19th Century

The Canadian Exile (1839) | Anonymous

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!