Bliss Carman (1861-1929)
Text from A Century of Canadian Sonnets.
This was a leader of the sons of light,
Of winsome cheer and strenuous command.
Upon the veteran hordes of Bigot-land
All day his vanguard spirit, flaming bright,
Bore up the brunt of unavailing fight.
Then, with the iron in his soul, one hand
Still on the hilt, he passed from that slim band
Out through the ranks to rearward and the night.
The day is lost, but not the day of days,
And ye his comrades in the losing war
Stand once again for liberty and love!
Close up the ranks; his deed your deeds let praise!
Against the front of dark where gleams one star,
Strive on to death as this great captain strove!