Remembering Victoria Park by Evelyn M. Watson

watson remembering  

watson remembering
Gateway to Victoria Park, Niagara Falls, Canada. Courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

Let conversation seek the Beautiful —
Rhyming bird-wings, and that so-magic poise
Of nature’s flute-song, or cello music mellow,
Green-berried vines that edge a lapping pool
Where lily-stars are doubled, white and yellow :
And let me find the day’s own cadences —
Gay frocks, that flower upon a windy line,
That old-blue plate with cakes for tea: yes, these
Amenities that seem so wise and fine :
You see, my memory holds loveliness,
For I awoke among old forestries
Where trees were as endued with consciousness
Till, now, I find fresh grace when work is hard,
And learn to live the inner poetry. . . .
Of course, not as a known, exalted bard,
But from a spirit, tree-wise, lifted Thee !

Each season, now, there’s towering luxury
In “Ceremonial trips” among small hills :
About my place I plant, each year, some tree,
(Green foil for double-gold of daffodils) —
And, for each day, a ritual — some joy,
The crisp delight of this, so tiny lawn,
And curved flower-buds that well employ
Ecstatic tints from summer’s tenderest dawn ;

And yet it seems I scarcely paused until
I went afar for beauty — then I found
The very burgeoning from homey hill,
The self-same glory from my plot of ground;
From nuded winter’s boles to Spring’s small buds,
To summer’s windy leaves that dance and quiver,
I find The Beautiful — oh ! wide green floods,
Niagara-of-the-year, from Him, the Giver ;
And, though I go each season to the Fall,
Discovering one great Beauty, find it all !

 

Source: Evelyn M. Watson. Poems of the Niagara Frontier. New York: Dean & Company, 1929.

Click to see more poems from Watson’s Poems of the Niagara Frontier

watson remembering

The Unforgotten by Caroline Eleanor Wilkinson

unforgotten
Unveiling and dedication of the Soldier’s Monument in Queen Victoria Park, May 22, 1927. Photo courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

Unforgotten, unforgotten are the stalwart and the brave,
Men who died for home and country, grand old Union Jack to save.
Though the war-drums beat is over, and the turmoil seems a dream,
Still the faces of our loved ones, ever in our memry gleam.

Trained not in their youth to warfare, yet they fought right valiantly,
Staunch at Vimy and in Flanders, routed enemies would flee;
Through the din of battles dauntless, for they knew their cause was right,
Though barrage was shrieking round them, on they struggled day and night.

Midst the gas and big guns roaring, quaking earth and bursting shell,
So heroic was their conduct, tongue can never fully tell;
Ringing through the coming ages, both in history and song,
Will be deeds of worth and valor in that fray so fierce and long.

In the air they were as fearless as the eagle in its flight,
Scouting in the zone of danger, flying through the clouds of night,
Proving to the Mother Country, Canada had offspring strong
Who were ready for their duty over there to right the wrong.

Now they rest in foreign regions, far away from native land,
Still in spirit they are with us, a revered and noble band;
Unforgotten will their names be, treasured in our hearts theyd dwell,
Sacrificial price of victry, as they in the combat fell.

Greater than our expectations was the prowess of our men,
Naught have we to give in tribute save a Cenotaph to them,
So we place it on Niagaras wonderful and far-famed shore,
In the park where singing waters swell in deep, triumphal roar.

There the flowers thrive and blossom, showered with the rivers spray,
Near the falling, rushing torrent, swiftly flowing there alway;
Where the silver birch and maple in the Spring are to be seen,
(Symbol of the resurrection) with new buds of living green.

“Written for the unveiling of the Cenotaph in memory of our beloved dead, and read on that occasion.”

Source: Caroline Eleanor Wilkinson. Poems That Appeal. Niagara Falls, Ont. : F.H. Leslie, Limited, Printers, 1928