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- Fleurs de lys and other poems - 16/16 -


William Dawson's _Fossil Men_ is a picture of Hochelaga as seen by Cartier, with an oak tree near it. This oak is sketched from one in the McGill University grounds, and it needs but a little stretch of the imagination to consider them identical, though actually this is not so. The poem traces the history of Montreal from its foundation up to the present time. Jacques Cartier's visit was made in October, 1535, when he was well received by the Hochelagans. When Champlain came, in 1611, Hochelaga had disappeared. The reference to the flood occurs again in "Nelson's Appeal for Maisonneuve." The incident took place in 1642, and Maisonneuve actually fulfilled his vow and bore a heavy cross to the mountain top, where it was planted. Dollard, with seventeen Frenchmen and fifty Indians, by heroic self-sacrifice, in 1660, saved Canada from destruction by the Iroquois. Vaudreuil surrendered Canada to the English on September 8th, 1760. He had been driven to Montreal, and was surrounded by 17,000 men, under General Amherst. The Americans took Montreal in 1775, and were defeated at Chateauguay, October 26th, 1813, and at Chrysler's Farm, November 11th, of the same year. In both cases, the Canadians were greatly outnumbered.

NELSON'S APPEAL FOR MAISONNEUVE.

This is supposed to be spoken by Horatio, Lord Nelson, whose statue, standing on Jacques Cartier Square, by the magnificent river St. Lawrence, is, with the exception of the bronze image of our Queen, the only one in the city of Montreal. In five years, Montreal will see its 250th anniversary. Shall it be said that we have forgotten its founder, when that day comes? The pages of Parkman may again be referred to for an explanation of any points in this poem. _The Jesuits in North America_, chapter xv., contains a long account of the foundation of Montreal, and subsequent pages chronicle the life of Maisonneuve.

THE SPIRIT WIFE.

This is a free paraphrase of a prose tale by Israel G. Owen.

LACHINE.

Misled by the information given him by the Indians, and also by the size of the St. Lawrence, Jacques Cartier [La Salle?] gave to Lachine its present name, thinking that by it a western passage to China was possible. The Canadian Pacific Railway has furnished this passage by land, and now a large portion of China's merchandise comes overland to Montreal for shipment to Europe.

DE SALABERRY AT CHATEAUGUAY.

During the Anglo-American War of 1812, the brunt of the fighting fell upon the Canadian Volunteers, and one of their most notable exploits is that which I have striven to portray in this poem. Hearing of the advance of the Americans, De Salaberry, with 400 Voltigeurs, entrenched himself at the junction of the Chateauguay and Outarde rivers, not many miles from Montreal. On the morning of October the 26th, this little band of heroes was attacked by 3,500 Americans. In spite of the most determined bravery, the Canadians would have been overcome by sheer force of numbers, but for the ruse described in the poem, assisted by a rapid discharge of musketry from new ambuscades. The Americans withdrew, and Lower Canada was saved.

TENNYSON.

This poem was written shortly after the appearance of "Sixty Years After," by Lord Tennyson, and while the critics on both sides of the Atlantic were, for the most part, tearing him to pieces.

A GREATER THAN HE.

Glooskap is to the Penobscot Indians much what Hiawatha was to those of Longfellow's wonderful poem. He is supposed to be making arrows in a long hut, waiting for the time, when, like Barbarossa, he shall come to save his countrymen. The only time that he was defeated was when he strove to conquer a baby. The story will be found in C. G. Leland's _Algonquin Legends_.

DAUNTLESS.

This is a true episode of the Hungarian rebellion of 1849. The young man's name was Ferenz Renyi, and he died recently in the asylum at Buda-Pesth. Haynau was attacked in Barclay's Brewery, London, in 1850, for cruelties of this kind, and barely escaped with his life from the infuriated employes.


Fleurs de lys and other poems - 16/16

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