Saturday, August 04, 2012

His favorite town

Still on and on they pass, till voices call:
Behold the distant towers of Montreal!
The Royal Mountain throned upon the plain,
looks proudly down on all his wide domain.
Upon his brow he wears a forest crown,
And at his footstool sits his favorite Town;
Trade's potent Queen, who holds the balance true,
And weighs the wealth of nations passing through.

— from The U.E.: A Tale of Upper Canada (1846), by William Kirby.

We spent yesterday afternoon wandering around the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, and my sister spotted a plaque marking William Kirby's home.

Who's William Kirby, you ask? Historian, novelist, poet, and editor of the Niagara Mail.

I confess, I have not waded through the entirety of the above-cited narrative poem — it's a little florid for my liking, and from all I've learned about Kirby in the last 24 hours, I suspect the political sentiments behind the poem aren't entirely to my liking either. But I couldn't help but pick up on the Montreal reference — I can't wait to behold its distant towers again myself.

No comments: