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Jacques Cartier’s First Visit To Mount Royal
(January 12, 1829 – September 20, 1879 / Canada)

Jacques Cartier’s First Visit To Mount Royal

He stood on the wood-crowned summit
Of our mountain’s regal height,
And gazed on the scene before him,
By October’s golden light,
And his dark eyes, earnest, thoughtful,
Lit up with a softer ray
As they dwelt on the scene of beauty
That, outspread, before him lay.

Like a sea of liquid silver,
St. Lawrence, ’neath the sun,
Reflected the forest foliage
And the Indian wigwams dun,
Embracing the fairy islands
That its swift tide loving laves,
Reposing in tranquil beauty
Amid its sapphire waves.

To the eastward, frowning mountains
Rose in solemn grandeur still,
The glittering sunlight glinting
On steep and rugged hill;
Whilst in the far horizon,
Past leafy dell and haunt,
Like a line of misty purple,
Rose the dim hills of Vermont.

Then Cartier’s rapt gaze wandered
Where, starred with wild flowers sweet,
In its gorgeous autumn beauty,
Lay the forest at his feet.
With red and golden glory
All the foliage seemed ablaze
Yet with brightness strangely softened
By October’s amber haze.

Around him stretched the mountain
Ever lovely—ever young—
Graceful, softly undulating,
By tall forest trees o’erhung;
’Twas then his thought found utterance,
The words “Mont Royal” came,
And thus our Royal Mountain
Received its fitting name.

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