January 16th, 1924

Wednesday Evening, January 16th, 1924

Apostle For Acadia

(Toronto Globe)

One of Acadia’s most acceptable and persistent spokesmen has passed with the sudden death of John Frederic Herbin of Wolfville, N. S. Mr. Herbin was known as a collector of Acadian relics, and as a poet and novelist with subjects which breathed something of the sadness of the exiled race. He was said to be the only direct descendant of the French Acadians of Grand Pre remaining in the land of "Evangeline." His History of Grand Pre is an exhaustive treatment of the small community which has been made known to millions through Longfellow’s poem. He also wrote several novels, including "The Marshlands," Heir to Grand Pre" and "Jen of the Marshlands." These carried the subtle spirit of the beautiful and romantic Minas Basin region, but did not attain notable heights from a literary point of view.

Mr. Herbin conducted a jewelry and optical business in Wolfville, of which he had been Mayor, and to visitors he extended a kindly welcome. Those in search tended a kindly welcome. Those in search of knowledge of local happenings would quickly unloose his enthusiasm and find in him a fount of knowledge which they would remember long years after.

This beautiful though pathetic picture of the meadow lands of Grand Pre from which the Acadians were exiled is one of Mr. Herbin’s best contributions to Canadian verse:

Across The Dykes

The dykes half bare are lying in the bath
Of quivering sunlight on this Sunday morn,
And bobolinks aflock make sweet the worn
Old places, where two centuries of swath
Have fallen to earth before the mower’s path.
Across the dykes the bell’s low sound is borne
From green Grand Pre, abundant with the corn,
With milk and honey which it always hath.
And now I hear the Angelus ring far;
See faith bow many a head that suffered wrong,
Near all these plains they wrested from the tide!
I see the vision of their final griefs that mar
The greenness of these meadows; in the song
Of birds I feel a tear that has not dried.