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Title: Dr. W.H. Drummond’s Complete Poems

Date of first publication: 1926

Author: William Henry Drummond (1854-1907)

Date first posted: Aug. 13, 2018

Date last updated: Aug. 13, 2018

Faded Page eBook #20180858

This ebook was produced by: Mardi Desjardins, Cindy Beyer & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net

The Poetical Works of

William Henry Drummond

Copyright, Canada, 1926

by McClelland & Stewart, Limited, Toronto

This volume contains all the poems previously published in separate volumes under the following titles: The Habitant; Johnnie Courteau; The Voyageur; The Great Fight, and comprises the complete collected poems of William Henry Drummond. To these are added a memorial poem and introductions by Neil Munro and Louis Fréchette.


T. H. Best Printing Co., Limited, Toronto

In Memory of William Henry Drummond

By S. Weir Mitchell, M.D., LL.D.

PEACE to his poet soul. Full well he knew

To sing for those who know not how to praise

The woodsman’s life, the farmer’s patient toil,

The peaceful drama of laborious days.

He made his own the thoughts of simple men,

And with the touch that makes the world akin

A welcome guest of lonely cabin homes,

Found, too, no heart he could not enter in.

The toilworn doctor, women, children, men,

The humble heroes of the lumber drives,

Love, laugh, or weep along his peopled verse,

Blithe ’mid the pathos of their meagre lives.

While thus the poet-love interpreted,

He left us pictures no one may forget—

Courteau, Batiste, Camille mon frere and best,

The good brave curé, he of Calumette.

With nature as with man at home, he loved

The silent forest and the birches’ flight

Down the white peril of the rapids’ rush,

And the cold glamour of your Northern night.

Some mystery of genius haunts his page.

Some wonder secret of the poet’s spell

Died with this master of the peasant thought.

Peace to your Northland singer, and farewell!

William Henry Drummond

THE name of Canada to me, as to many of my race and age, has a romantic charm that does not rise from any great historical associations, but survives from early youth, the true period of natural magic, of unquestioning illusions, when great men and great deeds have less power to stir the imaginative faculty than a hint, in some trumpery fiction, of wild, free spaces of the unspoiled world. Not to prenatal glory does the memory of youth go back, as Wordsworth thought; not to some Platonic Eden where, in a previous incarnation we were as angels in a sinless garden; but to the early, primitive, and essentially mundane valleys, plains, and hills that knew the toils and wanderings of our ancestors. It is the unfenced, uninhabited, and tractless areas our subliminal memory recalls; the lonely morning forest, the shouting cataract with no name, lakes undiscovered, hunts perilously followed, evening fires with their ashes deep below the mould of centuries. No savage tribe with rude camp equipage set forth at dawn from the sheltering edge of pines, pursuing the windings of the river through the mist, without, in some sensitive heart, a pang of wonder and surmise which we in our blood inherit. We have all come from the tribes, trailing no clouds of glory, but still with rags of zest in things adventurous, still capable of a thrill at the thought of phantoms and of dangers now no longer waiting us on our morning march along the clean-swept pavements of a thousand cities.

It was natural that Canada should evoke the visionary romance of our youth in Scotland, for yet the more favoured of us saw surviving scraps of that ancient unpossessed, uncultivated, and untamed world whereof Scotland and Canada alike were parts. In both lands Nature wore much the same aspect; clothing the bluffs with pine, the plains with northern wild-flowers, spilling her streams down precipices, filling the mountain crevices with snow or mist, or the creeks and bays with the same Atlantic Ocean. The very cold of Canada in winter helped to render her familiar—were our happiest hours not those when the North wind whistled and our lakes were ice? We knew that, with the frost, to men came grandeurs of endurance and reserves of zest incommunicable to the offspring of the South.

Then, too, only a tiny period, as time goes in History—less than two hundred years—separated us in our Highland life from many of the customs of the Indian. We had still—though hung upon the wall—the weapons of our forefathers, and our fireside tales were yet of native war-trails, forays, feuds, old passions, and alarms. Little wonder that the Red River settlers from Sutherlandshire found the aboriginals less strange and inimical than the whites, or that the great North-West should prove so hospitable to the Gaelic winterers from Hudson’s Bay! And one last feature especially, of the New World rendered it more alluring to our youth—our folk were there! They had blazed trails and builded flourishing communities, they occupied the outmost forts and knew the land from sea to sea; they had given their names to the mightiest rivers.

I have been through Canada at a time when the early affections for things unseen and enterprises unexperienced are usually worn rather thin; when the “radiance that was once so bright” is replaced by

——a sober colouring from an eye

That hath kept watch o’er man’s mortality,

and though the views which I had previously formed of the country and its life had necessarily to undergo some process of readjustment, I am happy to say it yet retains an infinite glamour and romance. For the preservation of this fond illusion—as the realist may consider it—I owe much to the good fortune of knowing one man who, after living nearly all his life in Canada, had not discarded a single jot of his youthful vision of her as a land magnificent and romantic; a man for whom the Redskin or the half-breed still was a being not to be despised; for whom the woodman, the trapper, and the pioneer were glorified by all the antique circumstances of their lives. The forest for William Henry Drummond, as for me, had not relinquished any of its early power to rouse half-awed expectancy, to challenge, to allure. A Celt in every artery of his being, it was not for him, as it never was for me, by fauns and fairies that the thickets, glades, or verges of the solitary lakes were inhabited, but by the creatures of his boyish worship, by Leather-Stocking rather than the dryads.

No alien could doubt the persistance of romance in Canada, who saw the joy of Drummond in it, his delight in the very things that thrilled in the books of youth; in guides and voyageurs, in camps, and portages, and canoes. He was himself a sportsman, and the woods and rivers, therefore, had a fascination for another portion of his nature, but rightly or wrongly, I fancy his love of the wilds and his sense of kinship with the courageous, hardy, and enduring men he found in sporting camps, were more often the attraction of the Laurentian lakes and woods than the fishing and the shooting to be got there.

It was not in Montreal where he practised medicine that he found the inspiration of his written work; poems associated with the life of towns and cities are almost wholly absent from his books, for his most impressionable years had been spent elsewhere—in Bord-à-Plouffe, on the banks of the Rivière des Prairies, at Marbleton, and Stornoway near Lake Megantic. From Ireland, his direct heredity, he probably took no more than a childish memory which gave a tinge of Celtic pensiveness to his later years. He was born near Mohill, County Leitrim, on April 13, 1854, and taken by his parents to the Dominion while yet a boy. At Bord-à-Plouffe, where he worked for a while in the telegraph service, he was in a great centre of the lumber trade and came for the first time in contact with the habitant and the voyageur, a class of men for whom his destiny was to be expositor. Their chansons gave to his first literary essays the mould and spirit which were to distinguish the greater part of his poetical work. Later, he returned to study in the High School, passing thence to McGill College and on to Bishop’s Medical College, where he graduated in 1884. If academic prizes went for athletic feats, the Irishman would have achieved the highest distinctions in his college years, but in truth he won no medals save on the college campus. Of such are good doctors made, and often poets also! His first medical appointment was that of House Surgeon at the Montreal Western Hospital, but at an early date he established a physician’s practice at Stornoway, and later at Knowlton, where the mountains, glens, woods, and lakes of Brome ministered to every aspect of his love for nature. What was the character of his duties there may be gathered from his pictures of “The Canadian Country Doctor” and “Ole Docteur Fiset.” At the end of four years, he returned to practise in Montreal, and, in 1894, he married Miss May Harvey, a lady with whom he became acquainted while she and her father were on a visit from the West Indies to the Dominion.

On his marriage with one who shared his own romantic and poetic nature, and was, further, dowered with the finest literary sensibilities, Drummond’s muse, aforetime somewhat shy and fugitive, assumed more confidence and zeal. He was already known in Canada and throughout the United States as the author of “The Wreck of the ‘Julie Plante,’ ” a poem at no time greatly valued by himself, but holding some essential charm for the very class of men it pictured, no indecisive proof that a poet has a definite call. He had written other poems in the dialect of the French-Canadian habitant, hitherto the medium of buffoonery in verse, but dignified by him to graver purposes, and his own recitation of these poems at occasional public gatherings earned for him the name of “Poet of the Habitant” before he had published a single book.

In an old house in Mountain Street, Montreal, which had sheltered Jefferson Davis during the first years after the American war, the poems for Drummond’s first book were written rather for domestic entertainment than for the world, and at the solicitation of his wife and brothers, the manuscript of “The Habitant” was sent to the publishers of New York. Its merits were discerned by the Putnams, and the book, beautifully illustrated by Frederick Simpson Coburn, whose drawings marvellously caught the atmosphere and spirit of the poems, immediately proved successful. Drummond’s place in the highest rank of North American bards was assured. He was hailed by the Poet Laureate of Canada, Louis Fréchette, as a new “pathfinder in the land of song,” and the credentials of such a French-Canadian dispelled all fears that the fidelity to the dialect, portraiture, and foibles of the habitant might prove unpleasant to the race and class delineated.

In truth, the work had no fonder admiration than with the habitants themselves. They found in it not only a scrupulous representation of their racial life, customs, and character, but the attitude of a sympathetic and admiring friend. A man of the tenderest sentiment, of the finest tact, devoid of any cankering notion of superiority, he never wrote a line but in affection, and the humour, wit, and pathos of his verses carried the irresistible conviction of a great and generous soul. Of ridicule he was temperamentally incapable; on the human weaknesses of his characters he held his judgment in suspense; he gave to Anglo-Saxon Canadians a new respect for their French compatriots. Till then, French-Canadian minstrelsy, for the outside world, was represented so far as the habitant and the voyageur were concerned, by academic English renderings of the old chansons; it was Drummond’s place to make the living habitant and voyageur articulate in the patois which distinguished them, and yet the naïveté and the natural magic of the old régime, of “À La Claire Fontaine” and “En Roulant ma Boulé” are reproduced, transfigured strangely, in the language of the modern Canayen of lumberers and peasants of to-day as Drummond gave them voice in “Johnnie Courteau” or “The Curé of Calumette.”

Drummond’s increasing reputation as a man of letters in no way affected the conscientious discharge of his professional work; his practice was not permitted to lose his unremitting attention, however far his imagination might wander or however briskly his pen might run in his scanty leisure hours as a physician. Rich and poor alike among his patients shared his consideration, and it is related of him that on one occasion, when two calls came simultaneously, one from a wealthy man, and the other from a poor carter from whom a fee might scarcely be expected, he chose to attend the latter first, saying “The rich can get any number of doctors, but poor Pat has only me.” Mrs. Drummond, in the touching biographical sketch she prefixes to his posthumous book The Great Fight, says:

“Many of his patients declared that just to see Doctor Drummond did them good, and grumbled at the scarcity of his visits, but he, never dreaming that he had anything other than a prescription to bestow, said: ‘What’s the use of paying professional visits to people for whom I can do nothing more? I might just as well steal the money out of their pockets.’ On the other hand, if the case was a serious one, it absorbed him, and his attention to it was unremitting. At such times he was with difficulty persuaded to take proper rest or food, and would often leave the dinner-table to search his book-shelves for yet another authority on the disease he was fighting; then he would return with the book to the table, and if it contained what he sought, his plate would be pushed aside, and, in spite of remonstrances from the rest of us, he was off and away to his ‘case’ once more.”

For several years he occupied the chair of Medical Jurisprudence in his Alma Mater, in which position he earned and kept the affection and confidence of students and professors alike. In 1901 appeared his second volume of poems, Johnnie Courteau, and in the following year the University of Toronto conferred on him the degree of LL.D. He was subsequently elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature of England, and, later, one of the Royal Society of Canada. These honours, with the degree of D.C.L., of Bishop’s College, Lennoxville, sat so lightly on him that I confess I was unaware of them till his death. In England he was simply “Habitant Drummond.”

It was in the year last-mentioned that I met him. He was paying his first visit to the motherland since he had left it as a child, and Scotland was included in his itinerary. A man, it seemed to me, less physically suggestive of a poet, it was difficult to conceive. There was nothing fragile about the build of William Henry Drummond—a massive yet athletic figure seemingly endowed with the health and sinews of a wrestler, emanating airs of active life and the open country; the last man to suspect of literary vigils and of enervating dalliance with the sisters of the sacred well. And yet I would not for the world have had him otherwise. The poetry of Canada, particularly the poetry of the voyageur, should not, in common decency, be made by delicate and myopic men; to such, indeed, the heart and mystery of the child of nature, reticent and shy, are rarely to be revealed. If I had had doubts—the usual journalistic doubts—of the poet’s likelihood to express the lowly life of Eastern Canadian country places with authority, they would have been immediately dispelled, for here was unmistakably a plain man’s man with whom it would be joyous to go fishing. I put him to the test with young folk at that period full of the book romance of Canada, and apt to think the most heroic qualities were requisite in every man with his badge the Maple Leaf, and my visitor came grandly up to the most fastidious standard. For them he clinched the matter—Canada was genuine; the moose, and the wapiti, and the bear were not mere beasts of myth like the dragons on our coinage; the trapper was still in Ungava, and the red canoe was yet upon the waters. To a child his unsophistication and trustworthiness were instantly apparent; he was himself an unspoiled and eternal boy!

I incline to think Drummond was never a bookish man; at all events, like Wordsworth, he was certainly no bookworm; and his conversation having rapturously dealt with three or four modern poets who were at the time his deities, tangentially escaped as soon as possible into affairs of prose; of nature, dogs, and angling; children, weather, travel, politics, and nationality. He was plainly the kind of man to be fascinated by any novel phase of the wild and vagabondish in mankind; his eye was ever alert for racial idiosyncrasy. I went with him on a flying visit to my native Highlands of Argyll; the woods of Inveraray roused his admiration,—I see him still, the good physician Melampus, walk under the hoary oaks of Easachosain,—but it was, I think, by gipsy pipers, shaggy, wild rogues and ragged, that he was most permanently impressed.

It was, however, especially to revisit Ireland he had come across the sea, and after some days in Scotland he set out for the scenes of childhood. He got as far as Dublin, and here, as I have written elsewhere, something came to him—an apprehension possibly of the fact that the actual Ireland was not the Ireland of his warm imagination, that the “first, fine, careless rapture” of his childhood in Leitrim could never be recaptured—the saddest of discoveries for middle age. He came back to Glasgow and went home to Canada without accomplishing the purpose that had brought him three thousand miles.

In the following year, I brought a long tour in Canada to a termination with a week in the society of Dr. and Mrs. Drummond, in the attractive homes of his brothers George and Thomas, on the lake-bespangled property of St. Bruno, and later at the sporting camp of the Laurentian Club on Lac La Pêche. With the men and women of that holiday community among primeval woods, it was obvious that the poet was the supreme inspiring friend and favourite, high priest of revels, councillor and high grand consultant upon all projects and contemplated exploits. Not even the old “Commodore,” Director Parker, had more potent sway with the Laurentians. The French-Canadian guides and boatmen were on the most affectionate and even playful terms with “the Doctor”; it was always he who could most easily induce them to indulge the expectant tenderfoot with song or dance. It was then I found that though full of the lore of the hunter, Drummond had long since lost his love of the gun. He preferred to see the creatures of the wood inviolate, and I shall not readily forget his indignation and contempt for anything savouring of unsportsmanlike slaughter.

In 1905, Drummond joined his brothers in the exploitation of new mines at Cobalt, northern Ontario, and, released from his medical work in Montreal, he took up the active personal superintendence of operations which were by no means uncongenial to him, since they were pursued in a region new to him, of magnificent lakes and forests. The fall of the year saw the publication of his last completed work, The Voyageur, which met with the same great vogue and high eulogium that attended its predecessors. It looked as if in worldly prospects and in literary fame the best of his life was still before him, but in truth life smiled but to deceive, and the end came as narrated in the memoir of his widow:

“It had been his intention to spend Easter Day of 1907 with us in Montreal, but hearing that smallpox had broken out in the camp at Cobalt, he hurried away a week earlier. The night of his departure from Montreal he seemed possessed by a strange and overwhelming reluctance to go. ‘I don’t know why I hate to go away so much this time,’ he said, and I, thinking that his health was not as good as usual, would have persuaded him to stay at home, but no, his duty lay there with the sick of the little camp, and bidding us an unusually solemn good-bye, he left the home he was never more to enter. It was just a week from this time that he was stricken with cerebral hemorrhage, and on the morning of April 6th, after five unconscious days, passed to the beyond.”

Drummond’s grave on the side of Mount Royal has upon its stone a phrase of Moira O’Neill’s that has the secret of his wide appeal and his endearment to the readers of the English-speaking world:

          Youth’s for an hour

          Beauty’s a flower,

But love is the jewel that wins the world.

Among the poets of the British Empire, he holds a place unique. The poetry and romance of the North American continent have found, in one form or another, expression in the works of innumerable modern writers, struck, like him, by the natural grandeur of their country, the picturesque side of the struggle by which men subdue it to the purposes of civilisation, and the gallantry and devotion of humble lives. But the laureates of camp-fire, shack, and mine, too generally indulge a strident, even brutal, note which is never found in the poems of Drummond as collected in the present definitive edition.

Melampus dwelt upon men: physician and sage,

  He served them, loving them, healing them, sick or maimed,

Or them that frenzied in some delirious rage

  Outran the measure, his juice of the woods reclaimed.

He played on men, as his master, Phœbus, on strings

  Melodious: as the God did he strive and check,

Through love exceeding a simple love of the things

  That glide in the grasses and rubble of woody wreck.


Neil Munro.


ON me demande, pour ce charmant volume, un mot de préface en français; le voici: Quand, en 1863, je publiai mon premier recueil de poésies—écrites au collège, pour la plupart,—le grand poète américain Longfellow eut la flatteuse bienveillance de m’appeler The pathfinder of a new land of song.

Avec mille fois plus de raison puis-je aujourd’hui passer le compliment à mon sympathique confrère et ami, l’auteur de ce livre; car, si jamais quelqu’un, chez nous, a mérité le titre de pathfinder of a new land of song, c’est assurément lui.

Non seulement il a découvert le champ, la clairière, la vallée fertile et encore inexplorée; il en a fait l’exploitation à sa manière, avec des outils et des moyens de son invention; et, fier de sa conquête, il laisse, de son épaule robuste, tomber à nos pieds le fruit de son travail, la gerbe plantureuse aux ors vierges, à l’arôme sauvage, aux savoureuses promesses, toute fraîche et toute crissante dans sa rusticité saine.

N’est-elle pas, en effet, d’une originalité peu commune, l’idée de prendre un pauvre illettré, de le présenter comme un type national à part, de lui mettre aux lèvres une langue qui n’est pas la sienne et qu’il ne connaît qu’ à demi; d’en faire en même temps un personnage bon, doux, aimable, honnête, intelligent et droit, l’esprit en éveil, le cœur plein d’une poésie native stimulant son patriotisme, jetant un rayon lumineux dans son modeste intérieur, berçant ses heures rêveuses de souvenirs lointains et mélancoliques?

Et cela sans que jamais, dans ce portrait d’un nouveau genre, le plus subtil des critiques puisse surprendre nulle part le coup de crayon de la caricature!

Dans ses inimitables contes villageois, George Sand a peint les paysans du Berry sous des dehors très intéressants. Elle nous les montre même d’un sentiment très affiné dans leur simplicité naïve et leur cordiale bonhomie. En somme, elle en fait des natures, des tempéraments, quelque chose de typique, en même temps qu’harmonieux de teinte et de forme.

Mais George Sand faisait parler ses personnages dans la langue du pays, dans la langue de la chaumière, dans leur propre dialecte, enfin. Elle n’avait, pour ainsi dire, qu’ à faire pénétrer le souffle de son talent sous le réseau de la phrase, pour animer celle-ci d’un reflet de lyrisme ou d’une vibration attendrie.

La tâche abordée par M. Drummond présentait un caractère beaucoup plus difficile.

Ici, le poète avait bien, il est vrai, le milieu à saisir, placé; droit en face de son objectif. Il était assez familier avec ses acteurs pour les grouper avantageusement, en ménageant les effets d’ombres et de lumière. Il est naturellement assez artiste pour ne rien négliger de ce qui ajoute du pittoresque à la pose; surtout, il connaissait à fond le type à reproduire, ses mœurs, ses passions, ses sentiments, ses penchants, ses superstitions et ses faiblesses.

Mais comment, sans tomber dans la charge ou la bouffonnerie, faire parler systématiquement à ses personnages une langue étrangère, forcément incorrecte dans la bouche de quelqu’un qui l’a apprise par oreille, sans savoir lire même dans sa propre langue?

La tentative était hardie; mais on sait que le succès a un faible pour les audacieux.

Dans son étude des Canadiens-français, M. Drummond a trouvé le moyen d’éviter un écueil qui aurait semblé inévitable pour tout autre que pour lui. Il est resté vrai, sans tomber dans la vulgarité, et piquant sans verser dans le grotesque.

Qu’il mette en scène le gros fermier fier de son bien ou de ses filles à marier, le vieux médecin de campagne ne comptant plus ses états de service, le jeune amoureux qui rêve au clair de la lune, le vieillard qui repasse en sa mémoire la longue suite des jours révolus, le conteur de légendes, l’aventurier des “pays d’en haut,” et même le Canadien exilé—le Canadien errant, comme dit la chanson populaire—qui croit toujours entendre résonner à son oreille le vague tintement des cloches de son village; que le récit soit plaisant ou pathétique, jamais la note ne sonne faux, jamais la bizarrerie ne dégénère en puérilité burlesque.

C’est là un tour de force comme il ne s’en fait pas souvent, et c’est avec enthousiasme que je tends la main à M. Drummond pour le féliciter de l’avon accompli.

Il a véritablement fait là œuvre de poète et d’artiste.

J’ajouterai qu’il a fait aussi œuvre de bon citoyen. Car le jour sous lequel il présente mes compatriotes illettrés ne peut manquer de valoir à ceux-ci—et partant à tout le reste de la nationalité—un accroissement desirable dans l’estime de nos compatriotes de langue anglaise, qui n’ont pas été à même de les étudier d’aussi près que M. Drummond.

La peinture qu’en fait le poète est on ne peut plus sympathique et juste; et de semblables procédés ne peuvent que cimenter l’union de cœur et n’esprit qui doit exister entre toutes les fractions qui composent la grande famille canadienne appelée à vivre et à prospérer sous la même loi et le même drapeau.

En lisant les vers de M. Drummond, le Canadien-français sent que c’est là l’expression d’une âme amie; et, à ce compte, je dois á l’auteur plus que mes bravos, je lui dois en même temps un chaleureux merci.

Louis Fréchette.

Montréal, 13 octobre 1897.


IN presenting to the public “The Habitant, and other French-Canadian Poems,” I feel that my friends who are already, more or less, familiar with the work, understand that I have not written the verses as examples of a dialect, or with any thought of ridicule.

Having lived, practically, all my life, side by side with the French-Canadian people, I have grown to admire and love them, and I have felt that while many of the English-speaking public know perhaps as well as myself the French-Canadian of the cities, yet they have had little opportunity of becoming acquainted with the habitant, therefore I have endeavored to paint a few types, and in doing this, it has seemed to me that I could best attain the object in view by having my friends tell their own tales in their own way, as they would relate them to English-speaking auditors not conversant with the French tongue.

My good friend, Dr. Louis Fréchette, Poet Laureate, has, as a French-Canadian, kindly written an “Introductory” in his own graceful language, and I have to thank him above all for his recognition of the spirit which has actuated me in writing “dialect” verse.

William Henry Drummond.

Montreal, September, 1897.


The Habitant1
The Wreck of the “Julie Plante”—A Legend of Lac St. Pierre7
Le Vieux Temps9
“De Papineau Gun”—An Incident of the Canadian Rebellion of 183718
How Bateese Came Home21
De Nice Leetle Canadienne30
’Poleon Doré—A Tale of the Saint Maurice32
De Notaire Publique39
A Canadian Voyageur’s Account of the Nile Expedition—“Maxime Labelle”42
Phil-o-rum Juneau—A Story of the “Chasse Gallerie”52
De Bell of Saint Michel63
Mon Choual “Castor”70
Ole Tam on Bord-À Plouffe75
The Grand Seigneur80
M’sieu Smit, The Adventures of an Englishman in the Canadian Woods82
When Albani Sang91
De Camp on de “Cheval Gris”98
De Stove Pipe Hole104
“De Snowbird”110
The Habitant’s Jubilee Ode113
Ole Docteur Fiset118
Johnnie Courteau122
The Corduroy Road125
The Curé of Calumette131
The Oyster Schooner137
My Leetle Cabane140
Bateese the Lucky Man144
The Hill of St. Sebastien145
Marie Louise149
The Old House and the New153
The Canadian Country Doctor158
Mon Frere Camille163
The Habitant’s Summer169
Little Lac Grenier—(Gren-Yay)175
The Windigo177
National Policy187
Autumn Days190
Madeleine Vercheres192
The “Rose Delima”199
Little Mouse210
Strathcona’s Horse212
Johnnie’s First Moose214
The Old Pine Tree218
Little Bateese220
Donal’ Campbell222
The Dublin Fusilier225
The Old Sexton231
Child Thoughts—Written to Commemorate the Anniversary of my Brother Tom’s Birthday235
Bateese and his Little Decoys237
Phil-o-Rum’s Canoe242
The Log Jam246
The Canadian Magpie252
The Red Canoe255
Two Hundred Years Ago256
The Voyageur259
Bruno the Hunter262
Dieudonné (God-Given)272
The Devil273
The Family Laramie281
Yankee Families282
The Last Portage286
Getting On288
Natural Philosophy297
Pro Patria305
Getting Stout310
Doctor Hilaire313
Barbotte (Bull-pout)320
The Rossignol322
Snubbing (Tying-up) the Raft327
A Rainy Day in Camp332
Joe Boucher337
Lac Souci342
Poirier’s Rooster345
Canadian Forever355
Keep Out of the Weeds359
The Holy Island362
The Rivière des Prairies367
The Wind that Lifts the Fog372
The Fox Hunt374
The Great Fight379
Victoria Square—An Idyll384
We’re Irish Yet392
The First Robin401
Bloom—A Song of Cobalt406
The Boy from Calabogie407
The Calcite Vein—A Tale of Cobalt409
Pierre Leblanc413
Silver Lake Camp418
The Tale of a Cocktail419
The Land we Live in and the Land we Left422
Deer-Hunting—(By an Expert)423
“He Only Wore a Shamrock”425
The Godbout427
The Spanish Bird431
Cauda Morrhuae437
Index to Titles441
Index to First Lines445

Remember when these tales you read

Of rude but honest “Canayen,”

That Joliet, La Verandrye,

La Salle, Marquette, and Hennepin

Were all true “Canayen” themselves—

And in their veins the same red stream:

The conquering blood of Normandie

Flowed strong, and gave America

Coureurs de bois and voyageurs

Whose trail extends from sea to sea!

The Habitant

DE place I get born, me, is up on de reever

  Near foot of de rapide dat’s call Cheval Blanc

Beeg mountain behin’ it, so high you can’t climb it

  An’ whole place she’s mebbe two honder arpent.

De fader of me, he was habitant farmer,

  Ma gran’fader too, an’ hees fader also,

Dey don’t mak’ no monee, but dat isn’t fonny

  For it’s not easy get ev’ryt’ing, you mus’ know—

All de sam’ dere is somet’ing dey got ev’ryboddy,

  Dat’s plaintee good healt’, wat de monee can’t geev,

So I’m workin’ away dere, an’ happy for stay dere

  On farm by de reever, so long I was leev.

O! dat was de place w’en de spring tam she’s comin’,

  W’en snow go away, an’ de sky is all blue—

W’en ice lef’ de water, an’ sun is get hotter

  An’ back on de medder is sing de gouglou—

W’en small sheep is firs’ comin’ out on de pasture,

  Deir nice leetle tail stickin’ up on deir back,

Dey ronne wit’ deir moder, an’ play wit’ each oder

  An’ jomp all de tam jus’ de sam’ dey was crack—

An’ ole cow also, she’s glad winter is over,

  So she kick herse’f up, an’ start off on de race

Wit’ de two-year-ole heifer, dat’s purty soon lef’ her,

  W’y ev’ryt’ing’s crazee all over de place!

An’ down on de reever de wil’ duck is quackin’

  Along by de shore leetle san’ piper ronne—

De bullfrog he’s gr-rompin’ an’ doré is jompin’

  Dey all got deir own way for mak’ it de fonne.

But spring’s in beeg hurry, an’ don’t stay long wit us

  An’ firs’ t’ing we know, she go off till nex’ year,

Den bee commence hummin’, for summer is comin’

  An’ purty soon corn’s gettin’ ripe on de ear.

Dat’s very nice tam for wake up on de morning

  An’ lissen de rossignol sing ev’ry place,

Feel sout’ win’ a-blowin’, see clover a-growin’,

  An’ all de worl’ laughin’ itself on de face.

Mos’ ev’ry day raf’ it is pass on de rapide

  De voyageurs singin’ some ole chanson

’Bout girl down de reever—too bad dey mus’ leave her,

But comin’ back soon’ wit’ beaucoup d’argent.

An’ den w’en de fall an’ de winter come roun us

  An’ bird of de summer is all fly away,

W’en mebbe she’s snowin’ an’ nort’ win’ is blowin’

An’ night is mos’ t’ree tam so long as de day.

You t’ink it was bodder de habitant farmer?

  Not at all—he is happy an’ feel satisfy,

An’ cole may las’ good w’ile, so long as de woodpile

  Is ready for burn on de stove by an’ bye.

W’en I got plaintee hay put away on de stable

  So de sheep an’ de cow, dey got no chance to freeze,

An’ de hen all togedder—I don’t min’ de wedder—

  De nort’ win’ may blow jus’ so moche as she please.

An’ some cole winter night how I wish you can see us,

  W’en I smoke on de pipe, an’ de ole woman sew

By de stove of T’ree Reever—ma wife’s fader geev her

  On day we get marry, dat’s long tam ago—

De boy an’ de girl, dey was readin’ its lesson,

  De cat on de corner she’s bite heem de pup,

Ole “Carleau” he’s snorin’ an’ beeg stove is roarin’

  So loud dat I’m scare purty soon she bus’ up.

Philomene—dat’s de oldes’—is sit on de winder

  An’ kip jus’ so quiet lak wan leetle mouse,

She say de more finer moon never was shiner—

  Very fonny, for moon isn’t dat side de house.

But purty soon den, we hear foot on de outside,

  An’ some wan is place it hees han’ on de latch,

Dat’s Isidore Goulay, las’ fall on de Brulé

  He’s tak’ it firs’ prize on de grand ploughin’ match.

Ha! ha! Philomene!—dat was smart trick you play us

  Come help de young feller tak’ snow from hees neck,

Dere’s not’ing for hinder you come off de winder

  W’en moon you was look for is come, I expec’—

Isidore, he is tole us de news on de parish

  ’Bout hees Lajeunesse Colt—travel two forty, sure,

’Bout Jeremie Choquette, come back from Woonsocket

  An’ t’ree new leetle twin on Madame Vail lancour’.

But nine o’clock strike, an’ de chil’ren is sleepy,

  Mese’f an’ ole woman can’t stay up no more

So alone by de fire—’cos dey say dey ain’t tire—

  We lef’ Philomene an’ de young Isidore.

I s’pose dey be talkin’ beeg lot on de kitchen

  ’Bout all de nice moon dey was see on de sky,

For Philomene’s takin’ long tam get awaken

  Nex’ day, she’s so sleepy on bote of de eye.

Dat’s wan of dem ting’s, ev’ry tam on de fashion,

  An’ ’bout nices’ t’ing dat was never be seen.

Got not’ing for say me—I spark it sam’ way me

  W’en I go see de moder ma girl Philomene.

We leev very quiet ’way back on de contree

  Don’t put on sam style lak de big village,

W’en we don’t get de monee you t’ink dat is fonny

  An’ mak’ plaintee sport on de Bottes Sauvages.

But I tole you—dat’s true—I don’t go on de city

  If you geev de fine house an’ beaucoup d’argent—

I rader be stay me, an’ spen’ de las’ day me

  On farm by de rapide dat’s call Cheval Blanc.

The Wreck of the “Julie Plante”—A
Legend of Lac St. Pierre

ON wan dark night on Lac St. Pierre,

  De win’ she blow, blow, blow,

An’ de crew of de wood scow “Julie Plante”

  Got scar’t an’ run below—

For de win’ she blow lak hurricane

  Bimeby she blow some more,

An’ de scow bus’ up on Lac St. Pierre

  Wan arpent from de shore.

De captinne walk on de fronte deck,

  An’ walk de hin’ deck too—

He call de crew from up de hole

  He call de cook also.

De cook she’s name was Rosie,

  She come from Montreal,

Was chambre maid on lumber barge,

  On de Grande Lachine Canal.

De win’ she blow from nor’-eas’-wes’,—

  De sout’ win’ she blow too,

W’en Rosie cry “Mon cher captinne,

  Mon cher, w’at I shall do?”

Den de Captinne t’row de big ankerre,

  But still the scow she dreef,

De crew he can’t pass on de shore,

  Becos’ he los’ hees skeef.

De night was dark lak’ wan black cat,

  De wave run high an’ fas’,

W’en de captinne tak’ de Rosie girl

  An’ tie her to de mas’.

Den he also tak’ de life preserve,

  An’ jomp off on de lak’,

An’ say, “Good-bye, ma Rosie dear,

  I go drown for your sak’.”

Nex’ morning very early

  ’Bout ha’f-pas’ two—t’ree—four—

De captinne—scow—an’ de poor Rosie

  Was corpses on de shore,

For de win’ she blow lak’ hurricane

  Bimeby she blow some more,

An’ de scow bus’ up on Lac St. Pierre,

  Wan arpent from de shore.


Now all good wood scow sailor man

  Tak’ warning by dat storm

An’ go an’ marry some nice French girl

  An’ leev on wan beeg farm.

De win’ can blow lak’ hurricane

  An’ s’pose she blow some more,

You can’t get drown on Lac St. Pierre

  So long you stay on shore.

Le Vieux Temps

VENEZ ici, mon cher ami, an’ sit down by me—so

An’ I will tole you story of old tam long ago—

W’en ev’ryt’ing is happy—w’en all de bird is sing

An’ me!—I’m young an’ strong lak moose an’ not afraid no t’ing.

I close my eye jus’ so, an’ see de place w’ere I am born—

I close my ear an’ lissen to musique of de horn,

Dat’s horn ma dear ole moder blow—an only t’ing she play

Is “viens donc vite Napoléon—’peche toi pour votre souper.”—

An’ w’en he’s hear dat nice musique—ma leetle dog “Carleau”

Is place hees tail upon hees back—an’ den he’s let heem go—

He’s jomp on fence—he’s swimmin’ crik—he’s ronne two forty gait,

He say “dat’s somet’ing good for eat—Carleau mus’ not be late.”

O dem was pleasure day for sure, dem day of long ago

W’en I was play wit’ all de boy, an’ all de girl also;

An’ many tam w’en I’m alone an’ t’ink of day gone by

An’ pull latire an’ spark de girl, I cry upon my eye.

Ma fader an’ ma moder too, got nice, nice familee,

Dat’s ten garçon an’ t’orteen girl, was mak’ it twenty t’ree

But fonny t’ing de Gouvernement don’t geev de firs’ prize den

Lak w’at dey say dey geev it now, for only wan douzaine.

De English peep dat only got wan familee small size

Mus’ be feel glad dat tam dere is no honder acre prize

For fader of twelve chil’ren—dey know dat mus’ be so,

De Canayens would boss Kebeck—mebbe Ontario.

But dat is not de story dat I was gone tole you

About de fun we use to have w’en we leev a chez nous

We’re never lonesome on dat house, for many cavalier

Come at our place mos’ every night—especially Sun-day.

But tam I ’member bes’ is w’en I’m twenty-wan year—me—

An’ so for mak’ some pleasurement—we geev wan large soirée

De whole paroisse she be invite—de Curé he’s come too—

Wit plaintee peep from ’noder place—dat’s more I can tole you.

De night she’s cole an’ freeze also, chemin she’s fill wit snow

An’ on de chimley lak phantome, de win’ is mak’ it blow—

But boy an’ girl come all de sam an’ pass on grande parloir

For warm itself on beeg box stove, was mak’ on Trois Rivières—

An’ w’en Bonhomme Latour commence for tune up hees fidelle

It mak’ us all feel very glad—l’enfant! he play so well,

Musique suppose to be firs’ class, I offen hear, for sure

But mos’ bes’ man, beat all de res’, is ole Bateese Latour—

An’ w’en Bateese play Irish jeeg, he’s learn on Mattawa

Dat tam he’s head boss cook Shaintee—den leetle Joe Leblanc

Tak’ hole de beeg Marie Juneau an’ dance upon de floor

Till Marie say “Excuse to me, I cannot dance no more.”—

An’ den de Curé’s mak’ de speech—ole Curé Ladouceur!

He say de girl was spark de boy too much on some cornerre—

An’ so he’s tole Bateese play up ole fashion reel a quatre

An’ every body she mus’ dance, dey can’t get off on dat.

Away she go—hooraw! hooraw! plus fort Bateese, mon vieux

Camille Bisson, please watch your girl—dat’s bes’ t’ing you can do.

Pass on de right an’ tak’ your place Mamzelle Des Trois Maisons

You’re s’pose for dance on Paul Laberge, not Telesphore Gagnon.

Mon oncle Al-fred, he spik lak’ dat—’cos he is boss de floor,

An’ so we do our possibill an’ den commence encore.

Dem crowd of boy an’ girl I’m sure keep up until nex’ day

If ole Bateese don’t stop heseff, he come so fatigué.

An’ affer dat, we eat some t’ing, tak’ leetle drink also

An’ de Curé, he’s tole story of many year ago—

W’en Iroquois sauvage she’s keel de Canayens an’ steal deir hair,

An’ say dat’s only for Bon Dieu, we don’t behere—he don’t be dere.

But dat was mak’ de girl feel scare—so all de cavalier

Was ax hees girl go home right off, an’ place her on de sleigh,

An’ w’en dey start, de Curé say, “Bonsoir et bon voyage

Menagez-vous—tak’ care for you—prenez garde pour les sauvages.”

An’ den I go meseff also, an’ tak’ ma belle Elmire—

She’s nicer girl on whole Comté, an’ jus’ got eighteen year—

Black hair—black eye, an’ chick rosée dat’s lak wan fameuse on de fall

But don’t spik much—not of dat kin’, I can’t say she love me at all.

Ma girl—she’s fader beeg farmeur—leev ’noder side St. Flore

Got five-six honder acre—mebbe a leetle more—

Nice sugar bush—une belle maison—de bes’ I never see—

So w’en I go for spark Elmire, I don’t be mak’ de foolish me—

Elmire!—she’s pass t’ree year on school—Ste. Anne de la Perade

An’ w’en she’s tak’ de firs’ class prize, dat’s mak’ de ole man glad;

He say “Ba gosh—ma girl can wash—can keep de kitchen clean

Den change her dress—mak’ politesse before God save de Queen.”

Dey’s many way for spark de girl, an’ you know dat of course,

Some way dey might be better way, an’ some dey might be worse

But I lak’ sit some cole night wit’ my girl on ole burleau

Wit’ lot of hay keep our foot warm—an’ plaintee buffalo—

Dat’s geev good chances get acquaint—an’ if burleau upset

An’ t’row you out upon de snow—dat’s better chances yet—

An’ if you help de girl go home, if horse he ronne away

De girl she’s not much use at all—don’t geev you nice baiser!

Dat’s very well for fun ma frien’, but w’en you spark for keep

She’s not sam t’ing an’ mak’ you feel so scare lak’ leetle sheep

Some tam you get de fever—some tam you’re lak snowball

An’ all de tam you ack lak’ fou—can’t spik no t’ing at all.

Wall! dat’s de way I feel meseff, wit Elmire on burleau,

Jus’ lak’ small dog try ketch hees tail—roun’ roun’ ma head she go

But bimeby I come more brave—an’ tak’ Elmire she’s han’

“Laisse-moi tranquille” Elmire she say “You mus’ be crazy man.”

“Yass—yass” I say “mebbe you t’ink I’m wan beeg loup garou,

Dat’s forty t’ousand ’noder girl, I lef’ dem all for you,

I s’pose you know Polique Gauthier your frien’ on St. Cesaire

I ax her marry me nex’ wick—she tak’ me—I don’t care.”

Ba gosh; Elmire she don’t lak’ dat—it mak’ her feel so mad—

She commence cry, say “ ’Poleon you treat me very bad—

I don’t lak’ see you t’row you’seff upon Polique Gauthier,

So if you say you love me sure—we mak’ de marieé.”—


Oh it was fine tam affer dat—Castor I t’ink he know,

We’re not too busy for get home—he go so nice an’ slow,

He’s only upset t’ree—four tam—an’ jus’ about daylight

We pass upon de ole man’s place—an’ every t’ing’s all right.

Wall! we leev happy on de farm for nearly fifty year,

Till wan day on de summer tam—she die—ma belle Elmire

I feel so lonesome lef’ behin’—I tink ’twas bes’ mebbe—

Dat w’en le Bon Dieu tak’ ma famme—he should not forget me.

But dat is hees biz-nesse ma frien’—I know dat’s all right dere

I’ll wait till he call “ ’Poleon” den I will be prepare—

An’ w’en he fin’ me ready, for mak’ de longue voyage

He guide me t’roo de wood hesef upon ma las’ portage.

De Papineau Gun”—An Incident of the
Canadian Rebellion of 1837

‘BON jour, M’sieu’—you want to know

 ’Bout dat ole gun—w’at good she’s for?

W’y! Jean Bateese Bruneau—mon père,

  Fight wit’ dat gun on Pap’neau War!

Long tam since den you say—C’est vrai,

  An’ me too young for ’member well,

But how de patriot fight an’ die,

  I offen hear de ole folk tell

De English don’t ack square dat tam,

  Don’t geev de habitants no show,

So ’long come Wolfred Nelson

  Wit’ Louis Joseph Papineau.

An’ swear de peep mus’ have deir right.

  Wolfred he’s write Victoriaw,

But she’s no good, so den de war

  Commence among de habitants.


Mon père he leev to Grande Brulé.

  So smarter man you never see,

Was alway on de grande hooraw!

  Plaintee w’at you call “Esprit!”

An’ w’en dey form wan compagnie

  All dress wit’ tuque an’ ceinture sash

Ma fader tak’ hees gun wit’ heem

  An’ marche away to Saint Eustache,

W’ere many patriots was camp

  Wit’ brave Chenier, deir Capitaine,

W’en ’long come English Generale,

  An’ more two t’ousan’ sojer man.


De patriot dey go on church

  An’ feex her up deir possibill;

Dey fight deir bes’, but soon fin’ out

  “Canon de bois” no good for kill.

An’ den de church she come on fire,

  An’ burn almos’ down to de groun’,

So w’at you t’ink our man can do

  Wit’ all dem English armee roun’?


’Poleon, hees sojer never fight

  More brave as dem poor habitants,

Chenier, he try for broke de rank

  Chenier come dead immediatement.

He fall near w’ere de cross is stan’

  Upon de ole church cimitiere,

Wit’ Jean Poulin an’ Laframboise

  An’ plaintee more young feller dere.


De gun dey rattle lak’ tonnere

  Jus’ bang, bang, bang! dat’s way she go,

An’ wan by wan de brave man’s fall

  An’ red blood’s cover all de snow.

Ma fader shoot so long he can

  An’ den he’s load hees gun some more,

Jomp on de ice behin’ de church

  An’ pass heem on de ’noder shore.

Wall! he reach home fore very long

  An’ keep perdu for many day,

Till ev’ry t’ing she come tranquille,

  An’ sojer man all gone away.


An’ affer dat we get our right,

  De Canayens don’t fight no more,

Ma fader’s never shoot dat gun,

  But place her up above de door.

An’ Papineau, an’ Nelson too

  Dey’re gone long tam, but we are free,

Le Bon Dieu have ’em ’way up dere.

  Salut, Wolfred! Salut, Louis!

How Bateese Came Home

W’EN I was young boy on de farm, dat’s twenty year ago

I have wan frien’ he’s leev near me, call Jean Bateese Trudeau

An’ offen w’en we are alone, we lak for spik about

De tam w’en we was come beeg man, wit’ moustache on our mout’.

Bateese is get it on hees head, he’s too moche educate

For mak’ de habitant farmerre—he better go on State—

An’ so wan summer evening we’re drivin’ home de cow

He’s tole me all de whole beez-nesse—jus’ lak you hear me now.

“W’at’s use mak’ foolish on de farm? dere’s no good chances lef’

An’ all de tam you be poor man—you know dat’s true you’se’f;

We never get no fun at all—don’t never go on spree

Onless we pass on ’noder place, an’ mak’ it some monee.

“I go on Les Etats Unis, I go dere right away

An’ den mebbe on ten-twelve year, I be riche man some day,

An’ w’en I mak’ de large fortune, I come back I s’pose

Wit’ Yankee famme from off de State, an’ monee on my clothes.

“I tole you somet’ing else also—mon cher Napoleon

I get de grande majorité, for go on parliament

Den buil’ fine house on borde l’eau—near w’ere de church is stand

More finer dan de Presbytere, w’en I am come riche man!”


I say “For w’at you spik lak dat? you must be gone crazee

Dere’s plaintee feller on de State, more smarter dan you be,

Beside she’s not so healtee place, an’ if you mak’ l’argent,

You spen’ it jus’ lak Yankee man, an’ not lak habitant.

“For me Bateese! I tole you dis: I’m very satisfy—

De bes’ man don’t leev too long tam, some day Ba Gosh! he die—

An’ s’pose you got good trotter horse, an’ nice famme Canadienne

Wit’ plaintee on de house for eat—W’at more you want ma frien’?”

But Bateese have it all mak’ up, I can’t stop him at all

He’s buy de seconde classe tiquette, for go on Central Fall—

An’ wit’ two-t’ree some more de boy,—w’at t’ink de sam’ he do

Pass on de train de very nex’ wick, was lef’ Rivière du Loup.

      •      •      •      •      •      •      •

Wall! mebbe fifteen year or more, since Bateese go away

I fin’ mesef Rivière du Loup, wan cole, cole winter day

De quick express she come hooraw! but stop de soon she can

An’ beeg swell feller jomp off car, dat’s boss by nigger man.

He’s dressim on de première classe, an’ got new suit of clothes

Wit’ long moustache dat’s stickim out, de ’noder side hees nose

Fine gol’ watch chain—nice portmanteau—an’ long, long overcoat

Wit’ beaver hat—dat’s Yankee style—an’ red tie on hees t’roat—

I say “Hello Bateese! Hello! Comment ça va mon vieux?”

He say “Excuse to me, ma frien’ I t’ink I don’t know you.”

I say, “She’s very curis t’ing, you are Bateese Trudeau,

Was raise on jus’ sam’ place wit’ me, dat’s fifteen year ago?”

He say, “Oh yass dat’s sure enough—I know you now firs’ rate,

But I forget mos’ all ma French since I go on de State.

Dere’s ’noder t’ing kip on your head, ma frien’ dey mus’ be tole

Ma name’s Bateese Trudeau no more, but John B. Waterhole!”

“Hole on de water’s” fonny name for man w’at’s call Trudeau

Ma frien’s dey all was spik lak dat, an’ I am tole heem so—

He say “Trudeau an’ Waterhole she’s jus’ about de sam’

An’ if you go for leev on State, you must have Yankee nam’.”

Den we invite heem come wit’ us, “Hotel du Canadaw”

W’ere he was treat mos’ e’ry tam, but can’t tak’ w’isky blanc,

He say dat’s leetle strong for man jus’ come off Central Fall

An’ “tabac Canayen” bedamme! he won’t smoke dat at all!—

But fancy drink lak “Collings John” de way he put it down

Was long tam since I don’t see dat—I t’ink he’s goin’ drown!—

An’ fine cigar cos’ five cent each, an’ mak’ on Trois-Rivières

L’enfant! he smoke beeg pile of dem—for monee he don’t care!—

I s’pose meseff it’s t’ree o’clock w’en we are t’roo dat night

Bateese, hees fader come for heem, an’ tak’ heem home all right

De ole man say Bateese spik French, w’en he is place on bed—

An’ say bad word—but w’en he wake—forget it on hees head—

Wall! all de winter w’en we have soirée dat’s grande affaire

Bateese Trudeau, dit Waterhole, he be de boss man dere—

You bet he have beeg tam, but w’en de spring is come encore

He’s buy de première classe tiquette for go on State some more.

      •      •      •      •      •      •      •

You ’member w’en de hard tam come on Les Etats Unis

An’ plaintee Canayens go back for stay deir own contrée?

Wall! jus’ about dat tam again I go Rivière du Loup

For sole me two t’ree load of hay—mak’ leetle visit too—

De freight train she is jus’ arrive—only ten hour delay—

She’s never carry passengaire—dat’s w’at dey always say;—

I see poor man on char caboose—he’s got heem small valise

Begosh! I nearly tak’ de fit,—It is—it is Bateese!

He know me very well dis tam, an’ say “Bon jour, mon vieux

I hope you know Bateese Trudeau was educate wit’ you

I’m jus’ come off de State to see ma familee encore

I bus’ mesef on Central Fall—I don’t go dere no more.”


“I got no monee—not at all—I’m broke it up for sure—

Dat’s locky t’ing, Napoleon, de brakeman Joe Latour

He’s cousin of wan frien’ of me call Camille Valiquette,

Conductor too’s good Canayen—don’t ax me no tiquette.”

I tak’ Bateese wit’ me once more “Hotel du Canadaw”

An’ he was glad for get de chance drink some good w’isky blanc!

Dat’s warm heem up, an’ den he eat mos’ ev’ryt’ing he see,

I watch de w’ole beez-nesse mese’f—Monjee! he was hongree!


Madame Charette wat’s kip de place get very much excite

For see de many pork an’ bean Bateese put out of sight

Du pain doré—potate pie—an’ ’noder t’ing be dere

But w’en Bateese is get heem t’roo—dey go I don’t know w’ere.

It don’t tak’ long for tole de news “Bateese come off de State”

An’ purty soon we have beeg crowd, lak village she’s en fête

Bonhomme Maxime Trudeau hese’f, he’s comin’ wit’ de pries’

An’ pass’ heem on de “Room for eat” w’ere he is see Bateese.

Den ev’rybody feel it glad, for watch de embrasser

An’ bimeby de ole man spik “Bateese you here for stay?”

Bateese he’s cry lak beeg bebè, “Bâ j’eux rester ici.

An’ if I never see de State, I’m sure I don’t care—me.”

“Correc’,” Maxime is say right off, “I place you on de farm

For help your poor ole fader, won’t do you too moche harm

Please come wit’ me on Magasin, I feex you up—bâ oui

An’ den you’re ready for go home an’ see de familee.”

Wall! w’en de ole man an’ Bateese come off de Magasin

Bateese is los’ hees Yankee clothes—he’s dress lak Canayen

Wit’ bottes sauvages—ceinture fléché—an’ coat wit’ capuchon

An’ spik Français au naturel, de sam’ as habitant.

      •      •      •      •      •      •      •

I see Bateese de oder day, he’s work hees fader’s place

I t’ink mese’f he’s satisfy—I see dat on hees face

He say “I got no use for State, mon cher Napoleon

Kebeck she’s good enough for me—Hooraw pour Canadaw.”

De Nice Leetle Canadienne

YOU can pass on de worl’ w’erever you lak,

  Tak’ de steamboat for go Angleterre,

Tak’ car on de State, an’ den you come back,

  An’ go all de place, I don’t care—

Ma frien’ dat’s a fack, I know you will say,

  W’en you come on dis contree again,

Dere’s no girl can touch, w’at we see ev’ry day,

        De nice leetle Canadienne.

Don’t matter how poor dat girl she may be,

  Her dress is so neat an’ so clean,

Mos’ ev’rywan t’ink it was mak’ on Paree

  An’ she wear it, wall! jus’ lak de Queen.

Den come for fin’ out she is mak’ it herse’f,

  For she ain’t got moche monee for spen’,

But all de sam’ tam, she was never get lef’,

        Dat nice leetle Canadienne.

W’en “un vrai Canayen” is mak’ it mariée,

  You t’ink he go leev on beeg flat

An’ bodder hese’f all de tam, night an’ day,

  Wit’ housemaid, an’ cook, an’ all dat?

Not moche, ma dear frien’, he tak’ de maison,

  Cos’ only nine dollar or ten,

W’ere he leev lak blood rooster, an’ save de l’argent,

        Wit’ hees nice leetle Canadienne.

I marry ma famme w’en I’m jus’ twenty year,

  An’ now we got fine familee,

Dat skip roun’ de place lak leetle small deer,

  No smarter crowd you never see—

An’ I t’ink as I watch dem all chasin’ about,

  Four boy an’ six girl, she mak’ ten,

Dat’s help mebbe kip it, de stock from run out

        Of de nice leetle Canadienne.

O she’s quick an’ she’s smart, an’ got plaintee heart,

  If you know correc’ way go about,

An’ if you don’t know, she soon tole you so

  Den tak’ de firs’ chance an’ get out;

But if she love you, I spik it for true,

  She will mak’ it more beautiful den,

An’ sun on de sky can’t shine lak de eye

        Of dat nice leetle Canadienne.

’Poleon Doré.—A Tale of the Saint

YOU have never hear de story of de young Napoleon Doré?

  Los’ hees life upon de reever w’en de lumber drive go down?

W’ere de rapide roar lak tonder, dat’s de place he’s goin’ onder,

  W’en he’s try save Paul Desjardins, ’Poleon hese’f is drown.

All de winter on de Shaintee, tam she’s good and work she’s plaintee,

  But we’re not feel very sorry, w’en de sun is warm hees face,

W’en de mooshrat an’ de beaver, tak’ some leetle swim on reever,

  An’ de sout’ win’ scare de snowbird, so she fly some col’er place.

Den de spring is set in steady, an’ we get de log all ready,

  Workin’ hard all day an’ night too, on de water mos’ de tam,

An’ de skeeter w’en dey fin’ us, come so quickly nearly blin’ us,

  Biz—biz—biz—biz—all aroun’ us till we feel lak sacrédam.

All de sam’ we’re hooraw feller, from de top of house to cellar,

  Ev’ry boy he’s feel so happy, w’en he’s goin’ right away,

See hees fader an’ hees moder, see hees sister an’ hees broder,

  An’ de girl he spark las’ summer, if she’s not get mariée.

Wall we start heem out wan morning, an’ de pilot geev us warning,

  “W’en you come on Rapide Cuisse, ma frien’, keep raf’ she’s head on shore,

If you struck beeg rock on middle, w’ere le diable is play hees fiddle,

  Dat’s de tam you pass on some place, you don’t never pass before.”


But we’ll not t’ink moche of danger, for de rapide she’s no stranger

  Many tam we’re runnin’ t’roo it, on de fall an’ on de spring,

On mos’ ev’ry kin’ of wedder dat le Bon Dieu scrape togedder,

  An’ we’ll never drown noboddy, an’ we’ll never bus’ somet’ing.

Dere was Telesphore Montbriand, Paul Desjardins, Louis Guyon,

  Bill McKeever, Aleck Gauthier, an’ hees cousin Jean Bateese,

’Poleon Doré, Aimé Beaulieu, wit’ some more man I can’t tole you,

  Dat was mak’ it bes’ gang never run upon de St. Maurice.


Dis is jus’ de tam I wish me, I could spik de good English—me—

  For tole you of de pleasurement we get upon de spring,

W’en de win’ she’s all a sleepin’, an’ de raf’ she go a sweepin’

  Down de reever on some morning, w’ile le rossignol is sing.

Ev’ryt’ing so nice an’ quiet on de shore as we pass by it,

  All de tree got fine new spring suit, ev’ry wan she’s dress on green

W’y it mak’ us all more younger, an’ we don’t feel any hunger,

  Till de cook say “ ‘Raw for breakfas’,” den we smell de pork an’ bean.

Some folk say she’s bad for leever, but for man work hard on reever,

  Dat’s de bes’ t’ing I can tole you, dat was never yet be seen,

’Course dere’s oder t’ing ah tak’ me, fancy dish also I lak me,

  But w’en I want somet’ing solid, please pass me de pork an’ bean.

All dis tam de raf’ she’s goin’ lak steamboat was got us towin’,

  All we do is keep de channel, an’ dat’s easy workin’ dere,

So we sing some song an’ chorus, for de good tam dat’s before us,

  W’en de w’ole beez-nesse she’s finish, an’ we come on Trois Rivieres.

But bad luck is sometam fetch us, for beeg strong win’ come an’ ketch us,

  Jus’ so soon we struck de rapide—jus’ so soon we see de smoke,

An’ before we spik some prayer for ourse’f dat’s fightin’ dere,

  Roun’ we come upon de beeg rock, an’ it’s den de raf’ she broke.


Dat was tam poor Paul Desjardins, from de parish of St. Germain,

  He was long way on de fronte side, so he’s failin’ overboar’

Couldn’t swim at all de man say, but dat’s more ma frien’, I can say,

  Any how he’s look lak drownin’, so we’ll t’row him two t’ree oar.

Dat’s ’bout all de help our man do, dat’s ’bout ev’ryt’ing we can do,

  As de crib we’re hangin’ onto balance on de rock itse’f,

Till de young Napoleon Doré, heem I start for tole de story,

  Holler out, “Mon Dieu, I don’t lak see poor Paul go drown hese’f.”


So he’s mak’ beeg jomp on water, jus’ de sam you see some otter

  An’ he’s pass on place w’ere Paul is tryin’ hard for keep afloat,

Den we see Napoleon ketch heem, try hees possibill for fetch heem

  But de current she’s more stronger, an’ de eddy get dem bote.

O Mon Dieu! for see dem two man, mak’ me feel it cry lak woman,

  Roun’ an’ roun’ upon de eddy, quickly dem poor feller go,

Can’t tole wan man from de oder, an’ we’ll know dem bote lak broder,

  But de fight she soon is finish—Paul an’ ’Poleon go below.


Yass, an’ all de tam we stay dere, only t’ing we do is pray dere,

  For de soul poor drownin’ feller, dat’s enough mak’ us feel mad,

Torteen voyageurs, all brave man, glad get any chances save man,

  But we don’t see no good chances, can’t do not’ing, dat’s too bad.

Wall! at las’ de crib she’s come way off de rock, an’ den on some way,

  By an’ by de w’ole gang’s passin’ on safe place below de Cuisse,

Ev’ryboddy’s heart she’s breakin’, w’en dey see poor Paul he’s taken

  Wit’ de young Napoleon Doré, bes’ boy on de St. Maurice!

An’ day affer, Bill McKeever fin’ de bote man on de reever,

  Wit’ deir arm aroun’ each oder, mebbe pass above dat way—

So we bury dem as we fin’ dem, w’ere de pine tree wave behin’ dem

  An’ de Grande Montagne he’s lookin’ down on Marcheterre Bay.

You can’t hear no church bell ring dere, but le rossignol is sing dere,

  An’ w’ere ole red cross she’s stannin’, mebbe some good ange gardien,

Watch de place w’ere bote man sleepin’, keep de reever grass from creepin’

  On de grave of ’Poleon Doré, an’ of poor Paul Desjardins.

De Notaire Publique

M’SIEU Paul Joulin, de Notaire Publique

  Is come I s’pose seexty year hees life

An’ de mos’ riche man on Sainte Angelique

  W’en he feel very sorry he got no wife—

So he’s paint heem hees buggy, lak new, by Gor!

  Put flower on hees coat, mak’ hese’f more gay

Arrange on hees head fine chapeau castor

  An’ drive on de house of de Boulanger.

For de Boulanger’s got heem une jolie fille

  Mos’ bes’ lookin’ girl on paroisse dey say

An’ all de young feller is lak Julie

  An’ plaintee is ax her for mak’ mariée,

But Julie she’s love only jus’ wan man,

  Hees nam’ it is Jérémie Dandurand

An’ he’s work for her sak’ all de hard he can,

  ’Way off on de wood, up de Mattawa.

M’Sieu Paul he spik him “Bonjour Mamzelle,

  You lak promenade on de church wit’ me?

Jus’ wan leetle word an’ we go ma belle

  An’ see heem de Curé toute suite, chérie;

I dress you de very bes’ style à la mode,

  If you promise for be Madame Paul Joulin,

For I got me fine house on Bord à Plouffe road

  Wit’ mor’gage also on de Grande Moulin.”

But Julie she say “Non, non, M’Sieu Paul,

  Dat’s not correc’ t’ing for poor Jérémie

For I love dat young feller lak not’ing at all,

  An’ I’m very surprise you was not know me.

Jérémie w’en he’s geev me dat nice gol’ ring,

  Las’ tam he’s gone off on de Mattawa

Say he’s got ’noder wan w’en he’s come nex’ spring

  Was mak’ me for sure Madame Dandurand.

“I t’ank you de sam’ M’Sieu Paul Joulin

  I s’pose I mus’ be de wife wan poor man

Wit’ no chance at all for de Grande Moulin,

  But leev all de tam on some small cabane.”

De Notaire Publique den is tak’ hees hat,

  For he t’ink sure enough dat hees dog she’s dead;

Dere’s no use mak’ love on de girl lak dat,

  Wit’ not’ing but young feller on de head.

Julie she’s feel lonesome mos’ all dat week,

  Don’t know w’at may happen she wait till spring

Den t’ink de fine house of Notaire Publique

  An’ plaintee more too—but love’s funny t’ing!

So nex’ tam she see de Notaire again,

  She laugh on her eye an’ say “M’Sieu Paul

Please pass on de house, or you ketch de rain,

  Dat’s very long tam you don’t come at all.”

She’s geev him so soon he’s come on de door

  Du vin de pays, an’ some nice galettes,

She’s mak’ dem herse’f only day before

  An’ he say “Bigosh! dat is fine girl yet.”

So he’s try hees chances some more—hooraw!

  Julie is not mak’ so moche troub’ dis tam;

She’s forget de poor Jérémie Dandurand

  An’ tole de Notaire she will be hees famme.

W’en Jérémie come off de wood nex’ spring,

  An’ fin’ dat hees girl she was get mariée

Everybody’s expec’ he will do somet’ing,

  But he don’t do not’ing at all, dey say;

For he’s got ’noder girl on Sainte Dorothée,

  Dat he’s love long tam, an’ she don’t say “No,”

So he’s forget too all about Julie

  An’ mak’ de mariée wit’ hese’f also.

A Canadian Voyageur’s Account of the
Nile Expedition—“Maxime Labelle”

VICTORIAW: she have beeg war, E-gyp’s de nam’ de place—

An’ neeger peep dat’s leev ’im dere, got very black de face,

An’ so she’s write Joseph Mercier, he’s stop on Trois Rivieres—

“Please come right off, an’ bring wit’ you t’ree honder voyageurs.

“I got de plaintee sojer, me, beeg feller six foot tall—

Dat’s Englishman, an’ Scotch also, don’t wear no pant at all;

Of course, de Irishman’s de bes’, raise all de row he can,

But noboddy can pull batteau lak good Canadian man.

“I geev you steady job for sure, an’ w’en you get ’im t’roo

I bring you back on Canadaw, don’t cos’ de man un sou,

Dat’s firs’-class steamboat all de way Kebeck an’ Leeverpool,

An’ if you don’t be satisfy, you mus’ be beeg, beeg fool.”

We meet upon Hotel Dufresne, an’ talk heem till daylight,

An’ Joe he’s treat so many tam, we very near get tight,

Den affer w’ile, we mak’ our min’ dat’s not bad chance, an’ so

Joseph Merrier he’s telegraph, “Correc’, Madame, we go.”

So Joe arrange de whole beez-nesse wit’ Queen Victoriaw;

Two dollar day—work all de tam—dat’s purty good l’argent!

An’ w’en we start on Trois Rivieres, for pass on boar’ de ship,

Our frien’ dey all say, “Bon voyage,” an’ den Hooraw! E-gyp’!

Dat beeg steamboat was plonge so moche, I’m ’fraid she never stop—

De Capitaine’s no use at all, can’t kip her on de top—

An’ so we all come very sick, jus’ lak one leetle pup,

An’ ev’ry tam de ship’s go down, de inside she’s go up.

I’m sorry spoke lak dis, ma frien’, if you don’t t’ink it’s so,

Please ax Joseph Mercier hese’f, or Aleck De Courteau,

Dat stay on bed mos’ all de tam, so sick dey nearly die,

But lak’ some great, beeg Yankee man, was never tole de lie.

De gang she’s travel, travel, t’roo many strange contree,

An’ ev’ry place is got new nam’, I don’t remember, me,

We see some fonny t’ing, for sure, more fonny I can tell,

But w’en we reach de Neel Riviere, dat’s feel more naturel.

So many fine, beeg sojer man, I never see before,

All dress heem on grand uniform, is wait upon de shore,

Some black, some green, an’ red also, cos’ honder dollar sure,

An’ holler out, “She’s all right now, here come de voyageurs!”

We see boss Generale also, he’s ride on beeg chameau.

Dat’s w’at you call Ca-melle, I t’ink, I laugh de way she go!

Jomp up, jomp down, jomp ev’ry place, but still de Generale

Seem satisfy for stay on top, dat fonny an-i-mal.

He’s holler out on Joe Mercier, “Comment câ va Joseph

You lak for come right off wit’ me, tak’ leetle ride yourseff?”

Joseph, he mak’ de grand salut, an’ tak’ it off hees hat,

“Merci, Mon Generale,” he say, “I got no use for dat.”

Den affer we was drink somet’ing, an’ sing “Le Brigadier,”

De sojer fellers get prepare, for mak’ de embarquer,

An’ everybody’s shout heem out, w’en we tak’ hole de boat

“Hooraw pour Queen Victoriaw!” an’ also “pour nous autres.”

Bigosh; I do hard work mese’f upon de Ottawa,

De Gatineau an’ St. Maurice, also de Mattawa,

But I don’t never work at all, I ’sure you dat’s a fack

Until we strike de Neel Riviere, an’ sapré Catarack!

“Dis way, dat way, can’t keep her straight,” “look out, Bateese, look out!”

“Now let her go”—“arrete un peu,” dat’s way de pilot shout,

“Don’t wash de neeger girl on shore,” an’ “prenez garde behin”

“W’at’s’matter wit’ dat rudder man? I t’ink he’s goin’ blin’!”

Some tam of course, de boat’s all right, an’ carry us along

An’ den again, we mak portage, w’en current she’s too strong

On place lak’ dat, we run good chance, for sun-struck on de neck,

An’ plaintee tam we wish ourseff was back on ole Kebeck.

De seconde Catarack we pass, more beeger dan de Soo,

She’s nearly torty mile for sure, it would astonish you,

Dat’s place t’ree Irishman get drown, wan day we have beeg storm,

I s’pose de Queen is feel lak cry, los’ dat nice uniform!

De night she’s very, very cole, an’ hot upon de day,

An’ all de tam, you feel jus’ lak you’re goin’ melt away,

But never min’ an’ don’t get scare, you mak’ it up all right,

An’ twenty poun’ you los’ dat day, she’s comin’ back sam’ night.

We got small bugle boy also, he’s mebbe stan’ four foot,

An’ firs’ t’ing ev’ry morning, sure, he mak’ it toot! toot! toot!

She’s nice enough upon de day, for hear de bugle call,

But w’en she play before daylight, I don’t lak dat at all.

We mus’ get up immediatement, dat leetle feller blow,

An’ so we start heem off again, for pull de beeg batteau,

De sojer man he’s nice, nice boy, an’ help us all he can,

An’ geev heem chance, he’s mos’ as good lak some Canadian man.

Wall all de tam, she go lak dat, was busy every day,

Don’t get moche chance for foolishness, don’t get no chance for play,

Dere’s plaintee danger all aroun’, an’ w’en we’re comin’ back

We got look out for run heem safe, dem sapré Catarack.

But w’ere’s de war? I can’t mak’ out, don’t see no fight at all!

She’s not’ing but une Grande Piqnique, dat’s las’ in all de fall!

Mebbe de neeger King he’s scare, an’ skip anoder place,

An’ pour la Reine Victoriaw! I never see de face.

But dat’s not ma beez-nesse, ma frien’, I’m ready pull batteau

So long she pay two dollar day, wit’ pork an’ bean also;

An’ if she geev me steady job, for mak’ some more l’argent,

I say, “Hooraw! for all de tam, on Queen Victoriaw!”


O SPIRIT of the mountain that speaks to us to-night,

Your voice is sad, yet still recalls past visions of delight,

When ’mid the grand old Laurentides, old when the earth was new,

With flying feet we followed the moose and caribou.

And backward rush sweet memories, like fragments of a dream,

We hear the dip of paddle blades, the ripple of the stream,

The mad, mad rush of frightened wings from brake and covert start,

The breathing of the woodland, the throb of nature’s heart.

Once more beneath our eager feet the forest carpet springs,

We march through gloomy valleys, where the vesper sparrow sings.

The little minstrel heeds us not, nor stays his plaintive song,

As with our brave coureurs de bois we swiftly pass along.

Again o’er dark Wayagamack, in bark canoe we glide,

And watch the shades of evening glance along the mountain side.

Anon we hear resounding the wizard loon’s wild cry,

And mark the distant peak whereon the ling’ring echoes die.

But Spirit of the Northland! let the winter breezes blow,

And cover every giant crag with rifts of driving snow.

Freeze every leaping torrent, bind all the crystal lakes,

Tell us of fiercer pleasures when the Storm King awakes.

And now the vision changes, the winds are loud and shrill,

The falling flakes are shrouding the mountain and the hill,

But safe within our snug cabane with comrades gathered near,

We set the rafters ringing with “Roulant” and “Brigadier.”

Then after Pierre and Telesphore have danced “Le Caribou,”

Some hardy trapper tells a tale of the dreaded Loup Garou,

Or phantom bark in moonlit heavens, with prow turned to the East,

Bringing the Western voyageurs to join the Christmas feast.

And while each backwoods troubadour is greeted with huzza

Slowly the homely incense of “tabac Canayen”

Rises and sheds its perfume like flowers of Araby,

O’er all the true-born loyal Enfants de la Patrie.

And thus with song and story, with laugh and jest and shout,

We heed not dropping mercury nor storms that rage without,

But pile the huge logs higher till the chimney roars with glee,

And banish spectral visions with La Chanson Normandie.

    “Brigadier! répondit Pandore

     Brigadier! vous avez raison,

     Brigadier! répondit Pandore,

     Brigadier! vous avez raison!”

O spirit of the mountain! that speaks to us to-night,

Return again and bring us new dreams of past delight,

And while our heart-throbs linger, and till our pulses cease,

We’ll worship thee among the hills where flows the Saint-Maurice.

Phil-o-rum Juneau—A Story of the
“Chasse Gallerie”

In the days of the “Old Régime” in Canada, the free life of the woods and prairies proved too tempting for the young men, who frequently deserted civilization for the savage delights of the wilderness. These voyageurs and coureurs de bois seldom returned in the flesh, but on every New Year’s Eve, back thro’ snowstorm and hurricane—in mid-air—came their spirits in ghostly canoes, to join, for a brief spell, the old folks at home and kiss the girls, on the annual feast of the “Jour de l’an,” or New Year’s Day. The legend which still survives in French-speaking Canada is known as “La Chasse Gallerie.”

HE sit on de corner mos’ every night, ole Phil-o-rum Juneau,

Spik wit’ hese’f an’ shake de head, an’ smoke on de pipe also—

Very hard job it’s for wake him up, no matter de loud we call

W’en he’s feex hese’f on de beeg arm-chair, back on de kitchen wall.

He don’t believe not’ing at all, at all ’bout lates’ new fashion t’ing

Le char ’lectrique an’ de telephome, was talk w’en de bell she ring

Dat’s leetle too moche for de ole bonhomme, mak’ him shake it de head an’ say

“Wat’s use mak’ de foolish lak dat, sapré! I’m not born only yesterday.”

But if you want story dat’s true, true, true, I tole you good wan moi-même

An’ de t’ing you was spik, dat I don’t believe, for sure she was beat all dem.

So he’s cough leetle cough, clear ’im up de t’roat, fill hees pipe wit’ some more tabac,

An’ w’en de chil’ren is come tranquille, de ole man begin comme câ.

L’enfant! l’enfant! it’s very strange t’ing! mak’ me laugh too w’en I hear

De young peep talk of de long, long tam of seventy, eighty year!

Dat’s only be jus’ eighty New Year Day, an’ quickly was pass it by

It’s beeg, beeg dream, an’ you don’t wake up, till affer you’re comin’ die.

Dat’s true sure enough, you see curi’s t’ing, if you only leev leetle w’ile,

So long you got monee go all de place, for mebbe t’ree t’ousan’ mile,

But monee’s not everyt’ing on dis worl’, I tole you dat, mes amis,

An’ man can be ole lak’ two honder year, an’ not see it, La Chasse Gal’rie.

I never forget de fine New Year night, nearly seexty year ago,

W’en I’m lef’ it our place for attend soirée, on ole Maxime Baribault,

Nine mile away, I can see tin roof, on church of de St. Joseph,

An’ over de snow, de leaf dat die las’ fall, was chasin’ itse’f.

Dere was some of de neighbor house I call, dat’s be de ole fashion style,

An’ very nice style too, mes amis, I hope she will las’ long w’ile,

I shak’ it de han’, I drink santé, an’ kiss it de girl she’s face,

So it’s come ten o’clock, w’en I pass on road, for visit Maxime hees place.

But I’m not go more mebbe t’ree arpent, w’en de sky is get black all roun’,

An’ de win’ she blow lak I never see, an’ de beeg snowstorm come down.

I mak’ it my min’ she’s goin’ be soon, de very bad night for true,

Dat’s locky I got plaintee whiskey lef’, so I tak’ it wan leetle “coup.”

Purty quick affer dat, I’m comin’ nice place, was stan’in’ some fine beeg tree

W’ere de snow don’t dreef’, an’ it seem jus’ lak dat place it is mak’ for me,

So I pass it on dere, for mak’ safe mese’f, w’ile de storm is blow outside,

As if all de devil on hell below, was tak’ heem some fancy ride.

Wan red fox he’s comin’ so close, so close, I could ketch him wit’ de han’,

But not on de tam lak dis ma frien’, “Marche toi all de quick you can,”

Poor feller he’s tire an’ seem los’ hees way, an’ w’en he reach home dat night

Mebbe he fin’ it all was close up, an’ de door it was fassen tight.

But w’at is dat soun’ mak’ de hair stan’ up, w’at is it mean, dat cry?

Comin’ over de high tree top, out of de nor’-wes’ sky

Lak cry of de wil’ goose w’en she pass on de spring tam an’ de fall,

But wil’ goose fly on de winter night! I never see dat at all.

On, on t’roo de night, she is quickly come, more closer all de tam,

But not lak de cry of some wil’ bird now, don’t seem it at all de sam’;

An’ den wit’ de rush of de win’, I hear somebody sing chanson

An’ de song dey sing is de ole, ole song, “Le Canayen Errant.”

But it’s mak’ me lonesome an’ scare also, jus’ sam’ I be goin’ for die

W’en I lissen dat song on night lak dis, so far away on de sky,

Don’t know w’at to do at all mese’f, so I go w’ere I have good view,

An’ up, up above t’roo de storm an’ snow, she’s comin’ wan beeg canoe.

Den somebody call it ma nam’ out loud, firs’ tam it was scare me so,

“We know right away, dat was you be dere, hello Phil-o-rum, hello!”

An’ soon I see him dat feller spik, I ’member him too mese’f,

We go de sam’ school twenty year before, hees nam’s Telesphore Le Boeuf.

But I know on de way canoe she go, dat de crowd he mus’ be dead man

Was come from de Grande Riviere du Nord, come from Saskatchewan,

Come too from all de place is lie on de Hodson Bay Contree,

An’ de t’ing I was see me dat New Year night, is le phantome Chasse Gal’rie.

An’ many de boy I was see him dere, I know him so long before

He’s goin’ away on de far contree—for never return no more—

An’ now on phantome he is comin’ home—t’roo de storm an’ de hurricane

For kiss him de girl on jour de l’an, an’ see de ole peep again.

De beeg voyageur w’at is steer canoe, wit’ paddle hol’ on hees han’

Got very long hair was hang down hees neck, de sam’ as wil’ Injin man

Invite me on boar’ dat phantome canoe, for show it dead man de way—

Don’t lak it de job, but no use refuse, so I’ll mak’ it de embarquer.

Den wan of de gang, he mus’ be foreman, say it’s tam for have leetle drink,

So he pass heem black bottle for tak’ un “coup,” an’ it’s look lak ma own I t’ink,

But it can’t be de sam’, I’ll be swear for dat, for w’en I was mak’ de go,

I fin’ dere is not’ing inside but win’, an’ de whiskey’s phantome also.

Dey be laugh affer dat, lak dey tak’ some fit, so de boss spik him, “Tiens Phil-o-rum,

Never min’ on dem feller—mus’ have leetle sport, dat’s very long way we come,

Will you ketch it de paddle for steer us quick on place of Maxime Baribault?”

An’ he’s ax me so nice, I do as he please’, an’ den away off she go.

Wan minute—two minute—we pass on dere, Maxime he is all hooraw!

An’ we know by musique dat was play inside, mus’ be de great Joe Violon,

Dat feller work fiddle on very bes’ way, dat nobody never see

Mak’ de boy an’ de girl, ole peep also, dance lak dey was go crazee.

You s’pose dey was let me come on dat house? Not at all, for de boss he say,

“Phil-o-rum, it’s long tam we don’t see our frien’ can’t get heem chance ev’ry day,

Please stop on canoe so she won’t blow off, w’ile we pass on de house an’ see

Dem frien’ we was lef’ an’ de girl we spark, before we go strange contree.”

An’ me I was sit on canoe outside, jus’ lak I was sapré fou,

Watchin’ dem feller dat’s all dead man, dance heem lak Loup Garou.

De boss he kiss Marie Louise, ma girl, dat’s way he spen’ mos’ de tam,

But of course she know not’ing of dat biz-nesse—don’t lak it me jus’ de sam’.

By tam I’m commence it for feel de col’, dey’re all comin’ out encore,

An’ we start off again t’roo de sky, hooraw! for mak’ de visite some more,

All de place on de parish we go dat night, w’erever dey get some dance,

Till I feel it so tire, I could sleep right off, but dey don’t geev it me no chance.

De las’ place we’re passin’ dat’s Bill Boucher, he’s very good frien’ of me,

An’ I t’ink it’s near tam I was lef’ dat crowd, so I’ll snub de canoe on tree,

Den affer dead man he was safe inside, an’ ev’rywan start danser,

I go on de barn wat’s behin’ de house, for see I can’t hide away.

She’s nice place de barn, an’ got plaintee warm, an’ I’m feel very glad be dere,

So long dead feller don’t fin’ me out, an’ ketch it me on de hair,

But s’pose I get col’, work him hard all night, ’cos I make it wan leetle cough,

W’en de rooster he’s scare, holler t’ree, four tam, an’ whole t’ing she bus’ right off.

I’ll never see not’ing so quick again—Canoe an’ dead man go scat!

She’s locky de rooster he mak’ de noise, bus’ ev’ryt’ing up lak dat,

Or mebbe dem feller get me encore, an’ tak’ me on Hodson Bay,

But it’s all right now, for de morning’s come, an’ he see me ole Bill Boucher.

I’m feel it so tire, an’ sore all de place, wit’ all de hard work I do’

’Cos I’m not very use for mak’ paddle, me, on beeg, beeg phantome canoe,

But Bill an’ hees boy dey was leef me up, an’ carry me on maison

W’ere plaintee nice t’ing dey was mak’ me eat an’ drink it some whiskey blanc.

An’ now w’en I’m finish, w’at you t’ink it youse’f, ’bout story dat you was hear?

No wonner ma hair she is all turn w’ite before I get eighty year!

But ’member dis t’ing, I be tole you firs, don’t los’ it mes chers amis,

De man he can leev him on long, long tam, an’ not see it La Chasse Gal’rie!

      •      •      •      •      •      •      •

He sit on de corner mos’ every night, ole Phil-o-rum Juneau,

Spik wit’ hesef,’ an’ shak’ de head, an’ smoke on de pipe also,

But kip very quiet, don’t wak’ him up, let him stay on de kitchen wall,

For if you believe w’at de ole man say, you believe anyt’ing at all.

De Bell of Saint Michel

GO ’way, go ’way, don’t ring no more, ole bell of Saint Michel,

For if you do, I can’t stay here, you know dat very well,

No matter how I close ma ear, I can’t shut out de soun’,

It rise so high ’bove all de noise of dis beeg Yankee town.

An’ w’en it ring, I t’ink I feel de cool, cool summer breeze

Dat’s blow across Lac Peezagonk, an’ play among de trees,

Dey’re makin’ hay, I know mese’f, can smell de pleasant smell

O! how I wish I could be dere to-day on Saint Michel!

It’s fonny t’ing, for me I’m sure, dat’s travel ev’ryw’ere,

How moche I t’ink of long ago w’en I be leevin’ dere;

I can’t ’splain dat at all, at all, mebbe it’s naturel,

But I can’t help it w’en I hear de bell of Saint Michel.

Dere’s plaintee t’ing I don’t forget, but I remember bes’

De spot I fin’ wan day on June de small san’piper’s nes’

An’ dat hole on de reever w’ere I ketch de beeg, beeg trout

Was very nearly pull me in before I pull heem out.

An’ leetle Elodie Leclaire, I wonner if she still

Leev jus’ sam’ place she use to leev on ’noder side de hill.

But s’pose she marry Joe Barbeau, dat’s alway hangin’ roun’

Since I am lef’ ole Saint Michel for work on Yankee town.

Ah! dere she go, ding dong, ding, dong, its back, encore again

An’ ole chanson come on ma head of “a la claire fontaine,”

I’m not surprise it soun’ so sweet, more sweeter I can tell

For wit’ de song also I hear de bell of Saint Michel.

It’s very strange about dat bell, go ding dong all de w’ile

For when I’m small garçon at school, can’t hear it half a mile;

But seems more farder I get off from Church of Saint Michel,

De more I see de ole village an’ louder soun’ de bell!

O! all de monee dat I mak’ w’en I be travel roun’

Can’t kip me long away from home on dis beeg Yankee town,

I t’ink I’ll settle down again on Parish Saint Michel,

An’ leev an’ die more satisfy so long I hear dat bell.


PELANG! Pelang! Mon cher garçon,

  I t’ink of you—t’ink of you night and day—

Don’t mak’ no difference, seems to me

  De long long tam you’re gone away.

      •      •      •      •      •      •      •

De snow is deep on de Grande Montagne—

  Lak tonder de rapide roar below—

De sam’ kin’ night, ma boy get los’

  On beeg, beeg storm forty year ago.

An’ I never was hear de win’ blow hard,

  An’ de snow come sweesh on de window pane—

But ev’ryt’ing ’pear lak’ it’s yesterday

  An’ whole of ma troub’ is come back again.

Ah me! I was foolish young girl den

  It’s only ma own plaisir I care,

An’ w’en some dance or soirée come off

  Dat’s very sure t’ing you will see me dere.

Don’t got too moche sense at all dat tam,

  Run ev’ry place on de whole contree—

But I change beeg lot w’en Pelang come ’long,

  For I love him so well, kin’ o’ steady me.

An’ he was de bes’ boy on Coteau,

  An’ t’ink I am de bes’ girl too for sure—

He’s tole me dat, geev de ring also

  Was say on de inside “Je t’aime toujours.”

I geev heem some hair dat come off ma head,

  I mak’ de nice stocking for warm hees feet,

So ev’ryt’ing’s feex, w’en de spring is come

  For mak’ mariée on de church toute suite.

“W’en de spring is come!” Ah I don’t see dat,

  Dough de year is pass as dey pass before,

An’ de season come, an’ de season go,

  But our spring never was come no more.

      •      •      •      •      •      •      •

It’s on de fête of de jour de l’an,

  An’ de worl’ outside is cole an’ w’ite

As I sit an’ watch for mon cher Pelang

  For he’s promise come see me dis very night.

Bonhomme Peloquin dat is leev near us—

  He’s alway keep look heem upon de moon—

See fonny t’ing dere only week before,

  An’ say he’s expec’ some beeg storm soon.

So ma fader is mak’ it de laugh on me

  “Pelang he’s believe heem de ole Bonhomme

Dat t’ink he see ev’ryt’ing on de moon

  An’ mebbe he’s feel it too scare for come.”

But I don’t spik not’ing I am so sure

  Of de promise Pelang is mak’ wit’ me—

An’ de mos’ beeg storm dat is never blow

  Can’t kip heem away from hees own Marie.

I open de door, an’ pass outside

  For see mese’f how de night is look

An’ de star is commence for go couché

  De mountain also is put on hees tuque.

No sooner, I come on de house again

  W’ere ev’ryt’ing feel it so nice an’ warm,

Dan out of de sky come de Nor’ Eas’ win’—

  Out of de sky come de beeg snow storm.

Blow lak not’ing I never see,

  Blow lak le diable he was mak’ grande tour;

De snow come down lak wan avalanche,

  An’ cole! Mon Dieu, it is cole for sure!

I t’ink, I t’ink of mon pauvre garçon,

  Dat’s out mebbe on de Grande Montagne;

So I place chandelle w’ere it’s geev good light,

  An’ pray Le Bon Dieu he will help Pelang.

De ole folk t’ink I am go crazee,

  An’ moder she’s geev me de good night kiss:

She say “Go off on your bed, Marie,

  Dere’s nobody come on de storm lak dis.”

But ma eye don’t close dat long, long, night

  For it seem jus’ lak phantome is near,

An’ I t’ink of de terrible Loup Garou

  An’ all de bad story I offen hear.

Dere was tam I am sure somet’ing call “Marie”

  So plainly I open de outside door,

But it’s meet me only de awful storm,

  An’ de cry pass away—don’t come no more.

An’ de morning sun, w’en he’s up at las’,

  Fin’ me w’ite as de face of de snow itse’f,

For I know very well, on de Grande Montagne,

  Ma poor Pelang he’s come dead hese’f.

It’s noon by de clock w’en de storm blow off,

  An’ ma fader an’ broder start out for see

Any track on de snow by de mountain side,

  Or down on de place w’ere chemin should be.


No sign at all on de Grande Montagne,

  No sign all over de w’ite, w’ite snow;

Only hear de win’ on de beeg pine tree,

  An’ roar of de rapide down below.

An’ w’ere is he lie, mon cher Pelang!

  Pelang ma boy I was love so well?

Only Le Bon Dieu up above

  An’ mebbe de leetle snow bird can tell.

An’ I t’ink I hear de leetle bird say,

  “Wait till de snow is geev up its dead,

Wait till I go, an’ de robin come,

  An’ den you will fin’ hees cole, cole bed.”

An’ it’s all come true, for w’en de sun

  Is warm de side of de Grande Montagne

An’ drive away all de winter snow,

  We fin’ heem at las’, mon cher Pelang!

An’ here on de fête of de jour de l’an,

  Alone by mese’f I sit again,

W’ile de beeg, beeg storm is blow outside,

  An’ de snow come sweesh on de window pane.

Not all alone, for I t’ink I hear

  De voice of ma boy gone long ago;

Can hear it above de hurricane,

  An’ roar of de rapide down below.

Yes—yes—Pelang, mon cher garçon!

  I t’ink of you, t’ink of you night an’ day,

Don’t mak’ no difference seems to me

  How long de tam you was gone away.

Mon Choual “Castor”

I’M poor man, me, but I buy las’ May

  Wan horse on de Comp’nie Passengaire,

An’ auction feller w’at sole heem say

  She’s out of de full-breed “Messengaire.”

Good trotter stock, also galluppe,

  But work long tam on de city car,

Of course she’s purty well break heem up,

  So come leetle cheap—twenty-wan dollarre.

Firs’ chance I sen’ heem on St. Cesaire,

  W’ere I t’ink he’s have moche better sight,

Mebbe de grass an’ de contree air

  Very soon was feex heem up all right.

I lef’ heem dere till de fall come ’long,

  An’ dat trotter he can’t eat grass no more,

An’ w’en I go dere, I fin’ heem strong

  Lak not’ing I never see before.

I heetch heem up on de light sulkee,

  L’enfant! dat horse he is cover groun’!

Don’t tak’ long tam for de crowd to see

  Mon choual he was leek all trotter roun’.

Come down de race course lak’ oiseau

  Tail over datch boar’, nice you please,

Can’t tell for sure de quick he go,

  S’pose somew’ere ’bout two, t’ree forties.

I treat ma frien’ on de whiskey blanc,

  An’ we drink “Castor” he’s bonne santé

From L’Achigan to St. Armand,

  He’s bes’ horse sure on de whole comté.

      •      •      •      •      •      •      •

’Bout week on front of dis, Lalime,

  Dat man drive horse call “Clevelan’ Bay”

Was challenge, so I match wit’ heem

  For wan mile heat on straight away.

Dat’s twenty dollarre on wan side,

  De lawyer’s draw de paper out,

But if dem trotter come in tied,

  Wall! all dat monee’s go on spout.

Nex’ t’ing ma backer man, Labrie,

  Tak’ off his catch-book vingt cinq cents,

An’ toss Lalime bes’ two on t’ree

  For see who’s go on inside fence.

Bateese Lalime, he’s purty smart,

  An’ gain dat toss wit’ jockey trick.

I don’t care me, w’en “Castor” start,

  Very soon I t’ink he’s mak’ heem sick.

Beeg crowd of course was dere for see

  Dem trotter on de grand match race

Some people come from St. Remi

  An’ some from plaintee ’noder place.

W’en all is ready, flag was fall

  An’ way dem trotter pass on fence

Lak not’ing you never see at all,

  It mak’ me t’ink of “St. Lawrence.”*

“Castor,” hees tail was stan’ so straight

  Could place chapeau on de en’ of top

An’ w’en he struck two forty gait

  Don’t seem he’s never go for stop.

Wall! dat’s all right for firs’ half mile

  W’en Clevelan’ Bay commence for break,

Dat mak’ me feel very moche lak smile,

  I’m sure “Castor” he’s took de cake.

But Lalime pull heem hard on line

  An’ stop “Clevelan’ ” before go far,

It’s all no good, he can’t ketch mine

  I’m go more quicker lak express car.

I’m feel all right for my monee,

  For sure mon Choual he’s took firs’ place,

W’en ’bout arpent from home, sapré,

  Somet’ing she’s happen, I’m los’ de race.

Wan bad boy he’s come out on track,

  I cannot see dat bad boy’s han’;

He’s hol’ somet’ing behin’ hees back,

  It was small bell, I understan’.

Can spik for dat, ma horse go well,

  An’ never show no sign of sweat,

Until dat boy he’s ring hees bell—

  Misere! I t’ink I hear heem yet!

Wall! jus’ so soon mon Choual “Castor”

  Was hear dat bell go kling! klang! kling!

He’s t’ink of course of city car,

  An’ s’pose mus’ be conductor ring.

Firs’ t’ing I know ma trotter’s drop

  Dat tail was stan’ so straight before,

An’ affer dat, mebbe he stop

  For me, I don’t know not’ing more.

But w’en I’m come alive again

  I fin’ dat horse call “Clevelan’ Bay”

Was got firs’ place, an’ so he’s gain

  Dat wan mile heat on straight away.

An’ now w’erever I am go

  Bad boy he’s sure for holler an’ yell

Dis donc! Dis donc! Paul Archambault!

  W’at’s matter wit’ your chestnutte bell?

Mak’ plaintee troub’ dem bad garçons,

  An’ offen ring some bell also,

Was mad! Could plonge on de St. Laurent

  An’ w’at to do, “Castor” don’t know.


Las’ tam I pass de railway track

  For drive avec mon frere Alfred,

In-jinne she’s ring, “Castor” he’s back,

  Monjee! it’s fonny I’m not come dead!

Toujours comme ça! an’ mak’ me sick,

  But horse dat work long on les chars

Can’t broke dem off on fancy trick

  So now I’m busy for sole “Castor.”

“St. Lawrence,” the Canadian “Dexter.”

Ole Tam on Bord-a Plouffe

I LAK on summer ev’ning, w’en nice cool win’ is blowin’

  An’ up above ma head, I hear de pigeon on de roof,

To bring ma chair an’ sit dere, an’ watch de current flowin’

  Of ole Rivière des Prairies as she pass de Bord-a Plouffe.

But it seem dead place for sure now, on shore down by de lan’in’—

  No more de voyageurs is sing lak dey was sing alway—

De tree dey’re commence growin’ w’ere shaintee once is stan’in’,

  An’ no one scare de swallow w’en she fly across de bay.

I don’t lak see de reever she’s never doin’ not’in’

  But passin’ empty ev’ry day on Bout de l’ile below—

Ma ole shaloup dat’s lyin’ wit’ all its timber rottin’

  An’ tam so change on Bord-a Plouffe since forty year ago!

De ice dat freeze on winter, might jus’ as well be stay dere,

  For w’en de spring she’s comin’ de only t’ing I see

Is two, t’ree piqnique feller, hees girl was row away dere,

  Don’t got no use for water now, on Rivière des Prairies.

’Twas diff’rent on dem summer you couldn’t see de reever,

  Wit’ saw-log an’ squar’ timber raf’, mos’ all de season t’roo—

Two honder man an’ more too—all busy lak de beaver,

  An’ me! I’m wan de pilot for ronne ’em down de “Soo.”


Don’t ’member lak I use to, for now I’m gettin’ ole, me—

  But still I can’t forget Bill Wade, an’ Guillaume Lagassé,

Joe Monferrand, Bazile Montour—wit’ plaintee I can’t tole, me,

  An’ king of all de Bord-a Plouffe, M’sieu’ Venance Lemay.

Lak small boy on hees lesson, I learn de way to han’le

  Mos’ beeges’ raf’ is never float upon de Ottawaw,

Ma fader show me dat too, for well he know de channel,

  From Dutchman Rapide up above to Bout de l’ile en bas.

He’s smart man too, ma fader, only t’ing he got de bow-leg,

  Ridin’ log w’en leetle feller, mebbe dat’s de reason w’y.

All de sam’, if he’s in hurry, den Bagosh! he’s got heem no leg

  But wing an’ fedder lak oiseau, was fly upon de sky!


O dat was tam we’re happy, an’ man dey’re alway singin’,

  For if it’s hard work on de raf’, w’y dere’s your monee sure!

An’ ev’ry summer evenin’, ole Bord-a Plouffe she’s ringin’

  Wit’ “En Roulant ma Boulé” an’ “J’aimerai toujour.”

Dere dey’re comin’ on de wagon! fine young feller ev’ry wan too,

  Dress im up de ole tam fashion, dat I lak for see encore,

Yellin’ hooraw! t’roo de village, all de horse upon de ronne too,

  Ah poor Bord-a Plouffe! she never have dem tam again no more!

Very offen w’en I’m sleepin’, I was feel as if I’m goin’

  Down de ole Rivière des Prairies on de raf’ de sam as den—

An’ ma dream is only lef’ me, w’en de rooster commence crowin’

  But it can’t do me no harm, ’cos it mak’ me young again.

An’ upon de morning early, w’en de reever fog is clearin’

  An’ sun is makin’ up hees min’ for drive away de dew,

W’en young bird want hees breakfas’, I wak’ an’ t’ink I’m hearin’

  Somebody shout “Hooraw, Bateese, de raf’ she’s wait for you.”

Dat’s voice of Guillaume Lagassé was call me on de morning

  Jus’ outside on de winder w’ere you look across de bay,

But he’s drown upon de Longue “Soo,” wit’ never word of warning

  An’ green grass cover over poor Guillaume Lagassé.

I s’pose dat’s meanin’ somet’ing—mebbe I’m not long for stay here,

  Seein’ all dem strange t’ing happen—dead frien’ comin’ roun’ me so—

But I’m sure I die more happy, if I got jus’ wan more day here,

  Lak we have upon de ole tam Bord-a Plouffe of long ago!

The Grand Seigneur

TO the hut of the peasant, or lordly hall,

  To the heart of the king, or humblest thrall,

Sooner or late, love comes to all,

And it came to the Grand Seigneur, my dear,

        It came to the Grand Seigneur.

The robins were singing a roundelay,

And the air was sweet with the breath of May,

As a horseman rode thro’ the forest way,

And he was a Grand Seigneur, my dear,

        He was a Grand Seigneur.

Lord of the Manor, Count Bellefontaine,

Had spurr’d over many a stormy plain

With gallants of France at his bridle rein,

For he was a brave Cavalier, my dear—

        He was a brave Cavalier.

But the huntsman’s daughter, La Belle Marie,

Held the Knight’s proud heart in captivity,

And oh! she was fair as the fleur de lys,

Tho’ only a peasant maid, my dear,

        Only a peasant maid.

Thro’ the woodland depths on his charger grey

To the huntsman’s cottage he rides away,

And the maiden lists to a tale to-day

That haughtiest dame might hear, my dear,

        That haughtiest dame might hear.

But she cried “Alas! it may never be,

For my heart is pledged to the young Louis,

And I love him, O Sire, so tenderly,

Tho’ he’s only a poor Chasseur, my Lord,

        Only a poor Chasseur.”

“Enough,” spake the Knight with a courtly bow,

“Be true to thy lover and maiden vow,

For virtue like thine is but rare, I trow,

And farewell to my dream of love, and thee,

        Farewell to my dream of thee.”

And they say the gallant Count Bellefontaine

Bestowed on the couple a rich domain,

But you never may hear such tale again,

For he was a Grand Seigneur, my dear,

        He was a Grand Seigneur!

M’sieu Smit’, The Adventures of an
Englishman in the Canadian Woods

WAN morning de walkim boss say “Damase,

  I t’ink you’re good man on canoe d’ecorce,

So I’ll ax you go wit’ your frien’ Philéas

  An’ meet M’sieu Smit’ on Chenail W’ite Horse.

“He’ll have I am sure de grosse baggage—

  Mebbe some valise—mebbe six or t’ree—

But if she’s too moche for de longue portage

  ’Poleon he will tak’ ’em wit’ mail buggee.”

W’en we reach Chenail, plaintee peep be dere,

  An’ wan frien’ of me, call Placide Chretien,

’Splain all dat w’en he say man from Angleterre

  Was spik heem de crowd on de “Parisien.”

Fonny way dat Englishman he’ll be dress,

  Leetle pant my dear frien’ jus’ come on knee,

Wit’ coat dat’s no coat at all—only ves’

  An’ hat—de more stranger I never see!

Wall! dere he sit on de en’ some log

  An’ swear heem in English purty loud

Den talk Français, w’ile hees chien boule dog

  Go smellim an’ smellim aroun’ de crowd.

I spik im “Bonjour, M’sieu Smit’, Bonjour,

  I hope dat yourse’f and famille she’s well?”

M’sieu Smit’ he is also say “Bonjour,”

  An’ call off hees dog dat’s commence for smell.

I tell heem my name dat’s Damase Labrie

  I am come wit’ Philéas for mak’ de trip,

An’ he say I’m de firs’ man he never see

  Spik English encore since he lef’ de ship.

He is also ax it to me “Damase,

  De peep she don’t seem understan’ Français,

W’at’s matter wit’ dat?” An’ I say “Becos’

  You mak’ too much talk on de Parisien.”

De groun’ she is pile wit’ baggage—Sapré!

  An’ I see purty quick we got plaintee troub—

Two tronk, t’ree valise, four-five fusil,

  An’ w’at M’sieu Smit’ he is call “bat’ tubbe.”

M’sieu Smit’ he’s tole me w’at for’s dat t’ing,

  An’ it seem Englishman he don’t feel correc’

Until he’s go plonge on some bat’ morning

  An’ sponge it hees possibill high hees neck.

Of course dat’s not’ing of my beez-nesse,

  He can plonge on de water mos’ ev’ry day,

But I t’ink for mese’f it mak’ foolishness

  An’ don’t do no good w’en your bonne santé.

W’en I tell ’Poleon he mus’ mak’ dat job,

  Dere’s leetle too moche for canoe d’écorce,

He’s mad right away an’ say “Sapré diable!

  You t’ink I go work lak wan niggerhorse?

“I’m not manufacture dat way, bâ non,

  Dat rich stranger man he have lot monee,

I go see my frien’ Onésime Gourdon,

  An’ tole heem bring horse wit’ some more buggee.”

Wall! affer some w’ile dey’ll arrange all dat,

  ’Poleon an’ hees frien’ Onésime Gourdon,

But w’en ’Poleon is tak’ hole of bat’,

  He receive it beeg scare immediatement!

Dat chien boule dog, I was tole you ’bout

  I am not understan’ w’at good she’s for,

Eat ’Poleon’s leg w’it hees teet’ an’ mout,

  ’Poleon he is feel very mad—by Gor!

Of course I am poule heem hees tail toute suite

  But I don’t know some reason mak’ all dis troub’,

W’en I hear me dat Englishman, M’sieu Smit’

  Say ’Poleon, w’at for you took my tubbe?

“Leff ’im dere—for I don’t low nobodee

  Walk heem off on any such way lak dat;

You may tak’ all de res’, an’ I don’t care me—

  But de man he’ll be keel who is tak’ my bat’.”

“I will carry heem wit’ me,” say M’sieu Smit’—

  “W’erever dat tubbe she mus’ go, I go—

No matter de many place we visite,

  An’ my sponge I will tak’ mese’f also.”

Philéas say “Damase, we mus’ buil’ some raf’

  Or mebbe some feller be sure get drown”;

Dis geev me plaisir, but I’m scare mak’ laf’,

  So I’ll do it mese’f, inside, way down.

At las’ we are start on voyage, sure nuff,

  M’sieu Smit’ carry tubbe on de top hees head,

Good job, I t’ink so, de lac isn’t rough,

  Or probably dis tam, we’re all come dead.

De dog go wit’ Onésime Gourdon,

  An’ Onésime afferwar’ say to me,

“Dat chien boule dog is eat ’Poleon

  Was de more quiet dog I never see.”

But fun she’s commence on very nex’ day

  W’en we go camp out on de Castor Noir.

Dat Englishman he’ll come along an’ say

  “I hope some wil’ Injun she don’t be dere.

“I have hear many tam, dat de wood be foule

  Of Injun w’at tak’ off de hair your head.

But so surely my name she’s Johnnie Boule

  If I see use dem feller I shoot it dead.”

Philéas den pray harder, more quick he can

  Mebbe he’s t’ink dat’s hees las’ portage

De moder hees fader, she’s Injun man

  Derefore an’ also, he is wan Sauvage.

I say “Don’t mak’ it some excitement;

  Saison she is ‘close’ on de spring an’ fall,

An’ dem peep dat work on de Gouvernement

  Don’t lak you shoot Injun dis mont’ at all.”

Nex’ day M’sieu Smit’ is perform hees plonge

  We see heem go done it—Philéas an’ me,

An’ w’en he’s hang up bat’ tubbe an’ sponge

  We go on de wood for mak’ Chasse perdrix.

An’ mebbe you will not believe to me,

  But w’en we come back on de camp encore

De sponge of dat Englishman don’t be see,

  An’ we fin’ beeg bear she’s go dead on shore.

Very fonny t’ing how he’s loss hees life,

  But Philéas he’ll know hese’f purty quick,

He cut M’sieu Bear wit’ hees hunter knife,

  An’ sponge she’s fall out on de bear stummick.

Day affer we get two fox houn’ from Boss

  Dat’s good for ketch deer on de fall an’ spring,

Den place Englishman w’ere he can’t get los’

  An’ tole heem shoot quicker he see somet’ing.

Wat’s dat leetle deer got no horn at all?

  She’ll be moder small wan en suite bimeby,

Don’t remember mese’f w’at name she’s call,

  But dat’s de kin’ start w’en de dog is cry.

We see heem come down on de runaway

  De dog she is not very far behin’

An’ w’en dey pass place M’sieu Smit’ is stay

  We expec’ he will shoot or make noise some kin’!

But he’s not shoot at all, mon cher ami,

  So we go an’ we ax “Is he see some deer?”

He say “Dat’s long tam I am stay on tree

  But I don’t see not’ing she’s pass on here.”

We spik heem once more, “He don’t see fox houn’?”

  W’at you t’ink he is say, dat Englishman?

“Yes, I see dem pass quickly, upon de groun’,

  Wan beeg yellow dog, an’ two small brown wan.”

He’s feel de more bad I don’t see before

  W’en he know dat beeg dog, she’s wan small deer,

An’ for mak’ ev’ryt’ing correc’ encore

  We drink I am sure six bouteilles de bière.

Nex’ day—dat’s Dimanche—he is spik to me,

  “Damase, you mus’ feel leetle fatigue,

You may sle’p wit’ Philéas w’ile I go an’ see

  I can’t get some nice quiet tam to-day.”

So for keep ’way skeeter, an’ fly also

  Bouteille from de shelf M’sieu Smit’ he tak’,

Den he start wit’ his chien boule dog an’ go

  For nice quiet walk on shore of lac.

We don’t sle’p half hour w’en dere’s beeg, beeg yell,

  Lak somet’ing I’m sure don’t hear long tam,

An’ we see wan feller we cannot tell,

  Till he spik it, “Damase! Philéas!! dam dam!!!

Den we know it at once mon, cher ami,

  But she’s swell up hees face—hees neck an’ han’!

It seem all de skeeter on w’ole contree

  Is jump on de head of dat Englishman.

Some water on poor M’sieu Smit’ we’ll t’row,

  An’ w’en he’s tranquille fin’ out ev’ryt’ing;

Bouteille he’s rub on, got some nice sirop

  I was mak’ mese’f on de wood las’ spring.

Dere was jus’ ’noder t’ing he seem for care

  An’ den he is feel it more satisfy,

Dat t’ing, my dear frien’, was for keel some bear,

  If he’ll do dat wan tam, he’s prepare for die.

Philéas say he know w’ere some blue berree

  Mak’ very good place for de bear have fonne,

So we start nex’ day on morning earlee,

  An’ M’sieu Smit’ go wit’ hees elephan’ gun.

Wan woman sauvage she is come be dere,

  Mebbe want some blue berree mak’ some pie,

Dat’ Englishman shoot, he is t’ink she’s bear,

  An’ de woman she’s holler, “Mon Dieu, I’m die!”

M’sieu Smit’ he don’t do no harm, becos

  He is shake hese’f w’en he shoot dat squaw,

But scare he pay hunder’ dollar cos’

  For keel some sauvage on de “close” saison.

T’ree day affer dat, we start out on lac

  For ketch on de water wan Cariboo,

But win’ she blow strong, an’ we can’t get back

  Till we t’row ourse’f out on dat canoe.

We t’ink M’sieu Smit’ he is sure be drown,

  Leetle w’ile we can’t see heem again no more,

An’ den he’s come up from de place go down

  An’ jomp on hees bat’ tubbe an’ try go shore.

W’en he’s pass on de bat’, he say “Hooraw!”

  An’ commence right away for mak’ some sing;

I’m sure you can hear heem ten-twelve arpent

  ’Bout “Brittanie, she alway’ mus’ boss somet’ing.”

Dat’s all I will tole you jus’ now, my frien’;

  I s’pose you don’t know de more fonny case,

But if Englishman go on wood again

  I’ll have more storee w’en you pass my place.

When Albani Sang

WAS workin’ away on de farm dere, wan morning not long ago,

Feexin’ de fence for winter—’cos dat’s w’ere we got de snow!

W’en Jeremie Plouffe, ma neighbor, come over an’ spik wit’ me,

“Antoine, you will come on de city, for hear Ma-dam All-ba-nee?”

“W’at you mean?” I was sayin’ right off, me, “Some woman was mak’ de speech,

Or girl on de Hooraw Circus, doin’ high kick an’ screech?”

“Non—non,” he is spikin’—“Excuse me, dat’s be Ma-dam All-ba-nee

Was leevin’ down here on de contree, two mile ’noder side Chambly.

“She’s jus’ comin’ over from Englan’, on steamboat arrive Kebeck,

Singin’ on Lunnon, an’ Paree, an’ havin’ beeg tam, I expec’,

But no matter de moche she enjoy it, for travel all roun’ de worl’,

Somet’ing on de heart bring her back here, for she was de Chambly girl.

“She never do not’ing but singin’ an’ makin, de beeg grande tour

An’ travel on summer an’ winter, so mus’ be de firs’ class for sure!

Ev’ryboddy I’m t’inkin’ was know her, an’ I also hear ’noder t’ing,

She’s frien’ on La Reine Victoria an’ show her de way to sing!”

“Wall,” I say, “you’re sure she is Chambly, w’at you call Ma-dam All-ba-nee?

Don’t know me dat nam’ on de Canton—I hope you’re not fool wit’ me?”

An’ he say, “Lajeunesse, dey was call her, before she is come mariée,

But she’s takin’ de nam’ of her husban’—I s’pose dat’s de only way.”

“C’est bon, mon ami,” I was say me, “if I get t’roo de fence nex’ day

An’ she don’t want too moche on de monee, den mebbe I see her play.”

So I finish dat job on to-morrow, Jeremie he was helpin’ me too,

An’ I say, “Len’ me t’ree dollar quickly for mak’ de voyage wit’ you.”

Correc’—so we’re startin’ nex’ morning, an’ arrive Montreal all right,

Buy dollar tiquette on de bureau, an’ pass on de hall dat night.

Beeg crowd, wall! I bet you was dere too, all dress on some fancy dress,

De lady, I don’t say not’ing, but man’s all w’ite shirt an’ no ves’.

Don’t matter, w’en ban’ dey be ready, de fore man strek out wit’ hees steek,

An’ fiddle an’ ev’ryt’ing else too, begin for play up de musique.

It’s fonny t’ing too dey was playin’ don’t lak it mese’f at all,

I rader be lissen some jeeg, me, or w’at you call “Affer de ball.”

An’ I’m not feelin’ very surprise den, w’en de crowd holler out, “Encore,”

For mak’ all dem feller commencin’ an’ try leetle piece some more,

’Twas better wan’ too, I be t’inkin’, but slow lak you’re goin’ to die,

All de sam’, noboddy say not’ing, dat mean dey was satisfy.

Affer dat come de Grande piano, lak we got on Chambly Hotel,

She’s nice lookin’ girl was play dat, so of course she’s go off purty well,

Den feller he’s ronne out an’ sing some, it’s all about very fine moon,

Dat shine on Canal, ev’ry night too, I’m sorry I don’t know de tune.

Nex’ t’ing I commence get excite, me, for I don’t see no great Ma-dam yet,

Too bad I was los’ all dat monee, an’ too late for de raffle tiquette!

W’en jus’ as I feel very sorry, for come all de way from Chambly,

Jeremie he was w’isper, “Tiens, Tiens, prenez garde, she’s comin’ Ma-dam All-ba-nee!”

Ev’ryboddy seem glad w’en dey see her, come walkin’ right down de platform,

An’ way dey mak’ noise on de han’ den, w’y! it’s jus’ lak de beeg tonder storm!

I’ll never see not’ing lak dat, me, no matter I travel de worl’,

An’ Ma-dam, you t’ink it was scare her? Non, she laugh lak de Chambly girl!

Dere was young feller comin’ behin’ her, walk nice, comme un Cavalier,

An’ before All-ba-nee she is ready an’ piano get startin’ for play,

De feller commence wit’ hees singin’ more stronger dan all de res’,

I t’ink he’s got very bad manner, know not’ing at all politesse.

Ma-dam, I s’pose she get mad den, an’ before anyboddy can spik,

She settle right down for mak’ sing too, an’ purty soon ketch heem up quick,

Den she’s kip it on gainin’ an’ gainin’, till de song it is tout finis,

An’ w’en she is beatin’ dat feller, Bagosh! I am proud Chambly!

I’m not very sorry at all, me, w’en de feller was ronnin’ away,

An’ man he’s come out wit’ de piccolo, an’ start heem right off for play,

For it’s kin’ de musique I be fancy, Jeremie he is lak it also,

An’ wan de bes’ t’ing on dat ev’ning is man wit’ de piccolo!

Den mebbe ten minute is passin’, Ma-dam she is comin’ encore,

Dis tam all alone on de platform, dat feller don’t show up no more,

An’ w’en she start off on de singin’ Jeremie say, “Antoine, dat’s Français,”

Dis give us more pleasure, I tole you, ’cos w’y? We’re de pure Canayen!

Dat song I will never forget me, ’twas song of de leetle bird,

W’en he’s fly from it’s nes’ on de tree top, ’fore res’ of de worl’ get stirred,

Ma-dam she was tole us about it, den start off so quiet an’ low,

An’ sing lak de bird on de morning, de poor leetle small oiseau.

I ’member wan tam I be sleepin’ jus’ onder some beeg pine tree

An’ song of de robin wak’ me, but robin he don’t see me,

Dere’s not’ing for scarin’ dat bird dere, he’s feel all alone on de worl’,

Wall! Ma-dam she mus’ lissen lak dat too, w’en she was de Chambly girl!

’Cos how could she sing dat nice chanson, de sam’ as de bird I was hear,

Till I see it de maple an’ pine tree an’ Richelieu ronnin’ near,

Again I’m de leetle feller, lak young colt upon de spring

Dat’s jus’ on de way I was feel, me, w’en Madam All-ba-nee is sing!

An’ affer de song it is finish, an’ crowd is mak’ noise wit’ its han’,

I s’pose dey be t’inkin’ I’m crazy, dat mebbe I don’t onderstan’,

’Cos I’m set on de chair very quiet, mese’f an’ poor Jeremie,

An’ I see dat hees eye it was cry too, jus’ sam’ way it go wit’ me.

Dere’s rosebush outside on our garden, ev’ry spring it has got new nes’,

But only wan bluebird is buil’ dere, I know her from all de res’,

An’ no matter de far she be flyin’ away on de winter tam,

Back to her own leetle rosebush she’s comin’ dere jus’ de sam’.

We’re not de beeg place on our Canton, mebbe cole on de winter, too,

But de heart’s “Canayen” on our body, an’ dat’s warm enough for true!

An’ w’en All-ba-nee was got lonesome for travel all roun’ de worl’

I hope she’ll come home, lak de bluebird an’ again be de Chambly girl!

De Camp on de “Cheval Gris”

YOU ’member de ole log-camp, Johnnie, up on de Cheval Gris,

W’ere we work so hard all winter, long ago you an’ me?

Dere was fourteen man on de gang, den, all from our own paroisse,

An’ only wan lef’ dem feller is ourse’f an’ Pierre Laframboise.

But Pierre can’t see on de eye, Johnnie, I t’ink it’s no good at all!

An’ it wasn’t for not’ing you’re gettin’ rheumateez on de leg las’ fall!

I t’ink it’s no use waitin’, for neider can come wit’ me,

So alone I mak’ leetle visit dat camp on de Cheval Gris.

An’ if only you see it, Johnnie, an’ change dere was all aroun’,

Ev’ryt’ing gone but de timber an’ dat is all fallin’ down;

No sign of portage by de reever w’ere man dey was place canoe,

W’y, Johnnie, I’m cry lak de bebé, an’ I’m glad you don’t come, mon vieux!

But strange t’ing’s happen me dere, Johnnie, mebbe I go asleep,

As I lissen de song of de rapide, as pas’ de Longue Soo she sweep,

Ma head she go biz-z-z lak de sawmeel, I don’t know w’at’s wrong wit’ me,

But firs’ t’ing I don’t know not’ing, an’ den w’at you t’ink I see?

Yourse’f an’ res’ of de boy, Johnnie, by light of de coal oil lamp,

An’ you’re singin’ an’ tolin’ story, sittin aroun’ de camp,

We hear de win’ on de chimley, an’ we know it was beeg, beeg storm,

But ole box stove she is roarin’, an’ camp’s feelin’ nice an’ warm.

I t’ink you’re on boar’ of de raf’, Johnnie, near head of Rivière du Loup,

W’en LeRoy an’ young Patsy Kelly get drown comin’ down de Soo,

Wall! I see me dem very same feller, jus’ lak you see me to-day,

Playin’ dat game dey call checker, de game dey was play alway!

An’ Louis Charette asleep, Johnnie, wit’ hees back up agen de wall,

Makin’ soche noise wit’ hees nose, dat you t’ink it was moose on de fall,

I s’pose he’s de mos’ fattes’ man dere ’cept mebbe Bateese La Rue,

But if I mak fonne on poor Louis, I know he was good boy too!

W’at you do over dere on your bunk, Johnnie, lightin’ dem allumettes,

Are you shame ’cos de girl she write you, is dat de las’ wan you get?

It’s fonny you can’t do widout it ev’ry tam you was goin’ bed,

W’y readin’ dat letter so offen, you mus’ have it all on de head!

Dat’s de very sam’ letter, Johnnie, was comin’ t’ree mont’ ago,

I t’ink I know somet’ing about it, ’cos I fin’ it wan day on de snow.

An’ I see on de foot dat letter, Philomene she is do lak dis: ⁑ ⁑ ⁑

I’m not very moche on de school, me, but I t’ink dat was mean de kiss.

Wall! nobody’s kickin’ de row, Johnnie, an’ if allumettes’ fini,

Put Philomene off on your pocket, an’ sing leetle song wit’ me;

For don’t matter de hard you be workin’ toujours you’re un bon garçon,

An’ nobody sing lak our Johnnie, Kebeck to de Mattawa!

An’ it’s den you be let her go, Johnnie, till roof she was mos’ cave in,

An’ if dere’s firs’ prize on de singin’, Bagosh! you’re de man can win!

Affer dat come fidelle of Joe Pilon, an’ he’s feller can make it play,

So we’re clearin’ de floor right off den, for have leetle small danser.

An’ w’en dance she was tout finis, Johnnie, I go de sam’ bunk wit’ you

W’ere we sleep lak two broder, an’ dream of de girl on Rivière du Loup,

Very nice ontil somebody call me, it soun’ lak de boss Pelang,

“Leve toi, Jeremie ma young feller, or else you’ll be late on de gang.”

An’ den I am wak’ up, Johnnie, an’ w’ere do you t’ink I be?

Dere was de wood an’ mountain, dere was de Cheval Gris,

But w’ere is de boy an’ musique I hear only w’ile ago?

Gone lak de flower las’ summer, gone lak de winter snow!

An’ de young man was bring me up, Johnnie, dat’s son of ma boy Maxime,

Say, “Gran’fader, w’at is de matter, you havin’ de bad, bad dream?

Come look on your face on de well dere, it’s w’ite lak I never see,

Mebbe ’twas better you’re stayin’, an’ not go along wit’ me.”

An’ w’en I look down de well, Johnnie, an’ see de ole feller dere,

I say on mese’f “you be makin’ fou Jeremie Chateauvert,

For t’ink you’re garçon agen. Ha! ha! jus’ ’cos you are close de eye,

An’ only commence for leevin’ w’en you’re ready almos’ for die!”

Ah! dat’s how de young day pass, Johnnie, purty moche lak de t’ing I see,

Sometam dey be las’ leetle longer, sam’ as wit’ you an’ me,

But no matter de ole we’re leevin’, de tam she must come some day,

W’en boss on de place above, Johnnie, he’s callin’ us all away.

I’m glad I was go on de camp, Johnnie, I t’ink it will do me good,

Mebbe it’s las’ tam too, for sure, I’ll never pass on de wood,

For I don’t expec’ moche longer ole Jeremie will be lef’,

But about w’at I see dat day, Johnnie, tole nobody but yourse’f.

De Stove Pipe Hole

DAT’S very cole an’ stormy night on Village St. Mathieu,

W’en ev’ry wan he’s go couché, an’ dog was quiet, too—

Young Dominique is start heem out see Emmeline Gourdon,

Was leevin’ on her fader’s place, Maxime de Forgeron.

Poor Dominique he’s lak dat girl, an’ love her mos’ de tam,

An’ she was mak’ de promise—sure—some day she be his famme,

But she have worse ole fader dat’s never on de worl’,

Was swear onless he’s riche lak diable, no feller’s get hees girl.

He’s mak’ it plaintee fuss about hees daughter Emmeline,

Dat’s mebbe nice girl, too, but den, Mon Dieu, she’s not de queen!

An’ w’en de young man’s come aroun’ for spark it on de door,

An’ hear de ole man swear “Baptême!” he’s never come no more.

Young Dominique he’s sam’ de res’,—was scare for ole Maxime,

He don’t lak risk hese’f too moche for chances seein’ heem,

Dat’s only stormy night he come, so dark you cannot see,

An’ dat’s de reason w’y also, he’s climb de gallerie.

De girl she’s waitin’ dere for heem—don’t care about de rain,

So glad for see young Dominique he’s comin’ back again,

Dey bote forget de ole Maxime, an’ mak de embrasser

An’ affer dey was finish dat, poor Dominique is say—

“Good-bye, dear Emmeline, good-bye; I’m goin’ very soon,

For you I got no better chance, dan feller on de moon—

It’s all de fault your fader, too, dat I be go away,

He’s got no use for me at all—I see dat ev’ry day.

“He’s never meet me on de road but he is say ‘Sapré!’

An’ if he ketch me on de house I’m scare he’s killin’ me,

So I mus’ lef’ ole St. Mathieu, for work on ’noder place,

An’ till I mak de beeg for-tune, you never see ma face.”

Den Emmeline say “Dominique, ma love you’ll alway be

An’ if you kiss me two, t’ree tam I’ll not tole noboddy—

But prenez garde ma fader, please, I know he’s gettin’ ole—

All sam’ he offen walk de house upon de stockin’ sole.


“Good-bye, good-bye, cher Dominique! I know you will be true,

I don’t want no riche feller me, ma heart she go wit’ you,”

Dat’s very quick he’s kiss her den, before de fader come,

But don’t get too moche pleasurement—so ’fraid de ole Bonhomme.

Wall! jus’ about dey’re half way t’roo wit all dat love beez-nesse

Emmeline say, “Dominique, w’at for you’re scare lak all de res’?

Don’t see mese’f moche danger now de ole man come aroun’,”

W’en minute affer dat, dere’s noise, lak’ house she’s fallin’ down.

Den Emmeline she holler “Fire! will no wan come for me?”

An’ Dominique is jomp so high, near bus’ de gallerie,—

“Help! help! right off,” somebody shout, “I’m killin’ on ma place,

It’s all de fault ma daughter, too, dat girl she’s ma disgrace.”

He’s kip it up long tam lak dat, but not hard tellin’ now,

W’at’s all de noise upon de house—who’s kick heem up de row?

It seem Bonhomme was sneak aroun’ upon de stockin’ sole,

An’ firs’ t’ing den de ole man walk right t’roo de stove pipe hole.

W’en Dominique is see heem dere, wit’ wan leg hang below,

An’ ’noder leg straight out above, he’s glad for ketch heem so—

De ole man can’t do not’ing, den, but swear and ax for w’y

Noboddy tak’ heem out dat hole before he’s comin’ die.

Den Dominique he spik lak dis, “Mon cher M’sieur Gourdon

I’m not riche city feller, me, I’m only habitant,

But I was love more I can tole your daughter Emmeline,

An’ if I marry on dat girl, Bagosh! she’s lak de Queen.

“I want you mak de promise now, before it’s come too late,

An’ I mus’ tole you dis also, dere’s not moche tam for wait.

Your foot she’s hangin’ down so low, I’m ’fraid she ketch de cole,

Wall! if you give me Emmeline, I pull you out de hole.”

Dat mak’ de ole man swear more hard he never swear before,

An’ wit’ de foot he’s got above, he’s kick it on de floor,

“Non, non,” he say “Sapré tonnerre! she never marry you,

An’ if you don’t look out you get de jail on St. Mathieu.”

“Correc’,” young Dominique is say, “mebbede jail’s tight place,

But you got wan small corner, too, I see it on de face,

So if you don’t lak geev de girl on wan poor habitant,

Dat’s be mese’f, I say, Bonsoir, mon cher M’sieur Gourdon.”

“Come back, come back,” Maxime is shout—“I promise you de girl,

I never see no wan lak you—no never on de worl’!

It’s not de nice trick you was play on man dat’s gettin’ ole,

But do jus’ w’at you lak, so long you pull me out de hole.”

“Hooraw! Hooraw!” Den Dominique is pull heem out tout suite

An’ Emmeline she’s helpin’ too for place heem on de feet,

An’ affer dat de ole man’s tak’ de young peep down de stair,

W’ere he is go couché right off, an’ dey go on parloir.

Nex’ Sunday morning dey was call by M’sieur le Curé

Get marry soon, an’ ole Maxime geev Emmeline away;

Den affer dat dey settle down lak habitant is do,

An’ have de mos’ fine familee on Village St. Mathieu.

De Snowbird

O LEETLE bird dat’s come to us w’en stormy win’ she’s blowin’,

  An’ ev’ry fiel’ an’ mountain top is cover wit’ de snow,

How far from home you’re flyin’, noboddy’s never knowin’

  For spen’ wit’ us de winter tam, mon cher petit oiseau!

We alway know you’re comin’, w’en we hear de firs’ beeg storm,

  A sweepin’ from de sky above, an’ screamin’ as she go—

Can tell you’re safe inside it, w’ere you’re keepin’ nice an’ warm,

  But no wan’s never see you dere, mon cher petit oiseau!

Was it ’way behin’ de mountain, dat de nort’ win’ ketch you sleepin’

  Mebbe on your leetle nes’ too, an’ before de wing she grow,

Lif’ you up an’ bring you dat way, till some morning fin’ you peepin’

  Out of new nes’ on de snow dreef, mon pauv’ petit oiseau!

All de wood is full on summer, wit’ de many bird is sing dere,

  Dey mus’ offen know each oder, mebbe mak’ de frien’ also,

But w’en you was come on winter, never seein’ wan strange wing dere

  Was it mak’ you feelin’ lonesome, mon pauv’ petit oiseau?

Plaintee bird is alway hidin’ on some place no wan can fin’ dem,

  But ma leetle bird of winter, dat was not de way you go—

For de chil’ren on de roadside, you don’t seem to care for min’ dem

  W’en dey pass on way to schoolhouse, mon cher petit oiseau!

No wan say you sing lak robin, but you got no tam for singin’

  So busy it was keepin’ you get breakfas’ on de snow,

But de small note you was geev us, w’en it join de sleigh bell ringin’

  Mak’ de true Canadian music, mon cher petit oiseau!

O de long an’ lonesome winter, if you’re never comin’ near us,

  If we miss you on de roadside, an’ on all de place below!

But le bon Dieu he will sen’ you t’roo de storm again for cheer us,

  W’en we mos’ was need you here too, mon cher petit oiseau!

The Habitant’s Jubilee Ode

I READ on de paper mos’ ev’ry day, all about Jubilee

An’ grande procession movin’ along, an’ passin’ across de sea,

Dat’s chil’ren of Queen Victoriaw comin’ from far away

For tole Madame w’at dey t’ink of her, an’ wishin’ her bonne santé.

An’ if any wan want to know pourquoi les Canayens should be dere

Wit’ res’ of de worl’ for shout “Hooraw” an’ t’row hees cap on de air,

Purty quick I will tole heem de reason, w’y we feel lak de oder do,

For if I’m only poor habitant, I’m not on de sapré fou.

Of course w’en we t’ink it de firs’ go off, I know very strange it seem

For fader of us dey was offen die for flag of L’Ancien Régime.

From day w’en de voyageurs come out all de way from ole St. Malo,

Flyin’ dat flag from de mas’ above, an’ long affer dat also.

De English fight wit’ de Frenchman den over de whole contree,

Down by de reever, off on de wood, an’ out on de beeg, beeg sea,

Killin’ an’ shootin’, an’ raisin’ row, half tam dey don’t know w’at for,

W’en it’s jus’ as easy get settle down, not makin’ de crazy war.

Sometam’ dey be quiet for leetle w’ile, you t’ink dey don’t fight no more,

An’ den w’en dey’re feelin’ all right agen. Bang! jus’ lak’ she was before.

Very offen we’re beatin’ dem on de fight, sometam’ dey can beat us, too,

But no feller’s scare on de ’noder man, an’ bote got enough to do.

An’ all de long year she be go lak’ dat, we never was know de peace,

Not’ing but war from de wes’ contree down to de St. Maurice;

Till de las’ fight’s comin’ on Canadaw, an’ brave Generale Montcalm

Die lak’ a sojer of France is die, on Battle of Abraham.

Dat’s finish it all, an’ de English King is axin’ us stayin’ dere

W’ere we have sam’ right as de ’noder peep comin’ from Angleterre.

Long tam’ for our moder so far away de poor Canayens is cry,

But de new step-moder she’s good an’ kin’, an’ it’s all right bimeby.

If de moder come dead w’en you’re small garçon leavin’ you dere alone,

Wit’ nobody watchin’ for fear you fall, an’ hurt youse’f on de stone,

An’ ’noder good woman she tak’ your han’ de sam’ your own moder do,

Is it right you don’t call her moder, is it right you don’t love her too?

Bâ non, an’ dat was de way we feel, w’en de ole Regime’s no more,

An’ de new wan come, but don’t change moche, w’y it’s jus’ lak’ it be before.

Spikin’ Français lak’ we alway do, an’ de English dey mak no fuss,

An’ our law de sam’, wall, I don’t know me, ’twas better mebbe for us.

So de sam’ as two broder we settle down, leevin’ dere han’ in han’,

Knowin’ each oder, we lak’ each oder, de French an’ de Englishman,

For it’s curi’s t’ing on dis worl’, I’m sure you see it agen an’ agen,

Dat offen de mos’ worse ennemi, he’s comin’ de bes’, bes’ frien’.

So we’re kipin’ so quiet long affer dat, w’en las’ of de fightin’s done,

Dat plaintee is say, de new Canayens forget how to shoot de gun;

But Yankee man’s smart, all de worl’ know dat, so he’s firs’ fin’ mistak’ wan day

W’en he’s try cross de line, fusil on hee’s han’, near place dey call Chateaugay.

Of course it’s bad t’ing for poor Yankee man, De Salaberry be dere

Wit’ habitant farmer from down below, an’ two honder Voltigeurs,

Dem feller come off de State, I s’pose, was fightin’ so hard dey can

But de blue coat sojer he don’t get kill, is de locky Yankee man!

Since den w’en dey’re comin’ on Canadaw, we alway be treat dem well,

For dey’re spennin’ de monee lak’ gentilhommes, an’ stay on de bes’ hotel,

Den “Bienvenu,” we will spik dem, an’ “Come back agen nex’ week,

So long you was kip on de quiet an’ don’t talk de politique!”

Yass, dat is de way Victoriaw fin’ us dis jubilee,

Sometam’ we mak’ fuss about not’ing, but it’s all on de familee,

An’ w’enever dere’s danger roun’ her, no matter on sea or lan’,

She’ll find that les Canayens can fight de sam’ as bes’ Englishman.

An’ onder de flag of Angleterre, so long as dat flag was fly—

Wit’ deir English broder, les Canayens is satisfyleev an’ die.

Dat’s de message our fader geev us w’en dey’re fallin’ on Chateaugay,

An’ de flag was kipin’ dem safe den, dat’s de wan we will kip alway!

Ole Docteur Fiset

OLE Docteur Fiset of Saint Anicet,

  Sapré tonnerre! he was leev long tam!

I’m sure he’s got ninety year or so,

Beat all on de Parish ’cept Pierre Courteau,

  An’ day affer day he work all de sam’.

Dat house on de hill, you can see it still,

  She’s sam’ place he buil’ de firs’ tam’ he come

Behin’ it dere’s one leetle small jardin

Got plaintee de bes’ tabac Canayen

  Wit’ fameuse apple an’ beeg blue plum.

An’ dey’re all right dere, for de small boy’s scare

  No matter de apple look nice an’ red,

For de small boy know if he’s stealin’ some

Den Docteur Fiset on dark night he come,

  An’ cut leetle feller right off hees head!

But w’en dey was rap, an’ tak’ off de cap,

  M’sieu’ le Docteur he will say “Entrez,”

Den all de boy pass on jardin behin’

W’ere dey eat mos’ ev’ryt’ing good dey fin’,

  Till dey can’t go on school nearly two, t’ree day.

But Docteur Fiset, not moche fonne he get,

  Drivin’ all over de whole contree,

If de road she’s bad, if de road she’s good,

W’en ev’ryt’ing’s drown on de Spring-tam flood,

  An’ workin’ for not’ing half tam’ mebbe!

Let her rain or snow, all he want to know

  Is jus’ if anywan’s feelin’ sick,

For Docteur Fiset’s de ole fashion kin’

Doin’ good was de only t’ing on hees min’

  So he got no use for de politique.

An’ he’s careful too, ’cos firs’ t’ing he do,

  For fear dere was danger some fever case,

Is tak’ w’en he’s come leetle w’isky chaud,

Den ’noder wan too jus’ before he go,

  He’s so scare carry fever aroun’ de place!

On nice summer day w’en we’re makin’ hay

  Dere’s not’ing more pleasant for us I’m sure

Dan see de ole man come joggin’ along,

Alway singin’ some leetle song,

  An’ hear heem say “Tiens, mes amis, Bon jour!”

An’ w’en de cole rain was commence again

  An’ we’re sittin’ at home on some warm cornerre,

If we hear de buggy an’ see de light

Tearin’ along t’roo de black, black night,

  We know right off dat’s de ole Docteur!

An’ he’s smart horse sure, w’at he call “Faubourg,”

  Ev’ry place on de Parish he know dem all,

An’ you ought to see de nice way he go

For fear he’s upsettin’ upon de snow,

  W’en ole man’s asleep on de cariole!

I ’member w’en poor Hormisdas Couture

  Get sick on hees place twenty mile away

An’ hees boy Ovide he was come “Raquette”

W’at you call “Snowshoe,” for Docteur Fiset,

  An’ Docteur he start wit’ hees horse an’ sleigh.

All de night before, de beeg storm she roar,

  An’ mos’ of de day it’s de sam’ also,

De drif’ was pilin’ up ten feet high

You can’t see not’ing dis side de sky,

  Not’ing but wan avalanche of snow.

I’m hearin’ de bell w’en I go on de well

  For water de cattle on barn close by,

But I only ketch sight of hees cheval blanc

An’ hees coonskin coat wit’ de capuchon

  An’ de storm tak’ heem off, jus’ de sam’ he fly.

Mus’ be le Bon Dieu dat is help him t’roo,

  Ole Docteur Fiset an’ hees horse “Faubourg,”

’Twas somet’ing for splain-me, wall I don’t care,

But somehow or ’noder he’s gettin’ dere,

  An’ save de life Hormisdas Couture.

But it’s sam’ alway, lak’ dat ev’ry day,

  He never was spare hese’f pour nous autres,

He don’t mak’ moche monee, Docteur Fiset,

An’ offen de only t’ing he was get

  Is de prayer of poor man, an’ wan bag of oat.

      •      •      •      •      •      •      •

Wall! Docteur Fiset of Saint Anicet

  He is not dead yet! an’ I’m purty sure

If you’re passin’ dat place about ten year more

You will see heem go roun’ lak he go before

  Wit’ de ole cariole an’ hees horse “Faubourg!”

Johnnie Courteau

JOHNNIE Courteau of de mountain

Johnnie Courteau of de hill

Dat was de boy can shoot de gun

Dat was de boy can jomp an’ run

An’ it’s not very offen you ketch heem still

                              Johnnie Courteau!

Ax dem along de reever

Ax dem along de shore

Who was de mos’ bes’ fightin’ man

From Managance to Shaw-in-i-gan?

De place w’ere de great beeg rapide roar,

                              Johnnie Courteau!

Sam’ t’ing on ev’ry shaintee

Up on de Mekinac

Who was de man can walk de log,

W’en w’ole of de reever she’s black wit’ fog

An’ carry de beeges’ load on hees back?

                              Johnnie Courteau!

On de rapide you want to see heem

If de raf’ she’s swingin’ roun’

An’ he’s yellin’ “Hooraw Bateese! good man!”

W’y de oar come double on hees han’

W’en he’s makin’ dat raf’ go flyin’ down

                              Johnnie Courteau!

An’ Tête de Boule chief can tole you

De feller w’at save hees life

W’en beeg moose ketch heem up a tree

Who’s shootin’ dat moose on de head, sapree!

An’ den run off wit’ hees Injun wife?

                              Johnnie Courteau!

An’ he only have pike pole wit’ heem

On Lac a la Tortue

W’en he meet de bear comin’ down de hill

But de bear very soon is get hees fill!

An’ he sole dat skin for ten dollar too,

                              Johnnie Courteau!

Oh he never was scare for not’ing

Lak de ole coureurs de bois,

But w’en he’s gettin’ hees winter pay

De bes’ t’ing sure is kip out de way

For he’s goin’ right off on de Hip Hooraw!

                              Johnnie Courteau!

Den pullin’ hees sash aroun’ heem

He dance on hees botte sauvage

An’ shout “All aboar’ if you want to fight!”

Wall! you never can see de finer sight

W’en he go lak dat on de w’ole village!

                              Johnnie Courteau!

But Johnnie Courteau get marry

On Philomene Beaurepaire

She’s nice leetle girl was run de school

On w’at you call Parish of Sainte Ursule

An’ he see her off on de pique-nique dere

                              Johnnie Courteau!

Den somet’ing come over Johnnie

W’en he marry on Philomene

For he stay on de farm de w’ole year roun’

He chop de wood an’ he plough de groun’

An’ he’s quieter feller was never seen,

                              Johnnie Courteau!

An’ ev’ry wan feel astonish

From La Tuque to Shaw-in-i-gan

W’en dey hear de news was goin’ aroun’

Along on de reever up an’ down

How wan leetle woman boss dat beeg man

                              Johnnie Courteau!

He never come out on de evening

No matter de hard we try

’Cos he stay on de kitchen an’ sing hees song

        “A la claire fontaine,

        M’en allant promener,

        J’ai trouvé l’eau si belle

        Que je m’y suis baigner!

        Lui y’a longtemps que je t’aime

        Jamais je ne t’oublierai.”

Rockin’ de cradle de w’ole night long

Till baby’s asleep on de sweet bimeby

                            Johnnie Courteau!

An’ de house, wall! I wish you see it

De place she’s so nice an’ clean

Mus’ wipe your foot on de outside door,

You’re dead man sure if you spit on de floor,

An’ he never say not’ing on Philomene,

                            Johnnie Courteau!

An’ Philomene watch de monee

An’ put it all safe away

On very good place; I dunno w’ere

But anyhow nobody see it dere

So she’s buyin’ new farm de noder day

                           Madame Courteau!

The Corduroy Road

DE corduroy road go bompety bomp,

De corduroy road go jompety jomp,

An’ he’s takin’ beeg chances upset hees load

De horse dat’ll trot on de corduroy road.

Of course it’s purty rough, but it’s handy t’ing enough

An’ dey mak’ it wit’ de log all jine togeder

W’en dey strek de swampy groun’ w’ere de water hang aroun’

Or passin’ by some tough ole beaver medder.

But it’s not macadamize, so if you’re only wise

You will tak’ your tam an’ never min’ de worry

For de corduroy is bad, an’ will mak’ you plaintee mad

By de way de buggy jomp, in case you hurry.

An’ I’m sure you don’t expec’ leetle Victorine Leveque

She was knowin’ moche at all about dem places,

’Cos she’s never dere before, till young Zephirin Madore

He was takin’ her away for see de races.

O, I wish you see her den, dat’s before she marry, w’en

She’s de fines’ on de lan’ but no use talkin’

I can bet you w’at you lak, if you meet her you look back

Jus’ to watch de fancy way dat girl is walkin’.

Yass de leetle Victorine was de nices’ girl between

De town of Yamachiche an’ Maskinongé,

But she’s stuck up an’ she’s proud, an’ you’ll never count de crowd

Of de boy she geev’ it w’at dey call de congé.

Ah! de moder spoil her sure, for even Joe D’Amour

W’en he’s ready nearly ev’ry t’ing to geev her

If she mak’ de mariée, only say, “please go away”

An’ he’s riches habitant along de reever.

Zephirin he try it too, an’ he’s workin’ somet’ing new

For he’s makin’ de ole woman many presen’

Prize package on de train, umbrella for de rain

But she’s grompy all de tam, an’ never pleasan’.

Wall, w’en he ax Ma-dame tak’ de girl away dat tam

See dem races on Sorel wit’ all de trotter

De moder say “All right if you bring her home to-night

Before de cow’s milk, I let her go, ma daughter.”

So Victorine she go wit’ Zephirin her beau

On de yankee buggy mak’ it on St. Bruno

An’ w’en dey pass hotel on de middle of Sorel

Dey’re puttin’ on de beeges’ style dat you know.

Wall! dey got some good horse dere, but Zephirin don’t care

He’s back it up hees own paroisse, ba golly,

An’ he mak’ it t’ree doll-arre w’en Maskinongé Star

On de two mile heat was beatin’ Sorel Molly.

Victorine don’t min’ at all, till de “free for all” dey call

Dat’s de las’ race dey was run before de snow fly

Den she say “I t’ink de cow mus’ be gettin’ home soon now

An’ you know it’s only clock ole woman go by.

“An’ if we’re comin’ late w’en de cow pass on de gate

You’ll be sorry if you hear de way she talk dere,

So w’en I see de race on Sorel or any place

Affer dis, you may be sure I got to walk dere.”

Den he laugh dat Zephirin, an’ he say “Your poor mama

I know de pile she t’ink about her daughter

So we’ll tak’ de short road back on de corduroy race track

Don’t matter if we got to sweem de water.”

No wonder he is smile till you hear heem half a mile

For dat morning he was tole hees leetle broder

Let de cattle out de gate, so he know it’s purty late

By de tam dem cow was findin’ out each oder.

So along de corduroy de young girl an’ de boy

Dey was kipin’ up a joggin’ nice an’ steady

It isn’t heavy load, an’ Guillaume he know de road

For many tam he’s been dat way already.

But de girl she fin’ it slow, so she ax de boy to go

Somet’ing better dan a mile on fifteen minute

An’ he’s touch heem up Guillaume; so dat horse he lay for home

An’ de nex’ t’ing Victorine she know she’s in it.

“O, pull him in,” she yell, “for even on Sorel

I am sure I never see de quicker racer,”

But it’s leetle bit too late, for de horse is get hees gait

An’ de worse of all ba gosh! Guillaume’s a pacer.

See hees tail upon de air, no wonder she was scare

But she hang on lak de winter on T’ree Reever.

Cryin’ out—“please hol’ me tight, or I’m comin dead to-night

An’ ma poor ole moder dear, I got to leave her.”

Wit’ her arm aroun’ hees wais’; she was doin’ it in case

She bus’ her head, or keel herse’f, it’s not so easy sayin’

Dey was comin’ on de jomp t’roo dat dam ole beaver swamp

An’ meet de crowd is lookin’ for dem cow was go a-strayin’.

Den she’s cryin’, Victorine, for she’s knowin’ w’at it mean

De parish dey was talkin’ firse chances dey be gettin’,

But no sooner dat young man stop de horse, he tak’ her han’

An’ w’isper “never min’, ma chere, won’t do no good a-frettin’.”

Non! she isn’t cryin’ long, for he tole her it was wrong,

She’s sure he save her life too, or she was moche mistaken,

An’ de ole Ma-dame Leveque also kiss heem on de neck

An’ quickly affer dat Hooraw! de man an’ wife dey’re makin’.

The Curé of Calumette

[The Curé of a French Canadian parish, when summoned to the bedside of a dying member of his flock, always carries in his buggy or sleigh a bell. This bell serves two purposes: first, it has the effect of clearing a way for the passage of the good priest’s vehicle, and, secondly, it calls to prayer those of the faithful who are within hearing of its solemn tones.]

DERE’S no voyageur on de reever never run hees canoe d’ecorce

T’roo de roar an’ de rush of de rapide, w’ere it jump lak a beeg w’ite horse,

Dere’s no hunter man on de prairie, never wear w’at you call racquette

Can beat leetle Fader O’Hara, de Curé of Calumette.

Hees fader is full-blooded Irish, an’ hees moder is pure Canayenne,

Not offen dat stock go togedder, but she’s fine combination ma frien’

For de Irish he’s full of de devil, an’ de French dey got savoir faire,

Dat’s mak’ it de very good balance an’ tak’ you mos’ ev’ry w’ere.

But dere’s wan t’ing de Curé wont stan’ it; mak’ fun on de Irlandais

An’ of course on de French we say not’ing, ’cos de parish she’s all Canayen,

Den you see on account of de moder, he can’t spik hese’f very moche,

So de ole joke she’s all out of fashion, an’ wan of dem t’ing we don’t touch.

Wall! wan of dat kin’ is de Curé, but w’en he be comin’ our place

De peop’ on de parish all w’isper, “How young he was look on hees face;

Too bad if de wedder she keel heem de firse tam he got leetle wet,

An’ de Bishop might sen’ beeger Curé, for it’s purty tough place, Calumette!”

Ha! ha! how I wish I was dere, me, w’en he go on de mission call

On de shaintee camp way up de reever, drivin’ hees own cariole,

An’ he meet blaggar’ feller been drinkin’, jus’ enough mak’ heem ack lak fou,

Joe Vadeboncoeur, dey was call heem, an’ he’s purty beeg feller too!

Mebbe Joe he don’t know it’s de Curé, so he’s hollerin’, “Get out de way,

If you don’t geev me whole of de roadside, sapree! you go off on de sleigh.”

But de Curé he never say not’ing, jus’ poule on de line leetle bit,

An’ w’en Joe try for kip heem hees promise, hees nose it get badly hit.

Maudit! he was strong leetle Curé, an’ he go for Jo-zeph en masse

An’ w’en he is mak’ it de finish, poor Joe isn’t feel it firse class,

So nex’ tam de Curé he’s goin’ for visit de shaintee encore

Of course he was mak’ beeges’ mission never see on dat place before.

An’ he know more, I’m sure dan de lawyer, an’ dere’s many poor habitant

Is glad for see Fader O’Hara, an’ ax w’at he t’ink of de law

W’en dey get leetle troub’ wit’ each oder, an’ don’t know de bes’ t’ing to do,

Dat’s makin’ dem save plaintee monee, an’ kip de good neighbor too.

But w’en we fin’ out how he paddle till canoe she was nearly fly

An’ travel racquette on de winter, w’en snow-dreef is pilin’ up high

For visit some poor man or woman dat’s waitin’ de message of peace,

An’ get dem prepare for de journey, we’re proud on de leetle pries’!

O! many dark night w’en de chil’ren is put away safe on de bed

An’ mese’f an’ ma femme mebbe sittin’ an’ watchin’ de small curly head

We hear somet’ing else dan de roar of de tonder, de win’ an’ de rain;

So we’re bote passin’ out on de doorway, an’ lissen an’ lissen again.

An’ it’s lonesome for see de beeg cloud sweepin’ across de sky

An’ lonesome for hear de win’ cryin’ lak somebody’s goin’ to die,

But de soun’ away down de valley, creepin’ aroun’ de hill

All de tam gettin’ closer, closer, dat’s de soun’ mak’ de heart stan’ still!

It’s de bell of de leetle Curé, de music of deat’ we hear,

Along on de black road ringin’, an’ soon it was comin’ near

Wan minute de face of de Curé we see by de lantern light,

An’ he’s gone from us, jus’ lak a shadder, into de stormy night.

An’ de buggy rush down de hill side an’ over de bridge below,

W’ere creek run so high on de spring-tam, w’en mountain t’row off de snow,

An’ so long as we hear heem goin’, we kneel on de floor an’ pray

Dat God will look affer de Curé, an’ de poor soul dat’s passin’ away.

I dunno if he need our prayer, but we geev’ it heem jus’ de sam’,

For w’en a man’s doin’ hees duty lak de Curé do all de tam

Never min’ all de t’ing may happen, no matter he’s riche or poor

Le bon Dieu was up on de heaven, will look out for dat man, I’m sure.

I’m only poor habitant farmer, an’ mebbe know not’ing at all,

But dere’s wan t’ing I’m alway wishin’, an’ dat’s w’en I get de call

For travel de far-away journey, ev’ry wan on de worl’ mus’ go

He’ll be wit’ me de leetle Curé ’fore I’m leffin dis place below.

For I know I’ll be feel more easy, if he’s sittin’ dere by de bed

An’ he’ll geev’ me de good-bye message, an’ place hees han’ on ma head,

Den I’ll hol’ if he’ll only let me, dat han’ till de las’ las’ breat’

An’ bless leetle Fader O’Hara, de Curé of Calumette.

The Oyster Schooner

W’AT’S all dem bell a ringin’ for, can hear dem ev’ry w’ere?

W’at’s bring de peop’ togeder on de w’arf at Trois Rivieres,

Dat happy crowd is look so glad, w’y are dey comin’ dere?

O! de reason dey’re so happy w’ile dey’re waitin’ dere to-day

Is becos de oyster schooner she’s sailin’ up de bay

An’ de caraquette an’ malpecque will quickly melt away

Affer she was t’row de anchor on T’ree Reever.

For w’y dey mak’ de fuss lak dat, an’ nearly broke deir neck,

Ain’t dey got de noder oyster more better dan malpecque

Or caraquette, dat leetle wan from down below Kebeck?

Wall! ax de crowd dat question w’ile dey’re waitin’ dere to-day,

So glad to see “La Belle Marie” sailin’ up de bay,

An’ dey’ll drown you on de water, so you’ll know about de way

She was t’rowin’ out de anchor on T’ree Reever.

Dere’s ole Joe Lachapelle, he’s blin’, can hardly see at all,

He’s bring de man got wooden leg call Jimmie Sauriol,

An’ bote dem feller jomp aroun’ lak mooshrat on de fall,

For dey know de schooner’s comin’, she’s sailin’ up de bay,

An’ de reason she don’t hurry w’ile dey’re waitin’ dere to-day,

Is becos she’s full of oyster, will quickly pass away

W’en dat schooner t’row de anchor on T’ree Reever.

We’ve trottin’ race las’ winter, an’ circus on de spring,

Wit’ elephan’ an’ monkey too, all playin’ on de ring,

But beeger crowd she’s comin’ now, for w’y? it’s differen’ t’ing,

For dey’re waitin’ on dat schooner, she’s sailin’ up de bay

Dey smell de malpecque oyster an’ caraquette to-day

An’ O! ba gosh, dey’ll eat dem! it’s alway be de way

W’en dat schooner t’row de anchor on T’ree Reever.

“She’s comin’ in—she’s comin’ in,” jus’ lissen to de cry!

“Get out de line an’ hol’ her fas’, for fear she’s passin’ by,

For if dere’s somet’ing happen now, de peop’ will surely die.”

Affer waitin’ on dat schooner, she’s sailin’ up de bay

Lak de sparrow on de wood-pile watchin’ all de day,

But dey got her safe enough now, she’ll never sail away

Till dem oyster she was finish on T’ree Reever.

“All aboar’—comment câ va, Captinne Beliveau?

We’re glad to see you back again from Caraquette below,

But we’re sorry you don’t hurry, w’en you got such nice car-go.”

So dey ketch dat oyster schooner, she’s sailin’ up de bay,

Dey ketch her an’ dey hol’ her till de oyster’s gone away

An’ she’s two foot out de water “La Belle Marie” nex’ day

Affer she was t’row de anchor on T’ree Reever.

My Leetle Cabane

I’M sittin’ to-night on ma leetle cabane, more happier dan de king,

An’ ev’ry corner’s ringin’ out wit’ musique de ole stove sing

I hear de cry of de winter win’, for de storm-gate’s open wide

But I don’t care not’ing for win’ or storm, so long I was safe inside.

Viens ’ci, mon chien, put your head on dere, let your nose res’ on ma knee—

You ’member de tam we chase de moose back on de Lac Souris

An’ de snow come down an’ we los’ ourse’f till mornin’ is bring de light,

You t’ink we got place to sleep, mon chien, lak de place we got here to-night

Onder de roof of de leetle cabane, w’ere fire she’s blazin’ high

An’ bed I mak’ of de spruce tree branch, is lie on de floor close by,

O! I lak de smell of dat nice fresh bed, an’ I dream of de summer tan

An’ de spot w’ere de beeg trout jomp so moche down by de lumber dam.

But lissen dat win’, how she scream outside, mak me t’ink of de loup garou,

W’y to-night, mon chien, I be feelin’ glad if even de carcajou

Don’t ketch hese’f on de trap I set to-day on de Lac Souris

Let heem wait till to-morrow, an’ den if he lak, I geev heem good chance, sapree!

I see beeg cloud w’en I’m out to-day, off on de nor’-eas’ sky,

An’ she block de road, so de cloud behin’, don’t get a chance passin’ by,

An’ I t’ink of boom on de grande riviere, w’en log’s fillin’ up de bay,

Wall! sam’ as de boom on de spring-tam flood, dat cloud she was sweep away.

Dem log’s very nice an’ quiet, so long as de boom’s all right,

But soon as de boom geev way, l’enfant! it’s den is begin de fight.

Dey run de rapide, an’ jomp de rock, dey leap on de air an’ dive,

Can hear dem roar from de reever shore, jus’ lak dey was all alive.

An’ dat was de way wit’ de cloud to-day, de res’ of dem push aside,

For dey’re comin’ fas’ from de cole nor’-eas’ an’ away t’roo de sky dey ride

Shakin’ de snow as along dey go, lak grain from de farmer’s han’

Till to-morrow you can’t see not’ing at all, but smoke of de leetle cabane.

I’m glad we don’t got no chimley, only hole on de roof up dere,

An’ spark fly off on w’ole of de worl’, so dere’s no use gettin’ scare,

Mus’ get more log! an’ it’s lucky too, de wood pile is stannin’ near

So blow away storm, for harder you go, de warmer she’s comin’ here—

I wonder how dey get on, mon chien, off on de great beeg town,

W’ere house is so high, near touch de sky, mus’ be danger of failin’ down.

An’ worser too on de night lak dis, ketchin’ dat terrible win’,

O! leetle small place lak de ole cabane was de right place for stayin’ in.

I s’pose dey got plaintee bodder too, dem feller dat’s be riche man,

For dey’re never knowin’ w’en t’ief may come an’ steal all de t’ing he can

An’ de monee was kip dem busy too, watchin’ it night an’ day,

Dunno but we’re better off here, mon chien, wit’ beeg city far away.

For I look on de corner over dere, an’ see it ma birch canoe,

I look on de wall w’ere ma rifle hang along wit’ de good snowshoe,

An’ ev’ry t’ing else on de worl’ I got, safe on dis place near me.

An’ here you are too, ma brave old dog, wit’ your nose up agen ma knee.

An’ here we be stay t’roo de summer day, w’en ev’ry t’ing’s warm an’ bright

On winter too w’en de stormy win’ blow lak she blow to-night

Let dem stay on de city, on great beeg house, dem feller dat’s be riche man

For we’re happy an’ satisfy here, mon chien, on our own leetle small cabane.

Bateese the Lucky Man

HE’S alway ketchin’ doré, an’ he’s alway ketchin’ trout

  On de place w’ere no wan else can ketch at all

He’s alway ketchin’ barbotte, dat’s w’at you call bull-pout,

  An’ he never miss de wil’ duck on de fall.

O! de pa’tridge do some skippin’ w’en she see heem on de swamp

  For she know Bateese don’t go for not’ing dere,

An’ de rabbit if he’s comin’, wall! you ought to see heem jomp.

  W’y he want to climb de tree he feel so scare.

Affer two hour by de reever I hear hees leetle song

  Den I meet heem all hees pocket full of snipe,

An’ me, I go de sam’ place, an’ I tramp de w’ole day long

  An’ I’m only shootin’ two or t’ree, Ba Cripe!

I start about de sun-rise, an’ I put out ma decoy,

  An’ I see Bateese he sneak along de shore,

An’ before it’s comin’ breakfas’, he’s holler on hees boy

  For carry home two dozen duck or more.

An’ I’m freezin’ on de blin’—me—from four o’clock to nine

  An’ ev’ry duck she’s passin’ up so high.

Dere’s blue-bill an’ butter-ball, an’ red-head, de fines’ kin

  An’ I might as well go shootin’ on de sky.

Don’t see de noder feller lak Bateese was lucky man,

  He can ketch de smartes’ feesh is never sweem,

An’ de bird he seldom miss dem, let dem try de hard dey can

  W’y de eagle on de mountain can’t fly away from heem.

But all de bird, an’ feesh too, is geev’ up feelin’ scare,

  An’ de rabbit he can stay at home in bed,

For he feesh an’ shoot no longer, ole Jean Bateese Belair,

  ’Cos he’s dead.

The Hill of St. Sebastien

I OUGHT to feel more satisfy an’ happy dan I be,

  For better husban’ dan ma own, it’s very hard to fin’

An’ plaintee woman if dey got such boy an’ girl as me

  Would never have no troub’ at all, an’ not’ing on deir min’

But w’ile dey’re alway wit’ me, an’ dough I love dem all

  I can’t help t’inkin’ w’en I watch de chil’ren out at play

Of tam I’m just’ lak dat mese’f, an’ den de tear will fall

  For de hill of St. Sebastien is very far away!

It seem so pleasan’ w’en I come off here ten year ago

  An’ hardes’ work I’m gettin’ den, was never heavy load,

De roughes’ place is smoot’ enough, de quickes’ gait is slow

  For glad I am to foller w’ere Louis lead de road

But somet’ing’s comin’ over me, I feel it more an’ more

  It’s alway pullin’ on de heart, an’ stronger ev’ry day,

An’ O! I long to see again de reever an’ de shore

  W’ere de hill of St. Sebastien is lookin’ on de bay!

I use to t’ink it’s fine t’ing once, to stan’ upon de door

  An’ see de great beeg medder dere, stretchin’ far an’ wide,

An’ smell de pleasan’ flower dat grow lak star on de prairie floor,

  An’ watch de spotted antelope was feedin’ ev’ry side,

How did we gain it, man an’ wife, dis lan’ was no man’s lan’?

  By rifle, an’ harrow an’ plow, shovel an’ spade an’ hoe

De blessin’ of good God up above, an’ work of our own strong han’

  Till it stan’ on de middle, our leetle nes’, w’ere de wheat an’ cornfiel’ grow.

An’ soon de chil’ren fill de house, wit’ musique all day long,

  De sam’ ma moder use to sing on de cradle over me,

I’m almos’ sorry it’s be ma fault dey learn dem ole tam song

  W’at good is it tak’ me off lak dat back on ma own contree?

Till de reever once more I see again, an’ lissen its current flow

  An’ dere’s Hercule de ferry man comin’ across de bay!

Wat’s use of foolin’ me lak dat? for surely I mus’ know

  De hill of St. Sebastien is very far away!

W’en Louis ketch me dat summer night watchin’ de sky above,

  Seein’ de mountain an’ de lake, wit’ small boat sailin’ roun’

He kiss me an’ say—“Toinette, I’m glad dis prairie lan’ you love

  For travel de far you can, ma belle, it’s fines’ on top de groun’!”

Jus’ w’en I’m lookin’ dat beeg cloud too, standin’ dere lak a wall!

  Sam’ as de hill I know so well, home on ma own contree,

Good job I was cryin’ quiet den, an’ Louis can’t hear at all

  But I kiss de poor feller an’ laugh, an’ never say not’ing—me.

W’at can you do wit’ man lak dat, an’ w’y am I bodder so?

  De firse t’ing he might fin’ it out, den hees heart will feel it sore

An’ if he say “Come home Toinette,” I’m sure I mus’ answer “No,”

  For if I’m seein’ dat place again, I never return no more!

So let de heart break—I don’t care, I won’t say not’ing—me—

  I’ll mak’ dat promise on mese’f, an’ kip it night an’ day

But O! Mon Dieu! how glad, how glad, an’ happy I could be

  If de hill of St. Sebastien was not so far away!

Marie Louise

DIS was de story of boy an’ girl

Dat’s love each oder above de worl’

But it’s not easy job for mak’ l’amour

W’en de girl she’s riche an’ de boy he’s poor

All de sam’ he don’t worry an’ she don’t cry,

But wait for good chances come bimeby.

Young Marie Louise Hurtubuise

Was leev wit’ her moder la veuve Denise

On fines’ house on de w’ole chemin

From Caribou reever to St. Germain

For ole woman’s boss on de grande moulin.

W’ere dere’s nice beeg dam, water all de tam

An’ season t’roo runnin’ jus’ de sam’

Wit’ good leetle creek comin’ off de hill

Was helpin’ de reever for work de mill

So de grande moulin she is never still.

No wonder Denise she was hard to please

W’en de boy come sparkin’ Marie Louise

For affer de foreman Bazile is pay

De mill she’s bringin’ t’ree dollar a day

An’ for makin’ de monee, dat’s easy way.

An’ de girl Marie, O! she’s très jolie,

Jompin’ aroun lak de summer bee

She’s never short plaintee t’ing to do

An’ mebbe she ketch leetle honey too,

’Cos she’s jus’ as sweet as de morning dew.

An’ w’en she was dress on her Sunday bes’

An’ walk wit’ her moder on seconde messe

Dere’s not’ing is bring de young man so fas’

An’ dey stan’ on door of church en masse

So res’ of de peop’ dey can hardly pass.

An’ she know musique, ’cos on Chris’mas week

W’en organ man on de church is sick

(S’pose he got de grippe) dat girl she play

Lak college professor, de pries’ is say

Till de place it was crowd nearly ev’ry day.

Ole Curé Belair of St. Pollinaire,

Dat’s parish ten mile noder side riviere,

If he’s not gettin’ mad, it was funny t’ing

W’en hees young man fly lak bird on de wing

Wit’ nobody lef behin’ to sing.

An’ nex’ t’ing dey know it’s comin’ so

Dat mos’ of de girl she got no beau,

An’ of course dat’s makin’ de jealousie

For w’en de young feller he see Marie

He see not’ing else on hees eye, sapree!

Mus’ be somet’ing done sure as de gun,

It’s all very well for de boy have fun

But dere’s noder t’ing too, mustn’t be forget,

Dere’s two fine parish dat’s all upset

An’ mebbe de troub’ isn’t over yet.

So ev’ry wan say de only way

Is gettin’ young Marie Louise mariée,

Den dey have beeg meetin’ on magasin,

W’ere he sit on de chair Aleck Sanschagrin,

An’ dey ’point heem for go on de grande moulin.

But w’en Aleck come dere for arrange affaire,

Ole Madame Denise she was mak’ heem scare

For jus’ on de minute she see hees face

She know right away all about de case

An’ she tole Bazile t’row heem off de place.

Now de young Bazile he was t’ink good deal

Of Marie Louise an’ he’s ready for keel

Any feller come foolin’ aroun’ de door

So he kick dat man till he’s feelin’ sore,

An’ Aleck he never go back no more.

If it’s true w’at dey say, Joe Boulanger

Was crazy to fight Irish man wan day

W’en he steal all de pork on hees dinner can,

Den it isn’t so very hard onderstan’

Bazile Latour mus’ be darn smart man.

For nobody know de poor feller Joe

W’en he’s come from de grande moulin below

’Cept hees moder, dat’s tole heem mak’ promise sure

Kip off on de mill, an’ Bazile Latour,

(But it’s long before doctor can mak’ heem cure).

Den de ole Denise she was very please,

An’ nex’ day spik wit’ Marie Louise,

“Ma girl, I got de right man for you

If you can only jus’ love heem true,

Bazile dat young feller, I t’ink he’ll do.”

“Wall! Moder he’s poor, Bazile Latour,

But if you t’ink you will lak heem sure

I’ll try an’ feex it mese’f some day

For you’ve been de good moder wit’ me alway”

An’ dat’s w’at Marie Louise she say.

So it’s comin’ right affer all de fight,

An’ de parish don’t see de more finer sight

Dan w’en dey get marry on St. Germain

W’y de buggy she’s pilin’ de w’ole chemin

All de way from de church to de grande moulin.

The Old House and the New

IS it only twelve mont’ I play de fool,

  You’re sure it’s correc’, ma dear?

I’m glad for hearin’ you spik dat way

  For I t’ink it was twenty year,

Since leffin’ de leetle ole house below,

  I mak’ wit’ ma own two han’

For go on dat fine beeg place, up dere—

  Mon Dieu! I’m de crazy man!

You ’member we’re not very riche, chérie,

  Dat tam we’re beginnin’ life!

Mese’f I’m twenty, an’ you eighteen

  W’en I’m bringin’ you home ma wife,

Many de worry an’ troub’ we got

  An’ some of dem was n’t small,

But not very long dey bodder us

  For we work an’ forget dem all.

An’ you was de savin’ woman too,

  Dere’s nobody beat you dere!

An’ I laugh w’en I t’ink of de tam you go

  Over on Trois Rivieres

For payin’ de bank—you know how moche

  We’re owin’ for dat new place

W’at was he sayin’ de nice young man

  Smilin’ upon hees face.

W’en he got dat monee was all pure gole

  Come down on your familee

For honder year an’ mebbe more?

  “Ma-dame you’re excusin’ me,

But w’ere was you gettin’ dis nice gole coin

  Of Louis Quatorze, hees tam

Wit’ hees face on back of dem ev’ry wan?

  For dey’re purty scase, now Ma-dame?”

An’ you say “Dat’s not’ing at all M’sieu”

  Ma familee get dem t’ing,

I suppose it’s very long tam ago,

  W’en Louis Quatorze is King,

An’ I’m sorry poor feller he’s comin’ dead

  An’ not leevin’ here to-day

’Cos man should be good on hees frien’, M’sieu’

  W’en de monee he mak’ dat way.”

Yass, ev’ry wan know we’re workin’ hard

  An’ savin’ too all dem year,

But nobody see us starve ourse’f

  Dere’s plaintee to eat, don’t fear—

Bimeby our chil’ren dey’re growin’ up

  So we’re doin’ de bes’ we can

Settle dem off on de firse good chance

  An’ geevin’ dem leetle lan’.

An’ den de troub’ is begin to show

  W’en our daughter poor Caroline

She marry dat lawyer on Trois Rivieres

  De beeges’ fool never seen!

Alway come home ev’ry summer sure

  Bringin’ her familee,

All right for de chil’ren, I don’t min’ dem;

  But de husban’! sapree maudit!

I wish I was close ma ear right off

  W’en he talk of our leetle house

Dough I know w’en familee’s comin’ home

  Dere isn’t moche room for a mouse,

He say “Riche man lak youse’f can’t leev’

  On shaintee lak dis below,

W’en t’ousan’ dollar will buil’ fin’ place

  Up on de hill en haut.”

An’ he talk about gallerie all aroun’

  W’ere we sit on de summer night

Watchin’ de star on de sky above

  W’ile de moon she was shinin’ bright,

Could plant some apple-tree dere, also,

  An’ flower, an’ I dunno w’at,

An’ w’en de sun he’s begin to rise

  Look at de view we got!

Den he bring ’noder feller from Trois Rivieres

  An’ show w’at he call de plan

For makin’ dem house on de w’ole contree—

  Mon Dieu! how I hate dat man!

’Cos he’s talkin’ away nearly all de tam

  Lak trotter upon de race—

Wall! affer a w’ile we mak’ our min’

  For havin’ dat nice new place.

So dey go ahead, an’ we let dem go,

  But stuff dey was t’row away;

I’m watchin’ for dat, an’ I save mese’f

  Mebbe twenty-five cent a day,

For you’re surely cheat if you don’t tak’ care

  Very offen we fin’ dat’s true,

An’ affer de house she was finish up,

  We’re geevin’ it nam’ Bellevue.

O! yass, I know we enjoy ourse’f

  W’en our frien’ dey was comin’ roun’

An’ say “Dat’s very fine place you got;

  Dere’s not’ing upon de town,

Or anyw’ere else for honder mile

  Dis house Bellevue can touch,”

An’ den let de horse eat de garden fence

  Non! we don’t enjoy dat so moche.

An’ of course we can’t say not’ing at all

  For it’s not correc’ t’ing you know—

But “Never min’ dat, an’ please come again,

  I’m sorry you got to go.”

Baptême! w’en I’m seein’ beeg feller bus’

  Our two dollar easy chair—

Can’t help it at all, I got to go

  Down on de cellar an’ swear!

An’ w’ere did we leev’ on dat belle maison?

  Wan room an’ de kitchen, dat’s all

An’ plaintee too for de man an’ wife!

  An’ you ’member de tam I fall

Off on de gallerie wan dark night,

  I los’ mese’f tryin’ fin’

De winder dere on de grande parloir,

  For closin’ it up de blin’?

An’ all de tam de poor leetle house

  Is down on de road below,

I t’ink she was jealous dat fine new place

  Up on de hill en haut,

For O! she look lonesome by herse’f

  De winder all broke an’ gone—

No smoke on de chimley comin’ out

  No frien’ stannin’ dere—not wan.

You ’member too, w’en de fever come

  An’ ketch us wan winter day?

W’at he call de shaintee, our son-in-law,

  Dat’s w’ere dey pass away

Xavier, Zoë, an’ Euchariste

  Our chil’ren wan, two, t’ree—

I offen t’ink of de room dey die,

  An’ I can’t help cryin’—me.

So we’ll go on de ole house once again,

  Long enough we been fool lak dis

Never min’ w’at dey say bimeby, ma chere

  But geev me de leetle kiss,

Let dem stay on dat fine new place up dere

  Our daughter an’ son-in-law

For to-morrow soon as de sun will rise

  We’re goin’ back home—Hooraw!

The Canadian Country Doctor

I S’POSE mos’ ev’ry body t’ink hees job’s about de hardes’

  From de boss man on de Gouvernement to poor man on de town

From de curé to de lawyer, an’ de farmer to de school boy

  An’ all the de noder feller was mak’ de worl’ go roun’.

But dere’s wan man got hees han’ full t’roo ev’ry kin’ of wedder

  An’ he’s never sure of not’ing but work an’ work away—

Dat’s de man dey call de doctor, w’en you ketch heem on de contree

  An’ he’s only man I know-me, don’t got no holiday.

If you’re comin’ off de city spen’ de summer-tam among us

  An’ you walk out on de mornin w’en de leetle bird is sing

Mebbe den you see de doctor w’en he’s passin wit’ hees buggy

  An’ you t’ink “Wall! contree doctor mus’ be very pleasan’ t’ing.

“Drivin’ dat way all de summer up an’ down along de reever

  W’ere de nice cool win’ is blowin’ among de maple tree

Den w’en he’s mak’ hees visit, comin’ home before de night tam

  For pass de quiet evening wit’ hees wife an’ familee.”

An’ w’en off across de mountain, some wan’s sick an’ want de doctor

  “Mus’ be fine trip crossin’ over for watch de sun go down

Makin’ all dem purty color lak w’at you call de rainbow,”

  Dat’s way de peop’ is talkin’ was leevin’ on de town.

But it isn’t alway summer on de contree, an’ de doctor

  He could tole you many story of de storm dat he’s been in

How hees coonskin coat come handy, w’en de win’ blow off de reever

  For if she’s sam’ ole reever, she’s not alway sam’ old win’.

An’ de mountain dat’s so quiet w’en de w’ite cloud go a-sailin’

  All about her on de summer w’ere de sheep is feedin’ high

You should see her on December w’en de snow is pilin’ roun’ her

  An’ all de win’ of winter come tearin’ t’roo de sky.

O! le bon Dieu help de doctor w’en de message come to call heem

  From hees warm bed on de night-tam for visit some poor man

Lyin’ sick across de hill side on noder side de reever

  An’ he hear de mountain roarin’ lak de beeg Shawinigan.

Ah! well he know de warning but he can’t stay till de morning

  So he’s hitchin’ up hees leetle horse an’ put heem on burleau

Den w’en he’s feex de buffalo, an’ wissle to hees pony

  Away t’roo storm an’ hurricane de contree doctor go.

O! de small Canadian pony! dat’s de horse can walk de snow-dreef.

  Dat’s de horse can fin’ de road too he’s never been before

Kip your heart up leetle feller, for dere’s many mile before you

  An’ it’s purty hard job tellin’ w’en you see your stable door.

Yass! de doctor he can tole you, if he have de tam for talkin’

  All about de bird was singin’ before de summer lef’

For he’s got dem on hees bureau an’ he’s doin’ it hese’f too

  An’ de las’ tam I was dere, me, I see dem all mese’f.

But about de way he travel t’roo de stormy night of winter

  W’en de rain come on de spring flood, an’ de bridge is wash away

All de hard work, all de danger dat was offen hang aroun’ heem

  Dat’s de tam our contree doctor don’t have very moche to say.

For it’s purty ole, ole story, an’ he alway have it wit’ heem

  Ever since he come among us on parish Saint Mathieu

An’ no doubt he’s feelin’ mebbe jus’ de sam’ as noder feller

  So he rader do hees talkin’ about somet’ing dat was new.

Mon Frere Camille

MON frere Camille he was firse class blood

  W’en he come off de State las’ fall,

Wearin’ hees boot a la mode box toe

An’ diamon’ pin on hees shirt also

Sam’ as dem feller on Chi-caw-go;

  But now he’s no blood at all,

                          Camille, mon frere.

W’at’s makin’ dat change on mon frere Camille?

  Wall! lissen for minute or two,

An’ I’ll try feex it up on de leetle song

Dat’s geevin’ some chance kin’ o’ help it along

So wedder I’m right or wedder I’m wrong

  You’ll know all about heem w’en I get t’roo,

                          Mon frere Camille.

He never sen’ letter for t’orteen year

 So of course he mus’ be all right

Till telegraph’s comin’ from Kan-Ka-Kee

“I’m leffin’ dis place on de half pas’ t’ree

W’at you want to bring is de bes’ buggee

  An’ double team sure for me t’orsday night,

                          Ton frere Camille.”

I wish you be dere w’en Camille arrive

  I bet you will say “W’at’s dat?”

For he’s got leetle cap very lak tuque bleu

Ole habitant’s wearin’ in bed, dat’s true,

An’ w’at do you t’ink he carry too?

  Geev it up? Wall! small valise wit’ de fineplug hat,

                          Mon frere Camille.

“Very strange.” I know you will say right off,

  For dere’s not’ing wrong wit’ hees clothes,

An’ he put on style all de bes’ he can

Wit’ diamon’ shinin’ across hees han’

An’ de way he’s talkin’ lak Yankee man

  Mus’ be purty hard on hees nose,

                          Mon frere Camille.

But he ’splain all dat about funny cap,

  An’ tole us de reason w’y,

It seem no feller can travel far,

An’ specially too on de Pullman car,

’Less dey wear leetle cap only cos’ dollarre,

  Dat’s true if he never die,

                          Mon frere Camille.

Don’t look very strong dem fancy boot

  But he’s ’splain all dat also

He say paten’ ledder she’s nice an’ gay

You don’t need to polish dem ev’ry day,

Besides he’s too busy for dat alway,

  W’en he’s leevin’ on Chi-caw-go,

                          Mon frere Camille.

But de State she wasn’t de only place

  He visit all up an’ down,

For he’s goin’ Cu-baw an’ de Mex-i-co,

W’ere he’s killin’ two honder dem wil’ taureau,

W’at you call de bull: on de circus show,

  O! if you believe heem he travel roun’,

                          Mon frere Camille.

So of course w’en ma broder was gettin’ home

  All the peop’ on de parish come

Every night on de parlor for hear heem tell

How he foller de brave Generale Roosvel’

W’en rough rider feller dey fight lak hell

  An’ he walk on de front wit’ great beeg drum,

                          Mon frere Camille.

An’ how is he gainin’ dat diamon’ ring?

  Way off on de Mex-i-co

W’ere he’s pilin’ de bull wan summer day

Till it’s not easy haulin’ dem all away,

An’ de lady dey’re t’rowin’ heem large bouquet

  For dey lak de style he was keel taureau,

                          Mon frere Camille.

Wall! he talk dat way all de winter t’roo,

  An’ hees frien’ dey was tryin’ fin’

Some bull on de county dat’s wil’ enough

For mon frere Camille, but it’s purty tough

’Cos de farmer’s not raisin’ such fightin’ stuff

  An’ he don’t want not’ing but mos’ worse kin’

                          Mon frere Camille.

Dat’s not pleasan’ t’ing mebbe los’ hees trade,

  If we don’t hurry up, for sure,

I s’pose you t’ink I was goin’ it strong?

Never min’, somet’ing happen ’fore very long

It’ll all come out on dis leetle song

  W’en he pass on de house of Ma-dame Latour,

                          Camille, mon frere.

We’re makin’ pique-nique on Denise Latour

  For helpin’ put in de hay

Too bad she’s de moder large familee

An’ los’ de bes’ husban’ she never see

W’en he drown on de reever, poor Jeremie,

  So he come wit’ de res’ of de gang dat day,

                          Camille, mon frere.

An’ affer de hay it was put away

  Don’t tak’ very long at all,

De boy an’ de girl she was lookin’ ’roun’

For havin’ more fun ’fore dey lef’ de groun’

An’ dey see leetle bull, mebbe t’ree honder poun’

  An’ nex’ t’ing I hear dem call

                          Mon frere Camille.

So nice leetle feller I never see

  Dat bull of Ma-dame Latour

Wit’ curly hair on de front hees head

An’ quiet? jus’ sam’ he was almos’ dead

An’ fat? wall! de chil’ren dey see heem fed

  So he’s not goin’ keel heem I’m very sure,

                          Mon frere Camille.

But de girl kip teasin’ an’ ole Ma-dame

  She say, “You can go ahead

He cos’ me four dollarre six mont’ ago

So if anyt’ing happen ma small taureau,

Who’s pay me dat monee I lak to know?”

  An’ he answer, “Dat’s me w’en I keel heem dead”

                          Mon frere Camille.

Den he feex beeg knife on de twelve foot pole,

  So de chil’ren commence to cry

An’ he jomp on de fence, an’ yell, “Hooraw”

An’ shout on de leetle French bull, “Dis donc!

Ain’t you scare w’en you see feller from Cubaw?”

  An’ he show heem hees red necktie,

                          Mon frere Camille.

L’petit taureau w’en he see dat tie

  He holler for half a mile

Den he jomp on de leg an’ he raise de row

Ba Golly! I’m sure I can see heem now.

An’ dey run w’en dey hear heem, de noder cow

  Den he say, “Dat bull must be surely wil’ ”

                          Mon frere Camille.

But de bull don’t care w’at he say at all,

  For he’s watchin’ dat red necktie

An’ w’en ma broder he push de pole

I’m sure it’s makin’ some purty large hole,

If de bull be dere, but ma blood run col’

  For de nex’ t’ing I hear heem cry,

                          Camille, mon frere.

No wonder he cry, for dat sapree bull

  He’s yell leetle bit some more,

Den he ketch ma broder dat small taureau

Only cos’ four dollarre six mont’ ago

An’ he’s t’rowin’ heem up from de groun’ below

  Wan tam, two tam, till he’s feelin’ sore,

                          Camille, mon frere.

An’ w’en ma broder’s come down agen

  I s’pose he mus’ change hees min’

An’ mebbe t’ink if it’s all de sam’

He’ll keel dat bull w’en he get more tam

For dere he was runnin’ wit’ ole Ma-dame

  De chil’ren, de bull, an’ de cow behin’

                          Camille, mon frere.

So dat’s de reason he’s firse class blood

  W’en he come off de State las’ fall

Wearin’ hees boot a la mode box toe

An’ diamon’ pin on hees shirt also

Sam’ as dem feller on Chi-caw-go

  But now he’s no blood at all,

                          Camille, mon frere.

The Habitant’s Summer

O WHO can blame de winter, never min’ de hard he’s blowin’

  ’Cos w’en de tam is comin’ for passin’ on hees roun’

De firse t’ing he was doin’ is start de sky a snowin’

  An’ mak’ de nice w’ite blanket, for cover up de groun’.

An’ de groun’ she go a’sleepin’ t’roo all de stormy season,

  Restin’ from her work las’ summer, till she’s waken by de rain

Dat le bon Dieu sen’ some morning, an’ of course dat’s be de reason

  Ev’ry year de groun’ she’s lookin’ jus’ as fresh an’ young again.

Den you geev her leetle sunshine, w’en de snow go off an’ leave her

  Let de sout’ win’ blow upon her, an’ you see beeg changes now

Wit’ de steam arisin’ from her jus’ de sam’ she got de fever,

  An’ not many day is passin’ w’en she’s ready for de plow.

We don’t bodder wit’ no spring-tam w’ere de rain she’s alway fallin’,

  Two, t’ree mont’, or mebbe longer, on de place beyon’ de sea,

W’ere some bird he’s nam’ de cuckoo, spen’ de mos’ hees tam a-callin’

  But for fear he wet hees fedder, hide away upon de tree.

On de swamp beside de reever, mebbe jus’ about de fly-tam

  W’ere it’s very hard to see heem, we hear de wo-wa-raw,

Dat’s w’at you call de bull-frog, singin’ “more rum,” all de night-tam.

  He’s only kin’ of cuckoo we got on Canadaw.

No, we haven’t got dat feller, but we got some bird can beat heem,

  An’ we hear dem, an’ we see dem, jus’ so soon de winter go,

So never min’ de cuckoo for we’re not afraid to meet heem,

  W’enever he was ready, wit’ our own petits oiseaux.

An’ dey almos’ come togeder, lak de spring an’ summer wedder,

  Blue-bird wan day, pie-blanche nex’ day, geevin’ out deir leetle note,

Affer dat we see de robin, an’ de gouglou on de medder,

  Den le roi, de red bird’s comin’, dressim on hees sojer coat.

W’en de grosbec on de pine tree, wak’ you early wit’ hees singin’,

  W’en you lissen to de pa’tridge a-beatin’ on hees drum,

W’en de w’ole place roun’ about you wit’ musique is a-ringin’,

  Den you know de winter’s over, an’ de summer day is come.

See de apple blossom showin’, see de clover how it’s growin’

  Watch de trout, an’ way dey’re playin’ on de reever down below,

Ah! de cunning leetle feller, easy see how well dey’re knowin’

  We’re too busy now for ketch dem an’ dat’s w’y dey’re jompin’ so.

For de mos’ fine summer season don’t las’ too long, an’ we know it,

  So we’re workin’ ev’rybody, w’ile de sun is warm an’ clear,

Dat’s de tam for plant de barley, an’ de injun corn we sow it,

  W’en de leaf upon de maple’s jus’ de size of squirrel’s ear.

’Noder job is feexin’ fences, if we don’t be lak de las’ year,

  W’en de Durham bull he’s pullin’ nearly all de fence away,

An’ dat sapree champion taureau let de cattle out de pasture

  So dey’re playin’ on de devil wit’ de oat an’ wit’ de hay.

Yass, de farmer’s offen worry, an’ it sometam mak’ heem snappy,

  For no sooner wan job’s finish, dan he got two t’ousan’ more,

But he’s glad for see de summer, w’en all de worl’ she’s happy,

  An’ ev’ryt’ing aroun’ heem was leevin’ out o’ door.

Now de ole sheep’s takin’ young wan up de hillside, an’ dey feed dem

  W’ere de nice short grass is growin’ sweeter dan it grow below,

Ev’ry morning off dey’re goin’ an’ it’s pleasan’ t’ing to see dem

  Lookin’ jus’ lak leetle snow-ball all along de green coteau.


Dere’s de hen too, wit’ her chicken, O how moche dey mak’ her bodder

  Watchin’ dem mos’ ev’ry minute, fearin’ dey was go astray

But w’en mountain hawk he’s comin’ den how quick dey fin’ de moder

  An’ get onderneat’ her fedder till de danger’s pass away.

An’ jus’ see de turkey gobbler, an’ lissen to heem talkin’

  No wonder he’s half crazee, an’ spikin’ out so loud,

W’en you meet heem on de roadside wit’ hees wife an’ chil’ren walkin’,

  It’s kipin’ heem so busy lookin’ affer such a crowd.

Dat’s about de way we’re leevin’, dat’s a few t’ing we’re seein’,

  W’en de nice warm summer sun is shinin’ down on Canadaw,

An’ no matter w’at I’m hearin’, still I never feel lak bein’

  No oder stranger feller, me, but only habitant.

For dere’s no place lak our own place, don’t care de far you’re goin’

  Dat’s w’at de whole worl’s sayin’, w’enever dey come here,

’Cos we got de fines’ contree, an’ de beeges’ reever flowin’

  An’ le bon Dieu sen’ de sunshine nearly twelve mont’ ev’ry year.

Little Lac Grenier

LEETLE Lac Grenier, she’s all alone,

Right on de mountain top,

But cloud sweepin’ by, will fin’ tam to stop

No matter how quickly he want to go,

So he’ll kiss leetle Grenier down below.

Leetle Lac Grenier, she’s all alone,

Up on de mountain high

But she never feel lonesome, ’cos for w’y?

So soon as de winter was gone away

De bird come an’ sing to her ev’ry day.

Leetle Lac Grenier, she’s all alone,

Back on de mountain dere,

But de pine tree an’ spruce stan’ ev’rywhere

Along by de shore, an’ mak’ her warm

For dey kip off de win’ an’ de winter storm.

Leetle Lac Grenier, she’s all alone,

No broder, no sister near,

But de swallow will fly, an’ de beeg moose deer

An’ caribou too, will go long way

To drink de sweet water of Lac Grenier.

Leetle Lac Grenier, I see you now,

Onder de roof of spring

Ma canoe’s afloat, an’ de robin sing,

De lily’s beginnin’ her summer dress,

An’ trout’s wakin’ up from hees long long res’.

Leetle Lac Grenier, I’m happy now,

Out on de ole canoe,

For I’m all alone, ma chere, wit’ you,

An’ if only a nice light rod I had

I’d try dat fish near de lily pad!

Leetle Lac Grenier, O! let me go,

Don’t spik no more,

For your voice is strong lak de rapid’s roar,

An’ you know youse’f I’m too far away,

For visit you now—leetle Lac Grenier!

The Windigo

GO easy wit’ de paddle, an’ steady wit’ de oar

  Geev rudder to de bes’ man you got among de crew,

Let ev’ry wan be quiet, don’t let dem sing no more

  W’en you see de islan’ risin’ out of Grande Lac Manitou.

Above us on de sky dere, de summer cloud may float

  Aroun’ us on de water de ripple never show,

But somet’ing down below us can rock de stronges’ boat,

  W’en we’re comin’ near de islan’ of de spirit Windigo!

De carcajou may breed dere, an’ otter sweem de pool

  De moosh-rat mak’ de mud house, an’ beaver buil’ hees dam

An’ beeges’ Injun hunter on all de Tête de Boule

  Will never set hees trap dere from spring to summer tam.

But he’ll bring de fines’ presen’ from upper St. Maurice

  De loup marin an’ black-fox from off de Hodson Bay

An’ hide dem on de islan’ an’ smoke de pipe of peace

  So Windigo will help heem w’en he travel far away.

We shaintee on dat islan’ on de winter seexty-nine

  If you look you see de clearin’ aroun’ de Coo Coo Cache,

An’ pleasan’ place enough too among de spruce an’ pine

  If foreman on de shaintee isn’t Cyprien Palache.

Beeg feller, alway watchin’ on hees leetle weasel eye,

  De gang dey can’t do not’ing but he see dem purty quick

Wit’ hees “Hi dere, w’at you doin’?” ev’ry tam he’s passin’ by

  An’ de bad word he was usin’, wall! it offen mak’ me sick.

An’ he carry silver w’issle wit’ de chain aroun’ hees neck

  For fear he mebbe los’ it, an’ ev’rybody say

He mus’ buy it from de devil w’en he’s passin’ on Kebeck

  But if it’s true dat story, I dunno how moche he pay.

Dere’s plaintee on de shaintee can sing lak rossignol

  Pat Clancy play de fiddle, an’ Jimmie Charbonneau

Was bring hees concertina from below St. Fereol

  So we get some leetle pleasure till de long, long winter go.

But if we start up singin’ affer supper on de camp

  “Par derriere chez ma tante,” or “Mattawa wishtay,”

De boss he’ll come along den, an’ put heem out de lamp,

  An’ only stop hees swearin’ w’en we all go marche coucher.

We’ve leetle boy dat winter from Po-po-lo-be-lang

  Hees fader an’ hees moder dey’re bote A-ben-a-kee

An’ he’s comin’, Injun Johnnie, wit’ some man de lumber gang

  Was fin’ heem nearly starvin’ above on Lac Souris.

De ole man an’ de woman is tryin’ pass de Soo

  W’en water’s high on spring tam, an’ of course dey’re gettin’ drown’,

For even smartes’ Injun shouldn’t fool wit’ birch canoe,

  W’ere de reever lak toboggan on de hill is runnin’ down.

So dey lef’ de leetle feller all alone away up dere

  Till lumber gang is ketchin’ him an’ bring him on de Cache,

But better if he’s stayin’ wit’ de wolf an’ wit’ de bear

  Dan come an’ tak’ hees chances wit’ Cyprien Palache.

I wonder how he stan’ it, w’y he never run away

  For Cyprien lak neeger he is treat heem all de sam’

An’ if he’s wantin’ Johnnie on de night or on de day

  God help heem if dat w’issle she was below de secon’ tam!

De boy he don’t say not’ing, no wan never see heem cry

  He’s got de Injun in heem, you can see it on de face,

An’ only for us feller an’ de cook, he’ll surely die

  Long before de winter’s over, long before we lef’ de place,

But I see heem hidin’ somet’ing wan morning by de shore

  So firse tam I was passin’ I scrape away de snow

An’ it’s rabbit skin he’s ketchin’ on de swamp de day before,

  Leetle Injun Johnnie’s workin’ on de spirit Windigo.

December’s come in stormy, an’ de snow-dreef fill de road

  Can only see de chimley an’ roof of our cabane,

An’ stronges’ team in stable fin’ it plaintee heavy load

  Haulin’ sleigh an’ two t’ree pine log t’roo de wood an’ beeg savane.

An’ I travel off wan day me, wit’ Cyprien Palache,

  Explorin’ for new timber, w’en de win’ begin to blow,

So we hurry on de snowshoe for de camp on Coo Coo Cache

  If de nor’ eas’ storm is comin’, was de bes’ place we dunno—

An’ we’re gettin’ safe enough dere wit’ de storm close on our heel,

  But w’en our belt we loosen for takin’ off de coat

De foreman commence screamin’ an’ mon Dieu it mak’ us feel

  Lak he got t’ree t’ousan’ devil all fightin’ on hees t’roat.

Cyprien is los’ hees w’issle, Cyprien is los’ hees chain

  Injun Johnnie he mus’ fin’ it, even if de win’ is high

He can never show hese’f on de Coo Coo Cache again

  Till he bring dat silver w’issle an’ de chain it’s hangin’ by.

So he sen’ heem on hees journey never knowin’ he come back

  T’roo de rough an’ stormy wedder, t’roo de pile of dreefin’ snow

“Wat’s de use of bein’ Injun if you can’t smell out de track?”

  Dat’s de way de boss is talkin’, an’ poor Johnnie have to go.

If you want to hear de musique of de nort’ win’ as it blow

  An’ lissen to de hurricane an’ learn de way it sing

An’ feel how small de man is w’en he’s leevin’ here below,

  You should try it on de shaintee w’en she’s doin’ all dem t’ing!

W’at’s dat soun’ lak somet’ing cryin’ all aroun’ us ev’ryw’ere?

  We never hear no tonder upon de winter storm!

Dey’re shoutin’ to each oder dem voices on de air,

  An’ it’s red hot too de stove pipe, but no wan’s feelin’ warm!

“Get out an’ go de woodpile before I freeze to deat’ ”

  Cyprien de boss is yellin’ an’ he’s lookin’ cole an’ w’ite

Lak dead man on de coffin, but no wan go, you bet,

  For if it’s near de woodpile, ’tisn’t close enough to-night!

Non! we ain’t afraid of not’ing, but we don’t lak takin’ chance,

  An’ w’en we hear de spirit of de wil’ A-ben-a-kee

Singin’ war song on de chimley, makin’ all dem Injun dance

  Raisin’ row dere, you don’t ketch us on no woodpile—no siree!

O! de lonesome night we’re passin’ w’ile we’re stayin’ on dat place!

  An’ ev’rybody sheever w’en Jimmie Charbonneau

Say he’s watchin’ on de winder an’ he see de

  Injun face An’ it’s lookin’ so he tole us, jus’ de sam’ as Windigo.

Den again mese’f I’m hearin’ somet’ing callin’, an’ it soun’

  Lak de voice of leetle Johnnie so I’m passin’ on de door

But de pine stump on de clearin’ wit’ de w’ite sheet all aroun’

  Mak’ me t’ink of churchyar’ tombstone, an’ I can’t go dere no more.

Wat’s de reason we’re so quiet w’ile our heart she’s goin’ fas’

  W’y is no wan ax de question? dat we’re all afraid to spik?

Was it wing of flyin’ wil’ bird strek de winder as it pass,

  Or de sweesh of leetle snow-ball w’en de win’ is playin’ trick?

W’en we buil’ de Coo Coo shaintee, she’s as steady as a rock,

  Did you feel de shaintee shakin’ de sam, she’s goin’ to fall?

Dere’s somet’ing on de doorway! an’ now we hear de knock

  An’ up above de hurricane we hear de w’issle call.

Callin’, callin’ lak a bugle, an’ he’s jompin’ up de boss

  From hees warm bed on de corner an’ open wide de door—

Dere’s no use foller affer for Cyprien is los’

  An’ de Coo Coo Cache an’ shaintee he’ll never see no more.

At las’ de morning’s comin’, an’ storm is blow away

  An’ outside on de shaintee young Jimmie Charbonneau

He’s seein’ track of snowshoe, ’bout de size of double sleigh

  Dere’s no mistak’ it’s makin’ by de spirit Windigo.

An’ de leetle Injun Johnnie, he’s all right I onderstan’

  For you’ll fin’ heem up de reever above de Coo Coo Cache

Ketchin’ mink and ketchin’ beaver, an’ he’s growin’ great beeg man

  But dat’s de las’ we’re hearin’ of Cyprien Palache.

National Policy

OUR fader lef’ ole France behin’, dat’s many year ago,

An’ how we get along since den, wall! ev’ry body know,

Few t’ousan’ firse class familee was only come dat tam,

An’ now we got pure Canayens; t’ree million peop’ bedamme!

Dat’s purty smart beez-nesse, I t’ink we done on Canadaw,

An’ we don’t mak’ no grande hooraw, but do it tranquillement

So if we’re braggin’ now an’ den, we mus’ be excuzay,

For no wan’s never see before de record bus’ dat way.

An’ w’y should we be feel ashame, ’cos we have boy an’ girl?

No matter who was come along, we’ll match agen de worl’;

Wit’ plaintee boy lak w’at we got no danger be afraid,

An’ all de girl she look too nice for never come ole maid.

If we have only small cor-nerre de sam’ we have before

W’en ole Champlain an’ Jacques Cartier firse jomp upon de shore

Dere’s no use hurry den at all, but now you understan’

We got to whoop it up, ba gosh! for occupy de lan’!


W’at’s use de million acre, w’at’s use de belle riviere,

An’ t’ing lak dat if we don’t have somebody leevin’ dere?

W’at’s mak’ de worl’ look out for us, an’ kip de nation free

Unless we’re raisin’ all de tam some fine large familee?

Don’t seem so long we buil’ dat road, Chemin de Pacifique,

Tak’ honder dollar pass on dere, an’ nearly two t’ree week,

Den look dat place it freeze so hard, on w’at you call Klon-dak,

Wall! if we have to fill dem up, we got some large contrac’!

Of course we’re not doin’ bad jus’ now; so ev’rybody say,

But we dunno de half we got on Canadaw to-day,

An’ still she’s comin’ beeger, an’ never mak’ no fuss,

So if we don’t look out, firse t’ing, she’ll get ahead of us.

De more I t’ink, de more I’m scare, de way she grow so fas’,

An’ worse of all it’s hard to say how long de boom’ll las’

But if she don’t go slower an’ ease up leetle bit,

Bimeby de Canayens will be some dead bird on de pit.

Den ev’ry body hip hooraw! an’ sen’ de familee

Along de reever, t’roo de wood, an’ on de grande prairie,

Dat’s only way I’m t’inkin’ arrange de w’ole affaire

An’ mebbe affer w’ile dere won’t be too moche lan’ for spare.

Autumn Days

IN dreams of the night I hear the call

  Of wild duck scudding across the lake,

In dreams I see the old convent wall,

  Where Ottawa’s waters surge and break.

But Hercule awakes me ere the sun

  Has painted the eastern skies with gold.

Hercule! true knight of the rod and gun

  As ever lived in the days of old.

“Arise! tho’ the moon hangs high above,

  The sun will soon usher in the day,

And the southerly wind that sportsmen love

  Is blowing across St. Louis Bay.”

The wind is moaning among the trees,

  Along the shore where the shadows lie,

And faintly borne on the fresh’ning breeze

  From yonder point comes the loon’s wild cry

Like diamonds flashing athwart the tide

  The dancing moonbeams quiver and glow,

As out on the deep we swiftly glide

  To our distant Mecca, Ile Perrot.

Ile Perrot far to the southward lies,

  Pointe Claire on the lee we leave behind,

And eager we gaze with longing eyes,

  For faintest sign of the deadly “blind.”

Past the point where Ottawa’s current flows—

  A league from St. Lawrence golden sands—

Out in the bay where the wild grass grows

  We mark the spot where our ambush stands.

We enter it just as the crimson flush

  Of morn illumines the hills with light,

And patiently wait the first mad rush

  Of pinions soaring in airy flight.


A rustle of wings from over there,

  Where all night long on watery bed

The flocks have slept—and the morning air

  Rings with the messenger of lead.

Many a pilgrim from far away

  Many a stranger from distant seas,

Is dying to-day on St. Louis Bay,

  To requiem sung by the southern breeze.

And thus till the sound of the vesper bell

  Comes stealing o’er Ottawa’s dusky stream,

And the ancient light-house we know so well

  Lights up the tide with its friendly gleam.

Then up with the anchor and ply the oar,

  For homeward again our course must bear,

Farewell to the “blind” by Ile Perrot’s shore,

  And welcome the harbor of old Pointe Claire!

Madeleine Vercheres

I’VE told you many a tale, my child, of the old heroic days

Of Indian wars and massacre, of villages ablaze

With savage torch, from Ville Marie to the Mission of Trois Rivieres

But never have I told you yet, of Madeleine Vercheres.

Summer had come with its blossoms, and gaily the robin sang

And deep in the forest arches the axe of the woodman rang

Again in the waving meadows, the sun-browned farmers met

And out on the green St. Lawrence, the fisherman spread his net.

And so through the pleasant season, till the days of October came

When children wrought with their parents, and even the old and lame

With tottering frames and footsteps, their feeble labors lent

At the gathering of the harvest le bon Dieu himself had sent.

For news there was none of battle, from the forts on the Richelieu

To the gates of the ancient city, where the flag of King Louis flew

All peaceful the skies hung over the seigneurie of Vercheres,

Like the calm that so often cometh, ere the hurricane rends the air.

And never a thought of danger had the Seigneur sailing away,

To join the soldiers of Carignan, where down at Quebec they lay,

But smiled on his little daughter, the maiden Madeleine,

And a necklet of jewels promised her, when home he should come again.

And ever the days passed swiftly, and careless the workmen grew

For the months they seemed a hundred, since the last war-bugle blew.

Ah! little they dreamt on their pillows, the farmers of Vercheres,

That the wolves of the southern forest had scented the harvest fair.

Like ravens they quickly gather, like tigers they watch their prey

Poor people! with hearts so happy, they sang as they toiled away.

Till the murderous eyeballs glistened, and the tomahawk leaped out

And the banks of the green St. Lawrence echoed the savage shout.

“Oh mother of Christ have pity,” shrieked the women in despair

“This is no time for praying,” cried the young Madeleine Vercheres,

“Aux armes! aux armes! les Iroquois! quick to your arms and guns

Fight for your God and country and the lives of the innocent ones.”

And she sped like a deer of the mountain, when beagles press close behind

And the feet that would follow after, must be swift as the prairie wind.

Alas! for the men and women, and little ones that day

For the road it was long and weary, and the fort it was far away.

But the fawn had outstripped the hunters, and the palisades drew near,

And soon from the inner gateway the war-bugle rang out clear;

Gallant and clear it sounded, with never a note of despair,

’Twas a soldier of France’s challenge, from the young Madeleine Vercheres.

“And this is my little garrison, my brothers Louis and Paul?

With soldiers two—and a cripple? may the Virgin pray for us all.

But we’ve powder and guns in plenty, and we’ll fight to the latest breath

And if need be for God and country, die a brave soldier’s death.

“Load all the carabines quickly, and whenever you sight the foe

Fire from the upper turret, and the loopholes down below.

Keep up the fire, brave soldiers, though the fight may be fierce and long

And they’ll think our little garrison is more than a hundred strong.”

So spake the maiden Madeleine, and she roused the Norman blood

That seemed for a moment sleeping, and sent it like a flood

Through every heart around her, and they fought the red Iroquois

As fought in the old time battles, the soldiers of Carignan.

And they say the black clouds gathered, and a tempest swept the sky

And the roar of the thunder mingled with the forest tiger’s cry

But still the garrison fought on, while the lightning’s jagged spear

Tore a hole in the night’s dark curtain, and showed them a foeman near.

And the sun rose up in the morning, and the color of blood was he

Gazing down from the heavens on the little company.

“Behold! my friends!” cried the maiden, “ ’tis a warning lest we forget

Though the night saw us do our duty, our work is not finished yet.”

And six days followed each other, and feeble her limbs became

Yet the maid never sought her pillow, and the flash of the carabines’ flame

Illumined the powder-smoked faces, aye, even when hope seemed gone

And she only smiled on her comrades, and told them to fight, fight on.

And she blew a blast on the bugle, and lo! from the forest black

Merrily, merrily ringing, an answer came pealing back

Oh! pleasant and sweet it sounded, borne on the morning air,

For it heralded fifty soldiers, with gallant De la Monniere.

And when he beheld the maiden, the soldier of Carignan,

And looked on the little garrison that fought the red Iroquois

And held their own in the battle, for six long weary days,

He stood for a moment speechless, and marvelled at woman’s ways.

Then he beckoned the men behind him and steadily they advance

And with carabines uplifted, the veterans of France

Saluted the brave young Captain so timidly standing there

And they fired a volley in honor of Madeleine Vercheres.

And this, my dear, is the story of the maiden Madeleine

God grant that we in Canada may never see again

Such cruel wars and massacres, in waking or in dream

As our fathers and mothers saw, my child, in the days of the old régime.

The “Rose Delima”

YOU can sew heem up in a canvas sack,

  An’ t’row heem over boar’

You can wait till de ship she’s comin’ back

  Den bury heem on de shore

For dead man w’en he’s dead for sure,

  Ain’t good for not’ing at all

An’ he’ll stay on de place you put heem

  Till he hear dat bugle call

Dey say will soun’ on de las’, las’ day

W’en ev’ry t’ing’s goin’ for pass away,

But down on de Gulf of St. Laurent

  W’ere de sea an’ de reever meet

An’ off on St. Pierre de Miquelon,

  De chil’ren on de street

Can tole you story of Pierre Guillaume,

  De sailor of St. Yvonne

Dat’s bringin’ de “Rose Delima” home

  Affer he’s dead an’ gone.




He was stretch heem on de bed an’ he couldn’t raise hees head

  So dey place heem near de winder w’ere he can look below,

An’ watch de schooner lie wit’ her topmas’ on de sky,

  An’ oh! how mad it mak’ heem, ole Captinne Baribeau.

For she’s de fines’ boat dat never was afloat

  From de harbor of St. Simon to de shore of New-fun-lan’

She can almos’ dance a reel, an’ de sea shell on her keel

  Wall! you count dem very easy on de finger of your han’.

But de season’s flyin’ fas’, an’ de fall is nearly pas’

  An’ de leetle “Rose Delima” she’s doin’ not’ing dere

Only pullin’ on her chain, an’ wishin’ once again

  She was w’ere de black fish tumble, an’ jomp upon de air.

But who can tak’ her out, for she’s got de tender mout’

  Lak a trotter on de race-course dat’s mebbe run away

If he’s not jus’ handle so—an’ ole Captinne Baribeau

  Was de only man can sail her, dat’s w’at dey offen say.

An’ now he’s lyin’ dere, w’ere de breeze is blow hees hair

  An’ he’s hearin’ ev’ry morning de “Rose Delima” call,

Sayin’, “Come along wit’ me, an’ we’ll off across de sea,

  For I’m lonesome waitin’ for you, Captinne Paul.

“On Anticosti shore we hear de breaker roar

  An’ reef of Dead Man’s Islan’ too we know,

But we never miss de way, no matter night or day,

  De ‘Rose Delima’ schooner an’ Captinne Baribeau,”

De Captinne cry out den, so de house is shake again,

  “Come here! come here, an’ quickly, ma daughter Virginie,

An’ let me hol’ your han’, for so long as I can stan’

  I’ll tak’ de ‘Rose Delima,’ an’ sail her off to sea.”

“No, no, ma fader dear, you’re better stayin’ here

  Till de cherry show her blossom on de spring,

For de loon he’s flyin’ sout’ an’ de fall is nearly out,

  W’en de wil’ bird of de nort’ is on de wing.

“But fader dear, I know de man can go below

  Wit’ leetle ‘Rose Delima’ on St. Pierre de Miquelon

Hees nam’ is Pierre Guillaume, an’ he’ll bring de schooner home

  Till she’s t’rowin’ out her anchor on de port of St. Simon.”

“Ha! Ha! ma Virginie, it isn’t hard to see

  You lak dat smart young sailor man youse’f,

I s’pose he love you too, but I tole you w’at I do

  W’en I have some leetle talk wit’ heem mese’f.

“So call heem up de stair:” an’ w’en he’s stannin’ dere,

  De Captinne say, “Young feller, you see how sick I be?

De poor ole Baribeau hasn’t very much below

  Beside de ‘Rose Delima,’ an’ hees daughter Virginie.

“An’ I know your fader well, he’s fine man too, Noël,

  An’ hees nam’ was comin’ offen on ma prayer—

An’ if your sailor blood she’s only half as good

  You can sail de ‘Rose Delima’ from here to any w’ere.

“You love ma Virginie? wall! if you promise me

  You bring de leetle schooner safely home

From St. Pierre de Miquelon to de port of St. Simon

  You can marry on ma daughter, Pierre Guillaume.”

An’ Pierre he answer den, “Ma fader was your frien’

  An’ it’s true your daughter Virginie I love,

Dat schooner she’ll come home, or ma nam’ ’s not Pierre Guillaume

  I swear by all de angel up above.”

So de wil’ bird goin’ sout’, see her shake de canvas out,

  An’ soon de “Rose Delima” she’s flyin’ down de bay

An’ poor young Virginie so long as she can see

  Kip watchin’ on dat schooner till at las’ she’s gone away.

Ho! ho! for Gaspé cliff w’en de win’ is blowin’ stiff,

  Ho! ho! for Anticosti w’ere bone of dead man lie!

De sailor cimetière! God help de beeg ship dere

  If dey come too near de islan’ w’en de wave she’s runnin’ high.

It’s locky t’ing he know de way he ought to go

  It’s locky too de star above, he know dem ev’ry wan

For God he mak’ de star, was shinin’ up so far,

  So he trus’ no oder compass, young Pierre of St. Yvonne.

An’ de schooner sail away pas’ Wolf Islan’ an’ Cape Ray—

  W’ere de beeg wave fight each oder roun’ de head of ole Pointe Blanc

Only gettin’ pleasan’ win’, till she tak’ de canvas in

  An’ drop de anchor over on St. Pierre de Miquelon.

We’re glad to see some more, de girl upon de shore,

  An’ Jean Barbette was kipin’ Hotel de Sansouci

He’s also glad we come, ’cos we mak’ de rafter hum;

  An’ w’en we’re stayin’ dere, ma foi! we spen’ de monee free.

But Captinne Pierre Guillaume, might jus’ as well be home,

  For he don’t forget his sweetheart an’ ole man Baribeau,

An’ so he stay on boar’, an’ fifty girl or more

  Less dey haul heem on de bowline, dey couldn’t mak’ heem go.

Wall! we’re workin’ hard an’ fas’, an’ de cargo’s on at las’

  Two honder cask of w’isky, de fines’ on de worl’!

So good-bye to Miquelon, an’ hooraw for St. Simon—

  An’ au revoir to Jean Barbette, an’ don’t forget de girl.

You can hear de schooner sing, w’en she open out her wing

  So glad to feel de slappin’ of de sea wave on her breas’

She didn’t los’ no tam, but travel jus’ de sam’,

  As de small bird w’en he’s flyin’ on de evening to hees nes’.

But her sail’s not blowin’ out wit’ de warm breeze of de sout’

  An’ it’s not too easy tellin’ w’ere de snowflake meet de foam

Stretchin’ out on ev’ry side, all across de Gulf so wide

  W’en de nor’-eas’ win’ is chasin’ de “Rose Delima” home.


An’ we’re flyin’ once again pas’ de Isle of Madeleine

  An’ away for Anticosti we let de schooner go

Lak a race-horse on de track, we could never hol’ her back—

  She mebbe hear heem callin’ her, ole Captinne Baribeau!

But we’re ketchin’ it wan night w’en de star go out of sight

  For de storm dat’s waitin’ for us, come before we know it’s dere—

An’ it blow us near de coas’ w’ere dey leev’ de sailor’s ghos’

  On de shore of Dead Man’s Islan’ till dey almos’ fill de air.

So de Captinne tak’ de wheel, an’ it mak’ de schooner feel

  Jus’ de sam’ as ole man Baribeau is workin’ dere hese’f

Well she know it’s life or deat’, so she’s fightin’ hard for breat’

  For wit’ all dem wave a chokin’ her, it’s leetle she got lef’.

Den de beeges’ sea of all, stannin’ up dere lak a wall

  Come along an’ sweep de leetle “Rose Delima” fore an’ af’

An’ above de storm a cry, “Help, mon Dieu! before I die.”

  An’ dere’s no wan on de wheel house, an’ we hear dem spirit laugh.

Dey’re lookin’ for dead man, an’ dey’re shoutin’ all dey can

  Don’t matter all de pile dey got dey want anoder wan—

An’ now dey’re laughin’ loud, for out of all de crowd

  Dey got no finer sailor boy dan Pierre of St. Yvonne!

But look dere on de wheel! w’at’s dat was seem to steal

  From now’ere, out of not’ing, till it reach de pilot’s place

An’ steer de rudder too, lak de Captinne used to do

  So lak de Captinne’s body, so lak de Captinne’s face.

But well enough we know de poor boy’s gone below,

  W’ere hees bone will join de oder on de place w’ere dead man be—

An’ we only see phantome of young Captinne Pierre Guillaume

  Dat sail de “Rose Delima” all night along de sea.

So we help heem all we can, kip de schooner off de lan’

  W’ere bad spirit work de current dat was pullin’ us inside—

But we fool dem all at las’, an’ we know de danger’s pas’

  W’en de sun come out an’ fin’ us floatin’ on de morning tide.

So de Captinne’s work is done, an’ nex’ day de schooner run

  Wit’ de sail all hangin’ roun’ her, to de port of St. Simon.

Dat’s de way young Pierre Guillaume bring de “Rose Delima” home

  T’roo de wil’ an’ stormy wedder from St. Pierre de Miquelon.

An’ de leetle Virginie never look upon de sea

  Since de tam de “Rose Delima’s” comin’ home,

For she’s lef’ de worl’ an’ all! but behin’ de convent wall

  She don’t forget her fader an’ poor young Pierre Guillaume.

Little Mouse

GET along leetle mouse, kick de snow up behin’ you

  For it’s fine winter road we’re travel to-night

Wit’ de moon an’ de star shinin’ up on de sky dere

  W’y it’s almos’ de sam’ as de broad day light.

De bell roun’ your body it’s quick tune dey’re playin’

  But your foot’s kipin’ tam jus’ as steady can be,

Ah! you dance youse’f crazy if only I let you,

  Ma own leetle pony—petite souris.

You ’member w’en firse we be tryin’ for broke you

  An’ Joe Sauvageau bet hees two dollar bill

He can drive you alone by de bridge on de reever

  An’ down near de place w’ere dey got de beeg mill.

An’ it’s new cariole too, is come from St. Felix

  Jo-seph’s only buyin’ it week before,

An’ w’en he is passin’ de road wit’ hees trotter

  Ev’ry body was stan’ on de outside door.

An’ dere he sit, sam’ he don’t care about not’ing

  Hees foot on de dashboar’, hees han’ on de line

Ev’ry dog on de place is come out for barkin’

  An’ all de young boy he was ronnin’ behin’.

Wall! sir, Joe’s put on style leetle soon for hees pleasure

  For w’en de mill w’issle, you jomp lak de cat

An’ nex’ t’ing poor Joe is commencin’ get busy,

  Non! I never see fine run-away lak dat.

’Way go de pony den—’way go de cariole,

  Poor Joe say, “good-bye” on de foot of de hill

An’ all he can see of de sleigh de nex’ morning

  Is jus’ about pay for hees two dollar bill.

Ah! your right nam’ jus’ den should be leetle devil

  An’ not leetle mouse, de sam’ you have now.

Wall! dat’s long ago, an’ you’re gettin’ more quiet

  Since tam you was never done kickin’ de row.

But I’m not very sorry de firse day I see you

  Settle down on de trot lak your fader he get

W’en he beat Sorel Boy on de ice at T’ree Reever

  Bes’ two on t’ree heat, an’ win all de bet.

Your moder she’s come off de Lachapelle stock too

  Ole Canayen blood from Berthier en haut

De bes’ kin’ of horse never look on de halter

  So it isn’t moche wonder you know how to go.

Dat’s church bell we’re off dere on de hillside

  Get along leetle mouse, for we mustn’t be late,

Fin’ your way t’roo de res’ of dem crowdin’ de roadside

  You’ll never get better chance showin’ your gait.

      •      •      •      •      •      •      •

Wall! church is all over, an’ Josephine’s comin’

  For drive wit’ us home on her gran’moder’s house

So tak’ your own tam an’ don’t be on de hurry

  Your slowes’ gait’s quick enough now, leetle mouse.

Strathcona’s Horse
(Dedicated to Lord Strathcona)

O I was thine, and thou wert mine, and ours the boundless plain,

Where the winds of the North, my gallant steed, ruffled thy tawny mane,

But the summons hath come with roll of drum, and bugles ringing shrill,

Startling the prairie antelope, the grizzly of the hill.

’Tis the voice of Empire calling, and the children gather fast

From every land where the cross bar floats out from the quivering mast;

So into the saddle I leap, my own, with bridle swinging free,

And thy hoof-beats shall answer the trumpets blowing across the sea.

Then proudly toss thy head aloft, nor think of the foe to-morrow,

For he who dares to stay our course drinks deep of the Cup of Sorrow.

Thy form hath pressed the meadow’s breast, where the sullen grey wolf hides,

The great red river of the North hath cooled thy burning sides;

Together we’ve slept while the tempest swept the Rockies’ glittering chain;

And many a day the bronze centaur hath galloped behind in vain.

But the sweet wild grass of mountain pass, and the shimmering summer streams

Must vanish forevermore, perchance, into the land of dreams;

For the strong young North hath sent us forth to battlefields far away,

And the trail that ends where Empire trends, is the trail we ride to-day.

But proudly toss thy head aloft, nor think of the foe to-morrow,

For he who bars Strathcona’s Horse, drinks deep of the Cup of Sorrow.

Johnnie’s First Moose

DE cloud is hide de moon, but dere’s plaintee light above,

Steady, Johnnie, steady—kip your head down low,

Move de paddle leetle quicker, an’ de ole canoe we’ll shove

      T’roo de water nice an’ quiet

      For de place we’re goin’ try it

      Is beyon’ de silver birch dere

      You can see it lak a church dere

W’en we’re passin’ on de corner w’ere de lily flower grow.

Wasn’t dat correc’ w’at I’m tolin’ you jus’ now?

Steady, Johnnie, steady—kip your head down low,

Never min’, I’ll watch behin’—me—an’ you can watch de bow

      An’ you’ll see a leetle clearer

      W’en canoe is comin’ nearer—

      Dere she is—now easy, easy,

      For de win’ is gettin’ breezy,

An’ we don’t want not’ing smell us, till de horn begin to blow—

I remember long ago w’en ma fader tak’ me out,

Steady, Johnnie, steady—kip your head down low,

Jus’ de way I’m takin’ you, sir, hello! was dat a shout?

      Seems to me I t’ink I’m hearin’

      Somet’ing stirrin’ on de clearin’

      W’ere it stan’ de lumber shaintee,

If it’s true, den you’ll have plaintee

Work to do in half a minute, if de moose don’t start to go.

An’ now we’re on de shore, let us hide de ole canoe,

Steady, Johnnie, steady—kip your head down low,

An’ lie among de rushes, dat’s bes’ t’ing we can do,

      For de ole boy may be closer

      Dan anybody know, sir,

      An’ look out you don’t be shakin’

      Or de bad shot you’ll be makin’

But I’m feelin’ sam’ way too, me, w’en I was young, also—

You ready for de call? here goes for number wan,

Steady, Johnnie, steady—kip your head down low,

Did you hear how nice I do it, an’ how it travel on

      Till it reach across de reever

      Dat’ll geev’ some moose de fever!

      Wait now, Johnnie, don’t you worry,

      No use bein’ on de hurry,

But lissen for de answer, it’ll come before you know.

For w’y you jomp lak dat? w’at’s matter wit’ your ear?

Steady, Johnnie, steady—kip your head down low—

Tak’ your finger off de trigger, dat was only bird you hear,

      Can’t you tell de pine tree crickin’

      Or de boule frog w’en he’s spikin’?

      Don’t you know de grey owl singin’

      From de beeg moose w’en he’s ringin’

Out hees challenge on de message your ole gran’fader blow?

You’re lucky boy to-night, wit’ hunter man lak me!

Steady, Johnnie, steady—kip your head down low—

Can tole you all about it! H-s-ssh! dat’s somet’ing now I see,

      Dere he’s comin’ t’roo de bushes,

      So get down among de rushes,

      Hear heem walk! I t’ink, by tonder,

      He mus’ go near fourteen honder!

Dat’s de feller I been watchin’ all de evening, I dunno.

I’ll geev’ anoder call, jus’ a leetle wan or two,

Steady, Johnnie, steady—kip your head down low—

W’en he see dere’s no wan waitin’ I wonder w’at he’ll do?

      But look out for here he’s comin’

      Sa-pris-ti! ma heart is drummin’!

      You can never get heem nearer

      An’ de moon is shinin’ clearer,

W’at a fine shot you’ll be havin’! now Johnnie let her go!

Bang! bang! you got heem sure! an’ he’ll never run away

Nor feed among de lily on de shore of Wessonneau,

      So dat’s your firse moose, Johnnie! wall! remember all I say—

      Doesn’t matter w’at you’re chasin’,

      Doesn’t matter w’at you’re facin’,

      Only watch de t’ing you’re doin’

      If you don’t, ba gosh! you’re ruin!

An’ steady, Johnnie, steady—kip your head down low.

The Old Pine Tree
(Dedicated to the St. George Snowshoe Club)

‟LISTEN, my child,” said the old pine tree to the little one nestling near,

“For the storm clouds troop together to-night, and the wind of the north I hear

And perchance there may come some echo of the music of long ago,

The music that rang when the White Host sang, marching across the snow.”

“Up and away Saint George! up thro’ the mountain gorge,

Over the plain where the tempest blows, and the great white flakes are flying

Down the long narrow glen! faster my merry men,

Follow the trail, tho’ the shy moon hides, and deeply the drifts are lying.”

“Ah! mother,” the little pine tree replied, “you are dreaming again to-night

Of ghostly visions and phantom forms that forever mock your sight.

’Tis true the moan of the winter wind comes to my list’ning ear

But the White Host marching, I cannot see, and their music I cannot hear.”

“When the northern skies were all aflame where the trembling banners swung,

When up in the vaulted heavens the moon of the Snow-Shoe hung,

When the hurricane swept the hillside, and the crested drifts ran high

Those were the nights,” said the old pine tree, “the great White Host marched by.”

And the storm grew fiercer, fiercer, and the snow went hissing past,

But the little pine tree still listened, till she heard above the blast

The music her mother loved to hear in the nights of the long ago

And saw in the forest the white-clad Host marching across the snow.

And loud they sang as they tramped along of the glorious bygone days

When valley and hill re-echoed the snow-shoer’s hymn of praise

Till the shy moon gazed down smiling, and the north wind paused to hear

And the old pine tree felt young again as the little one nestling near.

“Up and away Saint George! up thro’ the mountain gorge.

Over the plain where the tempest blows, and the great white flakes are flying.

Down the long narrow glen! faster my merry men.

Follow the trail, tho’ the shy moon hides, and deeply the drifts are lying.”

Little Bateese

YOU bad leetle boy, not moche you care

How busy you’re kipin’ your poor gran’pere

Tryin’ to stop you ev’ry day

Chasin’ de hen aroun’ de hay—

W’y don’t you geev’ dem a chance to lay?

                                  Leetle Bateese!

Off on de fiel’ you foller de plough

Den w’en you’re tire you scare de cow

Sickin’ de dog till dey jomp de wall

So de milk ain’t good for not’ing at all—

An’ you’re only five an’ a half dis fall,

                                  Leetle Bateese!

Too sleepy for sayin’ de prayer to-night?

Never min’ I s’pose it’ll be all right

Say dem to-morrow—ah! dere he go!

Fas’ asleep in a minute or so—

An’ he’ll stay lak dat till de rooster crow,

                                  Leetle Bateese!

Den wake us up right away toute suite

Lookin’ for somet’ing more to eat,

Makin’ me t’ink of dem long leg crane

Soon as dey swaller, dey start again,

I wonder your stomach don’t get no pain,

                                Leetle Bateese!

But see heem now lyin’ dere in bed,

Look at de arm onderneat’ hees head;

If he grow lak dat till he’s twenty year

I bet he’ll be stronger dan Louis Cyr

An’ beat all de voyageurs leevin’ here,

                                Leetle Bateese!

Jus’ feel de muscle along hees back,

Won’t geev’ heem moche bodder for carry pack

On de long portage, any size canoe,

Dere’s not many t’ing dat boy won’t do

For he’s got double-joint on hees body too,

                                Leetle Bateese!

But leetle Bateese! please don’t forget

We rader you’re stayin’ de small boy yet,

So chase de chicken an’ mak’ dem scare

An’ do w’at you lak wit’ your ole gran’pere

For w’en you’re beeg feller he won’t be dere—

                                Leetle Bateese!

Donal’ Campbell

DONAL’ CAMPBELL—Donal’ Bane—sailed away across the ocean

With the tartans of Clan Gordon, to the Indies’ distant shore,

But on Dargai’s lonely hillside, Donal’ Campbell met the foeman,

And the glen of Athol Moray will never see him more!

O! the wailing of the women, O! the storm of bitter sorrow

Sweeping like the wintry torrent thro’ Athol Moray’s glen

When the black word reached the clansmen, that young Donal’ Bane had fallen

In the red glare of the battle, with the gallant Gordon men!

Far from home and native sheiling, with the sun of India o’er him

Blazing down its cruel hatred on the white-faced men below

Stood young Donal’ with his comrades, like the hound of ghostly Fingal

Eager, waiting for the summons to leap upagainst the foe—

Hark! at last! the pipes are pealing out the welcome Caber Feidh

And wild the red blood rushes thro’ every Highland vein

They breathe the breath of battle, the children of the Gael,

And fiercely up the hillside, they charge and charge again—

And the grey eye of the Highlands, now is dark as blackest midnight,

The history of their fathers is written on each face,

Of border creach and foray, of never yielding conflict

Of all the memories shrouding a stern unconquered race!

And up the hillside, up the mountain, while the war-pipes shrilly clamour

Bayonet thrusting, broadsword cleaving, the Northern soldiers fought

Till the sun of India saw them victors o’er the dusky foemen,

For who can stay the Celtic hand when Celtic blood is hot?

But the corse of many a clansman from the far-off Scottish Highlands

’Mid the rocks of savage Dargai is lying cold and still

With the death-dew on its forehead, and young Donal’ Campbell’s tartan

Bears a deeper stain of purple than the heather of the hill!

Mourn him! Mourn him thro’ the mountains, wail him women of Clan Campbell!

Let the Coronach be sounded till it reach the Indian shore

For your beautiful has fallen in the foremost of the battle

And the glen of Athol Moray will never see him more.

The Dublin Fusilier

HERE’S to you, Uncle Kruger! slainté! an’ slainté galore.

You’re a dacint ould man, begorra; never mind if you are a Boer.

So with heart an’ a half ma bouchal, we’ll drink to your health to-night

For yourself an’ your farmer sojers gave us a damn good fight.

I was dramin’ of Kitty Farrell, away in the Gap o’ Dunloe,

When the song of the bugle woke me, ringin’ across Glencoe;

An’ once in a while a bullet came pattherin’ from above,

That tould us the big brown fellows were sendin’ us down their love.

’Twas a kind of an invitation, an’ written in such a han’

That a Chinaman couldn’t refuse it—not to spake of an Irishman.

So the pickets sent back an answer. “We’re comin’ with right good will,”

Along what they call the kopje, tho’ to me it looked more like a hill.

“Fall in on the left,” sez the captain, “my men of the Fusiliers;

You’ll see a great fight this morning—like you haven’t beheld for years.”

“Faith, captain dear,” sez the sergeant, “you can bet your Majuba sword

If the Dutch is as willin’ as we are, you never spoke truer word.”

So we scrambled among the bushes, the bowlders an’ rocks an’ all,

Like the gauger’s men still-huntin’ on the mountains of Donegal;

We doubled an’ turned an’ twisted the same as a hunted hare,

While the big guns peppered each other over us in the air.

Like steam from the divil’s kettle the kopje was bilin’ hot,

For the breeze of the Dutchman’s bullets was the only breeze we got;

An’ many a fine boy stumbled, many a brave lad died,

When the Dutchman’s message caught him there on the mountainside.

Little Nelly O’Brien, God help her! over there at ould Ballybay,

Will wait for a Transvaal letter till her face an’ her hair is grey,

For I seen young Crohoore on a stretcher, an’ I knew the poor boy was gone

When I spoke to the ambulance doctor, an’ he nodded an’ then passed on.

“Steady there!” cried the captain, “we must halt for a moment here.”

An’ he spoke like a man in trainin’, full winded an’ strong an’ clear.

So we threw ourselves down on the kopje, weary an’ tired as death,

Waitin’ the captain’s orders, waitin’ to get a breath.

It’s strange all the humors an’ fancies that comes to a man like me;

But the smoke of the battle risin’ took me across the sea—

It’s the mist of Benbo I’m seein’; an’ the rock that we’ll capture soon

Is the rock where I shot the eagle, when I was a small gossoon.

I close my eyes for a minute, an’ hear my poor mother say,

“Patrick, avick, my darlin’, you’re surely not goin’ away

To join the red-coated sojers?”—but the blood in me was strong—

If your sire was a Connaught Ranger, sure where would his son belong?

Hark! whisht! do you hear the music comin’ up from the camp below?

An’ odd note or two when the Maxims take breath for a second or so,

Liftin’ itself on somehow, stealin’ its way up here,

Knowin’ there’s waitin’ to hear it, many an Irish ear.

Augh! Garryowen! you’re the jewel! an’ we charged on the Dutchman’s guns,

An’ covered the bloody kopje, like a Galway greyhound runs,

At the top of the hill they met us, with faces all set and grim;

But they couldn’t take the bayonet—that’s the trouble with most of thim.

So of course, they’ll be praisin’ the Royals an’ men of the Fusiliers,

An’ the newspapers help to dry up the widows’ an’ orphans’ tears,

An’ they’ll write a new name on the colors—that is, if there’s room for more

An’ we’ll follow them thro’ the battle, the same as we’ve done before.

But here’s to you, Uncle Kruger! slainté! an’ slainté galore.

After all, your’re a dacint Christian, never mind if you are a Boer.

So with heart an’ a half, ma bouchal, we’ll drink to your health to-night,

For yourself an’ your brown-faced Dutchmen gave us a damn good fight.


BORD à Plouffe, Bord à Plouffe,

W’at do I see w’en I dream of you?

A shore w’ere de water is racin’ by,

A small boy lookin’, an’ wonderin’ w’y

He can’t get fedder for goin’ fly

Lak de hawk makin’ ring on de summer sky,

        Dat’s w’at I see.

Bord à Plouffe, Bord à Plouffe,

W’at do I hear w’en I dream of you?

Too many t’ing for sleepin’ well!

De song of de ole tam cariole bell,

De voice of dat girl from Sainte Angèle

(I geev’ her a ring was mark “fidèle”)

          Dat’s w’at I hear.

Bord à Plouffe, Bord à Plouffe,

W’at do I smoke w’en I dream of you?

Havana cigar from across de sea,

An’ get dem for not’ing too? No siree!

Dere’s only wan kin’ of tabac for me.

An’ it grow on de Rivière des Prairies—

          Dat’s w’at I smoke.

Bord à Plouffe, Bord à Plouffe,

How do I feel w’en I t’ink of you?

Sick, sick for de ole place way back dere—

An’ to sleep on ma own leetle room upstair

W’ere de ghos’ on de chimley mak’ me scare

I’d geev’ more monee dan I can spare—

          Dat’s how I feel.

Bord à Plouffe, Bord à Plouffe,

W’at will I do w’en I’m back wit’ you?

I’ll buy de farm of Bonhomme Martel,

Long tam he’s been waitin’ a chance to sell,

Den pass de nex’ morning on Sainte Angèle,

An’ if she’s not marry—dat girl—very well,

          Dat’s w’at I’ll do.

The Old Sexton

I KNOW very well ’twas purty hard case

If dere’s not on de worl’ some beeger place

Dan village of Cote St. Paul,

But we got mebbe sixty-five house or more

Wit’ de blacksmit’ shop an’ two fine store

Not to speak of de church an’ de city hall.

An’ of course on village lak dat you fin’

Some very nice girl if you have a min’

To look aroun’, an’ we got dem too—

But de fines’ of all never wear a ring,

Since firse I’m t’inkin’ of all dem t’ing,

Was daughter of ole Narcisse Beaulieu.

Narcisse he’s bedeau on de beeg church dere,

He also look affer de presbytere,

An’ leev on de house close by,

On Sunday he’s watchin’ de leetle boys,

Stoppin’ dem kickin’ up too much noise,

An’ he bury de peop’ w’en dey’re comin’ die.

So dat’s w’at he do, Narcisse Beaulieu,

An’ it’s not very easy I’m tolin’ you,

But a purty large heavy load,

For on summer de cow she was run aroun’

An’ eat all de flower on de Curé’s groun’

An’ before he can ketch her, p-s-s-t! she’s down de road.

Dat’s not’ing at all, for w’en winter come

Narcisse got plaintee more work ba gum!

Shovellin’ snow till hees back was sore,

Makin’ some track for de horse an’ sleigh,

Kipin’ look out dey don’t run away,

An’ freezin’ outside on de double door.

But w’enever de vault on de church is fill

Wit’ de peop’ was waitin’ down dere ontil

Dey can go on de cimetière,

For fear dem student will come aroun’

An’ tak’ de poor dead folk off to town

Narcisse offen watch for dem all night dere.

An’ de girl Josephine she’s her fader’s pet,

He never see nobody lak her yet,

So w’en he’s goin’ on St. Jerome

For travel about on some leetle tour

An’ lef’ her alone on de house, I’m sure

De house she’s all right w’en he’s comin’ home.

Wall! nearly t’ree year is come an’ go,

De quietes’ year de village know,

For dem student don’t show hees face,

An’ de peop’ is beginnin’ to ax w’at for

Dey’re alway goin’ on Ile Bizard

An’ never pass on our place.

But it’s bully tam for de ole Narcisse,

An’ w’en he’s lettin’ heem go de pries’

For stay away two t’ree day

He t’ink of course it was purty good chance,

So he buy heem new coat an’ pair of pants,

An’ go see hees frien’ noder side de bay.

An’ dat very sam’ night, ba gosh! it seem

De girl’s not dreamin’ some pleasan’ dream

For she visit de worse place never seen

Down on T’ree Reever, an’ near Kebeck

W’ere robber-man’s chokin’ her on de neck—

De poor leetle Josephine!

So she’s risin’ up den and she tak’ de gun

An’ off on de winder she quickly run

For fear she might need a shot

An’ dem student he’s comin’ across de square

Right on de front of de cimetière

An’ carryin’ somet’ing—you know w’at!

So she’s takin’ good aim on de beeges’ man

An’ pull de trigger de hard she can,

An’ he’s yellin’ an’ down he go,

Hees frien’ dey say not’ing, but clear out quick,

Dat’s way Josephine she was playin’ trick

On feller was treatin’ poor dead folk so!

Den she kick up a row an’ begin to feel

Very sorry right off for de boy she keel

An’ de nex’ t’ing she’s startin’ cry

An’ call on her fader an’ moder too,

Poor leetle Josephine Beaulieu,

An’ wishin’ she’d lak to die.

But she didn’t die den, an’ he’s leevin’ yet—

Dat feller was comin’ so near hees deat’—

For she’s nursin’ heem back to life,

Dey’re feexin’ it someway, I dunno how,

But dey’re marry an’ leev’ in de city now

An’ she’s makin’ heem firse class wife.

An’ Narcisse hese’f he was alway say,

“It’s fonny t’ing how it come dat way

But I’m not very sorry at all,

’Course I know ma son he’s not doin’ right,

But man he was haulin’ aroun’ dat night

Is worse ole miser on Cote St. Paul.”

Child Thoughts—Written to Commemorate
the Anniversary of my Brother
Tom’s Birthday

O MEMORY, take my hand to-day

  And lead me thro’ the darkened bridge

Washed by the wild Atlantic spray

  And spanning many a wind-swept ridge

Of sorrow, grief, of love and joy,

  Of youthful hopes and manly fears!

  O! let me cross the bridge of years

And see myself again a boy!

The shadows pass—I see the light,

  O morning light, how clear and strong!

My native skies are smiling bright,

  No more I grope my way along,

It comes, the murmur of the tide

  Upon my ear—I hear the cry

  Of wandering sea birds as they fly

In trooping squadrons far and near.

The breeze that blows o’er Mullaghmore

  I feel against my boyish cheek

The white-walled huts that strew the shore

  From Castlegal to old Belleek,

The fisher folk of Donegal,

  Kindly of heart and strong of arm,

  Who plough the ocean’s treacherous farm,

How plainly I behold them all!

The thrush’s song, the blackbird’s note,

  The wren within the hawthorn hedge,

The robin’s swelling vibrant throat,

  The leveret crouching in the sedge!

In those dear days, ah! what was school?

  When Nature made our pulses thrill!

  The lessons we remember still

Were learnt at Nature’s own footstool!

“The hounds are out! the beagles chase

  Along the slopes of Tawley’s plain!”

I rise and follow in the race

  Till fox, or hare, or both are slain,

With heart ablaze, I loose the reins

  Of all my childish fierce desire,

  My faith! ’tis Ireland plants the fire

And iron in her children’s veins!

The mountain linnet whistles sweet

  Among the gorse of summer-time,

As up the hill with eager feet

  The sun of morning sees me climb

Until at last I sink to rest

  Where heatherbells swing to the tune

  That Benbo breezes softly croon—

A tired child on the mother’s breast!

And now in wisdom’s riper years,

  Ah, wisdom! what a price we pay

Of sorrow, grief, of smiles and tears,

  Before we reach that wiser day!

We meet to greet in joy and mirth

  The white-haired parent of us all

  Our childhood’s memories to recall

And bless the land that gave us birth.

Bateese and his Little Decoys

O I’M very very tire Marie,

  I wonder if I’m able hol’ a gun

An’ me dat’s alway risin’ wit de sun

An’ travel on de water, an’ paddle ma canoe

An’ trap de mink an’ beaver de fall an’ winter t’roo,

But now I t’ink dat fun is gone forever.

Wall! I’m mebbe stayin’ long enough,

  For eighty-four I see it on de spring;

Dough ma fader he was feelin’ purty tough

  An’ at ninety year can do mos’ ev’ry t’ing,

But I never know de feller, don’t care how ole he come,

Dat isn’t sure to t’ink he’s got anoder year, ba gum!

Before he lif’ de anchor for de las’ tam!

It’s not so easy lyin’ on de bed,

  An’ lissen to de wil’ bird on de bay,

Dey know dat poor Bateese is nearly dead,

  Or dey wouldn’t have such good fun ev’ry day!

Put ma gun upon de piller near de winder, jus’ for luck,

Den bring w’ere I can see dem, ma own nice leetle duck

So I have some talk wit’ dem mese’f dis morning.

Ah! dere you’re comin’ now! mes beaux canards!

  Dat’s very pleasan’ day, an’ how you feel?

Of course you dunno w’at I want you for,

  Wall! lately I’ve been t’inkin’ a good deal

Of all de fuss I’m havin’ show you w’at you ought to do

W’en de cole win’ of October de blin’ is blowing t’roo

An’ de bluebill’s flyin’ up an’ down de reever.

O! de bodder I’m havin’ wit’ you all!

  It’s makin’ me feel ole before ma tam!

Stan’ over dere upon de right again de wall,

  Ma-dame Lapointe—I’m geevin’ you Madame

’Cos you walk aroun’ de sam’ way as ma cousin Aurelie

An’ lak youse’f she’s havin’ de large large familee,

Now let us see you don’t forget your lesson!

Qu-a-a-ck! you’re leetle hoarse to-day, don’t you t’ink?

  Quack! quack! quack! dat’s right Mamzelle Louise!

You go lak dat, an’ quicker dan a wink,

  It’ll ring across de lake along de breeze,

Till de wil’ bird dey will lissen up de reever far an’ near,

An’ tole de noder wan too, de musique dey was hear

An’ dey’ll fly aroun’ our head before we know it.

Come here, François, an’ min’ you watch youse’f!

  You can’t forget de las’ day we was out,

Your breat’ dere’s very leetle of it lef’

  An’ I tole you it was better shut your mout’

W’en you start dat fancy yellin’, for it soun’ de sam’ to me

Lak de devil he was goin’ on de beeges’ kin’ of spree,

François! dat’s not de way for mak’ de shootin’!

Wan—two—t’ree,—now let us hear you please,

  It isn’t very hard job if you try,

Purten’ you’re feelin’ lonesome lak Louise

  An’ want to see de sweetheart bimeby,

Quack! quack! quack!

O! stop dat screechin’, don’t never spik no more

For if anyt’ing, sapree, tonnerre! you’re worser dan before,

I wonder w’at you do wit’ all your schoolin’!

Come out from onderneat’ de bed, Lisette,

  I believe you was de fattes’ of de lot;

It’s handy too of course, for you never feel de wet,

  An’ w’en you lak to try it, O! w’at a voice you got!

So let us play it’s blowin’ hard, an’ duck is up de win’

An’ you want to reach dem—sure—now we’re ready for begin,

Hooraw! an’ never min’ de noise dat you’re makin’.

Quack! quack! quack! quack! O! let me tak’ de gun

  For I wouldn’t be astonish w’en Lisette is get de start,

Roun’ de house dey’ll come a-flyin’, an’ den we’ll have de fun!

  Yass, yass, kip up de flappin’, O! ain’t she got de heart!

Not many duck can beat her, an’ I wish I had some more,

Can mak’ de song lak dat upon de water!

Dat’s very funny how it ketch de crowd!

  An’ now dey’re goin’ all de younger wan!

But if you don’t stop singin’ out so loud,

  I’m sorry I mus’ tole you all begone,

’Cos I want to go to sleep, for I’m very, very tire,

An’ de shiver’s comin’ on me! so Marie poke up de fire

An’ mebbe I’ll feel better on de morning.

      •      •      •      •      •      •      •

De leetle duck may call on de spring tam an’ de fall

W’en dey see de wil’ bird flyin’ on de air

Dey may cry aroun’ hees door, but he’ll never come no more

For showin’ dem de lesson! ole Jean Bateese Belair.

Phil-o-Rum’s Canoe

‟O MA ole canoe! w’at’s matter wit’ you, an’ w’y was you be so slow?

Don’t I work hard enough on de paddle, an’ still you don’t seem to go—

No win’ at all on de fronte side, an’ current she don’t be strong,

Den w’y are you lak lazy feller, too sleepy for move along?

“I ’member de tam w’en you jomp de sam’ as deer wit’ de wolf behin’

An’ brochet on de top de water, you scare heem mos’ off hees min’;

But fish don’t care for you now at all, only jus’ mebbe wink de eye,

For he know it’s easy git out de way w’en you was a passin’ by.”

I’m spikin’ dis way jus’ de oder day w’en I’m out wit’ de ole canoe,

Crossin’ de point w’ere I see las’ fall wan very beeg caribou,

W’en somebody say, “Phil-o-rum, mon vieux, wat’s matter wit’ you youse’f?”

An’ who do you s’pose was talkin’? w’y de poor ole canoe shese’f.

O yass, I’m scare w’en I’m sittin’ dere, an’ she’s callin’ ma nam’ dat way:

“Phil-o-rum Juneau, w’y you spik so moche, you’re off on de head to-day

Can’t be you forget ole feller, you an’ me we’re not too young,

An’ if I’m lookin’ so ole lak you, I t’ink I will close ma tongue.

“You should feel ashame; for you’re alway blame, w’en it isn’t ma fault at all

For I’m tryin’ to do bes’ I can for you on summer-tam, spring, an’ fall.

How offen you drown on de reever if I’m not lookin’ out for you

W’en you’re takin’ too moche on de w’isky some night comin’ down de Soo.

“De firse tam we go on de Wessoneau no feller can beat us den,

For you’re purty strong man wit’ de paddle, but dat’s long ago ma frien’,

An’ win’ she can blow off de mountain, an’ tonder an’ rain may come,

But camp see us bote on de evening—you know dat was true Phil-o-rum.

“An’ who’s your horse too, but your ole canoe, an’ w’en you feel cole an’ wet

Who was your house w’en I’m upside down an’ onder de roof you get,

Wit’ rain ronnin’ down ma back, Baptême! till I’m gettin’ de rheumateez,

An’ I never say not’ing at all, moi-même, but let you do jus’ you please.

“You t’ink it was right, kip me out all night on reever side down below,

An’ even ‘Bon Soir’ you was never say, but off on de camp you go

Leffin’ your poor ole canoe behin’ lyin’ dere on de groun’

Watchin’ de moon on de water, an’ de bat flyin’ all aroun’.

“O! dat’s lonesome t’ing hear de grey owl sing up on de beeg pine tree

An’ many long night she kip me awake till sun on de eas’ I see,

An’ den you come down on de morning for start on some more voyage.

An’ only t’ing decen’ you do all day is carry me on portage.

“Dat’s way Phil-o-rum, rheumateez she come, wit’ pain ronnin’ t’roo ma side

Wan leetle hole here, noder beeg wan dere, dat not’ing can never hide;

Don’t do any good fix me up agen, no matter how moche you try,

For w’en we come ole an’ our work she’s done, bote man an’ canoe mus’ die.”

Wall! she talk dat way mebbe mos’ de day, till we’re passin’ some beaver dam

An’ wan de young beaver he’s mak’ hees tail come down on de water flam!

I never see de canoe so scare, she jomp nearly two, t’ree feet

I t’ink she was goin’ for ronne away, an’ she shut up de mout’ toute suite.

It mak’ me feel queer, de strange t’ing I hear, an’ I’m glad she don’t spik no more,

But soon as we fin’ ourse’f arrive over dere on de noder shore

I tak’ dat canoe lak de lady, an’ carry her off wit’ me,

For I’m sorry de way I treat her, an’ she know more dan me, sapree!

Yass! dat’s smart canoe, an’ I know it’s true, w’at she’s spikin’ wit’ me dat day,

I’m not de young feller I use to be w’en work she was only play;

An’ I know I was comin’ closer on place w’ere I mus’ tak’ care

W’ere de mos’ worse current’s de las’ wan too, de current of Dead Riviere.

You can only steer, an’ if rock be near, wit’ wave dashin’ all aroun’,

Better mak’ leetle prayer, for on Dead Riviere some very smart man get drown;

But if you be locky an’ watch youse’f, mebbe reever won’t seem so wide,

An’ firse t’ing you know you’ll ronne ashore, safe on de noder side.

The Log Jam

DERE’S a beeg jam up de reever, w’ere rapide is runnin’ fas’,

  An’ de log we cut las’ winter is takin’ it all de room;

So boss of de gang is swearin’, for not’ing at all can pass

  An’ float away down de current till somebody break de boom.

“Here’s for de man will tak’ de job, holiday for a week

  Extra monee w’en pay day come, an’ ten dollar suit of clothes.

’Tisn’t so hard work run de log, if only you do it quick—

  W’ere’s de man of de gang den is ready to say, ‘Here goes?’ ”

Dere was de job for a feller, handy an’ young an’ smart,

  Willin’ to tak’ hees chances, willin’ to risk hees life.

’Cos many a t’ing is safer, dan tryin’ de boom to start,

  For if de log wance ketch you, dey’re cuttin’ you lak a knife.

Aleck Lachance he lissen, an’ answer heem right away

  “Marie Louise dat’s leevin’ off on de shore close by

She’s sayin’ de word was mak’ me mos’ happies’ man to-day

  An’ if you ax de reason I’m ready to go, dat’s w’y.”

Pierre Delorme he’s spikin’ den, an’ O! but he’s lookin’ glad.

  “Dis morning de sam’ girl tole me, she mus’ say to me, ‘Good-bye Pierre.’

So no wan can stop me goin’, for I feel I was comin’ mad

  An’ wedder I see to-morrow, dat’s not’ing, for I don’t care.”

Aleck Lachance was steady, he’s bully boy all aroun’,

  Alway sendin’ de monee to hees moder away below,

Now an’ den savin’ a leetle for buyin’ de house an’ groun’,

  An’ never done t’inkin’, t’inkin’ of Marie Louise Lebeau.

Pierre was a half-breed feller, we call heem de grand Nor’ Wes’—

  Dat is de place he’s leevin’ w’en he work for de Compagnie,

Dey say he’s marry de squaw dere, never min’ about all de res’—

  An’ affer he get hees monee, he’s de boy for de jamboree!

Ev’ry wan start off cheerin’ w’en dey pass on de log out dere

  Jompin’ about lak monkey, Aleck an’ Pierre Delorme.

Workin’ de sam’ as twenty, an’ runnin’ off ev’ryw’ere,

  An’ busy on all de places, lak beaver before de storm.

Den we hear some wan shoutin’, an’ dere was dat crazy girl,

  Marie Louise, on de hillside, cryin’ an’ raisin’ row.

Couldn’t do not’ing worser! mos’ foolish t’ing on de worl’

  For Pierre Delorme an’ Aleck wasn’t workin’ upon de scow.


Bote of dem turn aroun’ dere w’en girl is commencin’ cry,

  Lak woman I wance remember, got los’ on de bush t’ree day,

“Look how de log is movin’! I’m seein’ it wit’ ma eye,

  Come back out of all dem danger!” an’ den she was faint away.

Ten year I been reever driver, an’ mebbe know something too,

  An’ dere wasn’t a man don’t watch for de minute dem log she go;

But never a word from de boss dere, stannin’ wit’ all hees crew,

  So how she can see dem movin’ don’t ax me, for I dunno.

Hitch dem all up togeder, t’ousan’ horse crazy mad—

  Only a couple of feller for han’le dem ev’ry wan,

Scare dem wit’ t’onder, an’ lightning, an’ den ’tisn’t half so bad

  As log runnin’ down de rapide, affer de boom she’s gone.

See dem nex’ day on de basin, you t’ink dey was t’roo de fight

  Cut wit’ de sword an’ bullet, lyin’ along de shore

You’d pity de log, I’m sure, an’ say ’twas terrible sight

  But man goin’ t’roo de sam’ t’ing, you’d pity dat man some more.

An’ Pierre w’en he see dem goin’ an’ log jompin’ up an’ down

  De sign of de cross he’s makin’ an’ drive on de water dere,

He know it’s all up hees chances, an’ he rader be goin’ drown

  Dan ketch by de rollin’ timber, an’ dat’s how he go, poor Pierre.


Aleck’s red shirt is blazin’ off w’ere we hear de log

  Crackin’ away an’ bangin’, sam’ as a honder gun,

Lak’ sun on de morning tryin’ to peep t’roo de reever fog—

  But Aleck’s red shirt is redder dan ever I see de sun.

An’ w’en dey’re tryin’ wake her: Marie Louise Lebeau,

  On her neck dey fin’ a locket, she’s kipin’ so nice an’ warm,

An’ dey’re tolin’ de funny story, de funnies’ I dunno—

  For de face, Baptême! dey see dere, was de half-breed Pierre Delorme!

The Canadian Magpie

MOS’ ev’rywan lak de robin

  An’ it’s pleasan’ for hear heem sing,

Affer de winter’s over

  An’ it’s comin’ anoder spring.

De snow’s hardly off de mountain

  An’ it’s cole too among de pine

But you know w’en he sing, de sout’ win’

  Is crowdin’ heem close behin’.

An’ mebbe you hear de grosbec

  Sittin’ above de nes’—

An’ you see by de way he’s goin’

  De ole man’s doin’ hees bes’

Makin’ de wife an’ baby

  Happy as dey can be—

An’ proud he was come de fader

  Such fine leetle familee.

De gouglou of course he’s nicer

  Dan many de bird dat fly,

Dunno w’at we do widout heem,

  But offen I wonder w’y

He can’t stay quiet a minute

  Lak res’ of de small oiseaux

An’ finish de song he’s startin’

  Till whish! an’ away he go!

Got not’ing to say agen dem,

  De gouglou an’ all de res’—

’Cept only dey lak de comfort,

  An’ come w’en it suit dem bes’—

For soon as de summer’s passin’

  An’ leaf is begin to fall—

You’ll walk t’roo de wood an’ medder

  An’ never hear wan bird call.

But come wit’ me on de winter

  On place w’ere de beeg tree grow

De smoke of de log house chimley

  Will tole you de way to go—

An’ if you’re not too unlucky

  De w’isky jack dere you’ll see

Flyin’ aroun’ de shaintee

  An’ dat was de bird for me.

You’ll mebbe not lak hees singin’

  Dough it’s better dan not’ing too,

For affer he do hees bes’, den

  W’at more can poor Johnnie do?

It’s easy job sing on summer

  De sam’ as de rossignol—

But out of door on de winter

  Jus’ try it youse’f—dat’s all.

See heem dere, now he’s comin’

  Hoppin’ an’ hoppin’ aroun’

W’en we start on de morning early

  For work till de sun go down—

T’row heem hees piece of breakfas’

  An’ hear heem say “merci bien,”

For he’s fond of de pork, ba golly!

  Sam’ as de Canayen.

  De noise of de axe don’t scare heem

He stay wit’ us all de day,

  An’ w’en he was feelin’ lak’ it

    Ride home wit’ de horse an’ sleigh

  Den affer we reach de shaintee

    He’s waitin’ to see us back

  Jompin’ upon de log dere

    Good leetle w’isky jack!

So here’s to de bird of winter

  Wearin’ de coonskin coat,

W’enever it’s bird election

  You bet he can get ma vote—

Dat’s way I be feel about it,

  Voyageurs let her go today!

W’isky jack, get ready, we drink you

  Toujours à vot’ bonne santé!


The Red Canoe

DE win’ is sleepin’ in de pine, but O! de night is black!

An’ all day long de loon bird cry on Lac Wayagamack—

No light is shinin’ by de shore for helpin’ steer heem t’roo

W’en out upon de night, Ubalde he tak’ de red canoe.

I hear de paddle dip, dip, dip! wance more I hear de loon—

I feel de breeze was show de way for storm dat’s comin’ soon,

An’ den de sky fly open wit’ de lightning splittin’ t’roo—

An’ ’way beyon’ de point I see de leetle red canoe.

It’s dark again, but lissen how across Wayagamack

De tonder’s roarin’ loud, an’ now de mountains answer back—

I wonder wit’ de noise lak dat, he hear me, le bon Dieu

W’en on ma knee I ax Heem save de leetle red canoe!

Is dat a voice, so far away, it die upon ma ear?

Or only win’ was foolin’ me, an’ w’isperin’ “Belzemire”?

Yaas, yaas, Ubalde, your Belzemire she’s prayin’ hard for you—

An’ den again de lightning come, but w’ere’s de red canoe?

      •      •      •      •      •      •      •

Dey say I’m mad, dem foolish folk, ’cos w’en de night is black

An’ w’en de wave lak snow-dreef come on Lac Wayagamack

I tak’ de place w’ere long ago we use to sit, us two,

An’ wait until de lightning bring de leetle red canoe.

Two Hundred Years Ago

TWO honder year ago, de worl’ is purty slow

  Even folk upon dis contree’s not so smart,

Den who is travel roun’ an’ look out de pleasan’ groun’

  For geev’ de Yankee peop’ a leetle start?

I’ll tole you who dey were! de beeg rough voyageurs,

Wit’ deir cousin w’at you call coureurs de bois,

Dat’s fightin’ all de tam, an’ never care a dam,

An’ ev’ry wan dem feller he’s come from Canadaw


He’s comin’ all de way from Canadaw.

But He watch dem, le bon Dieu, for He’s got some work to do,

  An’ He won’t trus’ ev’ry body, no siree!

Only full blood Canadien, lak Marquette an’ Hennepin,

  An’ w’at you t’ink of Louis Verandrye?

On church of Bonsecours! makin’ ready for de tour,

See dem down upon de knee, all prayin’ dere—

Wit’ de paddle on de han’ ev’ry good Canadien man,

An’ affer dey be finish, hooraw for anyw’ere.

                  Yass, sir!

Dey’re ready now for goin’ anyw’ere.

De nort’ win’ know dem well, an’ de prairie grass can tell

  How offen it is trample by de ole tam botte sauvage—

An’ grey wolf on hees den kip very quiet, w’en

  He hear dem boy a’ singin’ upon de long portage.

An’ de night would fin’ dem lie wit’ deir faces on de sky,

An’ de breeze would come an’ w’isper on deir ear

’Bout de wife an’ sweetheart dere on Sorel an’ Trois Rivieres

Dey may never leev’ to see anoder year,

                  Dat’s true,

Dey may never leev’ to kiss anoder year.

An’ you’ll know de place dey go, from de canyon down below,

  Or de mountain wit’ hees nose above de cloud,

De lake among de hill, w’ere de grizzly drink hees fill

  Or de rapid on de reever roarin’ loud;

Ax de wil’ deer if de flash of de ole Tree Reever sash

He don’t see it on de woods of Illinois

An’ de musk ox as he go, w’ere de camp fire melt de snow,

De smell he still remember of tabac Canadien

                  Ha! Ha!

It’s hard forgettin’ smell of tabac Canadien!

So, ma frien’, de Yankee man, he mus’ try an’ understan’

  W’en he holler for dat flag de Star an’ Stripe,

If he’s leetle win’ still lef’, an’ no danger hurt hese’f,

Den he better geev’ anoder cheer, ba cripe!

  For de flag of la belle France, dat show de way across

From Louisbourg to Florida an’ back;

So raise it ev’ryw’ere, lak’ de ole tam voyageurs,

W’en you hear of de la Salle an’ Cadillac—


For de flag of de la Salle an’ Cadillac.

The Voyageur

DERE’S somet’ing stirrin’ ma blood to-night,

  On de night of de young new year,

W’ile de camp is warm an’ de fire is bright,

  An’ de bottle is close at han’—

Out on de reever de nort’ win’ blow,

Down on de valley is pile de snow,

But w’at do we care so long we know

  We’re safe on de log cabane?

Drink to de healt’ of your wife an’ girl,

  Anoder wan for your frien’,

Den geev’ me a chance, for on all de worl’

  I’ve not many frien’ to spare—

I’m born, w’ere de mountain scrape de sky,

An’ bone of ma fader an’ moder lie,

So I fill de glass an’ I raise it high

  An’ drink to de Voyageur.

For dis is de night of de jour de l’an,*

  W’en de man of de Grand Nor’ Wes’

T’ink of hees home on de St. Laurent,

  An’ frien’ he may never see—

Gone he is now, an’ de beeg canoe

No more you’ll see wit’ de red-shirt crew,

But long as he leev’ he was alway true,

  So we’ll drink to hees memory.

Ax’ heem de nort’ win’ w’at he see

  Of de Voyageur long ago,

An’ he’ll say to you w’at he say to me,

  So lissen hees story well—

“I see de track of hees botte sau-vage

On many a hill an’ long portage

Far, far away from hees own vill-age

  An’ soun’ of de parish bell—

“I never can play on de Hudson Bay

Or mountain dat lie between

But I meet heem singin’ hees lonely way

  De happies’ man I know—

I cool hees face as he’s sleepin’ dere

Under de star of de Red Rivière,

An’ off on de home of de great w’ite bear,

  I’m seein’ hees dog traineau.

“De woman an’ chil’ren’s runnin’ out

  On de wigwam of de Cree—

De leetle papoose dey laugh an’ shout

  W’en de soun’ of hees voice dey hear—

De oldes’ warrior of de Sioux

Kill hese’f dancin’ de w’ole night t’roo,

An’ de Blackfoot girl remember too

  De ole tam Voyageur.

“De blaze of hees camp on de snow I see,

  An’ I lissen hees ‘En Roulant’

On de lan’ w’ere de reindeer travel free,

  Ringin’ out strong an’ clear—

Offen de grey wolf sit before

De light is come from hees open door,

An’ caribou foller along de shore

  De song of de Voyageur.

“If he only kip goin’, de red ceinture,§

  I’d see it upon de Pole

Some mornin’ I’m startin’ upon de tour

  For blowin’ de worl’ aroun’—

But w’erever he sail an’ w’erever he ride,

De trail is long an’ de trail is wide,

An’ city an’ town on ev’ry side

  Can tell of hees campin’ groun’.”

So dat’s de reason I drink to-night

  To de man of de Grand Nor’ Wes’,

For hees heart was young, an’ hees heart was light

  So long as he’s leevin’ dere—

I’m proud of de sam’ blood in my vein

I’m a son of de Nort’ Win’ wance again—

So we’ll fill her up till de bottle’s drain

  An’ drink to de Voyageur.

New Year’s Day.

Indian boot.


Canadian sash.

Bruno the Hunter

YOU never hear tell, Marie, ma femme,

  Of Bruno de hunter man,

Wit’ hees wild dogs chasin’ de moose an’ deer,

Every day on de long, long year,

Off on de hillside far an’ near,

  An’ down on de beeg savane?

Not’ing can leev’ on de woods, Marie,

  W’en Bruno is on de track,

An’ young caribou, an’ leetle red doe

Wit’ baby to come on de spring, dey know

De pity dey get w’en hees bugle blow

  An’ de black dogs answer back.

No bird on de branch can finish hees song,

  De squirrel no longer play—

De leaf on de maple don’t need to wait

Till fros’ of October is at de gate

’Fore de blood drops come: an’ de fox sleeps late

  W’en Bruno is pass dat way.

So de devil ketch heem of course at las’

  Dat’s w’at de ole folk say,

An’ spik to heem, “Bruno, w’at for you kill

De moose an’ caribou of de hill

An’ fill de woods wit’ deir blood until

  You could run a mill night an’ day?

“Mebbe you lak to be moose youse’f,

  An’ see how de hunter go,

So I’ll change your dogs into loup garou,*

An’ wance on de year dey’ll be chasin’ you—

An’ res’ of de tam w’en de sport is t’roo,

  You’ll pass wit’ me down below.”

An’ dis is de night of de year, Marie,

  Bruno de hunter wake:

Soon as de great beeg tonder cloud

Up on de mountain’s roarin’ loud—

He’ll come from hees grave w’ere de pine tree crowd

  De shore of de leetle lake.

You see de lightning zig, zig, Marie,

  Spittin’ lak’ loup cervier,

Ketch on de trap? Oh! it won’t be long

Till mebbe you lissen anoder song,

For de sky is dark an’ de win’ is strong,

  An’ de chase isn’t far away.

W’y shiver so moche, Marie, ma femme,

  For de log is burnin’ bright?

Ah! dere she’s goin’, “Hulloo! Hulloo!”

  An’ oh! how de tonder is roarin’ too!

But it can’t drown de cry of de loup garou

  On Bruno de hunter’s night.

Over de mountain an’ t’roo de swamp,

  Don’t matter how far or near,

Every place hees moccasin know

Bruno de hunter he’s got to go

’Fore de grave on de leetle lake below

  Close up for anoder year.

But dey say de ole feller watch all night,

  So you needn’t be scare, Marie,

For he’ll never stir from de rocky cave

W’ere door only open beneat’ de wave,

Till Bruno come back to hees lonely grave—

  An’ de devil he turn de key.

Dat’s way for punish de hunter man

  W’en murder is on hees min’—

So he better stop w’ile de work is new,

Or mebbe de devil will ketch heem too,

An’ chase heem aroun’ wit’ de loup garou

  Gallopin’ close behin’.

Were wolf.



MA fader he spik to me long ago,

  “Alphonse, it is better go leetle slow

Don’t put on de style if you can’t afford,

But satisfy be wit’ your bed an’ board.

De bear wit’ hees head too high alway,

  Know not’ing at all till de trap go smash.

An’ mooshrat dat’s swimmin’ so proud to-day

  Very offen to-morrow is on de hash.”*

Edouard de Seven of Angleterre,

  An’ few oder place beside,

He’s got de horse an’ de carriage dere

  W’enever he want to ride.

Wit’ sojer in front to clear de way,

Sojer behin’ all dress so gay,

Ev’rywan makin’ de grand salaam,

An’ plaintee o’ ban’ playin’ all de tam.

Edouard de Seven of Angleterre,

  All he has got to do,

W’en he’s crossin’ de sea, don’t matter w’ere,

  Is call for de ship an’ crew.

Den hois’ de anchor from down below,

Vive le Roi! an’ away she go,

An’ flag overhead, w’en dey see dat sight

W’ere is de nation don’t be polite?

An’ dere’s de boss of United State,

  An’ w’at dey call Philippine—

De Yankee t’ink he was somet’ing great,

  An’ beeg as de king or queen—

So dey geev’ heem a house near touch de sky,

An’ paint it so w’ite it was blin’ de eye

An’ long as he’s dere beginnin’ to en’,

Don’t cos’ heem not’ing for treat hees frien’.

So dere’s two feller, Edouard de King

  An’ Teddy Roos-vel’ also,

No wonder dey’re proud, for dey got few t’ing

  Was helpin’ dem mak’ de show—

But oh! ma Gosh! w’en you talk of pride

An’ w’at dey call style, an’ puttin’ on side,

W’ere is de man can go before

De pig-sticker champion of Ste. Flore?

Use to be nice man too, dey say,

  Jeremie Bonami,

Talk wit’ hees frien’ in a frien’ly way

  Sam’ as you’ se’f an’ me—

Of course it’s purty beeg job he got,

An’ no wan expec’ heem talk a lot,

But still wouldn’t hurt very moche, I’m sure,

If wance in a w’ile he’d say, “Bonjour.”

Yi! Yi! to see heem come down de hill

  Some mornin’ upon de fall,

W’en de pig is fat an’ ready to kill,

  He don’t know hees frien’ at all—

Look at hees face an’ it seem to say,

“Important duty I got to-day,

Killin’ de pig on de contree side,—

Isn’t dat some reason for leetle pride?”

Lissen de small boy how dey shout

  W’en Jeremie’s marchin’ t’roo

De market place wit’ hees cane feex out

  Wit’ ribbon red, w’ite, an’ blue—

An’ den he jomp on de butcher’s block,

An’ affer de crowd is stop deir talk,

An’ leetle boy holler no more “Hooray,”

Dis is de word Jeremie he say—

“I’m de only man on de w’ole Ste. Flore

  Can kill heem de pig jus’ right,

Please t’ink of dat, an’ furdermore

  Don’t matter it’s day or night,

Can do it less tam, five dollar I bet,

Dan any pig-sticker you can get

From de w’ole of de worl’ to w’ere I leev’—

Will somebody help to roll up ma sleeve?

“Some feller challenge jus’ here an’ dere,

  An’ more on deir own contree,

But me—I challenge dem ev’ryw’ere

  All over de worl’—sapree!

To geev’ dem a chance, for dere might be some

  Beeg feller, for all I know,

But if dey’re ready, wall! let dem come,

  An’ me—I’m geevin’ dem plaintee show.”

Challenge lak dat twenty year or more

  He’s makin’ it ev’ry fall,

But never a pig-sticker come Ste. Flore

  ’Cos Jeremie scare dem all—

No wonder it’s makin’ heem feel so proud,

  Even Emperor Germanie

Can’t put on de style or talk more loud

  Dan Jeremie Bonami.

But Jeremie’s day can’t las’ alway,

  An’ so he commence to go

W’en he jomp on de block again an’ say

  To de crowd stannin’ dere below,

“Lissen, ma frien’, to de word I spik,

For I’m tire of de challenge until I’m sick,

Can’t say, but mebbe I’ll talk no more

For glory an’ honor of ole Ste. Flore.

“I got some trouble aroun’ ma place

  Wit’ ma nice leetle girl Rosine,

An’ I see w’en I’m lookin’ on all de face,

  You’re knowin’ jus’ w’at I mean—

Very easy to talk, but w’en dey come

For seein’ her twenty young man ba Gum!

I tole you ma’ frien’, it was purty tough,

’Sides wan chance in twenty is not enough—

“Now lissen to me, all you young man

  Is wantin’ ma girl Rosine—

I offer a chance an’ you’ll understan’

  It’s bes’ you was never seen—

T’ree minute start I’ll geev’—no more—

An’ if any young feller upon Ste. Flore

Can beat me stickin’ de pig nex’ fall,

Let heem marry ma girl Rosine—dat’s all.”

All right—an’ very nex’ week he start,

  De smartes’ boy of de lot—

An’ he’s lovin’ Rosine wit’ all hees heart,

  De young Adelard Marcotte—

Don’t say very moche about w’ere he go,

But I t’ink mese’f it was Buffalo—

An’ plaintee more place on de State dat’s beeg

W’ere he don’t do not’ing but stick de pig.

So of course he’s pickin’ de fancy trick

  An’ ev’ryt’ing else dey got—

Work over tam—but he got homesick

  De young Adelard Marcotte

Jus’ about tam’ w’en de fall come along—

So den he wissle hees leetle song

An’ buy tiquette for de ole Ste. Flore,

An’ back on de village he come some more.

Ho! Ho! ma Jeremie Bonami,

  Get ready you’ se’f to-day,

For you got beeg job you was never see

  Will tak’ all your breat’ away—

“Come on! come on!” dey be shoutin’ loud,

De Bishop hese’f couldn’t draw de crowd

Of folk on de parish for mile aroun’,

Till dey couldn’t fin’ place upon de groun’.

Hi! Hi! Jeremie, you may sweat an’ swear,

 Your tam is arrive at las’—

Dere’s no use pullin’ out all your hair

  Or drinkin’ de w’isky glass—

Spit on your han’ or hitch de pants—

You’ll never have anyt’ing lak a chance,

Hooraw! Hooraw! let her go wance more,

An’ Adelard’s champion of all Ste. Flore!

“Away on de pump!” de crowd is yell,

  “No use for heem goin’ die.”

Dey nearly drown Jeremie on de well

  But he’s comin’ roun’ bimeby

Rosine dat’s laughin’ away all day

Is startin’ to cry, an’ den she say—

“O fader dear, won’t you geev’ me kiss

For I never s’pose it would come to dis?

“Don’t blame de boy over dere, ’twas me

  Dat sen’ away Adelard—

He’s sorry for beat you, I’m sure, bâ oui,

  An’ dat’s w’at I’m crying for—

’Cos it’s all ma fault you was lick to-day,

Don’t care w’at anywan else can say—

But remember too, an’ you’ll not forget

De championship’s still on de familee yet.”

                An’ de ole man smile.

Old proverb of Ste. Flore.

Dieudonné (God-Given)

IF I sole ma ole blind trotter for fifty dollar cash

  Or win de beeges’ prize on lotterie,

If some good frien’ die an’ lef’ me fines’ house on St. Eustache,

  You t’ink I feel more happy dan I be?

No, sir! An’ I can tole you, if you never know before,

  W’y de kettle on de stove mak’ such a fuss,

W’y de robin stop hees singin’ an’ come peekin’ t’roo de door

  For learn about de nice t’ing’s come to us—

An’ w’en he see de baby lyin’ dere upon de bed

  Lak leetle Son of Mary on de ole tam long ago—

Wit’ de sunshine an’ de shadder makin’ ring aroun’ hees head,

  No wonder M’sieu Robin wissle low.

An’ we can’t help feelin’ glad too, so we call heem Dieudonné;

  An’ he never cry, dat baby, w’en he’s chrissen by de pries’

All de sam’ I bet you dollar he’ll waken up some day,

  An’ be as bad as leetle boy Bateese.

The Devil

ALONG de road from Bord à Plouffe

  To Kaz-a-baz-u-a

W’ere poplar trees lak sojers stan’,

An’ all de lan’ is pleasan’ lan’,

In off de road dere leev’s a man

  Call Louis Desjardins.

An’ Louis, w’en he firse begin

  To work hees leetle place,

He work so hard de neighbors say,

“Unless he tak’s de easy way

Dat feller’s sure to die some day,

  We see it on hees face.”

’Twas lak a swamp, de farm he got,

  De water ev’ryw’ere—

Might drain her off as tight as a drum.

An’ back dat water is boun’ to come

In less ’n a day or two—ba Gum!

  ’Twould mak’ de angel swear.

So Louis t’ink of de bimeby,

  If he leev’ so long as dat,

W’en he’s ole an’ blin’ an’ mebbe deaf,

All alone on de house hese’f,

No frien’, no money, no not’ing lef’,

  An’ poor—can’t kip a cat.

So wan of de night on winter tam,

  W’en Louis is on hees bed,

He say out loud lak a crazy man,

“I’m sick of tryin’ to clear dis lan’,

Work any harder I can’t stan’,

  Or it will kill me dead.

“Now if de devil would show hese’f

  An’ say to me, ‘Tiens! Louis!

Hard tam an’ work she’s at an’ en’,

You’ll leev’ lak a Grand Seigneur ma frien’,

If only you’ll be ready w’en

  I want you to come wit’ me.’

“I’d say, ‘Yass, yass—’ maudit! w’at’s dat?”

  An’ he see de devil dere—

Brimstone, ev’ryt’ing bad dat smell,

You know right away he’s come from—well,

De place I never was care to tell—

  An’ wearin’ hees long black hair,

Lak election man, de kin’ I mean

  You see aroun’ church door,

Spreadin’ hese’f on great beeg speech

’Bout poor man’s goin’ some day be reech,

But dat’s w’ere it alway come de heetch,

  For poor man’s alway poor.

De only diff’rence—me—I see

  ’Tween devil an’ long-hair man

It’s hard to say, but I know it’s true,

W’en devil promise a t’ing to do

Dere’s no mistak’, he kip it too—

  I hope you understan’.

So de devil spik, “You’re not content,

  An’ want to be reech, Louis—

All right, you’ll have plaintee, never fear

No wan can beat you far an’ near,

An’ I’ll leave you alone for t’orty year,

  An’ den you will come wit’ me.

“Be careful now—it’s beeg contrac’,

  So mebbe it’s bes’ go slow;

For me—de promise I mak’ to you

Is good as de bank Rivière du Loup

For you—w’enever de tam is due,

  Ba tonder! you got to go.”

Louis try hard to tak’ hees tam

  But w’en he see de fall

Comin’ along in a week or so,

All aroun’ heem de rain an’ snow

An’ pork on de bar’l runnin’ low,

  He don’t feel good at all.

An’ w’en he t’ink of de swampy farm

  An’ gettin’ up winter night,

Watchin’ de stove if de win’ get higher

For fear de chimley go on fire,

It’s makin’ poor Louis feel so tire

  He tell de devil, “All right.”

“Correct,” dat feller say right away,

  “I’ll only say, Au revoir,”

An’ out of de winder he’s goin’ pouf!

Beeg nose, long hair, short tail, an’ hoof

Off on de road to Bord à Plouffe

  Crossin’ de reever dere.

W’en Louis get up nex’ day, ma frien’,

  Dere’s lot of devil sign—

Bar’l o’ pork an’ keg o’ rye,

Bag o’ potato ten foot high,

Pile o’ wood nearly touch de sky,

  Was some o’ de t’ing he fin’.

Suit o’ clothes would have cos’ a lot

  An’ ev’ryt’ing I dunno,

Trotter horse w’en he want to ride

Eatin’ away on de barn outside,

Stan’ all day if he’s never tied,

  An’ watch an’ chain also.

An’ swamp dat’s bodder heem many tam,

  W’ere is dat swamp to-day?

Don’t care if you’re huntin’ up an’ down

You won’t fin’ not’ing but medder groun’,

An’ affer de summer come aroun’

  W’ere can you see such hay?

Wall! de year go by, an’ Louis leev’

  Widout no work to do,

Rise w’en he lak on winter day,

Fin’ all de snow is clear away,

No fuss, no not’ing, dere’s de sleigh

  An’ trotter waitin’ too.

W’en t’orty year is nearly t’roo

  An’ devil’s not come back

’Course Louis say, “Wall! he forget

Or t’ink de tam’s not finish yet;

I’ll tak’ ma chance an’ never fret,”

  But dat’s w’ere he mak’ mistak’.

For on a dark an’ stormy night

  W’en Louis is sittin’ dere,

Affer he fassen up de door

De devil come as he come before,

Lookin’ de sam’ only leetle more,

  For takin’ heem—you know w’ere.

“Asseyez vous, sit down, ma frien’,

  Bad night be on de road;

You come long way an’ should be tire—

Jus’ wait an’ mebbe I feex de fire—

Tak’ off your clothes for mak’ dem drier,

  Dey mus’ be heavy load.”

Dat’s how poor Louis Desjardins

  Talk to de devil, sir—

Den say, “Try leetle w’isky blanc,

Dey’re makin’ it back on St. Laurent—

It’s good for night dat’s cole an’ raw,”

  But devil never stir,

Until he smell de smell dat come

  W’en Louis mak’ it hot

Wit’ sugar, spice, an’ ev’ryt’ing,

Enough to mak’ a man’s head sing—

For winter, summer, fall an’ spring—

  It’s very bes’ t’ing we got.

An’ so de devil can’t refuse

  To try de w’isky blanc,

An’ say, “I’m tryin, many drink,

An’ dis is de fines’ I don’t t’ink,

De firse, ba tonder! mak’ me wink—

  Hooraw, pour Canadaw!”

“Merci—non, non—I tak’ no more,”

  De devil say at las’,

“For tam is up wit’ you, Louis,

So come along, ma frien’, wit’ me,

So many star I’m sure I see,

  De storm she mus’ be pas’.”

“No hurry—wait a minute, please,”

  Say Louis Desjardins,

“We’ll have a smoke before we’re t’roo

’Twill never hurt mese’f or you

To try a pipe, or mebbe two,

  Of tabac Canayen.”*

“Wan pipe is all I want for me—

  We’ll finish our smoke downstair,”

De devil say, an’ it was enough,

For w’en he tak’ de very firse puff

He holler out, “Maudit! w’at stuff!

  Fresh air! fresh air!! fresh air!!!”

An’ oh! he was never sick before

  Till he smoke tabac Bruneau—

Can’t walk or fly, but he want fresh air,

So Louis put heem on rockin’ chair

An’ t’row heem off on de road out dere—

  An’ tole heem go below.

An’ he shut de door an’ fill de place

  Wit’ tabac Canayen,

An’ never come out, an’ dat’s a fac’—

But smoke away till hees face is black—

So dat’s w’y de devil don’t come back

  For Louis Desjardins.

An’ dere he’s yet, an’ dere he’ll stay—

  So weech of de two’ll win

Can’t say for dat—it’s kin’ of a doubt,

For Louis, de pipe never leave hees mout’,

An’ night or day can’t ketch heem out,

  An’ devil’s too scare go in.

Canadian tobacco.

The Family Laramie

HSSH! look at ba-bee on de leetle blue chair,

  W’at you t’ink he’s tryin’ to do?

Wit’ pole on de han’ lak de lumberman,

  A-shovin’ along canoe.

Dere’s purty strong current behin’ de stove,

  W’ere it’s passin’ de chimley-stone,

But he’ll come roun’ yet, if he don’t upset,

  So long he was lef’ alone.

Dat’s way ev’ry boy on de house begin

  No sooner he’s twelve mont’ ole;

He’ll play canoe up an’ down de Soo

  An’ paddle an’ push de pole,

Den haul de log all about de place,

  Till dey’re fillin’ up mos’ de room,

An’ say it’s all right, for de storm las’ night

  Was carry away de boom.

Mebbe you see heem, de young loon bird,

  Wit’ half of de shell hangin’ on,

Tak’ hees firse slide to de water side,

  An’ off on de lake he’s gone.

Out of de cradle dey’re goin’ sam’ way

  On reever an’ lake an’ sea;

For born to de trade, dat’s how dey’re made,

  De familee Laramie.

An’ de reever she’s lyin’ so handy dere

  On foot of de hill below,

Dancin’ along an’ singin’ de song

  As away to de sea she go,

No wonder I never can lak dat song,

  For soon it is comin’ w’en

Dey’ll lissen de call, leetle Pierre an’ Paul,

  An’ w’ere will de moder be den?

She’ll sit by de shore w’en de evenin’s come,

  An’ spik to de reever too:

“O reever, you know how dey love you so.

  Since ever dey’re seein’ you,

For sake of dat love bring de leetle boy home

  Once more to de moder’s knee.”

An’ mebbe de prayer I be makin’ dere

  Will help bring dem back to me.

Yankee Families

YOU s’pose God love de Yankee

  An’ de Yankee woman too,

Lak he love de folk at home on Canadaw?

  I dunno—’cos if he do,

W’at’s de reason he don’t geev’ dem familee

Is dere anybody hangin’ roun’ can answer me

W’ile I wait an’ smoke dis pipe of good tabac?

An’ now I’ll tole you somet’ing

  Mebbe help you bimeby,

An’ dere’s no mistak’ it’s w’at dey call sure sign—

  W’en you miss de baby’s cry

As you’re goin’ mak’ some visit on de State

Dat’s enough—you needn’t ax if de train’s on tam or late,

You can bet you’re on de Yankee side de line.

Unless dere’s oder folk dere,

  Mebbe wan or two or t’ree,

Canayen is comin’ workin’ on de State—

  Den you see petite Marie

Leetle Joe an’ Angelique, Hormisdas an’ Dieudonné,

But you can’t tole half de nam’—it don’t matter any way—

’Sides de fader he don’t t’ink it’s not’ing great.

De moder, you can see her

  An’ she got de basket dere

Wit’ de fine t’ing for de chil’ren nice an’ slick—

  For dey can’t get fat on air—

Cucumber, milk, an’ onion, some leetle cake also

De ole gran’moder’s makin’ on de farm few days ago—

W’at’s use buy dollar dinner mak’ dem sick?

But look de Yankee woman

  Wit’ de book upon her han’,

Readin’, readin’, an’ her husban’, he can’t get

  Any chance at all, poor man,

For sit down, de way de seat’s all pile up wit’ magazine—

De t’ing lak dat on Canadaw is never, never seen.

Wouldn’t she be better wit’ some chil’ren? Wall! you bet!

No wonder dey was bringin’

  For helpin’ dem along

So many kin’ of feller I dunno—

  Chinee washee from Hong Kong

An’ w’at dey call Da-go, was work for dollar a day,

But w’en dey mak’ some money, off dey’re goin’, right away—

Dat’s de reason dey was get de nam’ Da-go.


Of course so long dey’re comin’

  From ev’ry place dey can,

Not knowin’ moche, dere’s not’ing fuss about

  Only boss de stranger man—

But now dem gang of feller dat’s come across de sea—

He’s gettin’ leetle smarter, an’ he got de familee—

So Uncle Sam mus’ purty soon look out.

I wonder he don’t know it—

  It’s funny he don’t see

Dere’s somet’ing else dan money day an’ night—

  Non—he’ll work hese’f cra-zee,

Den travel roun’ de worl’, an’ use de money too—

De King hese’f can’t spen’ lak de Yankee man is do—

But w’ere’s de leetle chil’ren? dat’s not right!


W’at’s use of all de money

  If dere ain’t some boy an’ girl

Mak’ it pleasan’ for de Yankee an’ hees wife

  W’en dey travel on de worl’?

For me an’ Eugenie dere’s not’ing we lak bes’

Dan gader up de chil’ren an’ get dem nicely dress—

W’y it’s more dan half de pleasure of our life.

I love de Yankee woman

  An’ de Yankee man also,

An’ mebbe dey’ll be wiser bimeby—

  But I lak dem all to know

If dey want to kip deir own, let dem raise de familee—

An’ den dey’ll boss de contree from de mountain to de sea,

For dey’re smart enough to do it if dey try.

The Last Portage

I’M sleepin’ las’ night w’en I dream a dream

An’ a wonderful wan it seem—

For I’m off on de road I was never see,

Too long an’ hard for a man lak me,

So ole he can only wait de call

Is sooner or later come to all.

De night is dark an’ de portage dere

Got plaintee o’ log lyin’ ev’ryw’ere,

Black bush aroun’ on de right an’ lef’,

A step from de road an’ you los’ you’se’f

De moon an’ de star above is gone,

Yet somet’ing tell me I mus’ go on.

An’ off in front of me as I go,

Light as a dreef of de fallin’ snow—

Who is dat leetle boy dancin’ dere

Can see hees w’ite dress an’ curly hair,

An’ almos’ touch heem, so near to me

In an’ out dere among de tree?

An’ den I’m hearin’ a voice is say,

“Come along, fader, don’t min’ de way,

De boss on de camp he sen’ for you,

So your leetle boy’s going to guide you t’roo

It’s easy for me, for de road I know,

’Cos I travel it many long year ago.”

An’ oh! mon Dieu! w’en he turn hees head

I’m seein’ de face of ma boy is dead—

Dead wit’ de young blood in hees vein—

An’ dere he’s comin’ wance more again

Wit’ de curly hair, an’ dark-blue eye,

So lak de blue of de summer sky—

An’ now no more for de road I care,

An’ slippery log lyin’ ev’ryw’ere—

De swamp on de valley, de mountain too,

But climb it jus’ as I use to do—

Don’t stop on de road, for I need no res’

So long as I see de leetle w’ite dress.

An’ I foller it on, an’ wance in a w’ile

He turn again wit’ de baby smile,

An’ say, “Dear fader, I’m here you see—

We’re bote togeder, jus’ you an’ me—

Very dark to you, but to me it’s light,

De road we travel so far to-night.

“De boss on de camp w’ere I alway stay

Since ever de tam I was go away,

He welcome de poores’ man dat call,

But love de leetle wan bes’ of all,

So dat’s de reason I spik for you

An’ come to-night for to bring you t’roo.”

Lak de young Jesu w’en he’s here below

De face of ma leetle son look jus’ so—

Den off beyon’, on de bush I see

De w’ite dress fadin’ among de tree—

Was it a dream I dream las’ night

Is goin’ away on de morning light?

Getting On

I KNOW I’m not too young, an’ ma back is not as straight

  As it use to be some feefty year ago;

Don’t care to go aroun’ if de rain is fallin’ down

  ’Less de rheumateez is ketch me on de toe—

But dat is ma beez-nesse, an’ no matter how I feel—

  Oder folk dey might look out deir own affair

’Stead o’ w’isperin’, “Wall! ba Gosh! lissen poor Maxime Meloche,

  How dat leetle drop o’ rain is mak’ heem swear!

                De ole man’s gettin’ on!”

Smart folk lak dat, of course, mebbe never hear de news

  Of de tam he’s comin’ sick Guillaume Laroche,

Who’s tak’ heem home to die w’en de rapide’s runnin’ high,

  An’ carry heem on hees shoulder t’roo de bush?

Oh! no, it wasn’t me, only wan of dem young man

  Hardly got de baby moustache on de mout’,

Dat’s de reason w’y I say to mese’f mos’ ev’ry day,

  “Purty hard dere’s not’ing else dan talk about

               ‘De ole man’s gettin’ on.’ ”

W’at’s mak’ me feelin’ mad is becos dey don’t spik out,

  Non! dey’ll sneak aroun’ for watch me as I go,

An’ if I mebbe spill leetle water on de hill,

  W’en I’m comin’ from de well down dere below,

No use for tellin’ me—I know too moche mese’f,

  Dat’s de tam I’m very sure dey alway say,

“See heem now, how slow he go—don’t I offen tole you so?

  We’re sorry, but Maxime is have hees day,

               De ole man’s gettin’ on.”

It’s foolish t’ing to do, for dere’s alway hang aroun’

  Some crazy feller almos’ ev’ry day—

So I might a’ stay at home ’stead o’ tryin’ feex de boom,

  Dough I’m sure de win’ is blow de oder way;

For I never hear dem shout w’en dey let de water out,

  An’ de log dey come a-bangin’ down de chute,

But leetle Joe Leblanc ketch me on de pant, hooraw!

  Den spile de job by w’isperin’, “I’m afraid I spik de trut’,

                  De ole man’s gettin’ on.”

Only yesterday de pig get loose an’ run away,

  An’ de nex’ t’ing he was goin’ on de corn—

So I run an’ fetch de stick, an’ affer heem so quick

  Jus’ to mak’ heem feelin’ sorry he was born;

An’ dat pig he laugh at me, an’ he fill hees belly full

  ’Fore he’s makin’ up his min’ for come along—

I’m sure I see heem wink—shouldn’t wonder if he t’ink,

  “Very easy see dere’s somet’ing goin’ wrong—

             De ole man’s gettin’ on.”

If only I can get some doctor feex me up,

  Mak’ me feel a leetle looser on de knee—

On de shoulder, ev’ryw’ere—ba tonder! I don’t care,

  I’ll spen’ a couple o’ dollar, mebbe t’ree—

Jus’ to larn dem feller dere how to skip an’ how to jomp,

  On de way I beat deir fader long ago—

Yass siree! an’ purty soon dey’ll sing anoder tune,

  An’ wonder w’at de devil’s dere to show

                     De ole man’s gettin’ on.

Oh! dat maudit rheumateez! now she’s ketchin’ me again

  On de back becos I’m leetle bit excite,

An’ put ma finger down, widout stoopin’ on de groun’—

  But I’ll do dat trick to-morrow, not to-night—

All de sam’ I offen t’ink ev’ry dog is got hees day,

  Dat’s de lesson I was learnin’ on de school;

So I can’t help feelin’ blue w’en I wonder if it’s true

  W’at dey’re sayin—dough o’ course dey’re only fool—

                     De ole man’s gettin’ on.


IF dey’re walkin’ on de road side, an’ dey’re bote in love togeder,

  An’ de star of spring is shinin’ wit’ de young moon in between,

It was purty easy guessin’ dey’re not talkin’ of de wedder,

  W’en de boy is comin’ twenty, an’ de girl is jus’ eighteen.

It’s a sign de winter’s over, an’ it’s pleasan’ hear de talkin’

  Of de bull-frog on de swamp dere wit’ all hees familee—

But it’s lonesome doin’ not’ing, an’ dere’s not moche fun in walkin’,

  So we fin’ some fence dat’s handy for mese’f an’ Rosalie.

An’ I dunno how it happen, w’en her head come on ma shoulder,

  An’ her black eye on de moonlight, lak de star shine—dat’s de way.

(Mebbe it’s becos de springtam) so I ketch her han’ an’ tole her

  Of how moche I’d lak to tak’ her on some contree far away.

Den she say, “I’ll mak’ an offer, if you’re sure you want to tak’ me

  On de place I dunno w’ere—me—you mus’ pay beeg price, Jo-seph.

You can carry me off to-morrow, so I’m never comin’ back—me—

  But you’ll lose upon de bargain, for de price I want ’s you’ se’f.”

I was purty good for tradin’, mebbe tak’ it from ma fader,

  For de ole man’s alway tryin’ show me somet’ing dat was new—

But de trade I mak’ dat evenin’ wit’ poor Rosalie, I rader

  Not say not’ing moche about it, dough it’s bes’ I never do.

So we settle on de reever wit’ de bush for miles behin’ us—

  Here we buil’ de firse log shaintee, only me an’ Rosalie—

Dat’s de woman help her husban’! an’ w’en winter come an’ fin’ us

  We was ready waitin’ for heem jus’ as happy as could be.

Bar’l o’ pork an’ good potato, wan or two oder t’ing too

  Leetle w’isky, plaintee flour, an’ wood-pile stannin’ near—

Don’t min’ de hardes’ winter, an’ fat enough in spring too—

  De folk dat’s comin’ handy w’en you want de contree clear!

Rosalie, you see her outside on de porch dere wit’ her knittin’—

  Yass, of course I know she’s changin’ since de day she marry me—

An’ she’ll never sit no more dere on de fence lak leetle kitten—

  She’d be safer on a stone wall, but she’s still ma Rosalie.

All alone: de neares’ shaintee, over ten mile down de reever—

  An’ might be only yesterday, I ’member it so well—

W’en I’m comin’ home wan morning affer trappin’ on de beaver,

  An’ ma wife is sayin’, “Hurry, go an’ fetch Ma-dame Labelle.”

If you’re stan’in’ on de bank dere, you mus’ t’ink I’m crazy feller

  By de way I work de paddle, an’ de way canoe she go—

But Ma-dame know all about it, an’ I never need to tell her,

  An’ we jus’ get back in tam’ dere for welcome leetle Joe.

Dat’s de way dem woman’s doin’ for help along each oder,

  For Pierre Labelle he’s comin’ now an’ den for Rosalie—

Of course dere’s many tam too, dey got to be godmoder—

  An’ w’en dey want godfader, w’y dere’s only Pierre an’ me.

Twenty year so hard we’re workin’, twenty year reapin’, sowin’,

  Choppin’ tree an’ makin’ portage, an’ de chil’ren help us too—

But it’s never feelin’ lonesome w’ile de familee is growin’,

  An’ de cradle seldom empty, an’ we got so moche to do.

Den w’en all de work is finish, w’at dey’re callin’ de surveyor

  He’s comin’ here an’ fin’ us, an’ of course so well he might—

For it’s easy job to foller, w’en de road is lyin’ dere,

  So blin’ man he can walk it wit’ hees eyes closed, darkes’ night.

An’ de nex’ t’ing dere’s a township, an’ de township bring de taxes,

  An’ it’s leetle hard on us too, dat’s way it seem to me—

An’ de Gover’ment, I s’pose dey’ll never t’ink at all to ax us

  For de small account dey’re owin’ mese’f an’ Rosalie.

So we’ll see de beeg procession very soon come up de reever—

  Some will settle on de roadside, some will stay upon de shore—

But de ole place we be clearin’, I don’t t’ink we’ll never leave her,

  Dough we’re all surroun’ by stranger an’ we’re in de worl’ wance more.

Natural Philosophy

VERY offen I be t’inkin’ of de queer folk goin’ roun’,

  And way dey kip a-talkin’ of de hard tam get along—

May have plaintee money too, an’ de healt’ be good an’ soun’—

  But you’ll fin’ dere’s alway somet’ing goin’ wrong—

’Course dere may be many reason w’y some feller ought to fret—

  But me, I’m alway singin’ de only song I know—

’Tisn’t long enough for music, an’ so short you can’t forget,

  But it drive away de lonesome, an’ dis is how she go,

    “Jus’ tak’ your chance, an’ try your luck.”

Funny feller’s w’at dey call me—“so diff’ren’ from de res’,”

  But ev’rybody got hees fault, as far as I can see—

An’ all de t’ing I’m doin’, I do it for de bes’,

  Dough w’en I’m bettin’ on a race, dat’s offen loss for me—

“Oho!” I say, “Alphonse ma frien’, to-day is not your day,

  For more you got your money up, de less your trotter go—

But never min’ an’ don’t lie down,” dat’s w’at I alway say,

  An’ sing de sam’ ole song some more, mebbe a leetle slow—

    “Jus’ tak’ your chance, an’ try your luck.”

S’pose ma uncle die an’ lef’ me honder dollar, mebbe two—

  An’ I don’t tak’ hees advice—me—for put heem on de bank—

’Stead o’ dat, some lot’rie ticket, to see w’at I can do,

  An’ purty soon I’m findin’ out dey’re w’at you call de blank—

  Wall! de bank she might bus’ up dere—somet’ing might go wrong—

Dem feller, w’en dey get it, mebbe skip before de night—

  Can’t tell—den w’ere’s your money? So I sing ma leetle song

An’ I don’t boder wit’ de w’isky, an’ again I feel all right,

    “Jus’ tak’ your chance, an’ try your luck.”

If you’re goin’ to mak’ de marry, kip a look out on de eye,

  But no matter how you’re careful, it was risky anyhow—

An’ if you’re too unlucky, jus’ remember how you try

  For gettin’ dat poor woman, dough she may have got you now—

All de sam’, it sometam happen dat your wife will pass away—

  No use cryin’, you can’t help it—dere’s your duty to you’ se’f—

You don’t need to ax de neighbor, dey will tell you ev’ry day

  Start again lak hones’ feller, for dere’s plaintee woman lef’—

    “Jus’ tak’ your chance, an’ try your luck.”

Poor man lak me, I’m not’ing: only w’en election’s dere,

  An’ ev’rybody’s waitin’ to ketch you by de t’roat—

De money I be makin’ den, wall! dat was mon affaire—

  An’ affer all w’at diff’rence how de poor man mak’ de vote?

So I do ma very bes’—me—wit’ de wife an’ familee—

On de church door Sunday morning, you can see us all parade—

Len’ a frien’ a half a dollar, an’ never go on spree—

  So w’en I’m comin’ die—me—no use to be afraid—

    “Jus’ tak’ your chance, an’ try your luck.”


‟W’ERE’LL we go?” says Pierre de Monts,*

  To hese’f as he walk de forwar’ deck,

“For I got ma share of Trois Rivieres

  An’ I never can lak Kebeck—

Too moche Nort’ Pole—maudit! it’s cole

  Oh! la! la! de win’ blow too.

An’ I’m sure w’at I say, M’sieu Pontgravé

  He know very well it’s true.

“But here’s de boat, an’ we’re all afloat

  A honder an’ fifty ton—

An’ look at de lot of man we got,

  No better beneat’ de sun—

Provision, too, for all de crew

  An’ pries’ for to say de prayer,

So mes chers amis, dey can easy see

  De vessel mus’ pass somew’ere.

“If I only know de way to go

  For findin’ some new an’ pleasan’ lan’,”

But jus’ as he spik, he turn roun’ quick,

  An’ dere on de front, sir, stan’ de Man.

“You was callin’ me, I believe,” says he,

  As brave as a lion—“Tiens!

W’en we reach de sea, an’ de ship is free,

  You can talk wit’ Samuel de Champlain.”

Wan look on hees eye an’ he know for w’y

  Young Samuel spik no more,

So he shake hees han’, an’ say, “Young man,

  Too bad you don’t come before;

But now you are here, we’ll geev’ t’ree cheer,

  An’ away w’erever you want to go—

For I lak your look an’ swear on de Book

  You’ll fin’ de good frien’ on Pierre de Monts.”

So de sail’s set tight, an’ de win’ is right,

  For it’s blowin’ dem to de wes’—

An’ dey say deir prayer, for God knows w’ere

  De anchor will come to res’—

Adieu to de shore dey may see no more—

  Good-bye to de song an’ dance—

De girl dey love, an’ de star above

  Kipin’ watch on de lan’ of France.

Den it’s “Come below, M’sieu Pierre de Monts,”

  Champlain he say to de capitaine—

“An’ I’ll tell to you, w’at I t’ink is true

  Dough purty hard, too, for understan’—

I dream a dream an’ it alway seem

  Dat God hese’f he was say to me—

’Rise up, young man, de quick you can

  An’ sail your ship on de western sea.

“ ‘De way may be long, an’ de win’ be strong,

  An’ wave sweep over de leetle boat—

But never you min’, an’ you’re sure to fin’,

  If you trus’ in me, you will kip afloat.’

An’ I tak’ dat ship, an’ I mak’ de trip

  All on de dream I was tellin’ you—

An’ oh! if you see w’at appear to me,

  I wonder w’at you was a-t’inkin’ too?

“I come on de lan’ w’ere dere’s no w’ite man—

  I come on de shore w’ere de grass is green—

An’ de air is clear as de new-born year,

  An’ of all I was see, dis lan’s de Queen—

So I’m satisfy if we only try

  An’ fin’ if dere’s anyt’ing on ma dream,

An’ I’ll show de way,” Champlain is say—

  Den Pierre de Monts he is answer heem.

“All right, young man, do de bes’ you can—

  So long you don’t bring me near Kebeck—

Or Trois Rivieres, not moche I care,

  An’ I hope your dream’s comin’ out correc’.”

So de brave Champlain he was say, “Très bien,”

An’ soon he was boss of de ship an’ crew

An’ pile on de sail, wedder calm or gale—

  Oh! dat is de feller know w’at to do.

Don’t I see heem dere wit’ hees long black hair

  On de win’ blowin’ out behin’—

Watchin’ de ship as she rise an’ dip,

  An’ always follerin’ out de Sign?

An’ day affer day I can hear heem say

  To de sailor man lonesome for home an’ frien’,

“Cheer up, mes amis, for soon you will see

  De lan’ risin’ up on de oder en’.”

Wall! de tam go by, an’ still dey cry

  “Oh! bring us back for de familee’s sake.”

Even Pierre de Monts fin’ it leetle slow

  An’ t’ink mebbe somebody mak’ mistake—

But he don’t geev’ in for he’s boun’ to win’—

  De young Champlain—an’ hees heart grow strong

W’en de voice he hear say, “Never fear;

  You won’t have to suffer for very long.”

Alone on de bow I can see heem now

  Wan mornin’ in May w’en de sun was rise—

Smellin’ de air lak a bloodhoun’, dere—

  An’ de light of de Heaven shine on hees eyes.

A minute or more he is wait before

  He tak’ off de hat an’ raise hees han’—

Den down on de knee, sayin’, “Dieu merci!”

  He cross hese’f dere, an’ I understan’—

“Ho! Ho! De Monts! are you down below,

  Sleepin’ so soun’ on de bed somew’ere?

If you’re feelin well, come up an’ tell

  W’at kin’ of a cloud you be seein’ dere.”

Den every wan shout w’en de voice ring out

  Of de young Champlain on dat summer day,

“Lan’! it is lan’!” cry de sailor man—

  You can hear dem holler ten mile away.

Port Rossignol is de place dey call

  (I’m sorry dat nam’ it was disappear);

An’ mos’ ev’ry tree dem Frenchman see

  Got nice leetle bird singin’, “Welcome here.”

An’ happy dey were, dem voyageurs

  An’ de laugh come out on de sailors’ face—

No wonder, too, w’en de shore dey view,

  For w’ere can you see it de better place?

      •      •      •      •      •      •      •

If you want to fin’ w’at is lef’ behin’

  Of de story I try very hard tell you,

Don’t bodder me now or raise de row,

  But study de book de sam’ I do.



Pro Patria

WAS leevin’ across on de State Vermont

  W’ere mountain so high you see—

Got plaintee to do, so all I want

  Is jus’ to be quiet—me—

No bodder, no fuss, only work aroun’

  On job I don’t lak refuse—

But affer de familee settle down

  It’s come w’at dey call war-news.

De Spanish da-go he was gettin’ mad,

  An’ he’s dangerous l’Espagnol!

An’ ev’ry wan say it was lookin’ bad,

  Not safe on de State at all—

So Yankee he’s tryin’ for sell hees farm,

  An’ town’s very moche excite,

Feexin’ de gun an’ de fire-alarm,

  An’ ban’ playin’ ev’ry night.

An’ soon dere’s comin’, all dress to kill,

  Beeg feller from far away,

Shoutin’ lak devil on top de hill,

  An’ dis is de t’ing he say—

“Strike for your home an’ your own contree!

Strike for your native lan’!

Kip workin’ away wit’ de spade an’ hoe,

Den jump w’en you hear de bugle blow,

For danger’s aroun’, above, below,

But de bugle will tell if it’s tam to go.”

An’ he tak’ de flag wit’ de star an’ stripe,

  An’ holler out—“Look at me!

If any wan touch dat flag, bâ cripe!

  He’s dead about wan—two—t’ree.”

Den he pull it aroun’ heem few more tam,

  An’ sit on de rockin’ chair,

Till somebody cheer for hees Uncle Sam,

  Dough I don’t see de ole man dere.

I got a long story for tell dat night

  On poor leetle Rose Elmire,

An’ she say she’s sorry about de fight

  We’re doin’ so well down here—

But it’s not our fault an’ we can’t help dat,

  De law she is made for all,

So our duty is wait for de rat-tat-tat

  Of drum an’ de bugle call.

An’ it’s busy week for Elmire an’ me,

  I’m sure you’d pity us too—

Workin’ so hard lak you never see,

  For dere’s plaintee o’ job to do—

Den half o’ de night packin’ up de stuff

  We got on de small cabane—

An’ buyin’ a horse, dough he cos’ enough,

  For Yankee’s a hard trade man.

An’ how can I sleep if ma wife yell out—

  “Gédéon, dere she goes!”

An’ bang an’ tear all de house about,

  W’en Johnnie is blow hees nose?

Poor leetle chil’ren dey suffer too,

  Lyin’ upon de floor,

Wit’ de bed made up, for dey never go

  On de worl’ lak dat before.

We got to be ready, of course, an’ wait—

  De chil’ren, de wife, an’ me,

For show de Yankee upon de State,

  Ba Golly! how smart we be.

You know de game dey call checker-boar’?

  Wall! me an’ ma wife Elmire,

We’re playin’ dat game on de outside door

  Wit’ leetle wan gader near;

Jus’ as de sun on de sky go down

  An’ mountain dey seem so fine,

Ev’ryt’ing quiet, don’t hear a soun’,

 So I’m lookin’ across de line.

An’ I t’ink of de tam I be leevin’ dere

  On county of Yamachiche,

De swamp on de bush w’ere I ketch de hare

  De reever I use to feesh.

An’ ma wife Elmire w’en she see de tear,

  She cry leetle bit herse’f—

Put her han’ on ma neck, an’ say, “Ma dear,

  I’m sorry we never lef’;

But money’s good t’ing, an’ dere’s nice folk too,

  Leevin’ upon Vermont—

Got plaintee o’ work for me an’ you—

  Is dere anyt’ing more we want?

“Dere’s w’at dey’re callin’ de war beez-nesse—

  It’s troublesome t’ing, of course,

But no gettin’ off—mus’ strike wit’ de res’,

  No matter—it might be worse—

We’re savin’ along—never lose a day,

  An’ ready w’en bugle blow—”

But dat was de very las’ word she say,

  For dere it commence to go,

Blowin’ away on de mountain dere,

  W’ere snow very seldom melts,

Down by de reever an’ ev’ryw’ere,

  We couldn’t hear not’ing else—

Nobody stop to fin’ out de place,

  Too busy for dat to-day—

But we never forget de law in de case

  W’en feller he spik dis way—

“Strike for your home an’ your own contree!

Strike for your native lan’!

Kip workin’ away wit’ de spade an’ hoe,

Den jump w’en you hear de bugle blow,

For danger’s aroun’, above, below,

But de bugle will tell if it’s tam to go.”

An’ de chil’ren yell, an’ de checker-boar’

  Don’t do her no good at all—

An’ nobody never jump before

  Lak de crowd w’en dey hear de call,

Dat was de familee,—bet your life

  I’m prouder, ba Gosh! to-day

Mese’f, de leetle wan, an’ de wife,

  Dan anyt’ing I can say—

’Cos nobody strike on de way we do—

  For home an’ deir own contree—

Wit’ fedder bed, stove, de cradle too,

  An’ ev’ryt’ing else we see—

Pilin’ de wagon up ten foot high

  Goin’ along de road—

An’ de Yankee say as we’re passin’ by

  Dey never see such a load—

So dat’s how we’re comin’ to Yamachiche—

  An’ dat’s w’y we’re stayin’ here—

Jus’ to be quiet an’ hunt an’ feesh,

  Not’ing at all to fear—

An’ if ever you lissen de Yankee folk

  Brag an’ kick up de fuss—

An’ say we’re lak cattle upon de yoke,

  An’ away dey can trot from us—

Jus’ tell dem de news of Gédéon Plouffe—

  How he jump wit’ de familee

An’ strike w’en de bugle is raise de roof

  For home an’ hees own contree.

Getting Stout

EIGHTEEN, an’ face lak de—w’at ’s de good?

  Dere’s no use tryin’ explain

De way she’s lookin’, dat girl Marie—

  But affer it pass, de rain,

An’ sun come out of de cloud behin’,

  An’ laugh on de sky wance more—

Wall! dat is de way her eye it shine

  W’en she see me upon de door.

An’ dere she’s workin’ de ole-tam sash,

  De fines’ wan, too, for sure.

“Who is it for, ma belle Marie—

  You’re makin’ de nice ceinture?

Come out an’ sit on de shore below,

  For watchin’ dem draw de net,

Ketchin’ de feesh,” an’ she answer, “No,

  De job isn’t finish yet;

“Stan’ up, Narcisse, an’ we’ll see de fit.

  Dat sash it was mak’ for you,

For de ole wan’s gettin’ on, you know,

  An’ o’ course it’ll never do

If de boy I marry can’t go an’ spen’

  W’at dey’re callin’ de weddin’ tour

Wit’ me, for visitin’ all hees frien’,

  An’ not have a nice ceinture.”

An’ den she measure dat sash on me,

  An’ I fin’ it so long an’ wide

I pass it aroun’ her, an’ dere we stan’,

  De two of us bote inside—

“Couldn’t be better, ma chère Marie,

  Dat sash it is fit so well—

It jus’ suit you, an’ it jus’ suit me,

  An’ bote togeder, ma belle.”

So I wear it off on de weddin’ tour

  An’ long affer dat also,

An’ never a minute I’m carin’ how

  De win’ of de winter blow—

Don’t matter de cole an’ frosty night—

  Don’t matter de stormy day,

So long as I’m feex up close an’ tight

  Wit’ de ole ceinture fleché.

An’ w’ere’s de woman can beat her now,

  Ma own leetle girl Marie?

For we’re marry to-day jus’ feefty year

  An’ never a change I see—

But wan t’ing strange, dough I try ma bes’

  For measure dat girl wance more,

She say—“Go off wit’ de foolishness,

  Or pass on de outside door.

“You know well enough dat sash get tight

  Out on de snow an’ wet

Drivin’ along on ev’ry place,

  Den how can it fit me yet?

Shows w’at a fool you be, Narcisse,

  W’enever you go to town;

Better look out, or I call de pries’

  For makin’ you stan’ aroun’.”

But me, I’m sure it was never change,

  Dat sash on de feefty year—

An’ I can’t understan’ to-day at all,

  W’at’s makin’ it seem so queer—

De sash is de sam’, an’ woman too,

  Can’t fool me, I know too well—

But woman, of course dey offen do

  Some funny t’ing—you can’t tell!

Doctor Hilaire

A STRANGER might say if he see heem drink till he almos’ fall,

“Doctor lak dat for sick folk, he’s never no use at all,”

But wait till you hear de story dey’re tellin’ about heem yet,

An’ see if you don’t hear somet’ing, mebbe you won’t forget.

Twenty odd year she’s marry, Belzemire Lafreniere,

An’ oh! but she’s feelin’ lonesome ’cos never a sign is dere—

Purty long tam for waitin’, but poor leetle Belzemire

She’s bad enough now for pay up all of dem twenty year.

Call heem de oldes’ doctor, call heem de younges’ wan,

Bring dem along, no matter if ev’ry dollar’s gone—

T’ree of dem can’t do not’ing, workin’ for two days dere,

She was a very sick woman, Belzemire Lafreniere.

Pierre he was cryin’, cryin’ out on de barn behin’,

Neighbors tryin’ to kip heem goin’ right off hees min’,

W’en somebody say, “Las’ winter, ma wife she is nearly go,

An’ who do you t’ink is save her? ev’ry wan surely know.

“Drink? does he drink de w’isky? don’t care I’m hees only frien’,

Dere’s only wan answer comin’, Wall! leetle bit now an’ den

Doctor Hilaire he tak’ it, but if it was me or you

Leevin’ on Beausejour dere, w’at are you goin’ to do?

“An’ so you may t’ank de w’isky, ’cos w’ere’ll he be to-day

If he never is drinkin’ not’ing? Many a mile away

Off on de great beeg city, makin’ de money quick,

W’ere ev’ry wan want de doctor w’enever he’s leetle sick.

“Remember de way to get heem is tell heem it’s bad, bad case,

Or Doctor Hilaire you’ll never see heem upon dis place!

Tell heem dere’s two life waitin’, an’ sure to be comin’ die

Unless he is hurry quicker dan ever de bird can fly.

“T’orty mile crick is runnin’ over de road, I’m sure,

But if you can fin’ de crossin’ you’ll ketch heem at Beausejour.

Sober or drunk, no matter, bring heem along you mus’,

For Doctor Hilaire’s de only man of de lot for us.”

Out wit’ de quickes’ horse den, Ste. Genevieve has got,

An’ if ever you show your paces, now is de tam to trot—

Johnnie Dufresne is drivin’, w’at! never hear tell of heem,

Off on de Yankee circus, an’ han’le a ten-horse team?

Dat was de lonesome journey over de mountain high,

Down w’ere de w’ite fog risin’ show w’ere de swamp is lie,

An’ drive as he can de faster, an’ furder away he get

Johnnie can hear dat woman closer an’ closer yet.

Offen he tell about it, not’ing he never do

Geev’ heem de funny feelin’ Johnnie is goin’ t’roo,

But he is sure of wan t’ing, if Belzemire’s comin’ die,

Poor woman, she’d never foller affer heem wit’ her cry.

Dat is de t’ing is cheer heem, knowin’ she isn’t gone,

So he answer de voice a-callin’, tellin’ her to hol’ on,

Till he bring her de help she’s needin’ if only she wait a w’ile

Dat is de way he’s doin’ all of dem t’orty mile—

Lucky he was to-night, too, for place on de crick he got,

Search on de light of day-tam, he couldn’t fin’ better spot,

But jus’ as it happen’, mebbe acre or two below,

Is place w’ere de ole mail-driver’s drownin’ a year ago.

W’ere is de road? he got it, an’ very soon Beausejour

Off on de hillside lyin’, dere she is, small an’ poor,

Lookin’ so lak starvation might a’ been t’roo de war,

An’ dere, on de bar-room sleepin’, de man he is lookin’ for.

Drunk? he is worse dan ever—poor leetle man! too bad!

Lissen to not’ing neider, but Johnnie is feel so glad

Ketchin’ heem dere so easy, ’fore he can answer, “No”—

He’s tyin’ heem on de buggy, an’ off on de road he go—

Half o’ de journey’s over, half o’ de night is pass,

W’en Doctor Hilaire stop swearin’, an’ start to get quiet at las’—

Don’t do any good ax Johnnie lettin’ heem loose again,

For if any man tak’ de chances, wouldn’t be Johnnie Dufresne.

Hooraw for de black horse trotter! hooraw for de feller drive!

An’ wan leetle cheer for Belzemire dat’s kipin’ herse’f alive

Till Johnnie is bring de doctor, an’ carry heem on de door

An’ loosen heem out as sober as never he was before.

Quiet inside de house now, quiet de outside too,

Look at each oder smokin’, dat’s about all we do;

An’ jus’ as we feel, ba tonder! no use, we mus’ talk or die,

Dere on de house we’re hearin’ poor leetle baby’s cry.

Dat’s all, but enough for makin’ tear comin’ down de face,

An’ Pierre, if you only see heem jumpin’ aroun’ de place

You’d t’ink of a colt in spring-tam—den off on de barn we go

W’ere somebody got de bottle for drinkin’ de healt’, you know.

Takin’ it too moche w’isky, is purty hard job to cure,

But only for poor ole w’isky, village of Beausejour

Can never have such a doctor, an’ dat’s w’y it ain’t no tam

Talk very moche agin it, but fill her up jus’ de sam’.

An’ drink to de baby’s moder, here’s to de baby too,

An’ Doctor Hilaire, anoder, beeger dan all, for you.

For sober or drunk, no matter, so long as he understan’

It’s very bad case is waitin’, Doctor Hilaire’s de man.

Barbotte (Bull-pout)

DERE’S some lak dory, an’ some lak bass,

  An’ plaintee dey mus’ have trout—

An’ w’ite feesh too, dere’s quite a few

  Not satisfy do widout—

Very fon’ of sucker some folk is, too,

  But for me, you can go an’ cut

De w’ole of dem t’roo w’at you call menu,

  So long as I get barbotte—

        Ho! Ho! for me it’s de nice barbotte.

No fuss to ketch heem—no row at all,

  De sam’ as you have wit’ bass—

Never can tell if you hook heem well,

  An’ mebbe he’s gone at las’!

An’ trout, wall! any wan’s ketchin’ trout

  Dey got to be purty smart—

But leetle bull-pout, don’t have to look out,

  For dem feller got no heart—

        Good t’ing, dey ain’t got no heart.

Dat’s wan of de reason I lak heem too—

  For all you have got to do

Is takin’ your pole on de feeshin’ hole

  An’ anchor de ole canoe—

Den spit on de worm for luck, an’ pass

  De leetle hook up de gut,

An’ drop it down slow, jus’ a minute or so,

  An’ pull up de nice barbotte,

        Ha! Ha! de fine leetle fat barbotte.

Pleasan’ to lissen upon de spring

  De leetle bird sing hees song,

W’ile you watch de line an’ look out for sign

  Of mooshrat swimmin’ along;

Den tak’ it easy an’ smoke de pipe,

  An’ w’ere is de man has got

More fun dan you on de ole canoe

  W’en dey’re bitin’, de nice barbotte—

        De nice leetle fat barbotte

No runnin’ aroun’ on de crick for heem,

  No jompin’ upon de air,

Makin’ you sweat till your shirt is wet

  An’ sorry you’re comin’ dere—

Foolin’ away wit’ de rod an’ line

  Mebbe de affenoon—

For sure as he bite he’s dere all right,

  An’ you’re ketchin’ heem very soon—

        Yass sir! you’re gettin’ heem purty soon.

Den tak’ heem off home wit’ a dozen more

  An’ skin heem so quick you can.

Fry heem wit’ lard, an’ you’ll fin’ it hard

  To say if dere’s on de pan

Such feesh as dat on de worl’ before

  Since Adam, you know, is shut

Out of de gate w’en he’s comin’ home late,

  As de nice leetle fat barbotte—

      Dat’s true, de nice leetle sweet barbotte.

The Rossignol
Air—“Sur la Montagne”

JUS’ as de sun is tryin’

  Climb on de summer sky

Two leetle bird come flyin’

  Over de mountain high—

Over de mountain, over de mountain,

Hear dem call,

Hear dem call—poor leetle rossignol!

Out of de nes’ togeder,

  Broder an’ sister too,

Out on de summer wedder

  W’en de w’ole worl’ is new—

Over de mountain, over de mountain,

Hear dem call,

Hear dem call—poor leetle rossignol!

No leetle heart was lighter,

  No leetle bird so gay,

Never de sun look brighter

  Dan he is look to-day—

Over de mountain, over de mountain,

Hear dem call,

Hear dem call—poor leetle rossignol!

W’y are dey leave de nes’ dere

  W’ere dey was still belong?

Better to stay an’ res’ dere

  Until de wing is strong.

Over de mountain, over de mountain,

Hear dem call,

Hear dem call—poor leetle rossignol.

W’at is dat watchin’ dere now

  Up on de maple tall,

Better look out, tak’ care now,

  Poor leetle rossignol,

Over de mountain, over de mountain,

Hear dem call,

Hear dem call—poor leetle rossignol!

Here dey are comin’ near heem

  Singin’ deir way along—

How can dey know to fear heem

  Poor leetle bird so young—

Over de mountain, over de mountain,

Hear dem call,

Hear dem call—poor leetle rossignol!

Moder won’t hear you cryin’,

  W’at is de use to call,

W’en he is comin’ flyin’

  Quick as de star is fall?

Over de mountain, over de mountain,

Hear dem call,

Hear dem call—poor leetle rossignol!

      •      •      •      •      •      •      •

Up w’ere de nes’ is lyin’,

  High on de cedar bough,

W’ere de young hawk was cryin’

  Soon will be quiet now.

Over de mountain, over de mountain,

Hear heem call,

Hear heem call—poor leetle rossignol!

If he had only kissed her,

  Poor leetle rossignol!

But he was los’ hees sister,

  An’ it’s alone he call—

Over de mountain, over de mountain,

Hear heem call,

Hear heem call—poor leetle rossignol!

Only a day of gladness,

  Only a day of song,

Only a night of sadness

  Lastin’ de w’ole life long.

Over de mountain, over de mountain,

Hear heem call,

Hear heem call—poor leetle rossignol!


A QUIET boy was Joe Bedotte,

  An’ no sign anw’ere

Of anyt’ing at all he got

  Is up to ordinaire—

An’ w’en de teacher tell heem go

  An’ tak’ a holiday,

For wake heem up, becos’ he’s slow,

  Poor Joe would only say,

                  “Wall! meb-be.”

Don’t bodder no wan on de school

  Unless dey bodder heem,

But all de scholar t’ink he’s fool

  Or walkin’ on a dream—

So w’en dey’re closin’ on de spring

  Of course dey’re moche surprise

Dat Joe is takin’ ev’ryt’ing

  Of w’at you call de prize.

An’ den de teacher say, “Jo-seph,

  I know you’re workin’ hard—

Becos’ w’en I am pass mese’f

  I see you on de yard

A-splittin’ wood—no doubt you stay

  An’ study half de night?”

An’ Joe he spik de sam’ ole way

  So quiet an’ polite,

                        “Wall! meb-be.”

Hees fader an’ hees moder die

  An’ lef’ heem dere alone

Wit’ chil’ren small enough to cry,

  An’ farm all rock an’ stone—

But Joe is fader, moder too,

  An’ work bote day an’ night

An’ clear de place—dat’s w’at he do,

  An’ bring dem up all right.

De Curé say, “Jo-seph, you know

  Le bon Dieu’s very good—

He feed de small bird on de snow,

  De caribou on de wood—

But you deserve some credit too—

  I spik of dis before.”

So Joe he dunno w’at to do

  An’ only say wance more,

                      “Wall! meb-be.”

An’ Joe he leev’ for many year

  An’ helpin’ ev’ry wan

Upon de parish far an’ near

  Till all hees money’s gone—

An’ den de Curé come again

  Wit’ tear-drop on hees eye—

He know for sure poor Joe, hees frien’,

  Is well prepare to die.

“Wall! Joe, de work you done will tell

  W’en you get up above—

De good God he will treat you well

  An’ geev’ you all hees love.

De poor an’ sick down here below,

  I’m sure dey’ll not forget,”

An’ w’at you t’ink he say, poor Joe,

  Drawin’ hees only breat’?

                      “Wall! meb-be.”

Snubbing (Tying-up) the Raft

LAS’ night dey’re passin’, de golden plover,

  Dis mornin’ I’m seein’ de bluebird’s wing,

So if not’ing go wrong, de winter’s over,

  An’ not very long till we got de spring.

An’ nex’ t’ing de reever she’ll start a-hummin’,

  An’ den you’ll hear it, de song an’ laugh,

Is tellin’ de news, de boys are comin’

  Home again on de saw-log raf’.

All very well for see dem swingin’

  Roun’ de beeg islan’ dere on de bay,

Nice t’ing too, for to hear dem singin’,

  ’Cos it mak’ me t’ink of de good ole day.

An’ me—I could lissen dem song forever,

  But it isn’t so pleasan’ w’en evenin’ fall,

An’ dey’re lookin’ for place to stay, an’ never

  Snub de raf’ on ma place at all—

Dat’s de fine cove if dey only know it—

  Hard to fin’ better on St. Maurice,

Up de reever or down below it,

  An’ house on de hill only leetle piece.

W’at is de reason den, w’en dey fin’ dem

  Raf’ comin’ near me, dey all get scare,

An’ pull lak de devil was close behin’ dem,

  An’ way down de reever to Joe Belair?

Two mile more, wit’ de rock an’ stone dere,

  An’ water so shallow can’t float canoe,

But ev’ry boy of de gang, he’s goin’ dere,

  Even de cook, an’ de captain too—

W’at is de reason, I lak to know—me—

  Ma own leetle cove’s lyin empty dere,

An’ nobody stop till dey go below me,

  Snubbin’ de raf’ on Joe Belair?

Not’ing lak dat twenty year ago, sir,

  W’en voyageurs’ comin’ from up above,

Dere’s only wan place us feller know, sir,

  W’en dey’re goin’ ashore, an’ dat’s de cove.

An’ dere on door of de house she’s stannin’

  To welcome us back, Madame Baribeau,

An’ Pierre hese’f, he was on de lannin’,

  Ready for ketchin’ de rope we t’row.

An’ oh! de girl use to mak’ us crazy—

  For many a fine girl Pierre has got—

Right on de jomp too—never lazy,

  But Sophie’s de fines’ wan of de lot.

Me—I was only a common feller,

  An’ love—wall! jus’ lak de leetle calf,

An’ it’s true, I’m sure, w’at dey often tell her,

  I’m de uglies’ man on boar’ de raf’.

But Sophie’s so nice an’ good shese’f too,

  De uglies’ man upon all de worl’

Forget hees face an’ forget hese’f too,

  T’ree minute affer he see dat girl—

An’ dat’s de reason de chance is better,

  For you mustn’t be t’ink of you’ se’f at all,

But t’ink of de girl if you want to get her

  An’ so we’re marry upon de fall.

An’ purty soon den dey all get started,

  For marryin’ fever come so strong

W’en de firse wan go, dat dey’re broken-hearted

  An’ tak’ mos’ anyt’ing come along.

So Joe Belair, w’en hees house is buil’ dere,

  He go down de reever wit’ Eugenie,

An’ place I settle on top de hill dere,

  De ole man geev’ it to Sophie an’ me.

An’ along dey come, wan foller de oder,

  Dozen o’ girl—not a boy at all—

Never a girl tak’ affer de moder,

  But all lak de fader, beeg an’ small—

A dozen o’ girl, of course, no wonder

  A few of dem look lak me—sapree!

But w’en dey’re comin’ dat way, ba tonder!

  She’s jus’ a leetle too moche for me.

An’ Joe Belair, he was down below me,

  Funny t’ing too, he is ketch also,

Ev’ryt’ing girl—how it come dunno—me—

  But dey’re all lak de familee Baribeau—

Growin’ up purty de sam’ de moder—

  An’ soon as dey know it along de shore

De boys stop comin’ an’ never bodder

  For snub de raf’ on ma place no more—

So w’at is de chance ma girl she’s gettin’,

  Don’t care w’ere I look, none at all I see,

No use, I s’pose, kipin’ on a-frettin’,

  Dough it’s very hard case poor man lak me,

W’at’ll I do for bring dem here,—me?

  Can’t be blowin’ dem to de moon—

Or buil’ a dam on de reever near me

  For fear we’re sure to be drownin’ soon.

To-night I can hear hees dam ole fiddle,

  Playin’ away on Joe Belair—

Can hear heem holler, “Pass down de middle

  An’ dance on your partner over dere.”

Pleasan’ t’ing too, for to smell de w’isky

  Off on de leetle back room—bâ oui—

Helpin’ de ole folk mak’ dem frisky,

  Very pleasan’ for dem, but not for me—

Oh! it mak’ me mad, an’ I’m tire tryin’

  To show how I feel, an’ it’s hard to tell—

So I’ll geev’ it up, for dere’s no good cryin’;

  ’Sides w’at is de use of a two-mile smell?

Non!—I don’t go dere if dey all invite me,

  Or de worl’ itse’f—she come to an’ en’.

De Bishop hese’f, ba Gosh! can write me,

  But Jo-seph Belair, he’s no more ma frien’.

Can’t fin’ me dere if de sky come down, sir,

  I rader ma girl she would never dance—

But far away, off on de Yankee town, sir,

  I’ll tak’ dem w’ere mebbe dey have a chance.

An’ reever an’ cove, dough I’ll not forget dem,

  An’ voyageurs too, an’ Joe Belair,

Can do w’at dey lak, an’ me—I’ll let dem

  Go w’ere dey want to, for I don’t care.

A Rainy Day in Camp

A RAINY day in camp! how you draw the blankets closer,

  As the big drops patter, patter on the shingles overhead,

How you shudder when recalling your wife’s “You ought to know, sir,

  That it’s dangerous and improper to smoke a pipe in bed.”

A rainy day in camp! is it possible to find better?

  Tho’ the lake is like a caldron, and aloft the thunder rolls;

Yet the old canoe is safely on the shore where you can let her

  Stay as long as Jupiter Pluvius in the clouds is punching holes.

A rainy day in camp! and the latest publication

  That the mice have left unnibbled, tells you all about “Eclipse,”

How the Derby fell before him, how he beat equine creation,

  But the story yields to slumber with the pipe between your lips.

Wake again and turn the pages, where they speak of Lester Wallack

  And the heroes of the buskin over thirty years ago—

Then in case the damp surroundings cause an inconvenient colic,

  What’s the matter with the treatment neutralizing H2O?

A rainy day in camp! what an interesting collection,

  In this magazine so ancient, of items small and great—

The History of the Negro, illustrating every section,

  So different from the present White House Colored Fashion Plate!

A rainy day in camp! and you wonder how the C. P.

  And the G. T. competition will affect the Golden West—

But these problematic matters only tend to make you sleepy,

  And again beneath the blankets, like a babe you sink to rest.

Cometh now the giant moose heads, that no eye of man can number—

  Every rain-drop on the roof-tree is a plunging three-pound trout—

Till a musk ox in a snow-drift turns and butts you out of slumber,

  And you wake to hear Bateese say, “Dat’s too bad, de fire’s gone out.”

A rainy night in camp! with the blazing logs before us,

  Let the wolf howl in the forest and the loon scream on the lake,

Turn them loose, the wild performers of Nature’s Opera Chorus

  And ask if Civilization can sweeter music make.


I SEE Josette on de car to-day,

  Leetle Josette Couture,

An’ it’s easy tellin’ she’s been away

  On market of Bonsecour—

’Cos dere’s de blueberry on de pail

  Wit’ more t’ing lyin’ about—

An’ dere’s de basket wit’ de tail

  Of de chicken stickin’ out.

Ev’ry conductor along de road

  Help her de bes’ he can,

An’ I see dem sweat wit’ de heavy load,

  Many a beeg, strong man—

But it’s differen’ t’ing w’en she tak’ hol’,

  Leavin’ dem watchin’ dere—

For wedder de win’ blow hot or cole

  Josette never turn a hair.

Wonderful woman for seexty-five—

  Smart leetle woman sure!

An’ if he’s wantin’ to kip alive

  On church of de Bonsecour

De pries’ he mus’ rise ’fore de rooster crow,

  Or mebbe he’ll be too late

For seein’ dere on de street below,

  Josette comin’ in de gate.

An’ half of de mornin’ she don’t spen’ dere

  Hangin’ aroun’ de pew—

Bodderin’ God wid de long, long prayer—

  For bote of dem got to do

Plaintee work ’fore de day’s gone by,

  An’ well she know—Josette—

No matter how busy an’ hard she try,

  De work’s never finish yet.

An’ well he know it, de habitant,

  Who is it ketch heem, w’en

He’s drivin’ along from St. Laurent—

  For it’s easier bargain den—

’Cos if de habitant only sole

  De whole of hees load dat way—

Of course he’s savin’ de market toll

  An’ not’ing at all to pay.

Dey call her ole maid, but I can’t tell—me—

  De chil’ren she has got:

No fader, no moder, dat’s way dey be—

  You never see such a lot—

An’ if you ax how she fin’ de clothes

  An’ food for de young wan dere—

She say: “Wit’ de help of God, I s’pose

  An’ de leetle shop down stair.”

Comin’ an’ goin’ mos’ all de tam,

  Helpin’ dem all along,

Jus’ lak de ole sheep watch de lamb

  Till dey are beeg an’ strong—

Not’ing lak dat I be seein’ yet,

  An’ it’s hard to beat for sure—

So dat’s de reason dey call Josette

  Leetle Sister of de poor.

Joe Boucher
Air—“Car si mon moine.

JOE BOUCHER was a frien’ of mine,

  Joe Boucher was a happy man,

Till he tell a young girl he’d lak to fin’

  Some nice leetle wife for hees new cabane.

Now he’s los’ hees life too,

All on account of de wife too,

An’ I know you’ll be sorry ’bout dat poor feller,

I know you’ll be sorry for Joe Boucher.

De nam’ dat girl she’s Azeel-daw,

  An’ purty good worker, too, dey say—

She don’t lose chance for a brave garçon,

  An’ so she marry Joe Boucher.

Now he’s los’ hees life too,

All on account of de wife too,

An’ I know you’ll be sorry ’bout dat poor feller,

I know you’ll be sorry for Joe Boucher.

Den off on de wood poor Joe he lef’,

  An’ w’en he’s home wit’ de bird in spring,

An’ fin’ leetle feller jus’ lak hese’f.

  Mebbe Joe don’t dance an’ Joe don’t sing!

Now he’s los’ hees life too,

All on account of hees wife too,

An’ I know you’ll be sorry ’bout dat poor feller,

I know you’ll be sorry for Joe Boucher.

Dat’s all very well till de fall come along,

  An’ Joe got to go on de bush encore,

But w’en he come back he sing no song,

  For dere was two leetle baby more.

Now he’s los’ hees life too,

All on account of de wife too,

An’ I know you’ll be sorry ’bout dat poor feller,

I know you’ll be sorry for Joe Boucher.

He don’t say not’ing, but he t’ink beeg lot,

  An’ won’t tak’ a drink for two, t’ree day,

But not moche money poor Joe he got,

  So off on de reever he’s goin’ away.

Now he’s los’ hees life too,

All on account of de wife too,

An’ I know you’ll be sorry ’bout dat poor feller,

I know you’ll be sorry for Joe Boucher.

W’en May come along dat beau garçon

  He’s only gettin’ anoder scare—

For he know by de smile on Azeel-daw

  She got t’ree fine new baby dere.

Now he’s los’ hees life too,

All on account of de wife too,

An’ I know you’ll be sorry ’bout dat poor feller,

I know you’ll be sorry for Joe Boucher.

So he kill hese’f dead, dat beau garçon

  He work so hard for de familee,

An’ he say, “Too bad, but Azeel-daw,

  I’m sorry she marry poor man lak me.”

Now he’s los’ hees life too,

All on account of hees wife too,

An’ I know you’ll be sorry ’bout dat poor feller,

I know you’ll be sorry for Joe Boucher.

Now I know very well dat all poor man

  He tak’ some chance w’en he get marié,

So he better look out all de bes’ he can,

  Or he’ll be ketch lak Joe Boucher—

Now he’s los’ hees life too,

All on account of de wife too,

An’ I know you’ll be sorry ’bout dat poor feller,

I know you’ll be sorry for Joe Boucher.


AWAY off back on de mountain-side,

  Not easy t’ing fin’ de spot,

W’ere de lake below is long an’ wide,

  A nice leetle place I got,

Mebbe ten foot deep by twenty-two,

  An’ if you see it, I bet

You’ll not be surprise w’en I tole to you

  I chrissen dat place Charmette.

Dat’s purty beeg word, Charmette, for go

  On poor leetle house so small,

Wit’ only wan chimley, a winder or so,

  An’ no galerie at all—

But I want beeg word, so de worl’ will know

  W’at dat place it was mean to me,

An’ dere on de book of Jean Jacques Rousseau,

  Charmette is de nam’ I see.

O ma dear Charmette! an’ de stove is dere,

  (Good stove) an’ de wood-pile too.

An’ stretch out your finger mos’ anyw’ere,

  Dere’s plaintee for comfort you—

You’re hongry? wall! you got pork an’ bean

  Mak’ you feel lak Edouard de King—

You’re torsty? Jus’ look dere behin’ de screen,

  An’ mebbe you fin’ somet’ing—

Ha! Ha! you got it. Ma dear Charmette.

  Dere’s many fine place, dat’s true,

If you travel aroun’ de worl’, but yet

  W’ere is de place lak you?

Open de door, don’t kip it close—

  W’at’s air of de mornin’ for?

Would you fassen de door on de win’ dat blows

  Over God’s own boulevard?

You see dat lake? Wall! I alway hate

  To brag—but she’s full of trout,

So full dey can’t jump togeder, but wait

  An’ tak’ deir chance, turn about—

An’ if you be campin’ up dere above,

  De mountain would be so high,

Very offen de camp you’d have to move,

  Or how can de moon pass by?

It’s wonderful place for sure, Charmette,

  An’ ev’ry wan say to me—

I got all de pleasure de man can get

  ’Cept de wife an’ de familee—

But somebody else can marry ma wife,

  Have de familee too also,

W’at more do I want, so long ma life

  Was spare to me here below?

For we can’t be happier dan we been

  Over twenty year, no siree!

An’ if ever de stranger come between

  De leetle Charmette an’ me,

Den all I can say is, kip out de way,

  For dynamite sure I’ll get,

An’ affer dat you can hunt all day

  For me an’ ma dear Charmette.

Lac Souci

TALK about lakes! dere’s none dat lies in

  Laurentide mountain or near de sea,

W’en de star’s gone off an’ de sun is risin’,

  Can touch w’at dey call it Lac Souci,

Restin’ dere wit’ de woods behin’ her,

  Sleepin’ dere t’roo de summer night—

But watch her affer de mornin’ ’s fin’ her,

  An’ over de hill-top shine de light.

See w’ere de shadder sweep de water,

  Pine tree an’ cloud, how dey come an’ go;

Careful now, an’ you’ll see de otter

  Slidin’ into de pool below—

Look at de loon w’en de breeze is ketch heem

  Shakin’ hese’f as he cock de eye!

Takes a nice leetle win’ to fetch heem,

  So he’s gettin’ a chance to fly.

Every bird dey mus’ kip behin’ heem

  W’en he’s only jus’ flap de wing,

Ah! dere he’s goin’—but never min’ heem,

  For lissen de robin begin to sing—

Trout’s comin’ up too!—dat’s beeg rise dere,

  Four of dem! Golly! it’s purty hard case,

No rod here, an’ dey’re all good size dere!

  Don’t ax me not’ing about de place.

No use nobody goin’ murder

  T’ree an’ four pounder lak dat, siree!

Wall! if you promise it won’t go furder

  I’ll tole you nex’ summer—bimeby—mebbe—

W’at is dat movin’ among de spruce dere?

  Sure as I’m livin’ dere’s ’noder wan too—

Offen enough I’m gettin’ a moose dere,

  Non!—It’s only a couple of caribou.

Black duck so early? See how dey all come,

  Wan leetle family roun’ de ben’—

Let dem enjoy it, wait till de fall come,

  Dey won’t be feelin’ so happy den!

Smoke on de mountain? Yass, I can smell her—

  Who is it now, Jean Bateese Boucher?

Geev’ me some tam, an’ I’ll feex dat feller

  Shootin’ de moose on de summer day.

W’at do you t’ink of a sapree beaver

  Hittin’ hees tail on de lake dat way?

Ought to be home wit’ hees wife—not leave her

  Workin’ away on de house all day—

Funny t’ing, too, how he alway fin’ me

  Sailin’ along on de ole canoe,

Lookin’ for sign—den bang! behin’ me

  An’ down on de water—dat’s w’at he do.

Otter feeshin’ an’ bob cat cryin’—

  Up on de sky de beeg black hawk—

Down on de swamp w’ere a dead log’s lyin’,

  Pa’tridge doin’ hees own cake-walk!

If you never was seen dem, hear dem—

  Tak’ leetle tour on de Lac Souci,

An’ w’enever you’re comin’ near dem,

  You’re goin’ crazy de sam’ as me.

Talk about lakes of every nation,

  Talk about water of any kin’,

Don’t matter you go over all creation—

  De Lac Souci she can beat dem blin’.

Happy to leev an’ happy to die dere—

  But Heaven itself won’t satisfy me,

Till I fin’ leetle hole off on de sky dere

  W’ere I can be lookin’ on Lac Souci!

Poirier’s Rooster

‟W’AT’S dat? de ole man gone, you say

  Wall! Wall! he mus’ be sick,

For w’en he pass de oder day,

  He walk along widout de stick,

Lak twenty year or so—

Fine healt’y man, ole Telesphore,

I never see heem sick before,

Some rheumateez, but not’ing more—

        Please tell me how he go.”

You’re right, no common t’ing for sure

  Is kill heem lak de res’;

No sir! de man was voyageur

  Upon de Grande Nor’ Wes’

Until he settle here

Is not de feller’s goin’ die

Before he’s ready by an’ bye,

So if you want de reason w’y

        I’ll tell you, never fear.

You know how moche he lak to spik

  An’ tole us ev’ryt’ing about

De way de French can alway lick

  An’ pull de w’ole worl’ inside out,

Poor Telesphore Cadotte!

He’s knowin’ all de victory,

An’ braves’ t’ing was never be.

To hear heem talk it’s easy see

        He’s firse-class patriot.

Hees leetle shoe store ev’ry night

  Can hardly hol’ de crowd of folk

Dat come to lissen on de fight,

  An’ w’en you see de pile of smoke

An’ hear ole Telesphore

Hammer de boot upon hees knee,

You t’ink of course of Chateauguay,

An’ feel dat’s two, t’ree enemy

        Don’t bodder us no more.

But oh! dat evening w’en he sen’

  De call aroun’ for come en masse,

An’ den he say, “Ma dear ole frien’,

  Dere’s someting funny come to pass,

I lak you all to hear—

You know dat Waterloo affair?

H-s-s-h! don’t get excite, you wasn’t dere—

All quiet? Wall! I’ll mak’ it square,

        So lissen on your ear.

“I’m readin’ on de book to-day

  (Some book, dey say, was guarantee),

An’ half a dollar too I pay,

  But cheap, because it’s tellin’ me

De t’ing I’m glad to know—

Of course de w’ole worl’ understan’

Napoléon fight de bes’ he can,

But he’s not French at all, dat man,

        But leetle small Da-go.

“Anoder t’ing was mak’ it show

Dere’s not’ing new below de sun,

Is w’en I’m findin’ as I go—

Dat feller dey call Welling-ton,

He’s English? No siree!

But only maudit Irlandais!

(Dat’s right! dey’re alway in de way,

Dem Irish folk), an’ so I say

        I’m satisfy for me.

“It’s not our fault, dat’s all explain—

Dere’s no use talk of Waterloo,

Not our affair—” an’ off again

He hammer, hammer on de shoe,

An’ don’t say not’ing more,

But w’issle “Madame Isabeau,”

Good news lak dat is cheer heem so—

Den tak’ a drink before we go,

        De poor ole Telesphore!

An’ now he’s gone! Wall! I dunno,

Can’t say—he’s better off meb-be,

Don’t work so hard on w’ere he go—

Dat’s wan t’ing sure I’m t’inkin’—me—

Unless he los’ hees track.

But w’en dat boy come runnin’ in

De leetle shop, an’ start begin

On Poirier’s rooster, how he win—

        I lak to break hees back.

Poor Telesphore was tellin’ how

  Joe Monferrand can’t go to sleep,

Until he’s kickin’ up de row,

  Den pile dem nearly ten foot deep,

Dem English sojer man—

Can’t blame de crowd dey all hooraw,

For bes’ man on de Ottawaw,

An’ geev’ t’ree cheer for Canadaw,

        De very bes’ dey can.

An’ Telesphore again he start

  For tell de story leetle more,

Anoder wan before we part,

  W’en bang! a small boy t’roo de door

On w’at you call “full pelt,”

Is yellin’ till it reach de skies,

“Poirier’s rooster got de prize,

Poirier’s rooster got de prize,

        An’ win de Champion belt!”

An’ sure enough, he beat dem all,

  Joe Poirier’s leetle red game bird,

On beeges’ show dey have dis fall,—

  De Yankee rooster only t’ird

An’ Irish number two—

We hear a jump, an’ Telesphore—

I never see de lak before—

He flap hees wing upon de floor

        An’ cock a doodle doo!

Dat’s finish heem, he’s gone at las’,

  An’ never come aroun’ again—

We’ll miss heem w’en we’re goin’ pas’,

  An’ see no light upon de pane—

But pleasure we have got,

We’ll kip it on de memory yet,

An’ dough of course we’ll offen fret,

Dere’s wan t’ing sure, we’ll not forget

Poor Telesphore Cadotte!


YOU dunno ma leetle boy Dominique?

  Never see heem runnin’ roun’ about de place?

’Cos I want to get advice how to kip heem lookin’ nice,

  So he won’t be alway dirty on de face—

Now dat leetle boy of mine, Dominique,

  If you wash heem an’ you sen’ heem off to school,

But instead of goin’ dere, he was playin’ fox an’ hare—

  Can you tell me how to stop de leetle fool?

“I’d tak’ dat leetle feller Dominique,

  An’ I’d put heem on de cellar ev’ry day,

An’ for workin’ out a cure, bread an’ water’s very sure,

  You can bet he mak’ de promise not to play!”

Dat’s very well to say, but ma leetle Dominique

  W’en de jacket we put on heem’s only new,

An’ he’s goin’ travel roun’ on de medder up an’ down,

  Wit’ de strawberry on hees pocket runnin’ t’roo,

An’ w’en he climb de fence, see de hole upon hees pant,

  No wonder hees poor moder’s feelin’ mad!

So if you ketch heem den, w’at you want to do, ma frien’?

  Tell me quickly an’ before he get too bad.

“I’d lick your leetle boy Dominique,

  I’d lick heem till he’s cryin’ purty hard,

An’ for fear he’s gettin’ spile, I’d geev’ heem castor ile,

  An’ I wouldn’t let heem play outside de yard.”

If you see ma leetle boy Dominique

  Hangin’ on to poor ole “Billy” by de tail,

W’en dat horse is feelin’ gay, lak I see heem yesterday,

  I s’pose you t’ink he’s safer on de jail?

W’en I’m lightin’ up de pipe on de evenin’ affer work,

  An’ de powder dat young rascal’s puttin’ in,

It was makin’ such a pouf, nearly blow me t’roo de roof—

  W’at’s de way you got of showin’ ’twas a sin?

“Wall! I put heem on de jail right away,

  You may bet de wan is got de beeges’ wall!

A honder foot or so, w’ere dey never let heem go,

  Non! I wouldn’t kip a boy lak dat at all.”

Dat’s good advice for sure, very good,

  On de cellar, bread an’ water—it’ll do,

De nice sweet castor ile geev’ heem ev’ry leetle w’ile,

  An’ de jail to finish up wit’ w’en he’s t’roo!

Ah! ma frien’, you never see Dominique,

  W’en he’s lyin’ dere asleep upon de bed,

If you do, you say to me, “W’at an angel he mus’ be,

  An’ dere can’t be not’ing bad upon hees head.”

Many t’ank for your advice, an’ it may be good for some,

  But de reason you was geev’ it isn’t very hard to seek—

Yass! it’s easy seein’ now w’en de talk is over, how

  You dunno ma leetle boy Dominique.


‟OH! Mother the bells are ringing as never they rang before,

And banners aloft are flying, and open is every door,

While down in the streets are thousands of men I have never seen—

But friendly are all the faces—oh! Mother, what can it mean?”

“My little one,” said the mother, “for many long, weary years—

Thro’ days that the sunshine mocked at, and nights that were wet with tears,

I have waited and watched in silence, too proud to speak, and now

The pulse of my heart is leaping, for the children have kept the vow.

“And there they are coming, coming, the brothers you never knew,

But, sightless, my ears would know them, so steady and firm and true

Is the tramp of men whose fathers trod where the wind blows free,

Over the heights of Queenston, and willows of Chateaugay.

“For whether it be a thousand, or whether a single man—

In the calm of peace, or battle, since ever the race began,

No human eye has seen it—’tis an undiscovered clime,

Where the feet of my children’s fathers have not stepped and beaten time.

“The enemy at my threshold had boasted and jeered and cried—

‘The pledge of your offsprings’ birthright your children have swept aside—

They cumber the land of strangers, they dwell in the alien’s tent

Till “home” is a word forgotten, and “love” but a bow unbent.

“Planners and builders of cities (were ever such men as these?),

Counsellors, guides, and moulders of the strangers’ destinies—

Conquerors, yet are they conquered, and this is the word and sign,

You boast of their wise seed-sowing, but the harvest they reap is mine.’

“Ah! little the stranger knew me—this mocking but friendly foe,

The youngest mother of nations! how could the stranger know

The faith of the old grey mother,—her sorrows and hopes and fears?

Let her speak when her sons are tested, like mine, for a thousand years!

“Afar in the dim savanna when the dawn of the spring is near,

What is it wakes the wild goose, calling him loud and clear?

What is it brings him homeward, battered and tempest-torn?

Are they weaker than birds of passage, the children whom I have borne?

“Nay! the streets of the city tremble with the tread that shakes the world,

When the sons of the blood foregather, and the mother flag flies unfurled—

Brothers are welcoming brothers, and the voices that pierce the blue

Answer the enemy’s taunting—and the children of York are true!

“Wanderers maybe, traitors never! By the scroll of their fathers’ lives!

The faith of the land that bore them, and the honor of their wives!

We may lose them, our own strong children, blossom and root and stem—

But the cradle will be remembered, and home is aye home to them!”

Canadian Forever

WHEN our fathers crossed the ocean

  In the glorious days gone by,

They breathed their deep emotion

  In many a tear and sigh—

Tho’ a brighter lay before them

Than the old, old land that bore them

And all the wide world knows now

    That land was Canada.

So line up and try us,

Whoever would deny us

The freedom of our birthright

  And they’ll find us like a wall—

For we are Canadian—Canadian forever

  Canadian forever—Canadian over all.

Our fathers came to win us

  This land beyond recall—

And the same blood flows within us

  Of Briton, Celt, and Gaul—

Keep alive each glowing ember

Of our sireland, but remember

Our country is Canadian

  Whatever may befall.

So line up and try us,

Whoever would deny us

  The freedom of our birthright

And they’ll find us like a wall—

For we are Canadian, Canadian forever,

  Canadian forever—Canadian over all.

Who can blame them, who can blame us

  If we tell ourselves with pride

How a thousand years to tame us

  The foe has often tried—

And should e’er the Empire need us,

She’ll require no chains to lead us,

For we are Empire’s children—

  But Canadian over all.

Then line up and try us,

Whoever would deny us

The freedom of our birthright

  And they’ll find us like a wall—

For we are Canadian, Canadian forever,

  Canadian forever—Canadian over all!



  And more power to yer wife—

An’ from Montreal to Kansas,

  I could safely bet my life

Ye wor proud enough, I hould ye—

  Runnin’ with the safety pins

Whin ould Mrs. Dolan tould ye,

  “Milia murther! she has twins!”

Ye might kill me without warnin’—

  Lay me out there on the shelf—

For a sight of ye that mornin’,

  Throwin’ bookays at yerself!

Faix! ye thought ye had a cinch there,

  An’ begob! so well ye might,

For not even with the Frinch there,

  Twins like thim come every night!

Francis, aisy now an’ listen

  To yer mother’s brother James—

Whin the twins ye go to christen,

  Don’t ye give thim fancy names—


  Cecil Rhodes an’ Percival—

If it’s names like that, Lord save us!

  Don’t live close to the canal!

Michael Whalen of St. Lambert

  Had a boy some years ago—

Called him Clarence Montizambert—

  Where he got it I dunno—

Monty used to have a brother

  (He was Marmaduke Fitzjames)

Killed himself some way or other

  Thryin’ to pronounce his names!

Bet was three times in a minute,

  An’ he thrained hard for the same,

But the lad was never in it—

  Tho’ they tell me he died game!

Well, sir!—Monty grew the height of

  Fin McCool or Brian Boru—

Truth I’m tellin’, but in spite of

  Ev’rything poor Mike could do—

Divil a dacint situation

 Monty got, but dhrive a hack,

At the Bonaventure station—

  ’Twas the name that kept him back—

Till his friend, John Reilly, tould him,

  “Change the haythen name for Pat—”

Pathrick Joseph—now behould him

  Walkin’ dillygate! think o’ that!

So be careful, Master Francis,

  An’ ye’ll bless yer uncle James—

Don’t be takin’ any chances

  With thim God-forsaken names!

Keep Out of the Weeds

NO smarter man you can never know

W’en I was a boy, dan Pierre Nadeau,

An’ quiet he’s too, very seldom talk,

But got an eye lak de mountain hawk,

See all aroun’ heem mos’ ev’ryw’ere,

An’ not many folk is foolin’ Pierre.

Offen I use to be t’inkin’—me—

How on de worl’ it was come to be

He know so moche, w’en he never go

On college or school, ole Pierre Nadeau,

Feesh on de reever de summer t’roo,

An’ trap on de winter—dat’s all he do.

“Hi! boy—Hi! put your book away,

An’ come wit’ your uncle Pierre to-day,

Ketch hol’ of de line an’ hang on tight,

An’ see if your moder won’t cook to-night

Some nice fresh feesh for de familee,”

Many a tam he was say to me—

An’ den I’m quiet, too scare to spik,

W’ile Pierre he paddle me down de crick,

Easy an’ nice he mak’ her go

Close to de shore w’ere de bulrush grow,

W’ere de pike an’ de beeg feesh lak to feed,

Deir nose stickin’ out w’ere you see de weed—

“Lissen, ma boy,” say Pierre Nadeau,

“To some of de t’ing you ought to know:

Kip a lookout on de hook an’ line,

In case dey’re gettin’ too far behin’;

For it’s purty hard job know w’at to do,

If de reever weed’s ketchin’ hol’ of you.

“But if you want feesh, you mus’ kip leetle close,

For dat’s w’ere de beeg feller come de mos’,

Not on de middle w’ere water’s bare,

But near to de rushes over dere,

’Cos dat was de spot dey alway feed—

All de sam’ you got to look out for weed.

“Ho! Ho! a strike! let heem have it now—

Gosh! ain’t he a-kickin’ heem up de row,

Pullin’ so hard, never min’, ma son,

W’en he go lak dat he was nearly done,

But he’s all right now, so don’t be afraid,

Jus’ hit heem again wit’ de paddle blade.

“Yass! over an’ over, it’s good advice,

An’ me, I know, for I pay de price

On w’at you call compoun’ interes’ too,

For larnin’ de lesson I geev’ to you,

Close as you lak, but, ma boy, tak’ heed

You don’t run into de beeg long weed.

“An’ by an’ by w’en you’re growin’ up,

An’ mebbe drink of de black, black cup

Of trouble an’ bodder an’ dunno w’at,

You’ll say to you’se’f, ‘Wall! I forgot

De lesson ole Pierre he know I need,’

W’en he say to me, ‘Boy, look out for weed’—

“For de worl’s de sam’ as de reever dere,

Plaintee of weed lyin’ ev’ryw’ere,

But work aroun’ or your life is gone,

An’ tak’ some chance or you won’t get on,

For if you don’t feesh w’ere de weed is grow,

You’ll only ketch small leetle wan or so—

“Dere’s no use sayin’, ‘I’ll wait an’ see

If some of dem feesh don’t come to me,

I’ll stay outside, for it’s pleasan’ here,

W’ere de water’s lookin’ so nice an’ clear,’

Dat’s way you’ll never get w’at you need—

Keep feeshin’ away, but look out for weed.”

      •      •      •      •      •      •      •

Dat was de lesson ole Pierre Nadeau

Tell to me offen, so long ago—

Poor ole Pierre! an’ I’m tryin’ too,

Tak’ hees advice, for I know it’s true,

But far as it goes we’re all de same breed,

An’ it’s not so easy kip out de weed.

The Holy Island

DEY call it de Holy Islan’

  W’ere de lighthouse stan’ alone,

Lookin’ across w’ere de breaker toss,

  Over de beeg grey stone;

Dey call it de Holy Islan’,

  For wance, on de day gone by,

A holy man from a far-off lan’

  Is leevin’ dere, till he die.

Down from de ole, ole people,

  Scatter upon de shore,

De story come of Fader Jerome,

  De pries’ of Salvador

Makin’ hees leetle house dere,

  Wit’ only hees own two han’,

Workin’ along, an’ singin’ de song

  Nobody understan’.

“All for de ship an’ sailor

  Out on de stormy sea,

I mak’ ma home,” say Fader Jerome,

  “W’ere de rock an’ de beeg wave be.

De good God up on de Heaven

  Is answer me on de prayer,

An’ bring me here, so I’ll never fear,

  But foller heem ev’ryw’ere!”

Lonely it was, dat islan’,

  Seven league from de coas’,

An’ only de cry, so loud an’ high,

  Of de poor drown sailors’ ghos’

You hear, wit’ de screamin’ sea gull;

  But de man of God he go

An’ anchor dere, an’ say hees prayer

  For ev’rywan here below.

      •      •      •      •      •      •      •

Night on de ocean’s fallin’,

  Deep is de fog, an’ black,

As on dey come, to deir islan’ home,

  De sea-bird hurryin’ back;

W’at is it mak’ dem double

  An’ stop for a minute dere,

As if in fear of a soun’ dey hear,

  Meetin’ dem on de air?

Sweeter dey never lissen,

  Magic it seem to be,

Hangin’ aroun’ dat wonderful soun’,

  Callin’ across de sea;

Music of bell’s widin it,

  An’ foller it on dey go

High on de air, till de islan’ dere

  Of Salvador lie below.

Dat’s w’ere de bell’s a-ringin’

  Over de ocean track,

Troo fog an’ rain an’ hurricane,

  An’ w’enever de night is black;

Kipin’ de vow he’s makin’,

  Dat’s w’at he’s workin’ for,

Ringin’ de bell, an’ he do it well,

  De Fader of Salvador!

An’ de years go by, an’ quickly,

  An’ many a sailor’s wife

She’s prayin’ long, an’ she’s prayin’ strong

  Dat God he will spare de life

Of de good, de holy Fader,

  Off w’ere de breakers roar,

Only de sea for hees companie,

  Alone on Salvador.

      •      •      •      •      •      •      •

Summer upon de islan’,

  Quiet de sea an’ air,

But no bell ring, an’ de small bird sing,

  For summer is ev’ryw’ere;

A ship comin’ in, an’ on it

  De wickedes’ capitaine

Was never sail on de storm, or gale,

  From here to de worl’s en’!

“Geev’ me dat bell a-ringin

  For not’ing at all, mon père;

Can’t sleep at night, w’en de moon is bright,

  For noise she was makin’ dere.

I’m sure she was never chrissen,

  An’ we want no heretic bell;

W’ere is de book? For you mus’ look

  An’ see if I chrissen it well!”

Leevin’ heem broken-hearted,

  For Fader Jerome is done,

He sail away wit’ de bell dat day,

  Capitaine Malcouronne;

An’ down w’ere dead man’s lyin’,

  Down on de ocean deep,

He sink it dere, w’ile he curse an’ swear,

  An’ tole it to go to sleep.

An’ t’ree more year is passin’,

  An’ now it’s a winter night:

Poor Salvador, so bles’ before,

  Is sittin’ among de fight

Of breaker, an’ sea-bird yellin’,

  An’ noise of a tousan’ gun,

W’en t’roo de fog, lak a dreefin’ log,

  Come Capitaine Malcouronne!

Gropin’ along de sea dere,

  Wonderin’ w’ere he be,

Prayin’ out loud, before all de crowd

  Of sailor man on hees knee;

Callin’ upon de devil,

  “Help! or I’m gone!” he shout;

“Dat bell it go to you down below,

  So now you can ring me out.

“To de open sea, an’ affer

  I promise you w’at I do.

Yass, ev’ry day I’ll alway pray

  To you, an’ to only you—

Kip me in here no longer,

  Or de shore I won’t see again!”

T’ink of de prayer he’s makin’ dere,

  Dat wicked ole capitaine!

An’ bell it commence a-ringin’,

  Quiet at firse, an’ den

Lak tonder crash, de ship go smash,

  An’ w’ere is de capitaine?

An’ de bell kip ringin’, ringin’,

  Drownin’ de breakers’ roar,

An’ dere she lie, w’ile de sea-birds cry,

  On de rock of Salvador.

The Rivière des Prairies

I SEE de many reever on de State an’ ev’ryw’ere,

  From Maine to California, New York to Michigan,

An’ wan way an’ de oder, I tell you I don’t care;

  I travel far upon dem as moche as any man—

But all de t’ousan’ reever I was never pass along,

  For w’at dey call de beauty, from de mountain to de sea,

Dere’s wan dat I be t’inkin’, de wan w’ere I belong,

  Can beat dem all, an’ easy, too, de Rivière des Prairies!

Jus’ tak’ de Hudson Reever, an’ de Mississippi too,

  Missouri, an’ de res’ of dem, an’ oders I can’t t’ink,

Dey’re all beeg, dirty places, wit’ de steamboat gruntin’ t’roo,

  An’ de water runnin’ in dem is black as any ink,

An’ de noises of dem reever never stoppin’ night or day,

  An’ de row along de shore, too, enough to mak’ you scare;

Not a feesh is wort’ de eatin’, ’less you’re starvin’ by de way,

  An’ you’re feeling purty t’orsty if you drink de water dere!

So ketch de han’ I geev’ you w’ile I’m on de humor now,

  An’ I bet you won’t be sorry w’en you go along wit’ me,

For I show you all aroun’ dere, until you’re knowin’ how

  I come so moche to brag—me—on de Rivière des Prairies.

It’s a cole October mornin’, an’ de maple leaf is change

  Ev’ry color you can t’ink of, from de purple to de green;

On de shore de crowd of blackbird, an’ de crow begin’ arrange

  For de journey dey be takin’ w’en de nort’ win’s blowin’ keen.

Quick! down among de bushes!—don’t you hear de wil’ goose cry

  An’ de honk de great beeg gander he was makin’ up above?

On de lake dey call Two Mountain is de place dey’re goin’ fly,

  But only spen’ de night-tam, for dey’re alway on de move;

Jus’ see de shadder dancin’ up an’ down, up an’ down,

  You t’ink dem geese was passin’ in an’ out between de tree

W’en de branch is bendin’ over on de water all aroun’

  Now you see de place I’m talkin’, dat’s de Rivière des Prairies!

Missouri! Mississippi! better wait till you go back—

  No tam for talk about dem w’en dis reever you can see,

But watch de cloud a-sailin’ lak a racer on de track,

  An’ lissen to de music of de Rivière des Prairies—

An’ up along de shore dere, don’t you envy Bord à Plouffe?

  Oh! dat’s de place is lucky, have de reever come so near—

I’m knowin’ all de people, ev’ry chimley, ev’ry roof,

  For Bord à Plouffe she never change on over feefty year!

St. Martin’s bell is ringin’, can’t you hear it easy now?

  Dey’re marryin’ or buryin’ some good ole frien’ of me,

I wonder who it can be, don’t matter anyhow,

  So long as we’re a-lookin’ on de Rivière des Prairies.

Only notice how de sun shine w’en he’s comin’ out to peep,

  I’m sure he’s leetle brighter dan anyw’ere you see,

An’ w’en de fall is over, an’ de reever’s gone to sleep,

  De w’ites’ snow is failin’ on de Rivière des Prairies!

I love you, dear ole reever, more dan ev’ry Yankee wan;

  An’ if I get de money, you will see me on de train,

Wit’ couple o’ t’ousan’ dollar, den hooraw! it’s good-bye, John!

  You can kill me if you ketch me leavin’ Bord à Plouffe again.

But sometam it’ll happen dat a feller’s gettin’ stop

  Because he’s comin’ busy wit’ de wife an’ familee—

No matter, if de good God he won’t forget to drop,

  Ev’ry day an’ night, hees blessin’ on de Rivière des Prairies!

The Wind that Lifts the Fog

OVER de sea de schooner boat

Star of de Sout’ is all afloat,

Many a fine brave feesherman

Sailin’ away for Newfunlan’;

Ev’ry feller from St. Malo,

Dem is de boy can mak’ her go!

Tearin’ along t’roo storm or gale,

Never sparin’ an inch of sail—

Down below w’en de night is come.

Out wit’ de bottle an’ t’ink of home,

Push it aroun’ till bottle’s drain,

An’ drink no more till we’re home again.

“Here’s to de win’ dat lif’ de fog,

No matter how she’s blowin’,

Nort’ or sout’, eas’ or wes’

Dat is de win’ we love de bes’,

Ev’ry sailor an’ young sea dog,

Here’s to de win’ dat lif’ de fog

An’ set de ship a-goin’.”

Flyin’ over de wave she go,

Star of de Sout’ from St. Malo,

Never a tack, before she ran

Out on de bank of Newfunlan’—

Drop de anchor, an’ let her down,

Plaintee of comrade all aroun’,

Feeshin’ away till night is fall,

Singin’ away wit’ ev’ry haul,

“Here’s to de win’ dat lif’ de fog,

No matter how she’s blowin’

Nort’ or sout’, eas’ or wes’,

Dat is de win’ we love de bes’,

Ev’ry sailor an’ young sea dog,

Here’s to de win’ dat lif’ de fog

An’ set de ship a-goin’.”

      •      •      •      •      •      •      •

Star of de Sout’—did you see de light

Steamin’ along dat foggy night?

Poor leetle bird! anoder star

Shinin’ above so high an’ far

Dazzle you den, an’ blin’ de eye,

W’ile down below on de sea you lie

Anchor dere—wit’ your broken wing

How could you fly w’en de sailor sing

“Here’s to de win’ dat lif’ de fog

No matter how she’s blowin’,

Nort’ or sout’, eas’ or wes’,

Dat is de win’ we love de bes’,

Ev’ry sailor an’ young sea dog,

Here’s to de win’ dat lif de fog

An’ set de ship a-goin’?”

The Fox Hunt

I’M all bus’ up, for a mont’ or two,

  On account of de wife I got,

Wit’ de fuss an’ troublesome t’ing she do,

  She’s makin’ me sick a lot;

An’ I’m sorry dat woman was go to school

  For larnin’ de way to read,

Her fader an’ moder is great beeg fool

  For geevin’ her more she need!

’Cos now it’s a paper ev’ry week,

  Dollar a year, no less—

Plaintee o’ talkin’ about musique,

  An’ tell you de way to dress;

Of course dat’s makin’ her try to sing

  An’ dress, till it’s easy see

She’s goin’ crazy about de t’ing

  Dey’re callin’—Societee.

Las’ week, no sooner I come along

  From market of Bonsecour,

Dan I’m seein’ right off, dere’s somet’ing wrong,

  For she’s stannin’ outside de door

Smilin’ so sweetly upon de face,

  Lookin’ so nice an’ gay—

Anywan t’ink it’s purty sure case

  She marry me yesterday.

Can’t wait a minute till supper’s t’roo

  Before she commence to go—

“Oh! Johnnie, dere’s somet’ing I mus’ tole you—

  Somet’ing you lak to know—

To-morrow we’re goin’ for drive aroun’

  An’ it won’t be de heavy load,

Jus’ me an’ you, for to see dem houn’

  T’row off on de Bord à Plouffe road.”

“Denise, if dat was de grande affaire

  On w’at you call à la mode—

Lookin’ dem fox dog stannin’ dere

  T’row off on de Bord à Plouffe road,

You can count me out!” An’ she start to cry—

  “You know very well,” she say,

“I don’t mean dat—may I never die

  But you’re a beeg fool to-day!

“Johnnie, to-morrow you’ll come wit’ me

  Watchin’ dem run de race,

Ketchin’ de fox—if you don’t, you see

  We’re bote on de beeg disgrace.

Dey’re all comin’ out from de reever side,

  An’ over from Beaurepaire,

Seein’ de folk from de city ride,

  An’ ev’rywan’s sure be dere.”

All right—an’ to-morrow dere’s two new shoe,

  So de leetle horse mak’ de show,

Out wit’ de buggy: de new wan too,

  Only get her ten year ago—

An’ dere on de road, you should see de gang

  Of folk from aroun’ de place,

Billy Dufresne, an’ ole Champagne,

  Comin’ to see de race,

Wit’ plaintee of stranger I never see,

  An’ some of dem from Pointe Claire,

All of dem bringin’ de familee,

  W’enever dere’s room to spare.

Wonderful sight—I’m sure you say—

  To see how Societee

(W’atever dat mean?) she got de way

  Of foolin’ de w’ole contree.

Den I’m heetchin’ de horse on de fence, for fear

  Somebody run away.

So man wit’ de bugle he’s comin’ near,

  An’ dis is de t’ing he say—

“You see any fox to-day, ma frien’,

  Runnin’ aroun’ at all,

You know any place he got hees den?

  For we lak it to mak’ de call.”

An’ me—I tell heem, “You mus’ be wrong,

  An’ surely don’t want to kill

De leetle red fox, about two foot long,

  Dat’s leevin’ below de hill;

Jompin’ de horse till he break hees knee,

  W’ile spotty dog mak’ de row,

For a five-dollar fox? You can’t fool me—

  I know w’at you’re wantin’ now!

“You hear de story of ole Belair,

  He’s seein’ de silver fox

W’enever he’s feeshin de reever dere,

  Sneakin’ along de rocks.”

But ma wife get madder I never see,

  An’ say, “Wall! you mus’ be green—

Shut up right away,” she’s tellin’ me,

  “It’s de leetle red fox he mean!”

So me—I say not’ing, but watch de fun—

  An’ spotty dog smell aroun’

Till dey start to yell, an’ quick as a gun

  Ev’rywan’s yellin’, “Foun’!”

An’ de way dey’re goin’ across de fiel’,

  De lady in front, before,

Dunno, but I’m willin’ to bet good deal

  Somebody mus’ be sore!

Over de fence dey’re jompin’ now,

  Too busy for see de gate

Stannin’ wide open, an’ den dey plough

  Along at a terrible rate;

All for de small red fox, dey say,

  Only de leetle fox,

You’re buyin’ for five dollar any day,

  An’ put heem on two-foot box.

I’m foolish enough, but not lak dat—

  Never lak dat at all,

Sam’ as you see a crazy cat

  Tryin’ to climb de wall;

So I say to ma wife, I’m satisfy

  On ev’ryt’ing I was see,

But happy an’ glad, until I die,

  I’m not on Societee!

Lison’ a day on de fall’s no joke,

  Dat’s w’at I’m tellin’ you,

Jus’ for de pleasure of see dem folk

  Dress up on de howdy do;

So I’m sorry you go to school,

  Larnin’ de readin’ dere—

Could do it mese’f an’ play de fool,

  If money I got to spare.

But potatoes a dollar a bag,

  An’ easy to sell de load,

Watchin’ de houn’ to see heem wag

  Hees tail, on de Bord à Plouffe road

Foolin’ away w’en de market’s good

  For seein’ Societee

Chasin’ de leetle fox t’roo de wood

  Wit’ crazy folk!—no siree!

The Great Fight

BAD luck to fight on New Year’s night

An’ wit’ your neighbor man,

But w’en you know de reason w’y

I hit heem hard on bote hees eye,

An’ kick heem till he nearly die,

I t’ink you’ll understan’.

If you could see ma wife an’ me

At home on Pigeon Bay,

You’d say, “How nice dey bote agree!

Dey mus’ be firse-class familee

An’ go de sam’ as wan, two, tree,”

I know dat’s w’at you say.

An’ New Year’s Day on Pigeon Bay,

You ought to see us den,

Wit’ parlor feex it up so fine,

Spruce beer an’ w’isky, cake an’ wine,

Cigar—an’ only very bes’ kin’

For treatin’ all our frien’.

But on de las’ New Year is pas’

De win’ begin to rise,

An’ snow she dreef in such a way,

W’en mornin’ come, ma wife she say,

“Dere won’t be many folk to-day,

Or I’ll be moche surprise.”

We never see, ma wife an’ me,

So quiet New Year Day,

But very happy all de sam’,

An’ talk a lot about de tam’

Before she come to me, ma femme,

W’ile kettle sing away.

An’ as we talk, de good ole clock

Go tick, tick on de wall,

De cat’s asleep upon de stair,

De house is quiet ev’ryw’ere,

An’ Jean Bateese, hees image dere,

Is smilin’ over all.

I buy dat leetle Jean Bateese

On Market Bonsecour,

Two dollar an’ your money down,

He’s fines’ wan for miles aroun’,

Can hardly beat heem on de town,

An’ so I love heem sure.

W’at’s dat I hear, but never fear,

Dere’s no wan on de door?

Yass, sure enough, Joe Beliveau,

An’ nearly smoder wit’ de snow.

Entrez! We’re glad to see you. Joe—

W’y don’t you come before?

“Bonjour, Ma-dame—Camille, your femme,

She’s younger ev’ry day;

I hope de New Year will be bright,

I hope de baby feel all right,

Don’t wake you up too moche at night?”

An’ dat’s w’at Joe he say.

He’s so polite it’s only right

He wish heem ev’ry t’ing

Dat’s good upon de worl’ at all,

An’ geev heem two tree w’at you call

Dat fancy Yankee stuff, “high ball,”

An’ den he start to sing.

You dunno Joe? Wall, you mus’ know

He’s purty full of life,

An’ w’en he’s goin’ dat way—Joe,

Mus’ tak’ heem leetle easy, so

I don’t say not’ing w’en he go

For start an’ kiss ma wife.

An’ up an’ down dey dance aroun’

An’ laugh an’ mak’ de fun.

For spree lak’ dat, on New Year’s Day,

Is not’ing moche on Pigeon Bay,

Beside he’s frien’ of me alway,

An’ so dere’s no harm done.

I lak’ to know jus’ how it go,

Dat w’en we feel secure

Not’ing at all is goin’ wrong,

An’ life is lak’ a pleasan’ song,

De devil’s boun’ to come along,

An’ mak’ some trouble sure.

For bimeby, Joe cock hees eye,

An’ see poor Jean Bateese,

An’ say right off, “If I can’t show

A better wan at home, I’ll go

An’ drown me on de crick below,”

So dat’s de en’ of peace.

Dis very day along de Bay,

Dey tell about de fight.

Never was seen such bloody war,

On Pigeon Bay before, ba gor’!

An’ easy understan’ it, for

De battle las’ all night.

So hard we go, dat me an’ Joe

Get tire soon, an’ den

We bote sit down an’ tak’ de res’

For half a secon’, mebbe less,

An’ w’en de win’ come on our ches’,

We start her up again.

De house is shake lak’ beeg eart’quake,

De way we jump aroun’,

An’ people living far away,

Dey lissen hard an’ den dey say,

“It’s all up, sure, wit’ Pigeon Bay—

She’s tumble to de groun’.”

’Twas bad enough, de way we puff,

But w’en de stovepipe fall,

An’ all de smoke begin to tear

Right t’roo de house, an’ choke de air,

An’ me an’ Joe can’t see no w’ere,

Dat’s very wors’ t’ing of all.

It’s not a joke, de maudit smoke—

Dat’s w’at I’m tellin’ you—

But sure enough it stop de fight;

It’s easy killin’ Joe all right,

But w’at about de wife all right

An’ mebbe baby too?

A man dat’s brave, should always save

De woman she’s hees wife;

Dat’s firse t’ing he mus’ do an’ w’en

I open de door, Joe’s runnin’ den,

As hard as he can lick, ma frien’,

So all han’s save hees life.

An’ since de fight, dey’re all polite,

Dey smile an’ touch de hat,

An’ say, “I hope you’re feelin’ purty gay,

An’ no more fight on Pigeon Bay,

Or else you’ll kill a man some day.”

So w’at you t’ink of dat?

Victoria Square—An Idyll

OH! we are a band of bummers, and for many joyous summers

On the Square that’s called “Victoria” we have sported on the green.

“Evan’s Corner” erstwhile knew us, but the blooming coppers flew us,

So we sought the kind protection of Her Majesty the Queen.

        Her Majesty the Queen!

Lord bless the big bronze Statue of Her Majesty the Queen.

Ah, it’s there we love to linger till what time the rosy finger

Of Aurora paints the heavens with golden rays serene,

And altho’ our lives are “checkered,” yet we’ve always held the record

For strong unchanging fealty to the Statue of the Queen.

        To the Statue of the Queen!

Oh! we’re the Guard of Honor to the Statue of the Queen.

Sitting round the sun-kissed fountain, situate between the mountain

And the river gently flowing, oh! ’tis a pleasant scene.

For alternately the breezes from both sources come to please us,

As we linger round the Statue of Her Majesty the Queen.

        The Statue of the Queen!

As we worship round the Statue of Her Majesty the Queen.

Like veterans in the trenches, we occupy the benches,

Where we watch the busy sparrows as they flutter round their nests;

And the new wild-eyed bacteria we have introduced, would weary a

Wyatt Johnston, for he’d find them unresponsive to his tests.

        Unresponsive to his tests!

Oh! we think we see them smiling ’neath his pathologic tests.

We are born of many nations, we have rules and regulations

Which if any member fracture, we arise in all our wrath—

Then you ought to hear him holler, as we seize him by the collar,

For well he knows his punishment necessitates a bath.

        Necessitates a bath!

Oh! the agony inflicted by the order of the bath!

Oh! the scientific lacin’ we applied to Billy Mason,

And submerged him in the basin while the coppers were away,

And before the coppers found him, we had very nearly drowned him

’Cause he wore a laundered night-shirt on Victoria’s Natal Day!

        On Victoria’s Natal Day!

Tho’ he said he only donned it just in honor of the day.

For there’s one thing we take pride in ’tis the shadow we abide in

Of the glorious law of freedom, unchangeabilitee;

Then let us range unfettered, tho’ we may be unlettered,

For we furnish picturesqueness and true simplicitee.

        And true simplicitee,

As we camp around the Statue of Her Glorious Majestee!


THERE’S a girl at Calabogie an’ another at the Soo,

An’ with sparkin’ and colloguin’, I’ve been foolish with the two;

But I’m foolish now for ever, an’ worst of all it come

From a girl I thought was dacint when I used to live at home.

She could dance to bate the fairies that my gran’mother ’ud tell

Over there in Ireland ha’nted what they call the “holy well.”

She was purty as a wood-duck whin you see him on a tree,

But so proud and independint that she’d never look at me.

So it made me feel onaisy, an’ I drifted far away,

An’ I wint to Calabogie a workin’ by the day.

Of any kind of money the place is mighty bare,

But a girl that took my fancy happened to be livin’ there.

Still the other down the river—how I’d dream of her at night!

Spite of all the times I’d wish her gone completely out o’ sight,

For she used to spile the comfort with the new wan that I had,

An’ a little consolation sure I needed purty bad.

Thin the times begin to slacken, an’ I’m gettin’ hard up too,

So good-bye to Calabogie, an’ I started for the Soo;

An’ the girl I left behind me? Lord knows, it’s hard to tell,

But another came between, an’ she liked me just as well.

Whin you speak of bad luck comin’, mine is worse nor any man’s—

Think of all the good intintions an’ with two o’ thim on my han’s!

One of thim at Calabogie, an’ the other at the Soo,

An’ engaged to both, it’s hard to say exactly what to do.

The Cobalt-silver fever was the worst that’s ever known,

An’ it came in purty handy in cases like my own;

Besides of all the chances, ’twas the one I fancied best,

So I had to go prospectin’ jus’ the same as all the rest.

An’ the girls, of course they suffered, for I hadn’t time to write,

Divil a thing but pick an’ shovel, an’ workin’ day an’ night,—

Till a dacint wild-cat claim I sold for fifteen thousand too—

Now I sez, “It’s all a toss-up—Calabogie or the Soo?”

Calabogie won it aisy, but, the next thing that I heard,

She got tired o’ waitin’ for me whin she never got a word;

So she married John Mahaffy—“little John” that runs the farm,

An’ the only thing she wished me was, “I’d never come to harm.”

An’ the Soo girl done the same thing—took a brakesman on a freight;

An’ in Winnipeg they’re livin', so I come a trifle late;

But I’m not afeared to visit Calabogie or the Soo,

For I’ve tried to do my duty, an’ sure ayther wan ’ud do!


Well, I stood it for a little an’ thin home agin I wint,

For with fifteen thousand dollars, any man should be contint,

An’ the girl that used to give me many a beautiful heartache,

Sure I wasn’t back a fortnight, till I seen her at a wake.

Quiet now! No palpitation! Watch yerself, my laddy buck,

Take your time—don’t get excited—maybe you’ll have better luck.

Then she said her darlin’ mother missed me for a year or more,

’Twould have saved some trouble if her mother spoke like that before.

“Wan thing leadeth to another” sez the poet—dunno who,

But we purty soon got married, so the prophecy come true;

An’ whinever all my fortune’s settled on the daughter sure,

Some wan seen the mother dance a sailor’s hornpipe on the floor.

It’s no wonder I’m distracted whin the two o’ thim’ll say,

“Oh! Patrick, mind the baby, sure you got out yesterday”—

Lord forgive me, I’d be happy if the ouldwan only died,

But she’s healthy as a tom-cat an’ she couldn’t if she tried.

I suppose I’m doin’ pinance for the sins of airly youth,

Tho’ I blame it on the women—they betrayed me—that’s the truth.

But for all I know about thim, ’twould have been the same thing too,

With the girl from Calabogie, or the other at the Soo.

We’re Irish Yet

WHAT means this gathering to-night?

  What spirit moves along

The crowded hall, and, touching light

  Each heart among the throng,

Awakes, as tho’ a trumpet blast

  Had sounded in their ears,

The recollections of the past,

  The memories of the years?

Oh! ’tis the spirit of the West,

  The spirit of the Celt,

The breed that spurned the alien breast,

  And every wrong has felt—

And still, tho’ far from fatherland,

  We never can forget

To tell ourselves, with heart and hand,

  We’re Irish yet! We’re Irish yet!

And they outside the clan of Conn

  Would understand, but fail,

The mystic music played upon

  The heart-strings of the Gael—

His ear, and his alone, can tell

  The soul that lies within,

The music which he knows so well,

  The voice of Kith and Kin.

He hears the tales of old, old days

  Of battle fierce by ford and hill,

Of ancient Senachie’s martial lays,

  And race unconquered still.

It challenges with mother’s pride

  And dares him to forget

That, tho’ he cross the ocean wide,

His eye may never see the blue

  Of Ireland’s April sky,

His ear may never listen to

  The song of lark on high,

But deep within his Irish heart

  Are cloisters, dark and dim,

No human hand can wrench apart,

  And the lark still sings for him.

We’ve bowed beneath the chastening rod,

  We’ve had our griefs and pains,

But with them all, we still thank God,

  The Blood is in our veins,

The ancient blood that knows no fear,

  The Stamp is on us set,

And so, however foes may jeer,

  We’re Irish yet! We’re Irish yet.


DID you ever see an air-hole on the ice

  Wit’ de smoke a risin’ roun’ about it dere?

De reever should be happy w’ere it’s feelin’ warm an’ nice,

  But she t’ink she ought to get a leetle air.

An’ she want to be a lookin’ on de sky,

  So of course de cole win’ hit her on de nose—

“I’ll come up again,” she say, “on de spring tam, bimeby,

  But I’m better now below,” and off she goes.

Dat’s de way I feel mese’f on de farm a year ago,

  W’ere ev’ryt’ing should be a pleasan’ dream;

Lak de foolish reever dere, I’m not satisfy below,

  So I got to let me off a leetle steam.

Den a man he come along an’ he say to me, “Look here—

  Don’t you know that place dey call Chibougamou

W’ere de diamon’ lie aroun’ like de mushroom on de groun’,

  An’ dey’re findin’ all de gole an’ silver too?

“W’at’s de use of stayin’ here den? Didn’t Johnnie Drutusac

  Lif’ de mor’gage off hees place an’ buy a cow?

Only gone a leetle w’ile—hardly miss heem till he’s back;

  He’s easy workin’ man too, an’ look at Johnnie now?

“Well enough, ma frien’, you know I can never tell de lie

  W’en I say de gole is comin’ t’ousan’ ounces on de ton,

An’ de solid silver mak’ you feel funny on de eye,

  Lak de snow-blin’ on de winter w’en it shine de morning sun.

“I s’pose you won’t believe, but you know dat gravel walk

  Ma fader got it facin’ on hees house at St. Bidou—

But w’at’s de use of spikin’, w’at’s de use of talk?

  Dat’s de way you see de diamon’ on dat place Chibougamou.

“ ’Course you got to go an’ fin’ dem quickly, or de stranger man

  Come along wit’ plaintee barrel—an’ you’re never knowin’ w’en

Couple o’ Yankee off the State, he was buyin’ all de lan’;

  Affer dat an’ w’ere’s your gole an’ silver goin’ den?

“So, Bateese, get up an’ hurry, sell de farm, mon cher ami,

  Leave de girl an’ bring provision, pork an’ bean, potato too,

Leetle w’isky, an’ I’ll put heem on de safe place under me

  W’ile I sit an’ steer you off to dat place Chibougamou.”

Oh! de day an’ night we’re passin’, me dat never was before

  On de bush, except w’en heifer go away an’ den got los’;

Oh! de pullin’ an’ de haulin’, till I’m feelin’ purty sore,

  But of all de troub an’ worry, de skeeter, he’s de boss.

Beeg? lak de leetle two-mont’ robin. Sing? lak a sawmill on de spring.

  Put de blanket roun’ your body an’ den he bite you t’roo.

Me, I never tak’ hees measure, but I t’ink across de wing

  He’s t’ree inch sure—dem skeeter, on dat place Chibougamou.

De man he’s goin’ wit’ me, never paddle, never haul,

  Jus’ smoke an’ watch an’ lissen for dat ole Chibougamou;

I s’pose he can’t be bodder doin’ any work at all,

  For de feller tak’ you dere jus’ have not’ing else to do.

T’ousan’ mile we mak’ de travel—t’ousan’ mile an’ mebbe more,

  An’ I do de foolish prayin’ lak’ I never pray at home,

’Cos I want a chance to get it, only let me see de shore

  Of Chibougamou a little w’ile before de winter come.

No use prayin’, no use climbin’ on de beeg tree ev’ry day,

  Lookin’ hard to see de diamon’, an’ de silver, an’ de gole—

I can’t see dem, an’ de summer she begin to go away,

  An’ de day is gettin’ shorter, an’ de night is gettin’ cole.

So I kick an’ raise de row den, an’ I tole ma frien’ lookout—

  Purty quick de winter’s comin’ an’ we’ll hurry up an’ go;

Never min’ de gole an’ silver—diamon’ too we’ll go widout,

  Or de only wan we’re seein’, is de diamon’ on de snow.

Mebbe good place w’en you get dere, w’at you call Chibougamou,

  But if we never fin’ it, w’at’s de use dat place to me?

Tak’ de paddle, for we’re goin’, an’ mese’f I’ll steer canoe,

  For I’m always firse-class pilot on de road to St. Elie.

Oh! to see me on de mornin’, an’ de way I mak’ heem sweat,

  You can see de water droppin’ all aroun’ hees neck an’ face;

“Now, Chibougamou,” I tell heem, “hurry up, an’ mebbe yet

  You’ll have chance again to try it w’en you leave me on ma place.”

So we have a beeg procession, w’en we pass on St. Elie,

  All de parish comin’ lookin’ for de gole an’ silver too,

But Louise, she cry so moche dere, jus’ becos she’s seein’ me,

  She forget about de diamon’ on dat ole Chibougamou.

Affer all is gone an’ finish, an’ you mak’ a fool you’se’f,

  An’ de worl’ is go agen you, w’at’s de medicine is cure

Lak de love of hones’ woman w’en she geev it all herse’f?

  So Louise an’ me is happy, no matter if we’re poor.

So de diamon’ may be plaintee, lak de gravel walk you see

  W’en you’re comin’ near de house of ole Telesphore Beaulieu,

But me, I got a diamon’ on ma home on St. Elie

  Can beat de pil is lyin’ on dat place Chibougamou.

The First Robin

OH! it’s bad to be unlucky in ev’ryt’ing you do,

  An’ worse if you can’t help it, ’cos I’m de torteen chile,

An’ w’en you play for number wan, an’ den you’re number two,

  I wonder w’ere’s de feller he don’t feel a leetle rile?

Few mont’ ago it happen dat I’m goin’ walk aroun’,

  Gettin’ ready for de ploughin’ is comin’ on de spring,

An’ soon I wait an’ listen, for I t’ink I hear de song

  Of de firse, de early robin, as he jus’ begin to sing.

It was very, very lucky w’en de firse wan come along—

  An’ you see upon your farm dere is de place de robin stop,

Settle down to feex hees fedder, an’ commence to mak’ hees song—

  For o’ course it’s always makin’ beeg difference wit’ de crop.

So I sneak aroun’ so quiet, t’roo de orchard on de hill,

  T’roo de fence, along de crik too, w’ere de snow is lyin’ yet—

Ev’ry kin’ o’ luck again me as I travel dere until

  Ba de tam de job is finish, golly, I was feelin’ wet!

W’at’s de matter wit’ dat robin, dat he isn’t comin’ here,

  ’Stead o’ goin’ half an acre jus’ to tak’ de luck away?

No Siree!—I don’t forgive heem, if he leev a honder year,

  For dere’s hees singin’, singin’ on de farm of Joe Lahaie.

Joe hese’f is sittin’ dere too, lookin’ happy on hees face,

  For de way dat bird is yellin’, is enough to scare de dead;

An’ he ax me, “W’at you doin’ sneakin’ all aroun’ ma place?

  Don’t you know I own dat robin he was singin’ overhead?

“Mebbe he was work for not’ing, my leetle boy Louis,

  W’en he’s startin’ out dis mornin’ for milkin’ on de cow,

An’ he fin’ dat robin flyin’ purty near your apple-tree,

  An’ he shoo heem up, an’ bring heem on de place you see heem now.

“Didn’t get heem off too early, for anoder minute more

  An’ I bet dat robin’s singin’ among your apple-tree;

But de boy’s too smart to let heem, an’ he scare heem here before

  He begin to mak’ de music—so dat bird belong to me.

“Talk about your lucky season! Wait an’ see de wan I got;

  Shouldn’t wonder if I’m needin’ anoder wagon sure.

How I wish de fall would hurry, for de crop your uncle get,

  It will mak’ dem all go crazy on de market Bonsecours.

“Me—I lissen many robin, an’ de fines’ of de crowd

  Is de wan dat’s sittin’ up dere, workin’ w’at you call de charm;

Dat’s de robin for ma money, he can holler out so loud,

  But o’ course de res’ was alway on some oder feller’s farm.

“Only sorry ma ole woman isn’t comin’ here to see,

  For she can’t help feelin’ happy w’en de firse bird of de spring

Mak’ hees choice upon our tree dere, jus’ so natural an’ free,

  Non! She wouldn’t tak’ a dollar ev’ry tam dat feller sing.”

An’ he sit an’ smoke away dere, Joe Lahaie, an’ talk hees fill,

  He’s all right, an’ he don’t bodder how de res’ de parish go;

Never hear a man so foolish, mak’ me feelin’ mad until

  I could kill dat maudit robin, an’ Jo-seph Lahaie also.

An’ den bimeby de summer come along, but w’at’s de use

  Call it summer, for de fine day is w’at we seldom get.

So I tak’ it purty easy, for de man mus’ be a goose

  If he don’t kip nice an’ quiet, w’en de wedder she’s so wet.

But Joe Lahaie, dat feller, he was t’ink so moche, ba gum,

  About hees poor ole robin, he forget about de rain;

Ev’ry day you see heem workin’, an’ w’en de fall is come

  He got de fines’ crop upon St. Polycarpe de plaine.

An’ me—Wall! I could bet you, w’en de springtam’ melt de snow,

  I’ll never go to bed unless I’m sleepin’ on ma pants;

Den w’en I hear de robin, hoopla! off she go,

  An’ he’ll never lef’ ma garden, so I’ll have anoder chance!

Bloom—A Song of Cobalt

OH! the blooming cheek of beauty, tho’ it’s full of many a peril,

Where’s the miner doesn’t love it? for he thinks he knows the girl,

While the bloomer! Oh! the bloomer! of emancipated She,

May it bloom and promptly wither every seventh century.

Oh! the early bloom of blossom on the apple tree in June,

Is there mortal having seen it, can forget the picture soon?

And the wine of red October where Falernian juices flow,

I have sipped the blooming beaker (in the ages long ago!).

Oh! the bloom along the hill-side, shining bright among the trees,

When the banners of the autumn are flung out to every breeze,

How it blazes—how it sparkles, and then shivers at a breath:

What is it when all is spoken but the awful bloom of death!

Oh! I’ve watched the rose’s petals, and beheld the summer sun

Dipping down behind Olympus, when the great day’s work was done;

But to-day I’m weary, weary, and the bloom I long to see,

Is the bloom upon the cobalt—that’s the only bloom for me.

The Boy from Calabogie

He was twenty-one in April—forty inches round the chest,

  A soupler or a better boy we’ll never see again—

And the way we cheered the lad when he started for the West!

  The town was like a holiday, the time he took the train

            At Calabogie.

“Are ye ever comin’ back with the fortune, little Dan,

  From the place they say the money’s like the leaves upon the tree?”

“If the minin’ boss’ll let me, as sure as I’m a man,

  The mother’s Christmas turkey won’t have to wait for me

            At Calabogie.”

And the letters he was writin’ to his mother from the West,

  Sure ev’rybody read them, and who could see the harm?

Tellin’ how he’d keep the promise to come home and have a rest;

  And the money that was in them was enough to buy a farm

            At Calabogie.

What is it that makes the fever leave the weak and kill the strong,

  And who’d ’a’ thought our Dannie would ever come to this?

When the Sister had to raise him, and say, “It won’t be long

  Till it’s home, my lad, you’re goin’ to receive a mother’s kiss

            At Calabogie.”

So we met our little Dannie, Christmas morning at the train,

  And we lifted up the long-box without a word to say;

Och! such a boy as Dannie we’ll never see again

  God forgive us! ’twasn’t much of a Merry Christmas Day

            At Calabogie!

The Calcite Vein—A Tale of Cobalt

I USED to be leevin’ on Bonami,

  Fines’ place on de lake, you bet!

An’ dough I go off only wance sapree!

  I t’ink I will leev’ dere yet;

Wit’ tree growin’ down to de water side,

  W’ere leetle bird dance an’ sing—

Only come an’ see you don’t shout wit’ me

  Hooraw for Temiskaming!

But silver “boom” an’ de cobalt bloom,

  Play de devil wit’ Bonami,

So off on de wood, we all mus’ go,

  Leavin’ de familee—

Shovel an’ pick, hammer an’ drill,

  We carry dem ev’ryw’ere,

For workin’ away all night an’ day

  Till it’s tam to be millionaire.

So it ain’t very long w’en I mak’ de strike,

  W’at dey’re callin’ de vein cal-cite,

Quarter an inch, jus’ a leetle “pinch,”

  But she is come all right

An’ widen out beeg: mebbe wan sixteen,

  An’ now we have got her sure;

So we jump on our hat w’en she go like dat,

  Me an’ Bateese Couture!

Early in de spring we see dat vein,

  W’en de pat-ridge begin to drum,

De leaf on de bush start in wit’ a rush,

  An’ de skeeter commence to come—

Very nice time on de wood for sure,

  If you want to be goin’ die,

Skeeter at night till it’s come daylight,

  An’ affer dat, small black fly!

Couple o’ gang like dat, ma frien’,

  ’Specially near de swamp,

An’ hongry too, dey can bite an’ chew,

  An’ keep you upon de jomp;

But never you min’, only work away

  So long as de vein is dere,

For a t’ing so small don’t count at all,

  If you want to be millionaire!

“An’ dis is de price,” Bateese he say,

  “T’ree million or not’ing at all.”

An’ I say, “You’re crazy, it’s five you mean

  An’ more if you wait till fall.

An’ s’pose de silver was come along,

  An’ cobalt she bloom an’ bloom,

We look very sick if we sole too quick,

  An’ ev’ryt’ing’s on de boom.”

De cash we refuse w’en dey hear de news—

  W’en I t’ink of dat cash to-day,

I feel like a mouse on a great beeg house,

  W’en de familee move away:

One million, two million, no use to us,

  Me an’ Bateese Couture,

So we work away ev’ry night an’ day,

  De sam’ we was alway poor.

An’ den one morning a stranger man,

  A man wit’ hees hair all w’ite,

Look very wise, an’ he’s moche surprise

  W’en he’s seein’ dat vein cal-cite.

An’ he say, “Ma frien’, for de good advice

  I hope you’ll mak’ some room—

From sweetheart girl to de wide, wide worl’,

  Ketch ev’ryt’ing on de bloom.

“Keep your eye on de vein, for dere’s many a slip

  Till you drink of de silver cup,

An’ if you’re not goin’ to go ’way down,

  You’re goin’ to go ’way, ’way up.”

“Now w’at does he mean?” Bateese he say,

  Affer de ole man lef’,

“Mebbe want to buy, but he t’ink it’s high,

  So we’ll finish de job ourse’f.

Purty quick too.” An’ den hooraw!

  We form it de compagnie,

An’ to give dem a sight on de vein cal-cite,

  We work it on Bonami.

Can’t count de money dat’s comin’ in,

  Same as de lotterie;

Ev’ry wan try, till bimeby

  Dere’s not many dollar on Bonami;

An’ de gang we put onto de job right off,

  Nearly twenty beside de cook,

Hammer an’ drill till dey’re nearly kill,

  An’ feller to watch de book.

Too many man, an’ I see it now,

  An’ I’m sorry, ’cos I’m de boss;

For walkin’ aroun’ all over de groun’,

  Dat’s reason de vein get los’,

Easy enough wit’ de lantern too,

  Seein’ dat vein las’ night,

But to-day I’m out lookin’ all about,

  An’ w’ere is dat vein cal-cite?

Very curious t’ing, but you can’t blame me,

  For I try very hard, I’m sure,

Helpin’ dem all till de vein is gone,

  Me an’ Bateese Couture;

So of course I wonder de way she go,

  An’ twenty cent too a share,

An’ I can’t understan’ dat stranger man

  W’at he mean w’en he’s sayin’ dere:

“Keep your eye on de vein, for there’s many a slip

  Till you drink of de silver cup,

An’ if you’re not goin’ to go way down

  You’re goin’ to go ’way, ’way up.”

Pierre Leblanc
(Dedicated to the Hon. Peter White)

EV’RY State upon de Union, w’en dey write her up to-day,

Have so many kin’ of story not many understan’;

But if you lissen me you can very quickly see

How it’s easy t’ing remember de State of Michigan.

An’ me I know it’s true, ’cos ma fader tole me so.

How dat voyageur dey’re callin’ Père Marquette

Come a-sailin’ hees canoe, wit’ de Injun from de Soo,

On de year so long ago dat I forget.

But wan t’ing I can say, w’en Marquette is reach de shore

W’ere w’at you call hees statue is stickin’ up to-day,

Dere’s a leetle French boy dere say, “Comment ça va, mon père,

You been so long a-comin’ I hope you’re goin’ to stay?”

An’ he show heem safes’ place w’ere he put hees birch canoe,

An’ de way he talk an’ boss de Injun man—

Wall, it’s very easy see dat between you’se’f an’ me,

Dat leetle feller’s born to comman’.

An’ Marquette he’s moche surprise at de smart boy he has got,

W’ere he come from, w’at’s hees name, an’ ev’ryt’ing;

But de boy he go ahead feexin’ up de camp an’ bed,

For he alway treat hees frien’ jus’ lak de King.

Marquette he den fin’ out w’at de leetle feller know,

An’ w’at he never see, an’ all de Grosse Point law;

How it’s mixit up so moche ev’rybody’s scare to touch,

An’ de nam’ he call hese’f is Pierre Leblanc.

Wall, Marquette he’s not a fool, so he’s sayin’ “Au revoir,”

For leetle Pierre Leblanc’s too wide awake.

No chance discoveree, so far as he can see,

Less he fin’ some newer place upon de lak’.

So dere he stay upon de shore, de leetle Pierre,

An’ buil’ de fines’ log house he can get;

Purty soon he have a town on de place he settle down,

An’ call it for hees frien’ M’sieu Marquette.

But de folk he’s bringin’ dere fin’ it hard w’en winter come

An’ ev’ry place is pilin’ wit’ de snow;

Den who is volunteer bring de letter ’way up here,

From de contree lyin’ off dere down below?

Was it feller six foot high is on de job,

Carry letter all de way from Canadaw,

Wit’ hees fourteen-dog-traineau, bangin’ t’roo de ice an’ snow?

No siree! It’s only leetle Pierre Leblanc.

But de way he treat hees dog dey say is very bad,

Many folk is talkin’ all about it yet.

So of course dey’re comin’ back lak de racer on de track,

For hees dog, dey don’t get not’ing till dey’re passin’ on Marquette.

Wall, I s’pose he’s very poor, Pierre Leblanc,

An’ de pay he’s gettin’ for it’s purty small,

An’ he got to eat hese’f, or mebbe he was lef’,

So we never get our letter affer all.

An’ den he start to grow, an’ de way he work, dey say,

For de folk on ole Marquette an’ all aroun’,

Mak’ heem very populaire on de contree ev’ryw’ere,

Till he t’ink he was de beeges’ man in town.

Den hees head begin to swell, ’cos ma fader tole me so,

An’ firse t’ing he was puttin’ on de beeges’ style he can;

But he ought to be ashame for de way he change hees name

To Peter White, an’ try to pass for only Yankee man.

Mebbe leetle Injun too, can’t say for dat mese’f,

For he alway spik sauvage de sam’ as Ojibway

An’ w’en he want to swear it’s enough to raise de hair

To hear heem sayin’ “Wabigoon ah—goozah—goozah—gay.”

An’ lak’ de Injun, too, very hard to tell hees age,

For he mus’ be over honder, dough he’s lookin’ forty year;

An’ he’s alway on de rush, you can’t lose heem on de bush,

An’ hees eye is lak de eagle, strong an’ clear.

An’ he’s leevin’ wit’ us now, Pierre Leblanc dit Peter White,

But we won’t say not’ing more about hees name;

Let heem try it if he can, makin’ out he’s Yankee man,

But never min’, for Pierre Leblanc he’s good man jus’ de sam’.

So if you want to know de State of Michigan,

Very easy to remember—in case you might forget—

Only two man mak’ her go, ’cos ma fader tole me so,

An’ wan is M’sieu Pierre Leblanc, de oder Père Marquette.

Silver Lake Camp

THE bleak wind sighs thro’ the leafless trees

  Like a spirit’s wail, and the white snowflake

Drifts silently down with the fitful breeze

  On the lonely camp at Silver Lake.

Yet the ruddy glow of our camp-fire bright,

  Not long ago, when the fall was young,

Illumined the gathering shades of night,

  And the forest rang with the songs we sung.

But the song is hushed, and the merry jest

  Is heard no more, when the shadows fall;

For gone is each well-remembered guest,

  And the snow like a mantle covereth all.

Full oft, while the bright September moon

  Beamed down, did the startled camp awake

From its slumbers deep, as the wizard loon

  Pealed its wild cry from the neighboring lake.

But the loon has taken his airy flight,

  And far away neath the southern cloud

He rests his wings, while the Frost King’s might,

  Has wrapped the lake in an icy shroud.

No longer our light bark ploughs the wave,

  No longer we tempt the treacherous flood,

No sentinels watch o’er the old camp, save

  The guardian genii of the wood.

The Tale of a Cocktail

Dear Mr. Editor,

It has always been my camping experience that the oldest among us, especially if he be a grey-haired patriarch, is invariably the greatest “alcoholic tempter” of the party. He it is who generally paralyzes the energies of his more youthful brethren with the matutinal cocktail; hence my “Tale of a Cocktail”:

THE Patriarch rose at the break of day,

  Ere the mists from the mountain had fled away,

And loudly his merry roundelay,

        Rang over hill and vale:

“Spirit of morn, we greet thee!

Gladly we rise to meet thee,

Difficult ’tis to beat thee,

        Matutinal Cocktail!”

A shudder ran thro’ the listening throng,

For many a time we had heard that song,

And feared, alas! he was making it strong,

        This sour cocktail.

But the sage went on with his morning lay,

And no man dared to utter nay—

Ah! little recked he what we might say,

        This Patriarch hale.

Thus he spake with deep emotion:

“Trust me, ’tis a soothing potion,

        For your stomach’s sake;

To reject what heaven has sent us

Is to be non compos mentis—

How much aqua bullientis

        Will you take?”

We fell on our knees with despairing cry,

And prayed that for once he would pass us by,

For we felt that should we that cocktail try,

        ’Twould be our ruin.

King Canute, ’tis written on history’s page,

Endeavored the billows wild to cage—

’Twere easier task than restrain the Sage,

        Who still kept brewin’.

While his happy gladsome singing,

Set the hills and valleys ringing,

We were kept “ingredients” bringing,

        Much against our will:

Lagavulin, Angostura,

Which he told us would ensure a

Sound digestion, also cure a

        Sudden cold, or stop a chill.

The hills re-echoed our solemn chant,

“Te morituri salutant;

Grant us some mercy, however scant,

        This awful hour!”

But sterner and colder his visage grew,

No pity, alas! the Patriarch knew;

Hope shrieking fled as we watched him brew

        His cocktail sour.

“Let none escape,” was his dire command,

“For I swear to-day, by my good right hand,

That all who refuse their cocktail stand

        On death’s cold brink.”

The Patriarch’s awful accents fell

On our frightened ears like a funeral knell,

So bidding each other a last farewell,

        We took our drink.

      •      •      •      •      •      •      •

The lusty salmon in vain may “rise,”

The merry troutlets may gaily play,

But the green, green sward where our white tent lies

Is good enough for us to-day.

For we’re tired—so tired—and weary too,

As we sink into dreamy reverie,

And we feel that our dreams are not all true.

The world isn’t just what it seems to be.

      •      •      •      •      •      •      •

The tides may ebb, and the tides may flow,

And the river gleam in the valley below,

But never again shall we fishing go,

        Till the Sage’s hour

Has come,—and he goes to the golden shore,

Where we trust he’ll be happy for ever more,

But we fear he may meet us at the door

        With a cocktail sour!

The Land we Live in and the Land we Left

Written for the menu of the Irish Protestant Benevolent Society’s annual dinner. March 18, 1895.

THE children of the Western Gael

Are gathered here this Patrick’s night,

To pledge the dear old Innisfail,

To drink her health in bumpers bright.

’Tis true we may not see her more,

Still we’re not likely to forget,

And though we’ve sought another shore,

We’re Irish yet! We’re Irish yet!

Deer-Hunting—(By an Expert)

YOU see I was there on the run-way,

Just near where it enters the lake,

Couldn’t get better place if I tried it,

For the deer would be certain to take

To the water the moment he saw it,

And then I could pump in the lead

At ten or a dozen yards distance,

Till I couldn’t help killing him dead.

          (Oh! ’twas great sport!)

(And the excitement!)

There I sat watching and waiting,

For maybe an hour or two,

I could hear my poor heart go a-throbbing,

And once, when a chipmunk drew

Near to my trembling ambush,

I had almost pulled trigger, when

He ran up a silver birch tree,

And I saw ’twas a chipmunk then.

          (But ’twas great!)

I could see the bright leaves of the autumn,

Sprinkling the forest floor,

Each leaf all bespattered with crimson,

As if dipt in the blood of more

Than a thousand innocent victims.

But, pshaw! ’twas the frost and rain,

So I said to myself, “Old fellow,

Brace up! Be a man again!”

          (And I braced.)

Then suddenly, over the hill-side,

Where the hounds killed a fawn last year,

An echo kept ringing, ringing,

’Twas the baying of “Chanticleer.”

“He’s got him at last,” I murmur,

“And the old dog will make him jump,”

So my hold on the rifle tightened,

While my heart went thumpity-thump.

(Holy murder!)

Here he comes down the pathway,

Good Lord! how he must have run!

But with “Chanty” let out on the homestretch,

Don’t suppose he enjoyed the fun,

Hardly able to bring his legs with him.

Well! don’t get excited yet!

Just wait till he reaches the water,

Then fill him before he gets wet.

Keep still! Why! I can hear him breathing,

And now he has passed so close,

The point of the rifle could touch him,

And easily give him a dose.

Just see how he jumped when he smelt me,

And look how he struggles and pants,

But I’ll wait till he gets to the water,

And give the poor devil a chance,

          (That’s right, isn’t it?)

And now he has entered the water,

And when he has gone ten yards or so,

I bang away, bang! with the Marlin

Till I find I’ve killed a doe.

But a nice little doe I can tell you,

Is better than nothing at all,

So if Providence only spares me,

I’ll try it again next fall.

          (D. V.)

He only Wore a Shamrock*

HE only wore a shamrock

On his faithful Irish breast,

Maybe a gift from his colleen oge,

The maiden whom he loved best;

But the emblem of dear old Ireland,

Tho’ worn on a jacket of red,

Was the emblem of rank disloyalty,

And treason most foul, they said.

Had he but borne the heather,

That grows on the Scottish hills,

A rose from an English garden,

Or a leek from the Cambrian rills,

Then he might summon his comrades,

With trumpet, and fife, and drum,

And march through the breadth of England,

Till trumpet and fife were dumb.

But he only wore a shamrock,

And tho’ Britain’s most gracious Queen

Had pinned her cross on his bosom,

Yet the little trefoil of green

Might not nestle down beside it,

For the color, alas! was banned,

And the Celtic soldier was made to feel

That he trod an alien land.

Oh! poor little modest symbol,

Of the glorious Trinity,

Rather bloom on your native hill-side,

Than cross the dark Irish sea;

Rather rest on the loving bosom,

Of the Mother that gave you birth,

For even your virtues can’t chasten

The ungrateful English earth.

Heading Montreal Gazette, March 18, 1894.

“Private O’Grady, 87th Regt., for wearing a shamrock in his buttonhole Patrick’s Day, was court-martialed.”

The Godbout

OH! pilgrim from the Godbout’s shore

Where broad Atlantic billows roll,

Speak! hast thou seen the Commodore,

Whose brave unconquerable soul,

Athirst for wilder, fiercer game

Than haunt the calm Laurentian streams,

Burned to achieve a greater fame,

And realize his fondest dreams?

Speak! hast thou seen his grizzled locks,

By ocean’s vagrant breezes fanned,

Where Weymahegan’s giant rocks

Keep watch and ward o’er sea and land?

Hast seen him where the currents lave

Fair Mistassini’s silver shore,

On river—sea—by land or wave,

Speak! hast thou seen the Commodore?

The pilgrim spoke—while down his cheek

The salt, salt tears coursed grievously:

“Good Sir, I feeble am and weak,

Yet I my tale may tell to thee—

I saw the veteran’s wasted form,

That form we used to mark with pride,

Lie prostrate mid the wrack and storm

Of Weymahegan’s awful tide.

Small strength, alack! of wind or limb

Had he upon that fearful day;

But, tho’ his eagle eye was dim,

He still gazed o’er the hills where lay

The Laurentides, where he had spent

So many happy, happy hours,

Safe from the storms of life, content

Amid the Pêche’s tranquil bowers.

’Twas thus he spoke: ‘Oh! why was I

By youthful traveller’s tale beguiled

To quit the pleasant Pêche and die

In this inhospitable wild?

What lured me on to cast aside

The simple pleasures of my youth,

Until I longed for Godbout’s tide—

And cared no more for trout, forsooth!

Oh! rash was I to lend an ear,

To all the legends of the sea,

To bring my faithful legion here—

Does this reward their constancy?

I cannot say, but this I know,

That should I view the Pêche again,

Could I but see its waters flow,

I’d be the humblest of the train

That worships there; no more I’d roam

In search of other piscine fields;

Contented with my humble home,

With all that old Laurentian yields,

I’d gladly live and cheerful die.’

But here his accents ’gan to sink;

He thought his hour had come, till I

Administered a generous drink.

The Veteran gasped, but when the flask

He saw—tho’ feeble as a child—

Bravely essayed the pleasant task

Of trying to empty it, and smiled.

Yes, tho’ he’d almost passed away

In one brief moment from our ken—

Yet wondrous ’twas to see that day

His rapturous look, as he smiled again.

New strength came back to the wasted limbs,

The roses bloomed in his cheek once more,

And the sound of our glad thanksgiving hymns

Rang out o’er Weymahegan’s shore;

He prayed us to pardon his misdeeds,

He wept when the legion embraced his neck,

And swore by the sacred Laurentides,

He’d never more venture below Quebec.

So gently we bore the repentant Chief,

Tenderly placed him that awful day

On board of the gallant ship “Relief”

And swiftly to westward sailed away.”

The Pilgrim ceased—his mournful task

Was ended at last, and all was well—

Then raised to his lips the magic flask,

And silently bade me a last farewell.


Joy! Joy at the Pêche—let the cariboo dance,

Let the fatted oxen at last be slain,

Let the men get full, and the bull moose prance,

For the Commodore has come home again!


TO me, whose paddle-blade has cleft

The wave where great St. Lawrence flows—

To me, whose ears have heard the scream

Of eagle, high above the snows,

Where Fraser darts among the hills—

What is this tiny stream to me?

And what the little melody

My soul with rapture fills,

Like some old half-forgotten croon?

A cradle song of long ago—

A mother’s song so sweet and low—

        Hush! It is the Doon!

The Spanish Bird*

TELL me, O bird from the land of the Cid

  Why do thy tail feathers droop so low;

Why art thou mute that was wont to bid

  Fiercest defiance to every foe?

No longer thy clarion voice rings out,

  Pealing like thunder from earth to sky,

Waking the Pêche with thy joyous shout,

  Till rival roosters were forced to fly.


           The Rooster Loquacious


“Once I was youthful and passing fair,

  Captured first prizes at many a show,

Could lick all the birds ever flew in air,

  And beat record time on the heel and toe.

“Proud was I then of my martial past,

  Vain was I too of my gay topknot,

Successful in war and skilled in court,

  Gallinaceous beauties my favors sought.

“But family cares when I settled down

  Made the gallant topknot droop day by day,

The white wings faded—my ruddy crown

  Disappeared, till those charms had all fled away.

“Pardon these tears, by emotion stirred,

  But keenest sorrow of all to know

Is that once I was known as the ‘sacred bird’,

  And now they call me ‘sacré oiseau!’ ”

From Songs of Old Spain, by the author of Hispaniola, or The Lay of the Last Rooster.


WAY back on de woods I know a man,

  Was very good hunter too;

No bodder at all to understan’

  De moose an’ de cariboo.

An’ wedder you’re meetin’ heem on de bush,

  Or trampin’ de hills aroun’,

You always t’ink he was sayin’, “Hush!”

  For he never mak’ de soun’.

De fox w’en he’s seein’ dat hunter’s track

  Jus’ shiver hese’f an’ go,

An’ say, “De noise dat hunter mak’

  Is de noise of de fallin’ snow—

Don’t geev me a chance, an’ dat’s de way

  I pity de poor ole bear,

Never hear not’ing on stormy day,

  W’en danger is ev’ry w’ere.”

Is dere an otter along de creek,

  Or mink on de beeg savanne,

Don’t jomp on de water purty quick

  W’en he’s hearin’ dat hunter man?

Now! an’ w’at’s de reason he get so cute,

  Till hees luck is de devil’s own?

Wall! it’s only becos’ w’en he mak’ de shoot,

  He travel aroun’ alone.

But ev’ry t’ing change, an’ so I’m tole,

  Affer a long, long tam,

De hunter man change, for he’s comin’ ole,

  Dough he tell us he’s jus’ de sam’;

An’ bimeby w’en he’s sittin’ dere

  Wan day on a tamarac log,

He say to hese’f, “I wonder w’ere

  I can get me a leetle dog?

“Nice leetle dog wit’ stan’up tail,

  Follow me t’roo de wood,

Stick to me close along de trail,

  An’ me, I will treat heem good:

Train heem up right, an’ dere won’t be need

  Havin’ heem play de fool.”

So he’s buyin’ a dog—I dunno de breed—

  An’ de nex’ t’ing he call heem “Boule.”

So he train dat dog till he’s nearly dead,

  Or wishin’ hese’f in jail—

W’en to lie down, never show hees head,

  W’en he can wag hees tail;

Show heem de very bes’ way to smell

  On de bush, if he’s passin’ t’roo,

An’ out on de lake he can do so well,

  He never upset canoe.

Wonderful dog! an’ now an’ den,

  Affer he finish up,

He’s takin’ heem off to show hees frien’

  How he was train de pup.

“Come along, Boule, kip close to me,

  Steady, an’ watch de groun’,

Wait till I tell you go an’ see

  If anyt’ing’s lyin’ aroun’.”

An’ to see heem walk, dat hunter man,

  An’ to hear heem talk also:

“Easy, ma frien’, de bes’ you can,

  Easy, an’ nice an’ slow.

Dis is de heart of de game countree,

  Partridge on ev’ry log,

Tranquillement! for de leaf, saprée,

  Was never so dry—but w’ere’s de dog?

“Boule! Boule! Boule! Boule!”

  (Den he would raise de row!)

“Boule! Boule! you ole fool—

  W’y do you leave me now?”

’Way on de right, w’ere de bush is t’ick,

  Dere’s a rush, an’ we see a tail,

Long enough too to mak’ us sick,

  An’ a cariboo go full sail,

Flyin’ along wit’ de pup behin’,

  Yellin’ hees head off sure—

Maudit! if dat dog he was only mine,

  I very soon work de cure!

Yass! if to-morrow will ketch nex’ wick,

  Or ma gran’moder ketch de moon,

He’s gettin some chance if he travel quick

  For ketchin’ heem jus’ as soon.

An’ affer he’s scarin’ dat cariboo,

  Back he was come encore,

Lookin’ so proud of de job he do,

  An’ de hunter man start some more.

“Careful now—don’t mak’ a noise,

  Creep on your han’ an’ knee;

Some of you men are jus’ lak boys

  Comin’ from school—saprée.

Don’t you see de dog? for he’s gone again.

  Off to I dunno w’ere”—

An’ den lak a rushin’ railway train

  We’re hearin’ a beeg moose dere.

Tearin’ along across de hill,

  Up w’ere de pine tree grow,

Poor leetle Boule a’ follerin’ still,

  An’ hollerin’ as he go!

Mebbe de hunter’s not gettin’ mad

  W’en he commence to say,

“Sorry I be, but dere’s somet’ing bad

  Wrong wit’ de dog to-day.

“Boule! Boule! Boule! Boule!”

  (Oh, how he raise de row!)

“Boule! Boule! you ole fool—

  W’y do you leave me now?”

“Very fine way to hunt de wood!”

  Dat’s w’at we tell heem den;

“Nice leetle dog”—it’s all no good,

  An’ he say: “I dunno, ma frien’,

Mebbe you’re right—w’en a man he’s ole,

  Can’t learn heem a trick is new,

An’ jus’ as soon as de dog is sole,

  I’ll hunt as I used to do.”

So he’s sellin’ hees dog on Joe Laflamme,

  Kip de toll on de bridge below,

Never have dog he lak de sam’,

  Dat’s w’at he’s sayin’, Joe.

Now he’s beginning for feelin’ well,

  Now he can sleep on de chair all day,

For Boule’s commencin’ to mak’ a yell

  W’en customer’s less dan a mile away.

Dat’s all right—an’ de hunter man

  Travel agen as he used to do,

All alone, an’ I understan’

  Gettin’ de ole tam luck also.

Cauda Morrhuae

POOR little Tommy Cod

Took his best fishing-rod,

Cunningly fashioned of split bamboo;

Likewise his tackle,

Of red and brown hackle,

To venture down stream in his bark canoe.

Tommy had registered,

Solemnly, I have heard,

Promised and vowed, that ere evening fell

Doré and speckled trout,

Black bass and bull-pout,

Would cheerfully yield to his magic spell.

Since time immemorial,

In things piscatorial,

Tho’ Magog be famed among knights of the rod;

Yet, making due limit

For what may be in it,

Little Tommy might know it was no plaice for Cod.

Now, in the buoyant sea,

There’s so much buoyancy

A Cod if he wishes can easily float;

But in the swift Magog,

Why, even a bullfrog,

Would much rudder perch on the side of a boat.

I told him the dangers

That all who are strangers

Might meet with, in case they should venture below;

For the mill-dam’s so turbot

No mortal can curb it,

As those who have tried it must certainly know.

O Tommy, take care of

Your life and beware of

The treacherous mill-dam you shortly shall view!

But Tommy was vain and

He quitted the mainland,

And put out to sea in his frail canoe.

The craft like an arrow

Sped down the long, narrow,

And turbulent channel, where wild billows rave;

Then past Point MacFarlane,

Like shot from a marlin,

Poor Tommy swept on to his watery grave.

When Tom struck the mill-dam,

The mill-dam, the mill-dam,

When Tom struck the mill-dam, he dam’d the dam’d mill;

Why should he strike it,

When there’s nothing like it

To test all the best of a mariner’s skill?

I saw the craft flounder,

As fiercely around her

The hungry waves leapt on the ill-fated prey;

And each time they struck her

Poor Cod cried for sucker,

But sucker was scarce on that terrible day.

To throw in the river

Some oil of cod liver,

And thereby the grim foaming waters becalm,

Was Tom’s next endeavor,

But he found that his lever

Was all out of order, and not worth a dam (mill-dam).

At last he went under,

And, faith! ’twas no wonder,

For a Cod shouldn’t go where he doesn’t belong;

“Requiescat in pace”

I murmur, in case he

Should rise and object to this mournful song.

      •      •      •      •      •      •      •

We found him next morning—

A sorrowful warning;

The short line we chartered, and shipped him by rail

To distant Atlantic,

By way of Megantic,

And so I’ve arrived at the end of my tail.

Index to Titles

Autumn Days190
Barbotte (Bull-pout)320
Bateese and his Little Decoys237
Bateese, the Lucky Man144
Bell of St. Michel, De63
Bloom (A Song of Cobalt)406
Boy from Calabogie, The407
Bruno the Hunter262
Calcite Vein (A Tale of Cobalt)409
Camp on de “Cheval Gris,” De98
Canadian Country Doctor, The158
Canadian Forever355
Canadian Magpie, The252
Cauda Morrhuae437
Child Thoughts235
Corduroy Road, The125
Curé of Calumette131
Deer-Hunting (By an Expert)423
Devil, The273
Dieudonné (God-Given)272
Doctor Hilaire313
Donal’ Campbell222
Dublin Fusilier, The225
Family Laramie, The281
First Robin, The401
Fox Hunt, The374
Getting On288
Getting Stout310
Godbout, The427
Grand Seigneur, The80
Great Fight, The379
“Gun, De Papineau”18
Habitant, De1
Habitant’s Jubilee Ode, The113
Habitant’s Summer, The169
“He Only Wore a Shamrock”425
Hill of St. Sebastien, The145
Holy Island, The362
How Bateese Came Home21
Joe Boucher (Air—“Car si mon moine”)337
Johnnie Courteau122
Johnnie’s First Moose214
Keep Out of the Weeds359
Lac Souci342
Land We Live in and the Land We Left, The      (Written for the menu of the Irish Protestant Benevolent Society’s annual dinner, March 18, 1895.)422
Last Portage, The286
Little Bateese220
Little Lac Grenier (Gren-Yay)175
Little Mouse210
Log Jam, The246
Madeleine Vercheres192
Marie Louise149
“Maxime Labelle”      (A Canadian Voyageur’s Account of the Nile Expedition)42
Mon Frere Camille163
Mon Choual “Castor”70
M’sieu Smit      (The Adventures of an Englishman in the Canadian Woods.)82
My Leetle Cabane140
National Policy187
Natural Philosophy297
Nice Leetle Canadienne, De30
Nile Expedition, The      (“Maxime Labelle”)42
Notaire Publique, De39
Old House and the New, The153
Old Pine Tree, The      (Dedicated to the St. George Snowshoe Club.)218
Old Sexton, The231
Ole Docteur Fiset118
Ole Tam on Bord à Plouffe75
Oyster Schooner, The137
“Papineau Gun, De”18
Phil-o-rum Juneau52
Phil-o-Rum’s Canoe242
Pierre Leblanc      (Dedicated to the Hon. Peter White.)413
Poirier’s Rooster345
’Poleon Doré32
Pro Patria305
Rainy Day in Camp, A332
Red Canoe, The255
Rivière des Prairies367
“Rose Delima,” The199
Rossignol, The      (Old French-Canadian Air, “Sur La Montagne”)322
Silver Lake Camp418
“Snowbird, De”110
Snubbing (Tying-up) the Raft327
Spanish Bird, The431
Stove Pipe Hole, De104
Strathcona’s Horse      (Dedicated to Lord Strathcona.)212
Tale of a Cocktail, The419
Two Hundred Years Ago256
Victoria Square (An Idyll)384
Vieux Temps, Le9
Voyageur, The259
We’re Irish Yet392
When Albani Sang91
Wind that Lifts the Fog, The372
Windigo, The177
Wreck of the “Julie Plante,” The7
Yankee Families282

Index to First Lines

A long de road from Bord à Plouffe273
A quiet Boy was Joe Bedotte325
A rainy day in camp! how you draw the blankets closer332
A stranger might say if he see heem drink till he almos’ fall313
A way off back on de mountain-side340
Bad luck to fight on New Year’s night379
Bonjour, M’sieu’—you want to know18
Bord à Plouffe, Bord à Plouffe229
Dat’s very cole an’ stormy night on Village St. Mathieu104
De cloud is hide de moon, but dere’s plaintee light above214
De corduroy road go bompety bomp125
De place I get born me, is up de reever1
Dere’s a beeg jam up de reever246
Dere’s no voyageur on de reever never run hees canoe d’ecorce131
Dere’s some lak dory, an’ some lak bass320
Dere’s somet’ing stirrin’ ma blood to-night259
De win’ is sleepin’ in de pine255
Dey call it de Holy Islan’362
Did you ever see an air-hole on the ice394
Dis was de story of boy an’ girl149
Donal’ Campbell—Donal’ Bane—222
Eighteen, an’ face lak de—w’at’s de good?310
Ev’ry State upon de Union, w’en dey write her up to-day413
Get along leetle mouse, kick de snow up behin’ you210
Go easy wit’ the paddle, an’ steady wit’ de oar177
Go ’way, go ’way, don’t ring no more, ole bell of Saint Michel63
He’s alway ketchin’ doré, an’ he’s alway ketchin’ trout144
He only wore a shamrock425
Here’s to you, Uncle Kruger! slainté! an’ slainté galore225
He sit on de corner mos’ every night, ole Phil-o-rum Juneau52
He was twenty-one in April—forty inches round the chest407
Hssh! look at ba-bee on de leetle blue chair281
I congratulate ye, Francis357
If dey’re walkin’ on de roadside, an’ dey’re bote in love togeder292
If I sole ma ole blind trotter for fifty dollar cash272
I know I’m not too young an’ ma back is not as straight288
I know very well ’twas purty hard case231
I lak on summer ev’ning, w’en nice cool win’ is blowin’75
I’m bus’ up, for a mont’ or two374
I’m poor man, me, but I buy las’ May70
I’m sittin’ to-night on ma leetle cabane, more happier dan de king140
I’m sleepin’ las’ night w’en I dream a dream286
In dreams of the night I hear the call190
I ought to feel more satisfy an’ happy dan I be145
I read on de paper mos’ ev’ry day, all about Jubilee113
I see Josette on de car to-day335
I see de many reever on de State an’ ev’ry w’ere367
Is it only twelve mont’ I play de fool153
I s’pose mos’ ev’ry body t’ink hees job’s about de hardes’158
I used to be leevin’ on Bonami409
I’ve told you many a tale, my child, of the old heroic days192
Joe Boucher was a frien’ of mine337
Johnnie Courteau of de mountain122
Jus’ as de sun is tryin’ climb on de summer sky322
Las’ night dey’re passin’, de golden plover327
Leetle Lac Grenier, she’s all alone175
“Listen my child,” said the old pine tree, to the little one nestling near218
Ma fader he spik to me long ago265
Mon frere Camille he was first class blood163
Mos’ ev’rywan lak de robin252
M’sieu Paul Joulin, de Notaire Publique39
No smarter man you can never know359
Oh! it’s bad to be unlucky in ev’ryt’ing you do401
“Oh! Mother the bells are ringing as never they rang before”352
Oh! pilgrim from the Godbout’s shore427
Oh! the blooming cheek of beauty, tho’ it’s full of many a peril406
Oh! we are a band of bummers, and for many joyous summers384
O I’m very very tire Marie237
O I was thine, and thou wert mine, and ours the boundless plain212
O leetle bird dat’s come to us w’en stormy win’ she’s blowin’110
Ole Docteur Fiset of Saint Anicet118
“O ma ole canoe! w’at’s matter wit’ you”242
O memory, take my hand to-day235
On wan dark night on Lac St. Pierre7
O Spirit of the mountains that speaks to us to-night49
Our fader lef’ ole France behin’, dat’s many year187
Over de sea de schooner boat372
O who can blame de winter, never min’ de hard he’s blowin’169
Pelang! Pelang! Mon cher garçon65
Poor little Tommy Cod437
Talk about lakes! dere’s none dat lies on de mountain side342
Tell me, O bird from the land of the Cid431
The bleak wind sighs thro’ the leafless trees418
The Children of the Western Gael422
The Patriarch rose at the break of day419
There’s a girl at Calabogie an’ another at the Soo387
To me, whose paddle-blade has cleft430
To the hut of the peasant, or lordly hall80
Two honder year ago, de worl’ is purty slow256
Venez-ici, mon cher ami, an’ sit down by me—so9
Very offen I be t’inkin’ of de queer folk goin’ roun’297
Victoriaw: she have beeg war, E-gyp’s de nam’ de place—42
Wan morning de walkin boss say “Damase”82
Was leevin’ across on de State Vermont305
W’at’s all dem bell a ringin’ for, can hear dem ev’ry w’ere?137
“W’at’s dat? de ole man gone you say?”345
Was workin’ away on de farm dere, wan morning not long ago91
Way back on de woods I know a man432
What means this gathering to-night?392
W’en I was young boy on de farm, dat’s twenty year ago21
When our fathers crossed the ocean355
“W’ere’ll we go?” say Pierre de Monts300
You bad leetle boy, not moche you care220
You can pass on de worl’ w’erever you lak30
You can sew heem up in a canvas sack199
You dunno ma leetle boy Dominique349
You have never hear de story of de young Napoleon Doré?32
You ’member de ole log-camp, Johnnie, up on de Cheval Gris98
You never hear tell, Marie, ma femme262
You see I was there on the run-way423
You s’pose God love de Yankee282


Misspelled words and printer errors have been corrected. Where multiple spellings occur, majority use has been employed.

Punctuation has been maintained except where obvious printer errors occur.

Some illustrations were moved to facilitate page layout.


[The end of Dr. W.H. Drummond’s Complete Poems by William Henry Drummond]