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The Loyalists of 1783

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The Loyalists of 1783
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This poem appeared in the columns of the Loyalist and Conservative Advocate, of March 13, 1845, printed at Fredericton, by Doak & Hill [THE SUN reprints it today, the one hundred and fifth anniversary of the landing of the Loyalists.] A few issues previous the editor acknowledged its receipt as follows: "Norval's song shall also receive an insertion." The hardships and privations encountered by the Loyalists during the early years of their settlement in this province, and the triumphs attained in their constancy and unflinching loyalty to the British Sag and crown, are vividly portrayed in these verses. The author is unknown.

J. H.


Wild war and discord once combin'd.
And roll'd their deadly thunder,
And, on this side the Western main.
Our Empire rent asunder.
I then forsook my native home,
"Where long I'd been a lodger,"
And in New Brunswick joined my fate
With many a toil-worn soldier.

And in the wide extending woods
I fix'd my habitation.
Content to claim the British name
Through life in every station-
I chose to rank myself among
The subjects of our Nation-
To brave each want connected with
Our forlorn situation.

Grim Winter's fierce protracted reign
Most grievously oppress'd me;-
Lank Hunger raised his pinching hand
And sorely he distress'd me;
My children called aloud for bread-
Alas! I’d none to give them.
I rang’d the wood, and swept the flood,
For something to relieve them.

Hard hearted Want at length retir'd,
And smiling Plenty hailed me.
I till'd the ground, which proved a source
Of wealth which never failed me.
Snug in my cot, grim Winter's reign
No longer now oppress'd me.
And pinching Hunger disappeared-
No longer he distress'd me.

I’ve lived to see New Brunswick boast
A hardy population.
Excell'd in no respect by those
Of any state or nation.
Her commerce spreading far and wide
Her wealth and pow'r increasing;
Her soil supplying nature's wants-
A source of wealth increasing.

O Liberty! thou goddess bright
By mortals fondly courted!
I left thy blazon’d name behind.
Still by thyself supported;
Thou heav'nly form! in rustic garb
I freely still embrace thee;
No slaves, or tyrants, here are seen.
To banish or disgrace thee.

Long live our Queen! may peace and health
Through many years attend her:
From all the bitter ills of life
May Heaven still defend her!
And may New Brunswick long retain
Her high and happy station.
And still continue and remain
A pillar of our Nation.

Fredericton, March, 1845.