The city with its varied scenes,
Its turmoil and its strife,
Begets sometimes a fond desire
For a more quiet life,
Where nature with her beauties rare,
May charm the tired mind,
If only for a little space,
Dull care to leave behind.
And nature has so many gems,
Her treasures myriads be,
Her beauty everywhere expressed,
All human eyes may see.
But there are nooks and vales and dells,
Where nature's treasures are
Most bountifully distributed;
Some near, and some afar.
And to our state, whose motto gives
To us a lesson grand,
Kind nature has bestowed full share
In water and on land.
Devil's Lake with waters clear,
With scenery sublime,
To teach the soul there is a God.
And has been for all time.
Fern Dell, where foliage is green,
Where people love to stay,
And leave behind all toil and care,
If only for a day.
And many other pretty places,
When verdure all is green,
But a prettier than "Durward's Glen"
Is seldom ever seen.
Its large, majestic trees for shade,
It’s babbling stream for song,
Its fountain with its waters clear,
One sure might linger long,
And drink so free this cooling draught
While birds are on the wing,
And bees are humming at their work;
And flowers from brooklets spring.
And there upon a jutting rock,
The "Virgin Mary” stands,
Embracing Christ, a tiny babe,
With sceptered crown and outstretched hands;
Above the stream, the massive rock
Tells those who pause to hear
Of earth in its Archaean age,
And how they each came there.
The tiny vines with various leaves,
Which cling to rock and tree,
Bespeak of Nature's perfect choice,
All these in harmony.
The "weeping ledge" where tear-drops fall,
As if some hidden grief
Was causing sorrow in the glen,
And weeping brought relief.
And here and there a winding path,
To lead me up the hill,
Where rest the loved of other days,
So peaceful, calm and still.
The old stone church, like some proud form,
Some general in war,
Stands there above those massive rock,
E'en tempests do not mar.
And there are monuments which stand
Like sentinels, whose silent watches keep,
And tell to strangers as they pause,
Whose loved ones lie asleep,
Around the church-yard here and there
In stations made for them,
Are different painting of "Our Christ,"
While dwelling here with men.
They. each in turn a sermon teach,
Though silent as the grave,
For cradle, cross and crown are there,
Of Him who came to save.
These paintings wrought by one who sleeps,
Amidst his works of pride;
For young in life, his mission done,
His home "The Other Side."
The genial host and hostess too,
Will welcome all who come
To view the glen, the rocks, and flowers,
Their studio or home.
Their locks are bleached by many snows
And dimmed their eyes by years.
Yet life to them seems full of love,
Devoid of doubt or fears.
'Tis time well spent just to converse
With those whose faces tell,
Almost as plainly as the voice,
The thoughts expressed so well.
To read as from an open book,
The goodness in one's face,
Is better far than spoken praise,
At any time or place.
The studio is of itself,
A study for the mind.
There are statues, paintings, animals,
And birds of many kinds.
If one has time to ponder o'er
The many works of art,
They can but see some are inspired
With genius from the start.
To those who read and haven't seen
The beauties of the glen,
'Twould pay you well to take a day
Off, from the haunts of men,
And with a jolly crowd of friends,
And lunch enough for all,
Go to the glen, and I foretell,
That day you will oft recall.