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Title: Our Norland

Date of first publication: 1896

Author: Charles Sangster (1822-1893)

Date first posted: January 6, 2014

Date last updated: January 6, 2014

Faded Page eBook #20140101

This eBook was produced by: Larry B. Harrison, David T. Jones & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net


Our Norland



With the Compliments of the Season





We have no Dryads in our woods,

  No Fairies in the hills,

No Nereids in the crystal floods,

  Nor Undines in the rills;

No jolly Satyrs such as he,

  The gentle Spenser found

In that rare Dream of Chivalry

  With which his muse is crowned:

No sacred Fawns, no Druid oaks,

  No Sylvan deities,

No Ouphs to hold along the brooks

  Their midnight revelries;

No Ogres, guarding castle keeps,

  No Witches wild and lean,

No crafty Sirens from the deeps,

  No Genii from the green:

No mellow-throated nightingales

  Rousing the wilds with song,

While Echo waits through all the vales

  The sweet notes to prolong;

No larks, at heaven's coral gate,

  To celebrate the day

In fiery strains, and passionate

  Outbursts of lyric lay.

But we have birds of plumage bright,

  And warblers in our woods,

Whose hearts are well-springs of delight,

  Whose haunts, the solitudes--

The dim, untrodden wilderness,

  Where wildness reigns supreme--

God's solemn temple none the less

  Than some romantic dream;

Vast e'vn beyond the thought of man,

  Magnificently grand;

Coeval with the First great plan,

  From Nature's artist-hand:

Deep within deep, and wild on wild,

  In savage roughness rolled,

Grandeur on grandeur heaped and piled

  Through lusty days of old:

The stern-browed cape, the lofty peak

  Round which the mists are curled,

Whence Fancy not in vain might seek

  The circle of the world:

Broad inland seas and lovely lakes

  Their tributes seaward pour

O'er cataracts, whose thunder shakes

  The granite-belted shore:

The rugged oak, the regal pine,

  Our woodland monarchs, these,

Whose strong arms nursed the circling vine

  Through countless centuries;

Their reign was from the days of eld,

  Their hosts were mighty peers,

Who fought and fell as time compelled

  The battle of the years.

We have no feudal castles old,

  Like eyries perched on high,

Whence issue knights or barons bold,

  To ravage and destroy;

But we've the remnant of a race

  As bold and brave as they,

Whether in battle or the chase--

  The Red Man of to-day.

How brave--how great--in days of yore,

  Their scanty legends tell;

The soul a-hungered craves for more,

  But lo! beneath the swell

Of Time's resistless, onward roll,

  The unwritten secrets lie,

No voice from out the distant goal,

  No answer but a sigh.

For Time, like some old miser, keeps

  The record of the Tribes,

And will not yield it from the deeps

  For promises or bribes.

What mighty Chiefs! what Sachems gray!

  What multitudes of Braves!

But what remains of those to-day?

  A continent of graves!

And in their stead the Old World pours

  Its streams of living men--

Its hearts of oak--along our shores

  To people hill and glen:

To battle through a nation's youth

  Until, by heaven's grace,

We rise, in freedom and in truth,

  Another British race.

Stand up then, in thy youthful pride,

  O nation yet to be,

And wed this great land to its bride,

  The broad Atlantic Sea;

Fling out Britannia's flag above

  Our heaven-born endeavor,

Our chain of waves one chain of love,

  Uniting us forever.

[The end of Our Norland by Charles Sangster]