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Nov 27 1901

The Bard's Address To Scotia's Sons For 1901

Hail Scotia's sons! Once more we meet
Around Saint Andrew's sunny seat,
To sing or listen to the lays
That link our lives with other days,
And join in generating plans
Still more to magnify our clans.

Within the year now nearly gone
Both sun and moon have smiled and shone
Upon the efforts to sustain
Our friends in poverty and pain;
And, though we've proudly on them spent
Enough to make them laugh in Lent,
In Andrew's pockets still repose
Bawbees to buy at least some brose.

Old Scotland still is in the front
In every high heroic hunt,
And with Gods grace she'll still maintain
Her peerless place on land and main.
Among her millions mighty men
Her pet is past your poet's ken;
But Murray's merry mentor Mona
Would plump for plucky Lord Strathcona.

In Canada we still command
Success alike with head and hand.
With equal ease we steer a State,
Rhyme, row, or wrestle, preach or prate;
Nor do we even lose our senses
Although we promenade with princes.
Long life to him whom Andrew hails
As Chester's Chief and Prince of Wales!
And ever may his consort kind
Affection, fame, and fortune find!
While they, we trust, will cherish some
Kind thoughts of us in time to come,
Their visit to our vaunted sphere
Will yield us joy for many a year;
And, till Saint Andrew's friends refuse
To march with Minstrel Murray's Muse,
We'll sing, o'er all our tracks and trails
God Save the King and Prince of Wales!

While rendering to the Scottish race
Their present proud and peerless place,
Far be it from Saint Andrew's bard
To seek to limit the reward
Canadian lads so well deserve
For daring deeds and dauntless nerve.
Not satisfied with their exploits
In Indian feuds and Fenian fights,
Or with the work in Afric lairs
Destroying burly Boers and bears,
They've clapped the climax of their claim
To glory and immortal fame
By doing what has ne'er been done
Before by any earthly gun: In Bytown's broad and brawling brook
They shot a rapid, with the Duke!

E'en humble Hamilton herself,
Though seldom surfeited with pelf,
And sometimes almost off her feet,
Has proved that she can pave a street;
And, though 'tis sometimes said we've spent
A Royal ransom on cement,
None e'er, however wise or witty,
Can say our sidewalks soil the city.
With scientists like ours to see
And settle what a burg should be,
We well may wager, as we do,
That, ere a dozen years are through,
Our population shall be quite
A hundred thousand, strong and bright,
Prepared to tackle and to take
The trade from all around the lake.
Now need we fear, on clod or clay,
The game of war itself to play,
So long's our Mayor is a Major,
We'll win our war as well's our wager.

Although Saint Andrew would be sad
To see his sons with mirth go mad,
'Mid such success and triumphs tall
He gladly lets them hold a ball.
Though mild and modest to a fault,
And tempted in their toil to halt,
Canadians each and all combine
All earthly rivals to outshine
In all the arts that nurse a nation
To sterling standing in creation,
And people Canada with men
Of power with both the plow and pen,
With men of muscle and of mind,
Her wealth in all its forms to find,
With men on whose bright brows is written
Renown for Great and Greater Britain.

With all the tenderness of Tennyson
Your bard bestows on you his benison,
And, with Saint Andrew's and Apollo's
Regards, he closes with what follows:
All hail to Hamilton, a home
To which all royal ryhmers roam!
Long live renowned Ontario,
The proudest Province nations know!
Long live old Scotland, lov'd o'er all!
The richest realm around the ball!
Long live old England, Ireland, Wales,
And all their territorial tails!
Which, linked with love, through still and storm,
Together firm and fondly form
The grandest galaxy of states
That e'er defied the fiends and fates --
An empire worthy of the race
Among whose clans we claim a place.

Let us perform our part in blending
Into a mould that needs no mending
This great and glorious aggregation
Of Kingdoms nurtured by our nation,
And He Who rules the heavens will pour
His blessings on us evermore.

William Murray,1 St. Andrew's Day, 1901.

1 William Murray was a well known Hamilton poet, see Jeff Seffinga's lecture, "The Bard of Athol," Box 14-095.

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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
Please direct questions and comments to Mary Anderson, Ph.D.

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