Lundy’s Lane and Other Poems
By Duncan Campbell Scott First published in 1916
ISBN: 978-1-77081-088-4 pages: size: 6.5 by 9 inches paper
Duncan Campbell Scott (August 2, 1862 – December 19, 1947) was a Canadian bureaucrat, poet and prose writer. With Charles G.D. Roberts, Bliss Carman, and Archibald Lampman, he is classed as one of Canada’s Confederation Poets.Scott was a Canadian lifetime civil servant who served as deputy superintendent of the Department of Indian Affairs from 1913 to 1932, and is better known today for advocating the assimilation of Canada’s First Nations peoples in that capacity. Hiowever by the late 1880s Scott was publishing poetry in the prestigious American magazine, Scribner’s. In 1889 his poems “At the Cedars” and “Ottawa” were included in the pioneering anthology, Songs of the Great Dominion. Scott and Lampman shared a love of poetry and the Canadian wilderness. During the 1890s the two made a number of canoe trips together in the area north of Ottawa. In 1892 and 1893, Scott, Lampman, and William Wilfred Campbell wrote a literary column, “At the Mermaid Inn,” for the Toronto Globe. His intention was to conjure up a vision of The Mermaid Inn Tavern in old London where Sir Walter Raleigh founded the famous club whose members included Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher, and other literary lights. In 1893 Scott published his first book of poetry, The Magic House and Other Poems. It would be followed by seven more volumes of verse: Labor and the Angel (1898), New World Lyrics and Ballads (1905), Via Borealis (1906), Lundy’s Lane and Other Poems (1916), Beauty and Life (1921), The Poems of Duncan Campbell Scott (1926) and The Green Cloister (1935). In 1894, Scott married Belle Botsford, a concert violinist, whom he had met at a recital in Ottawa. They had one child, Elizabeth, who died at 12. Before she was born, Scott asked his mother and sisters to leave his home (his father had died in 1891), causing a long-time rift in the family. In 1896 Scott published his first collection of stories, In the Village of Viger, a collection of delicate sketches of French Canadian life. Two later collections, The Witching of Elspie (1923) and The Circle of Affection (1947), contained many fine short stories. Scott also wrote a novel, although it was not published until after his death (as The Untitled Novel, in 1979). After Lampman died in 1899, Scott helped publish a number of editions of Lampman’s poetry. Scott was a prime mover in the establishment of the Ottawa Little Theatre and the Dominion Drama Festival. In 1923 the Little Theatre performed his one-act play, Pierre; it was later published in Canadian Plays from Hart House Theatre (1926). His wife died in 1929. In 1931 he married poet Elise Aylen, more than 30 years his junior. After he retired the next year, he and Elise spent much of the 1930s and 1940s travelling in Europe, Canada and the United States. He died in December 1947 in Ottawa at the age of 85 and is buried in Ottawa’s Beechwood Cemetery.
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