A Worthy Son Of Scotia (Michael Power)

Thou worthy son of Scotia,
I'll trust you'll pardon me,
For writing unto you a verse
I fear I make too free;
My pen refuses for to stop,
it seems to say proceed,
For you always stood our clergy's friend
when e'er they stood in need.

'Tis a debt of love and gratitude
we owe, sir, unto you,
You are beloved by all I know,
your enemies are but few;
Unto the late good Bishop Fleming
you all times stood his friend,
Aye, and unto his successor
last fall your aid did lend.

When you freely gave your steamer
the nuns to carry o'er,
For to convey them safely
unto the Southern Shore;
Such acts of generosity
can never be forgot,
That health, peace, joy and happiness
may be your happy lot.

For to sum up your liberal acts
a volume it would fill,
Excuse my feeble genius,
for at least I have good will;
Were I inspired by Burns' muse
down by the tuneful Dee;
Your praises then, sir,
I would sound with more sublimity.

####.... Michael Power [c.1809-1887] ....####
Printed in St John's in 1912 on pp.7-8 of Old Songs Of Newfoundland published by James Murphy [1867-1931].

James Murphy's Publisher's Notes:
The composer of these verses was Michael Power, known as the "Poet of Pokeham Path". He was a cooper by trade and was gifted with the art of versification. Pokeham Path was in the West End of St John's. The verses were written about Walter Grieve, Esq, a well known merchant in his day. The song was composed in 1859.

In his will of 1872, Michael Power declared he was a native of Waterford, IE, but a resident and cooper in St John's for the previous 50 years (1822).

From an article by James K Hiller in the Dictionary Of Canadian Biography Online:
Walter Grieve - Scottish merchant and office-holder who came to St John's to join his elder brother who was working for Baine, Johnston and Company, in which their maternal uncle, William Johnston, was a partner. The firm engaged in the import-export trade with branches in Greenock, Scotland, and St John's. After their uncle's death in 1837, Grieves effectively ran the St John's branch with his brother usually resident in Greenock. When Walter Baine died in 1851, the brothers gained full control. In 1855 Grieve relinquished the management of Baine, Johnston and Company to his nephew Robert Grieve and established his own firm, Walter Grieve and Company, at St John's, and another firm in partnership with Alexander Bremner at Trinity. During the 1860s Grieve began to spend most of the year in Scotland, and he therefore transferred the management of Walter Grieve and Company to another nephew, Robert Thorburn, who was also made a partner. In 1863 the two firms, Baine, Johnston and Company and Walter Grieve and Company, combined to send the first steamers to the seal-fishery from St John's. Although no longer directly involved in management, Grieve maintained an active interest in both firms.
Walter Grieve had held various local offices in St John's: road commissioner in the late 1830s, justice of the peace, president of the Chamber of Commerce of St John's for the years 1847-48, 1855-56, and 1857-58, president of the Scottish Society, one of the four-member Board of Revenue in 1855, and director of the privately owned gas and water companies. Through choice he did not play a prominent role in elective politics. He had refused to run for the legislature in 1842, despite the fact that a large number of St John's citizens had tried to conscript him. He was, however, appointed by Governor Sir John Harvey to the Executive Council as surveyor general, though he sat only for a short period between the years 1845 and 1848. His retirement from the council coincided with the introduction of the bicameral legislature.
Though a Presbyterian, Grieve was sympathetic towards the aspirations of the local Roman Catholic church. Non-Anglican Protestants and Catholics of Newfoundland often aligned to oppose the Church of England. They supported each other over such contentious issues as the educational grant, responsible government, and patronage. A friend of Catholic Bishop Michael Anthony Fleming, Grieve contributed generously to the building of the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, completed in St John's in 1855. Patrick Kevin Devine records that Grieve donated all the ropes and scaffolding, and in gratitude Bishop Fleming gave Grieve his farm, Carpasia, located outside St John's.
Grieve emerged from his Newfoundland career wealthy and popular. The native prejudice against businessmen who viewed their stay in Newfoundland as temporary was mitigated by his public spirit, generosity, and refusal to become embroiled in local quarrels. An anonymous diarist noted in 1863 that "As a merchant and as a man, Walter Grieve, Esq, has, in my opinion, no competitor in this community. He is one of nature's noblemen."

From Wikipedia:
River Dee - located in south-west Scotland, flows from its source in Loch Dee amongst the Galloway Hills, firstly to Clatteringshaws Loch, then in to Loch Ken, where it joins the Water of Ken. From there, the Dee flows 15 miles (24 km) southwards to Kirkcudbright, and into Kirkcudbright Bay to reach the Solway. The distance is just over 38 miles (61 km) in total. Together with its tributaries, the Dee's total catchment area is over 400 square miles (1,000 km²).


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