01 July 2018

Laura Salverson's 'For Canada' for Canada Day

A poem – and prayer – by Laura Salverson, from Wayside Gleams, her only collection of verse, published in 1925 by McClelland & Stewart.

For Canada 
               Grant us, O Lord, within the coming year.
               Some vision of our noble destiny... 
*  *  *  * 
               Give unto us the strength to face anew
               Adversity and sorrows... or again
               Good fortune, with that valiant humbleness
               Which ever marks a depth of inward grace;
               Grant us, we pray, sincere, courageous hearts.
               Wide sympathies, with minds that seek to see
               In giving joy, and pride in honest toil,
               In beauty, truth, and good for all mankind;
               For every race, for every land, we pray;
               Lift them, O God, from out enthralling thought
               And prejudice, that they, directing, find
               Thy presence manifest on land and sea.
               But last, O Lord, for this is our Canada
               We crave Thy blessing and eternal aid;
               Keep her fair soul unflinching, aye, and true
               That she, among the nations, may arise.
               Made string with the greatness from the fount within,
               Imbued with love that knows not any death,
               This gracious land, so young, so little tried.
               O'er-shadow her with Thy own righteousness.
               That she may stand a New Jerusalem
               Where man, by giving much, may gather more;
               Where thy same speech and creed of kindliness
               At last take root to flourish far and wide,
               Till thereon in very truth become
               The citadel of justice on earth.  
*  *  *  * 
               Grant us, O Lord, within the coming year,
               The vision of our final destiny —
               A nation worthy of her ancient dead —
               A fabric perfected from deathless dreams.
In 2014, I bought this first and only edition of Wayside Gleams for one dollar. The dust jacket features an advert for eight other McClelland & Stewart books.

I haven't read one.

How 'bout you?

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  1. Wild Geese is on my reading list, although mostly because I've been reading through the NCL.

    1. Reading your way through the NCL? I'm intrigued. Several years ago, here was a blog, the brilliantly-titled Roughing It In the Books, by to women who had decided to read the original numbered series in order, beginning with #1, Grove's Over Prairie Trails. If memory serves, they couldn't make their way through Halliburton's The Clockmaker (#6), and seemed to lose momentum. Sadly, the health of one of the women came into play. I note that their url, roughingitinthebooks.ca, now leads to a site selling cheap clothing.

      Are you reading in order, Eric? Or do interest and inspiration dictate? Either way, I'm impressed.

  2. I've read 'Wild Geese'. It really is good. The other Ostenso I read wasn't very memorable.

    I love those reading lists on the back of old books.