EBENEZER BAIN OF
EDINBURGH AND MONTREAL
EBENEZER BAIN, born on the 28th of February, 1838 at 9 St. James Place,
Edinburgh, was one of five children born to Thomas Bain [Custom House
Officer] (1813, Forres-1892, Forres) and Jessie Russell (1811, Knockando
Thomas Bain, Ebenezer’s father, was one of fourteen children born to
John Bain [Shoemaker] (1875, Forres-1855, Forres) and Jane Brander
(1778, Elgin-1835, Forres).
John Bain, Ebenezer’s grandfather, was one of three children born to
Alexander Bain (Shoemaker) and Emelia Jenkins, both of Forres, who
married there on the 12th of March, 1767.
In the 1861 Scottish Census, Ebenezer is seen to be employed as a
Tinsmith in Edinburgh, but in 1863 he emigrated to Montreal, Canada,
where, in 1865, he married a Margaret Adamson who had been born in
Peebles on the 31st of October, 1838 to James Adamson [Quay Porter in
Leith] (1794, Stobo-1875, Edinburgh) and Margaret Smeal (1810,
Peebles-1869, Leith). However, it is clear that Ebenezer and Margaret
had met in Leith prior to her subsequent emigration to Montreal in 1865,
as the Adamson family had moved from Peebles to Leith around 1840.
Margaret Adamson’s grandparents were William Adamson [Farmer] and Jane
Baird; and, William Smail (Merchant) and Agnes Wilkie - all four from
Ebenezer and Margaret had
Margaret Smeal Bain -1 May 1866 – died 18 May 1956, Montreal.
Thomas Bain – 9 January 1868 – died 9 January 1868
James Russell Bain – 1870 – died 1870
Henry Russell Bain – 10 May 1871 – died 18 April 1947, Ottawa.
Alan Stanley Bain – 20 December 1872 – died 9 November 1954, Montreal.
Alexander (Sandy) Stevenson Bain – 28 November 1874 – Vancouver, date
Archibald Douglas Bain – 2 February 1877 – died 1950, Winnipeg,
James Tweed (Jack) Bain – 3 May 1879 – Montreal, date unknown.
Robert Gordon Bain - 24th November 1882 – died 8 December 1964,
Ebenezer and Margaret
raised their family at a house in Cadieux Street in Montreal. The name
of Cadieux Street was changed during the nineteen-thirties, but a house
of the type they had in that location still stands at 3460 de Bullion
Street. Ebenezer worked for a time with a firm of plumbing wholesalers
in Montreal, and then spent forty years in the insurance business.
He served with the Montreal Garrison Artillery for five years, and was
present with them when the ‘Fenian’ raid at Trout River, near
Huntingdon, Quebec, was repelled in 1870.
He took a keen interest
in the Caledonian Society of Montreal, and his recital of Rabbie Burns'
"Tam O' Shanter" at a family Christmas party, when he was eighty-eight,
is remembered as an outstanding occasion.
He also enjoyed writing
poetry, and some of these efforts appeared in the Montreal press from
time to time. Then, later, a collection from his verses, "Ramblings in
Rhymeland", was published in 1918 to mark his upcoming eighty-first
birthday in 1919. It is a small volume of just over one hundred pages of
delightfully unpretentious poems and song lyrics; and it also contains
four photographs, including one of himself and a much beloved
Ebenezer Bain died in
Montreal on October 7, 1929, in his ninety-second year.
DEDICATED TO MY RELATIVES
AND FRIENDS AND ALL LOVERS OF TRUTH, NATURE, BEAUTY, HARMONY AND
I beg to tender my
sincere thanks to such kind friends as the Hon. R. S. Weir, Messrs. W.
D. Lighthall, Harcourt Farmer, William Drysdale and T. H. Warren, for
their valuable assistance and counsel in the preparation of these
selections for the press.
Ebenezer Bain - 1918
THE author thinks that a long introduction to this small volume of poems
would be much out of place; therefore will, with the kind reader's
indulgence, briefly recount in explanation apology, if you will the
circumstances attending its publication.
That one now over eighty years of age should venture, for the first
time, to launch a book, and more especially a book of poems, and the
further fact that he had reached the half- century mark before sending
his first contribution to the press, seems like flying in the face of
the famous dictum of that eminent man, Professor Osier.
I must confess that the dominant feeling that suggested offering my
poems in book form (a feeling I believe shared by many who, like myself,
have devoted much of their time to the Muse) was a reluctance to consign
to oblivion what I had come to consider my progeny.
Notwithstanding this feeling, I had abandoned the idea of publishing,
and had consigned my manuscripts to my son's care, with instructions
concerning them. And it was only recently, at the request and promptings
of several friends, and letters from persons I had never seen, but who
had read some of my contributions in the papers and thanked me for the
pleasure they had obtained in the perusal of my verses, that I felt
impelled to reconsider my original intention.
These, then, are the motives that have prompted me to issue this little
book, in which I am cognizant of many infirmities, and as being in my
own estimation simply "ramblings" in various by-ways of "rhymeland."
TO EBENEZER BAIN
ON LEARNING THAT HE PROPOSED TO PUBLISH HIS POEMS AT THE
AGE OF EIGHTY-ONE IN 1918
Your torch was lighted at the Golden Flame;
Then, turning to the shining hills, you said:
"I may not from my fellows win acclaim,
And I may be forgotten when I'm dead:
But I shall sing that earth tho’ old is fair,
For fresh comes every sunset, every dawn;
That it is ever good to breathe the air,
And good a child or rose to look upon.
To age, as youth, the world is ever new,
But, of all earthly things, the most divine
Is love, that falleth on the heart like dew,
And kindness cheering like Falernian wine.
So you have sung, as, with your torch alight,
Long years ago you to the uplands turned
A pilgrim singing comfort in the night,
While still beyond the stars eternal burned.
R. Stanley Weir.
War Poems and Songs
02 The Calling Voice
04 William the Brute
05 Sir Douglas Haig – (ILLUSTRATION on this page)
06 The Standard
07 “Peace Without Victory.. Never"
08 Freedom's Combine
09 Kruger and the Boer War
10 The March of the Highland Brigade
11 Home Longings
14 Mount Royal Park
15 The Stormy Tryst
16 Molly – (ILLUSTRATION on this page)
17 The Lovers
19 A Lowland Lassie's Courtship
20 To the Month of May
21 Wild Flower Emblems of Scotland
22 "I'm Growing Old"
23 Annie Laurie
24 Lines to Ebenezer Bain, by T. H. Warren
25 Time is on the Wing, Robbie
26 Burns' Anniversary
27 The Impatient Lover
28 In Memoriam (King Edward VII)
29 Edinburgh – (ILLUSTRATION on this page)
32 Canada (A Song)
33 A Song of Empire
34 A Highland Beauty
35 Memories Dear
36 My Mither's Sangs
37 The Lass that Danced Wi' Me
38 The Highland Soldier's Farewell
39 Some Philosophy
43 Anniversary of Burns' Birthday
44 On Receiving a Bunch o' Heather
45 The Tide will Turn By and By
46 The Egotist
49 Nearing the End
50 To a Favorite Canary Bird
52 The Old Songs
53 Sing the "Auld Scots Sangs"
54 Epistle to a Young Poet Friend
55 The Young Friend's Reply … Friendship
56 Additional lines from the Young Friend
58 Old Friends or Chums
59 English or British which?. . .
60 To My Granddaughter Hilda, in Vancouver
63 Winter in Canada
64 Spring, 1918
65 There's Nothing Too Good for The Scotch
66 Sandy McCraw
67 That's Montreal, or Lights and Shades of Montreal
69 Domestic Squabbles
70 Proud Margery
72 Cogitations on Animals (biped and quadruped)