Montreal Daily Star, 23 April 1889, page 2
The rose and the day
Those who wear the rose to-day have good reason to be proud of their decoration. Something more than mere fragrance and beauty, however, lies behind the floral emblem, and the suggestions which its silent eloquence makes may well cause a throb of righteous exultation in the hearts of those whose lot it is to be citizens of that great empire which English pluck and English zeal have built up- an empire to-day without parallel in the history of the world. The Scot is proud of his native heather, and a sprig of Shamrock or a leaf of Irish ivy moves the hearts of the children of the Green Isle, but both alike may think of the share they have had in helping on the march of events which we specially celebrate upon St George’s Day. But, after all, we cannot forget that had it not been for the men of the Rose, the descendants of the bold followers of the conquerors of Britain and the Makers of England, the Empire of which we are the citizens would never have risen from its cradle and grown to its dimensions of to-day. Proudly indeed may the representative of that more extended England of to-day contemplate the typical flower of his country and Empire. It speaks to him of national trials, of bold flights, against enemies within foes and without, and of triumphs in the cause of liberty, progress and constitutional freedom. It tells him of slaves’ fetters struck away and combats of right against might and the maintenance of the cause of the weak against the strong, and it should speak with equal force of duties yet to be done. For it is not presumptuous to assume that the onward tramp of England’s empire, conquering in peace and war, cannot have altogether been of her own volition nor without a higher design. There has been a mightier guiding hand than that of any earthly sovereign pointing the way and the responsibilities of the people so strangely imposed are heavy and must be accounted for. There is a significance in the blending of the names of St Michael and St George in the order of knighthood distributed as a bond of chivalrous honor throughout the Imperial Dominions, and the higher as well as the earthly forces in the growth of the power of which we in Canada form a part is thus brought before us. The path of national duty of which every wearer of England’s rose to-day is a steward must strictly be followed individually as well as nationality if, like other Empires, our own is not to be ultimately found wanting and condemned “Sit thou in silence.” England expects to-day every one of her sons to do his duty and that being done, religiously and politically, though the England of to-day is not bounded by the same limits as she was hen her great national poet penned his burning words, they will apply to that extended England of to-day with as much force as to the more limited power of three centuries ago.
Naught shall make me rue
If England to herself do rest but true.