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The Emigrant Mechanic and Other Tales in Verse Together with Numerous Songs Upon Canadian Subjects   By: (1817-1907)

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TOGETHER WITH Numerous Songs Upon Canadian Subjects

By Thomas Cowherd


The Author of this volume does not feel much apology necessary for its publication, though the world is already flooded with Rhyme, upon almost every conceivable subject, and most of it of a very mediocre character.

Though living but a short time upon a Bush farm, my experiences were of such a practical nature as to entitle me to speak with confidence on many rural matters. The religious opinions so frequently and strongly expressed are the result of a careful study of God's Word, and I feel that for them no apology is necessary.

To learning I make but the most slender pretentions. Born in one of the humblest ranks in life, and going to my trade at the commencement of my teens , and working long weary hours for seven years at that trade, I found little opportunity of attaining anything like proficiency in literary composition. Many of my minor pieces have already seen the light in local and other newspapers, etc., and acting on the advice of several literary friends I have at last gathered my principal poems together in a permanent form. Should this effort not meet with public favor, the offense if such it be is not likely to be repeated, as I am now over sixty five years of age. Many of the productions of my humble Muse were conceived, and in a great measure composed, while working at the bench to which I am still confined, in order to provide for my family's needs.

If the advice of Pope to some of the Rhymers of his day was needful, viz., "to keep their effusions for seven years ," I can say truly most of mine have been kept that period nearly four times over. I would not have the reader imagine that they have necessarily grown better by being on the shelf; still this has afforded an opportunity for polishing them up in some measure.

I may further say my "Emigrant Mechanic" was nearly or quite finished before Mr. McLachlan's "Emigrant" was published, and before I had ever heard of "The U. E.," a beautiful and very interesting Emigrant poem by Mr. Kerby, of Niagara.

My warmest thanks are due the Rev. W. W. Smith, of Newmarket, Ont., for his kindness in undertaking the preparation of these pages for the press. Also for many valuable emendations.

Such as they are I send forth my unlearned rhymes, with the earnest prayer that they may benefit the reader as much as they have benefitted me, for I can say in the words of Coleridge, "Poetry has been to me its own exceeding great reward."

THOMAS COWHERD. Brantford, Ontario, January, 1884.



Book I

Introduction. Birthplace of the Mechanic. Affliction of the family. Death of Mother and two Sisters. Father's second marriage. Family tradition. Youth's thoughts and feelings in regard to it. Places visited. Crossthwaite, Underbarrow, Lake Windermere, Esthwaite. Incidents. Poetic Tastes. Conclusion.

Book II

Address to Domestic Bliss. Its influence on Society. Principal source from which it springs, viz., conjugal union, faithfully cherished. An appeal to Parents and Lawgivers on the subject. WILLIAM'S training under its influence. Difficulties in procuring trade. Success at last. Reflections on, and encouragements to, such trades. Temptations and trials. Anecdotes. Appeal to Masters and others. Narrow escape from a cut throat. Courtship and its consequences. Conclusion.

Book III

Holidays. The Schoolboy's anticipations in regard to them. Improper use made of such times by some apprentices. Evil consequence of their conduct. An Appeal to them on the subject. The sad tale of young Daycourt. Address to Liquor. Its evils. WILLIAM'S holiday rambles. Father's Birthplace. Tragic scene there. Farleton Knot. Glance back to Grandfather, etc. Joins Temperance movement. Visit of a man from Canada. His account of the country. Its consequences. WILLIAM'S taste in books. Rural rambles on business. Reflections on cruelty to animals... Continue reading book >>

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