Poem to Commemorate the Battle of Queenston Heights by a Soldier

You British subjects passing by
Queenston’s proud Monument, cast your eye,
For there entombed within that rock
Lies the sacred dust of Sir Isaac Brock,
Also the dust of McDonald* the brave
Who shared his fate, and shares his grave :
The invaders of Canada to repel,
They bravely fought and gloriously fell.
This fertile country from these heights view round
Then let a grateful tear drop down,
For since the conquest of Quebec was told,
When Briton mourned for valiant Wolfe of old,
Canada had ne’er such reason to complain
As when her gallant patriarch, Brock was slain.

* Lieutenant Colonel John Macdonell

soldier
A painting of the original Brock’s Monument prior to the 1840 bombing (painting by Philip John Bainbrigge, courtesy Library and Archives Canada/ C-011799)

Source: Dr. Thomas Rolph. A Brief Account, Together With Observations, Made During a Visit in the West Indies, and a Tour Through the United States of America, in Parts of the Years 1832-3; Together With a Statistical Account of Upper Canada. Dundas, U.C. : G. Heyworth Hackstaff, Printer, 1836.

From Rolph’s Book (p, 203-204): “Sir Isaac Brock’s memory is held in the profoundest veneration by the Canadians, his bravery, courtesy, gallant bearing, kindness, and indefatigable attention to the troops he commanded, procured him their utmost confidence and affection. At a dinner which took place in Hamilton on the 14th of October, 1833, to commemorate the anniversary of the battle of Queenston, a Canadian soldier, who was wounded in that engagement, sent in the following elegy to Sir Isaac Brock’s memory. I give it not so much for its merit, as a proof of the fervour and intensity of their regard to the memory of their departed hero.

The verse, although rude an unharmonious is characteristic of the general feeling of Upper Canadians toward General Brock.”

Brock: Valiant Leader by John Daniel Logan

Logan Brock
General Sir Isaac Brock leaving Fort George on the morning of Oct 13th 1812 for Queenston Heights. Photo courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

O VALIANT leader of the little band
That, fearless, forward rushed to victory,
Tho far outnumbered by the enemy,
And, daring death, saved our Canadian land, —
What honors can we pay the noble name
Of one who held as naught th’ invaders’ art
Of war,— whose glory hath become a part
For evermore of our Canadian fame?

Lo, on the looming crown of that ascent
Where thy life ceased, a loyal host hath reared
To thee — whose patriot heart was pure, nor feared,—
A high commemorative monument!
Still is thy memory green who fell to save,
Still, Brock, art thou the bravest of our brave!

Source: Logan, John Daniel. Songs of the Makers of Canada and Other Homeland Lyrics.  Toronto: William Briggs, 1911.

Click to see more poems about the Battle of Queenston Heights and other Poems of the War of 1812 in Niagara

The Floral Clock by Betty J. Beam

(a children’s poem)

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter & wife Rosalynn at the floral clock, July 10, 1996. Photo by George Bailey, courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

A giant clock grows on the ground
In a leafy park-land bower,
It lies against a grassy mound
Where hydro transformers tower.

The turbines make a humming sound
As water provides the power.
And power makes the hands go ’round
As bright blossoms bloom the hour,

In winter snow, no one’s around —
All lies dormant, drab and dour,
But, summer, tourist can be found
Photographing time in flower.

 

Source: The Author, 2001.