Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets
The Old Timer
25th Mar 2014Posted in: Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets 0

[7 blank pages]

THE
OLD
TIMER
[illustration]
AND
OTHER
POEMS

ROBERT T. ANDERSON
[unnumbered page]

Copyright 1909
by
ROBERT T. ANDERSON


Published by
Edmonton Printing & Publishing Co. Ltd.
[unnumbered page]

PREFACE


THE bulk of the poems which appear in this little volume have at different times seen the light in one or other of the following papers: the Edmonton Bulletin, Edmonton Journal, Canadian Scotsman of Winnipeg, and the now defunct Slocan Drill, of Slocan, B.C.

It was not originally my intention to have thrown them together this form, but on becoming connected with the Caledonian Society of Edmonton, I have found myself on various occasions, under the impetus given by that patriotic institution, indulging in rhyme to such an extent that I have quite an accumulated mass of manuscript on hand.

Having had many inquiries from friends and acquaintances for copies of my screeds, I have ventured to hope that in bringing this small work before the public it may be found at least not uninteresting especially to Canadian Scots, and to those who have known our West country, bot in Alberta and  British Columbia.

I cannot claim to have dwelt very largely upon life in the West, but it is a very large subject to deal with, and if I have only succeeded in awakening an interest in it from a poetical standpoint, I shall consider myself more than repaid.

My attempts in the Doric have been purely and simply for the love which even Colonial Scots can have for the auld Mither ayont the sea. Knowing Scotland only from tradition, our minds, of course revert more to the scenes of the past and picture to ourselves the bleak mountains of the Highlands, the dark mosses and windswept moors—the homes and hiding-places of our Covenanting fathers, and the rocky coasts of the Western Highlands and Islands from which many a buirdly young Highlandman has set sail in early days, to become in after years an Old Timer in Western Canada.

It is the Scotland of lang syne that we know more than the Scotland of the present, with its large manufacturing centres and shipping ports, and although our hearts are in the upbuilding of this great Western Canada of ours, we cannot forget altogether the Bens and the Glens in the land of our forbears.

It is safe to say that the sweet auld sangs of the Doric will be treasured for long years to come in the hearts of Canadian Scotsmen.

ROBERT T. ANDERSON. [unnumbered page]

[blank page]

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Where Creak’d the Old Red River Cart,In loud discordant tones.

Facing page 24

We stood as an outpost on the worldOn the margin of civilization.

Facing page 28

Beneath it the broad Saskatchewan flowsAs swift and unchanged as ever.

Facing page 36

The creaking ox-carts seldom failTo pass where the scouts have ridden.

Facing page 44

In the heart of our own blue mountainsThat guerdon our Silver West.

Facing page 52

W’en he’s turning furrowsW’it’ de prairie breaker plow.

Facing page 60

Just a level field of wheatIs all there has to beAnd little old CanadaLooks good enough to me.

Facing page 68

Broken Keeps that still are frowningHoary with the lapse of yearsWhere the valiant chiefs of ScotlandGathered in the boarder spears.

Facing page 76

Then wonder gif ye willHere’s the auld land stillThe land o’ the heatherAn’ the land o’ the hill.

Facing page 84


 


The right to reproduce these photos has been purchased from

E. Brown, Edmonton.

[unnumbered page]

[blank page] 

TABLE OF CONTENTS


THE OLD TIMER AND OTHER POEMS.

 

The Old Timer

Page 11

The Old and the New

12

The Riders of the North

14

Edmonton, Past and Present

15

Alberta Rifles

16

We’ll Rally ‘Round the Old Flag

17

The King! God Bless Him

17

The 101st Fusiliers

18

The Lads in the Firing Line

19

The Old Red Flag of Britain

20

At Half Mast

20

The Message of Grief

21

Hope

21

Uncle Sam’s Soldiery

22

Doherty

22

One of the Genus Hobo

23

Epitaph on Ned O-d-r-y

23

Mosquitoes

24

The Parting of the Way

25

The Stay-at-Home

25

The Song of the Unemployed

26

The Old Yule-tide

27

Christmas Cheer

27

The Fire Laddies’ Call

28

To O. Hogan

29

The Fire Fighters

30

Der Last of der Limburgher Cheese

31

Changes of Time

33

The Fight of Faith

33

To the Memory of My Grandmother

34

Friendship

34

 

SONGS OF THE KOOTENAY HILLS.

 

Looking Ahead

39

Yellow Legs

39

A Toast to the Miners

40

The Three Candidates

41

Hogan’s Alley Banquet

41

[unnumbered page]
Lowery’s Claim

42

Daybreak over Kootenay

42

After it all is Over

43

The Knocker

43

The Song of the Absent

44

Weary Willie’s Ordeal

44

A Word from Weary Willie

45

The Floating Man

46

Slocan is a Braw Toon

46

The Wanderin’ Scot

47

The Battle o’ Borden’s Fa’

47

Slocan, You’re All Right Yet

48

The Corporation Talk

49

The Quareness av it

50

Hello, Old Stocking, Hello

50

The Saw Mill Whustle

51

Ye’re Noo a Mairrit Man

51

Another Day of Rain

52

The Dying Prospector

52

On the Death of a Prospector

53

 

POEMS IN THE PATIOS.

 

Slocan Jimmie’s Club

57

On de En’ of a Cross-cut Saw

58

De Sign of Sommaire Tam

58

De Farmaire’s Res’

59

Pore Feller Back on de Farm

59

How Slocan Kep’ de Firs’

60

Leetle Cottontail

60

Cayuse Brown

61

De Happy Farmaire Man

62

Conductor Brawdshaw

63

In Potato-Diggin’ Time

64

De Canadaw Man

64

Back on de Kootenee

65

 

LILTS IN THE DORIC.

 

The Guid Braid Doric

69

A Sang o’ St. Andra’s Nicht

70

The Ae Auld Lion o’ Britain

70

We Hunker Doon Tae Nane

71

The Strain o’ Scots

72

Fickle Fortune

72

Life’s Leaders

73

The Battle o’ the Bass

73

[unnumbered page]
St. Andrew and Scotland Forever

75

The Lass Forlorn

76

The Convenanters

77

The Red Shanks o’ Scotland

79

Ye True Sons of England

80

Burns

81

Say it Oot

82

Oor Ain Immortal Robin

82

Man’s Luve tae Man

83

Here’s Yer Healths in Water

83

The Air of Independence

84

There’s Nae Frien’ Like the Bawbee

85

The Land o’ the Heather

85

The Lasses o’ Auld Scotland

87

Oor Nicht at Hame

88

The Editor’s Happy Thocht

89

Nainsel on Burns

90

We’re Blythe tae be Britons

91

The Caledonian’s Pledge

91

Canadian Scots

92

The Flag of Our Fathers

93

The Banquet o’ St. Andra

94

The Auld Romance o’ the Border

95

The Sunshine o’ Life

95

Scotlan’ Dear—Oor Mither

97

The Last Year o’ Oor Teens

98

Sons o’ the But an’ Ben

98

To John Imrie. Esq.

99

The Auld Time Scot

100

Settlin’ Doon

100

Patriotism

101

The Celtic Blood

101

The Welcome Hame

101

The Siller Bell

102

[unnumbered page]

 [blank page]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: R. T. Anderson]

[blank page]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration]

[blank page]

THE OLD TIMER AND OTHER POEMS

[unnumbered page]

[blank page]

 The Old Timer and Other Poems


 THE OLD TIMER

Far, far across the rolling swale,
   I’ve watched the bison pass;
I’ve seen the lonely prairie trail
   Wind thro’ the rustling grass;
I’ve felt the cool winds sweep the plain
   Where Nature’s hand is free;
But now they break o’er leagues of grain,
   Like ripples o’er the sea.

I’ve seen full many a summer come,
   And many a winter go,
‘Till my step is weak and my hand is numb,
   And my hair like the driven snow.
I live in the past with the years that were
   My joys are those I’ve known,
There’s too much stir in the Western air;
   I wish you’d leave me alone.

Where creaked the old Red River cart
   In loud, discordant tones,
The shy coyote stirred apart
   The dried-out buffalo bones
And there along the coulee side
   The wolf had made her lair.
But the fields of wheat are waving wide,
   And I see just things that were.

Never mind if I live in the past;
   ‘Twas a life worth while to see
The buffalo roam on the prairies vast,
   And the red man riding free,
I’ve felt the breath of life on my cheek
   In the days of the long ago,
And God! what it is to be old and weak,
   There none but the aged know.

Too much life for the old man now,
   When the trains go whizzing by,
When the land all’ round is broke by the plow,
   And there’s nothing meets the eye
But the everlasting fields of grain
   And fences made of wire
And furrows broke across the plain
   To stop the prairie fire.

I’ve seen the prairie schooners come
   With white tops glittering far,
Bold adventurers seeking a home,
   Where now your wheatfields are.
But then was only the grassy waste
   As far as the eye could see,
Yet sunbrowned men to the westward faced,
   And one of those men was me.

I don’t know but what we were happy too,
   When there weren’t the towns so near,
But times have changed since the roads were new,
   And so has the pioneer.
And maybe when I have the call to go
   Out over the great divide,
The Lord will try and arrange it so
   I can prospect the other side.

Far, far, I see against the skies
   The herds of bison pass.
The trail to far-off outposts lies
   Across the waste of grass.
I feel the cool wind on my cheek
   As I ride far from men—
But God! I am so old and weak
   I’ll never ride again. [unnumbered page]

THE OLD AND THE NEW

It’s always the way at the festive board,
When the bottles are passed, and the drinks are poured,
When the tales are told, and the songs are sung,
That they call for a man with a good long tongue.

And that is the reason, as far as I see,
Why you’ve done me the honor of calling on me.
And I’ve never indulged in a liquor more strong
Than Maclean’s aqua pure we drink right along.

It’s really a fact that I cannot explain,
How it is that the water works into the brain,
But our medical officer, seeking for germs,
Perhaps can explain in the technical terms.

We could hear of bacteria, microbes, and such,
In a manner most able our feelings to touch,
And when we imagined the things that we drank,
It would not be the half of what are in the tank.

However that’s something we never will know
Unless we look in when the pressure is low,
When the Fire Chief is boiling with wrath and with rage,
As he watches the pressure go down in the gauge.

There’s no doubt, if pressure were once brought to bear,
We could get some light on this doubtful affair,
And I’ve no doubt at all that the crown would be thinn’d
If I talked about nothing but water and wind.

However, no man that has brains in his head
Could ever get far from this glorious spread,
When the great horn of Plenty pours forth for our use,
The best that our country could ever produce.

And really, we cannot help thinking at last
Of the wonderful changes thro’ which we have passed,
For some of us lived on the old hunting ground
When a few of the buffalo once travelled around.

And we mind of the days when the air was thick
With the fragrant perfume of “kinn-a-kinnic,”
When the meat we ate and considered the best,
Was the pemmican dried in the windy West.

Then we never thought of the germs of disease
That might be harbored by blanketed Crees,
And we drank the Saskatchewan water pure,
And were really quite happy, altho’ we were poor.

But, even then, there were cranks galore,
Who liked it better with something more,
And took the taste of the water away
With a little old rum of the Hudson Bay.

Those were the days that will come no more
When a man wouldn’t wake with his head quite sore,
Where Police Chief Lancey keeps them stored,
For a five-dollar fine, or a ten day’s board.

We answered our sins to our conscience and soul,
And not to a City Police Patrol,
And dreaded far more than perhaps was seen,
The genial remonstrance of Doctor MacQueen.

When we had affairs to debate and discuss
No present-day etiquette counted with us,
And the man who could win our election campaign
Was one who was neighborly, homely and plain. [page 12]

And we’d meet of a night in the village stores,
And sit on the counters, and spit on the floors—
While if we should sit on a counter to-day,
They’d get Sergeant McCallum to take us away.

We never thought, in those days long since,
That a man might grow into a merchant-prince
Who sat on the counter and answered back
To the name of Alec, or Jim, or Jack.

And we never thought we would live to see
Lots at Two Hundred, or even Three,
In places marked “Delton” and “Lauderdale”
Halfway out on the old Fort trail.

O, if we had known, what we know of now,
(As perhaps some dreamed of it anyhow)
We might have had something, tonight, to remark
On what we would take for a city park.

There’s really no use to express regret
For lots of old timers are with us yet,
Who could tell of experience they went thro’
That savored a little of hardship too.

And, perhaps, none better were versed in the ways
Of the rough little outposts of earlier days,
Where men toiled far from their childhood home,
Than our pioneer missioner, Father Lacombe.

Never a red man throughout the West
But honors the Black Robe’s teachings best,
And never a white, with religion or none,
But acknowledges good that the father has done.

And out in the West where the plains are broad,
And men can get face to face with their God;
There the mind of a man will broaden as well,
‘Till he thinks about something but Heaven and Hell.

And Narrowness sprung from secretarian creed,
Intolerance, Bigotry, Grasp and Greed,
Can never survive in the Western air
Where the brotherly spirit is everywhere.

Fill up the glasses, then, if you please
To English Roses and Fleur-de-Lys,
But often enough in your hearts you’ll mean
The Thistle, the Leek, or the Shamrock green.

We’re proud of old Edmonton thro’ and thro’,
And our sister town of Strathcona too
And we’ll keep on boosting them right ahead,
And others will boost them when we are dead.

And if Taylor’s street-cars get stuck for an hour,
We lay it all on MacNaughton’s power.
And if there are times when the lights go out,
We know it’s the street cars without a doubt.

Then we growl a little and work away
And say, “There will be the devil to pay,
But we’ll doctor that Plant in a year or so,
When Assessor MacMillan can raise the dough.

It’s all very well for us to spiel
About all the things that we know were real,
But to cast for the Future a horoscope,
We have to have money to put with our hope.

‘Tis easy, and simple, and handy withal
When we go to the Strowger that hangs on the wall
To ask for long distance and speak to a friend,
And Calgary answers the other end. [page 13]

We have eased up the strain of our constant “Hello!”
Since the girls down at Central had really to go,
And no doubt but our language is more in command,
Now Cummings has taken the system in hand.

When the Fire Alarm’s sent from the box on the street,
By the watchful policeman who tramps on his beat,
The alarm bell at Central rings sharply and strong,
And the Modern Fire Wagons come dashing along.

All this is quite different from old calls of Fire,
When they dragged the old ladder thro’ slush and thro’ mire,
And the hose reels were hauled by the whole of the crew,
Cap. Lauder along with the boys in the blue.

With all the improvements that Edmonton owns
Its building so modern, it’s lighting and phones,
The men who have brought all these changes around
Are the same as when first they were new on the ground.

The names of our pioneer settlers will stand
When Edmonton’s history is old in the land,
And he who has written will pause where he wrote,
To think on the fortunes of Daly and Groat.

Of Macdougall, and Secord, and Fraser and Ross
And all the old fellows who ventured across
To where they were sure that their fortunes would lie
With Macauley, and Lauder, and also McKie.

We have started afresh on another new year,
And the Old and New Timers along with us here,
Will do all they can for the good of the town,
And, when working together, we’ll never go down.

 THE RIDERS OF THE NORTH

A regimental song for the 19th Alberta Mounted Rifles. Written while in camp at Calgary, June, 1908.

We’re the boys from the land of the beaver,
   And the land where the wild goose flies,
We’re the men who believe that freedom
   Is the grandest thing to prize;
We are the boys that can shoot and ride,
   And love to follow the hunt;
So come what may, with a hip hooray!
   You will always find us in front.

Chorus:

Hooray! hooray! for Edmonton,
   Our capital so fair,
For S’cona and for Morinville,
   And little St. Albair.
Vive le Roi, and Vive la Reine,
And when there’s fighting to be seen
   You’ll always want to get the Northern men;
And when the work is thro’,
And there’s nothing more to do,
   We’ll be hiking back to Edmonton again.

By the banks of the broad Saskatchewan,
   In plenty, our lot’s been cast.
There’s a living for those who seek it,
   And a chance to put something past,
If you’d see life in old Calgaree,
   The time for to hit the town,
Is along in the good old summer-time,
   When the boys of the North come down.

Chorus.

In the bonnie north country they feed us,
   On grub that makes men of us all;
In the south-land they dish you in summer
   The meat that was killed in the fall;
The wind blows here every day in the year,
   From peaks that are covered with snow,
But what care we, for when we are free,
   We’ll strike our camp and go.

Chorus.

[page 14]

Away and up north to Edmonton,
   Our capital so fair,
Fort Sasatchewan and Morinville,
   And little Sant Albair.
Vive le Roi, and vive la Reine,
And when there’s fighting to be seen,
   You’ll always want to get the Northern men,
But when the work is thro’,
And there’s nothing more to do.
   We’ll be hiking back to Edmonton again.

Chorus.

We are known as the 19th Rifles,
   We are known as Rustlers too,
But we don’t care what they call us,
   If they treat us as white men do;
And if there is grub to be rustled
   We’ll see that it all comes forth,
And if there’s a scrap where we’re needed,
   You can count on the men of the North.

 EDMONTON, PAST AND PRESENT

We stood as an outpost of the world,
   On the margin of civilization,
Where the three-cross flag remained unfurled,
   But we scarce were part of a nation.
Exiles far from the Motherland,
   In trading posts stockade,
And little we thought what the Lord had planned,
   As we bartered and trucked, and traded.

Far away from the haunts of men
   The beaver dwelt secluded,
Where the wild duck hid in the marshy fen,
   And the moose alone intruded,
But the lonely trapper forced his way,
   And the white-faced axeman followed,
‘Till they put the stakes of the great survey
   In the place where the buffalo wallowed.

The wind that rustled the prairie grass
   Blew shrill as it broke for cover,
Fresh as it came from the mountain pass
   To travel the broad plains over.
And the thunder was heard of the flying hooves,
   Where the buffalo wild stampeded,
Out over the ride where the dust-cloud moves,
   And the hunters pass unheeded.

Along the stretch of the winding trail
   By the long grass fairly hidden,
The creaking ox-carts seldom fail
   To pass where the scouts have ridden,
And this is the trade that the country boasts,
   The unvarying load they carry—
The bales of furs from the northern posts
   That go out by the old Fort Garry.

The red-coat trooper from “Pile o’ Bones”*
   To the “Great Lone Land” came riding,
Bringing the law with its strident tones,
   For the points that need deciding,
The law that the land had never found,
   The law of the eastern cities—
The law that the white man carries around
   For trials and peace committees.

Then the prairie schooners followed fast,
   Along in straight succession,
And the watching red man stood aghast,
   For he knew they took possession,
That the men had come to claim the soil,
   To hold what they won securely,
That the land might yield to an honest toll,
   And give to the settler surely.

‘Twas then that the little frontier post
   Crept into civilization,
When the progress we, as Britishers, boast,
   Had brought us into the nation.
And being such, and thinking as such,
   With the blood and the brain behind us,
We couldn’t refrain from doing as much
   As would put us where now you find us.

With the advent, too, of the lines of steel
   Which have girded our broad Dominion,

*Regina. [page 15]


Our dreamers saw things that were far more real
   Than the usual lay of opinion.
And if results attained have been great
   It has been thro’ men that were frugal,
As our council for Nineteen Hundred and Eight,
   In the times of our Mayor Macdougall.

We used to be in the far North-West,
   And we raised no great object,
But now our climate has proved of the best,
   We proffer a slight correction,
Only that, if not in the south,
   At least we’re the radial centre
Of an inland empire with nothing of drouth—
   A land that a world could enter.

The old log village that stood alone
   Has faded away in the distance,
And a proud new city of brick and stone
   Now grows with a calm persistence.
Beneath it the broad Saskatchewan flows,
   As swift and unchanged as ever,
While the steady stream of our commerce grows,
   With the tide of our own endeavor.

In this year that has only passed
   We have witnessed the institution,
Of a street-car system that comes at last
   As a traffic problem solution.
For tho’ once we could travel in Red River carts,
   We never could call it a passion,
And the real Old Timer around these parts
   Has grown away from the fashion.

We’ve had things right, and we’ve had things wrong,
   But judging it all with reason,
We are proud of the men who have helped us along,
   And more of this bygone season.
We have looked at the time that behind us lies,
   We have looked at our former condition,
And Industry, Energy, Enterprise,
   Shall still be our city’s ambition.

 ALBERTA RIFLES

Out over Alberta’s sunny plains
   The red-coast riders come.
They muster in at the bugle call
   To march at the tuck of drum;
And the youthful spirit of the West
   Is our young Alberta’s pride,
And Hope springs high in each dauntless breast
   When the Mounted Rifles ride.

What more could the heart of youth desire,
   Or what could it grander term
Than a spirited steed between your knees
   And a seat in the saddle firm,
The crisp, keen air of the prairie wide
   To fill your lungs to the full,
And comrades good upon either side
   In the grab of old John Bull?

If we have a thought, it is for the land
   We love so well and long;
If we have a hope it is that her sons
   May guard her from aught of wrong.
And if there’s a sight we love to see
   Its when in the bright sunshine
Our over the prairie far and free
   The rifles swing into line.

Far to the dim horizon’s rim
   The great broad prairies lie,
And the fresh breeze ripples the long sweet grass
   In under the clear blue sky,
Breathing across the verdant waste
   Where the great cloud shadows pass
And Nature, by man is undefaced
   On the boundless sea of grass.

This to us is the chosen land,
   And the land of Promise fair,
And we will ride the prairie wide
   And breathe Alberta air,
And swear that never was a land
   More free than this our own,
And we take our place with the men that stand
   For the power of Britain’s throne.

Up, comrades, up! We ride in peace
   But should the bugles blow
And foemen threaten the land we love,
   Then we are the boys to go.
Ours is the hope of the broad, free West,
   Where men cringe not with fear,
Where the future holds what is good and best
   And the spirit of God is near. [page 16]

Forward! March! Let us onward ride
   In the pride and strength of youth
Citizen-soldiers loyal at heart
   And proving the same in truth,
Fearing God, and loving the land,
   And honoring well the King,
Riding at Duty’s firm command
   Whatever the future bring.

Cut over Alberta’s sunny plains
   The long red columns go
Swinging along to the summer camp
   And thus would they meet a foe
For the youthful spirit of the West
   Is young Alberta’s pride,
And we echo a cheer from the land so blest
   When the Mounted Rifles ride.

 WE’LL RALLY ‘ROUND THE OLD FLAG, BOYS, ONCE MORE

Haul up the Union Jack, my lads,
   Let it float proudly forth,
For under it our fathers won
   These lands both South and North;
For under it our fathers sail’d
   The seas both East and West.
No wonder ‘tis the good old flag
   Canadians love the best.

Chorus:

We’ll rally ‘round the old flag, boys, once more,
   We’ll rally ‘round the flag again.
As our sires have stood so oft, boys,
Where the old Jack waves aloft, boys,
   The flag of the free-born men.

The white cross of St. Andrew rests
   Upon its field of blue—
The background of the British Jack
   And British Empire too,
For wheresoe’er that flag has gone
   ‘Twill ever bring to mind.
The best blood of the Scottish race
   Was never far behind.

Chorus:

The red cross of St. Patrick lies
   Conjoin’d with Scotland’s own.
It shows the similarity
   Of Celtic blood and tone,
The Celtic love of liberty,
   The inborn Celtic pride:
So Scots and Irish ‘round the world
   Stand ever side by side.

Chorus.

And over all, St. George’s cross
   Is blazoned broad to show,
The broadness of the English mind
   To either friend or foe.
The bold red cross’d bars plainly tell
   What has been ever clear,
That English hearts where’er they dwell
   Are never prone to fear.

Chorus.

Haul up the British flag, my lads,
   Let it float forth to tell
The stranger from an alien land
   Who comes with us to dwell,
How Britons stand to Britons true
   And all our sires have done,
Has taught our British hearts to prize
   What British arms have won.

Chorus.

And we’ll rally ‘round the old flag, boys, once more;
   We’ll rally ‘round the flag again.
As our sires have stood so oft, boys
Where the old flag waves aloft, boys—
   The flag of the free-born men.

 THE KING! GOD BLESS HIM

Now let the toast go ‘round and ‘round
To British hearts on British ground
And wheresoe’er they may be found—
   “Our King! God bless him.”

‘Tis long since Britain’s isle has known,
On Scotland’s famed historic stone
That saw her old kings crowned at Scone,
   A king—God bless him.

Yet we have known the years of peace,
The years of plenty and increase,
Nor with a king our prayers shall cease,
   We’ll pray: “God bless him.”

God give him grant of years a store
As his Queen mother had before,
And all the love her subjects bore,
   Be his: God bless him.

Be his to look abroad and feel
That dusky liegemen’s heart are leal,
And strange dark races daily kneel
   To say: “God bless him.” [page 17] 

Be his to look abroad o’er seas
   Where stalwart Britons true as these
Give honor to their King’s decrees
   And pray: “God bless him.”

O’er lands of many a creed and caste,
   Where freedom has but lately passed,
Be his the hand to hold it fast—
   Our King’s: God bless him.

So sweet contentment still may bide,
And shed its joys on every side,
That Britain’s Empire far and wide,
   May sing: God bless him.

Then pledge we as our fathers erst,
To kings their island Empire nursed,
Old England’s Seventh, Scotland’s First;
   Edward—God bless him.

Fill, fill up your glasses wide,
Till flowing drops run o’er the side,
And we will drink whate’er betide—
   Our King, God bless him.

So, let the toast go ‘round and ‘round
To all true hearts on British ground.
Till echoes o’er the Earth resound—
   The King! God bless him.

 THE 101ST FUSILIERS

There is no sound of the booming guns,
   To startle the peaceful air,
But we go by the maxim our fathers form’d,
   “In the midst of peace prepare.”
For we are sprung of an old, old land
   That has seen the best and the worst
And our own war lords have wisely planned,
   When they gave us the Hundred and First.

Our sires of eld they were island-born
   And held from the world aloof;
They were all to the hardness of war inured,
   And of that they gave good proof.
And we are trained to the arts of peace
   And not as our fathers erst;
Yet the breed of the bull-dogs shall not cease
   While we hold to the Hundred and First.

Our fathers clung to a rock-girt isle
   But they reached their hands for more; 
When the Lion growl’d on the white chalk cliffs,
   There was never a dearth of war.
They train’d good men for the land and sea,
   Or ever the war-cloud burst—
And blood was no better, nor hearts more free,
   Than here in the Hundred and First.

We have spread in the lands our fathers won;
   We have welcomed the stranger in
To share in our freedom of laws and thought,
   And be ourselves akin.
But we have not forgot what that freedom cost
   In blood of martyrs immersed,
And the sense of true honor shall never be lost,
   To the men of the Hundred and First.

We reach our hands for a generous clasp
   To men of an alien birth—
Men of a swart or a sallow skin
   From the utmost parts of Earth,
And we only ask that they heed the laws
   And they do not need them rehearsed,
For we’ve men to back up our country’s cause,
   Like those of the Hundred and First.

The old red bunting is out in the breeze;
   The men are out on the plain,
It is well to prepare in times of peace
   And ‘tis for ourselves we train.
Lads, be true to your own true selves,
   And you never will be reversed;
To God and your Liege, and the land we love,
   And the O.C.* Hundred and First.

Gaily the bugles are blowing now,
   But not for the fields of war.
Still we have not forgot what our fathers taught,
   Tho’ the world is teaching us more;
And if ever a sullen foe appears
   To try what they’ve seldom durst,
It may meet with the Edmonton Fusiliers—
   The gallant Hundred and First.

   Edmonton, April 15th, ’09.

*Officer Commanding. [page 18]


 THE LADS IN THE FIRING LINE

There’s a tender spot in each heart to-night
   For the lads that do and dare,
Away on the far-off Afric veldt
   In the hot dust-laden air;
Those boys that are risking their lives each day
   In defence of the Empire’s cause,
And not for the greed of paltry pay,
   Nor alone for a vain applause.

A cry there and came from the Motherland,
   A cry that was heard afar,
And brave men hastened on every hand
   And girded themselves for war.
Britannia needed no second call
   And Britannia needs no third
For her sons are ready—aye, one and all—
   To start at the whispered word.

From shore to shore of our broad domain,
   And all with the one desire,
Men from the mountain and men from the plain,
   And none that would flinch from fire;
True hearts all, and as brave men can
   They were eager to strike a blow
And the only striving ‘twixt man and man
   Was the striving for who should go.

They went, the pick of the best we had,
   To strike for the Empire’s right,
And many a home to-day is sad
   For a son that fell fight;
And those that have given their lives so free
   Have proved with a right good will,
That the sons of Britain where’er they be,
   Are the same old metal still.

Oh! proudly their country saw them start,
   Tho’ perchance at heart she sighed,
And where was ever a British heart,
   But beat with an honest pride?
And now there are many that join’d the ranks
   To go from our own sweet land,
That are laid by the side of the Modder’s banks
   In a shallow grave of sand. 

But tho’ Britain weeps for her hero dead,
   The blood of her many slain,
And Canada sighs for the spirit’s fled,
   That shall ne’er return again,
Yet ever the three-cross flag goes on
   In the face of the hottest fire,
And hundreds of faces are blanched and drawn
‘Ere the kharki coats retire.

And on ‘mid the scream of the bursting shell
   And the whizz of the Mauser balls,
On in the mouth of a sulphurous hell
   Where the brunt of the battle falls,
With a rousing cheer to the fierce attack,
   And a bayonet gleam in the sun,
Ever on till the foe give back,
   And the trench or the kopje’s won.

So go the troops that have Britain made
   In the Empire beyond the seas,
And who can say that our strength’s decayed,
   When we still have such as these?
In the ranks of the regiments their fathers served,
   In many a bloody fray,
When the steel was out and the hearts were nerved,
   So go the sons to-day.

Yet not where the foemen’s cannon booms
   go the Old Land’s lads alone,
For here is a waving of ostrich plumes
   That tells of Australia’s own;
Troopers from India, tried and true,
   That the firing line receives,
And New Zealand’s best, they are fighting too,
   Along with the Maple Leaves.

Then let outside nations gibe and jeer,
   But why should we heed their taunts
When the call of Britain goes far and near,
And meets with so brave response?
When the old flag flings out its folds again
   O’er freemen that ne’er shall fall,
John Bull has the money, the ships and the men
   And courage to back them all. [page 19] 

There’s a tender spot in each heart to-night
   For the lads that do or die
Far away on the burning veldt,
   Under a cloudless sky;
And if those who are fighting are striving so
   That the rights of men increase,
Should we feel less the patriot glow
   That we bide at home in peace?

 THE OLD RED FLAG OF BRITAIN

There is lots of talk and rumor
   Of impending strife to be,
When the old Ironsides of Britain
   Shall be driven from the sea.
We have heard some vile predictions,
   The result of pure ill-will;
But the old red flag of Britain;
   It is proudly waving still.

We have lived thro’out the twelvemonth
   That is only just decreased,
To find the foes of Britain
   Have been trebly more increased.
We have heard the curse that gathers
   On the blood our soldiers spill;
But the old red flag of Britain,
   It is somehow floating still.

The century sees it waving
   Where the people know its worth,
For only Uncle Kruger
   Is an outcast on the earth;
And the nations see it flaunting
   O’er the famed Majuba Hill;
For the old red flag of Britain
   It is proudly waving still.

They are praising “Bobs Bahadur,”
   For the tactics of the war;
They’ve given him an earldom,
   Which he’s rightly fitted for.
Men are speaking of his genius—
   None can ever doubt his skill—
For he planned to set the old flag
   Where it’s proudly waving still.

So all praise to gallant Roberts,
   And to Kitchener the same;
And the host of other leaders
   That have crowned the list of Fame,
Let foemen scoff in anger,
   As, be sure, they always will;
But, what matter if the old flag
   Be floating bravely still.

Nor, yet alone to leaders,
   May Britain give her thanks,
For well were they supported
   By the men who swell the ranks.
And when Britain calls for soldiers,
   We have men to fill the bill,
To help protect the old flag,
   And keep it waving still.

AT HALF-MAST

 (Written on the death of President McKinley)

Cousins across the border line,
   Yours is a sorrow keen;
You mourn your murdered President
   As we have mourned our Queen.
The kindly word you gave to us
   We give it trebly back—
Old Glory flutters down the mast,
   We lower down the Jack.

In this, your hour of deepest grief,
   We reach you out our hands;
We’re kindsmen still, by ties of blood
   Altho’ of different lands.
And now, while sadness clouds each heart
   And homes are draped with black,
Half-mast droops down your Union flag,
   And half-mast hangs the Jack.

The British heart is often rough,
   Nor used to cultured ways;
The British tongue has little skill
   In framing courtly phrase;
But sympathy, the British heart,
   Will never, never lack;
Nor in the hour of death refuse
   To lower down the Jack.

The fell assassins cowardly blow
   With us that horror meets,
Which only in your Yankee breasts
   The old “fair play” repeats;
Which stirs the anger in our hearts
   That justice cannot slack—
As you let fall the Stars and Bars
   And we, the Union Jack.

In mute salute we lower them,
   These grim old rags of state;
Pray God, the days are passing by
   When hearts are filled with hate,
When Anarchy goes stalking forth
   With murder in its track—
And for its victims we let down
   The Starry Flag and Jack. [page 20] 

Not only President but man,
   For one whose mind was broad;
With heart-love for his fellow-men,
   With soul-love for his God.
Our hearts with gloom are overcast,
   As, mourning, we look back—
Old Glory flutters down the mast,
   We lower down the Jack.

 THE MESSAGE OF GRIEF

Woe in the heart of Britain,
   And over the whole wide world,
Wherever the flags of the Empire
   Ever have been unfurled.
Listless those flags are drooping,
   Hung at a low half-mast,
For the greatest soul of the Empire now
   Has out of the Empire passed.

   Sixty years and more,
      The length of her sovereign reign,
   Peace and little of war,
      And much of a nation’s gain.

Sadness over the nation,
   And under the seas ‘tis sped—
The message that tells to Britons.
   The word that their Queen is dead.
Sadly the news is taken
   By hard, bronzed men afar.
From up in the Land of the Midnight Sun
   To under the Southern Star.

   Rich in people’s love,
      Throned in the heart of a race,
   Hope fixed high above,
      Queen in a queenly place.

Canada hears the message.
   In cities that throb with life,
And the pang comes home to her people,
   Sharp as a cutting knife.
And swift away to the westward
   Flashes the news again,
O’er prairies and foothills, and mountains and lakes.
   To sadden the hearts of men.

   Gentle of hand and heart,
      Firm with a royal will;
   Queen. with a queenly art,
      Blest with a womanly skill.

Over the earth it passes,
   Swift as a thought, to reach
Lands that are little opened,
   Men with an allen speech.
Red men and black men hear it,
   And half in awe, they tell
How the “Great Mother” has gone away
   From the children who loved her well.

   Glorious. Heavenly lot.
      Naught of the Earth’s decay;
   A kingdom that fadeth not,
   Nor crown that shall pass away.

 HOPE

O, Life is sweet and the world is fair
   When ‘tis Hope that urges us on,
And we all are plunged in the depth of despair
   The moment that Hope is gone.
And Hope is a charmer and Hope is a stay,
And Hope is a beacon to brighten our way;
So let the earth’s shadows come over so gray,
   ‘Tis Hope that heralds the dawn.

And, whether we look to the world apart,
   Or trust in a dawn to be,
We are brighter grown with a hope at heart
   Of a future we long to see.
And Hope comes ever before our sight,
To cheer our souls on the darkest night,
That our path in the world may again be light
   And our feet unfettered and free.

O, we may go up by the mountains of doubt
   That are drear to the inward ken,
Where the chidings of self but find us out
   And harry our souls again.
And Life without Love is a round of care,
And Love without Hope is a mockery bare;
But Hope, little angel, comes light as the air,
   With its God-given message to men.

Despondency comes with forebodings dread,
   And filling our hearts with gloom,
Till the best of life-impulse is stagnant and dead
   And our lives have lost all of their bloom. [page 21]
O, man without Hope is a leaf on the blast,
Or a chip in the stream of Eternity cast,
A moment to linger then swiftly borne past,
   And hastened along to his doom.

Yet let us have faith in the years to be,
   And journey toward the dawn,
And the true Socialistical end we shall see
   Of the plan that God’s mercy has drawn.
And what of avail are the times long sped,
The plans we had formed, the ambitions long dead,
Let us life for the future, keep looking ahead
   Where Hope keeps beckoning on.

 UNCLE SAM’S SOLDIERY

(April 25th, 1898).

We are marchin’, we are marchin’,
   With a million men or more,
An’ we’re in a powerful hustle
   Fer ter reach the scene of war,
Fer we’re goin’ down ter Cuba
   Fer ter turn the Spaniards out,
We’re the great American Army
   Thet ye’ve heerd so much about.

Chorus—

Then buckle on the cartridge belt
   An’ wipe the rusty lock
Fer there must be more in this yere war
   That merely chaff an’ talk.
An’ whar’s the nation thet can boast
   Like Yankees born can spout?
An’ aren’t we the Yankee host
   Ye’ve hearn tell about?

We are marchin’ forth ter glory
   An’ be it understood,
We are goin’ luter battle
   Ter avenge a people’s blood,
Fer we feel fer these poor Cubans
   As anybody mout,
Fer we’re the great Americans
   Ye’ve heerd so much about.

We are must’ring, we are mustering,
   An’ who will not enlist
Fer war an’ filibustering
   The tyrants ter resist,
When we’re going forth ter glory
   As we hevn’t got a doubt
Fer we’re the great Americans
   Ye’ve heerd so much about.

We are longin’ we are longin’,
   Both the nigger troops an’ white
Fer ter hev a brush with Spanish dons
   An’ whip ‘em outer sight.
Fer we know that Yankee pluck an’ nerve
   Could put ‘em all ter rout,
Fer isn’t it the boys in blue
   Ye hear so much about?

We are prayin’, we are prayin’,
   Every man thet wears the blue,
Fer ter meet them yaller dagoes,
   An’ we’ll show ‘em what we’ll do.
Fer we made J. Bull skedaddle,
   Tho’ they say he’s mighty stout,
An’ when we get “Boots an’ Saddle,”
   We’re the boys ye’ll hear about.

We are achin’, we are achin’,
   Fer ter get ‘em on the go,
Like we had old Santa Anna
   In the war with Mexico,
An’ you bet it’s somethin’ more than wind
   Thet makes us want ter shout
When there’s cheap American whisky
   Bein’ handed ‘round about.

Then wave the good old Stars an’ Stripes,
   Thet guilt has never stained;
The Yankee’s sword he never wipes
   Until his point is gained.
An’ Cubans, your affairs an’ ours,
   Tho’ other nation’s flout,
We’ll give European powers
   Some more ter talk about.

 DOHERTY

To a boarding house friend
   With considerable voracity,
Who will pardon I am sure
   With his usual sagacity,
These somewhat blunt remarks
   On his storage capacity.

Delicious savory steaks and pies,
   From which the richest odors rise.
   Who gloats o’er them with longing eyes?
          Doherty, ‘tis Doherty. [page 22]

O, for those hours when we patake
   Of “sowps of brose,” and bites of steak,
   For who, of life a feast can make
          Like Doherty, friend Doherty

Ho! all ye weary-laden come
   When ye have cleaned up every crumb;
   Join with me while I’m singing some
         To Doherty, great Doherty.

Enable me to sing this song
   And trip me up if I be wrong;
   And pass the Worcester Sauce along
          To Doherty, our Doherty.

‘Round all the board, on one and all
   His most paternal glances fall,
   And we are at the beck and call
          Of Doherty, wise Doherty.

They who would reach his heart of hearts
   Must practice culinary arts,
   And for the grub when supper starts
          Doherty, ‘tis Doherty.

Yet blood runs hot in Irish veins,
   And let me out while he explains,
   Before he bashes out my brains,
          Doherty, our Doherty.

 ONE OF THE GENUS HOBO

Only a poor, old, wretched tramp,
Ragged and dirty, matted and damp,
Bearing the unmistakable stamp
   Or one of the genus hobo.

One of humanity who has stood
Against working himself for his daily food,
One of that famous brotherhood
   That goes by the name of hobo.

A wreck on the Sea of Life adrift,
Where gales are frequent and currents swift,
Where the clouds of adversity never lift,
   O’er the derelict soul of a hobo.

A useless hulk ‘mid the worldly strife,
Where stormy weather is all too rife,
Where the ship that battles the odds of Life,
   Sails scornfully by the hobo. 

Toss’d about by the winds of fate,
Heading a course that is never straight,
Till the gulfs of Death that for all await
   Close over the helpless hobo.

Only a “bum,” does it matter than
If his soul flits forth, how it goes or when?
He is simply a leech on his fellow-men
   And goes by the name of hobo.

A day there cometh, when Death will strike,
As it cometh to rich and poor alike,
And Weary Willie or Mouldy Mike,
   Will go as a simple hobo.

Then the flame will fade from the flickering lamp,
And the soul will flit from its earthly camp,
And the world will be rid of another tramp,
   And one of the genus hobo.

Bearing the soul of a man withal,
Tho’ dwarfed and stunted, compressed and small,
The end of the trail is not ending all,
   To even the soul of a hobo.

 EPITAPH ON NED O-D-R-Y

Here lies Ned
Who’s supposed to be dead, 
   But his mem’ry will live forever,
For the way that he talked
All the modesty shocked
   Of the church and the Christian Endeavor.

And if he got to Heaven,
The people of Devon
   Would surely have cause to be proud
For there ne’er was a bloke,
Who defended the folk
   Of his country so long and so loud.

Of Canadian birth,
And Canadian earth,
   He never saw reason to brag,
And if he had his way
All the Yankees to-day
   Would be hurled, wrapped up in their flag. [page 23]

But he ever harped on
Of the English brawn,
   And the things that the English can do,
And to emphasize all
To his aid he would call
   An occasional swear word or two.

He had shovelled more coal
In a “bleedin” stroke hole,
   Than the most of us knew had been mined,
And he ran ‘round the Horn
Long before we were born
   With the whole British fleet far behind.

Tho’ a young man in years
From his speech it appears
   He had travelled the whole world around,
Till his head it got gray
And he journeyed away
   To the land where blanked hoboes around.

Here he put in his time
Handling lumber and lime,
   And he lived by the sweat of his brow,
Till he lost all his strength
And he died off at length,
   And the devil has got him by now.

Us will raise up a slab
For his gift of the gab
   And us hopes it will not be amiss
If us drops but one tear
For the time he was here,
   For he likely is damned before this.

   Note.—Written while working for the lumber firm of W. H. Clark & Co., Edmonton. Old Ned jumped the job the day after it was penned.

 MOSQUITOES

My eyes in slumber tightly close,
   Most welcome is the night’s repose;
   No troubled thoughts my sleep condemn;
   And yet I hear the hum of ‘M—
          Mosquitoes.

Oft have my gluey eyelids blinked
   As that dread sound grows more distinct
   And bills are now presented, though
   ‘Tis really but a grudge I O—
          Mosquitoes.

Still as I try to calm my mind
   And to my fate grow more resigned,
   While scratching at the itchiness
   I grow as crooked as an S—
          Mosquitoes.

Quiet the eventide may bring,
   As poets are inclined to sing,
   But not to suffering mortals, who
   Thus lie and yank their beds as Q—
          Mosquitoes.

Unvisited by pleasant dreams,
   I lie and think; but as it seems,
   On nothing can I think so true
   As what I now present to U—
          Mosquitoes.

Imagine, reader, if you can,
   The actions of a frantic man;
   And yet you may not need to try,
   For you may know as well as I—
          Mosquitoes.

Then taking it for granted so,
   I need not any further go,
   But hope you in these verses see
   The scene depicted to a T—
          Mosquitoes.

On bed of down a king may stretch
   His wearied limbs; poor luckless wretch,
   If scitters sing their tale of woe,
   He can but scratch and mutter O—
          Mosquitoes.

Ensconced beneath his counterpane,
   Still troubled is that monarch’s reign,
   For tho’ from skilled assassin free
   Some other pests are worse than ‘E
          Mosquitoes.

Scarce are my themes, O baleful Muse,
   And scarce I can my talent use,
   For twisted thus in sore distress,
   The human frame becomes an S—
          Mosquitoes.

Then, sinful men, put up a prayer,
   And I will help to rhyme it;
If guilt should warrant change of air
   And in a hotter climate,
Tho’ of a warm reception sure,
   (Here all may lend their dittoes)
Whatever pangs we there endure
   May there be no mosquitoes. [page 24]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration]

[blank page]

 THE PARTING OF THE WAY

I don’t know what the world would say
   And I don’t know that I care,
For if I loved you and you loved me,
   Then that was our affair,
And I know this that I loved you
   But I doubt if you loved me,
So it may be best that we parted thus
   God knows. It’s hard to see.

It’s hard to brush up against the world
   When you’re brushing along alone,
But troubles seem few and burdens light
   With someone to call your own.
And I know this that I loved once
   And I doubt if I’ll love again, 
For love comes often to women folks,
   But not so often to men.

But for a brief, brief space of time
   Our lives together had run,
And we had much of brightness and joy
   That now forever is done,
And had you loved with a firm, true love,
   As I thought you were true,
We would not have pass’d from each other’s lives,
   As it seems we are bound to do.

We have come to the parting of the way,
   And, oh! but it’s hard to bear,
And you must go your way and I go mine,
   And that is but our affair,
For little the busy world will reck
   Of what was between we two,
And I cannot een kiss you a last goodbye,
   In the way that I used to do.

It’s a cold, cold world when your friends grow cold,
   It is dull when your friends are few,
But it’s Hell when the girl goes out of your life,
   That had promised to travel with you.
And I know this, that I loved one,
   But I doubt if she loved me,
So it may be best that we parted thus.
   God knows. It’s hard to see.

 THE STAY-AT-HOME

Other men may venture far,
   But travel where they will,
Comin’ back home again
   They’ll find me here still.
Globe-trotters run about
   And brag of what they see.
But little old Canada
   Is good enough for me.

Never felt a bit inclined
   To wander far away.
Never saw that chasin’ ‘round
   Was ever like to pay.
Got that calm, contented mind
   That keeps a man at ease.
And those that kick at Canada,
   Are mighty hard to please.

What’s the reason why I stay
   Here, and never roam?
Never saw another place
   To make me feel at home;
Always found the Western ways
   Mighty fair and free.
And little old Canada
   Is good enough for me.

What’s the use of goin’ off
   To Switzerland, to climb
Up the mountain sides, to have
   A high-falutin’ time?
What’s the use of climbin’ up
   To wade around in snow,
When four months here in Canada
   We’ve got it down below?

Never saw a bit of sense
   In people goin’ far
To look around at scen’ry
   Where the highest mountains are;
Just a level field of wheat
   Is all there has to be,
And little old Canada
   Looks good enough to me.

Don’t hanker after city life
   With piles of stone and brick,
Where there’s lots of smoke and fog
   To make a feller sick.
All that I am askin’ for,
   Is heaps of country air.
And the place with most of it
   Can eas’ly keep me there.

Put me out upon the plains;
   Give me lots of room;
Get me shook of tight-laced ways
   City folks assume.
Let me go cavortin’ ‘round,
   An’ feelin’ full of glee,
An’ little old Canada
   Can fill the bill to me. [page 26]

THE SONG OF THE UNEMPLOYED

I used to be buoy’d by the hope of youth,
   And looked to the years ahead,
But now I can think of nothing at all
   But the price of meat and bread,
Only the price of meat and bread
   And the cost of coal in town,
For how can the heart of a man be light,
   When the world is holding him down

For I know I have tried—
   Tried and striven in vain,
And now I am sick of the battle of life
   And weary in heart and brain.
And God, if there be a God,
   Knows that my heart is cloyed
With the wearyful, woeful, ‘wildering want
   In the home of the unemployed.

There are hastening thongs in the city streets,
   With faces cheerful and fair,
And what do they know of the hearts of the poor
   that are filled with a dark despair?
Many a form that is elbowing past
   Knows more than a look can tell
And many a fight in our midst is fought
   Stubbornly, fierce and well.

The Christmas bell will ring
   In the clear December air,
And the muffled forms will pass
   On the crowded thoroughfare,
But “the poor ye have always with ye”
   And hearts that are overjoyed,
Know little the sorrow at Christmastide,
   That comes to the unemployed.

   December 14th, 1907.

 THE OLD YULETIDE

Once more the Merry Christmas tide
   Is wearing ‘round again,
And Christmas spreads on every side
   Her message old to men;
O, be ye all of goodly cheer,
   And full of festive mirth,
And keep that day, to nations dear
   When Christ was born to earth.

Our fathers, in the olden days,
   When nights were long and cool,
Went joyous forth to woodland ways
   To fetch the logs at Yule.
And in the huge old fireplace, heaped
   The wood with many a shout,
Till lightly sprang the sparks and leaped,
   Into the frost without.

And, high on old oak-panelled walls,
   They wreathed the evergreen,
While round about the ancient halls
   The holly gay was seen;
And who, beneath the mistletoe
   A maid might spy, I wis,
Might levy tribute, justly so,
   And claim a Christmas kiss.

Then came the neighbors bursting in
   With shouts of boisterous glee,
Stamping their feet to aid the din
   And set the loose snow free.
Loud the old manor echoed then,
   With peals of laughter shrill,
For those were times when hearts of men
   Were filled with real good will.

The feast was spread, and at the board
   They tasted high delight;
The best the cellars might afford
   Were furnished forth that night.
And young and old join’d in the plays,
   While swift the evening crept,
For they knew well, in olden days,
   How Christmas should be kept.

‘Twas then that “Merrie England” was
   And “Bonnie Scotland,” too,
Might we but keep those Yuletide laws
   The way they used to do.
So, be ye all of goodly cheer,
   And full of festive mirth,
And keep that day, to nations dear
   That Christ was born to earth.

 CHRISTMAS CHEER

Christmas, 1906.

To a young Catholic lady.

Miss Laura, let me once again
   Bring forth my minstrel strain,
For beauty’s charms by poets gaze
   Were ne’er beheld in vain.
And while thy charms have waked my Muse
   And made my heart beat true,
‘Tis Christmas mirth and melody
   That now I sing to you.

And while the merry Christmas bells
   From chapels high and low, [page 27] 
Tell Christ was born in Bethlehem
   In old time long ago.
I join with many other friends
   At this blythe time of year,
In wishing you and all of yours
   The best of Christmas cheer.

Goodwill and peace were borne to Earth
   To fill the minds of all,
When Christ was born in Bethlehem,
   And cradled in a stall,
And all that peace and helpfulness
   That Christian motives sway
Shall rest and be with us throughout
   This gladsome Christmas day.

The peace which was ‘twixt man and God
   Should rest ‘twixt man and man,
For strife of creed or bigotry
   Could ne’er be Heaven’s plan,
And as our Christian bells ring out
   And blend in one their tone,
So let the best of Christian creeds
   Commingle with our own.

This was the song of Bethlehem
   Of old, that angels sang;
This is the true religious theme
   That down the ages rang;
This is the hope that fills our hearts
   Shall be thro’ time and space,
Our kindness to our fellow men
   Shall be our saving grace.

So hope springs high without our hearts
   When festal joys surround,
When God’s good mercy rests with us
   And loving friends we’ve found.
When all that we have loved and lost,
   Our sorrows and our tears
Are left behind, and Hope alone
   Goes with us thro’ the years.

And on this merry Christmastide
   As on the ones to be,
My thoughts shall always be with those
   True friends I long to see.
And Christmas-tide and every tide
   As long as life endures
The friendship of an humble bard,
   Miss Laura, shall be yours.

 THE FIRE LADDIE’S CALL

In the wee hours of night when all things are in bed,
And silence is brooding o’er living and dead,
Ting-a-ling-ling! from the gong on the wall,
To boots and away! ‘Tis the fire laddie’s call.

Up from their beds spring the brave boy in haste,
To boots and to breeches, there’s no time to waste,
Ere the gong ceases it’s ear-splitting call,
Lauder and Hammond are down in the hall.

Down the pole, Dyer and Ted Murray too,
Quick now, McNaughton, we’re all after you,
Look out there for Payne with his feet in the air.
God’s sake, now, Hogan! Why don’t you take care?

Out come the horses with rush and with race,
Owen, be quick there, get Dan in his place,
Snap up your lines there. Confound you, now! Whoa!
Open the doors there—All right, let them go.

Swing on there, Anderson—Damn you, be quick.
Off and away where the darkness is thick.
There goes the Chemical, quick, round the curve—
There goes the hose wagon—Say! that is nerve.

On thro’ the streets now deserted and still—
On at a gallop—for gallop they will,
While back in the tower with the strength of his arm
Old Turgeon is ringing the midnight alarm.

On, madly on, thro’ the blackness so vast,
And the gongs bring out people, who gaze when we’re past,
While the wind strikes our faces and makes us near blind,
And the dogs only bark when we’ve left them behind.

Say! but it’s cold with the wind in the face. [page 28]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: EDMONTON 1867]

[blank page]

Say! but those horses can keep up their pace.
Say! but it’s grand with the nerves all athrill
To break thro’ the blackness all heavy and still.

On there and on, while the firemen hold fast,
On over holes that are yawning and vast,
On over ruts, where the steam roller rolled,
But—Oh! Gracious Heavens! I near lost my hold.

Out thro’ the suburbs we leap and we bound,
Over the broken and uneven ground,
Yes, these are streets; they’s supposed to be so,
But the brush isn’t cut where the houses will go.

Bang, bang and bang, that’s a stone ‘neath the wheel.
See the sparks fly where the stone struck the steel.
Yes, and our bones felt the jar when it came.
But, never mind, boys, we’ll be there all the same.

Hammond leans forward with whip on the go,
And it’s slash, slash and slash, on the blacks down below;
And the long oats rain down from the hose wagon too,
When McNaughton’s whip falls, as we know it can do.

So on thro’ the blackness, while all tongues repeat:
“Corner of Jasper and Thirteenth Street.”
Ah! there’s the blze as it leaps to the sky,
Lightight the trees and the heavens on high.

“Off with you, boys,” and the Chief’s off the first—
Yes, we are ready to cope with the worst,
Off with you, Dyer, and off with the hose,
Quick! give a hand, boys, and over it goes.

“Ready, all ready—jump up—and go on.”
McNaughton’s whip falls, and the hose wagon’s gone,
On—leaving Dyer, the hydrant to mind
While the long hose leaps out like a serpent behind.

“Whoa! that’s enough—now uncouple, be quick.
Bob, fetch a nozzle—that’s on pretty slick,
Signal the hydrant man”—Dyer obeys
And the water leaps up for to combat the blaze.

There’s a roar as the water has met with the flame,
But the hose-men are standing their ground all the same,
And the fire must die down ere the night shall be thro’,
For it can’t get away from the boys in the blue.

So ‘long about morning there’s no need to stay.
We gather our hose and we’re up and away,
Smoke begrimed, drenched, we are off for the hall,
Ready, aye, ready, to come when they call.

So here’s to our chief whom may Heaven long spare,
And here’s to you, Lauder, our devil-may-care,
And here’s to you, boys, for we drink to you all,
Who will always respond to the fire laddie’s call.

   Fire Department, Edmonton, Aug. 20th, 1906.

 TO O. HOGAN ON THE EVE OF HIS MARRIAGE

When you are stepping proudly forth
   To meet the world with firmer gaze,
   And tread amid life’s devious ways
In our fair city of the North
Old comrade mine, you know my voice
   Can give you naught but words of cheer,
   And pray God guide you year by year,
With this fair partner of your choice. [page 29] 

Full many a care have we to meet,
   But often when the tempests low’r,
   There comes within the darkest hour
Some guiding ray before our feet,
And we have thoughts so much our own,
   We keep them treasured in our heart,
   And from the world so much apart,
It is not meet we dwell alone.

Yet when the kindred heart we find
   That throbs in sympathy with ours,
   And we can feel the guiding powers
And stronger impulse of the mind. 
When true refinement holds to each,
   And like to like as magnet clings,
   We cannot view as common things,
What love alone has got to teach.

No wiser head or ‘neath a crown,
   Could dream of transport or of bliss,
   More constant and more true than this,
Which Heaven sends to mortals down.
And not with state and not with gold,
   Can this supremest joy be bought
   But only just as thought with thought,
Your own communion thus you hold.

‘Tis now that manhood rises most
   When youthful blood is surging high
   When you have still the world to try,
And strength is not an idle boast.
And you can feel it none the less
   Because you feel at peace with men, 
   And life is very joyous when,
The one you love has answered “Yes.”

So, comrade mine, the years will go
   But as you journey hand in hand
   Along toward the better land,
A rhymer’s wish thro’ weal and woe
Will be that naught your hearts will claim,
   But what is good and for the best,
   And what is more than all the rest,
Your love will always be the same.
   Sept. 3rd, 1908.

 THE FIRE FIGHTERS.

The big gong rings in the hall below,
   Up and away, up and away.
An alertness sounds in its every blow,
   And it’s Ho, my lads for the fray. 
Ho! for the gray with the fire and smoke,
Where the firemen gurgle and gasp and choke,
Till the steady force of the flame be broke,
   And we’ve got out streams in play.

The horses stamp, and champ, and neigh,
   The doors are open, the men are down,
Each driver springs to his place—Away!
   And we’re off and away thro’ the town.
Off and away in the crisp night air,
With the blackness around us everywhere,
Broken alone by the arc light’s glare,
   Glimmering dim and brown.

The lanterns gleam on each grim, set face—
   “Faster, faster, let them go”—
And on we dash in our mad, mad race.
   “There is the blaze—Hello!”
Swift the chemical turns the curves;
Say, but it’s grand for the brain and nerves,
Off to the side the hose wagon swerves
   And the hydrant man jumps below.

A twist of the hose ‘round the hydrant tight,
   Up and away, up and away,
And on we gallop into the night,
   And it’s Ho! my lads, for the fray;
Ho! for the fray with the fire and smoke,
Where comrades gurgle and gasp and choke
As the burning walls they souse and soak,
   And hold the flames at bay.

The fierce little elves in the red fire light—
   Give it them there, give it them there,
They crackle and spit with an elfish spite,
   And leap up into the air.
The thick black volume of smoke rolls in,
Where we haul our nozzles thro’ thick and thin,
Smoke-begrimed and wet to the skin
   But ready to do and dare. [page 30] 

There to the right the fire gleams red,
   “Swish her hard, swish her hard,”
The water leaps to the beams o’erhead,
   And out below to the yard.
“More hose, lads,” and we drag it thro’,
Where the smoke and steam is so dense and blue,
You cannot see more than a foot or two,
   And the passage ahead is barred,

The rafters are groaning and creaking above—
   “Swish them there, swish them there”—
This is the life the firemen love.
   “Steady, my lads, beware.
With a rattle of glass from window panes,
Like a red-hot demon that struggles and strains,
The blaze now loses and now it gains,
   And again leaps out to the air.

Hauling the branch from place to place
   In and around, in and around,
The red-hot devil of flame we chase
   And see! He loses ground.
Steadily, steadily on we press,
And the fierce hot breath of the flame grows less
Till at last our efforts are crowned with success,
   And back to the hall we’re bound.

Here’s to you, comrades, where’er you be,
   You and you, and you and you;
And here’s to the boys of Number 3,
   Who well their duty will do.
And fill up, lads, to our gallant chief,
May his life be long and his troubles brief,
And ‘twill do no harm, it is my belief
   If you drink to our Captain, too.

   Fire Department, Edmonton, November 27th, 1907.

 DER LAST OF DER LIMBURGHER CHEESE

If you geeps very quiet and don’t make no noise,
I will sing you von song vot der Deutscher enjoys.
Idt vos so awful sad, idt vill make you feel plue,
Budt I gant help for dot ven I’m singin’ to you,
   For so vos der Limburgher cheese, Ach, Ja!
      So vos der Limburgher cheese.

Now all you goot peoples, don’t shtand in mine vay,
For I shpeaks idt so plain you vill know vot I say.
I don’t got egcitements, altho’ I feel bad,
So I sing you der best dot you efer haf had
   Und dot vos der Limburgher cheese, Ach, Ja!
      Dot vos der Limburger cheese.

Oxcuse me, mine friendts, if I vipes off my nose,
For der tears dey vill coom, ven I tink how idt goes;
Dot vos very sad song I vos sing you about,
Und idt goes like bologna, und lager, und kraut,
   Der last of der Limburgher cheese, Ach, Ja!
      Der last of der Limburgher cheese.

Ve geeps a nice peesness, mineself und mine vrow,
Und ve leef very quiet, und don’t make no row,
Und all of der foots vot I sells in mine schtore,
Der vos notings der peoples enquire so mooch for
   Der same as der Limburgher cheese, Ach, Ja!
      Der same as der Limburgher cheese.

Oh, Ja! I vos shtartin’ for tole you aboudt,
How I don’t feel der same ven I’m newly come oudt,
All der vay from der Vaerland ofer der sea,
Und all I vas wantin’ to fetch idt mit me
   Vos a peeg piece of Limburger cheese, Ach, Ja!
      A peeg piece of Limburgher cheese.

Ach, mine Gott in Himmel, idt makes me feel bad,
To t’ink of der goot times dot ever I had.
Und den, mine oldt mudder, so kind she vos say: [page 31]
“Mine Hands, I vill geef you to take idt avay,
   A piece of dot Limburgher cheese, Ach, Ja!
      A piece of dot Limburger cheese.”

Und ven I am leavin’ from oldt Germanee,
Mine friendts, dey vos come und vos said unto me;
“You vos leavin’ your vrow und your kinderen five,
Und dis is der last time ve see you alive,
   Und also der Limburgher cheese, Ach, Ja!
      Also der Limburgher cheese.

I gets on der ship for America boun’
Und der ship she go oop, und der ship she go down,
Und mine schtomach go also der same vay like dot,
Und I loss mine insides, und I do not know vot,
   Budt also some Limburgher cheese, Ach, Ja!
      Also some Limburgher cheese.

Oxcuse me, mine friendts, if I vipes off my nose,
Und I try to remember der vay dot idt goes.
Dot vos very sadt song, und der captain tole me,
Dot der feeshes vos dead all ofer der sea
   From eatin’ some Limburgher cheese, Ach, Ja!
   From eatin’ some Limburgher cheese.

Der vind idt vos blow und der gale idt vos rise,
Und I feel idt so seek like Hans Gliebieger dies,
Und der captain he say: “Don’t you feel so upset,
You try and cheer oop, der vos life in you yet,
   Und also dot Limburgher cheese, Ach, Ja!
      Also dot Limburgher cheese.

Vell, ven I vos feelin’ like leevin’ some more,
Der ship idt vos shtrike on America’s shore,
Und I vant to get off, for I don’t feel so seek, 
Budt dey put us in quarantine more dan a veek,
   Und also dot Limburgher cheese, Ach, Ja!
      Also dot Limburgher cheese,

Und ven ve are leavin’ dot place Halifax,
Ve gets on der train mit our pundles und packs,
Our trunks and valeeses, und Gootness knows vot,
All of der t’ings vot ve efer haf got,
   Und also der Limburgher cheese, Ach, Ja!
      Also der Limburgher cheese.

Und ve gets in der place dey call “colonist car,”
Mit all of der peoples vos goin’ so far—
Galicians und Doukhobors, Russians und Finns,
Svensk und Pollok, und all kinds of skins,
   Und also dot Limburgher cheese, Ach, Ja!
      Also dot Limburgher cheese.

So ve travel und travel for day after day,
Und ve pass lots of places der name I gan’t say,
Und I nefer see peoples mit hunger so mooch,
A hunder times worse dan der worst of der Deutsche,
   Und dey’re vantin’ mine Limburgher cheese, Ach, Ja!
      Dey’re vantin’ mine Limburgher cheese.

Dose Galicians und Doukhobors, Russians and Finns
Pollok und Svensk und all kind of skins,
Pefor I get oudt to vhere Edmonton pes,
Dey eat all der last of der Limburgher cheese,
   Und dey’re vatin’ more Limburgher cheese, Ach Ja!
      Dey’re vantin’ more Limburgher cheese.

Dot vos very sad song I vos sing you aboudt,
For idt goes like bologna und lager, und kraut. [page 32]
Und dot iss der reason I’m feelin’ so blue,
For if I hadt a piece I vould geef idt to you.
   A piece of dot Limburgher cheese, Ach, Ja!
      A piece of dot Limburgher cheese.

 CHANGES OF TIME

(To Carnduffers)

Hearts go back as the years draw on,
   Fondly turning to days long by
Calling up scenes that are past and gone,
   And oft producing a glistening eye,
And while my heart upon mem’ry’s track
   Sometimes still will its course retrace,
Oft I wonder in looking back,
   If Carnduff still is the same old place.

They tell us fortune has deigned a smile,
   And shy Prosperity come your way,
We trust that Her Fickleness bide a while,
   And Prosperity hasten without delay,
May they bring you abundance of golden grain,
   Which with you is ever the one desire,
May you reap the harvest of leagues of plain,
   And be minus the hail and the prairie fire.

Time has wrought us full much of change,
   We, who went from you years ago,
Much we have seen that was new and strange,
   And other friends we have come to know,
But oldtime friends we can ne’er forget,
   Old-time pleasures are pleasures still,
And our minds retain the impression yet
   That Time has endeavored in vain to kill.

Life, perhaps, has altered its cast,
   Yet give us an hour from its dull routine,
And half in the present and half in the past,
   While memory acts as a go-between,
With a friend, perhaps, who has known our ways,
   And those we have known in years before,
We would dwell again upon other days
   And wake the dead to the life once more.

For those there be, that among our friends,
   Have gone the road that we all must go;
And there is a point where our journey ends,
   Whether that end comes soon or slow.
And we that linger along the way,
   With what of pleasure this life can give
As each year passing prolongs our stay,
   Feel how uncertain the lives we live.

And others there be that the winds of chance
   Have scattered far, even like as we,
So that in giving a friendly glance,
   Things seem not quite what they used to be.
It may be that few we have known remain,
   That in stead there is many a stranger face,
Yet in the picture our minds retain,
   Carnduff still is the same old place.

 “THE FIGHT OF FAITH”

(1 Timothy vi and xii)

Written after the death of the Rev. John Cairns, 1897.

Another soul of vastness and of worth
   Has stem’d death’s inky tide;
Another soul has left the realms of earth,
   And crossed the great divide;
Another soul in Christ has gone to sleep,
   Released from earthly moil;
An under-shepherd of the Master’s sheep
   Has left the fields of toil.

Surely the Fight of Faith has well been fought,
   The vast reward attained, [page 33]
Eternal Life, the prize for which he sought,
   Has now, at last, been gained;
And with the blest that throng the courts of Heaven,
   Knowing not laws severe;
Secrets which learning never could have given
   Are now, at last, made clear.

What are the trials which the past has known.
   The pangs he once endured?
Now are the glories of the Mighty shown.
   Now are all ailments cured.
He, in a dearer happier, home than this,
   Has passed his second birth;
Another nobleman has entered bliss.
   A gem is lost to earth.

 TO THE MEMORY OF MY GRANDMOTHER

 Died in Toronto, Feb. 17th, 1899. Buried at Mount Forest, Ont. Mrs. Jennet Anderson, born Edinburgh.

Why should I touch a woeful chord and sing,
   Mourning a loss which all of us sustain;
She has but gone to meet her Lord and King,
Claiming the joys this change alone can bring,
   And what is loss to us, to her is gain.

Yet would we grieve as nature still gives way,
   Mourning a mother from our presence passed.
Youth may be taken, old age must—not may
And feebler grown with each succeeding day,
   She has but gained the blest release at last.

Joys of the earth, how little that can mean.
   What is the pleasure each of us may know,
Here where our joys have sorrows intervene;
And to a soul that sorrow oft has seen,
   How great the bliss that Heaven alone can show. 

Long was the path which she in life has trod,
   Long had she known she neared the final goal.
Yet not a soul like hers could Death have awed,
Whose latest breath was spent in praising God,
   Ere from its earthly frame sped forth the soul.

What are the pangs the body knew of late?
   Where are those hours by anguish made so long?
All are as naught since at the glittering gate,
He, who had called her to His vast estate,
   Welcomed another to the countless throng.

Thus do we mourn the loss of one we love,
   Tho’ not by wish would we her soul recall,
And in the future pray that it may prove,
In the fair courts of Heavenly realms above,
   ‘Round her be met her children one and all.

 FRIENDSHIP

When we have reached Life’s tether end
   And part the ties that bind us,
Should we have left but one true friend
   To mourn our loss behind us,
Then we shall not have lived in vain,
   If in our onward pressing
Amidst Life’s cares, amidst its pain,
   WE’ve saved one earthly blessing.

For greatest of all heavenly gifts
   Unto poor mortals given,
Is love enobling, love that lifts,
   And brings us nearer Heaven;
That helps us find in every part
   Where Hope’s advance has bound us
Some true, congenial, kindly heart
   Amid the hosts around us. [page 34]

So he who has many friends,
   Yet feels Death’s chill come o’er him,
May look across where this life ends
   To that which lies before him;
And tho’ the pang be great to go
   And break these bands asunder,
It lessens still the grief to know
   That friends await him yonder.

God grant, when we are at the last
   And this life’s ties be broken,
When all our hope of Earth is past
   And our last song be spoken;
When Heaven looms up before us clear
   And golden dawn is o’er us:
That we leave friends behind us here
   And we’ll have friends before us. [page 35]

[blank page]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration]

[blank page]

 SONGS OF THE KOOTENAY HILLS

[unnumbered page]

[blank page]

 Songs of the Kootenay Hills


 LOOKING AHEAD

No mournful Cornonoch this, nor dirge
   For the cycle that is but gone,
With its hopes and fears, and its smiles and tears,
   And lives that have hastened on.
There are prospects still looming up ahead,
   And deeds are yet to be done,
And tho’ Nineteen Hundred is past instead
   There’s a Nineteen Hundred and One.

Tho’ History pause in the book she makes
   And endeth a chapter more,
There are pages still, she has yet to fill,
   As ever in years before;
And wherefore look back on the path we’ve trod,
   Or pause in the race we run.
If still we’ve a trust or a faith in God
   And this Nineteen Hundred and One.

You may speak as you like of times long by,
   And talk of the world’s decay,
But we put no trust in the things of dust,
   That are all of a former day.
We think it better, we find it best,
   To trust to the year begun,
And let Nineteen Hundred go with the rest,
   When we’ve Nineteen Hundred and One.

Time jogs on in his endless course
   And brings us much that is new,
And our minds keep pace with Time in the race
   Of life that we hasten thro’
So we pin our faith to the times to be,
   And may prosperity’s sun
Shine brightly forth over land and sea
   In this Nineteen Hundred and One.

May better fellowship man to man
   Promote the coming of peace,
And from coast to coast of the land we love most,
   May her greatness and strength increase;
And our Empire at large, may it ever stay
   In its place as second to none;
That men looking backward may not no decay
   Since Nineteen Hundred and One.

YELLOW LEGS

We may not look up to the Kings of the earth,
   With a trust in their high-handed ways,
We claim that the poor man, of far humbler birth
   Is much more deserving of praise;
We may talk of the “money-bagged snobs” with a groan,
   Who oppress us right down to the ground,
But we’re al mighty glad if the truth be but known,
   To have yellow legs hustling around.

The poor man may dwell in the midst of content,
   When potatoes and salt are his fare;
He may say he is happy and don’t care a cent
   For riches that only bring care. [page 40]
He may bluster about the tyrannical ways
   Of the dignified, dandified snob;
But he’ll rustle like blazes for several long days.
   To get him a yellow-legged job.

There is nothing disgraceful in men being poor—
   But, indeed, there’s small comfort in that—
For where is the man who could help it, for sure
   Who would dwell upon Poverty Flat?
And somehow or other—the world looks askance
   At the man with the toll-hardened hands,
And he doesn’t come in for the welcoming glance
   That yellow leg always commands.

But that’s not the fault of the yellow legs, boys,
   And one thing you always must mind,
It takes lots of money to make lots of noise
   And keep us from going behind.
So kindly conclude ere you make any fuss,
   To consider before you condemn:
If the yellow legs can’t get along without us,
   We can’t get along without them.

So, yellow legs, yellow legs, yellow legs come,
   This country has sinew and brain,
But what we are lacking for making things hum,
   Is just what your wallets contain.
This country has mines in the making all right,
   This country has prospects galore;
But the big wad of greenbacks so seldom in sight,
   Is what we are wanting you for.

 A TOAST TO THE MINERS

 (Written for and given at the Miners’ Concert in Slocan, Sept. 11th.)

Men of the pick and shovel,
   And that handle the sledge and drill,
That search in Nature’s storehouse
   Under each shadowy hill;
That bring up the treasures hidden
   To the first sweet ray of light—
Brothers, I toast unbidden,
   But here is your healths to-night.

Here’s to our mountain heroes,
   That toll by the candle’s gleam,
Where never the inky darkness
   Is softened by straggling beam;
Away from the light of Nature,
   Yet nearer to Nature when
They are forcing the musty secrets
   To yield to the might of men.

Down in each rocky fastness,
   In under the mountain’s girth
Where the clouds come ‘round like a mantle,
   To cover the grim old earth—
In by the walls of granite
   That stand out stern and gray,
The men go down to their labors
   And the ore comes up to the day.

So here’s to our mountain workers,
   That loosen old Nature’s hold
On what she would fain have hidden.
   The treasure of wealth untold;
For the tale of the gold and silver
   Is reckoned and proved again,
When they fetch it down to our valleys
   To be cast for the use of men.

And yet again to the miners,
   Those men with a dogged will,
For the men that shoulder the turkey
   Are the men that handle the drill;
They traverse the trackless forest
   And they clamber the barren slope,
Where scarcely a goat would venture
   They tackle it all in hope.

So here’s to the mountain climbers,
   The men that can persevere,
With a patience born of trial
   And a heart not brooking fear;
When they search in clefts unnoticed.
   By aught save the eagle’s ken,
For signs of the precious metals
   Required for the use of men.

They go aback in the mountains,
   Where the misty peaks recede,
To search about in the snowline
   And follow the richest lead;
And they broil in the heat of Summer
   And freeze in the Winter cold,
And put their stakes on the prospects
   And live in the quest for gold.

So once again to the miners,
   Those men with a stubborn pluck
Who risk their all in a venture
   And trust their fortunes to luck; [page 40]
For the men who have made our province,
   And the men who will keep it still,
Are the men who shoulder the turkey
   And the men that handle the drill.

 THE THREE CANDIDATES

There came three men into the field,
   And all from Kaslo came,
And never one an inch would yield,
   If he could keep the same.
For every one determined stood
   For what he ran to gain,
And the names of these three men so good
   Were Green and Keen and Kane.

Now, all the promises they made
   Of what they meant to do,
And all the ardor they displayed
   Was sure to help them through;
For each had promised many things,
   If he could once attain
The great position coveted
   By Green, and Keen and Kane.

It might be promises profuse,
   Or schemes without a flaw
Or some amendments to produce
   About the eight hour law;
Or sundry grants for wagon roads
   We long desired in vain;
For these are things that none can get
   But Green or Keen or Kane.

So these three men are out to run
   For Slocan Riding here,
And if these things will all be done
   Will doubtless soon appear.
But which one we should now support
   We cannot just explain,
For Green is green, and also Keen
   And doubtless so is Kane.

HOGAN’S ALLEY BANQUET

Av all grate institutions that have iver sthruck the valley,
   Av all the plisint advints that are iver welcomed here,
Shure, the wan that is the gratest is the faste av Hogan’s Alley,
   The splendid sumptuous banquet that to custom must adhere.
   The grate and glorious banquet
   The loud, uproarious banquet.
The banquet av the miners that is held here ivery year.

‘Tis thin that all the miners from the hills around assimble,
   The grim an’ gray ould vet’rans av the toimes av long ago,
An’ the ould toimes are talked over an’ the walls they shake an’ trimble
   Wid the shouts av giant laughter an’ the shtamp of hale and toe;
   An’ full miny a jist is ventured,
   An’ but very seldom cinsured,
At our grate historic banquet, that is hild here ivery year.

There are tables overloaded, bendin’ down, an’ groanin’ undher,
   All the good things av the sayson that could iver be procured;
An’ to ivry anxious shtranger ‘tis a miracle av wondher,
   How the table legs could shtand it an’ the mass should not be flured,
   But the danger is abated
   Whin they all are satiated,
At the Hogan’s Alley banquet that is hild here ivry year.

Full av dignity an’ honor at the dhore stands Dunc McVannel,
   Wid his natural pomposity extended extry size,
An’ as sole an’ careful guardian av the only open channel,
   He fales himself the object av admiring sets av eyes;
   An’ while Dunc the dhore is guardin’
   We would ax to beg his pardon,
If we lave him for the banquet that is hild here ivry year.

There are miny brilliant spaches, such as honor the occasion,
   Shure, ‘twould take us miny pages to chronicle a few;
But Dan Hanlin, on the qui vive, takes the matin’ by invasion,
   An’ a trate may well be promised by the ardent “Bushy,” too;
   Jack McKinnon he’s before us
   Wid his long unendin’ shtories,
At the banquet av the miners that is hild here ivry year.

So the grate evint is coming—soon it comes an’ soon is goin’,
   An’ ivry wan that passes is a grater than before; [page 41] 
An’, bedad! as little justice, Of could iver be beshtowin’,
   Now perhaps it would be betther to dhry up an’ say no more;
   Only jist you all remember
   On the 25th of Decimber,
The grate an’ glorious banquet that is hild here ivry year.

 LOWERY’S CLAIM

Free thinkers all, agnostics too 
   And all who freedom teach,
That kind of freedom which we view
   In Lowery’s mode of speech;
All ye who wish to lend a shove
   To ill-repute and fame,
It’s mighty rocky up above
   Along by Lowery’s Claim.

Ye seekers after other ways
   In parts we do not know,
Go on and leave behind your blaze
   Where other feet may go.
Go tread those dreary hills of Doubt,
   And have no grander aim
Than just to stake some rock about
   The size of Lowery’s Claim.

‘Tis hard to climb each rugged slope
   In life that rises high,
When man has nothing left to hope
   Except at last to die,
But go the way you choose to take
   And to yourselves the blame,
If Heaven’s too big for you to stake
   Along with Lowery’s Claim.

 DAYBREAK OVER KOOTENAY

The sun glints o’er the mountains
   And shines on the Western slope—
He brings us a day’s more longing,
   Or brings us a day’s more hope;
And he lightens the dark green timber
   Adown on the mountain’s breast,
Here in the heart of the Koot’nay,
   The pride of our Silver West.

There’s a ripple across the water,
   Where the breeze slops by in the morn,
That lifts up the misty cov’ring
   From the day that is newly born;
And the blue waves leap to the landward,
   With a tossing of foam-flecked crest,
To break on the rocks encircling
   The lakes of our mountain West.

And over the tops of the cedars,
   Where the long-snaked river is drawn,
The smoke from the settler’s clearing
   Comes up in the morning’s dawn;
And, along the brow of the mountain
   The white clouds lie at rest—
A stillness rests upon Nature
   In the heart of our Silver West.

Where the lone pine leans far over
   The verge of the gulch below,
And the mountain stream comes dashing
   From hills of eternal snow;
O, rugged and rough is Nature,
   But still of a charm possessed
To those who have wooed and lov’d her
   In our glorious mountain West.

And our hills that are tow’ring in grandeur
   To the Nature-lover’s eye,
To the mind of the hopeful miner
   Are big with a world’s supply.
There is treasure of precious metal
   Which yet must yield to his quest, 
In the heart of our own blue mountains
   That guerdon our Silver West.

O, ye may go far to the eastward,
   Or ye may go down to the South,
Where the wheatfields not to the breezes,
   And the cornfields bend in the drouth.
Ye may talk of the land that bore ye
   As the land that ye love the best,
But still we will stay by the Slocan
   In the heart of our own loved West.

Go back to your wind-swept prairies,
   Go back to your father East,
Or the sultry breath of the Southland.
   But we envy you not in the least.
We have hoped, we have long’d and waited,
   But our land has stood the test,
And our hearts abide by the mountains
   The pride of our Silver West.

There have been dark days on Koot’nay,
   But at last they are almost gone;
For the darkest days, they are saying,
   Come right before the dawn.
The sun glints o’er the mountain,
   And down on the mountain’s breast,
And ye will be bright on Koot’nay
   In the heart of our mountain West. [page 42]

 AFTER IT ALL IS OVER

Now that the whole thing’s over
   Now that the contest’s o’er,
Now that some are rejoicing,
   Now that some folks feel sore;
Give us a rest for a little,
   After the mental strain;
And let ‘er go—Galliher, with Foley,
   Give us a rest with McKane.

Let the old party cries, sounding,
   Die in the echoes away;
Let us get over this pounding
   Of each other’s heads in the fray;
Get rid of the gas that has gathered.
   That serves to bemuddle the brain,
And let ‘er go—Galliher with Foley,
   Give us a rest with McKane.

Now that the ballots are counted,
   Now that the man is in,
Now that the race is finished—
   And only the one could win—
Let us have peace from the clamor,
   Once more be settled and sane;
Let ‘er go—Galliher with Foley,
   Give us a rest with McKane.

Sing us no more of elections,
   Trouble our heads no more,
Now that some are rejoicing,
   Now that some folks feel sore,
Give us a change of subject,
   Harp on some new refrain;
Let ‘er go—Galliher with Foley,
   Give us a rest with McKane.

 THE KNOCKER

If there’s one thing in this country wot the hav’ridge man detests,
   Wot is hinjurin the country quite a lot;
Hit’s that pure an’ simple noosance wot’s a product of the West’s;
   Hit’s the ‘nocker; hit’s the ‘nocker—that is wot.
‘E’s a breaker up of minin’ deals, which wins for ‘im the nime,
   For ‘ee knocks full many a scheme upon the ‘ead;
‘Ee’s a universal kicker an’ ‘ee’s h’at hit all the time,
   An’ hits wonderful ‘ow small opinions spread.

O, don’t you go for sayin’ that the times ‘ave gone behind—
   If you do, you are a ‘nocker, that is true— 
We get enough opinions for the most congenial mind,
An’ we almost fail to grasp ‘em, so we do.
If you’ve anything to tell us, let us ‘ave hit with a smile,
   Let hit be that we’re progressin’—as we are;
We will all laugh with you gladly, if we see hit’s worth our while,
   An’ the ‘nocker ‘asn’t given us a far.

We maide it ‘ot for Scabby in the days that now are gone,
  An’ John Chinaman ‘as suffered at our ‘and;
Now we do not feel their absence is a thing to grieve upon,
   But another curse is present in the land.
If Faith could move the mountings has the Boible says hit will,
   An’ the ‘nocker’s faith could equal ‘is desire,
Some mornin’ light might find us without a bloomin’ ill,
   Lamentin’ a catastrophe so dire.

But don’t you go for thinkin’ that the camp is getting’ dead,
   If you do you are a knocker, doncher know;
An’ remember, poor-mouthed logic, never boosts a place a’ead
   Like a cheerful bit of boomin’ makes it go;
If you cannot see like others that the sun is shinin’ bright,
   Do not take hit in your ‘ead we all are wrong;
But by hopin’ for the better, you may later see the light
   That the others ‘ave been seein’ right along.

We ain’t no bloomin’ annerchists a-howlin’ out for gore,
   An’ we mostly finds the world is pretty square;
But w’en we sees a grumbler wot is allus feelin’ sore,
   We could almost victimize ‘im then an’ there.
The man wot ‘as a grievance, an’ the man wot think ‘ee ‘as,
   An’ wot lays it to the country all the time,
That man becomes a noosance an’ no matter wot ‘ee says,
‘Ee’s a ‘nocker; ‘ees a ‘nocker, all the saime. [page 43]

So don’t you go for tellin’ ‘ow Slocan is on the wane,
   If you do, you are a ‘nocker, as we say,
An’ our outlook for the present is enough to quite explain
   All those petty little statements clean away.
Slocan is creepin’ upward hon the ladder rung by rung,
   An’ there isn’t any prospect of a fall;
But if anything is wantin’ that we ain’t already sung,
   Hit’s the absence of the ‘nocker—that is all..

SONG OF THE ABSENT

By the cold, blue lakes of Koot’nay, with the frowning crags o’er-hung,
   Where the granite cliffs are steep along the shore;
Where the stunted pines, that firmly to the rocky ledge have clung,
   With the years are bending downward more;
Where the waves are gently lapping at the foot of mountains grim,
   And the current, ever running, sweeps along;
Where the mountain streams come dashing from the peaks so far and dim,
   And in eager haste seem bursting into song;

O, it’s back again in Koot’nay where my heart it fain would be,
   There where countless peaks on peaks arise;
Great, grim giants ever, in a far-stretched cloudy sea,
   Thrusting up their heads toward the skies.
And where’er I wander in the world so far away,
   Where above is clear the heaven’s dome,
Still I see the mountains shrouded in the mist so gray,
   In my British Columbian home.

And along the valley, where the mist is floating low,
  When the mountain sides are dark with rain—
Thro’ the misty curtains, distant hills are capped with snow—
   Here the lingering Autumn would remain. 
Golden streaks are showing on the hills that late were green,
   Where the birch and tamarac strip beside the pine;
And one feels the good of living in the air so crisp and keen,
   When old Winter creeps adown the steep incline.

Back again to Koot’nay, there my heart is turning now,
   Now I breathe again the mountain air,
Now I drink in Nature as my heart remembers how
   And anon to me the world is fair.
Let them sing of other lands that are to others blest,
   But altho’ in distant parts I roam,
Still my heart goes backward to the mountains of the West,
   In my British Columbian home. 

Where the Slocan river sweeps along to join the Koot’nay’s tide,
   Edging little clearings here and there,
Narrowing ‘neath the mountains to again be spreading wide,
   Where the valley opens broad and fair;
By the sedgy marshes with the wild duck in the reeds,
   By cottonwoods with roots beneath the stream,
By the beaver meadow where the deer at evening feeds—
   There is that Nature rules supreme.

Backward, ever backward, O, its there my heart would be,
   What altho’ I wander far away
Still the call of Nature bids my heart be bounding free,
   So the cities cannot make me stay.
Let me see the torrent and my heart is satisfied,
   Where Bonnington goes rushing into foam;
And let me see the mountains towering upward in their pride,
   In my British Columbian home.

WEARY WILLIE’S ORDEAL

He had travelled every inch of ground
   From Palouse down the Frisky;
Had ridden upon a brake-beam
   Till he found it kind of risky. [page 44] .

[unnumbered page, includes illustration: A BULL TRAIN]

[blank page]

He had been a Weary Willie
   Since his travelling days began,
But they tagged him as a vagrant
   When he landed in Slocan.

He had counted every railroad tie
   The Yankee lines can boast,
By Seattle and Tacoma,
   And the towns along the coast.
But they ran him out of Nelson
   So beneath Misfortune’s ban,
He had hoofed it on the C.P.R.
   Along toward Slocan.

His clothes were somewhat seedy,
   And his hair was rather long,
His beard unkempt and tangled,
   His breath a trifle strong.
And he always wore a coat of dirt 
   Above a coat of tan;
But they spoke of “unwashed presence”
   When he landed in Slocan.

The ad. that’s for the Wilson House,
   It seems intended for:
“Most any trail into the town
   Will lead you by our door;
And if you’re dry”—that caught him,
   When he that ad. did scan,
He thought that it was Paradise,
   In Silvery Slocan.

He bumped it on by Lemon Creek,
   With two ties at a stride—
The only time he never thought
   That they were placed too wide.
But though he hit a trail all right,
   That to the city ran,
They shoved him in the Bastile,
   When he landed in Slocan.

They put him in the cooler—
   But that was no disgrace—
The only thing that hurt him
   Was when he washed his face.
They gave him soap and water
   And hunted up a pan,
And the hobo’s heart was broken
   In Silvery Slocan.

There’s lots of stiffs about the town,
   But ever, without fail,
They all turn into Christie’s* stiffs
   When they are in the gaol.
We’ve beggars, vags, and bums galore,
   But trust now, every man,
It won’t be many moons before
   They all vamoose Slocan.

So all you genial hoboes,
   That love to hit the track,
Just turn your faces southward
   Again, and mosey back;
For, to all but honest workingmen
   It’s far the safest plan.
To keep about a hundred miles
   Between them and Slocan.

The idea for the above poem was conveyed to me thro’ an item in the Slocan Drill, which read:

“TIME TO TAKE ACTION”

   “Slocan is, and has been for some time, overrun with a choice line of vags, bums, stiffs, beggars, fakirs and other undesirable characters, and it is about time the authorities took action to rid the town of their presence. No less than nine of these beauties, who had been ordered out of Sandon by the authorities, showed up here in one day. Every business man and householder is complaining at the increasing demand for free drinks, meals, and money. The vags refuse work and their unhallowed and unwashed presence is a menace to public safety and a detriment to the usual pleasant society of the town.”


A WORD FROM WEARY WILLIE

 Dear Editor, Drill: I’ve ben readin’
   A lot uv yer squibs in a bunch,
In a paper a kind lady gave me
   Wrapped around a parcel uv lunch;
An’ I seen how Chris. Foley an’ oders
   Was in de political fight,
An’ askin’ de country support dem,
   Supposin’ dey did what was right.

Now, it struck me as mighty peculiar,
   An’ sumthin’ I never hed knowed
Dat Christ an’ his brudder supporters,
   Was wid us poor chaps on de road.
But dere don’t seem no question about it,
   Fer ye’ve got it all down black an’ white,
Dat dey’re askin’ de country support dem
   Supposin’ dey do what is right.

Thar ain’t much I knows uv elections
   Fer a straight forrard hobo don’t mix
In none uv the wranglin’ an’ janglin’
   An’ foibles uv loose polytics.

*Provincial Constable Christie. [page 45]


An’ I’m glad when I sees all dese fellers
   A-cuttin’ uv each oder’s troats,
Dat I’m one uv de travellin’ public,
   Wot don’t set no value on votes.

I’ve tramped ev’r’y road in de country,
   An’ boned ev’r’y man dat I met,
An’ lived on de country’s good natur,
   An’ dat’s about all I could get.
Dere’s been sum hard tings said about me,
   Sence fust I set foot in yer camp,
But, maybe Chris. Foley will make it
   All right wid de hard-walkin’ tramp. 

I don’t mean ter write yer no letter,
   But only I wanted ter know
Ef all dat yer said in yer paper
   Wuz really an’ truthfully so;
Fer, ef it is all as I take it,
Den Chris and me’s pals right along,
   Fer we’re askin’ de country support us
   An’ give lots uv work to de strong.

An’ dere’s only dis diff’rence between us,
   Which ain’t very much fer ter talk,
Dat Chris runs fer anyting goin’,
   An’ me—I prefer fer ter walk.
But, wot I wuz wantin’ ter ask yer,
   An’ want yer to answer, in short,
Is: ef I wuz ter stand by de country,
   Could I count on de country’s support?

 THE FLOATING MAN

Say, young feller, ter look at me,
   An’ squine me over an’ size me up
   When I hev drunk of the flowin’ cup,
What kind er man do ye think I be?
Look at me an’ my features scan—
   I am quick, sir, an’ I am spry—
   But kaint ye see with half an eye,
Thet I’m what ye call a floatin’ man?

‘Taint my way fer ter settle down—
   May be right, but it don’t agree
   With a man as active as what I be—
Ter run a business or start a town
When I hear there’s a road began
   An’ men are wanted ter push it on,
   I am off, ef my money’s gone,
An’ that’s the way with: a floatin’ man.

Once a month, sir, we takes our fill;
   Hard ter earn, but easily spent,
   So has always my money went,
Always has gone and always will,
Every feller will shake your han’
   So long as ye can rattle the chink,
   An’ lay it out, with the boys in drink
In a manner becoming, a floatin’ man.

Some maintain, sir, that men are trapped
   An’ go thro’ more than they can afford,
   But we can spend of our own accord,
And others treat us when we are strapped.
Travel I will, an’ travel I can
   You will here with your business stay
   An’ be a moneyed man some day,
But I’m what you call a floatin’ man.

* * * * * *

Yes, my friend, you’re a floating man,
   Floating down with the tide of time;
   Every dollar and every dime
Sweeping you on by another span.
Swift to many this dark tide ran
   Sweeping onward roaring and wild,
   And you, yourself, have correctly styled
The soul like you as: a floating man.

 S
SLOCAN IS A BRAW TOON

We’re a fine braw toon an’ we’re thriving yet,
An’ we’re unco vauntie as ye can bet;
An’ tho’ dootless we ha’e been backward set,
We’re a fine braw toon—an’ we’re thriving yet.

Hemm’d in by mountains an’ girded by lakes,
Whaur the forest creeps doon by its scattered brakes;
In as bonnie a neuk as a toon could get,
We’re a fine braw toon—an’ we’re thrivin’ yet.

Whaur creeks dash headlong thro’ canyons wide,
Whaur the cliffs glower darkly on ilka side,
Tae the open plain whaur the lake is met,
We’re a fine braw toon—an’ we’re thrivin’ yet.

There’s nocht tae hinder us spreadin’ oot,
For no like Sandon there’s land aboot;
An’ wha kens bit gin time wull let
We may be a Nelson or Rosslan’ yet. [page 46] 

We’ve a gey guid site an’ it’s weel set aff
Wi’ the biggin’s o’ whilk ye can see bit half,
For mony sae far mang the trees are set
Thet nane bit their owners ha’e seen them yet.

A braid loch front an’ a line o’ pier,
Whaur the boats tie up whan they’re waitin’ here
An’ ye see Slocan, an’ ye needna fret,
Bit oor fine braw toon wull be thrivin’ yet.

An’ doon by the roads an’ trails sae steep
The rawhides are haul’d, whan the snaw lies deep,
Wi’ ore piled high, an’ on this is set
Oor hopes an’ ambitions for gritness yet.

We’re a fine braw toon an’ ye needna doot
Bit the mines aroun’ us wull help us oot,
For we’re creepin’ up noo an’ dinna sweat,
We’ll tak’ a guid ficht up the ladder yet.

 THE WANDERIN’ SCOT

O, whaur sall I gae wander forth
By East or Wast or Sooth or North,
Tae seek amang the realms o’ earth
A land like that whilk gave me birth.

They sae her hills are rough an’ bare,
Bit she has valleys smilin’ fair;
An’, at the fit o’ mountains steep,
Her calm blue lochs lie broad an’ deep.

Her mountain rills come roarin’ doon
Whaur glaum the naked rigs aboon,
We’ diashin’ spray an’ ceaseless din
They hurl them owre ilk foamin’ lynn.

Till in the peacefu’ glens beneath
They wimple on thro’ broom an’ heath;
Whaur hardy crofters strive an’ toil
Tae till the unresponsive soil.

Bit lower yet in smilin’ plain
The lawland reaper binds his grain,
An’ Scotlan’ still has mair tae shaw
Than Hielan’ mountains capp’d wi’ snaw. 

Bit gin I wander whaur I will
My heart maun be in Scotia still—
Ilk misty loch, ilk rugged ben;
Whaur sall I see its like again?

*     *     *     *    *     *     *

Come wandering Scot an’ Westward turn,
An’ ither mountains here discern—
Ilk lofty peak, ilk rugged cleft,
Juist like the land thet ye hae left.

Here pine-clad peaks on peaks arise
An’ backward slant toward the skies;
An’ at the fit o’ mountains steep
Oor ain blue lochs in quiet sleep.

We, too, hae streams that hasten doon
By minin’ camp an’ thrivin’ toon,
Tae whaur the expandin’ river branches,
Roun’ new-tilled fairms thet we ca’ ranches.

Ooor hills are aiblins rough and bare,
Bit they hae mair than caller air,
For far abroad the fame has rolled
O’ Koot’nays siller an’ her gold

Sae wanderin’ Scot gin ye wad find
A land thet wad yer hert remind
O’ Scotia’s scenery sae gran’
Come seek oor silvery Slocan.

 THE BATTLE O’ BORDEN’S FA’

It wes aboot the year o’ Four,
   As weel I ca’ tae min’,
When Canada frae shore tae shore,
   Thet’s seldom far behin’,
Began tae don its coat o’ weir
   An’ furbish up its guns
Tae hae anither Sherrameer
   Amang its lively sons.

Then there wes shoutin’ frae afar
   An’ there was wranglin’ near,
An’ oor Grit Marshal Laurier
   Sent orders frae the rear;
An’ swiftly sped the aides-de-camp
   Tae tak’ their leader’s word;
We’ll gie them sic a dressin’ doon
   The likes wes never heard.”

“I’ll hae the hauf Quebec wi’ me,
   Guid men tae stan’ attacks;
An’ Blaenose men frae by the sea,
   As weel as Herrin’ backs. [page 47] 
An’ brawly can we trust the West
   Wi’ us this day tae be,
Wi’ a’ that train I’ Grit events
   We ca’ the G.T.P.”

Then row’d the awfu’ tide o’ war
   Toward its several goals,
An’ liege-men followed in their chiefs
   Tae combat roun’ the polls.
Auld men grown gray in party feud,
   An’ callants fresh tae strife
Wha ne’er had seen a ballot box
   Afore in a’ their life.

Noo Borden had a platform huge,
   Frae whilk the fecht tae view,
Quo’ he: “I ken thet it’s gey auld,
   Bit trust ‘twill see me thro’;
An’ tho’ there’s taw-three rotten planks,
   I’m Bo(a)rden it aroun’,
Sae thet ‘twill leuk as guid as new
   An’ keep frae fallin’ doon’.

The leader o’ the Tory troops
   Stood on his platform large,
He speechified tae a’ his men
   An’ ordered them tae charge.
Then join’ in awfu’ battle shock
   The pride o’ armies twain,
An’ Tory, Grit, an’ a’ things else
   Went tumblin’ owre the plain.

An’ noo amid the awfu’ din
   The foemen surged an’ clashed
An’ mony a reputation there
   Got unco badly smashed;
While loudly rose the slogan yells
   On thet eventfu’ day
“A Borden!” “Borden!” rent the air,
   Wi’ cries o’ Laurier!”

They say it wes a gallant fecht—
   Guid sakes! I canna’ tell—
Bit some were up an’ some were doon
   An’ at it pell an’ mell,
An’ there wes shoutin’ frae afar,
   An’ there wes fechtin’ near
An’ bonnie leaders there got clouts
   Tae last them mony a year.

Great R. L.* oot o’ Winnipeg,
   A chieftain bauld an’ strang,
He raised his ‘Scottish Mither’ cry
   Tae fetch the Scots alang;
An’ fiercely rushed intae the fray
   Amang his gallant men,
The striving faes they bore him doon,
   An’ he ne’er cam’ back again.

Brave Gourlay o’ the Blaenose troops,
   He made a gran’ attack;
Blae-nose he wes on startin’ in,
   He cam’ oot blae an’ black.
“The deil be wi’ us a’,” cried he,
   “We’re losin’ wi’oot doot,
I’ll seek my muckle trenches noo,
   An’ nane can drive me oot.”

Quo’ Borden tae his generals;
   “Dost note how roun’ me here
The planks thet I hae built upon
   Are shakin’ gey an queer?
“I thocht they’d see me thro’ the day,
   Bit noo, as sure as Delth”—
Here Borden’s platform a’ collapsed
   Wi’ a’ Bo(a)rden underneath.

Bit after a’ the play wes owre,
   It canna’ be denied,
Thet gallant Marshal Laurier
   Wes on the winnin’ side.
An’ quo’ thet brilliant leader then
   Whan a’ wes said an’ done;
“Whan Muckle Bill frae Koot’ney comes
   He’ll find the fecht is won.”

Saw noo thet things hae gane the way
   Thet fate an’ voters willed,
An’ some are up an’ some are doon
   An’ some are a’ bit killed,
I at Grit an’ Tory a’ join haun’s,
   Canadians tae a mon;
An’ deil be wi’ the hindermaist,
   Tae rae a willin’ haun’.

SLOCAN, YOU’RE ALL RIGHT YET!

We’ve waited long with hope deferred
   For brighter days to show
A semblance of the good old times
   We had some years ago.
We’ve waited long and now at last
   Reward we’re bound to get,
For prospects now are bright’ning
   And Slocan, you’re all right yet!

There have been moments in the past,
   When often we have thought
That things were not just coming on
   In quite the way they ought
We were not fully satisfied
   With what success we’d met,
But better times are comin’,
   And, Slocan, you’re all right yet!

*R. L. Richardson. It has been said of this man that about election time he always told about his mother being Scotch in order to get the Scots vote. [page 48]


We’ve mines in working order now,
   Producing shipping ore,
That warrants well the brisker times
   We’ve long been waiting for.
The Black Prince and the Arlington
   And Enterprise will let
The outside world yet understand
   Slocan is all right yet!

And many another mine there is
   That seems to promise well,
But what the hills now hold in store
   The years alone can tell.
We cannot turn the leaf of life
   That is before us set,
But we can venture for to say;
   Slocan is all right yet.

We’ve a railroad to the summit
   All constructed in our mind,
And the running locomotives now
   Are all we have to find.
Then there’ll be a livly mining camp
   Around these parts, you bet!
But just now, and in the meantime,
   Slocan, you’re all right yet!

You’ve seen the lowest ebb, Slocan,
   You’ve had your ups and downs;
You’ve had your little drawbacks,
   Just the same as other towns,
But things are picking up again,
   So why need we regret;
The Past lies all behind you,
   And Slocan, you’re all right yet!

 CORPORATION TALK

Och, shure, an have yez heard, me bhoys,
   What fame abroad has flung,
The word that is in ivry mouth,
   The spache on ivry tongue;
An how our grate metropolis
   Av Koot’nay’s richest rock
Is all alive an’ joinin’
   In a corporation talk.

There’s hapes av grate excitement
   Ivry day wid in the wake,
An’ a dale av spachfyin’
   By who’iver cares to spake;
For a few there are agin it—
   There’s always some to balk—
But they’re mostly all in favor
   Av the corporation talk. [page 49]

Thin Mulveytown an’ Brandtontown
   Wid us will all unite;
We’ve always been united,
   But we’ll be thin be welded tight.
An’ there’ll be some big improvement
   If we’re rightly puttin’ stock
In the way that rumor’s workin’
   In the corporation talk.

Shure if ivrything is worked the way
   It ought to be by right
We’ll have to have some watherworks
   An, some electric light;
An, bedad! mesilf is thinkin’
   Av improvements round the dock
An’ a little strate car system—
   Oi’m for corporation talk.

An, whin there’s mayor an’ aldermin
   To boss how things are run
There must be more officials
   To see the work is done;
An’, perhaps a shtout policeman
   To parade on ivry block—
All this may be the outcome
   Av the corporation talk.

If ye’re wantin’ av some peelers,
   Here’s mesilf that understands,
An’ a dozen sons av Erin
   Wid shilleylehs in their hands;
For shure, we’re always riddy
   For to give and take a knock,
An’ we’re honest, straight, an’ stiddy,
   An’ for corporation talk.

If it’s loike the day is comin’,
   Whin the place will so advance,
Thin, there’s lot av honest fellows
   Will be glad to have a chance;
An’ the riverind city fathers
   To the council hall will flock
To wrangle, loike theyre doin’
   In this corporation talk.

THE QUARENESS AV IT

For a town that is mostly so dacent an’ quiet,
   Wid citizens always inclinin’ to pace,
Shure, this is the divil av shtrife that’s come by it,
   An’ shinglin’ defiance in ivry man’s face;
For Wiroo-asthoo! ‘tis the terrible pity
   That min that have always been brothers afore
Are all up in arms now the place is a city,
   In a civil—no uncivil—scourage av a war.

Yez see, its loike this, as it always has been, sor,
   That governments iver, both little an’ large.
Must always have min to be rulers av min, sor.
   To hilp on affairs an’ to kape down the charge.
An’ whin all av’ the Philistines round an’ about us
   Are havin’ their mayors an’ their aldhermin, too,
Shure, how can Prosperity go on widout us
   Unless we do jist as the other camps do?

An’ some they be shoutin’ the praises av York, sor,
   Av foine ancient house, sor, as Ol have been towld;
An’ some think that Robertson’s made for the work, sor,
   A grate undhertaker, as all can uphould.
But for such a loive camp as an honest suggestion,
   It sames moighty quare, if the truth be not hid
How one dales in mate that is did, widout question,
   The other wid paple jist afther they’re did.

   Slocan City B.C.

 HELLO, OLD STOCKING, HELLO!

‘Tis a greeting of cheer, tho’ it may not appear
   To the hearer that this may be so;
When an old friend thus greets you the moment he meets you
   With, Hello, Old Stocking, Hello!

While sauntering down thro’ the streets of the town,
   A voice strikes your ear as you go;
A voice ringing out, in a jubilant shout
   Of Hello, Old Stocking, Hello!

While down at the store with a comrade or more
   You are making your eloquence flow,
A friend coming in, interrupts with a grin,
   And Hello, Old Stocking, Hello! [page 50]

It may be again, that you’re taking the train,
   Or have your best girl for a row,
But no matter where, if your friend spot you there,
   ‘Tis Hello, Old Stocking, Hello!

Some persons are glad when a chance may be had
   To show there is someone they know,
And no one could dream of a much better theme
   Than Hello, Old Stocking Hello!

‘Tis a greeting of cheer, tho’ it soon may appear
   To somewhat monotonous grow,
As soon may my song if I make it too long
   With Hello, Old Stocking, Hello!

Yet let me advise, if your Irish arise,
   ‘Gainst the friend who addresses you so,
Don’t turn in attack, but answer him back
   With Hello, Old Stocking, Hello!

 THE SAW MILL WHUSTLE

It wes that season o’ the year
   Alang aboot October
Whan Autumn pu’s the yellow leaves
   In colors gay tae robe her;
‘At Satan for the Klondyke boun’
Stuck his horned heid aboon the groun’.

Noo Satan mused on sic affairs
   As likely wad concern him,
Till coming intae lichter airs
   He watna whaur tae turn him
An’ findin’ ane wi’ whom tae speak.
Fand oot he wes at Lemon Creek.

Bit scarce he got the information
   Whan fearfu’ shrieks rose on the air
Sic as wad drive tae desperation
   A’ bit sic as were leevin’ there,
Tae whom ‘twas an ilka day affair,
An’ dootless they’d thole wi’ a hantle mair.

Auld Satan listened, alarm’d, amazed,
   An’ only said as aboot tae leave,
In a manner ‘at show’d he wes simply dazed,
   ‘At it wes a thing he could scarce believe
That his rule o’ mankind wes noo suspended,
An’ Hell suld cease ere the warld wes ended.

An’ as he sank thro’ the auld earth’s crust
   His informant leuched as he micht richt well,
Tae think ‘at the devil suld never mistrust
   Bit what the soun’ wes a soun’ o’ Hell,
An’ thet he had gane aff wi’ sic speed an’ bustle,
Simply because o’ the —— Sawmill whustle.

YE’RE NOO A MAIRRIT MAN

(To J. T. Thompson.)

Dear Teed, I’ve juist been hearin’
   What I jaloused lang afore,
Thet yer bark has lately grounded
   On the blest Hymeneal shore,
An’ I sen’ tae gie ye greetin’
   Sic as rhymster bodies can
Seein’ ye’re na langer single
   Bit ye’re noo a mairrit man.

Nae, I scare can noo approach ye
   In the free, aff-handed way,
Sic as aye has been oor custom
   In the greetin’ o’ the day,
An’ altho’ it seems I’ve ventured
   On the ‘Teed’ when I began,
Noo I write ye ‘Maister Tamson,’
   Thet ye’re noo a mairrit man.

I hae nocht o’ douce advisement
   Sic as aulder heids can give
Wha’ wi’ mony years’ experience,
   Can teach ye hoo tae live.
Bit I juist hae this tae caution,
   An’ I houp ye’ll understan’,
Aye ca’ cannie tae the guidwife,
   Like a prudent mairrit man.

For it’s like there’s be discussions
   In the family noo an’ then,
Geordie Pierce, ye ken has telt us
   Hoo it is wi’ mairrit men.*
An’ in absence o’ the broomstick
   She may seize the fryin’ pan,
An’ mak’ ye maist repentant
   Thet ye’re noo a mairrait man.

ANOTHER DAY OF RAIN

The mist is on the mountain tops,
   And sinketh lower yet;
The few and straggling drizzly drops
   Have made the timber wet;
And from the south and from the west
   The dark clouds loom again,
Bespeaking, as we might have guessed
   Another day of rain.

The owl hoots from the dry tree top,
   His mate, she answers back;
They see the clouds come trooping up
   That makes the heavens black.
And, “Hoot tu, Hoot,” across the night,
   Rings out that old refrain,
Which tells we now have guess’d aright,
   Another day of rain.

Far down along the river now
   The loon is laughing loud,
He sees upon the mountain brow
   The sideling sable cloud;
And laughs to think to-morrow’s sun
   May downward look in vain,
And men may hold their work undone
   Throughout the hours of rain.

And loud the bullfrog’s voice proceeds,
   From out the dingy marsh,
Sounding amid the grass and reeds
   Most dissonant and harsh;
Yet voicing ardently enough,
   If noise can thus explain,
His eager expectation of
   Another day of rain.

The creek, with loud and angry tones,
   Hurls down his torrent wide,
And rumbles o’er the mighty stones
   Beneath his swollen tide; 
Knowing no barrier in his course
   That can high might restrain,
And adding volumes to his force
   With every day of rain.

The sky is growing blacker now,
   The drops more quickly play;
We’re off to bed now anyhow
   And let it rain away.
But when the hours of night are thro’
   And daylight we regain,
Once more we will awaken to
   Another day of rain.

 THE DYING PROSPECTOR

“Partner, draw the blanket ‘round me,
   For the day is growing chill,
And the sun is slowly settling
   Down behind the western hill.
Lift me up, that I may linger
   On his last departing ray
For when he comes back to-morrow
   I’ll be far upon my way.

“Look up yonder toward the summit,
   Where you see his golden glow
Bathing softly in its splendor
   All the distant peaks of snow.
So we’ve often watched him, comrade,
   When his latest glance has lain
On our own dark hills of Koot’nay,
   And the peaks of Coeur d’Alene.

“Many a year we two have wandered,
   And the rocky ledges roamed,
Where the eager miner followed
   Till the slopes were honeycombed.
Men would have the precious metals,
   And I think we’ve done our share,
Seeking out the treasures hidden
   That the hills were loth to bare.

“Hoping, hoping—ever hoping!
   So our rugged lives we’d trace,
Reading in the book of Nature,
   Looking in her stony face.
Hoping else we had not clambered
   To the top of many a hill;
Hoping, hoping—ever hoping!
   Comrade, I am hoping still.

“We have gone thro’ life together
   When the days were dark and drear;
We have seen the glints of sunshine,
   We have had our days of cheer.
And, when I go climbing upward
   By the way we all should take,
Will you have your claim adjacent,
   To the one that I shall stake? [page 52]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration]

[blank page]

“Comrade, comrade, there’s a throbbing
   In my head and thro’ my brain—
No, I cannot see the sunset.
   For my head is racked with pain.
But, I hear the mountain torrent
   Roaring, rushing, tearing down,
In the canyon far beneath us
   Where the rocks are grim and brown.

“Hold my hand a little longer,
   So I know that you are there,
I have lived in hope my comrade,
   And I cannot meet despair.
Off and up the darksome valley
   I must go by mountains high—
It is black, but yet they tell us
   ‘Twill be lighter by and by.

“Partner, draw the blanket ‘round me,
   For I feel an icy thrill,
And the sun has long departed
   Down behind the Western hill.
And I’m going, going, going!
   Comrade, life is fleeting fast;
But I’ve climb’d too many mountains
   For-to-falter-at-the-last.”

ON THE DEATH OF A PROSPECTOR

No more shall he prospect our hills for gold,
   He whom we long have known;
He has staked a claim that has wealth untold,
   And has gone to take his own.
Not where the mountains are rugged and steep,
   Where hardships are daily met,
But in Life everlasting where pleasures will keep—
   Why should we then regret?

He has gone thro’ life with a miner’s hope,
   And ever a cheerful smile
Facing the sorrows we all must cope
   And battling them all the while.
Life, he had found, was made up of this:
   With pleasures that much deceive—
Then when his spirit has entered on bliss
   Why should we so much grieve?

Nay, we mourn not, losing our trust
   Lacking the faith we boast—
Only, that parting gives many a thrust
   To hearts that have loved him most,
And while we go on our pilgrimage through,
   Ever while life shall remain,
Ours is the loss of a friend that was true,
   And his no loss, but gain. [page 53] 

[blank page]

POEMS IN THE PATOIS

[unnumbered page]

[blank page]

Poems in the Patois


 SLOCAN JIMMIE’S CLUB

B’gosh, my fren’, Slocan have got
   De foolishes kin’ of man
Dat ever struck his contree
   Sence dere ever was Slocan.
You wait one leetle minute just,
   I tell you all of him;
De name is Jimmie Nasium—
   Dat’s shorten down to Jim.

An’ Jimmie, he is start de Club,
   Wit’ plaintee man belong,
To do all kin’ of foolish ting,
   Suppose for mak’ you strong.
He have ol’ store dat’s all feex up,
   An’ window in de street
Is all board up, so you can’t see
   De acrobatic feat.

An’ all de feller what belong,
   Dey come dere evree day,
An’ turn pon an ol’ gas pipe—
   Das h’actin’-bar, dey say.
An’ climb on ladder way up high,
   An’ let de body swing
By hangin’ on some circolet,
   What dey call “travelin’ ring.”

An’ also dey have got some strap,
   For pull on wit’ de arm—
What I have heard some feller say,
   He act jus’ lak a charm—
For mak’ de muscle all ver’ tough,
   An’ save you lots of troub’,
When you do all de oder t’ings
   Dey do in Jimmie’s Club.

Dere is what you call “ponchin’ bag,”
   Das hung up by a string;
An’ all de feller ponche heem hard,
   For see how fas’ he’s swing.
But some dat don’t care mooche for dis
   Have older game instead;
An’ ‘stead of ponche de ponchin’ bag,
   Dey ponche each oder’s head.

So dere be lots of business man—
   You see heem every day—
Dat go about wit’ broken mout’,
   An’ don’t have mooche to say.
An’ some have got de eye all black,
   An’ swell’d all up wit’ blows,
An’ plaintee man wit’ pretty face
   Have plastair on de nose.

De preacher, he is go dere too,
   An’ whole lot more beeg bug;
Also de man what kip de store,
   What sell all kin’ of drug.
He’s handy man for feex you up,
   Suppose you don’ feel well;
Also suppose he don’ tak’ care,
   He won’t feel good himsel’.

Sometam I have it tol’ to me,
   By feller what attend,
Dey fight wi’ too long piece of steel
   Wit’ rubbaire on de en’.
Dat’s so dey won’t be ver’ mooche hurt
   By what dey call de fence,
For all dis fuss in Jimmie’s Club
   Is only jus’ pretence.

By’n by deres goin’ to be some drill,
   Das spruce dem up a pile,
If dey can get de men enough
   To mak’ it wort’ de while,
An’ dat will be de coup de grace
   To all de whole affaire;
When all de boy dat feel inclined,
   Drill a la militaire.

De captain he is all select
   To have de whole command;
An’ it’s by common curtisy,*
   He’s tak’ de ting in hand.

*Capt. Curtis. [unnumbered page]


For all agree he’s only man
   Dere is about de place,
Dat know enugh of army’s drill
   For put dem troo de pace.

De mos’ of feller hereabout,
   Dey don’ put ver’ mooche stock
In any kin’ of drill at all
   But drillin’ in de rock,
An’ so if dey be got in step,
   An’ go on de parade,
It’s ver’ lak dat you soon will hear
   Of Slocan Jim’s Brigade.

However dat may be, my frien’,
   I cannot say for true,
For all I know about dis here
   Is what I tol’ to you.
But if you should be in de town,
   An’ want to have some game,
Don’ hang roun’ Jimme Nasium,
   Or hol’ yoursel’ to blame.

Dere may be lots of fun for sure,
   But I not see de joke,
To pay some money for to go
   An’ get your face all broke;
By put on pair of boxin’ gloves
   An’ get some gentle knocks,
So I got somewhere else, ma fren’,
   To get ma’ Creesmas box.

   Lemon Creek, Jan. 1st, 1900.

ON DE EN’ OF A CROSS-CUT SAW

Ever sence I was lil garcon,
   No higher dan your knee,
I have to work wit’ beeg strong man
   What used to saw wit’ me.
An’ ever sence I can remin’
   I hav’ to tug and draw,
An’ mak’ de sawdus’ for to fly
   On de en’ of a cross-cut saw.

De lombaireman hav’ appetite
   To eat jus’ lak de hors,
Which mak’ heem grow up beeg an’ strong,
   An’ geev heem plaintee force
To work out in de snowy wood
   On frosty day an’ thaw,
An’ ronne de race wit’ Fader Time
   On de en’ of a cross-cut saw.

An’ when de tam for meals is come
   (He’s hungry in between)
He eat de great fat sow-bellee
   An’ gobble down de bean,
An’ what was geev heem appetite
   De beeg fat pork to chaw,
Was workin’ in de lombaire wood
   On de en’ of a cross-cut saw.

Ol’ Nature says dat man mus’ work
   An’ earn hees bread wit’ sweat—
I hav’ been workin’ all my life,
   An’ still am workin’ yet.
But if I got to work at all,
   An’ stick to Nature’s law,
I might get on to mooch wors’ job
   Dan de en’ of a cross-cut saw.

Ever sence I was lil small boy
   I work lak’ beeg strong man,
An’ I can tell you what it ees
   Eef anybody can.
Den here’s to de French Canadien,
   An’ shout: “Heep, heep, Hooraw,”
For de man what work in de lombaire wood,
   On de en’ of a cross-cut saw.

 DE SIGN OF SOMMAIRE TAM

It ees not ver’ long tam ago
   Dat we was feel lak sing
Wit’ all de lightness of de heart
   Dat come along wit’ Spring;
Of how de merry leetle bird
   Was sing on every spray,
An’ how de drear col’ Winter tam
   Was soon be go avay.
Dat all ver’ nice to talk about,
   De wedder nice also.
I lak so mooche as anyone
   For see de Winter go;
But now de wedder, she’s be warm,
   De snow ees almos’ gone,
An’ pretty soon de Sommaire tam
   She’s be a comin’ on.

We lak de freshness in de air
   De breat’ of Spring was geev,
Dat mak’ all Nature everywhere
   Feel plaisairment to leev;
Dat wake de soun’ of forest life
   Dat slumber half de year,
For come across de clearin’ wide
   So soon as Spring was here.
All dat was nice so long eet las’
   But dat ain’t las’ ver’ long,
De sun wit’ ev’ry day dat pass
   Was leetle bit more strong;
An’ now, when April’s nearly done,
   So brightly he was shone,
Dat pretty soon de Sommaire tam
   She’s be a comin’ on. [page 58]

De flowers, dey soon be out in bud—
   De garden flowers, I mean—
De trees don’ change ver’ mooche, because
   Dey’re mostly evergreen;
But jus’ de leetle grass was spill
   Along de railroad track,
Was tell us dat se Sommaire tam
   Was soon be comin’ back.
You want to know how else I know
   De Sommaire soon be here?
I hear dat leetle mus-kee-toe
   Go “Bizz-bizz” in my ear;
He tell me wit’ de ver’ firs’ blood
   Dat ever he has drawn,
Dat pretty soon de Sommaire tam
   She’s be a comin’ on.

 DE FARMAIRE’S RES’

Dat’s ver’ nice wedder we have jus’ now,
   She’s rainin’ mos’ ev’ry day,
An’ all of de western rancher man,
   What lak for hees crop to pay,
He can sit in hees shaintee mos’ all de tam,
   An’ look on de wet outside,
An’ glad he’s not railroad-navee now
   For work on de beeg mud slide. 

An’ de farmaire he stop an’ say:
   “What all de use get wet
Dis ees nice wedder for grow de spud,
   Also de onion set.
De crop, she’s all in de groun’,
   De hen, she’s all on de nes’;
Dis only tam dat de farmaire got
   For tak’ heem de leetle res’.”

By gos’! dat’s come on de shake ver’ hard,
   De swish, swish of de rain;
But what’s de odds to de farmeen man,
   So long eets good for de grain?
He don’ need foller de plow jus’ now,
   De draggin’, she all can go,
For de crop, she’s in, in plaintee good tam,
   Wit’ noting to do but grow.

So de farmaire look out an’ say:
   “Fine for sproutin’ de seed,
An’ jus’ clear whack for strawberrie plant
   Fetchin’ heem ‘long lak weed.
Good t’ing dat small cabbaige
   Set out las’ week, I guess;
Dis only tam de farmaire have got
   For tak’ heem de leetle res’.”

Some tam, when de sun shine heem down ver’ hot,
   An’ heat—dat ees holy fright—
De farmaire get down to de loggin’ bee
   An’ ees dirtee from morn till night.
Dat’s plaintee nice change de farmaire have got,
   Got all diff’rent ting for do;
But farmaire, he’s nevair lak nobody else
   Hees work ees nevair got troo.

Only he say: “Sapre!”
   S’pose dat ees leetle shower,
Maybe I’ll go in de house an’ wait
   Feefteen or twentee hour.
All dis ees jus’ what I’m order mak’,
   Jus’ what I lak de bes’;
Dis only tam dat de farmaire have got
   For tak’ heem de leetle res’.

To-morrow dat farmaire hees dig some drain,
   Or something else eef eet’s dry;
An’, spose dat wedder she’s nice an’ warm,
   An’ sun shine out on de sky,
Dat farmaire have smile all over hees face,
   An’ say: “How dat crop she’s grow;
Dis ees jus’ what I’m order for straw berrie plant,
   An’ good for de grain also.

You t’ink dere ain’t no t’ing
   So good for de ceety man
As get on de farm along on Spring
   An’ work all de hard he can;
But don’t you be mak’ mistak’,
   For maybe de fonne get less
When you fin’ de tam she’s rain de mos’
   De farmaire get mos’ de res’.

 PORE FELLER BACK ON DE FARM

I’m hear me jus’ now, dere’s beeg strak on de road,
   An’ section boss spik me an’ say,
Dat’s cause all dat feller he’s tink heem, Ba gosh!
   He’s work heem too hard for de pay
Dat’s not funny ting for pore feller at all,
   What got de beeg famlee for keep;
For plaintee de tam you are go on de store
   You fin’ dat de good she’s not cheap. [page 59]

An’ mos’ ev’ry day I am read on de pap’;
   Beeg strak here, or off on de Stat’;
An’ tousand good man e is out of hees job,
   An’ tink all de worl’ she’s gone flat.
An’ prap’ dat ees not ver’ strange ting after all,
   When monee, she’s cause all dat harm,
But it seem all de peep, dey can go on de strak
   But pore feller back on de farm.

For farmaire have always emploiment le gros,
   What need heem bot’ earlee an’ late;
An’ dere’s nevair no chance when you’re all your own boss,
   For mak’ you de beeg agitate.
Dere’s no use for shak’ you de fist on de air
   An’ fly on some oder man’s troat,
An’ jump on de platform an’ tear you de hair,
   When you’re Labor an’ Capital bot’.

Dere ain’t any use when de monee ain’t flush,
   For swear you will stop—not at all;
You jus’ got to wait till dat crop ees come off;
   An’ de monee come in on de Fall.
Den, s’pose you are fin’ dat you’re awful bad case,
   An’ your fiancé ees mak’ you alarm,
You bettair geev up an’ go some noder place,
   When you’re pore feller back on de farm.

 HOW SLOCAN KEP’ DE FIRS’

What kin’ of tam we had down dere
   At Slocan on de firs’?
Why, plaintee fonne, for dose dat have
   De monee in de purse;
An’ plaintee fonne for beeg hotel
   Dat do de rushin’ trade;
An’ lots of chance for minin’ man
   To swaller all he’s made.

De town dat day ees what you call
   De veree lively camp,
Altho’ de crowd be somewhat small,
   De wedder seem so damp.
An’ lots of boy to see de show;
B’gosh for look at evreet’ing,
   You t’ink Slocan ain’t slow. 

Dere’s evreebody on de street
   Have smile upon de face,
Das lak’ for mak’ you feel at home
   An’ not so out of place.
An’ evreeone enjoy heemself
   Eet seem so any rate—
When dey come into town for see
   De Slocan celebrate.

Dey have de fine brass band up dere,
   Das geev de musique free,
Away up on de wagon box
   So evreeone can see.
Dey play de ol’ sweet airs about
   Our own Canadien land,
An’ evreebody wave de hat
   An’ shout for beat de band.

Dere’s lots of boy—you seem heem dere
   Dat have hees pants cut short,
So he can run into de race
   An’ oder kin’ of sport.
An’ dere ees lots of horse race, too,
   Dat miner understand;
For dere are lots of stakes put up
   An’ plaintee cash change hand.

De football gam’, she’s great success—
   Silverton come off slick—
An’ feller dat have broken shin
   Don’t feel no cause to kick.
But now Slocan, she’s practise hard,
   So when de nex’ year come,
Dey’ll all go up to Silverton
   An’ beat dem dere at home.

Dere’s lots of flag on evree coat,
   An’ high into de air;
An’ all de beaux esprits for sure
   Have got de ladies dere.
But here I doff my hat, b’gosh!
   Wit’ every true Frenchman,
An’ here is to de ladies
   An’ de future of Slocan.

 LEETLE COTTONTAIL*

De saison she be in on de veree firs’ de mont’
   An’ mos’ de mans aroun’ here, he’s kip up half de night,
Out wit’ evree kin’ of gun dat’s any good for hunt,
   An’ watch dat leetle Cottontail
                    Go
                         Bobbin’
                              Out of sight.

*A species of deer common in the Kootenay country. They have a fluffy white tail resembling cotton, from whence the name is derived. The season for deer hunting opens September 1st. [page 60]


 [unnumbered page, includes illustration]

[blank page]

Nevair see de lak,
Prap de bushes crack;
   Anyway, hees awful scare an’ get heem plaintee fright.

Down de beaver meadow, an’ in among de brush,
   An’ all along de reever, an’ up on top de heel,
Evreet’ing she’s quiet dere, an’ not’ing break de hush;
   But, all same, lots of feller
                    Are
                         Watchin’
                              For to keel.

An’ leetle Cottontail,
Dey’ll get yu wit’out fail,
   For all are swear to get you, an dat’s de way dey feel.

Moon, she don’ be shinin’ none tonight among de trees,
But hunter, he is earlee bird, an’ gets up wit’ de light;
Lie out on de wet grass, so col’ hees nearly freeze,
   An’ by an’ by de Cottontail
                    Come
                         Bobbin’
                              Into sight.

Nevair turn your head.
Dat’s tam I’m shoot you dead;
   Saprement! dis tam, I guess, I’m gettin’ you all right.

Leetle Cottontail, for sure, dis de las’ tam you are h’eat
   On de nice grass in de meadow, where de sommair night you stay,
No more you’re clam de montaine, tho’ you’re awful quick, de feet,
   Dis tam I got you covered an’
                    You
                         Don’
                              Be get away.

Dis gun ain’t got no treek,
An’ I get you plaintee queek;
   You’re not protec’ by Government an’
      —Bang!—Hooray! Hooray!

For sure, I’m hit dat Cottontail, but—Diable! where’s he be?
   Sacr’! scuse some sacredam—but see dat spot of white,
Hees tall among de bushes dere, dat’s all dat you can see;
   An’ dere’s dat leetle Cottontail
                    Go
                         Bobbin’
                              Out of sight.

Jus’ anoder miss,
But it’s always same as dis;
   For dere’s honder shot what miss heem for one dat go all right.

 CAYUSE BROWN

Leevn’ hard an’ drinkin’ long
   An’ trampin’ de heels in shine or rain,
Dat’s ver’ soon tell on de man what’s strong,
   An’ fetch roomateek—dat’s de ver’ bad pain,
An’ sleep on de groun on mos’ col’ night,
   When snow she’s deep whole contree roun’,
Mebee you leev long tam all right,
   You come pore feller lak Cayuse Brown.

Young man, clam on hill lak dis,
   Don’ tink not’ing of dat, Sapre!
T’ink of de gol’, she’s all be hees,
   S’pose he is strak reech claim some day;
But all ol’ tammer dat you have met,
   He’s say: “You bettaire be stay on town;
Sometam when you shak’ it de han’ wit’ Deat’,
   Same, pore feller, lak Cayuse Brown.

Life, she’s bot’ de smooth an’ rough,
   Plaintee hard from de start to stop;
But de prospectorre, you will fin’ sure ‘nuff
   Have always de roughes’ side on top.
An’ often de tam, you are fin’ he’s try
   Hees troub’ in de straight whiskee for drown,
An’ dat’s how he’s come, you’ll see by’n by,
   Fore ol’ feller lak Cayuse Brown.

But den, when he’s clam heem dose beeg rock,
   An’ get heem more wet you are nevaire see,
Seem dere’s less cause for de peep to talk
   S’pose he is get heem on jus’ un spree. [page 61]
An’, s’pose he is tak’ heem un small coup,
   Prap, when le bon Dieu, He’s look down,
Mebee He’s lil’ small peety, too,
   For pore ol’ feller lak Cayuse Brown.

“From the Slocan Drill.”—Another sudden death is to be added to the many that have taken place in these parts in recent years. Saturday morning at an early hour E. Brown known as “Cayuse,” was found dead in the old townside office, corner Arthur St. Judge Harrison had moved into the building only the day previous, Cayuse assisting in the moving. He afterwards started on a spree and punished considerable whiskey. Some time during the night he entered the Judge’s place by way of the back door and without awakening the Judge and a companion sleeping there. When they arose just after daylight they saw Brown lying on the floor supposedly asleep. Later on returning from a walk, they went to arouse Brown, and saw at once something was wrong. They summoned Chief of Police Clark and Dr. Bentley, who pronounced the man dead.

Brown was a character well known to everyone on the lake and had always been a hard drinker.


 DE HAPPY FARMAIRE MAN

Eet’s nice to be de farmaire man,
   Especialee on Spring,
An’ leev out dere upon de farm
   An’ grow mos’ evreet’ing;
An’ get de healt’ dat always come
   Wit’ leevin’ out of door,
An’ milk de cow, an’ feed de peeg,
   An’ do two t’ousan’ chore.

“Peeg, peeg, peeg, peeg!”
   Hear dat farmaire call—
My! dem hog ees growin’ beeg
   Since back upon de Fall.
Evreone but craze fool
   Dey know dat farmeen pays,
For peeg can eat mos’ evret’ing
   De farmaire want to raise.

Eet mus’ be plaintee kin’ of fonne
   W’en Spring come roun’ again,
An’ fluffy leetle cheeken ronne
   Beside de moder hen;
W’en evre’ting ees feelin’ good
   An’ can’t be kippin’ steel
An’ farmaire gader in de egg
   To pay de grocery beel.

“Chook, chook, chook, chook!”
   Hen, an’ leetle chick,
W’en he’s scatter out de grain
   Dey pick, an’ pick, an’ pick.
Farmaire’s getting’ wealt’y, sure,
   W’en egg ees nice an’ dear—
An’ ceety feller know dat hen
   Lay twelve mont’ on de year.

See dat fonny leetle calf,
   Go jumping everwhere,
Wit’—so droll—hees leetle tail
   Stuck up in de air.
Dat’s de only way he have
   To show how good he feel—
Nevair t’ink dat farmeen man
   Could mak’ heem into veal.

“Suck, suck, suck, suck!”
   Soon dat farmaire spik,
Den dat fonny leetle calf
   Come ronnin’ plaintee quick.
Shove hees head into de pail,
   Bunt eet wit’ hees nose—
Saprement!—dat farmeen man
   You ought to see hees clo’es.

Sometam, w’en affer hard day’s work
   He’s hontin’ up de cow,
For me to say, w’at farmaire say,
   Dis paper won’t allow.
But poet feller always sing
   How sweet hees res’ mus’ be—
By Gos! he’s tire, dat’s w’at eet ees,
   As tire as tire can be.

“Co Boss! Co Boss!”
   Day’s de way he cry,
W’en he’s callin’ in de cow
   To bring de milk supply.
In de brush an’ up de heel,
   Dat’s de way he go—
No, de jolly farmaire man
   Don’ nevair fin’ eet slow.

Eet’s nice to be de farmeen man,
   You bet your boot eet ees,
An’ not have no one boss heem roun’
   But jus’ do w’at he please.
An’ get de healt’ w’at always come
   Wit’ leevin’ out of door,
An’ plant de crop, an’ poule de weed,
   An’ do all kin’ of chore. [page 62]

“Gee, Haw! Gee, Haw!”
   Hear heem at it now,
W’en he’s turning furrows
   Wit’ de prairie-breaker plow.
“Get along, you lazy houn’,
   Ain’ good for anyt’ing”—
Dat’s de happy farmaire man
   W’en plowin’ on de Spring.

Eet’s fonny, on dis beeg ol’ worl’—
   P’rap you have notice too—
How older man have got de job
   Would jus’ have suited you:
An’ w’ile you work from morn to night
   An’ can’t put not’ing pas’,
Dat oder man wit’ easy snap
   Ees makin’ monee fas’.

Cheer up! Cheer up!
   Don’ be feelin’ blue,
Mebee plaintee oder man
   Ees wishin’ he was you.
Even happy farmaire man
   Ees sometam feelin’ tire,
Wit’ all de many kin’ of job
   De farmeen life require.

 CONDUCTOR BRADSHAW

Dere’s chouf, chouf, chouf, all along de rail,
W’en I’m waitin’ here wit’ my buttermilk pail,
An’ de train come long on de upward grade,
An’ she’s mebee about two hour delayed,
You can hear dat whistle aroun’ de ben’,
You can see beeg smoke wat de engine sen’
In beeg black cloud, ‘way h’up on de h’air,
W’en she’s made, pullin’ freight wit’ de passenjaire.

Dat’s long, long tam I ben waitin’ here
An’ nobody nevaire been comin’ near;
An’ I got plaintee tam since I lef’ my home
For manufacture some beeg long poem
But de beeg box car, she ees hard to poule,
   An’ dat passenjaire car’s mos’ always foule,
An’ you ought to be hearin’ dat feller swear—
Conductor Bradshaw on de passenjaire.

I ain’ ver’ mooche on de traveller, me,
But w’en I go travelle—yes, Siree,
I lak to be feel dat I’m goin’ fas’
An’ see all dat mile-board whizzin’ pas’
An’ w’en you go shootin’ aroun’ some curve,
Dat’s mos’ always makin’ you lose your nerve;
But dere’s nevair no danger of getting’ de scare,
W’en you go to Slocan on de passenjaire.

But dat ain’t no fault on ma fren’ Josef
For it’s hees place to watch dat dere’s nobody lef’
W’en he’s passin’ along by some small sideen,
Where mos’ of de tam dere ees nobody seen.
An’ eet’s nevair no mattaire how long you are wait,
He always have smile when he tak’in your freight,
An’ eet’s almos’ a plaisair to geev heem your fare—
Conductor Bradshaw on de passenjaire.

Creakin’ along by de reever bank,
An’ de ol’ train stop at de water tank,
So I got plaintee tam ‘till she comes along
For put some more verse on me leetle chanson;
An’ I lak, w’en I travelle for go some place,
To see dat conductor, hees pleasant face,
For you always come safe w’en you go somew’ere,
Wit’ Conductor Bradshaw, on de passenjaire.

So de mos’ I can hope for you, genial Joe—
De prince of good fellers down here below—
Is w’en it come tam for to pass in your cheques,
An’ you’re getting’ promotion from dis worl’ to nex’,
Dat le bon Dieu will min’ w’en he’s wantin’ good man,
How you ran between Belson an’ town of Slocan;
An’ hees kip you good place w’en you go up dere,
An’ geev you de run on de passenjaire. [page 63]

IN POTATO DIGGING TIME

O, dis lovely kin’ of wedder, she is wat you call ze daisee,
   More nicer tam, I’m tinkin’, I don’ nevair see at all;
W’en dere ain’ no small mos-kee-toe on de night to drive you craze,
   An’ you don’ be feel lak leev on h’ice dese days upon de Fall,
Dis ees tam ceety feller hees been comin’ on de contree,
   Go feeshin’ an go hontin’ evree place dat hees allow;
But jus’ now de contree feller, hees been fillin’ h’up de cellar
   An’ peekin’ up de pomme de terre along behin’ de plow.

Dere ain’ no use on talkin’, but de contree life’s de bettaire,
   More helty place for leevin’ I don’ t’ink you nevair fin’—
Eef you work lak farmeen feller an’ kip at it to de letter.
   An’ nevair let de mos’ your work go droppin’ all behin’,
Dis ain’ no tam for feeshin’ an’ no mattair how you’re wantin’
   For takin’ leetle lay-off for some plaisair, anyhow,
You can’t be goin’ hontin’ on de reever, on de montaine,
   When you’re peekin’ up de pomme de terre along behin’ de plow.

Dere ees lots de man wat’s poet have hees leetle chanson ready,
   Always singin’ leetle somet’ing on de Sommair, on de Spring
An’ de Fall, w’en leaf ees fallin’—hees be kippin’ at eet steady,
   Till you t’ink he don’ be havin’ not’ing lef’ at all to sing.
Da tees not de way wit’ farmaire—he ees glad to come out even
   An’ de song dat hees been singin’ ain’ of small bird on de bough;
But de thankfulness hees geevin’, for de plaisairment of leevin’
   To be peekin’ up de pomme de terre, along behin’ de plow.

You see whole lot of Nature on de contree w’en you’re stayin’,
   Eef you’re goin’ leetle somew’ere lak de ceety feller do,
But de contree man, I t’ink me, don’ be got mooch tam for playin’,
   Cause dere’s always job dat’s waitin’ w’en you tink you’re nearly troo.
So I’m tol’ you ceety feller, eef you’re wantin’ leetle farmeen,
   Den you want to hoke de potate till de sweat ees on your brow;
Dat’s de work for mak’ you healt’y; s’pose eet’s nevair mak’ you wealt’y,
   W’en you’re peekin’ up de pomme de terre, along behin’ de plow.

 DE CANADAW MAN

W’en Royalty’s comin’ on Canadaw
   We’re makin’ de beeg horray;
We’re wavin’ dat flag as nevair you saw
   An’ de nice musique, she is play;
For son of de keeng—he is veesit wit’ h’us
   An’ we treat heem de well we can,
An’ feller wat don’ be makin’ beeg fuss
   Dat’s not de Canadaw man.

De keeng, hees say to le Dauphin too;
   “You’re goin’ on un grande toure,
Go plaintee de place I am tol’ to you
   An’ seein’ whole lot for sure;
But w’en you are travel on no mattair w’ere
   An’ kip to de govrement plan,
You don’ fin’ no feller dat’s treatin’ you square,
   So mooch as dat Canadaw man.

“I’m pass on hees contree—dat’s long tam ago—
   But I’m nevair forgettin’ how,
For Madame, ma mudder, she’s tellin’ me so,
   De way I am tol’ you now;
An’ I’m tinkin’ wil’ Injun he’s dere whole lot,
   For leev on de whole de lan’,
But dere’s Frenchman, an’ Hinglish Hirish an’ Scot—
   Dat’s makin’ de Canadaw man.

An’ mos’ dat feller hees all agree,
   Eef only you geev heem chance,
But wit’ Breetish, eet’s always ‘De Ol’ Contree,
   An’ wit’ Frenchman eet’s La Belle France.
An’ dat’s fonnies’ ting you are comin’ across,
   Eets bettair you understan’,
He’s always de Anglish an’ Frenchman, Ba gos’!
   All de same he’s de Canadaw man.” [page 64] 

So le Duc he ees comin’ on Canadaw,
   An’ we’re cheerin’ whole lot encore,
I’m certaine our t’roat, she is all got raw,
   Eef we geev leetle “Veev” some more;
But eet’s not evree day dat de Royalty’s met,
   So we’re doin’ de bes’ we can,
An’ s’pose anybody is run out of breat’
   Dat’s not de Canadaw man.

   Written upon the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York to Canada.

 BACK ON DE KOOTENEE

I don’ want to be de poet
   For sing on de whole de lan’,
For dere’s plaintee de place I nevaire see,
An’ dere’s more where I nevair expec’ to be,
But I sing you about ma own contree.
   Kebec? Non, non—Dat ees not for me,
But ‘way out Wes’ on de Kootenee,
   On place w’at dey call Slocan.

You’re getting’ beside de reever
   An’ you travelle de heels along,
You’re seein’ de fines’ scenery dere
Dat ever you’re seein’ it anywhere,
Great beeg montaine ‘way h’up in de air,
   Ontario? Non—Dat ees not for me,
But ‘way out Wes’ on de Kootenee
   On contree where I belong.

Dat’s not where you fin’ large ceety
   Wit’ fac’tree for workin’ man
Not lak Kebec an’ Montreal—
Not lak dose places at all, at all.
Mebee our towns dey’re somewhat small,
   But you’ll fin’ by Gos! Eef you go an’ see
Dey don’ starve peop on de Kootenee
   An’ place w’at ees call Slocan.

You t’ink dat feller he’s wealt’y,
   W’at look lak he’s awful poor,
For when you spik heem an’ say “B’jour,”
W’at do you t’ink he will say for true?
“I got de fine claim I will show to you,
   Sall heem? Non, non, Da tees not for me.
I don’ sall bes’ claim on de Kootenee,
   Less dan honder t’ousand sure.”

W’at ees dat you’re sayin’?
   I’m talkin’ de foolish—me,
Don’ know w’at I’m spikin’ about?
Usin’ too mooche on de face an’ mout’?
Bes’ t’ing for you is jus’ go out—
   Alberta? Non, non, Dat’s fine countree, Oui,
But ‘way out Wes’ on de Kootenee,
   Dat’s place dat you ought to see.

Great beeg montaine, I’m tole you,
   Wat’s cuttin’ de hole in de sky,
An’ all of de top she’s cover wit’ snow
So hottes’ of Summer won’t mak’ her go,
An’ w’at you call glacier up dere also,
   We don’ tak’ no back seat—No, Siree.
An’ w’en you are come on de Kootenee
   You don’ be passin’ eet by.

O, yas, dere ees some grand poet
   Wat’s writin’ some ver’ fine poem
All about contree he t’ink so fine,
W’ere de sky’s always blue an’ de bright sun shine,
But I don’ t’ink dat contree ees bettaire dan mine,
   Manitoba? Non, non, Da tees flat prairie,
An’ you bettair pass on to de Kootenee
   An’ see w’at I call ma home.

But eet ain’t all great beeg montaine,
   For dere’s valley also, ma frien’,
An’ dat’s w’ere you’re findin’ de beeg sawmeel,
W’at’s cuttin’ beeg tree dat grow on de heel,
An’ eef I’m wise feller I stay dere steel 
   But I’m sayin’ “Non, non, Eet’s de change for me.
An’ dat’s why I’m leavin’ de Kootenee,
   But I’m going back dere again.

Mebee, w’en I’m ol’ feller
   Wit’ plaintee de cash put by
I mak’ up my min’ to travelle back
An’ have nice home by de side de lak’
Fine garden, an’ lil log shack,
   An’ I say, “Non, non, No place for me,
But hontin’ an’ feeshin’ on Kootenee,
   An’ stayin’ dere till I die.”

An’ den’ w’en de cloud ees hangin’ 
   Down on de pine tree low,
An’ eet’s rainin’ h’up dere on de montaine side,
So de pa’tridge under de bushes hide,
An’ evreet’ing’s wet whole contree wide,
   Some day ees come, Dat call for me,
An’ I have to be leavin’ de Kootenee
   W’en I’m getting’ de call to go.

   Nov. 14th, 1907. [page 65]

[blank page]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration]

[blank page]

Lilts in the Doric


THE GUID BRAID DORIC

The Doric I’ the deid-thraws? Na, na, na
   The Doric I’ the deid-thraws nane.
For we’ll cling wi’ siccar grip, an’ we winna lat it slip,
   ‘Till oor hert lies as heavy as a stane;
‘Till oor bluid flows as drumly as the water in a bog,
   An’ we ha’ena’ got the spirit o’ a louse,
Then—an’ no’ till then—we’ll drop it, an’ ye canna mak’ us stop it,
   An’ ye’ll hear us crawin’ crouse;
O, the Doric I’ he deid-thraws? Na, na, na.
   We winna lat it dee sae sair.
It has lasted a thousand o’ years I trow,
   An’ ‘twill last for a currain mair.

Still breaks the sun owre Scotland’s hills,
   As it has done for ages,
An’ men lo’e yet the land men lo’ed
   In History’s earliest pages.
An’ still men speak in the guid braid Scots,
   As a language maist historic,
For say what they wull o’ the mither-tongue,
   We cling tae the auld-time Doric.

It’s a’ in the way ye haud yer mooth;
   It’s a’ in the way ye say it.
Gin ye dinna fancy the auld-time speech,
   Why, then, ye needna’ ha’e it.
Bit we’d lose a hantle in losin’ the tongue,
   Gin we hadna’ the grace tae save it,
For a Scotsman clings tae the sangs o’ Burns,
   As weel as the psalms o’ Davit. 

O, what wad become o’ the best we claim
   O’ Scotland’s sang an’ story,
Gin Maggie Lauder wes bit a name,
   An’ we hadna’ Annie Laurie;
Gin the Laird o’ Cockpen sae prood an’ great,
   Had naethin’ tae mak’ him famous,
Then the fact thet we’d tint sae mony auld freen’s,
   Wad be surely eneuch tae shame us.

O, what wad we care for Sir John Graeme,
   Gin it wesna’ for Barbara Allen,
An’ the peck o’ maut thet Wullie brewed
   Wad be worth nae mair by the gallon.
An’ wha the de’il could be dowie an’ wae
   Gin it wesna’ for Lucy’s Flittin’,
Gin the sweet auld sangs o’ the motherland
   Had ne’er by Scots been written?

There wes a lad wes born in Kyle,
   An’ he kent the value brawly,
O’ a’ the scraps an’ screeds o’ sang
   Thet mony thocht bit folly.
He gathered them in, an’ leuked them owre
   And whan they were fairly clouted,
He made us sae prood o’ the auld mither-tongue,
   Thet ever since then we’ve shouted:

O’ the Doric I’ the deid-thraws? Na, na, na,
   The Doric I’ the deid-thraws nane,
For we’ll cling wi’ siccar grip, an’ we winna lat it slip
   ‘Till oor hert lies as heavy as a stane; [unnumbered page] 
‘Till oor bluid flows as drumly as the water in a bog,
   An’ we ha’ena got the spirit o’ a louse,
Then—an’ no ‘till then—we’ll drop it, an’ ye canna mak’ us stop it,
   An’ ye’ll hear us crawin’ crouse;
O, the Doric I’ the deid-thraws? Na, na, na
   We winna lat it dee sae sair.
It has lasted a thousand o’ years I trow,
   An’ ‘twill last for a currain mair.

Mony the kindly brither Scot,
   Whas een wull brichten rarely,
Whan he hears the soun’ o’ the hamely tongue,
   For years he’s missed sae sairly,
We’re far awa’ frae the motherland
   Bit aft as we’re met together,
Oor minds gae back tae the snaw-clad peaks,
   An’ the land o’ the purple heather.

   August, 1908.

 A SANG O’ ST. ANDRA’S NICHT

Guid Brither Scots, whaure’er ye be,
   We gie ye greetin’ a’,
Gin ye be sung wi’ us the nicht,
   Or aiblins far awa’;
Whaure’er ye be, we wush ye weel,
   An’ walth o’ happy thochts;
An’ may ye aye hae cause tae feel
   We’re a’ guid Brither Scots the nicht
      We’re a’ guid Brither Scots.

We’re met tae spen’ an hour or twa
   In social sang an’ crack,
‘Till tae the days o’ auld lang syne
   Oor minds gae skelpin’ back.
We’se toost the dear auld mither-land,
   We’ve tint tae min’ her fau’ts
An’ blithely rax a freendly han’
   Tae a’ guid Brither Scots, the nicht,
      Tae a’ guid Brither Scots.

The thistle in oor Western land
   Wull bloom an’ flower again,
While patriot impulse stirs the hearts
   O’ loyal Scottish men.
For whan St. Andra’s day comes roun’
   In Earth’s remotest spots
There springs a common unison,
   That binds us Scots tae Scots, the nicht,
      That binds us Scots tae Scots.

The same auld bluid is flowin’ yet
   As whan in days agone,
Oor martial sires for festive met,
   An’ sat wi’ braidswords drawn:
An’ bumpers quaffed wi’ ane accord,
   An’ cuist them freendly shots
At ane anither roun’ the board,
   And hail’d them Brither Scots, the nicht,
      An’ hail’d them Brither Scots.

We’se feel the auld bluid flowin’ yet,
   We feel the self-same pride,
That stirred oor fathers’ hearts tae do,
   Whan they for freedom died;
That frae the proudest castle ha’
   An’ frae the humblest cots,
Brocht forth alike the grit an’ sma’
   Tae stan’ as Brither Scots an fecht—
      Eneuch tae say—as Scots.

Sae, ance again, anither year
   Has winged it’s length flicht
Since Scotsmen met wi’ blythesome cheer
   On last St. Andra’s nicht.
An’ ance again we pledge the land
   That’s foremaist in oor thochts,
An’ aye while truth an’ honor stand
   We’re a’ guid Brither Scots, the nicht,
      We’re a guid Brither Scots.

 THE AE AULD LION O’ BRITAIN

There is ae auld Hon o’ Britain,
   As fierce as fierce can be,
An’ he lies on his rocky heid-lan’
   An’ leuks far oot tae sea.
He leuks at the merchant navy
   Thet bobs on the white sea-faem,
An’ tak’s a keek at the gunboats
   Guardin’ his islan’ hame.

The ae’ auld lion o’ Britain,
   He shuts his een a spell,
An’ a’ the beasts o’ the mainlan’
   Set up a screen an’ yell;
The ae auld lion o’ Britain 
   He blinks his een a wee,
An’ a’ o’ the ither beasties
   Are guid as guid can be.

They weary the ae auld lion,
   An’ fash him wi’ their din
Bit they ken fu’ weel whan he’s sleepin’,
   An’ ken whan it’s time tae rin;
An’ the Russian bear creeps backward
   Again tae its northern lair,
An’ the eagle o’ France flaps lower
   Whan it sees thet the lion’s there. [page 70]

O, weel dae they ken the auld lion
   For weel has he gi’en them cause,
An’ weel dae they ken far better
   Than come in reach o’ his paws.
Maist feck o’ the beasts o’ the mainland,
   Hae felt o’ his fangs afore,
Sae they’ll roose na the ae auld lion
   Wha are’na seekin’ for war.

For the ae auld lion o’ Britain
   As hist’ry aft can pruve,
Is the heart o’ a race united
   Tae stand by their king an’ kintra,
   An’ the richts thet they ne’er sall tyne—
The freedom oor faithers won for us
   In the days o’ the auld lang syne.

Sae, here’s tae the King—God bless him,
   As he sits aboon his throne,
An’ may the seat o’ his royal breeks
   Lang polish the stane o’ Scone.
An’ we’se drink tae the ae auld lion
   Until thet oor cogles toom,
An’ whan faes wad win tae his islan’ hame,
   They’ll no get there ‘till they soom.

   Note—“The Ae Auld Lion” was composed at the time of the Dogger Banks incident.—R. T. A.

 WE HUNKER DOON TAE NANE

Because we’re prood o’ Scotland
   The land frae whence we’ve sprung
Thet’s why we cling tae a’ things Scots
   An’ the dear auld mither tongue,
Because there’s somethin’ in oor bluid
   Thet keeps us fidgin’ fain,
Tae hae it plainly understood
   We hunker doon tae nane.

Oor faithers focht for Scotland
   An’ won her mickle fame;
Oor mithers thocht for Scotland
   An’ taught their sons the same.
They taught us it wes nae disgrace
   Tae bear wi’ poortith’s pain,
But tae leuk the hail warl’ i’ the face
   An’ hunker doon tae nane.

The men wha faced the Romans
   Were dootless rough an’ rude;
They spilt alang the Roman wa’s
   A deal o’ Roman bluid. 
They were Piet men in thae auld days
   Whilk dootless wull explain
Why in the coarse bit hamely phrase,
   They’d hunker doon tae nane.

Whan guid King Alexander
   The Third wes blythe an’ hale,
Whan a’ his loyal liegemen
   Were clad in sarks o’ mail,
Wha wes it bit King Haco
   Cam’ sailin’ owre the main?
An’ wha bit Scotsmen taught him
   They’d hunker doon tae nane.

Whan guid King Alexander
   Wes deid an’ in his grave,
Wha wes it bit the Englishers
   Wad mak’ a Scot a slave?
Wha bit the knicht o’ Ellerslie
   Thet rose in high disdain,
An’ wat his blade in English bluid
   An’ hunker’d doon tae nane?

An’ whan the heid o’ Wallace fell
   Beneath the heidsman’s blow,
‘Twas Bruce that led his Carrick spears
   Against the Southron foe,
An’ whan the second Edward tried
   His faither’s grip tae gain
‘Twas Bannockburn thet proved the Scots
   Wad hunker doon tae nane.

Whan Douglas fell at Otterburn
   Tae Sinclair brave, he said:
“Thank God, there’s few o’ Douglas bluid
   Hae died wi’in their bed;
Raise up my banner. Shout my name
   Lat nane ken thet I’m slain,”
Sae even whan the Douglas fell
   He hunkered doon tae nane.

An’ Flodden, bluidy Flodden,
   Whaur dyin’ hard they fell,
The pride o’ Bonnie Scotland
   And England’s best as well.
The ground wes heaped wi’ carnage
   An’ bluid-soaked wes the plain
Bit tae the last the Scotsmen still
   Wad hunker doon tae nane.

An’ auld John Knox, the fearless,
   Thet spak’ his mind sae loud,
He said the same in Holyrood
   He preached afore the crood.
An’ Jennie Geddes didna’ fling
   Her cutty stool in vain,
‘Twas just her way o’ tellin’ folk
   She’d hunker doon tae nane. [page 71]

Sae, Brither Scots o’ Edmonton,
   This nicht assembled here,
‘Tis somethin’ mair than boast an’ brag
   Gars us haud Scotland dear,
An’ whan we’re met for sang an’ crack.
   Tae mak’ this nicht oor ain,
For a rousin’ roarin’ real guid time
   We hunker doon tae nane.

   Edmonton, Sept. 21st, ’07.

 THE STRAIN O’ SCOTS

There’s naethin’ like the clasp o’ a guid Scot’s hand,
   Tae a Scot whan he’s far awa’,
Far frae the dear auld motherland,
   An’ hame an’ friend’s an’ a.
Tho’ the han’ thet grasps yer hand be hard
   An’ scarr’d wi’ years o’ toil,
‘Tis the grasp thet speaks o’ oor warm regard
   For the things o’ Scottish soil.

There’s naethin’ like the sicht o’ a guid Scot’s face,
   Tho’ harsh in ilka line,
For Honor there has left its trace
   An’ Truth has made its sign.
‘Tis a face the warld can a’ways trust
   An’ gie respect at maist,
For hooever sudden ill-fortune’s thrust
   It aye was bravely faced.

There’s naethin’ like the soun’ o’ the guid Scot’s tongue
   As it fa’s on a Scottish ear,
For whaursoe’er it be spoke or sung,
   It has its memories dear.
Mem’ries thet ca’ tae the exiles hert
   Frae oot his native glen,
Till fierce an’ sudden the tear wull start,
   Ye canna haud it ben.

There’s naethin’ like the lilt o’ an auld Scots sang
   Tae cheer ye whan ye’re wae
Tae bring back the days thet are fled sae lang
   As it were bit yesterday,
Thae sangs thet ye mither used tae croon
   As she dandled ye on her knee;
O, there’s naethin’ the auld Scot sangs aboon,
   Tae mak’ yer bluid flow free.

There’s naethin’ like a strain o’ the guid Scots bluid,
   Juist tak’ it thro’ an’ thro’
Tae keep ye aye in a cheerie mood
   An’ mak’ yer hert beat true.
Tae haud ye aye tae the ways o’ God
   As weel’s the ways o’ men;
Tae gie ye strength in life tae plod
   Alang tae the journey’s en’.

Thank God, my lads, for the auld Scots strain,
   Thank God ye are Scottish born,
For the stream thet courses in ilka vein
   Is bluid that nane can scorn.
Heroes an’ martyrs deid lang syne,
   Gave o’ thet bluid tae flow,
Thet Scotlan’ honor micht never tyne,
   Or cringe tae a foreign foe.

Sae here’s again tae the dear auld land,
   Oor forbears lo’ed sae dear—
St. Andra’s nicht, lat us rax a hand
   Tae Scotsmen far an’ near;
For the sake o’ the bluid in a’ oor veins
   An’ the land o’ a common thocht;
An’ may a nane gae back while life remains,
   On the honest name o’ a Scot.

Here’s tae ye a’, guid luck attend
   An’ poortith ne’er assail ye,
An’ suld ye ever need a friend
   May Scotsmen never fail ye.

 FICKLE FORTUNE

O, Fortune is an idle jaud,
   Wha joys in freen’s removal,
An’ lightlies mony a callant braw
   Wha seeks for her approval.
An’ mony an ane she beams upon
   An’ hauds him high in favor,
An’ whiles she wales the dour auld carle
   An’ whiles she wales the shaver.

At ither times wi’ sudden freak,
   Men’s puir estates she withers;
Retak’s the gifts she made tae them
   An’ mak’s them owre tae ithers.
An’ whiles she lats men struggle sair
   An’ win their bread wi’ sweatin’;
An’ ithers—no the least bit fash—
   Atten’s them in the gettin’. [page 72]

An’ ithers gang the hale warl’ roun’
   Tae win her smile they seek her,
An’ ithers live their lives at hame
   An’ juist as weel bespeak her.
Sae men wi’ rowth o’ warldly gear
   Wi’ men thet may be poorer
Maun aye be courtin’ fortune here
   Tae mak’ their incomes surer.

O, Fortune is a paughty jaud,
   As human lives hae shawn her,
An’ thousands hasten tae applaud
   The anes she deigns tae honor
O, wad tae me thet smile she’d gie
   Whilk proves her chief attraction,
I’d write a bit o’ poesie,
   Wad gie her satisfaction.

 LIFE’S LEADERS

The sodgers o’ oor lord the King
   Are claes an’ glitterin’ gear,
At her they are bit common men,
   Susceptible tae fear.
Bit gie them leaders in the charge,
   Wha’s herts are stout an’ brave
An’ naethin’ serves tae haud them back,
   On this side o’ the grave.

E’en silly sheep thet wanderin’ feed
   By day across the muir;
Gi’e them a leader at their heid
   An’ they gae on secure.
It matters whatna ways they gang,
   They live bit juist tae eat
The road may be an unco ane,
   Bit aye the grass is sweet.

As we gae daunderin’ on in life,
   Up hill an’ doon the dells,
Were aften like the silly sheep
   Thet think bit for themsel’s;
We tak’ for leader in oor view
   An’ aim wi’ selfish trend,
An’ aye a purpose we pursue
   Thet leads tae what an end.

For some Ambition leads the way—
   A strivin’ tae be great—
Tae press aboon their fellow-men
   An’ feel the pride o’ state.
They carena’ what the means they use
   Their purpose tae attain,
Nor reck they o’ the herts they bruise
   Or they thet dwell in pain.

An’ Pleasure ca’s aloud tae some
   Tae seek her gardens gay,
Tae while in wanton idleness
   The lang, lang hours o’ day;
An’ oh, the days are slowly drawn,
   Tae those in Pleasure’s court,
Bit whan life’s latter days come on,
   How brief is life—how short!

Revenge, thet grim an’ darksome chief
   Has aye a countless throng
O’ thae thet dwell amidst belief
   In real or fancied wrong:
Wha feel a sullen sense o’ joy
   Tae see their brithers fa’,
An’ wi’ their failures wad destroy
   The happiness o’ a’.

An’ some, they say Religion ca’s
   In fast an’ prayer tae spen’
Their lives in holy monkish wa’s
   An’ dwell apart frae men.
Bit a’ ways ‘tis some motive power
   A leader as it were—
Thet leads us on frae hour tae hour,
   In joy or in despair.

Gi’e us a leader, then, in life
   On whom we can rely,
An’ like oor sodgers in the strife
   We’ll follow till we die.
An’ what lifts man sae far aboon
   The brute beasts o’ the flel’
His power tae think o’ ithers is,
   An’ sympathise as weel.

Lat not Ambition lead alane
   Nor Pleasure haud ye fast;
Revenge, a monster, on his ain
   Is boun’ tae turn at last,
An’ thinka’ thet Religion ca’s
   Thet ye this life resign,
For man a social being is
   Tae dwell amang his kin’.

Bit mix wi’ ithers on Life’s way,
   For there here saunts hae trod,
Tak’ sweet an’ bitter wi’ the lave
   An’ mak’ yer leader: God.
An strive thet aye yer formalist plan
   Yer aim in life maun be;
Deal kindly wi’ yer fellow-man
   Sae God sall deal wi’ ye.

 THE BATTLE O’ THE BASS

   During the year 1490 five vessels from England entered the Firth of Forth, and plunder’d a number of vessels belonging to the Scots and their Flemish allies. Enraged at this aggression on the part of the English, King James IV. despatched against them two ships, well armed and manned, [page 73] and commanded by the gallant sailor-knight, Sir Andrew Wood, of Largo.

Wood met the English ships off Dunbar, at the mouth of the Forth, and after a sanguinary and obstinate battle, entirely defeated them, and the five vessels were all brought safely into Leith.

When Henry VII. of England received word of this signal defeat he was deeply mortified at the humiliation of his flag by a power of maritime warfare. A reward of One Thousand Pounds Sterling yearly was offered to any one who would effect the capture of Sir Andrew Wood.

With the intention of winning this reward, an English officer called Sir Stephen Bull, sailed from the Thames, having under his command three of the best vessels then to be had in England. On the 10th of August he met two ships off the Bass Rock, and I have endeavored to portray as faithfully as possible in the following poem the encounter that then took place.

This is the sang o’ the fecht that wes focht
   Ootside o’ the Rock o’ Bass,
Whan the sun cam’ up on a Simmer’s morn,
   An’ the sea lay smooth as glass,
An’ Scottish folk beheld frae the land
   Whaur Scotsmen focht at sea—
Twa stout ships frae the shores o’ Fife
   Weel met wi’ English three.

Up alang by oor Scottish firth
   Cam’ ships o’ the English sail,
An’ whaur is the stout Sir Andra Wood,
   Thet has weather’d sae mony a gale.
Thet has met the Englishers twa tae five,
   An’ brochten their ships tae shore,
Whaur is the knecht o’ Largo the noo,
   Whan men come seekin’ for war?

The English ships gaed into the firth,
   An’ there they sailed by the land,
An’ they teuk the best o’ the herrin’ boats,
   As ever they cam’ tae hand.
An’ they challenged the men o’ the Eastern coast
   Tae come on the waves an’ fecht;
An’ there they wad pruve them their English boast,
   That theirs wes the sea by richt.

An’ there as they sailed by the Lothian shore,
   The lookouts passed the word
That twa Scots ships bore intae the land,
   An’ oh! It wes blythely heard,
A gladsome man was Sir Stephen Bull
   An’ he said tae his seamen there:
“At last we are met wi’ Sir Andrew Wood,
   And we’ll give him the word we bear.

“Broach us casks o’ the good red wine,
   And see that it freely flows,
For we shall sweep from the Northern sea
   The last of the Scottish foes.
Fling out the flag of the blood-red cross,
   For wherever that flag shall fly—
There shall Englishmen strive for the best,
   Or there can Englishmen die.

“Men o’ the land o’ the sturdy oak,
   Whose wood is laid in our keels—
Show in the way that ye fight to-day
   The way that an Englishman feels.
England, England wherever we sail
   And England, whatever we do.
Strike for the land of the dales and downs.
   And show that your hearts are true.

Back again frae the Flemish coast
   Cam’ the ships o’ Sir Andra Wood,
An’ there outside o’ the Rock o’ Bass
   He met wi’ a welcome rude.
There lay ships o’ the English line,
   Flaunting the cross o’ red.
An’ an angry man wes Sir Andra Wood
   An’ angry the words he said:

“Here, my lads, are the English faes,
   Thet are here wi’ a purpose stout,
Tae tak’ us in bonds tae the English king,
   (Whilk wad put us mickle aboot)
Bit, by the God o’ Peace an’ o war,
   Wi’ the courage thet ye sall shaw,
We’ll gie them sae mickle o’ dauds, the day,
   They sallna’ get hail awa’.

“Stan’ by the guns, my merrie men a’,
   An’ ha’e the cross-bows drawn.
Ha’e the lime-pots up tae the taps, my lads,
   An’ yer twa-hand swords pit on. [page 74]
“For we sail ha’e fechtin’ eneuch, the day,
   An’ bluid sall be rinnin’ free,
Strike for the honor o’ Scotlan’, lads,
   An’ a guid account we sall gi’e.

“Ye feecht, my lads, for oor noble king
   An’ yer wives an’ bairs at hame.
See thet ye gi’e for them, ilka ane,
   The last heart’s-bluid ye claim.
Gar the Englishers trow, my lads,
   Thet a fechtin’ race are we.”
An’ ilka man sware tae his neighbor there,
   Frae Southron ne’er tae flee.

Stoutly they ran on the English ships
   Whaur fierce were the foemen met,
An’ the sun crept up tae the lift aboon
   An’ he shone oot blythe an’ het,
He shone oot owre the sparklin’ main
   Thro’ the quiverin’ Simmer air,
An’ a’ thet day on the bluid-soaked decks,
   The strokes were heavy an’ sair.

A’ thet day in the swelterin’ sun,
   On the slipp’ry decks they focht,
An’ a’ thet day thro’ the waves o’ heat
   The soun’s tae the shore were brocht,
Whaur Scottish men beheld frae the land,
   Whaur Scotsmen focht at sea.
Taw o’ the ships o’ the shores o’ Fife,
   Weel met wi’ English three.

A’ thet day the braidswords clashed
   An’ men fell thick an’ fast,
An’ shrieks an’ groans were mingled, I ween,
   Wi’ shouts whaur the foemen passed,
A’ thro’ the heat o’ the Simmer hours,
   The arrows fell like rain,
An’ the culverins belched their clouds o’ smoke
   Owre the mangled heaps o’ slain.

An’ the sun gaed doon owre the Simmer sea,
   An’ the mirk at last cam’ on,
An’ the faes drew back like snarlin’ tykes,
   Tae wait for the glint o’ dawn;
An’ the sun cam’ up on anither day,
   An’ they closed, an’ they focht ance mair—
Lang they strove thro’ the Simmer hours,
   An’ the strokes were heavy an’ sair.

Bit wha can fecht, like the men wha fecht
   In defence o’ their hearths an’ hames?
What can inspire like the love o’ land,
   The hearts o’ the men it claims
Sae at last, whan Sir Stephen wes prisoner ta’en,
   He spak’ tae his remnant few,
An’ they struck tae the flag o’ the auld white cross,
   Thet floats on its field o’ blue.

They teuk them in tae the port o’ Dundee,
   An’ tis said thet oor guid King James,
Wes pleased tae sen’ the Southrons hame,
   Tae whommie these words I’ their wames.
“Gif ye ever come back tae oor Scottish seas,
   Tae harry oor coasts sae sair,
Ye can tell yer King hoo the Scots can fecht,
An’ we’ll gie ye a trifle mair.

Sae thet is the sang o’ the fecht thet wes focht
   Ootside o’ the Rock o’ Bass;
And we pray thet the days o’ the bluidhet feud,
   May never mair come to pass.
An’ sin’ we hae traivell’d as brithers-in-arms,
   The gist o’ oor hist’ry tells
How the Scots an’ the English can gie tae their faes
   What they used tae keep for themsel’s.

 ST. ANDREW, AN’ SCOTLAND FOREVER

When the hearts o’ brave Scotsmen the highest were beating,
   And the war pipes were sounding o’er hill an’ o’er glen,
The name of the saint that all lips were repeating
   Was St. Andrew, the patron of true Scottish men.
God and St. Andrew for Scotland,
And the men that would fight for auld Scotland,
And the men that would die for auld Scotland.
   Sound it together again. [page 75]


When the lads out of Scotland were gallantly marching,
   Perhaps to come back to their country no more;
When the war-steeds, their proud heads were vauntily arching,
   And shook, in the wind, the brave pennants of war,
‘Twas God and St. Andrew for Scotland,
And the Faith that was foremost in Scotland,
   And the cause they were venturing for.

When the broadswords of Scotland in battle were flashing,
   And lads in the tartan lay low on the plain,
Above all the tumult, where foemen were slashing,
   Rose high the wild slogan, nor sounded in vain,
St. Andrew, St. Andrew for Scotland—
God and St. Andrew for Scotland,
And the swords that are foremost for Scotland,
   And the men that are “second tae nane.”

When the war-lords of Europe their armies had mustered,
   And empires were crushed, and built up in a day—
Then what did those princes who bullied and blustered,
   But sent for the broadswords to join in the gray.
They sent for the broadswords of Scotland,
The gallant blue bonnets of Scotland
And the sons of St. Andrew and Scotland
   Had glory, and plunder and pay.

And oft when the foes made their fiercest endeavor,
   And troopers despairing were fleeing the field,
The cry of “St. Andrew and Scotland Forever,”
   Show’d the lads to the rescue, who never would yield.
The lads from the hills of auld Scotland—
Frae the mist-shrouded mountains of Scotland—
Who wore the white cross of auld Scotland,
   On either the brest or the shield. 

So now, when as Scotsmen we’re met here together,
   To speak once again of the days that are gone,
We’ll fill up a glass to the land of the heather—
   That the bones of the good Saint are buried upon,
Come fill up a cogie to Scotland,
And the leal, honest hearts of auld Scotland,
The lads and the lasses of Scotland,
   And we’ll wait for the blink of the dawn.

 THE LASS FORLORN

Noo blaw ye winds a heavy gale
   Across the heavin’ sea.
Blaw swift an’ strang, an waft alang
   My true luve back tae me.
The wind blew swift, the wind blew strang,
   The wind blew owre the sea,
But never did that wild wind waft
   My true luve back tae me.

I leuk oot owre the Stornaught-heid
   Whaur sails are glitterin’ far.
There’s mony a broon-sailed fishin’ smack,
   An’ white-wing’d ships o’ war.
God guide ilk ship upon its way
   Tae mony a distant bourne,
Whaur mony a lass mair blythe than I
   Is waiting its return.

Oh, bit my heart wes gladsome then,
   Oh, bit my sang wes gay
The morn I walked wi’ Colin oot
   Alang the windy brae.
I mind fu’ weel he press’d my hand
   As we gazed owre the main
He sware that sune he wad return
   Tae claim me for his ain.

I mind my Colin’s ilka word;
   His ilka leuk an’ tone;
I mind thet ere we pairtit then,
   His airm wes ‘round me thrown.
He press’d the hair back frae my broo
   Tae kiss me ere he’d gang;
He said: “Dear lass, bide true tae me,
   An’ I’ll win back ere lang.”

His gallant ship pit oot tae sea,
   I watch’d it owre the wave,
I tried tae still my throbbin’ heart
   An’ haud m stoot an’ brave. [page 76]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration]

[blank page]

I kept my heart amang them a’
   An’ smil’d an’ sang fu’ gay,
Bit wat my pillow wes at nicht
   Wi’ tears I couldna’ stay.

The Autumn cam’ wi’ cauld an’ rain,
   The Winter snaw an’ sleet,
Bit ne’er I heard my Colin’s fit
   Come up the village street.
Tho gladsome Spring crept ‘round again
   An’ hope filled a’ the land,
Bit ne’er I saw my true luve’s boat
   Sail inward tae the strand.

The Simmer cam’, an’ the Simmer gaed
   An’ I watched wi’ a tear-dimmed e’e.
The Life gaed oot o’ my heart at last.
   It’s a wearisome wari’ tae me.
Folk leuk at me wi’ a pityin’ glance
   For the gray hair’s owre my broo.
I’m a frail auld body that sings tae the sea,
   Bit I’m waitin’ for Colin the noo.

I ask the mariners o’ ships
   That come wi’ tattered sail,
The query ever neist my heart—
   Bit ilka time I fail.
They leuk wi’ pity in my face
   That is sae worn an’ gray.
God kens—they dootless think me mad
   Wi’ mickie dool an’ wae.

The wearie, wearie years ha’e come,
   The wearie years ha’e gane;
I maun tae Heaven for comfort leuk,
   For Earth can gi’e me nane.
His Will be dune. ‘Tis easily said,
   Bit awfu’ hard tae thole.
I lost my heart in the years agone,
   His Mercy rest my soul.

Blaw, blaw ye winds a heavy gale
   Across the heavin’ sea.
Blaw swift an’ strang an’ waft alang
   My ain true luve tae me.
The wind blaws swift the wind blaws strang,
   The winds blaws owre the faem,
Bit never brings that wearie wind
   My sailor laddie hame.

Edmonton, March 25th, ’09.

THE COVENANTERS

   The years 1684 and 1685 were known as the “killing time” in Scotland, for it was during these years that the most fearful persecutions took place of those who had banded themselves together in defence of the Covenant. Following close upon the Battle of Bothwell Brig, the terrible bloodshed had become greater and greater until in the years mentioned it appeared as if the intention of the military was by the sword to totally extinguish the cause of the people of the Coventicles simply for the worshipping of God in their own manner. Said the Duke of York: “There will never be peace in Scotland till the whole of the country south of the Forth be turned into a hunting-field.”

In 1685, when Argyle was threatening a descent upon Scotland and the Duke of Monmouth was preparing an invasion of the West of England, the Privy Council of Scotland took the cruel precaution to arrest in the south and west of Scotland more than a hundred persons, men, women and children supposed to be dissatisfied with the existing government. These poor people, after being driven northward like a herd of cattle and with less consideration for their wants, were at last thrust into a subterranean dungeon in the castle of Dunotter, being lighted only by a single window overlooking the precipice which frowns upon the German Ocean. Subject to the brutal gibes of their guards, the poor people were refused even the indulgence of fresh drinking water unless they paid for it, and when at last they were unable to do so, their tormentors emptied the precious liquid upon the ground, saying that although they might be obliged to bring water to the canting Whigs they were not bound to supply the drinking vessels without remuneration.

For nearly an entire summer the wretched victims were kept penned up in the dungeon ankle-deep in mire, men and women together until the horrible effluvia of the place breeding disease, many of them died. This was only a small incident of the great man-hunt which was going on. [page 77]

Hundreds of the hill people were toiling in the same gangs with negroes on the slave plantations of the West Indies. Thousands more were lurking in the fastness of the country, livin in caves and dens, where they were hunted with blood-hounds by their relentless persecutors, and when seized were either shot down on the spot or dragged into the cities for torture or execution.

Yet out of this awful period of misery and suffering the country at last emerged, triumphing over a persecution as terrible as the world has ever known. And how was the change brought about. Said the Great Alexander Peden: “Only by prayer shall we win through,” and truly it was the spirit of a peo-ple strong in the conviction of their faith which enabled them to weather the storm.

It is in memory of this noble band of men and women of our country that I have penned these lines, for it was to their unbroken and undaunted spirit that we owe our religious freedom of to-day.

For Christ’s Crown and Covenant they sought the lonely hill-sides,
   Leaving home and hearth-side for hunger, cold and fear.
The chill, damp cavern hid them—Ay, and it sill hides
The whitened bones of martyrs, where only God is near.
The cold rain is falling, or the bleak wind is blowing,
   Or the sun blazes fierce upon the stones,
But among the hills of Scotland where the purple heather’s growing
   There lie the martyrs’ bones.

Not alone the stalwart, whose hearts were stoutly striving,
   But tottering age, and womanhood and weakling children too.
“The Covenants, the Covenants shall be the land’s reviving;”*
   The Crown at last is waiting when life itself is thro’,
The way is hard to follow, and the hate of man unfalt’ring,
   And the blood of the Faithful ever cries.
But the Love of God sustaineth, and His Word remains unalt’ring,
   And the truth of His promise never dies.

Because of persecution, they met in desert-places
   Where God was ever present, but men were far apart.
And the clouds were on the mountains, and the wind was in their faces,
   And the Comforter had still’d the aching heart.
The heart-formed petition, and the psalm of praise arising;
   The faith of a people driven hard;
The freedom of the conscience, which is above all prizing,
   And the trust that was given them to guard.

Oh, the lonely watching, and, Oh the hours of anguish;
   Oh, the heart-yearnings as they waited in the hills,
Knowing that their own kind would hale them in to languish
   In the loathsome prison-house that tortures as it kills.
Rack, boot and branding-iron, the thumb-screw and the fetter—
   The slow death lingering on the way.
Oh, God, the human agony that looked for nothing better
   Than the swift sword ready for to slay.

The sword of iniquity was gory at the slaughter,
   But the souls of the righteous from earthly pain were freed.
The blood of the innocent flowed freely as the water,
   But unsated was the blood-thirst and the greed.
On moors and dark morasses the dead hill-folk are lying,
   And the mist is on the mountain and the glen;
And the peeweep and the whaup they are crying—every crying
   O’er the graves of murdered men.

*Note—James Guthrie’s (minister of Stirling) last words to the people, as he stood, with the rope adjusted about his neck, upon the gallows’ ladder: “The Covenants, the Covenants shall yet be Scotland’s reviving.” [page 78]


 THE RED SHANKS O’ SCOTLAND 

   “On the death of James V., a clergyman named John Eldar, who, as he informs us himself, was a native of Caithness, and had studied for twelve years in the three Southern universities, retired into England and presented to Henry a project of union between the two Kingdoms which contained some curious notices of the manners of the Highlanders at this period. He thus explains the reason why they were called by the Lowlanders “Redshanks” and by the English “Rough-Footed Scots.”

“‘Please it, your Majesty, to understand that we, of all people, can tolerate, suffer, and always best with cold: for both Summer and Winter (except when the frost is most vehement) going always barelegged and barefooted, our delight and pleasure is not only in hunting of red deer, wolves, foxes, and graies, whereof we abound and have great plenty; but also in running, leaping, swimming, shooting and throwing of darts.

“‘Therefore in so much as we use and delight so to go always, the tender, delicate gentlemen of Scotland call us “Redshanks.”

“‘And again in winter, when the frost is most vehement (as I have said) which we cannot suffer barefooted so well as snow, which can never hurt us when it comes to our girdles, we go a-hunting, and after that we have slain red deer; we flay off the skin by and by, and setting of our bare foot on the inside thereof, for want of cunning shoemakers, by your Grace’s pardon, we play the cobblers, compassing and measuring so much thereof as shall reach up to your ancles; pricking the upper part thereof with holes, that the water may repass where it enters, and stretching it up with a strong thong of the same above our said ancles. So and please your noble grace we make our shoes.

“Therefore we, using such manner of shoes the rough, hairy side outward, in your Grace’s dominion of England we be called “Rough-Footed Scots.”

In MacKenzie’s History of Scotland an account is given of a Scottish raid into England, and after the Scots had voluntarily deserted their camp it is stated that the English found there more than ten thousand pairs of old shoes made of raw hides with the hair on the outside. It was this style of shoeing that got our ancestors the name of rough-footed Scots.”

   Stanza 4.—Nowte or nolte, cattle.
   Stanza 5.—‘Halden fu’ hardy, held.
David Lindsay’s “Squire Meldrum.”
“An that the morn we sall ken
The Scots are haldin’, hardy men.”

In the auld fechtin’ days o’ auld Scotland,
   Whan oor sires won their kintra renown,
Fu’ aft they gaed oot owre the border
   Tae fecht for their kintra an’ croon,
An’ their feet they were shod wi’ the buskins,
   The skins o’ the red-deer supplied,
An’ whan they were Sooth o’ the Cheviots,
   ‘Twas then that the Englishers cried

“Beware o’ the Redshanks o’ Scotland
   Beware o’ the rough-footed Scots,
For there will be raidin’ an’ reivin’,
   An’ there will be drivin’ o’ stots.
O guard weel the gear ye ha’e gathered,
   An’ haud tae the thing thet’s yer ain
An’ thank God ye’re safe in yer dwallin’
   Gif only the rafters remain.

O, mony the lad in the Northland
   Thet girded his sword tae his side,
Whan the red lowe leaped up in the beacons,
   Tae warn a’ tae mount an’ tae ride.
Then he saddled his Gallowa’ sheltie
   An’ teuk his allowance o’ meal
An’ he pit on his shoon o’ the deer-skin,
   An’ braced on his jack o’ the steel.

An’ ‘twas Ho! for the Redshanks o’ Scotland,
   An’ Hoich! for the rough-footed Scots,
The men frae the keeps on the borders,
   The men frae the wee Hielan’ cots
An’ there will be nowte tae be driven
   An’ there will be men tae be slain,
Ere the Redshanks thet ride on the borders,
   Will ride intae Scotland again. [page 79]

O, fierce were the feuds o’ oor forbears,
   Accusomed tae battle an’ siege,
Whan they rade by their ain feudal barons,
   Or stood by their sovereign an’ liege.
An’ the Scots, they were halden fu’ hardy,
   An’ dauntless they were tae the core
An’ the rough feet thet trod on the bracken,
   Ga’ed briskly, I wot, tae the war.

Sae ‘twas, hoich! for the Redshanks o’ Scotland,
   ‘Neath either the breeks or the kill,
The shanks thet wad seldom gae backward,
   Frae whaur there wes bluid to be spilt,
An’ the knees thet were under the tartan
   Wad bend not at Tyranny’s nod,
Bit they bent in the glens an the muirlands,
   Whan under the guidance o’ God.

For whan in the days of oppression,
   Whan the land wes in darkness an’ fear,
An’ the feet o’ the Lord’s ain Anointed,
   Were oot on the mountains sae drear,
The men thet were true tae their conscience,
   An’ guarded the Covenant weel
Had rough feet tae bear them thro’ hardship,
   An’ herts thet tho’ rough could be leal.

Sae we honor the Red-Shanks o’ Scotland,
   The toot on the hillsides sae bare,
Kept the gospel o’ God tae the people
   As free as their ain caller air.
An’ we honor the mem’ries o’ heroes,
   Thet clung wi’ sae siccar a grip,
Tae the braidswords thet kept them their freedom,
   An’ the Truth thet they couldna’ let slip.

Those are the mem’ries we cherish
   Cherish an’ honor baith,
O’ the men thet died for their kintra
   An’ the men thet died for their faith,
An’ the heritage left by oor faithers
   We sall guard frae a’ slander an’ plots;
An’ hurrah! for the Redshanks o’ Scotland
   An’ hurrah for the Rough-Footed Scots.

   Feb. 11th, 1908.

 YE TRUE SONS OF ENGLAND

Ye true sons of England, it’s weel that I wot,
Ye hae mickle regard for the word o’ a Scot,
An’ I rede ye maun tak’ it for what it is worth,
That Scotlan’ hersel’ is the garden o’ Earth.

Ye can tak’ it or leave it wi’ froon or wi’ smile,
Hoo Scotlan’ cam’ Sooth yince tae bonnie Carlisle,
Bit doot or believe it aye juist as ye will,
The Scots an’ the English will argue it still.

Yet still they were foemen thae Englishers a’
Weel worthy the steel that the Scotsmen could draw,
An’ a de’ll o’ a skelpin’ the Scots aft he got,
When alang the borders they stubbornly focht.

They are teuk their paiks as they aye teuk their praise,
Thae hardy auld Scots in the auld fechtin’ days,
An’ noo since the Union the Thistle an’ Rose,
Hae aye been a check tae the hall o’ oor foes.

Ye true sons of England, it’s weel that ye ken
We’ve an unco regard for the true English men;
We’ve a mutual regard for what is and what was,
An’ that gars oor Empire tae stand as it does.

An’ noo oot abroad whaur oor Empire extends
The Scots an’ the English will meet aye as friends—
The lads that are first in oor cities an’ towns,
Frae the bens an’ the glens, an’ the dales an’ the downs. [page 80]

BURNS

We are met as Scotsmen an’ brithers
   Tae honor the natal day
O’ anew ha wes born o’ the people
   In a rude-built cottage o’ clay.
An’ his mem’ry will last forever,
   As lang as a Scot remains
Tae fill up a glass tae Scotland,
   Or lift o’ the minstrel’s strains.

We are met in a land far distant,
   As sons o’ auld Scotia still
Tae crack o’ the wee clay biggins
   At the fit o’ the wind-swept bill;
Tae crack o’ the wavin’ heather,
   An’ the thistle aboon the knowe,
An’ the lad thet wes prood o’ Scotland
   As only a Scot kens how.

Oor language has been the richer
   Because thet a lad wes born
In the humble hame o’ a cotter
   Thet mony prood heids micht scorn.
Bit mony prood heids micht scorn.
   Forgotten amidst decay,
While the ploughman thet lo’ed his kintra
   Is lo’ed in the warld to-day.

Mony a famous minstrel
   Has voiced his love o’ the North
Since Ossian, Bard o’ the Hielands
   Had shouted their praises forth:
But never a bard o’ Scotland
   Had won tae the nation’s heart
Until thet an Ayrshire farmer
   Had practised the rhyming art.

Greater an’ mair pretentious
   Were rhymes o’ an earlier day,
Whan scholars wrote in the Latin
   An’ had a hantle tae say.
Nae doot but the things they’d written
   Were unco polished an’ braw,
But scholars read them tae scholars—
   Read them an’ put them awa’.

Nae doot bit auld George Buchanan
   Wrote things thet were unco fine,
Bit Scotland had been nae puirer
   Gif he hadna’ written a line;
An’ (weel said auld David Lindsay,
   His words wull be ne’er forgot)
Wha writes in the guid braid Scottice
   May reach the heart o’ a Scot.

A lad o’ the Carrick border,
   He kent what those words were worth,
An’ the sangs that he gave tae Scotland
   Ha’e reached tae the ends o’ the earth.
He sang in words thet were simple,
   An’ he sang wi’ a heart sincere,
An’ mair than the folk o’ Scotland
   Ha’e cherished his mem’ry dear.

On the burning plains o’ the Punjaub,
   Whaur the fierce, hot sun leuks doon
Fu’ mony a Scottish sodger,
   Has dreamed o’ his Northern toon.
An’ there as he thocht o’ the hameland
   Whaur ever the heart returns,
His tongue had the hamely accent,
   As he murmured a sang frae Burns.

The sailor upon the ocean
   In the late dog-watch o’ the nicht
Pacing the deck o’ his vessel
   Has felt that his heart grew licht
As he whustled a tune o’ Robin’s
   Tho’ but saut sea met his gaze,
His heart wes back in auld Scotland
   On the slopes o’ the heather-braes.

In the far Canadian backwoods,
   And oot on Austrlian “Runs,”
The stalwart, sun-brooned settler
   Hewing a hame for his sons,
Has tauld his young Colonials
   Fu’ aft whan the day wes sped,
“Remember, keep close tae Honor,
   For ye ken what oor Rab has said.”

Mony an e’e has glistened,
   An’ a tear stole doon on the cheek
Whan a toil-worn exile listened
   As he heard a stranger speak,
Using the speech o’ the hameland,
   Hamely an’ dear tae us a’,
Sayin’, “Ay, it wes Burns thet said it;
   It’s as true as the gospel law.”

They say thet the Scots wull prosper
   Wi’ ony nation or soil,
Thet a Scot is never disheartened
   Frae being inured tae toil.
Bit the fact is thet whan discouraged,
   As haps tae the best o’ men,
He taks a keek into Robin,
   An’ it fills him wi’hope again.

Burns was a son o’ the people,
   Wi’ fauts thet he ne’er denied,
An’ his heart was near unto Nature
   Tho’ aften he stept aside.
HE lo’ed a’ the warl’ aboot him
   Tho’ it treated him cauld an’ hard.
An’ thet’s why the men o’ Scotland
   Are prood o’ their Ntional Bard. [page 81]

In Edmonton, oot in the West-land,
   The Scots thet are met again,
Wull fill up their cogies tae Scotland
   The land o’ the hill an’ glen.
They’ll number the Scottish worthies
   Thet ha’e been lang awa’,
Bit maist they’ll speak o’ a ploughman
   Thet wes the First o’ them a’.

   Edmonton, Jan. 23rd, ’09.

 SAY IT OOT

Gin ye’ve aucht ava tae say,
   Say it oot! Say it oot!
There is naethin’ in delay,
   Say it oot!
Gin ye’ve ony thocht or plan
Thet can help yer fellow-man,
Ye suld voice it a’ ye can—
   Say it oot.

Dinna keep yer talent hid,
   Say it oot! say it oot!
Gin ye think thet sae ye’re bid,
   Say it oot!
For a word in mony ways,
Aft a weary hert can raise
An’ ye’ll a’ways fin’ it pays,
   Tae say oot.

A’ alang Life’s dusty trail,
   Say it oot! Say it oot!
For there’s mony a folk wha fail,
   Say it oot!
For the need o’ frien’ly han’,
Or a min’ tae understan’
A’ the guid thet lies in man—
   Say it oot!

Whiles this warl’ is unco drear,
   Bit, say oot! say it oot!
For a blythesome bit o’ cheer,
   Tae say oot.
Aften lichtens up the gloom,
Fills a hert o’ luve thet’s toom;
Helps yersel’ an’ a’ tae whom
   Ye speak oot.

There are mony folk wha sneer,
   Bit say oot! Say it oot!
Wha haud nae religion dear,
   Say it oot!
Bit their ae familiar creed
Is a graspin’ sense o’ greed,
Haudin’ captive hert an’ held—
   Say it oot.

Some there are wi’ unco spiel
   Wha sing oot! sing it oot!
Lang eneuch tae shame the deil,
   Sing it oot.
Sing o’ jauds wha lichtly luve
An’ wha’s honor aucht can move
Wha reproof can ne’er reprove
   Sing it oot!

Bit, gin ye’ve nocht ava
   Tae say oot, tae say oot,
For the grit folk or the sma’,
   Tae say oot!
Save o’ Bacchus an’ his barrel,
For ilk drouthy, drucken carle,
Ye suld never in the warl,
   Say it oot.

 OOR AIN IMMORTAL ROBIN

Beside the bonnie banks o’ Ayr
   The ploughman lingered lang,
An’ Nature glowin’ fresh an’ fair
   Had waked his Muse tae sang.
He sang o’ Scotland’s heathered hills
   And o’ her sunny braes;
He sang aboot her tinklin’ rills
   And o’ her woodland ways.
An’ though we’ve wandered far frae hame
We canna’, lads, forget the same.
We’ll ne’er forget oor bardie’s name,
   Oor ain immortal Robin.

He longed for puir auld Scotland’s sake
   Tae lilt some blythesome lay,
Thet a’ her sons tae hert micht tak’,
   An’ hear fu’ mony a day.
A sang thet micht be treasured up
   Tae speak for Scotland’s weal,
Thet whan they rais’d the foamin’ cup,
   They a micht think an’ feel.
Then here’s a hand, ma trusty fiere,
An’ be we far, or be we near,
We’ll keep the memory ever dear
   O’ Scotland an’ her Robin.

Tho’ born sae humble an’ obscure
   He set his mind tae learn
The verra things, that bein’ poor
   He could the maist discern,
Thet not alane the rich an’ great
   Could pleasure solely claim,
For wealth can never compensate
   For humble joys o’ hame.
An honest man, tho’ e’er sae poor
If he haud honor fast an’ sure,
O why suld glitterin’ gowd allure
   Said oor immortal Robin. [page 82]

An’ O, he dearly lo’ed tae be
   Amang the lassies there
Whaur Door rins wimplin’ tae the sea,
   Or by the banks o’ Ayr,
An’ thus he phrased auld Nature’s law
   Thet gars us passion feel;
The greatest man the warld e’er saw
   He lo’ed the lasses weel,
An’ ye sae dour thet smile at this,
Ye nedna tak’ it sae amiss,
There’s naethin’ like an honest kiss,
   Quo’ blythe, big-hearted Robin.

His tender heart had kindly care
   For Nature’s creature’s a’,
The wee mouse in the fields sae bare,
   The hare beside the wa’,
The cowerin’ sheep in the Winter’s blast,
   The wild fowl by the lake,
He lo’ed them a’ unto the last
   For puir auld Scotland’s sake.
The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Wull ta’ a tumble noo an’ then,
These words ran oot beneath the pen
   O’ oor immortal Robin.

He had his failin’s like us a’,
   An’ suffered from them sair,
An’ what he couldna cuist awa’
   Wad grow tae mickle mair.
Inspirin’ bauld John Barleycorn,
   His constant ally then,
Did put his dangers a’ tae scorn,
   An’ gart him lift his pen.
A’ ye wha live by sowps o’ drink
An’ fain yer troubles a’ wad sink
Upon the fatefu’ endin’ think
   O’ rantin’ roarin’ Robin.

Tho’ mony years hae come an’ gane
   Since Scotland’s poet sang,
Yet tender memories we retain,
   An’ they shall last for lang.
An’ far awa’ ayont the sea,
   Whaure’er the Scotsman turns
He’ll find beloved there tae be
   The works o’ Robert Burns.
An’ by Saskatchewan’s winding stream
O’ whilk oor poet ne’er could dream,
The greatest bard tae us wull seem
   Tae be oor Scottish Robin.

 MAN’S LUVE TAE MAN

Whan there’s nae luve in the human hert,
   Bit only a chilly void,
An’ dark Despondency creeps in
   Owre the hopes o’ Life destroyed;
Whan there isna trust in yer fellowman,
   Nor aucht for God, bit fear—
Oh! Life is a dreary, dreary thing
   An’ a’ the earth is drear.

Whan there’s nae luve in the human hert,
   For ony o’ its kind,
Whan there isna faith tae ease us up
   An’ bring us peace o’ mind—
The sun may shine on the mountain sides
   An’ a’ the earth be bricht;
But whaur nae conscience calm abides
   It’s a’ways mirk as nicht.

We aye look forth tae the darkest ways,
   An’ whiles we canna thole,
The awfu’ stounds o’ a breakin’ hert,
   An’ pangs o’ a strugglin’ soul:
Oh! then it is thet the lost o’ men
   Forswear a’ houp tae be;
Whan they turn their backs on the things o’ Earth
   An’ curse their God—an’ dee.

Bit, whan there’s luve in the human hert,
   An’ hert tae hert respond.
A glory beams owre the hail auld warl’,
   Thet at Creation dawned;
An’ this is a bonnie, bonnie warl’,
   Fulfillin God’s ain plan,
For we see the beauties o’ Nature maist,
   Whan there is luve in man.

 HERE’S YER HEALTHS, IN WATER

Whan Scotsmen’s backs were at the wa’,
   In days, thank God, lang distant;
Whan Chairlie Stuart met his fa’
   Wi’ clansmen owre persistent;
Whan hidin’ ‘mang his Hieland hills,
   Ilk puir an’ huntit cottar
Drank o’ the draught the burn distils,
   Wi’, “Here’s oor Prince,” in water.

Come fill a cogie tae the brim,
   An’ Scotsmen a’ thegither,
The toast thet gars oor een grow dim,
   “Scotland Dear, Oor Mither,”
Here’s an ancient precedent
   Tribulation taught her,
Drink the health the way it’s meant—
   Here’s her health in water.

Thae rugged Covenantin’ chiels,
   Amang their rocks residin’,
Whan unrelentin’ sodger deils
   Had kept them a’ in hidin’, [page 83] 
In caves an’ dens sent up their sang,
   An’ as their bluid grew hotter,
S’wore godly alths tae richt their wrang,
   An’ washed them doon wi’ water.

Sae fill ye, ilka mither’s son,
   An’ toom yer glesses quicky,
Here’s the richts oor faithers won
   Whan dangers clustered thickly.
We mayna’ pledge in uskabaugh,
   Whilk pruves an unco faut’er,
Bit drink, “Oor kintra, king an’ law,”
   An’, “Here’s yer Healths,” in water.

 THE AIR OF INDEPENDENCE

Scotland, land of valiant heroes,
   Land of bards, and land of songs,
Land where gloom the misty mountains,
   Which have seen a nation’s wrongs,
But which looking downward ever
   Saw the broadswords flash amain,
Pressing back the bold invaders
   From across the lowland plain.

Everlasting are thy beauties,
   Calling back the ancient days,
When thy sons were valiant warriors
   And thy beauties waked their praise
Ever did the love of country
   Foremost stand in Scottish heart;
Ever ‘tis the tie that latest
   Holds ere soul and body part.

Sweet the memory of the childhood
   Spent within the Highland glen,
Where the swirling tarn comes rushing
   From the steep and craggy ben;
Where the nature of surroundings
   Fills the heart with ideals pure
And the air of independence
   Holds the spirit firm and sure.

And thy sons, who ne’er have seen thee
   In a distant land exiled
It would wake their martial ardor
   For to view thy beauties wild,
And their swelling hearts would gladden
   With enthusiasm strong,
Could they view thy rugged mountains
   And thy streams which sweep along.

Broken keeps that still are frowning,
   Hoary with the lapse of years,
Where the valiant chiefs of Scotland
   Gathered in the border spears;
Towering cliffs and rushing rivers,
   All are rich with ancient lore,
Testifying to the prowess
   Of the martial men of yore.

Bold and stalwart were the heroes,
   Who invasion oft withstood,
Sacrificing for their country
   All their treasure, all their blood,
Rallied round their Lion Standard,
   Where their King was wont to be,
There the nobles and the commons
   Fought that Scotland might be free.

Independence, what a birthright,
   Who could barter for a crown?
Who would be a lordling’s vassal
   When it tends to hold him down?
Who would serve beneath a banner,
   Which a tyrant grant’s to wave?
Better on the soil of freedom
   Find a free-born patriot’s grave.

From the time when fierce Galgacius
   First addressed his marshal’d host,
Which are those of all their monarchs
   Whom the Scots have loved the most?
Who but our third Alexander,
   Bruce, whom freedom back did bring,
And that James by memory cherished
   Who was called the Common’s King.

Why are these the most beloved
   Of our long and kingly line,
But that to their humblest subjects
   Would their royal ears incline,
Loving not the pomp and splendor
   Of the rich and great alone,
But unbiased giving judgment
   To their subjects from the throne?

Great were these and strong in battle,
   Stalwart men renowned in arms
But the monuments they builded
   Do not rest on wars’ alarms.
‘Tis the glory of the nation
   That these kings of other days
Loved the people far beneath them
   And their rude unvarnished ways.

Right divine and grace of Heaven
   Such indeed they deem’d was theirs,
But that they to God must answer
   For their guiding of affairs,
And as true and faithful stewards
   They should give account some day
How the realm of bonnie Scotland
   Prospered ‘neath their royal sway. [page 84]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration]

[blank page]

So it was all down the ages
   That the hills of Scotland bred
Men whose thoughts were of their country,
   Men who hoped and looked ahead,
Scotland’s lift has oft been clouded,
   So the sun came seldom thro’,
Scotland had her share of traitors,
   But she had her heroes too.

Thro’ the years of great affliction
   She has come to take her place,
With the nations which have prospered
   From the love of home and race,
And God grant, united ever,
   Subjects’ strength and sovereign will,
Keep auld Scotia’s name untarnished,
   And her power unquestioned still.

   April 15th, 1908.

 THERE’S NAE FRIEN’ LIKE THE BAWBEE

I’ve traivell’t a bit ‘roun this auld warl’
   An’ I’ve met wi’ mony a froon,
Bit the time tae try yer frien’s tae find
   Is whan ye’re a’ broken doon.
Whan yer back is up tae the grin’-stun’, lad,
   An’ yer breeks are oot at the knee,
O, it’s then ye’ll ken what is unco sad
   That there’s nae frien’ like the bawbee.

O, mony a mon has found it oot
   Afore thet his heid wes gray,
Thet the thing tae dae whan frien’s are few,
   Is leuk for a raise in pay.
Ye’ll ha’e tae stiffen yer back-bane, lad
   An’ gif ye can win the gree,
The fowk ye ha’e missed wull be unco glad,
   For there’s nae frien’ like the bawbee.

It’s gran’ tae hae things tae ca’ yer ain,
   A wee bit pickle o’ gear;
‘Tis then ye can thole the warl’ sae cauld
   An’ heedna’ the selfish sneer;
Ye can haud up yer held wi’ the lave, my lad,
   Whan yer ain hoose-door’s ajee,
For the trust frien’ a man e’er had
   Was the honestly-won bawbee.

Whan ye can sit close in yer ingleneuk,
   Wi’ the wife an’ weans ye lo’e,
Nae boddie ye’ll gi’e hoo fowk may stare,
   Sae lang’s yer debts be few.
Juist pit yer han’ in yer pouch, my lad,
   An’ jingle the cunyie free,
An’ lilt tae yersel’, “O, we’re nae sae bad,
   For there’s nae frien’ like the bawbee.”

O, troubles come thick an’ fast enow,
   Nae doot bit they’re unco sair,
Bit the ane tae help whan times are bad,
   Is the ane thet’s hard tae spare.
His face may be worn an’ broon, my lad,
   Bit it’s cheerie an’ blythe tae see,
For he keeps us foul, an’ sae warmly clad,
   An’ there’s nae frien’ like the bawbee.

Then a cogie we’ll fill tae this auld frien’,
   We haud wi’ a siccar grup,
The frien’ thet is a’ times hard tae win,
   Bit the last we ever give up.
Ye can pit doon the tab on the slate, me lad,
   For we ha’ena the rckonin’ fee.
‘Tis only anither figure tae add,
   An’ there’s nae frien’ like the bawbee.

   Edmonton, Dec. 20th, 1908.

 THE LAND O’ THE HEATHER

Is there wonder that a little band o Scotsmen should be met,
   Tae crack aboot a little land across the leagues o’ faem?
Is there wonder that in this fair land we should foregather yet,
   Tae dae honor tae the auld land thet wes oor faither’s hame?
      Then wonder gif ye will,
      Here’s the auld land still—
   The land o’ the heather, an’ the land o’ the hill;
      The land o’ flyin’ cloud,
      Whaur the whaup is callin’ loud
   On the bleak an’ misty muirland, whaur a’ things else are still. [page 85]

We hae got a tender feelin’ for the bonnie banks an’ braes,
   Whaur the auld folk, thet were dear tae us, had met in days agone—
The dear auld folk sae hamely-like, wi’ queer auld-farrant ways.
   Are we better, are we wiser as the years are creepin’ on?
      But time an’ time again
      We stand, as Scottish men,
   Tae gie the toast tae Scotland, the land o’ hill an’ glen,
      An’ as lang as life remains,
      An’ the red bluid’s in oor veins,
   Ye can count on us for Scotland, wi’ heart, an’ hand, an’ pen.

They say thet Scots are canny-like, an’ hae the grip tae haud
   An’ hain the bawbee an’ the groat untl they mak’ the pund.
Aweel, it canna be gainsaid we hae the knack tae plod—
   But we arena a’ Carnegies yet’ wi’ millions in the fund.
      Hooever thet may be
      We’ll wark, an’ we’ll see.
   Canada is big eneuch, an’ Canada is free;
      An’ the lads thet got the pence
      Thro’ their common pith o’ sense,
   Are the lads tae get the dollars in this land oot owre the sea.

They say thet Scots are clannish folk an’ cling thegither weel,
   An’ a Scotsman canna see a Scot in want an’ in neglect.
Aweel, there’s this aboot it tae, as ilka ane can feel:
   A Scot has got tae be a MAN tae win a Soct’s respect;
      Tae face the warld alane,
      Wi’ its poortith an’ its pain,
   Tae grit his teeth, an’ leuk at it wi’ mickle prood disdain,
      An’ tae say, “I ne’er descend
      Tae a mean or selfish end.
   But a Scot wi’ pride in Honor will stand aside for nane.

In the little lanely shieling by the mountain an’ the flood—
   ‘Twas there thet men were taught in the brave auld days o’ yore,
Tae haud sae fast tae Honor, as tae lose it wi’ their bluid,
   Whan stroke tae stroke they answered wi’ the auld-time claidheamh mor;”
      An fierce the foemen focht,
      Whan they met as Scot tae Scot,
   An’ the reid stream fast was flowin’, whan Celtic bluid wes hot,
      An’ time an’ time again,
      Rose the best o’ Scottish men,
   For what they thocht wes Honor, an’ died for what they thocht.

An’ thet wes how, whan Chairlie cam’ back tae claim his ain,
   In little lanely clachans, the loyal clansmen rose,
Tae draw the braid-sword ance again wi’ a’ their micht an’ main,
   Thet a prince o’ Scotland’s ancient hoose micht triumph owre his foes,
      An’ what altho’ they died,
      Thro’ the auld Hieland pride,
   Fallin’ by their chieftains ever side by side,
      An’ what altho’ they lost,
      Tho’ Scottish bluid it cost—
   Their deeds will stand a monument, thet aye wi’ us will bide.

Yet were their hearts as loyal, an’ were their swords as true,
   Wha’s faithers having suffered for richt tae worship God,
Stood oot against the auld kings, an’ welcomed in the new,
   Thet the freedom o’ the Gospel micht be scattered far abroad.
      For bones are bleached an’ dry,
      Whaur ither heroes—
   Bones in desert places beneath a clouded sky,
      By Airsmoss an’ Drumclog,
      By many a cleugh an’ bog,
   Whaur men thet lived for conscience sake had come at last tae die.

The years ha’e gane behind us, an’ cooled the heated feud,
   Ha’e left us free o’ judgment on actions o’ oor sires.
We canna fall tae censure their awful deeds o’ bluid,
   But baith sides gave tae Scotland their strongest best desires.
      Baith focht for Scotland’s weal,
      Whan they drew the vengefu’ steel,
   Altho’ their thochts were diverse, their love o’ land was real.
      An’ sword tae sword opposed
      Whan surging foemen closed,
   For the hame-land o’ the heather, each had patriotic zeal. [page 86]

But best we lo’e in Hist’ry whaur auld traditions tell
   O’ how oor fechtin’ faithers gaed forth wi’ steel in hand—
Whaur ‘twas against an alien foe thet Scottish fechters fell,
   An’ a’ their valor centred on defendin’ o’ their land.
      Whan proudly floated forth,
      The Lion o’ the North—
   The brave auld Scottish Lion upon its field o’ gold,
      An’ the nobles ‘round the king,
   Formed a brave an’ gallant ring,
   An’ against the prood invader, the Scottish vanguard rolled.

Years an’ years o’ liberty, an’ years an’ years o’ peace,
   Ha’e come between the auld days whan we were on defence.
The Union brocht us safely, an’ gart oor trade increase,
   An’ noo instead o’ fechtin’, we use oor common sense.
      We dinna mak’ a fash,
      An’ gar the braid-swords clash,
   In endeavor tae exterminate a faction or a clan,
      But we calmly sit us doon—
      Tak’ a dram, an’ pass it roun’
   An’ we argue, an’ we argue sic as nane but Scotsmen can.

There’s a freedom tae oor conscience, an’ there’s muckle peace o’ mind,
   An’ we gang aboot oor business in a maist methodic way.
But the young an’ fashous spirits, thet arena’ hard tae find,
   We send tae foreign service, whaur Scotsmen fecht to-day.
      The Empire has tae spread;
      Sae we send the lads ahead—
   English, Scots an’ Irish, tae paint the countries red,
      An’ whaurever they may hang
      It will no be verra lang,
   ‘Till the level-headed Scotties will be comin’ oot ahead.

An’ thet is why a little band o’ Scotsmen here are met,
   Tae crack aboot a little land across the leagues o’ faem;
Why even noo, in this fair land we should forgather yet,
   Tae dae honor tae the auld land thet wes oor faithers’ hame.
      Sae wonder gif ye will,
      Here’s the auld land still—
   The land o’ the heather an’ the land o’ the hill;
      An’ time an’ time again,
   We’ll be met as Scottish men,
   In the little sphere of influence thet we were born tae fill.

   Sept. 15th, 1908.

 THE LASSES O’ AULD SCOTLAND

A deal has been sung
   An’ a hantle mair been tauld
O’ the bonnie lads o’ Scotlan’,
   Thet were aye sae brave an’ bauld
An’ here’s a sang again—
Not o’ the Scottish men,
   Bit o’ the mithers, sisters,
      The sweethearts, an’ the wives
   The women of auld Scotlan’
      Thet cheered the Scotmen’s lives.

The herts thet are brave
   Are not a’ways they thet beat
In the tumult o’ the battle
   Whan the strife is at its heat,
Bit there’s mony herts thet break
For hame and kintra’s sake.
   Amang the dames an’ lasses
      Thet bide at hame secure,
   Whan the gallant lads are fallin’
      On the mosses an’ the muir.

Brave days o’ Scotlan’
   Whan History wes made,
Wi’ clashin’ o’ the battle axe
   An’ clangin’ o’ the blade.
Adown the tide of years,
Rolled a flood of woman’s tears,
   Amid the lust o’ conquest,
      Whan men for bluid were hot;
   Then women prayed for Scotlan’
      Whan Scottish heroes fought.

Yet herts, tho’ they quailed
   Tae the motherland beat leal,
For hame an’ for kintra
   ‘Tis women best can feel.
An’ not for self they feared
Whan the banners brave were reared,
   Not for that a weight o’ misery,
      The gentle hert oppressed,
   Bit for the prattlin’ bairnies
      An’ the sweet babe at the breast.

Whan troopers rade oot
   Frae border tower an’ keep
An’ far besooth the Cheviots
   The kintra-side did sweep, [page 87]
‘Twas a wife (the thocht was hers)
Brocht her lord the rustled spurs,
   Had bidden him be up
      Wi’ his men-at-arms tae ride
   A-pillaging, a-foraging,
      Upon the English side.

Whan troopers rade in,
   Frae far besooth the Tweed
An’ chargers there were riderless
   For there were comrades deid,
The women made the moan
For the brave lads thet were gone,
   The sound o’ dolefu’ wailin’
      Rose bitter on the blast,
   An’ loving ones lamented
      For the spirits thet had passed.

Whan gallant chiefs had fallen
   For the land they lo’ed sae weel,
‘Twas the mithers taught the bairnies
   Their faithers’ deith tae feel,
An’ raise wi’ tiny hand,
Their deid sire’s weighty brand,
   An’ lisp his honored name,
      An’ his name wha laid him low,
   An’ swear whan they were big eneuch
      Tae yet return the blow.

Brave days o’ Scotlan’,
   Whan lasses lo’ed their men,
An’ prayed them forth tae battle
   An’ prayed them back again,
An’ a lad went forth an’ knew
Thet his lass behind wes true,
   An’ he wore the token proudly
      She had urged him for tae take,
   An’ for her, he struck the stronger
      Whan he struck for Scotlan’s sake.

Yet Scotsmen still there are
   Wha’s spirits are not tame,
An’ there are Scottish lasses yet
   Can lo’e their lads the same.
At hame an’ far abroad,
Whaur canny Scotsmen plod
   In commenerce an’ in business,
      Whaurever they ha’e gone,
   An’ Scotsmen toil the better
      For the hopes thet urge them on.

   October 6th, ‘07.

 OOR NICHT AT HAME

We’re juist auld-farrant Scottish fowk,
   An’ no sae prood ava,
An’ whiles we’ve seen the time oor backs
   Hae ribbed agen the wa’;
An’ weel we ken the heathered hills,
   An’ dearly lo’e the same,
An’ blythe are we amang oorsels
   Tae spen’ a nicht at hame, 
                              Ou, ay,
   Tae spen’ a nicht at hame.

Stout lads there are o’ Scottish bluid
   An’ lassies sweet as fair,
For them auld Scotlan’ winna tak’
   A back seat onywhere.
Blythe an’ cantie wull we be,
   An’ crack o’ Scotland’s fame.
For this is oor nicht oot, ye ken
   Tae mak’ oorsels at hame.
                              Juist that,
   Tae mak’ oorsels at hame.

Wi’ the warl’ we may be cauld
   An’ dootless, deemed severe,
Bit lat cuist the cloak awa
   When ‘mang oor ain fowk here,
Lat the kindly mither-tongue
   Warm a’ oor hearts tae flame,
An’ what wi’ daffin’ an’ wi’ glee
   We’ll mak’ a nicht at hame,
                              Ye ken
   We’ll mak’ a nicht at hame.

Lat the pipes be skirlin’ loud,
   For weel we lo’e tae list,
The pibrochs o’ the Hieland clans
   Oor hearts can ne’er resist.
We’ll see the little hamely shiels
   Frae whence oor faithers came,
An’ oor hearts wull beat for Scotland yet
   On this, oor nicht at hame,
                              I wot,
   On this, oor nicht at hame,

We’ll hear the sangs oor mithers sung
   Whan croonin’ us tae sleep,
An’ aye a place wi’in oor hearts
   For them sall Memory keep,
An’ the tear that glistens in oor een,
   It doesna’ rise for shame,
Whan we hear the sangs o’ ither days
   That tak’ us back tae hame
                              again,
   That tak’ us back tae hame.

We’ll taste the guid auld farls an’ scones,
   An’ aiblins sowens tae,
An’ juist ae glass o’ barley bree,
   Wad wash them doon the way.
An’ gin we’re prood o’ auld Scotland
   Whaur is the yin can blame,
Whan we’re met as brither Scots tae spen’
   An hour or twa at hame
                              the noo,
   An hour or twa at hame. [page 88] 

We’ve wandered ‘cross a continent,
   We’ve sought a hame afar,
Frae Scotland’s hills and Scotland’s vales,
   Whaur Scotland’s treasures are;
An’ in this Western Canada,
   Tae whilk we’ve laid some claim
We’ll no forget the ancient land,
   That wes oor faither’s hame
                              sae lang,
   That wes oor faithers’ hame.

We’re just auld-farrant Scottish folk
   An’ unco plain ye ken;
We’re blunt eneuch at speakin’ oot,
   Like douce an’ honest men,
An’ sterling worth an’ honesty
   Did win oor sires a name,
Sae we sall keep oor record clean
   In oor adopted hame
                              for aye,
   In oor adopted hame.

It’s oor nicht oot an’ weel I wot,
   Afore the day may daw,
We’ll ane an’ a’ be unco sweer
   Tae tear oorsel’s awa’,
An’ whan we join wi’ “Auld Lang Syne,”
   We’ll voice wi’ loud acclaim,
That this has been the bonniest nicht
   O’ a’ oor nichts at hame.
                              Nae doot.
   O’ a’ oor nichts at hame.

 TO WINNIPEG SCOTS

Here’s tae ye brithers wi’ mickle o’ cheer,
May ye pree sic haggis as what we hae here;
May yer herts aye be blythe an’ content wi’ yer lots,
That’s what Edmonton wishes the Red River Scots.

   January 23rd, 1909.

 THE EDITOR’S HAPPY THOCHT

Ninty degrees an’ guid in the shade
   An’ a hunder an’ twal in the sun,
An’ the Editor scribbles awa’ at his desk,
   For his wark is never done.
The swat trickles aff frae the en’ o’ his nose,
   Wi’ the ink tae the en’ o’ his pen,
Bit he never lats up wi’ his furious gait
   Whan his “devil” comes sneakin’ ben.

“There’s a hantle o’ litter in under ma chair,
   An’ the basket has mair than ‘twill hauld;
Ye can tak’ it an’ store it awa’ in the shed
   Till the weather’s a wee bit cauld.
Guid sakes! I hae mair than ma space can permit
   For tae cram it a’ in wi’oot stint;
Its awfu’ the things thet some people will write
   An’ expect for tae see them in print.

Gin half o’ the writin’ thet people ha’e writ
   We’re ‘boil’d doon tae the journalist’s taste,
A guid deal o’ writin’ micht gae intae books
   Thet gangs intae the Editor’s waste.
Bit noo”—an’ the Editor leapt frae his seat,
   An’ a smile took the place o’ a froon—
“Ye can set a’ thet manuscript oot by the door
   Sae the sun may at length boil it doon.”

 THE LAND OOR FAITHERS LO’ED

Auld Scotland, land oor faithers lo’ed,
   Whan far ayont the sea,
Wi’ in the backwoods o’ the West
   Their herts went back tae thee,
As aft the longing cam’ for hame
   An’ gart their herts repine,
I hail thee, land oor faithers lo’ed—
   My faither’s land an’ mine.

Tho’ I ha’e never trod the land
   O’ bracken and o’ broom,
For luve o’ thee auld Scotlan’ yet
   My hert has ever room,
An’ scenes my faithers lo’ed fu’ weel
   My mind can picture fine
Till auld familiar dreams o’ theirs
   Are also dreams o’ mine.

The heather on the Hieland hills
   Is dear tae hamely herts
Bit dearer still tae Scottish lads
   Thet are in distant parts,
An’ dearer yet the thochts o’ hame
   Tae sons across the brine,
Wha lo’e thee as their faithers lo’ed
   Auld mitherland o’ mine. [page 89]

An’ no the wide Australian runs
   Nor sweeps o’ Western plain,
Thet in Canadian sunshine leuchs
   An’ nods wi’ gowden grain,
Nor sunny valleys o’ the Sooth
   The hame o’ fleur an’ vine,
Can tak’ the place o’ thee, fair land,
   My faither’s land an’ mine.

Bit far awa’ fare hame an’ frien’s
   An’ venture whaur they will,
The luve o’ kintra an’ o’ God
   Will aye be wi’ them still,
An’ seldom will thy sons disgrace
   The raucle hand o’ thine,
Thet reared them up in truth an’ richt
   Auld motherland o’ mine.

Afar ayont the heavin’ main
   On mony a distant shore,
Press whaursoe’er the white man may
   Auld Scotlan’s tae the fore.
An’ frae the pioneers o’ peace,
   Or far stretched battle line,
Comes back the cry frae Scottish herts
   Auld Scotland, land o’ mine.

An’ whan a twa-three Scots are met
   Tae snatch a cantie hour,
They lo’e tae crack o’ Scotland yet,
   An’ a’ her ancient power.
An’ a’ the brilliant lichts o’ years
   Thet in thy his’try shine,
The men wha made thee what thou art
   Dear land, I claim as mine.

Then Scotsmen tae the motherland
   Clink glesses rim tae rim,
An’ he wha winna drink her health
   Be nae success tae him;
An’ on this blythe St. Andra’s nicht,
   Lat ilka hert combine*
Tae say, ‘God bless the land we lo’e
   Your land, dear frien’s, an’ mine.’

We’re a’ weel met, an’ cantily set
An’ the haggis afore us is smokin’ het,
An’ we’ll think o’ ye doon
In yer wee bit toon,
An’ we’re wae thet ye canna be wi’ us yet.

NAINSEL ON BURNS

Hoot mon! Ye’ll aiblins think she’s fou’;
   She’s no tat fou’ ava, mon.
She’s chust peen ha’e a wee pit trap
   Tae gar her feel sae praw, mon.
Her nainsel nefer saw pefore
   Ass fat she saw ta nicht, mon,
An’ couldn’t tell mhor truer tale,
   If she had second sicht, mon.

For she hass peen in Edmonton
   An’ no sae lang a time, mon,
An’ a’ tae ponnie Scottish lads
   Wass tearly love ta rhyme, mon,
An’ sae tey ask her nainsel come,
   An’ birl her last bawbee, mon,
Tae spoke ta spoke on Robbie Burns,
   An’ taste ta parley pree, mon.

Nainsel pe frae ta Hielan’ hills,
   An’ since she’s leavin’ tat, mon,
She’s ne’er seen country six ass tiss
   For stretchin’ oot sae flat, mon.
But a’ ta Scots tat she’s peen met
   Wass like she’s met pefore, mon,
An’ some ta chiels frae Canada,
   Can spoke ta Gaelic mhor, mon.

She wadna think for comin’ here,
   Tae fin’ sae mony freen’s, mon,
Tae crack wi’ sic a kindly tongue,
   O’ hamely Scottish scenes, mon;
She wadna thocht there wad peen lads
   Ne’er saw ta heather braes, mon,
Wad poast aboot their Keltic plood,
   An’ speak in Scotland’s praise, mon.

But fat she hadna’ kent pefore,
   She’s findin’ oot fu’ praw, mon,
Ye’ll lo’e ta auld land twice ass mhor,
   Whan ye’re peen far awa’, mon;
An’ daunder East, or daunder West,
   Or daunder whaur ye will, mon,
Ye aye will find the Scottish heart
   Remainin’ Scottish still, mon.

An’ a’ tat her nainsel can dae
   An’ a’ tat she can think, mon,
Is for tae raise ta barley pree,
   An’ wush ye weel, an’ trink, mon,
Tae ye may Burns’ nicht come roun’
   Wi’ mony safe returns, mon,
An’ here’s tae a’ guid Scots wha keep
   Ta memory o’ Burns, mon. [page 90] 

Hoot, mon! Ye’ll aiblins think she’s fou’;
   She’s no tat fou ava, mon,
She’s chust peen ha’e a wee pit trap,
   Tae gar her feel sae praw, mon,
Her nainsel ne’er had sic a time,
   Ass fat she had the noo, mon,
An’ syne she’ll toddle hame again,
   Afore tey say she’s fou, mon.

   Jan. 24th, 1908.

 WE’RE BLYTHE TAE BE BRITONS FOR A’ THAT

There’s a wheen folk to-day that are aye findin’ faut
Wi’ the way things are rin an’ the way they are not;
Wha claim that the government’s a’ gaed tae rot:
   Bit we’re blithe tae be Britons for a’ that.

They’re a doure set o’ folk wi’ cantankerous airs,
That are aye keekin’ intae a’ people’s affairs,
An’ mistrustin’ that a folk are mindfu’ o’ their’s;
   They’re a gey lot o’ Britons an’ a’ that.

They’ve a hantle o’ strange socialistic views,
An’ they gie them an airin’ whenever they choose,
Tae the manifest int’rest o’ honest True Blues;
   Bit we’re blythe tae be Britons for a’ that.

An’ noo they are waer than ever afore,
An’ their herts sair depressed wi’ this bluid-thirsty war
Wi’ the puir, simple, innocent, pastoral Boer;
   Bit we’re blythe tae be Britons for a’ that.

They gae roun’ wi’ their faces like straughtin’ boards a’,
An’ expressions as blank as a hole in a wa’,
An’ leuk for a day whan the Empire wull fa’;
   Strange, thet we suld be Britons for a’ that.

An’ puir Joey Chamberlain suffers the maist,
For he brocht it a’ on that the Empire’s disgraced.
Puir mon! It’s a wunner, sae muckle he’s faced
   An’ remained a true Briton for a’ that!

Bit a’ folk an’ a’ things come in for a share
O’ the blame for this scandalous awfu’ affair.
Yet for a’ that we wave the auld flag in the air.
   For we’re blythe tae be Britons for a’ that.

We hae lads at the front for tae dare an’ tae do,
An’ they gaed there on purpose tae see the thing thro;
An’ they’re fechtin’, they ken, for a cause that is true,
   An’ they mean tae be Britons an’ a’ that.

Lat men think as traitors an’ talk what they please
Till their herts wither up wi’ that blackest disease;
Bit proudly we’ll fling oor auld flag tae the breeze,
   For we’re blythe tae be Britons an’ a’ that.

   April 8th, 1900.

 THE CALEDONIAN’S PLEDGE

Scotsmen an’ Brithers forgathered thegither,
   We raise ye oor glass an’ we rax ye oor hand,
An’ proudly we stand a’ sae firmly united,
   An’ prood o’ the fame o’ the auld motherland.
An’ while we are leal tae the Scottish tradition,
   An’ true tae the hills o’ the heather sae broon,
We raise ye oor glass an’ we pledge ye, my brithers
   Here’s tae the lads thet wull never back doon. [page 91] 

Oot on the muirland the whaups wull be callin’
   An’ the heathcock be drummin’ it’s lane on the hill,
Bit never again may we roam on the heather,
   An’ never mair list tae the soun’ o’ them still.
For far frae auld Scotland oor lives wull be passin’,
   Awa’ aff in Edmonton’s brisk, busy toon,
Yet here’s tae the scenes thet oor herts can remember,
   An’ here’s tae the lads thet wull never back doon.

St. Andra’s Society members are wi’ us
   An’ we, Caledonians, lag not behind
Whan Scotsmen wad fill up the cogie tae Scotland,
   An’ speak o’ the land thet is first tae oor mind.
Here’s tae St. Andra’s Society ever,
   An’ whilst ye’re haudin’ yer glasses aboon,
Lang may guid fellowship hand us thegither,
   An’ then we’re the lads thet wull never back doon.

Mind ye no lads o’ the days whan oor faithers
   Focht ‘gainst the faes thet wad Scotland invade,
An’ aft the blue bonnets gaed over the border
   For war wes the Hielandman’s glory an’ trade?
Ay, an’ whan clansmen tae exile were driven
   An’ fain wad Culloden’s dark memories droon,
Far frae the bens an’ the glens o’ their childhood,
   They still were the lads thet wad never back doon.

Tune up the pipes for anither loud pibroch,
   Lat it reecho the glories of yore
Telling o’ Scotsmen, in peace sae progressive,
   An’ telling o’ Scotsmen sae dauntless in war.
There are auld graybeard carles that wull think o’ the hameland,
   Wi’ tears in the een thet are no bedimmed soon,
An’ they’ll no be ashamed o’ this show of emotion,
   Tho’ rugged auld carles thet wull never back doon.

Sae lat us be in oor purpose united
   For it is thus thet a’ Scotsmen auld stand
Prood o’ this pairt o’ oor glorious Empire,
   An’ prood o’ the fame o’ the auld motherland.
An’ as we’ve cherished oor ancient traditions
   May oor son’s sons whan their cogies gae roun’
Gie the pledge tae the land thet wes dear tae their faithers
   An’ drink tae the lads thet wad never back doon.

 CANADIAN SCOTS

We hae’na forgotten the auld land,
   Altho’ we were bred tae the new,
We are leal tae the land o’ the maple leaf,
   Bit the heather claims us too.
We mayna’ speak juist as oor faithers spak’,
   Bit we haud tae oor faithers thochts,
An’ we haud it a pride thet nane sude deride
   Tae be ca’d Canadian Scots.

It’s no bit we lo’e the new land,
   It’s no bit we tak’ a pride
In the braid Dominion thet stretches
   A half a continent wide,
Bit in lakes an’ in hills an’ valleys,
   We are minded o’ hamely spots,
An’ oor herts find a hame in the land owre the faem
   Thet it dear tae Canadian Scots.

There are lads ne’er were born tae the bracken,
   Wha ne’er the Hielan’ garb wore,
Wha can thrill at the saul-stirrin’ pibroch,
   An’ weep at “Lochaber No More,”
For sic is the power o’ tradition
   Thet e’en in the humblest o’ cots
There are herts thet cling fast tae the fame o’ the past
   Thet has made them Canadian Scots [page 92]

Gi’e us the lilts o’ the lawlands,
   O’ luve an’ o’ tender themes,
An’ see hoo the hert wull saften
   Whan the mind gaes backward in dreams,
Or gi’e us the martial music
   Thet thrills ‘mid the battle shots,
An’ the lads tae gae back frae the foemen’s attack.
   Wull no be Canadian Scots.

There’s Scots bluid mixed wi’ Indian,
   There’s Scots bluid mixed wi’ Swede
There’s Scots bluid spread owre a’ the earth,
   Whaurever nations lead.
An’ whan they ha’e gotten the North Pole,
   An’ dividit it aff in lots,
There isna’ a doot bit they’ll portion it oot
   Tae a when Canadian Scots.

As spreads the down o’ the thistle,
   Wi’ ilka win’ thet blaws,
Sae Scotland has sent her progeny
   An’ they bide whaure’er they pause;
An’ the sons o’ the sons o’ Scotland
   In spite o’ auld Scotia’s fau’ts,
Wull be prood tae stand by the auld mitherland,
   An’ be termed Canadian Scots.

An’ thet’s why the Scots o’ Edmonton
   This nicht are met sae leal,
An’ thet’s why oor worthy President 
   Is fillin’ oor chair sae weel,
An’ thet’s why the lads frae the heather’d hills,
   Maun strive tae collect their thochts
Tae keep abreast o’ the lads o’ the West,
   Thet were born Canadian Scots.

 THE FLAG OF OUR FATHERS

“What is the flag of England? Winds of the world declare?” —Kipling.

Flag of the English, is it? Ay, it is yours to say,
Your fathers went to the conquest and your fathers died in the fray.
But we—we are also British, and our fathers also bled,
And we ask you to look at the three-cross flag that floateth above your head.

You have given your boast to the world-winds, and the winds have sent it back;
“We have followed the flag of Empire far on the great ship’s track.
O’er the barren grounds of the Northland full many a league we’ve blown.
But never the flag of the English have we noticed flying alone.”

“We have followed the trail of Mackenzie to the slopes of the northern sea;
We have been on the paths of Fraser, and we know what paths they be,
We have been thro’ the Western passes and over the mountain flood,
And we know that these men were British—but not of the “English” blood.

Where the mighty ice-pack closes o’er the seas where the Ross’es sailed.
Our breath hath spoke of the Northland, till the boldest mariner quailed.
We have rattled their ice-sheathed canvas, and drooped the flag to the mast,
But never we noticed that “English” ships were the only ships that passed.”

The keels of Maclure and McClintoch broke into the frozen West.
The “great lean bear” hath seen them, but the musk-ox knew them best.
But in the dusk of the long night, as they saw it time and again,
They never knew that the flag belonged to, exclusively, Englishmen.

Never was land so mighty, and never was sea so broad,
But on reeling deck or sandy shore a British foot hath trod.
Ask of the winds of Africa that blow where the sands are spread,
If they ever heard of a Mungo Park with an English tongue in his head.

Ask ye also the hot winds by Tanganyika’s shore
If Livingstone, Moffat, or Anderson, were names that the English bore. [page 93]
We will give to the English gladly what justice itself decrees,
But never we give to the Southrons proud such Northern names as these.

Winds of the world make answer; Ye are blustering to and fro;
What should they know about Cochrane who only the English know?
What must the title of “English” hold?  Where endeth the boast and brag?
And what do they know of a British fleet who cant of an English flag?

Flag of the English, is it?—Nay, for the years have shown
That more than the English have fought for the flag that more than the English own,
Fling out its folds to the breezes, and grant it the highest place,
But never more vaunt than the English flag is the flag of the British race.

 THE BANQUET O’ ST. ANDRA

I’ve tasted o’ the Bubblie Jock
   An’ preed the haggis fine,
An’ wat ma craigie wi’ a dram
   In memory o’ lang syne;
An’ Sandy mon, ye missed it sair
   For, losh preserve us a’!
I’m comin’ frae the banquet
   In the auld Mechanics’ ha’.

An’ Hip Hurrah! for Scotlan’,
   The lan’ we lo’e the best;
An’ Hip Hurrah! for onywhere
   Thet’s in oor glorious West;
An’ Hip Hoorah! for Edmonton,
   Oor ain bonnie toon;
An’ we’ll a’ haud thegither,
   An’
      We’ll no
         Gang doon.

Ye suld hae seen the tables lad,
   Wi’ a’ the goodies spread,
“Auld Scotlan’ wants nae skinkin’ ware”
   Ye ken oor Robbie said,
An’ there wes rowth o’ a’ guid things
   Thet ever Scotlan’ saw
At oor grit St. Andra’s banquet
   In the auld Mechanics ha’.

Sae Hip Hurrah! for Scotlan’,
   The land o’ heather’d hills,
The kintra o’ the haggis,
   Thet strengthens as it fills;
An’ this ae nicht o’ a’ nichts,
   We’ll no forget it soon,
An’ we’ll a’ haud thegither,
   An’
      We’ll no
         Gang down.

The Scots are bonnie trenchermen,
   An’ whan auld Jock Kinnaird
Addressed the haggic reekin’ rich,
   I wot it wesna’ spared,
Wi’ gullies an’ wi’ skene-dhus
   Oor brave lads we’na’ slaw,
An’ they hacked the steamin’ haggis
   An’ shared it roun’ the ha’.

Sae Hip Hurrah! for Scotian,
   An’ dinna be sae blate,
A rousin’, roarin’ tiger
   For Scotlan’ ony rate.
We’ll a’ be blythe an’ cantie
   An’ wha the dell wad froon
Whan we a’ haud thegither
   An’
      We’ll no
         Gang doon.

Ye suld hae heard the speeches, lad
   Ye wad been vauntie then,
Tae hear aboot the gritness
   O’ a’ the Scottish men.
An’ mang the lave wes Rutherford,
   The premier o’ us a’,
At the banquet o’ St. Andra
   In the auld Mechanics’ ha’.

Sae hip hurrah for Rutherford,
   An’ lift yer glasses hie,
There’s yet a drappie in yer glass
   An’ ye maun drain it dreigh:
We’ve talked o’ Scots frae auld Jno. A.
   Way back tae Geordie Broon,
An’ we’ll tak’ oor drap tae Rutherford
   An’
      He’ll no
         Gang doon.

It wad hae dune ye guid, lad,
   Had ye been only there,
When Monsieur Wilfrid Garlepy
   Got up upon the flair,
An’ tauld hoo bonnie Scottish lads
   Had won their lasses braw
Amang “de French-Canadien,
   ‘Way down on Canadaw.” [page 94]

Sae hip hurrah! for Gariepy,
   A Frenchman debonair,
As leal an’ loyal gentleman,
   As there is onywhere.
Here’s tae his ain “Societie,”
   Sae loyal tae the croon,
An’ we’ll a’ haud thegither,
   An’
      We’ll no
         Gang doon.

The sons o’ merrie England, lad,
   They hadna’ been forgot,
They teuk richt tae the haggis
   Like a kindly brither Scot.
An’ the best o’ Hieland uskabaugh,
   They didna’ scorn ava’,
At the banquet o’ the Scotties,
   In the auld Mechanics’ ha’.

Sae hip, hurrah! for England,
   For tho’ we’re Scottish born,
We canna’ wush the Englishers,
   A bit o’ skaith or scorn,
An’ the braid cross o’ St. George, lad,
   It winna touch the groun’
Whan it’s blent wi’ oor St. Andra’s cross,
   It
      Winna
         Gang doon.

The pipers they were playin’, lad,
   Fu’ mony a bonnie spring;
It gart the clansmen fidge fu’ fain
   Tae dance the Hielan’ Fling;
An’ oor pipe-major, Tammas Craig,
   O, wha like him can blaw;
At the gatherin’ o’ the Scotsmen,
   In the auld Mechanics’ ha’.

Sae here’s tae ye, True Tammas,
   Thet blaws yer chanter weel,
May ye be spared fu’ mony a year
   Tae play fu’ mony a reel,
An’ may ye ne’er gie place for wind
   Tae ony piper loon,
An’ whan Glenlivet’s near ye, lad,
   It’ll
      Aye
         Gang doon.

An’ oor grit William Wallace Howe,
   He gi’ed an unco roar,
An’ bellered Tam o’ Shanter,
   While they steekit fast the door;
He telt us o’ the cutty sarks
   Until we thrill’d wi’ awe,
At oor memorable banquet
   In the auld Mechanics’ ha’.

Sae hip hurrah! for Willie,
   May his shadow ne’er be less,
He has sic a gran’ expression,
   When he was his views express;
He has banged the constitution,
   An’ has done it up sae broon,
For there’s lots o’ things tae Wullie’s mind
   Thet’ll
      No
         Gang doon.

O’, mony were the speeches there,
   Sae witty an’ sae lang,
An’ bonnily oor ain Macleod,
   Has waled his store o’ sang;
Tam Irving wi’ his orchestra,
   Has pruved a guidly draw.
Tae oor grit St. Andra’s banquet,
   In the auld Mechanics’ ha’.

I’ve tasted o’ the Bubbie Jock,
   An’ I’m wi’ haggis fou’;
I’ve toom’d a twa-three bottles,
   An’ I’m gaun hame the noo.
I see twa moons intae the lift,
   Whatsh mattersh wis the moon?
We’ll a’ haud thegither
   An’
      We’ll no
         Gang doon.

   Dec. 6th, ’07.

 THE AULD ROMANCE O’ THE BORDER

The bugles ca’ frae boder keeps
   The warders pace their roun’,
The echoes frae the rocky steeps
   Again return the sound,
An’ stark moss-troopin’ border Scots
   Come ridin’ knee tae knee,
For the auld romance o’ chivalry
   It isna’ deid tae me.

Its mount an’ ride, mount an’ ride,
   Mount an’ ride in order,
Mount an’ ride for the English side,
   An’ over the English border.

There’s jingling o’ the birdie chains
   An’ clinking o’ the spurs,
An’ mony a bandied taunt an’ jest
   Amang the Scotts an’ Kers,
There’s tightening o’ the saddle girths
   Amang dismounted men,
For the spell o’ border chivalry
   Is on me once again. [page 95]

There’s mony a rusted corslet laced
   Owre mony a noble breast;
There’s mony a dinted helm, I wot
   An’ mony a ragged crest,
Bit there isna’ rust on the bricht blue blades,
   Thet flash in the sun sae free,
An’ the auld romance o’ the borderland
   Has cuisten its spell owre me.

There’s mony a Jedburgh battle-axe
   Thet’s slung at the saddle bow,
An’ English yeomen weel can tell
   How Jedburgh strikes the blow,
English archers can twang the string
   An’ English yeomen ride,
Bit the men thet are best wi’ the axe an’ spear
   They come frae the Scottish side.

There’s mony a pennon flutt’ring brave
   Whaur chieftains ride tae war,
Grim men kent in the border feuds
   Thet hae harried the borders o’er.
Troop by troop they are riding in
   Frae distant hill an’ glen
An’ the auld romance o’ the fechtin’ days
   Is over my hert again.

O black an’ burned is the borderland
   An’ Scotland’s wasted sair,
For whaurever the English sodgers mairch,
   They leave the kintra bare,
Bit there’s beeves tae drive in Northumerland,
   An’ there’s hames tae reek an’ lowe,
An’ the half o’ the thieves frae Annandale
   Are over the border now.

There’s mony a Graeme frae the Wast countrie,
   Comes pricking merrily in,
There’s mony a man o’ the Johnstone bluid,
   An’ men o’ the Douglas kin;
There’s mony a raiding, rieving Scott,
   Armstrongs an’ Elliots tae,
An’ Maxwells an’ Kers are no behind
   In joinin’ the border fray.

The mornin’ sun comes risin’ up
   In the lift sae bricht an’ clear,
An’ he’s glintin’ doon owre the castle wa’s
   On the glitt’rin blades o’ weir.
Bit lang or he gangs sklentin’ doon 
   Anither sicht he’ll see.
Braw, brave corses upon the knows
   Whaur the gleds are feastin’ free.

Ou, Ay! I ken thae days are past.
   The border keeps are doon,
An’ noo nae mair the troopers ride,
   Across the bent sae broon,
Bit across the mirror o’ my mind
   These visions still I see,
For the ancient days o’ chivalry
   Are fresh an’ fair tae me.

O, then it west het men were men,
   Whan they kent little fear,
An’ English side or Scottish side
   Did lift their neighbors gear.
Whan a man lived only by his wits
   Or by his sword sae keen,
An’ he wha had neither wit nor sword
   In Scotland ne’er wes seen.

Not a’ fame had the fechtin’ days
   Bit mickle o’ dool an’ wae,
An’ mickle o’ bluid wes foully shed
   By nicht as weel as day.
Bit leukin’ back thro’ the mists o’ Time,
   I am fain in the past tae be,
An’ the troopers thet ride tae the English side,
   Are verra guid freen’s tae me.

An’ now tho’ English an’ Scotsmen dwell
   Like brithers side by side,
An’ there isna’ mair o’ border feud
   For the border is no sae wide,
Scotsmen still can mount an’ ride,
   An’ Scotsmen fecht the same,
An’ they’ll fecht on the tither side o’ the warl’,
   As weel as they focht at hame.

Sae mount an’ ride, mount an’ ride,
   Mount an’ ride in order;
An’ English an’ Scot, we’ll tak’ a pride,
   In the auld romance o’ the border.

   October 12th, ’07.

 THE SUNSHINE O’ LIFE

O, what altho’ the clouds be dark,
   An’ what tho’ days be drear!
We need the warsome days tae mark
   Oor blyther days o’ cheer.
An’ whan the sunshine thro’ the gloom
   Breaks bricht owre muir an’ lea,
Then brichter days than tae bricht days
   We canna houp tae see. [page 96]

An’ lives are unco like the lift
   Sae aften clouded o’er,
An’ cheerie words are sunshine strong
   The clouds maun melt before.
For aftenwhiles a cheerie word
   Can clear the hert thet’s wae,
An’ better words than kindly words
   We canna’ houp tae say.

An’ kindly deeds thet we hae done
   Are things we’ll no regret,
An’ life will aye be brichter still
   If it be blythely met.
An’ aften it is oors in life
   Tae help the sunshine thro’,
An’ better deeds than kindly deeds
   We canna’ houp tae do.

O, life tak’s on a brichter cast
   Whan Hope begins tae dawn,
Whan somethin’ mair than juist oorsel’s,
   It is thet leads us on.
Whan sprattlin’ owre Life’s rugged ways
   We pause an’ leuk behin’,
The deeds an’ words thet foremaist stand
   Are those thet aye were kin’.

Sae lat us strive, for strive we maun
   In words an’ acts tae cheer
Thet we may live in ithers herts
   Whan we go hence frae here.
An’ what altho’ the clouds be dark,
   An’ what tho’ days be drear,
If there be sunshine in oor herts
   Then we hae nocht tae fear.

 SCOTLAN’ DEAR—OOR MITHER

Scotlan’ dear—oor mither,
   An’ sall oor hearts forget
The misty lan’ by the northern sea
   Roun’, whilk the waters fret,
Whaur the storm-wrack sweeps by Stornoway
   Tae the misty isle o’ Skye,
Whaur the rocks are steep alang the coast,
   An’ the waves rin mountains high?

O, the rugged coasts o’ Scotlan’,
   Whaur the waves come surgin’ in,
O, the white-caps roun’ the islets
   Whaur the swirlin’ waters rin,
O, the bonnie burns o’ Scotland
   Thet gae wimplin’ tae the sea,
Bonnie Scotlan’, Mither Scotlan’,
   Here’s tae thee.

Scotlan’ dear, oor mither,
   We thet are sons o’ thine,
Ance mair we are met in Edmonton
   Tae crack o’ the auld lang syne.
An’ sangs an’ cracks sall aye revive,
   An’ keep the memories green
O’ hames frae gray auld Gallowa’
   Tae the sands by Aberdeen.

O, the health-clad hills o’ Scotlan’,
   In the Autumn time sae broon,
O, the snaw-peaks o’ the Hielands
   Whaur the clouds come circlin’ doon,
Whan the air is heather-scented,
   Then the Scottish heart beats free
Bonnie Scotlan’, Mither Scotlan’,
   Here’s tae thee.

Scotlan’ dear, oor mither
   Land thet oor faithers lo’ed,
Still we are Scots o’ the auld Scots’ names,
   An’ come o’ the auld Scots’ bluid,
The Scot can gang wi’ a hard-set face
   Tae the utmaist pairts o’ earth,
Bit he’ll ne’er forget, tho’ rugged an’ rough,
   The land thet gave him birth.

O, the men thet toiled for Scotlan’,
   O, the hearts thet lo’ed her weel,
O, the han’s thet wrought for Scotlan’,
   O, the han’s thet drew the steel,
Some misguidit, bit for Scotlan’,
   Fechtin’ thet she micht be free
Bonnie Soctlan’, brave auld Scotlan’
   Here’s tae thee.

Scotlan’ dear, oor mither,
   Here’s tae ye lippin’ fou,
An’ there’s na’ a lad thet hauds a gless
   Bit his heart is leal an’ true,
Tae the gray, auld land ayont the sea
   Thet has sent sae mony forth;
Here’s tae the common mither o’ us
   The auld dame up I’ the north.

O, the honor o’ the auld land
   Thet has brocht us mickle pride,
O, the glory o’ the auld land
   Whaur oor faithers strove an’ died.
We sall strive, as did oor faithers,
   Ne’er tae bring disgrace on thee.
Bonnie Scotlan’, Mither Scotlan’,
   Here’s tae thee.

   August 14th, 1907. [page 97] 

THE LAST YEARS O’ OOR TEENS

O Time, thou art an awfu’ thief
   Thou stealest on fu’ fast,
An’ leavest only wae an’ grief
   For pleasures o’ the past.
An’ thou hast staw my life awa’
   Sae far as thou had’st means,
An’ thou hast left me only juist
   The last year o’ my teens.

The years o’ childhood scarce are by,
   Thet Mem’ry hauds in sicht,
An’ while we for the losses sigh
   Thet youth can no requite
Than thou hast bid the youthfu’ min’
   Tae shift tae ither scenes,
An’ noo thou hast bit left me juist
   The last year o’ my teens.

Noo warldly cares an’ wardly pains
   Maun a’ oor herts engross
An’ a’ oor joys arise frae gains
   An’ a’ oor griefs frae loss
For aye the morrows men maun be
   Bit yestermorrow’s weans,
An’ sune the haun o’ pilferin’ Time
   Gangs slippin’ thro’ oor teens.

A few years syne oor childish herts
   Were no aboon their play,
Bit thinkin’, actin’ men o’ pairts
   Maun rule the warl’ to-day;
For on the minds o’ thinkin’ men,
   The hall warld’s future leans—
Men wha nae verra lang bit syne
   Were laddies in their teens.

Tho’ we, to-day hae youth an’ strength
   An’ glory in them baith,
Auld jinkin’ Age comes on at length,
   An’ does us mickle skaith.
Nae waith or state, hooever great
   His victim ever screens;
He grups them a’, an’ bears awa’,
   The last years o’ their teens.

The years are passin’ frae oor ken
   An’ nane may them reca’,
As thou hast a’ ways dealt wi’ men,
   Thou dealest, Time, wi’ a’.
We mark the changes in oorsel’s,
   We view them in oor freen’s—
They that hae stood aroun’ us sin’
   The last years o’ oor teens.

We’re sprattlin’ up the hill o’ Life,
   Bit whan we hirple doon,
The auld warl’s cares may weightier lie
   On mony a frosty croon. 
An’ auld folk thet are young folk noo,
   Whan earlier mem’ry keens
May aft leuk back wi’ pleasure on
   The last years o’ their teens.

   Writen when in my twentieth year.

 SONS O’ THE BUT AN’ BEN

Sons o’ the hamely But an’ Ben,
Wha ha’e wandered far frae yer native glen,
We’re a’ Jock Tamson’s bairns ye ken,
Sae here’s tae yer healths again an’ again.

For we ha’e come frae Hielan’ strath,
Whaur not a foeman could cross oor path;
An’ we ha’e come frae Lawland plains,
Whaur the luve o’ kintra yet remains.

An’ we are come tae the Western land,
Whaur mountains rise on ilka hand,
An’ we are come tae prairies wide
Whaur wheatfields stretch on ilka side.

For Canada’s yetts are open wide
Tae Europe’s poortith an’ Europe’s pride,
An’ Scotlan’s poortith is unco real,
An’ Scotlan’ has got the pride as weel.

Bit Scotlan’s poortith an’ Scotlan’s pride,
Wi’ Scotlan’s honor gae side by side,
An’ in lands whaur oor kintra is ne’er forgot
There honor clings tae the name o’ a Scot.

For Scotlan’ has pride in the days of Eld.
An’ Scotlan’ has pride in the faith she’s held.
An’ Scotlan’ has pride whaur the blue bluid runs,
Bit mair in the worth o’ her humbler sons.

For the men thet cam’ frae the buts an’ bens,
Are the men thet ha’e guidit Scotlan’s pens,
An’ the men thet hae wieldit Scotlan’s swords
Mair than the gentry an’ pedigreed lords. [page 98]

An’ the men thet hae wandered the warld so wide,
For Empire striven, for Empire died,
What are they if the warld bit kens,
Bit the lads thet cam’ frae the buts and bens?

Wha were the lads in the hodden gray
Thet Leslie led tae the border fray?
Wha were the lads in the bonnets blue
Thet aye tae their chiefs remained sae true?

What lads focht in Europe’s wars
For German guilders or Louis d’ors?
An’ whaur are the lads wad dae it again,
If no’ the lads frae the but an’ ben.

Wha are the lads thet thro’ hardship an’ toil
Hae striven far frae their native soil?
Wha are the lads thet wull ne’er forget,
Tae speak o’ the glories o’ Scotlan’ yet.

There wes Burns an’ Carlyle an’ a hantle mair,
They hadna’ muckle o’ this warld’s share,
An’ Livingstone, Moffat and Park God kens,
They cam’ frae the humblest o’ buts an’ bens.

There wes Colin Campbell on India’s shores,
An’ Chinese Gordon in Egypt’s wars,
An’ even the Yanks micht ha’e lost it all,
If it hadna’ been for auld John Paul.

Bit the pride thet cairries a puir man thro’,
Is no what he has, bit what he can do.
In the health an’ strength, the warl’ tae face,
An’ thet God gave tae the Scottish race.

Sae come what may or come what will
Muckle o’ guid or a deal o’ ill.
Here’s tae the lads thet can face the deil
The lads thet wee raised on the guid altmeal. 

And here’s tae the grand auld pairritch meal,
An’ here’s tae the lan’ we lo’e sae weel,
An’ here’s again tae a’ guid frien’s
‘Mang the fowk thet come frae the buts an’ bens.

   Oct. 29th, ’07.

 TO JOHN IMRIE, ESQ., TORONTO

God bless ye, Imrie, for yer bonnie rhymes,
Whilk tak’ the Scotsman’s hert tae ither times,
An’ fill his min’ wi’ patriotic thocht
An’ mak’ him glad tae think he is a Scot.

Yours is the mind, O Imrie, that can frame
Those odes tae whilk the Scottish hert lays claim;
Yours is the hand can point us tae oor God
An’ paint the feelin’s o’ ‘the Scot Abroad.’

Dear hamely joys the mem’ries o’ the past,
Forgotten lang before oor minds are cast,
An’ hearts return tae scenes that lang are by
An’ een are wet thet hae for years been dry.

The rugged Scot in distant lands apart
Leuks back tae Scotia’s shores wi’ achin’ heart
Yet in the kinship whilk yer verse inspires
He feels the echo o’ his heart’s desires.

Feels thet altho’ frae Scotia’s shores afar,
He’s no alane whaurever Scotsmen are,
Feels thet whae’er the weary warl’ neglect,
The plodding “Scotty” can command respect. [page 99] 

An’ we wha Canada as sons may claim
E’en yet we feel oor faithers land as hame.
Tho’ ne’er we’ve trod the bracken and the broom,
Oor hearts for Scotland yet hae ever room.

An’ while oor hearts gang forth across the main,
Toward the land oor faithers ca’d their aim,
We’ll bless ye, Imrie, for yer rhymes thet haud,
Oor herts tae kintra an’ oor sauls tae God.

   The above stanzas were sent to the late Mr. Imrie in May, 1899, and in answer I had a very appreciative letter from the poet dated June 17th, ’09.

 THE AULD TIME SCOT

Juist anither health tae Scotlan’
   Afore I lay me doon,
Far awa’ frae whin an’ bracken,
   On the bonnie hills sae broon,
Far awa’ frae hame an’ kindred
   Thet I kent in ither days,
Whan I wandered owre the muirland
   Whan I sprattled up the braes.

Juist ae toast, again, tae Scotlan’
   Thet I’ve lo’ed sae weel an’ lang.
See, my han’ grows weak an’ feeble
   Thet wes ance sae hard an’ strang
Bit ance mair I’ll raise the cogie
   As I’ve dune aft in the past,
An’ I’ll gi’e the pledge tae Scotlan’
   For I’ll lo’e her tae the last.

Bonnie hills o’ broom an’ heather
   I can see ye as of yore,
Ere the thocht had grown upon me
   For tae leave auld Scotian’s shore,
An’ the mountain tarn, I’m hearin’,
   Roarin’ doon again in spate
An’ my feeble pulse beats faster
   For my hert has grown sae great.

Bonnie Scotlan’, Bonnie Scotlan’,
   Tho’ afar frae thee I’ve dwelt,
I ha’e minded thee at e’enin’,
   Whan afore the throne I’ve knelt,
I ha’e prayed tae God, the Faither,
   What wes first o’ my desires
Thet thy sons the faith haud firmly,
   O’ their Covenantin’ sires,

Wi’ a siccar grip still clingin’
   Tae the truth, thet freedom brings
Tae the cots o’ common people
   An’ the palaces of kings,
As auld Knox sae aften thundered
   In his rough an’ rugged tone,
Thet he owned allegiance greater
   Than tae ony earthly throne.

Yet tae render unto Caesar
   A’ the things tae Caesar due,
Whilk is stan’ by King an’ kintra
   As a Scottish man can do.
Strivin’ sae tae walk wi’ honor
   Thet we live thro’oot oor prime,
As guid auld Scottish gentlemen,
   All of the olden time.

Anither health tae Scotlan’,
   The lan’ we lo’e the best,
Afore anither auld time Scot
   Has laid him doon tae rest.
‘Twas Scottish honor raised her heid
   Amang the proudest lands
An’ God rant a’ the comin’ Scots
   Wull haud her whaur she stands.

   Sept. 20th, ’07.

 SETTLIN’ DOON

It wes bit juist the ither day
   A wee bird telt tae me
A secret whilk is siccar truth
   Or else a micle lee.
An’ tho’ o this I am aware,
   It suldna gar ye froon;
‘Tis juist thet ye are thinkin’ sair
   O’ quately settlin’ doon.

In haste I gat my thinkin’ cap
   An’ pu’d it on fu’ tight,
An’ cuist aboot me for a pen,
   An’ settled doon tae write,
Sae noo I’m rattlin’ aff my clink
   Thet it may reach ye soon,
Afore ye are a mairrit man,
   An’ fairly settled doon.

Ye ken it is a rhymster’s right,
   He hauds in mich esteem,
Tae pen congratulat’ry odes
   Whan marriage is the theme,
An being’ a rhymin’ mood
   An’ wi’ a subjet foun’
I write tae wush unbounded joy
   Sin’ ye’se been settled doon. [page 100] 

Ye’ve tested a’ o’ single life,
   As weel as mortal can
An’ fand it wesna sae designed
   Whan Nature moulded man.
Ye’ve felt the waes o’ bachelorhood
   An’ danf thet far aboon,
The joys o’ single blessedness
   Is canty settlin’ doon.

Sae noo I can bit wush ye weel
   An’ health an’ length o’ life
An’ may the first o’ blessin’s be
   An’ ever pruve yer wife,
An’ may guid fortune wi’ ye stay
   An’ a’ yer efforts croon,
Thet ever ye may bless the day
   Ye thocht o’ settlin’ doon.

   The above was written to E. J. Campbell, of Carnduff on the eve of his approaching marriage with Miss Nettie Carnduff of the same place, 1897.

 PATRIOTISM

   To my friend and Comrade Olle Hogan, of the Fire Department, with a copy of Grace Aguilar’s “Days of Bruce.” Christmas, ’06.

Dear Hogan:

The freedom of your own Welsh marches,
   The freedom of our Highland hills
The intrepid spirit of our fathers,
   Still in our pulses throbs and thrills.
Still shall those tales of ancient daring
   Inspire ourselves to dare and do,
And dear to me is Scotland’s glory
   As that of Wales must be to you.

Tho’ hushed is now the sound of battle,
   And distant far oppression’s wrong,
Yet still Tradition’s song and story
   The echoing war notes shall prolong.
And “Scots Wa Ha’e” shall rouse us ever,
   While yet the name o’ Scot remains,
As fast your martial “Men of Harlech”
   Sends the blood coursing thro’ your veins.

Yet let us, Olle, aye remember
   That all these deeds of blood and wrong,
Still only live in History’s pages,
   Still only lurk in minstrel song,
That all the fierceness of our fathers,
   And all their lust for feud and fray,
But helped to make our Britain stronger,
   And built our freedom of to-day.

 THE CELTIC BLOOD

   To Olle Hogan with a copy of Owen Meredith’s poems. Christmas, 1907.

The Celtic blood for poetry, the Celtic blood for fire,
   The Celtic blood for love of the homeland far away;
For the hoary hills arising that waken strong desire,
   Altho’ ‘tis but a little land among the mists so gray.

We raise no more the banners, on the hills we love so well,
   But the land our fathers fought for we could fight for once again;
And among the hills of Cambria where Freedom loves to dwell
   The hearts that breathe her mountain air are hearts of valiant men.

And comrade, you that love the hills of Wales so well and true,
   My heart can fully sympathize with all you think and feel,
And the love I bear to Scotland leaves some room for Wales and you,
   And our mutual love of Celtic land is deep and strong and real.

 THE WELCOME HAME

A tribute to the memory of A.K.K.

She has gane an’ her freends wull mourn her,
   An’ her people miss her sair,
An’ aft in the vacant corner
   Wull seek for her presence fair.
But while we may grieve an’ peety—
   As mony hae dune the same—
The saunts o’ the Holy Ceety
   Hae welcomed anither hame. [page 101]

Sae youthfu’ an’ sae licht hearted
   She passed frae oor midst away.
‘Tis lang sin’ her saul departed
   Yet it seems but as yesterday.
She had sung in verse, the story
   Hoo her saul tae the Maister came,
An’ noo, the singers o’ Glory
   Hae welcomed a singer hame.

Nane joyed sae mickle in leevin’,
   An’ few cling closer tae life,
But oor pleasures are aye decevin’,
   An’ we weary o’ wardly strife.
An’ compared wi’ the joys immortal
   The joys o’ the earth are tame;
Sae syne tae the Heavenly portal
   She leuked for a welcome hame.

Lichtly her fair hand fingered
   The chords thet she lo’ed tae draw,
An’ the heart o’ the hearer lingered
   On the soun’s as they died awa’;
Sae aiblins thet form in brichtness
   A place in thet band may claim,
Wha clad in their robes o’ whiteness
   Play pilgrims a welcome hame.

An’ there wi’ her angel teachers,
   As the years glide on apace,
She wull scan ilk pilgrim’s features
   For the leuk o’ a weel-kent face.
An’ at last, whan oor sauls immortal
   Tak’ leave o’ ilk earthly frame,
May her saul be there at the portal
   Tae gi’e us oor welcome hame.

 THE SILLER BELL

   Written for Robert Robertson, of Edinburgh. The Silver Bell is the badge of the Edinburgh branch of the Good Templars.

“Then let the warning bells ring out.
Then gird ye to the fray.”—Aytoun.

Fu’ aft the warning bells rang oot
   In days sae lang ago,
Tae bid the folk o’ the maiden toon
   Prepare for the comin’ foe,
An’ the burgher donned his leathern jack
   As he hastened tae the wa’,
Tae stan’ an’ fecht for the auld toon’s richt
   At his King an’ kintra’s ca’.

Sae lat the siller bell ring,
   Ring oot loud an’ clear
Whan there is a fae tae fecht
   We’re no the lads tae fear.
We’re buskit brawlie for the fray,
   Wi’ pride oor bosoms swell
An’ wha wull daunt the lads to-day
   Thet heed the siller bell.

O mony a gay an’ gallant youth
   Wes at the weapon-shaw,
An’ mony a blade sae bricht an’ keen
   Had yet the bluid tae draw,
Bit whan the bells gave loud alarm
   The brave lads werena’ slack,
An’ mony a sword wad drip wi’ bluid
   Afore the fae gave back.

Sae lat the siller bell ring,
   Ring fu’ an’ lang
Weel we tak’ a warnin’
   An’ briskly will we gang,
Facin’ up against the fae
   Wi’ fearfu’ odds tae tell
Bit we will never ken defeat
   While clangs the siller bell.

Bit noo there is anither fae
   Thet’s in oor midst to-day,
An’ we’re dividit ‘mang oorsel’s
   An’ what can save the day?
We’ve got tae fecht John Barleycorn
   An’ put his subjects doon,
An’ while we heed the siller bell
   We yet may save the toon.

Listen tae the siller bell
   Ring loud an’ free,
Wha’s a freen’ tae Barleycorn
   Is no a freen tae me.
Fecht for the maiden toon,
   An’ lat yer slogan yell
Mingle ever wi’ the tones
   O’ the siller bell.

Oh! the curse o’ poortith
   Thet has fastened on the land,
Oh! the mony wasted lives
   Thet need a helpin’ hand.
Rax it oot, my brither, noo,
   For there are herts that ache
‘Neath the chains o’ slavery
   Thet it is oors tae break.

Hearken tae the siller bell
   Ringin’ fu’ an’ sweet;
“Gang up tae the battle, lads,
   An’ dinna fear defeat.
Strike a blow for Scotlan’ yet
   Wi’ a’ yer micht an’ main
The time an’ opportunity
   May never come again. [page 102]

Drive awa’ the Demon Drink,
   An’ Brither Pullar’s han’
Wull gi’e it sic an’ awfu’ skelp
   Wull shak’ it in the lan’
Follow Brither Purdie in
   An’ ye some dauds wull see
Bit he wha canna tak’ the dauds,
   Wull never bear the gree.

Ring awa’, auld siller bell,
   Blythe wull we stand
Ever for the betterment
   O’ oor loved land.
Warkin’ for the brave toon,
   Whaur we a’ dwell,
An’ takin’ for oor emblem
   The bricht siller bell.

THE END

[page 103]

[5 blank pages]

Tags: ,
Related Posts

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.