For what is but a brazen image
At best, a people’s approbation,
Which sometimes with the situation,
Changes as egg in hand of wizard,
Or color in chameleon lizard.
There too, are Job and David Moore,
Bill Northgraves mentioned not before,
Who in the little school-house red
On early education fed.
And Thomas Curtis Brigham, too,
Lennox and Christopher in view,
Arise before my sight,
Strongly defined in memory’s light,
And Wright both Ruggles and Tiberias,
And Wyman who was seldom serious,
Poor fellow! in life’s manly bloom
He slept in an untimely tomb.
Time fails me, or I fain would tell
Of many more remembered well,
But end I here my present strain
Till memory wakes it up again.
I cross the Ottawa once more.
From Hull again to Bytown’s shore.
And for a moment I behold
The river as it was of old,
Swelling, majestic in its pride,
A glorious stream from side to side!
A “Grand River” was Ottawa then,
The pride of ancient lumbermen,
By slabs and sawdust undefiled.
The joy of nature’s dusky child,
Who’s matchless, perfect bark canoe
Oft o’er its crystal bosom flew—
Not bridged all o’er like shaking bogs
By endless booms of dirty logs,
Which to the thrifty and the wise
Are doubtless marks of enterprise,
And evidences too of health,
Of pocket and commercial wealth,
Yet sadly, sometimes out of place,
And serious blots on Nature’s face.
What would big Indian “Clouthier” say—
The red-skinn’d Samson could he stray
From the happy hunting ground away—
Could he behold the stream to-day—
The great Kah-nah-jo, where the God
Of the Algonquins used to nod
In dreamy slumber ’mid the smoke
Which from the mighty cataract broke,
Hemm’d in by sawmills, booms and piers—
The features of a thousand years
Of beauty ruthlessly defaced—
The landmarks of the past displaced,
And little left to tell the story
Of Ottawa’s departed glory;
But water running where it ran
When the red deer chase began.
’Twould startle even Philemon Wright
With all his wisdom and foresight.
Could he arise, good man of old,
And modern Ottawa behold,
He’d feel himself a stranger too—
’Mid scenes of wonder strange and new—
In Hull, of little worth for tillage,
The spot on which he built his village.
Return I now, this slight digression
Was worth the time, I’ve an impression;
Clouthier, the Indian, was a giant,
And “Squire Wright,” strong, self-reliant,
Was he who o’er the border came
And gave to Hull its ancient fame;
A man of enterprise and spirit
Who in this history well doth merit,
Such place of prominence as can
Be given to such a stirring man.
On the way back I see the ground