A Souvenir of Vancouver

By A. C. Dalton

[Vancouver?: 1906?]




O Land of the West!
     Of the old and the new!
After ages of rest
     Comes the dawn unto you.
Golden dreams, like the dew


     That bespangles the morn,
Round thy half-wakened beauties
     Entrancing are born.
O land of the West!
     Of the brave and the gay!


When the dreams and the dew
     With the dawn die away—
When the triumph of noontide
     Shall come unto you
Grant the noblest of nations

     With justice shall say,
“Hail! land of the West!
     Of the noble and true!” [page 1]*



NOW daylight breaks;
               The moon, a golden disc in placid skies
Hangs o’er the dusky hills white capped with snow;
A land of sable woods and fitful, twinkling lights
               Lies far below.


               Into the west
The shades of parting night reluctant fade,
As from the rising sun swift arrows fly
Athwart the naked sea, now stripped of all its robes
               Of sunset dye. [page 2]


               The joyous waves
Lift up their foaming crests in reckless glee
And break in headlong race upon the shore,
That, like some patient heart for wayward, recreant Love,
               Waits evermore.


               The seagull wheels
And swoops into the dusky bosom of the wave;
The soars aloft, a dazzling flash of light,
As though some snowy fragment of the surf had winged
               An aerial flight.


               Oh, happy land!
Here wood and mountain, shore and tumbling sea
In beauty raise eternal paeans of praise
To Him, the wondrous God, who planned long ages past
               His mighty ways. [page 3]



NOT in an English meadow,
     Nor down a shady lane,
O sweet wild rose, thy petals
     Do charm my heart again!
Beside the blue Pacific,


     Where silvery salmon dart,
The velvet bee comes pilfering
     The sweets of thy pure heart!

Thy waxen blossoms wanton
     Upon the soft west wind;


And round thee clust’ring fondly
     Thy crimson buds are twined.
Above thee, fir-crowned forest;
      Below, a silver strand,
Where sprays and truant festoons


     Trail gaily o’er the sand. [page 4]

Thou bloomest in thy beauty
     Unto the surf’s white edge;
Thy playmates, cool, green mosses,
     The seaweed and the sedge;


The hoary, granite boulder,
     The fallen forest king;
Are locked in thy embraces—
     A frail imprisoning.

The saucy, wayward ripples


     Come creeping to thy feet;
And far above, blue mountains
     Stand guard o’er thy retreat.
Upon the bay’s wide bosom
     A thousand jewels glow,


And near the dim horizon
     Gleam sails of purest snow.

Not in an English meadow,
     Nor yet in English lane,
O sweet, wild rose, thy glories


     Now charm my heart again!
Pink flake of waxen fragrance,
     Thou art both gay and wise.
For thou, a child of Eden,
     Hast found a paradise. [page 5]



From My Window.

THROUGH slender stems of swaying daffodils
A glimpse of yellow beach and boulders green
And snowy sails that flutter white between
A rippling sea and dreamy, quiet hills.
A fairer scene no eyes could long to see!


The sunshine sheds its glory over all,
And on the sands the children’s merry call
Rings through the air in joyous melody. [page 6]



A MISTY morn;
          A misty haze of trees;
The bay, a shrouded mirror sheathed in cloudy gauze;
          Its draperies by lusty breeze
                  Unmoved, untorn,


                  As though sweet morn
          Had begged a moment’s tranquil pause,
                  Till like young worlds new-born,
Slowly and stately through opalescent sky
The lordly hills had pierced their dusky summits high.




A GREY-GREEN sea fringed by a golden beach;
           A group of gabled eaves;
                Dark pines that reach
           Above the maple’s leaves
      Of tender green and gold;


And higher still, where purple hills bend low,
A silver gleam of purest mountain snow
      And glacier bold. [page 7]



THE corn is garnered in;
     The farmer rests from toil;
And the harvest moon is shining down
     On the bare and barren soil.

But out on the silent deep


     Some twinkling lights there be,
Where the toiling men are watching keen
     For the harvest of the sea.

There the nets are straining tight
     With their living silver ore;


But the fishers’ hearts are gay and light,
     For their boats are full once more.

Thank God for the harvest moon!
     Thank God for the golden corn!
Thank Him for the silver harvest brought


     To the river-side at morn! [page 8]


Canoeing on English Bay.

O’ER the dreaming golden tide,
Where the laughing sunbeams hide,
Now we softly smoothly glide.

Gold the sea and gold the sky;
Scented breezes wanton nigh;


Rosy cloud-wings hover high;

From the shore Love’s sweet refrain,
Laden with a subtle pain,
Stirs the dreaming heart again.

Fades the sunset’s molten glow;


Shines the young moon’s silver bow;
Ghostly sails glide to and fro.

As the evening shadows brood;
O’er the bronze and pulsing flood,
Drift we past the frowning wood; [page 9]


Dark the sea and dark the sky;
Soft between we cradled lie;
Ripples croon a lullaby.

Weaves the moonbeams witching spell
Mysteries o’er the ocean swell;


Sky and sea breathe soft farewell. [page 10]



AND now ’tis eventide;
Grey shadows gently glide,
All intermixed with rose;
The twinkling lamplights start
Along the quiet street—


So deep the soft repose,
It seemeth earth’s great heart
Hath almost ceased to beat.

Their evening watch begun,
The stars peep one by one


Down to the silent bay;
Where, mirrored on its breast,
Their shimmering selves they see,
Each bright with larger ray
Upon the ripples crest


Than fixed reality.

From out the misty deep
The darker shadows creep,
’Twixt sea and sky they float;
The shore is but a dream, [page 11]


But brighter shores arise
Beyond that tide-bound boat,
Whose ruby lamps do gleam,
Bright shores in mystic skies.

The shadowy mountains rear


Their summits softly clear
Above the gathering gloom.
A land of dreams—a land
That melts in fading light—
As deep the night-gun’s boom

Spreads o’er the silent strand,
A resonant good-night. [page 12]


* The original text is unpaginated; page numbers have been added for the convenience of our readers. [back]