These are the soul of thy renown,
The gems immortal in thy crown,
The suns that never shall go down!
Nearly half a century
ago the writer of an introductory essay to a collection of Canadian
poems used these words: "A national literature is an essential element
in the formation of national character. It is not merely the record of a
country's mental progress; it is the expression of its intellectual
life, the bond of national unity and the guide of national energy." What
a marvelous change has been wrought since those words were written! What
were then the disunited provinces of Canada are now parts of a mighty
Confederation, a nationa1 spirit prevails where sectionalism then
reigned, and to-day Canada stands before the world as a young giant.
That the work of Canadian writers both in verse and prose has been a
most important factor in the fostering of a national spirit, and that it
will be more and more so, is indisputable.
And the words that
Edmund Clarence Stedman used in reference to the literature of the
United States are equally applicable to Canadian literature: "One who
underrates the significance of our literature, prose or verse, as both
the expression and the stimulant of national feeling is deficient in
that critical insight which can judge even of its own day, unwarped by
personal taste or deference to public impression."
Among Canadian writers
of the present day Dr. J. D. Logan, through his scholarly attainments
and his literary genius, deservedly holds a high place; and the present
series of historical poems in celebration of the makers of Canada will
undoubtedly enhance his reputation. The deeds of those who have helped
to make Canada what it is to-day should be a source of pride and
inspiration to all Canadians, and by enshrining them in the "form
divine" of poetry Dr. Logan has rendered a patriotic service that is
worthy of the highest commendation and that entitles him to the cordial
appreciation of the public.
The Gazette, Montreal,
November lo, 1911.