Songs of the Makers of Canada
Author's Preface


The verses in this volume signalize the Canadian self-consciousness of a pregnant destiny, and envisage the spirit of Canadian democracy. With the exception of the Prologue, the Epilogue and the little sheaf of Lyrics, the "Songs" are fourteen-line poems in the so-called Shaksperean sonnet-form, but were not conceived and constructed as sonnets as such.

I remark this to save our polite detectives of literature from the subtle discovery of what is a suspicious, though really innocent, literary diversion, and our myopic critics from the painful necessity of elaborating the obvious. Personally, I regard the Introductory Essay, not in itself, but in its bearing on the future history of Canadian Literature, as significant. The interest of the poems is chiefly historical and patriotic. As poetic pabulum they are neither strong meat nor fancy pastry, but the sincere embedment of thought, sentiment, and emotion well worth expressing, and expressed by one who has chosen to do so (a verse rather than in pedestrian prose. The poems are no worse—and no better—in conception and structure than what might be as read-.]y accomplished by any man of education and literary instincts, with a gift of rime and rhythm. The scheme itself and the intermittent composition inevitably caused some repetitions in general conception and in epithets. No one could be more conscious than myself of these defects or inelegancies, but I confess my inability to remove them The only criticism that would really hurt and that I would really resent would be by anyone who would rank them with the positive banalities of Kipling's verses in the recent joint-history of England. But if the poems, along with the Introductory Essay, at all assist in promoting sane patriotism (which means respect and love for the history and institutions of one's own country, without implying or fostering disrespect for other civilizations), they will have accomplished their purpose and have justified their publication in this little volume.

0. D. L.


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