He cried for loss or gain of pelf—
For every one except himself;
Reuben was a celebrity,
We seldom meet with such as he.
John Rochester, a man of old,
Who’s life a tale of goodness told,
He steered through time from envy free,
You’d scarcely find an enemy,
Who o’er his honored dust would dare
Defame the ashes resting there;
For such as he laws ne’er were made,
Peace to his gentle vanished shade!
Well, will it be for James and John
If they walk the same path upon
Which their departed sire trod
With love alike to man and God!
James Joynt is ’mong the living yet
A printer of the old Gazette.
Who plied the typographic trade
Ably in Bytown’s first decade.
And taught the art of Caxton well,
And thoroughly to John George Bell,
Who in our village made a racket,
In the old columns of the Packet,
Where every one got “tit for tat”
From dear departed “Old White Hat!”
Who thought Reformers could not err,
And laid the lash on Dawson Kerr,
Whom he in bitter hues did paint
A sinner, and called him “the saint.”
A journal of more modern date
Than the Gazette, who’s early fate,
Was Phoenix-like to rise resplendent
From ashes of the Independent,
Which had at periods now and then,
Emitted Sparks from Johnston’s pen,
Which meteor-like shot forth in pride,
Blazed, flickered, then collapsed and died.
And Robert Hardy’s name I find,
In the old days long left behind.
James Matthews, too, in death’s repose,
In early times was one of those
Who helped to build the ancient town,
Which modern taste is pulling down,
Assisted now and then by fires,
Past recollections primal pyres.
John Bennett, cord-wainer of yore,
And volunteer in Rifle corps,
With muzzle-loaders past and gone,
Gallant and brave old Number One!
Our civic army’s primal rib,
Once called by Alexander Gibb,
“The Sleepy’s,” in the good old time
When he dealt in both prose and rhyme,
And made opponents fume and fret
With caustic in the old Gazette—
Rhyme, too, in which a critic’s claw
Could scarcely fasten on a flaw,
His verse was standard like his law.
John Cobb, I’ll take a glance at thee,
Firm standard of Free Masonry!
Mine eye delights to rest upon
Thy iron frame, old “Uncle John.”
If honesty and simple truth
E’er “flourished in Immortal youth,”
Where time can ne’er their glories rob,
They rest with thee, my friend, John Cobb!
And Dudley Booth, what shall I say
Of this strange mortal passed away?
His was a genius burning bright
With brilliant and uncertain light—
Proud in inventive dignity,
And dark in inmate mystery,
It flickered only, when sublime,
It might have left a light for time,