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> Issue 66 > Page 59 - Donald Ross - A Poet in Baddeck

Page 59 - Donald Ross - A Poet in Baddeck

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/6/1 (164 reads)

2. I am not selfish. Lord, if thou Can spare a gift or token. Thou mayest bestow it on my friends If they to thee have spoken In earnest prayer, and asked thee first Thy wholesome consolation. Thou mayest freely, Lord, impart And save them from damnation. 3. Thy blessings I beseech, oh Lord On my interpretion Of the great Sermon on the Mount. My rich imagination Has much improved that message grand And added to its splendour My words and thought, oh blessed Lord, Have much enhanced its grandeur. 4. In humble accents. Lord, we pray Withhold thy benediction From all those spiritual outcasts vile Within thy jurisdiction Who with the common herd would join In anthems to thy glory. Oh Lord my God, believe them not. They mock thy grand old story. This union of thy churches. Lord, Is an abomination. Protect us from them, blessed God, We fear contamination. In humble accents we beseech. Oh hear our supplications And give us all the faith of God The rest may have damnation. And then, oh Lord, thou knowest well That all our accusations Against these people please thee well. Our words of adoration Ascend like innocence to thy throne; Thy love and peace and kindness Shall be our bulwark. Lord, and strike Those apostates with blindness. Now hear us. Lord, thy servants know That all the poor and needy. The halt, the maimed, the sick, the blind. Are clamorous and greedy. The agonizing cry of want From children in their anguish Must fall on other ears than ours. Or else they cause our languish. 8. Thou knowest well, oh Lord our God, We are not strong in numbers. But then our living faith, oh Lord, Will moimt and rend us under. For this, oh Lord, we give thee praise We, thy chosen servants. Shall now thine only mouthpiece be; The rest, they dare not murmur. 9. We in our rugged seal in faith Our neighbours have forsaken; A wall as high as heaven we built. Not one stone shall be shaken. For that stern fabric reared aloft Up to thy seat in heaven. For this great work, oh living God, To these the praise be given. 10. And then, oh Lord, we know fiill well That on that fateful moming On thy right hand we're sure to stand, Our grace and faith adorning. The rapturous singing of thy praise And thine shall be the glory. Amen, amen, oh Lord, amen And that ends our story. Donald; My father wrote that in 1925. There was an old fellow at that North Riv? er was supposed to have got up and made a prayer along those lines. then about a month or so later, another re? port came around that it wasn't so. But in the meantime the old man wrote this, and I think he sent him a copy. Oh, I was lucky. My father gave quite a few of (his poems) to my brother Walter. He had just scribbled them out. And when Wal? ter died, I got them. Only for that.... (Because your father wasn't publishing his poems?) No. He just scribbled them out, and giving them away. Donald took up another poem his father had written--this one for the lighthouse keeper at St. Paul's Island, Peter MacLennan: Donald: Peter was lighthouse keep? er on St. Paul's Island. He was a great friend of my father's. They were buddies in the army. A report came around that he had died. And Dear friend, with grief and bated breath I heard of your untimely death. Raising on a bolt of fire To don a halo and a lyre, And of your journey up on high Beyond the clouds that deck the sky, And how a comet by the tail You grasped and made a fiery flail, How asteroids you swept aside Like pebbles by the rolling tide And on and upward you were borne, Snatched Gabriel's trumpet and drinking horn, Quaffed a deep drink and blew a blast That rattled Saturn as you passed, And on its embers lit your pipe And sharpened your old service knife. Till Jupiter bound large and near And on it landed with a cheer. Some Jurians near said with a roar, "You little chap from earth do soar Into the blue that's bright and clear. The bolt that got you was made here." How you continued on your way Into the starry Milky Way, A spiral nebula you climbed To see the earth you left behind, And get your bearings for the race Into that no man's land of space, Till at St. Peter's door you stopped And found it barred and closely locked. Your harp and halo you let fall And made your way back to St. Paul's. So now I find you as you've been When we drank beer in the canteen. Without a wart or wen or wrong. Like Johnny Walker going strong. When next we meet, Pete, and 'ere we part We'll split a healthy robust quart And if by lightning we are struck We'll split another just for luck! 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