Frederick George Scott

These mountains reign alone, they do not share
The transitory life of woods and streams;
Wrapt in the deep solemnity of dreams,
They drain the sunshine of the upper air.
Beneath their peaks, the huge clouds, here and there,
Take counsel of the wind, which all night screams
Through grey, burnt forests where the moonlight beams
On hidden lakes, and rocks worn smooth and bare.
These mountains once, throned in some primal sea,
Shook half the world with thunder, and the sun
Pierced not the gloom that clung about their crest;
Now with sealed lips, toilers from toil set free,
Unvexed by fate, the part they played being done,
They watch and wait in venerable rest.



Frederick George Scott

IT sleeps among the thousand hills
Where no man ever trod,
And only nature's music fills
The silences of God.
Great mountains tower above its shore,
Green rushes fringe its brim,
And o'er its breast for evermore
The wanton breezes skim.
Dark clouds that intercept the sun
Go there in Spring to weep,
And there, when Autumn days are done,
White mists lie down to sleep.
Sunrise and sunset crown with gold
The peaks of ageless stone,
Where winds have thundered from of old
And storms have set their throne.
No echoes of the world afar
Disturb it night or day,
The sun and shadow, moon and star
Pass and repass for aye.
'Twas in the grey of early dawn,
When first the lake we spied,
And fragments of a cloud were drawn
Half down the mountain side.
Along the shore a heron flew,
And from a speck on high,
That hovered in the deepening blue,
We heard the fish-hawk's cry.
Among the cloud-capt solitudes,
No sound the silence broke,
Save when, in whispers down the woods,
The guardian mountains spoke.
Through tangled brush and dewy brake,
Returning whence we came,
We passed in silence, and the lake
We left without a name

by  Patricia Life

Frederick George Scott is often known as “the poet of the Laurentians” since he did much of his writing in this region of Quebec. His work provides a sensitive record of the natural world and civilization’s intrusion into it. Over the course of a lengthy writing career, Scott addressed numerous themes; nature, religion, love, death, and empire were among the most prevalent. Particularly during World War I, he wrote patriotic and imperial poems. Scott is recognized as a significant early interpreter of Canada, and is one of the secondary members of the Confederation Group, which included Roberts, Carman and Lampman.

“The Poet of the Laurentians” was born in Montreal in 1861 and grew up and attended high school there. His father held the chair of anatomy at McGill University for forty years. By 1884, Scott had earned a B.A. and an M.A. from Bishop’s University in Lennoxville. He then pursued advanced studies at King’s College, London. He was ordained as a deacon in the Anglican Church in 1884, and as a priest in 1886. He rose from curate to rector in Drummondville, Quebec and then again in Montreal. In 1906, he was made Canon of Holy Trinity Cathedral, Quebec and, in 1925, was made Archdeacon of the Diocese of Quebec. He also served as an army chaplain attached to the 8th Royal Rifles, Quebec. During the First World War, he was the Senior Chaplain of the first Canadian Division overseas. He was wounded in service and after the war became the Dominion Chaplain for Canadian veterans. In 1900, he was elected to the Royal Society of Canada, and, in 1927, he received a D.D. from King’s University. He was the father of five children, and in a poetic dedication refers to his wife as “Sweet Lady, queen-star of my life and thought.”  One of his sons, F. R. Scott, also became a well-known Canadian poet.

Over the course of his lifetime Scott published numerous books of poetry: Justin and Other Poems (1885), The Soul’s Quest and Other Poems (1888), My Lattice and Other Poems (1894), The Unnamed Lake and Other Poems (1897), Poems Old and New (1900), A Hymn of Empire and Other Poems (1906), Poems (1910), The Gates of Time, and Other Poems (1915), In the Battle Silences: Poems Written at the Front (1916), Poems (1918), In Sun and Shade (1928), New Poems (1929), Selected Poems (1933), and Collected Poems (1934), Poems (1936), and Collected Poems (1937). He also produced a collection of poems for the Canadian Legion, the royalties of which were awarded to veterans. Other creative efforts included a didactic novel, a mystery play, his reminiscences, and the editing of a church hymnal.


Frederick George Scott Links: Poetry and More The Soul's Quest and Other Poems

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