William Henry Drummond

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

The Old Sexton - Poem by William Henry Drummond

I know very well t'was 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 first 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'

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
Abn' pull de trigger de hard she can,
An' he 's yellin' an' don 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 did n't die den, an' he 's leevin' yet-
Dat feller was comin' so near hees deat'-
For she 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 classe 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.'

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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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