“Lines on the Return of Captain Ross” (p. 705-7)

Occasioned by the Restoration of CAPTAIN ROSS, and his brave Followers, to their Native Country, in October last, after an absence of more than four years in the frozen regions of Prince Regent’s Inlet.


A thousand harps with songs of joy,
Have rung for warrior bands return’d
Safe from the conflict’s dread employ,
And crown’d with laurels nobly earn’d.

Ten thousand thousand eyes have beam’d
Their welcome to their native land;
And a whole nation’s heart hath seem’d
With generous rapture to expand.

If thus are hail’d the sons of war,
Restored from battle’s crimson field,
Surely emotions holier far,
Thy glad return, Brave Ross, shall yield.

For thou and thy brave sailor band,
Guiltless of war, have won a fame
Lofty as victor can command,
Who in the fiercest field o’ercame.

Seas unexplored, and desert coast
Untracked but by the car of storms,
Beheld stem danger’s countless host
Assail thee in their darkest forms.

The frozen gulf, the icy height,
Twin giants of the polar main!
Array’d in vain their tearful might
Against thee and thy famish’d train.

Arm’d with a fortitude sublime,
And trusting in the Eternal’s shield,
Ye braved the terrors of the clime,
When valour’s self might blameless yield.

And who that knows the pining pain
Of silent watchings day by day,
Tidings of loved ones to obtain,
In unknown perils far away;

Hanging o’er hope’s decaying lamp,
To shield it from the sweeping blast
Of chill despair, whose vapours damp,
Dark gathering, threat to quench at last;

Who, that hath felt, or only dreamed,
Of life-consuming woe like this,
But with uplifted eyes, that beam’d
Deep sympathy with hearts in bliss,

Hath heard the songs of rapture pour’d
By sweet affection’s gentle voice;
And with them, mingled thoughts that soar’d
Where angels round their God rejoice?

Glad thoughts of fervent gratitude,
To Him who fills creation’s throne,
And through affliction’s darkest cloud,
Shews Love’s bright sceptre still his own.

Forget we now the lofty glance,
Which star-eyed science casts around,
Beholding in prophetic trance,
Her sway o’er polar depths profound.

Forget we all gay fancy’s thought
Of British fleets o’er polar seas,
Urging their course with treasures fraught
For Boothia’s spreading colonies:

All, all, but that most noble boast,
So well by manly daring earn’d;
All but the thoughts of Ross, long lost,