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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Americas: Vol. XXX. 1876–79.

British America: Ottawa, Canada

Imperium in Imperio

By Thomas William Parsons (1819–1892)

IN Ottawa, the Lord of Lorne,

Young Campbell, clansman of Argyll,

A court shall hold to put to scorn

All courts but that of Britain’s isle;

Strange chiefs, through many an hundred mile

Of trackless woods, will seek Louise,

To change their welcome for her smile,

Who comes their Princess over seas.

Of Saxon aspect, proud of mien,

Bearing high names in days of yore,

Some gay with tartan red and green,

Stern as their Caledonian shore,

With voices like Corbrechtan’s roar,—

What men are these in furred array?

These be the lords of Labrador,

And these the dukes of Hudson’s Bay.

The dwellers where the waters fall

Down Montmorency’s woody steep,

The merchant-kings of Montreal,

And they who Durham uplands reap,

Shall join, that rule to guard and keep,

Whose large dominion shall outgrow

The imperial island in the deep,—

Though Time her empire should o’erthrow.

Haply, on some resplendent morn,

When London streets are wild with life,

Great captains in gay chariots borne,

Men who have faced the foe in strife,

And many a high peer’s haughty wife,

And Norman ladies fair to see,

Towards Holbein’s towers, with liveries rife,

Pour through Pall Mall, by Twenty three,

With goodlier pomp to swell the blood

In British bosoms pleased with show,

And give to thy historic flood,

Dark Thames, a more majestic flow;

Yet there no manlier hearts can glow,

In truer subjects, better born,

Than those that welcome to Rideau

Louisa and the Lord of Lorne!