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

British America: Quebec, Canada

Memories of Quebec

By William Kirby (1817–1906)


AFAR, Quebec exalts her crest on high,

Her rocks and battlements invade the sky;


While on the Bay’s broad bosom far and wide,

The anchored fleets of commerce proudly ride.

Huge cliffs above precipitous that frown,

Like Atlas, bent beneath another town,

Where all along the gray embrasured steep

In grim repose the watchful cannon peep,

Tall spires, and domes, and turrets shine afar

Behind the archèd gates, and mounds of war,

While proud Cape Diamond towers above them all,

With aerial glacis and embattled wall;

Till on the loftiest point where swift birds rise,

Old England’s standard floats amid the skies.

Oh! glorious spot! the Briton’s boast and pride,

Where armies battled and where heroes died,

Where gallant Wolfe led his devoted band,

Rejoiced in death and waved his dying hand;

Mid cheers of victory rung from side to side,

The hero smiled content, and calmly died!

Though few his years and young his lofty fame,

With greenest garlands England crowns his name;

And on her roll of glory proudly reads

The nation’s records of his mighty deeds.

And noble Montcalm! Well thy honored bier

May claim the tribute of a British tear.

Although the lilies from these ramparts fell,

Thy name immortal with great Wolfe’s shall dwell:

Like him, thy consciousness of duty done

Soothed thy last pang, and cheered thy setting sun!