William Henry Drummond

(13 April, 1854 – 6 April, 1907 / Mohill, County Leitrim)

Little Bateese - Poem by William Henry Drummond

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 the cow
Sickin' de dog till dey jomp the 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!

Comments about Little Bateese by William Henry Drummond

  • (8/25/2018 4:51:00 PM)

    My dad used to recite this poem from memory, it was made extra funny because of his German accent. I am 72 and I still can hear him reciting it. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (6/10/2018 11:17:00 PM)

    It's one of the few poems that brings me to tears. (Report) Reply

  • (2/21/2018 5:43:00 PM)

    I won
    an oratory contest reciting this many years ago can’t remember what grade but it was in our reader.
    (Report) Reply

  • (9/16/2016 2:50:00 AM)

    I love this poem because my grade 9 literature teacher read it so beautifully I'll never forget. I'm 70 now. That's a great teacher! (Report) Reply

  • (1/14/2016 6:57:00 PM)

    One t'ing dat double-jointed leetle Bateese will be is a sitter for Ireland's Got Talent (Report) Reply

  • Francis Lynch (1/14/2016 3:16:00 PM)

    When I was in Grade six, my teacher, as a form of discipline, made me memorize and recite this poem before the class. I did it. Never forgot the poem. In fact, on my 60th birthday, a friend from those years gave me a copy of Leetle Bateese, with a note: Remember. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (1/14/2016 2:30:00 PM)

    Enjoyed this immensely. That Grandfather fussing at the little boy and every bit of that fussing showed how much he loved his Grandson! ! I wish I had had such Grandfather love surrounding my childhood misbehaviors! (Report) Reply

  • Kim Barney (1/14/2016 8:45:00 AM)

    William Henry Drummond was an Irish-born Canadian poet whose humorous dialect poems made him one of the most popular authors in the English-speaking world, and one of the most widely-read and loved poets in Canada. (This from his biography.)
    You have to get into the spirit of the contrived dialog to really enjoy this, but it can be done! I enjoyed how he used a few French words in the poem.
    (Report) Reply

  • (1/14/2016 6:25:00 AM)

    Ok fine................... (Report) Reply

  • (1/14/2016 3:35:00 AM)

    Amusing poem and perhaps written for children. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (1/14/2016 1:38:00 AM)

    Wrong Behavior! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

Read all 11 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: dog, pain, night

Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 17, 2001

Poem Edited: Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  9. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]