16 July 2022

Charles Sangster's Birthday Poem

Son of Kingston, Charles Sangster was born two hundred years ago today. I can't claim to remember much of his verse, the following from The Saint Lawrence and the Saguenay, and Other Poems (Kingston: Creighton & Duff, 1856) excepted. It's thought to have been written in 1855 for Mary Kilborn, whom the poet married in 1856... and who died in 1858. 

                         One of the Fourscore years, Mary,
                            Has passed like a dream away,
                         A dream of laughter and tears, Mary,
                            Like a showery summer's day,
                                 With its rainbow bright,
                                 In the warm twilight,
                            Fair pledge of a happier day, Mary,
                            God's pledge of a happier day.

                        Swiftly the seasons roll, Mary,
                           Like the waves o'er a mighty sea,
                        Searching the depths of the soul, Mary,
                           With their power and mystery.
                                Every hour that flies,
                                Tells in distant skies
                           The words that it heard from thee, Mary,
                           The deeds that are done by thee.

                       See that the tale be pure, Mary,
                          That the Hours may have to tell;
                       Goodness and Truth, we are sure, Mary,
                          Heav'n loveth exceeding well;
                               And the beauteous mind
                               Where Truth is shrined,
                          Glows bright as a sunny dell, Mary,
                          Glows bright as a sunny dell.

                       More of the Fourscore years, Mary,
                          Must pass like the first away,
                       Each, as its turn appears, Mary,
                          May not be a summer's day;
                               But Hope's rainbow bright,
                               With its smile, will light
                          The close of a happier day, Mary,
                          The dawn of Eternal Day.

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