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Robert J.C. Stead

Stead publie un livre de poèmes en Alberta en 1917, mais lorsqu'il habitait au Manitoba, il avait déjà publié deux autres collections de vers, The Empire Builders and Other Poems (1909) and Prairie Born and Other Poems (1911). Son style est traditionnel et imbu de sentiments romantiques et idéalistes, mais sa poésie trouve un grand nombre d'admirateurs dans l'Ouest canadien. Stead est journaliste. Spécialisé dans les relations publiques, il publie aussi trois romans lorsqu'il habite en Alberta: The Bail Jumper (1914), The Homesteaders (1916), et The Cow Puncher (1918). On lui attribue d'avoir présenté "le romantisme de la colonisation" à son lectorat.

Before you came the red-man rode the plain,
Untitled lord of nature's great domain;
The shaggy herds, knee-deep in mellow grass,
The lazy summer hours were wont to pass;
The wild goose nested by the water side;
The coyote roamed upon the prairie wide;
The black bear trod the woods in solemn might;
The lynx stole through the bushes in the night.

You came. Straightaway the silent plain
Grew mellow with the glow of golden grain;
The axes in the solitary wood
Rang out where stately oak and maple stood;
The land became alive with busy din,
And as the many settled, more came in;
The world looked on in wonder and dismay-
The building of a nation in a day!

Extrait de "The Plough", 1909

Voir aussi:

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            For more on the history of settlement in Alberta, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.