Theodore Harding Rand (1835-1900)

Text from A Century of Canadian Sonnets.

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In summer's dreary ear, as suns go by
Whose yellow beams are dulled with langorous motes,
The deep vibrations of the cosmic notes
Are as the voice of those that prophesy.
Her spirit kindles, and her filmy eye!
In haste the fluttering robe, whose glory floats
In pictured folds, her eager soul devotes--
Lo, she with her winged harper sweeps the sky!

Splendours of blossomed time, like poppies red,
Distil dull slumbers o'er the engaged soul
And thrall with sensuous pomp its azured dower;
Till, roused by vibrant touch from the unseen Power,
The spirit keen, freed from the painted dead,
On wings mounts up to reach its living Goal.

The Willow at Grand-Pré

The fitful rustle of the sea-green leaves
Tells of the homeward tide, and free-blown air
Upturns thy gleaming leafage like a share--
A silvery foam thy bosom, as it heaves!
O peasant tree, the regal Bay doth bare
Its throbbing breast to ebbs and floods--and grieves!
O slender fronds, pale as a moonbeam weaves,
Joy woke your strain that trembles to despair!
Willow of Normandy, say, do the birds
Of Motherland plain in thy sea-chant low,
Or voice of those who brought thee in the ships
To tidal vales of Acadie? Vain words!
Grief unassuaged makes moan that Gaspereau
Bore on its flood the fleet with iron lips!


Dim name, yet grand, that ever winks serene
In the red fagot's light, and like a ghost
Hovers above these raucous tides, this coast,
Wreathing weird webs of arrowy salts and keen!
Under the black-blue night's unrolléd screen
The loon is calling to the fiery host,
And yet no answer comes to keep thy boast--
Far years their mellow thunders roll between.
Divinest of the red man's race and name,
Fullness of Hiawatha's dawning day,
Giver of laws, priest, prophet, all confest!
Thou'lt come again, appeased thy wrath and shame,
Thy speed in all thy limbs, up yonder Bay
In white canoe from out the naked west.