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Short poem

William Henry Drummond (1854-1907)

De Nice Leetle Canadienne

              1You can pass on de worl' w'erever you lak,
              2Tak' de steamboat for go Angleterre,
              3Tak' car on de State, an' den you come back,
              4An' go all de place, I don't care--
              5Ma frien' dat 's a fack, I know you will say,
              6W'en you come on dis contree again,
              7Dere 's no girl can touch, w'at we see ev'ry day,
              8De nice leetle Canadienne.

              9Don't matter how poor dat girl she may be,
            10Her dress is so neat ab' so clean,
            11Mos' ev'rywan t'ink it was mak' on Paree
            12An' she wear it, wall! jus' lak de Queen.
            13Den come for fin' out she is mak' it herse'f,
            14For she ain't got moche monee for spen',
            15But all de sam' tam, she was never get lef',
            16Dat nice leetle Canadienne.

            17W'en "un vrai Canayen" is mak' it mariée,
            18You t'ink he go leev on beeg flat
            19An' bodder hese'f all de tam, night an' day,
            20Wit' housemaid, an' cook, an' all dat?
            21Not moche, ma dear frien', he tak' de maison,
            22Cos' only nine dollar or ten,
            23W'ere he leev lak blood rooster, an' save de l'argent,
            24Wit' hees nice leetle Canadienne.

            25I marry ma famme w'en I 'm jus' twenty year,
            26An' now we got fine familee,
            27Dat skip roun' de place lak leetle small deer,
            28No smarter crowd you never see--
            29An' I t'ink as I watch dem all chasin' about,
            30Four boy an' six girl, she mak' ten,
            31Dat 's help mebbe kip it, de stock from run out,
            32Of de nice leetle Canadienne.

            33O she 's quick an' she 's smart, an' got plaintee heart,
            34If you know correc' way go about,
            35An' if you don't know, she soon tole you so
            36Den tak' de firs' chance an' get out;
            37But if she love you, I spik it for true,
            38She will mak' it more beautiful den,
            39An' sun on de sky can't shine lak de eye
            40Of dat nice leetle Canadienne.


11] Paree: Paris.

21] maison: house.

23] blood rooster: red rooster?
l'argent: money.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: William Henry Drummond, The Habitant and other French-Canadian Poems, intro. Louis Frechette (New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1897): 34-36.
First publication date: 1897
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1997.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/17

Rhyme: ababcdcd

Other poems by William Henry Drummond