The following song was written in 1838, by an author who remains anonymous, and was published in Hugh Williams’s National Songs and Poetical Pieces (1839). It has been transcribed by Stephen Basdeo.
The Canadian Exile’s Invocation to his Country and its Monarch-Stream, the Mighty St. Lawrence
One sigh for thee, proud mountain land!
One sigh, thou monarch-stream, for thee!
Hills that my boyhood fondly scanned,—
Waves that are stamped with majesty!
Yea,—waves and mountains, on whose crests
The diadem of Freedom rests,
Spurning the arts that would enslave
Her sons, the generous, bold, and brave.
One tear my country, for thy woes!
One burst of passion for thy wrongs!
For still my breast indignant glows
As memory the theme prolongs.
How thou wast firm; how thou wast true,
To the liege oak round which you grew!
But, ah! How curdled is thy heart
By wrongs that goad you on to part!
Dear as is Albion to my soul,
Thou O my native land! dost still
Its noblest sentiments control
And woo my love thro’ weal or ill.
Hail then devoted land! afar
I watch thee as my guiding star
Thou art my hope, my light, my shrine;
My thoughts, my prayers, my life, are thine!
Categories: 19th Century, Canada, Hugh Williams, National Songs, poem, Poetry