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Thoughts, Moods and Ideals: Crimes of Leisure   By: (1857-1954)

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Crimes of Leisure





Dedicated to My Friends.



YOUNG MAN What are the Vision and the Cry That haunt the new Canadian soul? Dim grandeur spreads we know not why O'er mountain, forest, tree and knoll, And murmurs indistinctly fly. Some magic moment sure is nigh. O Seer, the curtain roll!

SEER The Vision, mortal, it is this Dead mountain, forest, knoll and tree Awaken all endued with bliss, A native land O think! to be Thy native land and ne'er amiss, Its smile shall like a lover's kiss From henceforth seem to thee.

The Cry thou couldst not understand, Which runs through that new realm of light, From Breton's to Vancouver's strand O'er many a lovely landscape bright, It is their waking utterance grand, The great refrain "A NATIVE LAND!" Thine be the ear, the sight.



To Thee whose smile is might and fame, A nation lifts united praise And asks but that Thy purpose frame A useful glory for its days.

We pray no sunset lull of rest, No pomp and bannered pride of war; We hold stern labor manliest, The just side real conqueror.

For strength we thank Thee: keep us strong, And grant us pride of skilful toil; For homes we thank Thee: may we long Have each some Eden rood of soil.

O, keep our mothers kind and dear, And make the fathers stern and wise; The maiden soul preserve sincere, And rise before the young man's eyes.

Crush out the jest of idle minds, That know not, jesting, when to hush; Keep on our lips the word that binds, And teach our children when to blush.

Forever constant to the good Still arm our faith, thou Guard Sublime, To scorn, like all who have understood, The atheist dangers of the time.

Thou hearest! Lo, we feel our love Of loyal thoughts and actions free Toward all divine achievement move, Ennobled, blest, ensured, by Thee.


AT VENICE Lo! Venice, gay with color, lights and song, Calls from St. Mark's with ancient voice and strange: I am the Witch of Cities! glide along My silver streets that never wear by change Of years: forget the years, and pain, and wrong, And every sorrow reigning men among. Know I can soothe thee, please and marry thee To my illusions. Old and siren strong, I smile immortal, while the mortals flee Who whiten on to death in wooing me.

AT FLORENCE Say, what more fair, by Arno's bridgéd gleam,[A] Than Florence, viewed from San Miniato's slope At eventide, when west along the stream, The last of day reflects a silver hope! Lo, all else softened in the twilight beam: The city's mass blent in one hazy cream, The brown Dome midst it, and the Lily tower, And stern Old Tower more near, and hills that seem Afar, like clouds to fade, and hills of power, On this side, greenly dark with cypress, vine and bower.

AT ROME End of desire to stray I feel would come Though Italy were all fair skies to me, Though France's fields went mad with flowery foam And Blanc put on a special majesty. Not all could match the growing thought of home Nor tempt to exile. Look I not on ROME This ancient, modern, mediæval queen Yet still sigh westward over hill and dome, Imperial ruin and villa's princely scene Lovely with pictured saints and marble gods serene.

REFLECTION Rome, Florence, Venice noble, fair and quaint, They reign in robes of magic round me here; But fading, blotted, dim, a picture faint, With spell more silent, only pleads a tear. Plead not! Thou hast my heart, O picture dim! I see the fields, I see the autumn hand Of God upon the maples! Answer Him With weird, translucent glories, ye that stand Like spirits in scarlet and in amethyst! I see the sun break over you; the mist On hills that lift from iron bases grand Their heads superb! the dream, it is my native land... Continue reading book >>

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