Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
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William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
 
Ottawa
By James E. Caldwell
 
GRANDEUR is written on thy throne,
  Beauty encompasseth thy mien;
The glory of the North alone,
  Is thine, O Ottawa, my Queen.
 
Here as the years of promise roll        5
  Shall gather all a nation’s pride;
The great of intellect and soul
  Shall build a city, vast and wide.
 
Here shall the sculptor’s vision stand
  For ever caught in burnished bronze;        10
Roof, tower, and column, nobly plann’d,
  Shall greet the future’s mystic dawns.
 
Here shall the plunging torrent’s wrath
  Strange kindness to the toiler show;
Here o’er the steel, the watery path,        15
  The East and West commingling flow.
 
Here shall the human wants that lead
  To hunger, thirst, and sore distress,
Be met before their cruel need
  By trade shorn of its sordidness.        20
 
Not here shall shelter foul disease
  In sunless lairs bereft of sky;
Nor Death be hidden in the lees
  Of fountains which man’s needs supply.
 
A press shall flourish, kind but grave,        25
  Well recking of the trusts they bear;
Unbought of wealth, unawed by knave,
  The truth shall modestly declare.
 
Like honeyed flowers that call the bees,
  The hoarded lore of every age        30
Shall gather gladsome companies
  Of lovers of the printed page.
 
Here shall the code of Righteousness
  Be set to common speech once more,
And noble deeds shall daily bless        35
  Of which men only dreamed before.
 
And here the ancient hills appeal
  To all that most endures in man,
Rebuking hate and strident zeal,
  For ah, how brief our breathing span!        40
 
Beloved of cities thou shalt be—
  Wise, fair, strong, joyous and serene—
Once more accept my fealty—
  My love, O Ottawa, my Queen!
 
 
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