William Henry Drummond
The Cure Of Calumette - Poem by William Henry Drummond
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
Hees fader is full-blooded Irish, an' hees moder
is pure Canayenne,
Not offen dat stock go tegedder, 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' wan t'ing de Curé wont stan' it;
mak' fun of de Irlandais
An' of course 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 blagger' 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
is n't feel it firse class,
So nex' tam de Curé he's goin' for visit de
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 pillin' 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 ton-
der, 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 sweep-
in' across de sky
An' lonesome for hear de win' cryin' lak some-
body's goin'to die,
But de soun' away down de valley, creepin'
around 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'
Along on de black road ringin', an' soon it was
Wan minute de face of de Curé we see by de
An' he's gone from us, jus' lak a shadder, into
de stormy night.
An' de buggy rush down de hill 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 always 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
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