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Father Ryan's Poems (15)

2006-09-08 16:13

    Reunited

    Purer than thy own white snow, Nobler than thy mountains' height; Deeper than the ocean's flow, Stronger than thy own proud might; O Northland! to thy sister land, Was late thy mercy's generous deed and grand.

    Nigh twice ten years the sword was sheathed: Its mist of green o'er battle plain For nigh two decades Spring had breathed; And yet the crimson life-blood stain From passive swards had never paled, Nor fields, where all were brave and some had failed.

    Between the Northland, bride of snow, And Southland, brightest sun's fair bride, Swept, deepening ever in its flow, The stormy wake, in war's dark tide: No hand might clasp across the tears And blood and anguish of four deathless years.

    When Summer, like a rose in bloom, Had blossomed from the bud of Spring, Oh! who could deem the dews of doom Upon the blushing lips could cling? And who could believe its fragrant light Would e'er be freighted with the breath of blight?

    Yet o'er the Southland crept the spell, That e'en from out its brightness spread, And prostrate, powerless, she fell, Rachel-like, amid her dead. Her bravest, fairest, purest, best, The waiting grave would welcome as its guest.

    The Northland, strong in love, and great, Forgot the stormy days of strife; Forgot that souls with dreams of hate Or unforgiveness e'er were rife. Forgotten was each thought and hushed; Save —— she was generous and her foe was crushed.

    No hand might clasp, from land to land; Yea! there was one to bridge the tide! For at the touch of Mercy's hand The North and South stood side by side: The Bride of Snow, the Bride of Sun, In Charity's espousals are made one.

    "Thou givest back my sons again," The Southland to the Northland cries; "For all my dead, on battle plain, Thou biddest my dying now uprise: I still my sobs, I cease my tears, And thou hast recompensed my anguished years.

    "Blessings on thine every wave, Blessings on thine every shore, Blessings that from sorrow save, Blessings giving more and more, For all thou gavest thy sister land, O Northland, in thy generous deed and grand."

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