Sharing Our Passion - Poems, Songs and Prayers

To The Ottawa

Dear dark-brown waters full of all the stain 
Of sombre spruce-woods and the forest fens,
Laden with sound from far-off northern glens
Where winds and craggy cataracts complain,
Voices of streams and mountain pines astrain,
The pines that brood above the roaring foam
Of La Montagne or Les Erables; thine home
Is distant yet, a shelter far to gain.
Aye still to eastward, past the shadowy lake
And the long slopes of Rigaud toward the sun,
The mightier stream, thy comrade, waits for thee,
The beryl waters that espouse and take
Thine in their deep embrace, and bear thee on
In that great bridal journey to the sea. 
By Archibald Lampman

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Voices of Earth

We have not heard the music of the spheres,
The song of star to star, but there are sounds
More deep than human joy and human tears,
That Nature uses in her common rounds;
The fall of streams, the cry of winds that strain
The oak, the roaring of the sea's surge, might
Of thunder breaking afar off, or rain
That falls by minutes in the summer night.
These are the voices of earth's secret soul,
Uttering the mystery from which she came.
To him who hears them grief beyond control,
Or joy inscrutable without a name,
Wakes in his heart thoughts bedded there, impearled,
Before the birth and making of the world. 
By Archibald Lampman

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The Beautiful Ottawa Valley

There are rivers, there are lakes

Little streams, mountain-like peaks

to the ever-growing

Canadian Emblem maple leaves

As I walk the countryside

Amidst the trees on the hillside

The beauty of the valley

I can see, and I can feel

There is so much to do and to see

In this God-given valley

That was created for you

And for me

I can hear and I can see

Birds in the trees

As they sing their song of spring

To the honking of the geese

I can hear water falling

From a distant waterfall

I can hear the loon

To its mate its lonely call

I was born and raised

In this valley

And found none to compare

With the beauty I have seen everywhere.

Sent by L. E. Jolicoeur

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The dark green forests.
The wind blowing through the trees.
The winding streams.
The wild flowers
The wildlife.
The trails winding through the forest.
The stars and blackness of the night.
The quiet.

Anonymous

M'sieu

The Ottawa is a dark stream;
The Ottawa is deep.
Great Hills along the Ottawa
Are wrapped in endless sleep.
And, where the purple waters turn
To seek the valiant north,
At Mattawa I found a road
And on it wandered forth.
The road was made for free men
And fenced alone with wood,
And every blossom at its edge
Declared that life was good.
It wound in love about the rocks,
And ‘round and ‘round the trees;
It went asearch for loveliness,
A vagrant with the breeze.
A mile away from Mattawa
The road breaks in a clearing;
And near by is a whitewashed hut
And fields in gold appearing.
And from this place came out a maid -
A winsome maid of ten -
And I have never hope to see
A fairer child again.
She came along the roadway
In that fair summer hour,
And softer grew the pine-songs
And fairer bloomed each flower.
And when she passed she raised her eyes,
As bluebells do at dawn,
And cried “M’sieu” and curtsied low,
And then went swiftly on.
My heart, that leaps not lightly now,
Thrilled wildly at the word
A poem with a lovelier sound
I never yet had heard.
I would have clasped her to my heart -
This little woodland belle.
But all I did was blush a bit
And stammer “Mademoiselle.”
When I went back to Mattawa
And thence to Montreal,
I heard, on every wandering wind,
That little maiden’s call.
And when the empty words of men
Leave faith a thing forlorn,
I’ll think of Mademoiselle’s “M’sieu”
And that fair summer morn.
The Ottawa is a dark stream;
The Ottawa is deep.
Great hills along the Ottawa
Are wrapped in endless sleep.
And when the purple days return
Go, all ye weary, north,
And find the road to Mattawa
And on it wander forth.
By Wilson MacDonald

Submitted by David P. Rogers

 

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