Friday, August 27, 2010

Sarnia's sun shall rise!

Late Nineteenth-Century Sarnia

I've commented before on Thomas Sutherland, Jr.'s (1797-1880) status as poet of Moore. I thought it might be interesting to post a few more of his poems, if only to demonstrate the mood of the time. In this case, that would seem to be boosterism. While I've made the point elsewhere that his poetry isn't all that fantastic, once again, that's not the point. Thinking about it generously, this poem attests to the son's desire to improve his region, as well as his pride in it--both of which he no doubt inherited from his father. However, lacking his father's business sense, TS, Jr. took up the pen, hoping to inspire others.

Exhortation to Port Sarnia

Sarnia, thy situation designates a splendid station
For the fair display
Of Canadian resources, if no apathy divorces
Energy from Sway.

Say'st thou?--"Sand and marshes all met" Let this sand, with lime, avail thee,
City to cement
Drain the swamps, and soil superior, never seen a surface cheerier;
Lambton longs for vent!

Near an enterprizing neighbor, asking interchange of labor,
Land and water woo resort;
Middlesex presents its treasure, Michigan responds with pleasure,
Be their prosperous port.

"Mend thy ways," from lake to London,--be no longer idly undone,
Make a lasting road;
Weather-proof, and life-ensuring, self-supporting, trade-securing,
To thy brisk abode.

Nature nursed thy nook north-wester, as a capital investor,
Huron and St. Clair combine,
With their confidence transparent, to make latent wealth apparent,
Open then thy mine!

Rouse from retrogressive slumber, let not churlish chain encumber,
Learning league with merchandize;
Christianity, thy standard;--with vigor for thy vanguard,
Sarnia's sun shall rise!

Thomas Sutherland
Moore, November 11, 1855

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