaneous pieces in the volume, the tender and haunting "Bush aboon Traquair" easily won and retained popularity more…

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