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

British America: St. Ann’s, Canada

Thomas Moore at St. Ann’s

By Thomas D’Arcy McGee (1825–1868)

ON these swift waters borne along,

A poet from the farther shore

Framed as he went his solemn song,

And set it by the boatman’s oar.

It was his being’s law to sing

From morning dawn to evening light;

Like nature’s chorister’s, his wing

And voice were only stilled at night.

Nor did all nights bring him repose;

For by the moon’s auspicious ray,

Like Philomela on her rose,

His song eclipsed the songs of day.

He came a stranger summer-bird,

And quickly passed; but as he flew

Our river’s glorious song he heard,

His tongue was loosed,—he warbled too!

And, mark the moral, ye who dream

To be the poets of the land:

He nowhere found a nobler theme

Than you, ye favored, have at hand.

Not in the storied Summer Isles,

Not mid the classic Cyclades,

Not where the Persian sun-god smiles,

Found he more fitting theme than these.

So, while the boat glides swift along,

Behold above there looketh forth

The star that lights the path of song,—

The constant star that loves the north!