The Iceberg and Other Poems

by Charles G.D. Roberts


QUEBEC, 1757

From the French of Philippe Aubert de Gaspé


AN eagle city on her heights austere,
    Taker of tribute from the chainless flood,
She watches wave above her in the clear
    The whiteness of her banner purged with blood.

Near her grim citadel the blinding sheen 

    Of her cathedral spire triumphant soars,
Rocked by the Angelus, whose peal serene
    Beats over Beaupré and the Lévis shores.

Tossed in his light craft on the dancing wave,
    A stranger where he once victorious trod, 

The passing Iroquois, fierce-eyed and grave,
    Frowns on the flag of France, the cross of God.