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Short poem

William Henry Drummond (1854-1907)

Little Bateese

              1You bad leetle boy, not moche you care
              2How busy you 're kipin' your poor gran'pere
              3Tryin' to stop you ev'ry day
              4Chasin' de hen aroun' de hay--
              5W'y don't you geev' dem a chance to lay?
              6Leetle Bateese!

              7Off on de fiel' you foller de plough
              8Den w'en you 're tire you scare the cow
              9Sickin' de dog till dey jomp the wall
            10So de milk ain't good for not'ing at all--
            11An' you 're only five an' a half dis fall,
            12Leetle Bateese!

            13Too sleepy for sayin' de prayer to-night?
            14Never min' I s'pose it 'll be all right
            15Say dem to-morrow--ah! dere he go!
            16Fas' asleep in a minute or so--
            17An' he 'll stay lak dat till de rooster crow,
            18Leetle Bateese!

            19Den wake us up right away toute suite
            20Lookin' for somet'ing more to eat,
            21Makin' me t'ink of dem long leg crane
            22Soon as dey swaller, dey start again,
            23I wonder your stomach don't get no pain,
            24Leetle Bateese!

            25But see heem now lyin' dere in bed,
            26Look at de arm onderneat' hees head;
            27If he grow lak dat till he 's twenty year
            28I bet he 'll be stronger dan Louis Cyr
            29An' beat all de voyageurs leevin' here,
            30Leetle Bateese!

            31Jus' feel de muscle along hees back,
            32Won't geev' heem moche bodder for carry pack
            33On de long portage, any size canoe,
            34Dere 's not many t'ing dat boy won't do
            35For he 's got double-joint on hees body too,
            36Leetle Bateese!

            37But leetle Bateese! please don't forget
            38We rader you 're stayin' de small boy yet,
            39So chase de chicken an' mak' dem scare
            40An' do w'at you lak wit' your ole gran'pere
            41For w'en you 're beeg feller he won't be dere--
            42Leetle Bateese!


6] Bateese: Baptiste.

28] Louis Cyr: world-famous French-Canadian weight-lifter (1863-1912), and champion of North America in 1885 and of the world in 1892. "In 1895 in Boston he lifted on his back a platform holding 18 fat men, weighing 1967 kg--believed the heaviest weight ever lifted by a man." Cyr wasa Montreal policeman beginning in 1882. See The Canadian Encyclopedia, 2nd. edn. (Edmonton: Hurtig, 1988): I, 560.

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, Johnnie Courteau and Other Poems (New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1901): 116-17.
First publication date: 1901
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1997.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/17

Rhyme: aabbbc

Other poems by William Henry Drummond