“Are hearts here strong enough to found
A glorious people’s sway?”
Ask of our rivers as they bound
From hill to plain, or ocean-sound,
If they are strong to-day?
If weakness in their floods be found,
Then may ye answer “Nay!”
“Is union yours? may foeman’s might
Your love ne’er break or chain?”
Go see if o’er our land the flight
Of Spring be stayed by blast or blight;
If Fall bring never grain;
If Summer suns deny their light,
Then may our hope be vain!
“Yet far too cramped the narrow space
Your country’s rule can own?”
Ah! travel all its bounds and trace
Each Alp unto its fertile base,
Our realm of forests lone,
Our world of prairie, like the face
Of ocean, hardly known!
“Yet for the arts to find a shrine,
Too rough, I ween, and rude?”
Yea, if you find no flower divine
With prairie grass or hardy pine.
No lilies with the wood,
Or on the water-meadows’ line
No purple Iris’ flood!
“You deem a nation here shall stand,
United, great, and free?”
Yes, see how Liberty’s own hand
With ours the continent hath spanned,
Strong-arched, from sea to sea:
Our Canada’s her chosen land,
Her roof and crown to be!
John Douglas Sutherland Campbell (1845-1914) was the Ninth Duke of Argyll. In 1871, he married Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, daughter of Queen Victoria. Campbell was born in England, he moved to Canada and served as Member of Parliament, and Governor General of Canada. In 1882, he founded the Royal Society of Canada to promote the arts and sciences.