Bad ethnic poetry, early 19C Montreal

I just love reading the poetry published in the newspapers in the early nineteenth-century.  They are rich in symbolism, but they are really quite bad poems in the scheme of things.  I have chosen a few gems which talk about ethnic identity.  Gold!

1838, Montreal Gazette.

Victoria! Queen of the oaken-girt isles

Fair flower of the land of the free!

Lov’d daughter of Britain, we greet thee afar-

All hail to thee, Queen of the sea!

Hurra for the flower of our own father-land!

Each rose-bud will blossom today,

That grows in a sod where no traitor has stood-

A bumper for her- hurra!

Tho’ far, far away from the homes of our sires,

The Red Cross burns brightly for thee,

And sons of the Thistle and ever-green Isle

Are ready “to do or to die;”

Hurra for the Thistle, the Shamrock, and Rose,

Entwine them still closer today;

For their friends they have flowers, and thorns for their foes-

A bumper for them- hurra!

1835, Montreal Gazette

England Great and Free.

Old England’s praise thro’ all the world,

Shall fame this day resound;

St George’s banner floats unfurl’d,

O’er Britons gather’d round.

And may her King fore’er command

Our gratitude and praise;

Our distant friends and native land

Excite our warmest lays.

Then let this pray’r to Heav’n ascend,

That Britons long may be

To ev’ry nation, foe or friend

The great and envied Free!

And, oh, may charity abound

At this our festive board;

Nor let amongst us e’er be found,

The direful fiend- discord.

May friendship, love, and harmony

Inspire our hearts to sing,

To great St George, our patron Saint;

Our country and our King!

Then let this pray’r to Heav’n ascend,

For England great and Free!

That Britain’s sons in ev’ry land,

May e’er united be.

1811

An Emigrant’s adieu to Scotland

our native land, our native vale,

a long and last adieu!

Farewell to bonny Teviotdale,

and Cheviot mountains blue!

Farewell, the hills of glorious deeds,

and streams renown’d in song!

Farewell ye blithesome braes and meads

our hearts have loved so long!

Farewell, ye broomy elfin knowes

where thyme and harebells grow!

Farewell, ye hoary haunted howes

o’erhung with birk and sloe!

The battle mound, the border tower,

that Scotia’s annals tell–

the martyr’s grave, the lover’s bower,

to each, to all, farewell!

Home of our hearts! Our fathers’ home!

Land of the brave and free!

The sail is flapping on the foam

that hears us far from thee!

We seek a wild and distant shore

beyond the Atlantic main;

we leave thee, to return no more,

nor view thy cliffs again!

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About gilliandr

A historian and traveller
This entry was posted in 19C, Canadian Identity, Poetry and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bad ethnic poetry, early 19C Montreal

  1. Boris says:

    It leave a bad taste in the mouth when you try to read those alooud…

  2. Doréus says:

    … so bad it’s good.

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