by Kinahan Cornwallis – 1858
To the clime of Columbia, Britain’s new born,
Where the rays of the sun gladly usher the morn,
And the landscape deck out with a smile;
Where the hearts of the countless beat hopefully high,
And gold doth the moments beguile;
Where the frown of the mountains, the blue of the sky,
Contrast in their beauty with forest and plain;
Where the green perfumed prairie rolls in the breeze.
And mankind ever struggle for gain;
Where the sight of the ore even fails to appease
Man’s inordinate yearning for gold, –
Still making each eagerly struggle the more
For the treasure ungather’d – untold.
To that clime go, ye people, ye sons of the west,
‘Tis a land of exuberant plenty and joy;
Go, ye children of cities, by fortune opprest,
Where gold may be gathered which knows no alloy;
Far and wide doth it lie on that beautiful shore;
May it gladden and laurel the pathway of time
Left the wanderer to traverse who reaps from its mine.
‘Tis the bauble of earth; – ’tis the gift of the chute,
Of millions the spoil, – It is mine – It is thine.
Kinahan Cornwallis (1839 – 1917) was a British author and poet. This poem appears in his book, “The New Eldorado; or British Columbia.” The first line in the poem “Columbia, Britain’s new born” refers to British Columbia having just been named a British colony in 1858. Previously it was territory controlled by the Hudson’s Bay Company.