Fondly Remembered Old Queenston by Lini Grol

Grol Queenston
Laura Secord Scissorcut by Lini Grol

A small town
huddling far below
the high BROCK monument,
in honor of the hero
of that historic war
of eighteen twelve.

Far below,
in old Queenston
one little house
speaks of the simple life
of one who also had shared
the atrocity and misery
of that war and had shown
extreme bravery.

LAURA SECORD’s humble old house
facing the blue Niagara,
only whispers of her valour,
but right next door
her fame sells galore
delicious ice cream and sumptuous candy
in the little ice cream parlour.

No, it was not General BROCK
who gave Queenston its fame.
Rather a clever candy maker
knowing the importance of
a woman’s name in the candy trade
who made Queenston famous
with his ice-cream and chocolate
in LAURA SECORD’s name.

Source: Grol, Lini, ed. by Kevin McCabe and Lynne Prunskus. Lake to Lake: Lini Grol’s Niagara.  St. Catharines: Blarney Stone Books, c2000.

A Cow and Ice Cream by Betty J. Beam

(a children’s poem)

Laura Secord. Courtesy of the Petrie Collection, Niagara Falls Public Library

Laura Secord, by the record
Of the conflict of eighteen-twelve,
Walked twenty miles through wood and stream,
Queenston – Beaverdams, right on beam!
Surprise Attack! was her one theme.
A forewarned, forearmed British team
Thwarted the American scheme!

Some people vow she drove a cow,
Others are quick to deny it.
I wonder did she ever dream
That she’d be held in high esteem —
A heroine renowned, I deem,
For confections that are supreme,
Rich chocolates and super ice cream!

Source: The Author, 2001

N.B. – Laura Secord is also the name of a chain of stores selling ice cream and chocolate products.

Visit of the Prince of Wales to Laura Secord by Sarah Anne Curzon

(Chippawa, 1860)

Edward, Prince of Wales & party photographed at Niagara Falls by Platt Babbitt, 1860.

Now wherefore trembles still the string
By lyric fingers crossed,
To Laura Secords praise and fame,
When forty years are lost?

Nay, five and forty, one by one,
Have Borne her from the day
When, fired with patriotic zeal,
She trod her lonely way.

Her hair is white, her step is slow,
Why kindles then her eye,
And rings her voice with music sweet
Of many a year gone by?

O know ye not proud Canada,
With joyful heart, enfolds
In fond embrace the royal boy
Whose line her fealty holds?

For him she spreads her choicest cheer,
And tells her happiest tale,
And leads him to her loveliest haunts,
That naught to please may fail.

And great art thou, O Chippawa,
Though small in neighbours eyes,
When out Niagaras haze thou seest
A cavalcade arise;

And in its midst the royal boy
Who, smiling, comes to see
An ancient dame whose ancient fame
Shines in our history.

He takes the thin and faded hand,
He seats him at her side,
Of all that gay and noble band
That moment well the pride.

To him the aged Secord tells,
With many a fervid glow,
How, by her means, Fitzgibbon struck
His great historic blow.

Nor deem it ye, as many do,
A weak and idle thing
That at that moment Laura loved
The praises of a king;

And dwelt on his approving smile,
And kissed his royal hand,
Who represented, and should wield,
The sceptre of our land;

For where should greatness fire her torch
If not at greatness shrine?
And whence should approbation come
Did not the gods incline?

Source: McCabe, Kevin, ed. The Poetry of Old Niagara. St. Catharines, Ont. : Blarney Stone Books, 1999.

Originally published in T.H. Rand, ed. A Treasury of Canadian Verse. 1900.

Photo courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library’s Historic Niagara Digital Collections

 

Laura Secord by Jean Blewett

Laura Secord. Image courtesy Niagara Falls Public Library

I search the pages of our history over
For a courageous one whose name would stand
For staunchest patriot, and for truest lover,
And prove the same by deed done for the land;
And my heart thrills, for ’tis a woman bears it,
You’ll find it, marble carved, on Laura Secord’s grave;
And you, and I, and every woman shares it,
The right to stand for what is good and brave.

Source: Kevin McCabe, ed. The Poetry of Old Niagara. St. Catharines,
Ont. : Blarney Stone Books, 1999.

Originally published in: Jean Blewett. Jean Blewett’s Poems. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1922.