UNITED-EMPIRE-LOYALIST-L ArchivesArchiver > UNITED-EMPIRE-LOYALIST > 1999-11 > 0943491498
Subject: Loyalist Spirit
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 19:58:18 EST
The old Loyalist spirit is not extinct! I intend to pass it down through my
children and their children's children through my family history. Lest we
not forget, there were many Colonists in 1776 who vehemently opposed the
Patriot's declaration of independence against the established government.
Those who took up arms for the Crown fought for a United Empire. They were
known as United Empire Loyalists. Upon the conclusion of the war and the
severing of the old colonies from England, these U. E. Loyalists, abandoned
their possessions, and moved into what is now New Brunswick & Nova Scotia, in
1783, and in 1784, a large number, Including my Great Great Great
Grandfather, Israel Tompkins, moved up the St. Lawrence and settled in the
wilderness of Upper Canada. Canada does not stand alone in honoring the U.
E. Loyalists. There are many descendants who currently reside in the United
States. The following poem written by the Reverend Le Roy Hooker, of
Kingston for the United Empire Loyalists Centennial Celebration at Toronto on
Thursday, July 3, 1884 expresses the chivalrous loyalty, partriotism,
bravery, & endurance of our Loyalist forefathers:
"The United Empire Loyalists"
"In the brave old Revolution days,
So by our sires 'tis told,
King's men and Rebels all ablaze
With wrath and wrong,
Strove hard and long;
And, fearsome to behold,
O'er town and wilderness afar,
O'er quaking land and sea and air,
All dark and stern the cloud of war
In bursting thunder rolled.
Men of one blood -- of British blood,
Rushed to the mortal strife;
Men, brothers born,
In hate and scorn
Shed each the other's life.
Which had the right and which the wrong
It boots not now to say:
But when at last
The war-cloud passed,
Cornwallis sailed away;
He sailed away, and left the field
To those who knew right well to wield
The powers of war, but not to yield,
Though Britons fought the day.
Cornwallis sailed away, but left
Full many a loyal man,
Who wore the red,
And fought and bled
Till Royal George's banner fled
Not to return again.
What did they then, those loyal men,
When Britain's cause was lost?
Did they consent,
and dwell content
Where Crown, and Law, and Parliament
Were trampled in the dust.
Dear were their homes where they were born;
Where slept their honoured dead;
And rich and wide
On every side
The fruitful acres spread;
But dearer to their faithful hearts
Than home, or gold, or lands,
Were Britains laws, and Britain's crown,
And Britain's flag of long renown,
And grip of British hands.
They would not spurn the glorious old
To grasp the gaudy new.
Of yesterday's rebellion born
They held the upstart power in scorn --
To Britain they stood true.
With high resolve they looked their last
On home and native land;
And sore they wept,
O'er those that slept
In honoured graves that must be kept
By grace of stranger's hand.
They looked their last and got them out
Into the wilderness,
The stern old wilderness!
All dark and rude
The savage wilderness!
Where wild beasts howled
and Indians prowled;
The lonely wilderness!
Where social joys must be forgot,
And budding childhood grow untaught;
Where hopeless hunger might assail
Should Autumn's promised fruitage fail
Where sickness, unrestrained by skill,
Might slay their dear ones at its will;
Where they must lay
Thier dead away
Without the man of God to say
The sad sweet words, how dear to men,
Or resurrection hope. But then
'Twas British wilderness!
Where they might sing,
God save the King!
And live protected by his laws,
And loyally uphold his cause.
'Twas welcome wilderness!
Though dark and rude
Though wild beasts howled
And Indians prowled;
For there their sturdy hands,
By hated treason undefiled,
Might win from the Canadian wild
A home on British lands.
These be thy heroes Canada?
These men of proof, whose test
Was in the fevered pulse of strife
When foeman thursts at foeman's life;
And in that stern behest,
When right must toil for scanty bread,
While wrong on sumptuous fare is fed,
And men must choose between;
When right must shelter 'neath the skies,
While wrong in lordly mansion lies,
And men must choose between;
When right is cursed and crucified,
While wrong is cheered and glorified,
And men must choose between.
Stern was the test,
And sorely pressed,
That proved their blood best of the best.
And when for Canada you pray,
Implore kind Heaven
That like a leaven,
The hero-blood which then was given
May quicken in ther veins alway;
That from those worthy sires may spring,
In numbers as the stars,
Strong-hearted sons, whose glorying
Shall be in Right,
Though recreant Might
Be strong against her in the fight,
And many be her scars;
So, like the sun, her honoured name
Shall shine to latest years the same."
This is the stuff of which epic movies are made! Some film maker is missing
out on "the best of the best!"
"Fear God! Honour the King! One United Empire!"
An Irish-Canadian [Fifth generation descendant of U. E. Loyalist Israel
American, Living In Texas!
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