John C. Colgan
The Poems of John C. Colgan
23rd Sep 2021Posted in: John C. Colgan, The Confederation Poets 0

THE

POEMS OF JOHN C. COLGAN.

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THE

POEMS OF JOHN C. COLGAN


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TORONTO:

HUNTER, ROSE, AND COMPANY.


MDCCCLXXIII.

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            PRINTED AND BOUND BY

HUNTER, ROSE AND CO., TORONTO.

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ERRATA

LOCATION

ERROR

Page 10, 18.3

“throughfare” corrected to “thoroughfare”

Page 13, 13.1

“Who’s” corrected to “Whose”

Page 14, 8.4

“wofully” corrected to “woefully”

Page 16, 8.6

“you” corrected to “your”

Page 23, 5.4

“its” corrected to “it’s”

Page 36, 15.4

“brother’s” corrected to “brothers”

Page 49, 19.4

“woful” corrected to “woeful”

Page 71, 36.4

“Shakspeare” corrected to “Shakespeare”

Page 87, 10.5

“Shakspeare’s” corrected to “Shakespeare’s”

Page 101, 11.6

“decrepid” corrected to “decrepit”

Page 101, 30.3

“woful” corrected to “woeful”

Page 104, 19.5

“shillelah” corrected to “shillelagh”

Page 140, 23.9

“ba d” corrected to “band”

Page 142, 36.1

“n” corrected to “In”

Page 145, 21.5

“,” added after “cattle”

Page 196, 15.9

“162” corrected to “152”

Page 196, 16.2

“Rhuematic” corrected to “Rheumatic”

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Dedication.


TO

MY FRIENDS IN THE COUTNY OF SIMCOE,

MANY OF WHOM I HAVE KNOWN AND ESTEEMED FOR THIRTY YEARS,

These Poems

ARE MOST RESPECTFULLY AND AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED.

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INTRODUCTION

   IN presenting this first edition of my Poems to the public, I consider it my duty to explain to my readers the reasons which led to their publication in book form.  Since my boyhood I have been in the habit of throwing many of my solitary thoughts into rhyme; I have even a vague idea that, in the evening of my infancy, “I lisped in numbers, for the numbers came;” and any humorous incident of droll accident that occurred in my neighbourhood, was sure to be caught up and dressed by my fancy for the nearest paper.

   I have written much during the last thirty years. Some of my Poems are entirely lost, shreds of others hang still upon my memory—they are hopeless castaways, wrecks upon the bleak shores of dim forgetfulness—whilst many more are merely local productions, which are dead when the characters or scenes they portray pass off, and can have no interest for the general reader.

   Whilst rummaging one evening in an old chest of drawers—an heirloom in the family—I happened to come across a scrap-book belonging to one of my daughters, and on looking it over I found it to be a bulky volume filled with my own writings.  Then it was that [unnumbered page] the idea of publication intruded itself upon me. I banished it instinctively, as a good Christian would a bad thought, and chided myself for my temerity in giving it hospitality for a moment.  Months afterwards, an intimate friend of mine advised me to publish my Poems, and my great respect for him alone prevented me from laying violent hands upon his person.  But, somehow, a rumour was circulated throughout the county that my scattered pieces were to be collected and printed in book form; then the papers picked up the rumour and gave it a tinge of strong probability, and thenceforward my friends reduced it to a dead certainty.

   Day after day parties were continually asking me when these Poems were to be out.  Only in publication did I see escape from these ever-recurring questions, and for publication I made up my mind.

   That very evening I employed myself in their revision, a few days after put them in the hands of the publishers, and I now offer them to the public.  If only one-half of those who promised to purchase a copy do so, a princely fortune is about to flow in on me.

   With much reluctance I have submitted these Poems, in their present form, to public criticism.  In doing so I am but following the wishes of my intimate friends, who, I trust, will deal sparingly with the multitudinous defects which show themselves throughout the work.

J. C. C.

   OCTOBER 11th, 1873. [page viii]

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Poems.


THE IRON HORSE.

HE comes, he comes, I hear his snorting loud;

His sides enveloped in a smoky cloud;

His iron bowels, filled with fire and flame,

Supply his brazen lungs with hissing steam,

Terrific power! explosive when confined,

Yet taught to spin the silken thread refined,

Or draw enormous loads with fearful speed,

Out-stripping grey-hounds from leashes freed,

Or mock the nimble, bounding Arab steed.

Electric wires along his course extend,

For practised hands the useful news to send;

And warn all stragglers of immediate death,

Who dare to trespass on the monster’s path.

And when he sees a man or beast ahead

His piercing shriek would almost wake the dead:

Like rusty hinges on the gates, below,

Then woe betide the victim, friend or foe.

His joints and limbs of brass and polished steel

Proclaim his strength and show the workman’s skill;

And where he rests, if only for an hour,

Fresh cities rise as if by magic power. [unnumbered page]

The wealth of nations on his track pursue,

And pleasure’s dupes who have not much to do

Will mount his car and see their frolic through.

He draws the soldier to the battle field,

Whose creed it powder, mixed with lead and steel;

Whose manly bosom glows with martial fire

To save his country from the foul destroyer.

The wide Pacific beckons him to come

And make her shores a resting place—a home;

Like Neptune’s voice the crested billows roar

And bid him hasten to that distant shore.

The invitation suits him to a dot;

’Tis round a hemisphere he’d like to trot;

Well trained to run and eager for the race

He’ll bore with engineering bit and brace

A tunnel through the Rocky Mountains’ base!

Then happy Canada! your lot is blest;

The shortest thoroughfare from east to west;

And eastern fabrics of the choicest brand

Will swell the commerce of this happy land.

Your precious mines and flowing wells of oil

On every side reward the sons of toil.

Exhaustless forests, filled with pine and oak,

Invite the hardy woodman’s felling stroke

To lay those giant kings of nature low,

And clear the virgin soil for wheat to grow.

Let Grit and Tory both unite their force

To sped the progress of the Iron Horse.

With resolution brave let all agree

And stretch his iron bands from sea to sea. [page 10]

Linked to your mother by those virtues three:

Firm faith, bright hope and heavenly charity,

Or linked to Sam for better or for worse

By iron rail and smoking Iron Horse.


FAGAN’S FAREWELL TO THE “OBSERVER.”

My neutral friend, the coast is clear,

And you are doubly welcome here;

I’ve paid your way another year

           For fear of blame,

I wish your patrons, far and near,

           Could say the same.

I love to see your modest face,

So full of unaffected grace,

Prepared to run the manly race,

           Through thick and thin;

With independence for your base,

           You’ll surely win.

You are the pride of Simcoe’s bard,

Whose lot in life is tough and hard,

To till the stubborn, thistly sward

           Through summer’s heat,

In hopes to reap a rich reward

           Of Midgeproof wheat.

No bigot here can vent his spleen

To curse the Pope, or mock the Green,

Or breathe a word against our Queen

           Or constitution;

Your loyal pages spurn the stain

           Of revolution. [page 11]

Your guardians are all men of worth,

Who took an interest at your birth

To lace you tight and launch you forth

            Without a scar,

To illuminate this darksome earth,

            Thou blazing star

Sometimes your corresponding boys

Can make a most unsocial noise

By pitching words of a horrid size

            And fearful length,

Like bolts when flung from angry skies

            With Vulcan’s strength.

Then Fagan stands appall’d with awe,

And scarce his feeble pen can draw,

Lest learn’d scribes might find a flaw

            In rhyme or song,

And try his muse by martial law

            For something wrong.

I see Miss Cardwell is inclined

To change her life, like all her kind;

And rumour says she has a mind

           To yield her hand

To youth and beauty both combin’d

           With science grand.

Two sons of Mars prefer their claim,

Who fought on many a field of fame

And foiled the Yankee Fenian scheme

           Of Annexation;

And who would fight through fire and flame

           For Confederation.

The maid herself, though young and shy,

Has keen perception in her eye; [page 12]

I doubt she’ll pass the soldiers by,

           And grant her heart

To some young friend well skilled to ply

           The healing art.

He feels her pulse and sounds her lung,

And finds no vital organ wrong,

And then he views her purple tongue

           Well streak’d with blue;

And though her breathing’s quick and strong

           Her heart is true.

Another suitor, grave and gay,

Would fondly name the wedding day,

Whose strong right arm has carried his way

            To high renown,

And glories in the sovereign sway

            Of Britain’s crown.

She keeps a lot of favourite dogs,

Both hounds and spaniels, curs and pugs,

Though some are cropp’d and some have lugs,

            She likes them all,

And hopes to see them free from clogs

            Before next fall.

But now the cheerful voice of spring

Has call’d the robins forth to sing,

And writing jokes is not the thing

            When all are busy;

So my old muse must take the wing,

            The lazy hussy.


[page 13]

AN EDITOR’S CONFESSION.

I confess to the public at large,

    That I’ll please them as well as I can;

And all private duties discharge

    As quick as a flash on the pan.

We have blank deeds and leases of land,

    And posters and bill-headings plenty.

We always keep blanks upon hand,

    But prizes are woefully scanty.

We are a most comical crew;

    We claim the fourth place in creation;

Each one has some object in view,

    But all for the good of the nation.

We don’t tell a great many fibs,

    Except at the times of election;

We hope our political squibs

    Will not rise at the grand resurrection.

You’d pity an Editor’s lot;

    Our road is a hard one to travel;

And when you’d see blunder or blot,

    You’d throw all the blame on the ‘devil’

We write when the world is in bed,

    And try to get up something clever;

We tease our unfortunate head,

    Enough to bring on a brain fever.

We like to keep in with good men,

    Whose friendship and smiles are worth having;

But all who are sordid and mean

    Are sure of a merciless shaving.

We rail against treason and crime,

    And some give the Fenians a fleecing,

We doubt they are losing their time;

    The Fenians are daily increasing. [page 14]

If Tories and Grits would unite

    (And who can be up to their dodges),

We doubt the result of their spite

    Would be a death-blow to our lodges.

We write against liquor and vice,

    And all kinds of gambling and thieving,

But still we can see in a trice

    The grog shop is all that is thriving.

We hope this old world will mend,

    And so did our fathers before us;

But how will we part with a friend,

    Without the old friendly dugha dhoris

We doubt we’ll be left in the lurch;

    We see by the cable despatches

They’ll scuttle the parliament Church,

    The crew are asleep under hatches.

George Brown took a huff and went home

    And some of us think he would rather

Assist at the sacking of Rome

    Than pray for the soul of his father.

No matter what colours we fly,

    We’re all true and loyal as brothers,

And woe to the tyrant would try

       To shorten the length of our tethers.*

Though Bigots may fly in a rage,

    We will not insert their productions;

Their works are a lie on the age:

    Devoid of sound sense or instructions,

Poor caricatures at the best,

    Abnormal productions of science;

Like monsters, half man and half beast,

    The offspring of monstrous alliance.


*Curtail the Freedom of the Press.


[page 15]

Hold, FAGAN, hold on to the earth,

    You’re soaring beyond comprehension,

Your Pegasus bursted his girth,

    And ended your foolish pretensions.


THE NATIVITY.

Awake, my Soul, and let thy song of praise

Ascend like incense on the morning breeze.

Poor fallen nature! Sound your joyful lyre,

And swell the chorus of your countless choir.

Hark! how the heavenly anthems swell and rise

While glory echoes through the boundless skies.

To God be glory given and peace on earth:

Come forth, ye shepherds! hail Messiah’s birth.

In swaddling clothes, you’ll find the infant laid;

His virgin mother kneels beside His bed.

The second Eve, unstained, immaculate;

’Twixt God and man, connecting link complete.

No other creature, half so blest as she,

Or half so honoured by the Deity.

Both mother, daughter, spouse, in her we see,

A blessed symbol of the Trinity.

The humble shepherds hastened at the call,

And found Him trembling in an ox’s stall

The Royal blood of David swells His veins;

True God, true man, the baby’s form contains.

Between an ox and ass, they found the Lord

Who made all things of nothing by his word.

No Royal robes, no costly furs were there;

Wherewith to shield Him from the wintry air.

An humble manager was the choice abode

Where countless angels hovered round their God. [page 16]

The chaste St. Joseph was the only guard

To shield the Virgin, and protect the Lord.

O! ye who roll in luxury and wealth,

And seldom thank Him for your life in health,

Give alms in time, take warning from the Turks,        

God judges all according to their works,

Saying: “Come ye blessed of my Father, come,

You gave me lodging when I had no home,

Both food and raiment all were hard with me;

Possess your throne for all eternity.”

“When we saw thee, O Lord!” the just will say,

“In want of food nor shelter night or day.

We thought your throne was far beyond the skies.”

When thus the Judge with heavenly smiles replies

“Ye saw me in the poor, and used me well;

That left hand crowd must all descend to Hell,

They closed their ears against the orphans’ cries,

And on my poor they looked with scornful eyes.”


THE PICKING BEE.

          Come, ladies, prepare for the picking;

              The wool is all matted with straw;

          Your husbands should all get a licking,

              Just, only, for fear of the law.

          The sheep are destroy’d with the burdocks

              That grow round the fences so flush;

          Then how can you wash it or pick it?

              You might as well touch a bush.

Chorus: Huzza for the day of the picking!

                  The profits are all in my eye;

              Get two or three quarts of good malt,

                  Or a gallon of merry old rye. [page 17]

          Your husbands will go in October

              To play for the turkey or goose;

          You tell them to watch and keep sober,

              But talking is all little use.

          Your tongue may be thin as a sixpence

              Advising by night and by day;

          They’ll stick to the cards and the whiskey

              For all the poor women can say.

Chorus: Huzza &c.

          They think you should live like a hermit,

              Or some breachy beast in a pound;

          But who gave your husbands a permit

              For drinking and gambling around?

          They say they are lords of creation,

              And often get “tight as a lord”

          And when they kick up in a bar-room

              They’re often kicked out in the yard.

Chorus: Huzza &c.

          Get nine of ten pounds of good raisins

              To mix with the rice and the cream;

          The gobblers are hardly in season,

              And anything poor is a shame.

          What signifies three or four dollars

              To spend on the spices and malt,

          And ladies will pass no remarks

              If they only get ’tatoes and salt.

Chorus: Huzza &c.

          I hope you will try and come early,—

              You know I would like to get through

          Between the big burs and the barley,

              I’m sure we’ll have plenty to do. [page 18]

          We’ll throw all the hip-locks together

              The pedlar will soon be along;

          We’ll trade them for ten and tobacco,

              And that puts an end to my song.

Chorus: Huzza &c.


SONG FOR THE TIMES.

TUNE: Shan Van Vocht.

“Will the Fenians come again,”

  Says the Shan Van Vocht,

“With thirty thousand men?”

  Says the Shan Van Vocht.

“Dame Rumour says they’ll come

  In the mouth we beat the drum.”

“They had better stay at home,”

  Says the Shan Van Vocht.

“With the Yankees let them cross,”

  Says the Shan Van Vocht,

“To rob and murder us?”

  Says the Shan Van Vocht.

“They let them cross before,

  Where Niagara’s torrents roar.”

“And they’ll try the trick once more,”

  Says the Shan Van Vocht.

“Are the soldiers called away?”

  Says the Shan Van Vocht.

“I think it’s not fair play,”

  Says the Shan Van Vocht. [page 19]

“To fight the foe alone,

  In defence of Britain’s throne;

You may either fight or run,”

   Says the Shan Van Vocht.

“Are your Volunteers all right,”

  Says the Shan Van Vocht,

“Are they eager for the fight?”

  Says the Shan Van Vocht.

“Our Volunteers are true,

  They are royal, loyal blue.”

“Then they’ll have enough to do,”

  Says the Shan Van Vocht.


ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF A FARMER’S WIFE.

Death took her in the prime of life,

    And left poor John behind

To mourn a faithful prudent wife,

    So loving, mild, and kind.

’Twas she who cheered his daily toil

    And lightened all his care;

Her soothing word and gentle smile

    Were music to his ear.

Alas! that modest tongue is mute

    And silent in the tomb;

He never heard it in dispute

    Around his happy home.

She had a gentle word for all,

    And nothing harsh or hard [page 20]

Was fostered in that Christian soul

    Who loved and feared the Lord.

The neighbours all delight to tell,

    I often heard them say,

How she had raised the orphans well,

    And taught them how to pray.

Right well she took the mother’s part,

    And kept them neat and clean;

Or by example taught their hearts

    To dread the sinful stain.

Poor John may kneel beside the sod,

    And breathe the fervent prayer.

We trust her soul has gone to God,

    All blooming fresh and fair.

A few short years will bring us all

    To mingle with the dust:

May He prepare for the call;

    All else is but a jest.


A WORD IN SEASON

Now the pleasant Spring is coming,

And I hear the pheasants drumming

           Down in yonder swale;

Like fairy guns the sound comes booming

           On the evening gale.

Hark! the robin’s gaily singing,

While the husbandman is flinging

           Seed with lavish hand; [page 21]

And the coupled harrow’s ringing

           O’er the dusty land.

See the little lambs, so pleasing

Round their happy mothers grazing

           On the level green;

See the modest Snowdrop rising

           Fairer than a queen.

In the morning’s dewy hours

Bees are out in search of flowers,

           Driving to and fro,

While the sunbeams through the showers

           Spring the hopeful bow.

See the brilliant shades suspending,

O’er a sinful world lending

           Hopes of mercy still,

Orange, green, and blue are blending;

           Such our Maker’s will.

Shun the Tory, Grit and Fenian,

Who would blast our young dominion

           With a secret plan,

God himself is love and union;

           Serve him best you can.

How can man, the child of reason,

Finite creature of a season,

           Change Jehovah’s plan?

Bear the crosses wisdom lays on;

           Bear them like a man.

       Think, with love and veneration,

       How that grand confederation

               Joined us all in one;

       Practise Christian toleration,

               Every sect and clan. [page 22]

       Sons of Luther, Calvin, Bunyan,

       Sons of Sarsfield, hail the union,

               Raise your notes sublime;

       Let us have a grand millennium;

               Don’t you think it’s time?

       Raise our happy union standard,

       Nail it to the mast and mainyard,

               Follow up the plan;

       Truth and honour lead the vanguard;

               Trust your fellow man.

       Let the maple leaf and beaver

       Be our union badge forever,

               Peace our constant aim;

       Show our friends across the river

               We are free as they.

       Let them see there’s no disunion,

       In our happy young dominion,

               No intestine wars;

       Then a fig for all their minions,

               And their stripes and stars.

       If you want to court invasion,

       Ridicule the Irish nation,

               Mock her ancient creed,

       Then look out for annexation,

               Loyalists take heed.

       Take an humble ploughman’s warning,

       Mind your business night and morning,

               Let the world wag;

       Keep the lamp of freedom burning

               Round our native flag. [page 23]

       Here we have no pet persuasion

       Paid by all the population;

               No established sham;

       Saddled on our youthful nation

               Like the curse of Cham.


THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS.

PRIDE.

Pride first appears with high and haughty look,

Who scorned t’obey, and vainly undertook

To fix a rival throne above the clouds;

And wicked angels joined the ranks in crowds.

When Michael, faithful to his holy trust,

Defeated all the rebel, lying host,

And hurled them down as holy Scriptures tell;

Some hung in air, while others sank to hell.

COVETOUSNESS.

Behind him sneaks his hell-begotten son,

Who never said, “Thy holy will be done;”

For whether rich or poor, it matters not;

He blames high heaven and murmers at his lot.

He covets still; nor feels one generous throb,

His narrow heart disposed to steal and rob;

The gibbet only holds the wretch in awe,

Instead of God’s, he dreads the human law.

LUST.

Let Christian lips forbear to breathe the name

Of that foul monster, hell-polluted flame, [page 24]

Whose touch not only wounds, but kills the soul

And death eternal claims the victim foul.

Refuse your God-like souls with thoughts to stain;

Vile thoughts should never cross the human brain;

Remember Sodom’s lot, and dread the doom

Of fire and brimstone in the world to come.

ANGER.

Now Anger breaks the bonds of heavenly peace,

The rage of demons pictur’d in his face;

The quivering lips are parted thin and pale,

And all the furies seize him in detail.

The bloodshot eyes like some foul beast of prey,

His raging soul and boiling brains portray,

Mild reason weeps the dark and gloomy hour,

That sees God’s image bound in Satan’s power.

GLUTTONY.

Here comes the pampered Glutton—mark him well—

Whose brother, Dives, shouts aloud from Hell,

And begs one single drop his tongue to cool,

That fries and blisters in that burning pool.

Oh, think of Dives, ye who grind the poor,

And drive the hungry Orphan from your door;

Redeem your sins, give alms to the oppress’d

And purchase for your souls eternal rest.

ENVY.

Behold black Envy—worst of all the seven.

’Twas he who open’d Hell and bolted Heaven.

Our luckless parents felt his grip severe,

And all their children got an honest share.

Red murder, wars and famine are the fruit

That deadly Upas bears, whose hellish root [page 25]

Sinks deeper in the soil from year to year,

Despite the widow’s sigh or orphan’s tear.

SLOTH.

What pen can paint a vice so low and mean,

So foul a stigma and so dark a stain?

The lazy sluggard folds it to his breast,

A public nuisance and a private pest.

Though blest with health and strength, he lies in bed,

While wife and children both are wanting bread;

Are wanting bread, and he vile worm of earth

Lies yawning, rolling in his wretched berth.


THE CHICKENS COME HOME TO ROOST.

TUNE—Ronald McDonald.

When Johnny was preaching high treason

    In Sicily, Naples and Rome,

He thought he would never have reason

    To guard his old castle at home.

But now he is ripping and rearing

    As crazy as any baboon;

While Fenians are busy preparing

    To blow him right up to the moon.

Chorus.—With glycerine, powder and ball,

    Pikes, and rifles, and all,

Poor Johnny was bothered completely

    With Yankee Fenians and all.

Garibaldi was honoured and feasted

    As chief of a patriot band; [page 26]

’Twas all very well while it lasted,

    But Garry has poisoned the land.

He sowed the foul seed of rebellion,

    And kindled a smouldering flame,

And when it breaks out there’s no telling

    What card will be trump in the game.

Chorus,—With Russia, and Turkey, and Gaul,

   The Eastern question and all,

If Johnny gets into a melee,

   I doubt he will go to the wall.

Poor Johnny sent two clever fellows,

    For pious instructions to Rome;

But how can the Pope calm the billows

    Democracy lashes to foam.

And Fenians are waiting with patience,

    Till Johnny engages in fight,

And then they will marshal their legions,

    And put their old country to right.

Chorus:—With pikes and powder and ball

    Vote by ballot and all,

Seven hundred long years of oppression,

    Should satisfy Peter or Paul.

The Yankees are looking for money,

    They want a few dimes for the Czar,

And if they don’t get it from Johnny,

    They’ll sound the fell tocsin of war.

But if the old duke was in motion,

    I know how he’d settle their claims;

He’d blow their old hulks off the Ocean,

    And soon set their seaboard in flames.

Chorus:—With Armstrong cannons and ball

      Steel plated frigates and all

  Huzza for the flag of his nation,

      The harp, the Shamrock and all. [page 27]

THE FATHER’S PLEA.

“Begone, grim tyrant, seek some other prey,”

    A frantic father cried, and grasped his boy,

As on his couch the patient sufferer lay,

    His worthy father’s pride, and mother’s joy.

“Relax thy hold, respect a father’s claim;

    His mother loves him, and his comrades all

Will miss him sadly at the boyish game,

    To raise the kite, or toss the bounding ball.”

“No, no,” replied the King of Terrors, grim,

    “I’ll drag him from you to an early tomb,

Your sighs and tears are but a childish whim,

    His Father calls him from this world of gloom.

“O! could you penetrate that mystic veil,

    Or catch one glimpse of what the blessed enjoy,

You’d love the cross and court the martyr’s wheel,

    And thank the Lord who takes your darling boy.”

“O spare him, spare him, for his country’s sake,

    This wide Dominion holds no brighter brain,

Before his lisping tongue the words could speak,

    He ran through Euclid with his chalk and pen.”

“His gentle manner wins the hearts of all,

    And strangers love him for that modest look,

So mild and graceful, shining from the soul

    Through eyes as sparkling as the limpid brook.

“Vain man forbear to plead thy hopeless case;

    I’ve spread my clammy sweat o’er every limb,

Those eyes so bright with intellectual grace,

    Are shrinking backward in their orbits dim. [page 28]

“His Guardian Angel, spotless as a dove,

    Impatient waits to spread his golden wing,

And guide the spirit to its home above,

    Where TIME is lost in one ETERNAL SPRING.”


EXTREMES MEET.

BILLY.

Come, Paddy, we’ll have a good spree;

    A fig for the Parson and Priest

Who think they can scare you or me

    Like small jenny wrens from their nest.

They preach about brimstone and chains,

    And all kinds of horrible strife,

And threaten Eternity’s pains

    For tasting the joys of this life.

I’ll tell you my notions of Hell;

    (For few of us believe in the spot;)

Colenso’s the boy that can tell

    It’s only a gunpowder plot.

Colenso’s the man I believe in;

The rest of them are all deceiving;

    They eat and drink well,

    As their faces can tell,

While their tongues are continually deaving.

PADDY.

Begorra, and come, let us go;

    I like a young man that has spunk;

There’s nothing I hate here below

    Like the life of a nun or a monk.

They’re praying by night and by day,

    Or sleeping upon the hard floor, [page 29]

Or courting a fatal decay.

    When begging around for the poor.

I wonder they have not some gumption;

The most of them die with consumption,

    As pale as a ghost

    And as poor as a post,

All fit to receive Extreme Unction.

BILLY.

Now, Paddy, come tell me in plain.

    Don’t you often confess to the priest,

And pay him for wiping the stain

    Of sin from your treasonable breast?

You worship the stock and the stone,

    And break the command of the Lord,

And priest-ridden Papists bow down

    When the name of the Saviour is heard;

Your creed is a blind superstition;

It leads you all down to perdition;

    But turn your old coat,

    And jump into our boat,

And no more of your Papish tradition.

PADDY.

I know I should go to the priest;

    But the priest has no faith in my flag,

And I’ll wait for a year at the least

    Till I see how the world may wag.

I mean to give some one a cuff,

    Before they have time to say beans;

I have fasted and prayed long enough,

    And now I will try other means,

O’Connell was never for strife,

    And all that he asked was repeal; [page 30]

But somebody threatened his life

    By locking him up in a jail.

No doubt but the clergy do well

    To preach against bloodshed and strife;

But clergy themselves would rebel

    If blest with the care of a wife

And five or six children to feed,

    And struggle through sweat and through toil

To pay for an imported creed

    That never took root in the soil.

God knows I am bad enough now;

    Denounced by the bishop of Kerry,

Without getting into your scow

    Whose keel was laid down by king Harry.

’Twas Harry who laid the foundation

The time of the great reformation;

    He had seven wives

    And took six of their lives

Or else he’s belied by the nation.

   P.S. My two heroes have now arrived at the tavern, and by appearances, I don’t think it safe to accompany them.—Exit Fagan.


VOTE BY BALLOT.

An editor sat in his easy chair,

    Where a bigot should never be;

That patriot’s brow was bright and fair;

    A king of good fellows was he.

His pen was good, and his logic sound,

And he wrote like a scholar—his thoughts profound;

He wrote of the ballot with matchless skill,

Because his heart was true.

The bigot may rave, and the tyrant quail,

    While he keeps Reform in view; [page 31]

And long may he drive his eagle quill

With a giant’s arm and statesman’s skill.

He proves that the ballot is just the thing

    To break all corruption down,

And bind our hearts with a loyal string,

    Secure to old England’s crown.

And long may he wield his peerless pen,

And write in the ranks of honest men.

And gentlemen all—both Tory and Grit,

    Be mindful of what I say:

The time is approaching—in spite of your wit,

    Will drive all corruption away,

When voting by ballot will be the test,

Instead of a bribe from the public chest.


LINES TO A STEAM SAW MILL.

You’re lying there, you roaring whistling curse,

As grim and powerful as the Iron Horse;

But Jacob Owens, of engineering skill

Controls your force and curbs your stubborn will.

Though young in years, he masters all your pranks;

Directs your friction wheels and bounding cranks,

And guides your strength by famous Fulton’s law

Through pipe and belt to whirl the flying saw,

And rip those giant pines that long have stood

The pride and glory of the neighbouring wood;

Who, with the Royal Oak, held sovereign sway,

And from the brushwood, shut the light of day.

The Boss, like Neptune, wields a trident long,

To regulate your breathing hot and strong,

And slide your Iron palate to and fro,

To shut your throat or give you room to blow. [page 32]

Then strong as fabled fiery dragon’s breath

Or Vulcan’s blast when forging bolts of death,

Like some infernal fiend you puff and blow.

O’er sea and land, you rule this world below.


TOTTENHAM.

   [The following rhapsody is given to the public, to illustrate the social equality and good feeling which exist among neighbours in country places.  The writer claims for it no further merit.]

Of all the happy hamlets here below,

Where peace and plenty in abundance flow,

None can compare with famous Tottenham,

So free from canting bigotry and sham.

No raving bigot sows the hellish seed,

To foster strife or mock his neighbour’s creed;

But Christian feeling fills each manly breast

Who pays the preacher or obeys the priest,

No drunken loafers sponge around the street

With bloated visage, gaping for a treat;

But decent neighbours take a social dram

When business calls them down to Tottenham.

Some stop at Martin’s, others at O’Brien’s:

Both houses keep the best imported wines,

And bottled brandy labelled double X;

Take care, my boys, take care of broken necks.

’Tis here the farmers’ daughters love to deal;

For Wilson’s boots can boast the highest heel,

And silken hose to fit their well-shaped legs

He keeps in pairs to trade for fresh laid eggs,

And J.D. Walker keeps the cheapest oil

And hats and bonnets of the latest style.

Bring on your butter if you wish to shine

At church or chapel while the weather’s fine. [page 33]

You’ll find an honest miller down the hill,

Who owns the famed Avoca mill;

And, like its master, all its weights are just,

To weigh your grain like California dust.

A man of judgment, fit to represent

Some loyal riding in the parliament.

His worthy Irish father lives in sight,

And horticulture is his chief delight.

Long may his beets and mangel wurzels grow

And take first prize at every county show.

Our saddler keeps the best of curly hair

To face your collars when they need repair;

And English silver-plated mountings shine

Like kittens’ eyes on every strap and line.

His saddles, harness, stirrups, bits and snips

Are only equalled by his matchless whips.

Let’s take a walk to Johnny Greenaway’s hall

And see the vehicles, both great and small,

From double waggons down to trotting gigs,

Just call on Johnny if you want such rigs.

And when you’re sick we have a doctor, too,

Who’ll do his very best to bring you through;

But if your hour is come no doctor can

Avert the sentence passed on fallen man;

For “dust thou art and unto dust again

Thou shalt return.” Hear that, ye sons of men.

And here you’ll find St. Crispin’s worthy son,

With boots and shoes to fit you, every one.

He’ll make you cowhide for the spring or fall,

And dancing slippers for the new year’s ball.

You’ll find our town clerk ready, day or night,

The moment young Canadian’s see the light,

With pen and ink to mark the subject down

And earn a sixpence while he serves the crown.

If tonics you require don’t fail to try

One sample bottle of our pure “Red Eye”; [page 34]

For Sandford’s Bitters will correct the bile

And string your nerves to meet the harvest toil.

Our merchant tailor keeps us all in trim;

Coat, vest or pants are all alike to him.

Long may he live to wield his bar of steel

And clothe his customers from neck to heel.

O, happy Tottenham! A child might trace

The marks of progress in your youthful face;

And ere another twelve month rolls its course

You’ll have the Narrow Gauge and Iron Horse.

Then Tottenham will grow on every side,

The home of merchants and the poets’ pride.


SERIOUS THOUGHTS.

Oh where are they flown! Happy days of my youth,

    And where are our school-fellows now;

Have they fought the good fight, of religion and truth;

    Is the diadem set on their brow?

How many remain on this troublesome stage,

    Enduring the buffets of fate;

Who used to be rivals in spelling the page,

    Or play fox and goose on the slate.

Some fell like a flower ere the tempter had time,

    To wound their young innocent souls;

And are shining like stars in the regions sublime,

    Beyond where the firmament rolls.

Some failed at a time when the passions begin

    To spoil the Great Architect’s plan;

And sad was the havoc accomplished by gin,

    When liquor had mastered the man.

Some stand like an oak, in the midst of the storm,

    When castles are nodding to fall; [page 35]

With well grounded hope, in the merciful arm

    So willing to succour us all.

For all must content with three desperate foes,

    The liquor, the flesh and the world;

The contest is dreadful; and deadly the blows;

    When Hell’s fiery flag is unfurled,

The humble and meek are the soldiers who win,

    And the cross is the weapon they wield;

While the slothful and proud, fall a victim to sin;

    Or make truce with the foe on the field.

Speak kindly to those who may happen to fall,

    For poor human nature is weak,

And our Maker has grace, in abundance for all;

    And bids us to ask and to seek.

Fight on Christian brothers! fight on one and all;

    And win your magnificent crown;

Our Captain will help us, whenever we call,

    To trample our enemies down.


THE EAGLE’S LAMENT FOR ITS MATE.

Lament with me ye comrades true,

Of every colour shade, and hue;

Who skim the vault of heaven blue,

                              With dappled wing;

Ye feathered tribes, I call on you,

                              To mourn your king.

Alas! alas! I saw him fall,

And heard his last expiring call:

When Charley’s dread, unerring ball,

                               Like lightning sped;

And left us mourning, one and all,

                               Our king is dead. [page 36]

Ah me! I mind the happy day,

When first we met at Thunder Bay;

His heart was warm, his plumage gay,

                              And fair to view;

He urged his suit without delay,

                              And off we flew.

’Twas he could mount the dizzy height,

Beyond the range of mortal sight;

And upward soar, with circling flight,

                              To meet the sun;

Alas! he fell to endless night,

                              By Charley’s gun.

’Twas he who had the graceful beak,

The speckled breast, and glossy neck;

His royal face and downy cheek,

                               Were fair to see;

I fear my widowed heart will break,

                               Ah, woe is me!

’Twas he would bring the tender food,

To please his mate, and royal brood;

His eye was keen, his talons good,

                               Both sharp and long;

And nothing vulgar, low or rude,

                               Escaped his tongue.

In spite of Grit or Tory law,

He’d make the feathers fly like straw;

A good fat goose on either claw,

                                He’d bear along;

My duty was to pluck and draw,

                                And serve the young.

Our happy home was snug and warm,

Secure from wintry wind, or storm; [page 37]

Beyond the reach of human arm,

                               It stood the test;

The bolts of Jove alone could harm,

                               Our royal nest.

Farewell my friends; I must be gone,

For fear of Charley’s murdering gun;

He’d take my number, just for fun,

                               To see me die;

I must look out for number one,

                               Good bye, good bye.


FIVE DOLLARS REWARD.

Strayed or stolen, or ridden away,

A light, slim mare, neither chestnut nor gray,

With a long, low neck, and a lump on her back,

And her legs, mane and tail are inclining to black.

Her belly and sides are as white as a sheet,

And her eyes, you would think, are determined to meet.

She is low in condition—as thin as a rail—

There’s not a dog’s fill from her head to her tail;

You might see fatter horses in coaches or gigs,

But the mare is the lass that can handle her pegs,

She can run like a streak—at a wedding or spree,

Not a sport in the county could pass her and me.

Her mane on the right side hangs gracefully down,—

But I doubt she was stolen by some thievish clown.

Perhaps she is bartered or traded about,

And the party who has her had better look out.

But the party who gives information to me

Will receive his reward in the shape of a V.

He will get a shake hands and a five dollar note,

Just exactly the price that is paid for a vote, [page 38]

So if you have knowledge concerning the mare,

I hope you will give it both honest and square.

A post-card will do it, it won’t cost a penny;

To Texton post-office, address J. D. KENNIE.


THE POWER OF LOVE.

What art thou, little shapeless thing?

        A universal charm,

To rule the beggar and the King,

        Or nerve the coward’s arm.

Can aught withstand thy sovereign power,

        Can fear of hell dissuade

The youthful gallant from his bower

        To meet his dark-eyed maid.

Can reason’s voice dispel the charm,

        Or learned laws control

That silent, deep, magnetic storm

        That through our visions roll?

Nor learned laws nor reason’s voice,

        With wealth and power combined,

Can trip the scale against our choice,

        For love was born blind.

In vain our father’s mandates fly

       With reprimand severe;

In vain our mothers heave the sigh,

       And drop the scalding tear.

For sighs and tears cannot prevail,

        And all advice is lost, [page 39]

When Hymen’s breezes swell the sail,

        And Cupid rules the roast.

The shield of Ajax tough and wide

        Preserved its master long,

And well it might when seven bull-hides

        Composed that target strong.

But all the hides beneath the skies

        Could not repel the dart,

When from a dimpled chin it flies,

        It’s sure to pierce the heart.

The needle guns are harmless toys

        No matter how they load,

Compared to two bright laughing eyes,

        Beneath a hat or hood.

And whether eyes be black or blue,

        It matters not a pin;

They cast a double dart as true

        As either cheeks or chin.

Most men like me receive their wound

        From foreheads high and bare,

While scores of happy youths around

        Have fallen by golden hair.

But when the forehead, chin and eyes

        Throw all their darts together,

We fall like rain from cloudy skies

        In April’s showery weather.

Some lose their sleep, or rave or dream

        With many a weary twist;

A soft white hand has bag’d the game

        That fluttered in his fist. [page 40]

For when the smallest finger moves,

        It throws a deadly lance;

I’d rather face a troop of Zouaves

        Beyond in sunny France.

Some get the wound from ladies’ feet;

        The lowest wound of all,

When dancing polkas so complete,

        At wedding, spree or ball.

The little hands are covered well,

        The bosom nearly bare,

Where two wee funny imps of hell

        Keep double sentry there.

When spooneys pop the word too soon,

        And think it all a joke,

I hope you’ll play them Blackstone’s tune,

        And sue for something broke.

So boys take care of what you say,

        Or talk about the weather,

For many a trick begun in play,

        Has ended in a tether, &c.


THE RACES.

TUNE: Andrew Duffy.

You sporting gay lads who delight in fast horses,

    I pray pay attention and listen a while,

We’ll sing of two greys who exerted their forces,

    And earned their laurels in trotting a mile. [page 41]

           The boys came in squads

           With frolicksome dads,

While the loud whillelu rang aloft in the air;

           The dollars were flying,

           And thousands were crying,

“I’ll bet two to one on the four-year old mare.”

           Chorus:—Fol, lol, do, do, la, &c.

July the thirteenth was the day of the muster,

    And thousands assembled the races to see;

Some dressed in old style, and some more in the duster,

    And some were inclined to get on the spree.

           The evening was fair,

           And no rowdies were there,

And the course was as smooth as the plains of Kildare;

           The fences were lined

           With the ladies refined,

And old Fagan took notes on the four-year old mare.

           Chorus:—Fol, lol, &c.

The jockeys were mounted with hearts like a feather,

    And shoulder to shoulder they stood in the line.

Young Small gave the word and they started together;

    Their courage was good, and their carriage was fine.

           The horse could not run,

           He was short in the wind,

It was all but a sin to bring the beast there;

           He did what he could,

           After losing his blood;

So huzza for the horse and the four-year old mare.

           Chorus:—Fol, lol, &c.

Now off to the east with the horses and buggies,

    For Scanlon’s the boy has the whiskey and beer;

The rest may go home, they are old sober fogies,

    And women and children have no business here. [page 42]

           But we are the boys

           That can open our eyes,

We attend all the dog-fights, for work we don’t care;

           We jump at bees,

           And we dance at the sprees,

And we’ll drink a long life to the mouse-coloured mare.

           Chorus:—Fol, lol, &c.


THE HAIRY GHOST.

A TALE OF FACT AND FICTION.

Some grave events occur from year to year,

To spur Pegasus in his wild career;

Sometimes a Maltese cat can fan the fire;

When men and boys, with dogs and guns conspire,

To wreak just vengeance on the chickens’ foe,

And send her down to plunder roosts below.

Again, a decent neighbour’s cow will stray,

To crop the herbage on the public way;

And never think, poor brute! of pitfalls deep,

Till down she tumbles, to eternal sleep.

Come, gentle Muse, I claim your aid divine,

And guide my pen, to trace the measured line;

Assist your client to maintain his post,

Who boldly tells the world he saw her ghost

In Cox’s Wood, that skirts the County line,

Where York and Peel, and famous Simcoe join.

Dark was the hour, and dismal was the moan;

That sounded hoarsely like a dying groan.

“Come hither Fagan,” said the hairy ghost,

“I am the cow your honest neighbour lost.”

Large drops of sweat came trickling down my cheek,

I stood aghast, to hear the phantom speak. [page 43]

“Poor brute,” said I, and trembling as I spoke,

“Perhaps you joined the Yankee-Fenian yoke;

And fell by loyal hands at Limeridge fight,

Where gallant Booker put the foe to flight.”

“No, no,” she answered, in an angry tone;

“My loyalty was equal to your own;

Although my neck was broke, my heart was sound;

I wish the rebels all were under ground;

I hate the Fenians, and despise their creed;

I am a pure short-horn Durham breed.

I love John Bull, like every cow of sense,

I never broke his law, nor broke a fence;

And if he sometimes make a raid himself,

His duty leads him, never love of pelf.”

With that, I tapp’d my box, and took a pinch,

I found the ghost, a Briton every inch.

I wiped the perspiration from my brow,

And gleaned the following facts from Bartly’s cow.

“O happy Fagan!” thus resumed the sprite,

“Some friendly power has led you here to-night;

The only night, throughout the rolling year,

When favoured goblins can to bards appear.

Sit down beside me on my lonesome grave,

And take such notes as I will freely give;

And send a copy to the Star, or Sun,

For my printers’ devils like a bit of fun.

My youth was spent, like all my kindred class,

In playful gambols o’er the verdant grass;

Or like a thoughtless suckey took my rest,

Where spreading beeches show their master’s taste.

And when my little horns began to bud,

And I commenced to ruminate my food;

Although I say’t myself I took the shine,

From every yearling round the County line.

But when my horns grew out beyond my lugs,

And I was able for Jim Bergin’s dogs, [page 44]

A smarter two-year old, I do declare,

You would not see in Johnny Telford’s fair.

Then how I cantered round in Billy’s steer,

Is not for me to tell, or you to hear;

And Barney’s mooly stag, but never mind,

He was a torment of the lowest kind.

Go where I would, I’d hear his nasty groans,

He had no manners, blame his ugly bones.

I soon grew up, a well proportioned beast,

My back and sides, with glossy coating drest;

My well developed tail, hung straight and long,

A foe to flies, and all the insect throng.

From right to left, I’d bring it with a swinge;

No fly was safe, within its deadly range.

From flank to shoulder all my ribs along,

I’d twist and curl it like a coachman’s thong.

My tits, a handful thick, were smooth and clean,

Nor wart or scab was on my healthy skin.

The milk I gave was strong as milk could be,

And better still, I let it down so free,

A child could milk me, without fear or dread,

I’d scorn to lift a foot, or shake my head;

But twice a day, I’d fill a patent pail,

In summer time, before the grass would fail.

And when strange company ran in my mind,

I used to ramble down to Potter’s line,

For Con’s were young and much inclin’d to roam,

I must confess, I liked the rambler best,

Though Potter’s Durham was a worthy beast.

When winter call’d the stormy winds to blow,

And cover hill and dale with drifting snow;

I lay contented on a healthy bed,

Of dry pea-straw, within a splendid shed.

Instead of plucking round a frozen stack;

With snow and icicles upon my back; [page 45]

Some good sheaf oats, that never felt the flail,

Kept life and action in my famous tail.

But O! my kind and tender-hearted friend,

You know the longest life must have an end;

And so the time arrived, as if by fate,

I wandered heedless through the open gate;

And south by east, I took my famous course,

The very line was ran by Humphrey’s horse,

And rambled on, to that unlucky spot;

Where Dannie’s tavern stands on Morrow’s lot,

And ventured through the open door, to shun

The busy flies, and scorching summer sun;

The floor gave way, and headlong down I fell!

And broke my neck! and bade the world farewell.”

MORAL.

Beware of taverns, whether old or new,

What happened Bartly’s cow, might happen you.

The best of liquor often breeds a row,

And when you drink, remember Bartly’s cow.


THE MUSE’S GIFT.

CAN FAGAN paint that soul degrading sham?

When lies, sufficient countless worlds to damn,

Are scattered broadcast through that fickle crowd

Who swallow all, and cheer and shout aloud.

When politicians play some cunning pranks,

And well-paid soupers swell their rotten ranks,

Their downcast looks and leering eyes confess

How, Esau-like, they gulp’d the greasy mess,

And sold their birthright to that hostile breed

Whose boasted loyalty depends on creed.*


*Speech at the Orange Banquet in Derry, Ireland.


[page 46]

E’en at the muse, some point their bantam pen,

And strut and flounder through the prosy fen;

Like Æsop’s famous frog, they puff and strain

To swell their pigmy form, but all in vain;

In vain the donkey dons the lion skin,

The tell-tale ears betrayed the ass within;

Nor long the borrowed plumes sustained the daw.

We may disguise but cannot change the law.

The frog, the ass, the jackdaw may complain,

But Nature’s laws unchanged must still remain.

When neutral journals blow the party blast,

Or filthy garbage at the ladies cast,

My gentle muse in plaintive numbers sings,

Hangs down her head and folds her glossy wings,

Her radiant eyes bedimm’d with balmy tears,

Look round for aid, when lo! a bard appears.

Some soothing words were passed on either side,

At length the lovely Nymph with smiles replied:

“Kneel down, my favoured son, make haste, kneel down,

While on your manly brow I place the crown.

Accept,” said she, “this favour from the skies,”

And down she pressed the ever envied prize.

What pleasures thrilled in pleasing surges through

My ravished bosom, and what fancies flew,

Whilst from her lips the measured numbers fell,

Which few can hear, and fewer still can tell.

“Go forth,” she said, “fulfil your mission grand,

And let the softer sex your care demand:

Chastise the dunce, and make the tyrant quail

Who dares the ladies’ sacred right assail.

Mark how that famous trump, the Ace of Hearts,

Can play the Orator and Scribe by starts,

And fling at muse or matron, poisoned darts,

When men of sterling worth and honour bright

Have read your songs with pleasure and delight.

To call them doggerel! O, what Tory spite! [page 47]

‘A home made doggerel?’ Oh, ye tuneful nine,

Was ever arrogance so gross as mine!

I should have written ’yond the tropic line,

Or round by Connemara’s famished coast;

Explained the MAGNA CHARTA—Britain’s boast—

To starving Celts, as poor as Hamlet’s ghost.

Where sucking infants, O blasphemous thought,

When famished mothers had begun to rot.

Don’t breathe it, FAGAN, God is not in fault.

Let nothing low or mean disgrace your page,

Till life and honour both desert the stage.

Though one or many fume with deadly rage;

For all the angry words were ever said

Won’t strip the laurels from your honoured head,

Or pump your brains and fill their place with lead.”

What else she said escaped my ravished ear

When up she soared, and cleft the parting air,

And threw me back a lock of golden hair.


DEATH OF JIM ALLEN’S RAM.

Ten thousand double curses, worse than damn,

May seize the brute that killed Jim Allen’s ram;

May hungry wolves attack him front and rear,

And carrion crows his ugly carcase tear;

And pluck his eyeballs, from his guilty head,

Ere yet the vital spark of life is fled.

’Twas nothing good that drove the ruffian there,

To rise confusion round that famous square,

Where Mr. Scanlon does his very best,

To please his patrons all, both man and beast;

No travelling man need pass his tavern by,

In search of stronger liquor, malt or rye;

And horsemen, too, will find a happy home,

A first-class stable and attentive groom. [page 48]

Though Allen’s ram was murdered in cold blood,

No better breed in all the section stood;

His snowy ringlets lay on either side,

His neighbours’ envy, and his master’s pride.

He never rambled round, by day or night,

To vex his rivals, or provoke a fight;

But when a neighbour led him by a string,

He took the hint, contented as a king.

He knew his chance was good for oats and peas,

To keep him hearty, when the grass should freeze;

And many a pair of twins—Hush! fie for shame,

A clever writer scorns a paltry theme.

Don’t write a line, unworthy to appear,

Or breathe a word, a saint would blush to hear:

And when you sink beneath a load of years,

Your happy soul will mount beyond the spheres.


 

A FARMER’S SOLILOQUY.

My turnip crop was scarcely up,

Before the flies destroyed the crop;

                 Which was a woeful warning.

The oats were short, the hay was thin,

I doubt I’ll have my Durham’s skin;

                 Before she sees May morning

I know a lock of thistly straw,

Is nothing for her well-bred maw;

                  She wants the best of feeding.

She wants a flowing patent pail

Of scalded bran, or barley meal;

                  And then she’ll show her breeding.

She should have shelter from the storm,

And lots of oats to keep her warm;

                  And manger full of clover. [page 49]

For if she takes a weakly turn,

The hollow tail, or hollow horn

                  I’m sure she’d not recover.

I drove her round for many a year,

To every Show Fair, far and near;

                 The Judges liked her colour.

And many a decent Judge and me,

Have had a jovial, jolly spree;

                 ’Twas a well-spent dollar.

I always like to treat a Judge;

Their strictest laws are only fudge

                 To hide an ugly feature.

I know how votes are bought and sold,

And well I know the power of gold

                 To soften human nature.


TO A DECANTER OF BAD WHISKEY.

Ah! there you are, you noisy, public pest,

Denounced alike by Preacher, Pope or Priest;

Your bleary bloodshot eyes betray the sin

That rolls and festers in your breast within.

You have the orphan’s and the widow’s curse,

And every day you’re getting worse and worse;

At every cross road, travel where I will,

I see you licensed there, to rob and kill.

If I had power, I’d change the words, to sell,

And make them read, the shortest road to hell!

Your wicked claws, with filth and blood defiled,

Can snap the morsel from the hungry child,

And tear the scanty covering from his cot;

His earthly father is a drunken sot. [page 50]

The wretched mother weeps her time away,

And thinks with grief upon her wedding day;

When every prospect wore a cheerful hue,

Till all was broke in flittergigs by you.

You throw the maiden off her guard, and then,

She’s at the mercy of the vilest men,

Who watch like demons for the wished-for chance,

To hook, or squeeze, or whirl her through the dance.

At length she falls, and angels weep to see

Another victim to the barley-bree.

And worse than all, McGinnes has you down

For every crime save treason to the Crown.

Your ease is hopeless in its present shape,

You’re charged with murder, burglary, and rape.

“Hold on, hold on,” replied the libelled rye,

“The devil’s oft belied, and so am I;

I cannot bear such canting slang from you,

You know I’m harmless as a drop of dew.

I never had a soul to save or damn,

Or any weapon save a social dram;

You know my strength, and boast your common sense,

Then touch me not, but save your scanty pence.

I never yet went down a throat by force,

(Except to cure the colic in a horse,

And when I’m down, I do my very best

To soothe the sufferings of the noble beast,

I scorn McGinnes and his Clarksville band;

My case is safe in Worts & Gooderham’s hands;

I hurl defiance at the lawns of men,

And only laugh at Fagan’s stumpy pen.”)


[page 51]

EPITAPH FOR EMMET.

Stranger or friend alike, beware!

        Of how you tread his sod;

He wants no tear, he asked no prayer;

        For Emmet trusted God.

And Emmet loved his mother land;

        The land that gave him birth;

For her he raised his manly hand;

        And for her quit the earth.


THE LADIES’ APPEAL TO FAGAN.

Where are you, Fagan?  Have you lost your pen?

Or have those rival Railways turned your brain?

Oh! where is Fagan? echoes through the air,

When scribbling clowns assail the ladies fair;

Can you keep silent?  You the sworn friend

Of curly hair and graceful Grecian bend;

Will you say nothing, while the dunces write?

Forbid it all ye friendly powers of light!

“Up, Guards, and at them!” Think of Waterloo,

When Britain’s sabres from their scabbards flew;

And Eagles fell before the Royal blue.

Up! Fagan, up! on you we loudly call;

And let just vengeance on the culprit fall.

Teach him a lesson that he’ll not forget,

And ground your arguments on holy writ.

We prize you, noble heart, so kind and warm,

And claim protection from your manly arm.

“Lay on, Macduff,” don’t spare the prosy foe,

And may your shadow lengthen every blow;

And for your pains you’ll get a present rare,

A Smoking Cap, a prince might proudly wear,

And Meerschaum Pipe, to send the curling fume

Of Johnson’s best Virginia through the room. [page 52]

TO “EMMA.”

GENESIS, CHAP. II.

Hail! lovely woman, heaven’s best gift to man,

And choicest blessing since the world began;

Without thy smiles to cheer the lonely gloom,

In vain the rose-bud breathed its sweet perfume;

In vain the garden smiled with fruit and flowers,

One smile was wanting, and that smile was yours.

Eternal wisdom soon the want supplied,

And took a rib from sleeping Adam’s side;

And form’d a model fair in every line,

And on that figure breathed the breath divine.

That well developed form was fair to see,

And happy Adam thank’d his God for thee.

“Bone of my bone,” the sire of man replies,

“Flesh of my flesh,” and partner of my joys;

This hand of mine shall guard thee from all harm,

For in my heart, I love thy faultless form,

Next after God, on me you may depend,

And next to Him, I’ll be your truest friend;

For thee I’ll till the stubborn thorny soil,

And in thy service waste the midnight oil.

To make thee happy be it all my care,

While you the raiment and the food prepare;

When wounds or sickness throw me on the bed,

You’ll smooth the pillow for my aching head;

Or mix the healing dose with prudent care,

Or heave a sigh, and breathe the fervent prayer.

And when our Father all relief denies,

And bids my soul to soar beyond the skies,

Your tender hands will close these orbs of light,

Soon as my spirit wings its upward flight.

In later times when dunces multiply,

And make a buzz, like some foul carrion fly:

To shame thy sex with their malignant drone,

You’ll find a friend in Simcoe’s manly son. [page 53]

THE SHIP CANAL.

A DIALOGUE, FOUNDED ON FACTS.

FAGAN.—Good evening, Mr. Capreol, I’d like to hear you tell,

What news you have from Barrie, or did they use you well;

I hope our Simcoe Council, the Warden, Reeves and all,

Are friendly to your project, I mean the Ship Canal.

I hear you want a bit of ground to help the business through,

And that you do not care a fig, if it lay in Carriboo;

I trust our Legislators will grant the small request,

To help our young Dominion, and populate the West.

CAPREOL.—Indeed you’re right my worthy friend, if Fagan be your name,

I hope you’ll help me through the Press, to advocate my claim.

They tell me you can write a song, a sonnet or a play,

As good as any other man from here to Georgian Bay;

And when we do obtain the grant, be sure your name will shine,

And sparkle on the roll of fame, with Lesseps’ name, and mine;

And furthermore, you’ll get a post will please you, I’ll go bail,

You’ll only have to make a note, and mark each passing sail;

Her name, her nation, and her flag, are all the points to mark,

You’ll easy know the Chinese junk from Britain’s stately bark.

You’ll see with pride our Union Jack come floating through the trees,

That flag has braved a thousand years the battle and the breeze. [page 54]

Salute that flag with manly cheer, each time it passes by,

And when you see the stripes and stars, say “how is that for high?”

I only want a little patch of mountain, bog, or bush

If granted at the Antipodes, I’m sure to get the cash.

I’ve spent a fortune on the job, and mean to spend some more,

Though oftentimes I’ve got a rub upon the Senate floor.

Some men are sadly out of place, no matter where they stand,

Like lubbers on the ocean, or sailors on the land.

You’ll find a bigot on the bench, or poet at the plough,

And sometimes fortune throws a crown upon a ruffian’s brow;

Not so with Simcoe’s Council, they did the manly work;

They well deserve our warmest thanks, as well as those of York;

And brave Toronto lent her aid, she knows what Commerce means,

She has an eye to foreign trade, from fertile Western plains.

She knows that boundless wealth in ore, is hid beneath the soil,

And waiting only for the hands of skilful honest toil.

And well she knows the clime and soil of Manitoban lands;

Would feed a world for centuries, if tilled by skilful hands.

She knows our famous woods invite the hardy woodsman’s stroke,

To fell them to their mother earth, those giant pines and oak;

And make a happy home for those who threaten to pull down

Our cherished Institutions, nay, trample on the Crown.

She knows that countless thousands would leave that crowded shore,

That once was merry England, but merry now no more. [page 55]

THE ADJALA PIC-NIC, AND PRESENTATION.

Tell me, were you at the Pic-nic;

At that social grand re-union,

Where the people came in numbers;

Where the young and old assembled

At their pastor’s invitation,

At the summons of his voice?

Did you see the rustic tables,

Bending downwards, sinking, groaning,

With a load of pies and pastries,

With the dainties of the season?

Scores of gobblers, boil’d and roasted;

Story cakes, with sugar frosted;

Tea, in seething cauldrons boiling,

Blooming maids and matrons toiling;

Hams, that nearly weighed a hundred,

How the lads and lasses wondered.

Forty men with shining weapons,

Cut the hams, and carved the capons;

Duck and drake, and famous Dorking,

Fat as ever had a fork in;

Poland geese, both young and tender,

Large as any parish gander;

Cochin Chinas, Param pooters,

Lay in rows, on silver platters.

All had eat and drank their pleasure,

None complain’d of scanty measure;

All the booths were well attended,

Not a neighbour’s dog offended.

Hark! what means that great commotion,

Heaving, surging like an ocean;

See the happy crowds advancing,

From their manly sports and dancing;

Clergymen from all directions,

Masters from the different sections; [page 56]

Still they gather, fast and faster;

Doctors skill’d in pill and plaster;

Reeves and Council-men in dozens,

City belles, and country cousins;

County Members, and their spouses,

Loyal men from either Houses;

Papist Pats, and Orange Billies,

Wild as Caledonian fillies.

Not an angry word was spoken,

Not a pipe in wrath was broken;

Grit and Tory play’d like brothers,

None were there to shame their mothers

Young Alliston, that seat of glory,

Was represented by a Tory;

She sent her man of steam and letters,

To break the Hamiltonian fetters;

And link by link, as if by magic,

He broke the chain of Chisholm’s logic.

Now the Printers’ Deputation,

Make their Princely presentation;

                       Kelly mounts the stand.

Proud as Chancellor O’Hagan,

Stands your humble servant Fagan;

                       Manuscript in hand.

Every eye is turned upon him,

Simcoe’s sons are proud to own him;

                        All admire his quill.

Ladies smile with approbation,

Fairest creatures of creation;

                        Fagan loves you still.


[page 57]

THE LIFE OF MAN UPON EARTH IS A WARFARE.

JOB, CHAPTER VII.

Oh son of man! to warfare born,

Who must so soon to dust return,

Why dost thou murmur at the load

Placed on thy shoulders by a God

Who bore his cross to set thee free,

And died to purchase heaven for thee?

A soldier of the cross thou art,

On Satan’s side thou hast no part;

The cross was stamped upon thy brow,

When making thy baptismal vow.

And those who answered in thy name,

Renounced his pomps and works of shame.

Have courage, Christian soul! you know

The arms of prayer defeat the foe;

But those who throw their arms away,

Will surely fall an easy prey

To that foul fiend who daily prowls

In search of weak, unguarded souls.

Look up! look up! and view the prize;

The eye of faith can pierce the skies,

And see the crowns of dazzling light,

Prepared for those who win the fight.

The Captain calls in accents mild,

“Well done, my good and faithful child

Possess the crown prepared for thee,

Before the world was formed by me.

When I was hungry, poor and low,

And crushed beneath a load of woe;

You shared your bed and board with me

And now I’ll share my throne with thee.”

O happy sentence! pure delight!

For this we strive, for this we fight: [page 58]

And those who fight are sure to win,

And conquer all the powers of sin.

What, though our enemies be strong,

And wage a warfare fierce and long;

With fervent prayer we can repel

The fiery dart from lowest hell;

Nor Satan grim, with all his skill,

Can conquer man against his will.


ADDRESS TO THE SWORD OF SIR WILLIAM WALLACE, ON ITS RETURN TO LOUDOUN CASTLE.

Hail, matchless weapon, peerless brand!

    The dread of Scotland’s foes the while,

When truth and honour ruled the land,

    And freemen trod the Gaelic soil.

We look in vain for blot or stain

    Upon the famous battle blade;

It never left the sheath in vain,

    Or from the field of glory fled.

’Tis not thy colour, shape, or form

    The patriot feels a pride to see;

He knows it was SIR WILLIAM’S arm,

    That lent thy endless fame to thee.

The fearless Fingal’s mighty spear

    Is justly held in high esteem;

But WILLIE’S SWORD is unco dear;

    I even love the hero’s name.

I’ll leave you now in Loudoun’s Hall,

    To take your comfort while you may;

And when you hear your country’s call,

    You’ll be well rested for the fray. [page 59]

A SONG FOR THE HAMILTON & N. W. RAILWAY.

DEDICATED MOST RESPECTFULLY TO COPP & CO.

TUNE: Grania Wail.

From Hamilton City, on Burlington Bay,

Our sappers and miners are blazing away;

Determin’d on business upon a large scale,

Success to the project says Grania Wail.

        Chorus: Bubara did ara, Grania Wail,

        Our Hamilton heroes will never say fail,

        They’ll bring us good liquor, wholesale and retail;

        Come with your Toddy, says Grania Wail.

Our Hamilton boys are determined to go,

As straight as a dart from a well bended bow;

They’ll cut through the hills, and they’ll level the swale,

More power to their elbow, says Grania Wail.

        Chorus: Bubara, &c.

We’ll meet the gay fellows of famed Ballycroy,

And treat them in smalls to the best of old rye;

We’ll drink to their health in good brandy and ale,

Take care and keep sober, says Grania Wail.

        Chorus: Bubara, &c.

Long life to the Queen and her children so grand,

Especially Patrick, the pride of our land;

His name has a charm for the Celt and the Gael,

May he wear it with honour, says Grania Wail.

        Chorus: Bubara, &c. [page 60]

THE IRISH PIKE.

A pike is the best of all weapons, the pride of my dear native land,

If I were a soldier to-morrow, I’d have a good pike in my hand;

When the Cain had a row with his brother, and gave him the finishing stroke,

A pike was the weapon he used, for, believe me, a pike is no joke.

    Chorus: A fig for the bayonet and sabres, imported from Britain and France,

    A fig for the thing called the rifle—our own Irish pike is the lance.

If Samson had fought with a pike-head, instead of the jaw of an ass,

He’d slayed the Philistines in thousands, and lay them in heaps on the grass.

And David, when fighting Goliath, was lucky enough with his sling,

But if he had missed the first shot, by my song, a good pike was the thing.

    Chorus: A fig, &c.

When Troy was besieged by the Grecians, I heard my old grandfather say,

If Hector had forty good pikemen, old Troy would be standing to-day.

And if the great Morris McMahon had pikemen enough at Sedan,

He’d shiver the beer-drinking Dutchmen, or capture them every man.

    Chorus: A fig, &c. [page 61]

If ever the Yankees invade us, we’ll show them what pikemen can do,

We are the descendants of heroes, the Breed of old Brian Boru;

And though we dispute with each other, when taking a drop of old rye,

The stranger who meddles between us, will go to his grave with one eye.

    Chorus: A fig, &c.

They talk of breech-loading cannon, and boast of the needle gun’s worth,

Give me a few boys from the Shannon, with pikes that are forged in the North;

Then woe to the foe who’d attack us, or anger our brave volunteers,

With Geordy and Sawney to back us, we’ll guard our Dominion frontiers.

    Chorus: A fig, &c.


“A SOBER ADDRESS TO WHISKEY.”

(Written whilst suffering from a headache.)

Celestial nymphs, who chant around Apollo’s awful throne,

Where all is harmony of sound, and sweet melodious tone:

Behold a mortal seeks your aid, nor let him seek in vain,

But hasten, ever welcome maids, and guide my humble pen,

To sing the faults of raving John, and hold him up to scorn:

I’ll strap my rhyming harness on, and trounce John Barleycorn. [page 62]

O, Whiskey, scourge of social bliss, thou strongest arm of hell,

That dark and bottomless abyss, where sin and horror dwell;

’Tis you can tempt on wicked hands to deeds of blackest dye,

And urge our vile, unstable tongues, to swear, blaspheme, and lie.

To numerate thy stains and blots, well might the poet say,

’Twould take a thousand brazen tongues until the judgement day.

At first the beardless youth but sips the poison from the bowl;

As years advance, and virtue slips, the man will drain the bowl;

Thus step by step he staggers on that road where thousands fell,

Despising all for raving John, who leads him down to hell;

For soon he seeks the haunts of vice, his shame and honour fled,

He scorns to take his wife’s advice, but bits her shut her head;

And when he falls the last sad time, on life’s mysterious path,

He sinks a victim to his crime, a butt for Heaven’s wrath.

O ye who wish your children well, come join the holy war;

And drive John Barleycorn to hell, where Dives keeps the bar.


ON “THE SUN.”

Hail, beautiful orb! how delightfully grand

    Are the rays that illumine thy face,

A bright constellation, you soar through the land,

    Like a herald of progress and peace; [page 63]

Thy pages are open to those who can write,

    And McLachlan, thy pen I admire,

It shines in the glare of original light

    Like a spark of Promethean fire.

How nobly he kindles our national pride,

    And, ignoring the beggar’s appeal,

He shows to the world where true honours reside,

    In the breast of the Celt and the Gael;

He laughs at the broils of political strife,

    While he paints with Miltonian hand

The blessings conferred upon civilized life

    Where the fire-steed careens thro’ the land.

Then long may he drive his invincible pen,

    Without injuring Tory or Grit—

A true-born poet, of all other men,

    Is the last would indulge in thick wit.

Tho’ bigots may rave in the Church or the State,

    Not a poet would join in the howl,

But look with disgust on the low sinful prate,

    And still pity the hypocrite’s soul.


THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.

EXODUS, 20th Chapter.

This globe of ours, so firm beneath our tread,

With mountains, seas, and forests overspread,

Is but a speck in his omniscient eye,

Who spoke in thunders down from Mount Sinai,

I. “I am the Lord thy God!” Jehovah said;

“Thou shalt not bend the knee, or bow the head, [page 64]

To worship any other God but me:

I am; who is; and ever more shall be!

II. “Thou shalt not take my holy name in vain,

Or move thy lips to utter words profane;

I will not hold him guiltless of a wrong,

Who fails to curb his vile blaspheming tongue.

III. “Remember how you keep my holy day;

Avoid all servile works and sinful play;

Six days are thine to work for worldly gain,

But on the seventh, let man and beast refrain.

IV. “Obey your father, and your mother too,

They both deserve a due respect from you;

So shall your days be long upon the land—

This is my promise to the fourth command.

V. “Thou shalt not kill, or life thy hand in strife,

Like wicked Cain, who took his brother’s life;

That blood for vengeance call’d so loud and plain,

I heard the cry and set a mark on Cain.

VI. “Be sober, modest, well behaved and chaste,

All filthy, carnal sinners I detest;

Let Sodom speak and foul Gomorrah tell!

They got a foretaste of the fire of hell.

VII. “Thou shalt not steal; I hate a sneaking thief,

And rogues and robbers always come to grief;

I love all honest men, both rich and poor,

But those who cheat shall never cross my door.

VIII. “Thou shalt not bear false witness, spite or spleen,

Against thy neighbour, whether blue or green;

All men are brothers, whether bond or free;

Do good to all, and love them all for me. [page 65]

IX. “Let every other neighbour’s wife alone,

Thou shalt not cover what is not thy own;

Be kind to her you have, and keep thy oath,

And let my blessings settle on you both.

X. “Don’t covet others’ goods of any kind,

Or let ignoble thoughts possess thy mind;

For I, the Lord thy God, must never see

They neighbour wronged in thought or word by thee.”


ODE TO SLEEP.

What art thou, universal power:

        Thou blessing from the skies,

To cheer the darksome, lonely hour,

        And rest our wearied eyes?

Not to the great alone art thou

        On peaceful errands sent,

To calm the high and haughty brow,

        Or make the rich content.

The poor man meets thee with a smile,

        And thou art kind to him;

A solace to his daily toil,

        In spite of fortune’s whim.

The infant hails the sovereign law,

        And smiles beneath thy wing;

The beggar, on his bed of straw,

        Can dream himself a king.

The robber seeks the silent cave

        Before he dares to nod;

But safe within his living grave

        He woos the drowsy god. [page 66]

The greatest monarch of renown

        Must yield his will to thee;

Though the thousands tremble at his frown,

        And bend the servile knee.

The vile assassin must have rest;

        But, like the timid hare,

He scarce can trust his guilty breast,

        Nor sleep with eyeballs bare.

The honest conscience, pure and clean,

        Is thy delight to soothe,

And souls, unstained by deadly sin,

        Can slumber calm and smooth.


THE PACIFIC SCANDAL.

Did ever you hear of the Pacific Scandal?

    The griddle is blaming the pot;

But what is too hot for a Tory to handle

    If once he gets into a plot?

He’ll twist and he’ll wriggle, and talk of his honour,

    And make you believe he is right;

But George is the lad, with his heavy sledge hammer,

    Will knock them as high as a kite.

Although Mr. Allan has sworn on the Bible,

    The Grits will not credit his oath;

If I was Hugh Allan I’d sue them for libel;

    For Hughey gave cash to them both.

No doubt there was money expended for voting,

    For Tories have money galore;

And he who has money is constantly plotting

    To see how he’ll pocket some more. [page 67]

But maybe the ballot will cure my vexation

    Before the rebellion is ripe;

If not, I will whistle the tune Annexation

    As sure as I’m smoking my pipe.

We don’t want to hear of your party dissension;

    But hurry the Pacific Road;

For if you persist in such strife and contention

    You’ll injure our credit abroad.


SCANLON’S CORNERS.

TUNE: “There is no luck about the house.”

Let others sing of Tottenham, or famous Ballycroy,

Or raise the tune for Alliston, where iron horses fly;

For me, I’ll tune my Irish harp, and sweep the sounding strings,

In praise of that delightful spot where Scanlon’s bottle rings.

       Chorus:—For there’s no bar-room on the track, along the Junction line,

       Compared to Jemmy Scanlon’s bar, for whiskey, beer or wine.

And if you want good hyson young, to please the ladies’ taste,

Call in on A. N. Hipwell, he’ll treat you to the best;

He keeps a drop for customers, upon the highest shelf,

And though he hates a tippling boy, he is no ‘Son’ himself.

       Chorus:—For there’s no bar-room, &c.

All shelf and heavy hardware goods are cheap at Hipwell’s store,

For paint or putty, glass or nails, you need not pass his door; [page 68]

He has good bacon, flitch and ham, and Chilis large and dry,

And Early Roses by the ton, for those who wish to buy.

       Chorus:—For there’s no bar-room, &c.

And if you want the circle squared, call in to Master Dan,

Well skilled in mathematic arts, he knows the shortest plan;

Then bright may Daniel’s vision shine, and long may Fagan sing,

And advocate the Junction line, from Tottenham to King.

       Chorus:—For there’s no bar-room, &c.

Now let us toast our gracious Queen, but never mention fish.

Great Britain cannot shake us off, although it was her wish.

And Johnny did the wisest thing, he pitched the cod to H—ll,

And now the Grits are cursing Jack with candle, book and bell.

       Chorus:—For there’s no bar-room, &c.


SCHOOL EXAMINATION.

Come, gentle muse, descend on pinions bright;

Inspire my humble genius to indite;

Not war’s alarms, nor love’s enchanting dream

Shall be the subject of my present theme;
But sing the progress of our girls and boys,            

Who here are met contending for the prize,

With emulation sparkling in their eyes. [page 69]

I fain would see the task in abler hands,

Whose master mind could paint what truth demands,

And tell the neighbouring schools in tones aloud

Why Section five has reason to be proud.

Blest with a worthy staff of three trustees

Who take an interest in such scenes as these;

A youthful master—loved and feared by all

In mercy wields the birch, when used at all.

His great preceptor laid the corner stone,

And Dan has proved himself a worthy son.

First on the programme comes a ready class,

Which few could equal—fewer still surpass—

With clear soft voice, and accent good;

Like pleasing echoes from a neighbouring wood.

Another class of readers next appears,

A credit to the master and their years;

And well they stand a sharp examination;

A noble class without exaggeration.

The Yankee traders next in order come

Straight from Vermont, their native mountain home,

With wooden nutmegs and basswood ham,

Their stock in trade a perfect swindling sham;

And well our boys have personated Sam.

We’ll now dismiss the Yankees from the stage,

And call another class to read their page;

And here the girls are best, I see with pride,

For Poets always take the ladies’ side.

Now for a spelling class the bell has rung,

And many a youthful heart is beating strong

With disappointed hope or wounded pride,

As from the stage reluctantly they glide,

And turn their face the starting tear to hide.

The fifth class readers next are summoned up,

And well they mind each useful point and stop,

And rise or fall, the cadence high or low,

As strains of well-tuned music ebb and flow. [page 70]

These lads and lasses, scarcely in their teens,

Can tell us all of former kings and queens;

How some have ruled their subjects wise and well,

Whilst other tyrants made their realms a hell.

We’ll call the “Doctor” now, Lord save us all

From pills and powders, worse than dragon’s gall,

And if we smell his cloroform dregs,

It’s ten to one we’ll rise without our legs.

This patient danced, and so disturbed her bile;

So off he goes—he’ll charge her by the mile.

Fresh animation now pervades the hall;

Thank God is not another dying call;

But youth and health together mount the stage,

In competition spelling to engage.

We now commence the tug of classic war;

Each youthful eye is sparkling like a star;

Though cramp long words in quick succession fly,

They’re spelt as quickly by each noble boy.

Alas, that some are winged with cruel fate

To send the vanquished reeling to their seat!

Meanwhile the contest thickens sharp and loud,

As glancing bolts escape an angry cloud,

To burn or fell some giant of the wood.

Miss Shields, alone, the fiery storm withstood:

I’m proud to see how firm the girls stand;

The hope and pride of our adopted land.

Although the boys must play the statesmen’s part,

’Tis woman’s influence directs the heart;

With equal tact she tunes the soft guitar,

Or fires our hearts to mount Bellona’s car.

Her fond approving smile is heaven on earth;

And boys can win it by their moral worth.

Come forward Lennie’s sons and mount the stage:

Poor Murray’s boys are far behind the age.

We love to hear or speak the mother tongue

As pure as Shakespeare wrote or Milton sung. [page 71]

But poets claim a license from the skies,

And grammar rules are made for prosy boys.

Two rivals next in mimic strife engage,

And every eye is fixed upon the stage;

The farce was played in first-rate style, when all

With bursts of acclamation shook the hall.

Now Sangster’s class is up in grand array,

And quick as thought their little fingers play.

O, woe is me! my Irish heart relents

To see our Sterling coin reduced to cents.

O, shade of Gough and Voster! weep and wail,

For Yankee dimes and dollars now prevail.

We might as well attempt to chain the tides

As stop the onward march of Federal strides.

When London mobs are hoisting stripes and stars,

It’s time for us to think of bloody wars.

I think we’ll pass the “fortune-teller” by

Who gulls his dupe and robs her on the sly;

His necromantic charm and magic spell

Are gifts from Beelzebub, the prince of hell.

Come, Mrs. Partington, prepare the tea,

And boil the kettle quick as quick can be.

But keep your eye on the Ike: he’s on the run,

And if you turn your back your cakes are gone.

No doubt the cats are nasty thieving brats;

But Ike, himself, is worse than twenty cats.

Come forward, geographers, and tell as all

The leading features of this earthly ball;

How Mount Vesuvius vomits fire and flame,

And famous Ætna pours the lava stream.

What height can Cotopoxi’s lung propel

The fiery fragments from that throat of hell;

And tell us where the largest rivers glide,

And where they empty in the ocean wide;

What islands, gulfs, promontories and bays,

And what their situation round the seas. [page 72]

We’ll now conclude with drama number six;

And here we find poor “Paddy in a fix.”

O what a change since, when the very name

Of Irish implied literary fame!

Unlucky Paddy, Fagan knows the root

Of all your ills and ignorance to boot;

But this is not the time or place to show

The deeds of bigots centuries ago.

Let us be thankful, loyal, just and kind,

And do our best to train the youthful mind

To practise peace and virtue all their lives,

With sober husbands and with loving wives.


ST. PATRICK’S DAY, ’67.

Once more we have met, true descendants of heroes

    Who fought at Clontarf ’gainst the Norseman and Danes;

’Twas the Me’s and the O’s who have flourished before us,

    Transmitted their pure Celtic blood to our veins.

               That blood in our veins

               Rebels against chains,

And our patriot hearts beat in Liberty’s lay;

               Our green shamrock wreath

               And our flourishing faith,

We will guard like a miser; to all generations,

    That faith and the shamrock can never decay,

Till this globe, that we see, is one grand conflagration,

    The Irish will honour St. Patrick’s Day.

Though clouds of misfortune around us are scowling,

    The angel of Hope soars aloft on the wing,

For the war-dogs of Europe like tigers are growling,

    Impatient they crunch and make ready to spring. [page 73]

               Our own native land

               Will again take her stand,

When the fates have decreed her a chance of fair play,

               And legions shall sweep

               Across the great deep.

Like a fiery simoon, from all parts of creation,

    Our sons will assemble in battle array;

With pilots well skilled to make save navigation,

    And steer through the shoals on St. Patrick’s Day.

How blind are the statesmen who try by coercion

    To cripple the sons of the brave and the free;

The pitchcap has failed to produce a conversion,

    And soup has no charms for a Papist like me;

               But give us fair play

               And good laws we’ll obey,

Nor seek foreign aid to endanger your sway;

               We never agreed

               To pay for your creed:

Such a law is a stain on your grand constitution:

    For all other grievances we’ll meet you half way,

So wipe out the blot, and avoid revolution,

    Is Fagan’s advice on St. Patrick’s Day.


COUNTERFEIT WINE.

Ye gods of Olympus, in pity look down,

And shield us from Duncan, that temperate clown,

    With his slops of cold coffee and counterfeit wine.

Let Bacchus take heed or he’ll go to the wall;

Those teetotal pleaders are plotting his fall;

His sceptre and throne very likely will go

To some cold water rebel or temperance foe,

    Who believes in cold water and counterfeit wine. [page 74]

Hypocritical knaves, with visages long,

Preach against midge-proof and everything strong,

    And would drench us with coffee and counterfeit wine.

The doctors will reap a rich harvest next year,

If the law comes in force (which I very much fear).

There’s a new kind of sickness, ’tis called the cold gout,

And the way to avoid it is take something stout;

    Then beware of cold coffee and counterfeit wine.

Then comrades take courage and give us your hand,

And pledge me your honour all slops to withstand,

    Either coffee or cordials or counterfeit wine.

Stand shoulder to shoulder, my true-hearted boys;

All colours we’ll welcome all bigots despise;

The goblet that sparkles gives joy to the soul,

Drink a health to the poet and quaff off your bowl:

    Oh! bad luck to their coffee and counterfeit wine.


PEACE.

Hush, blustering, blood-stained sons of Mars,

    Your mad career is run;

Sit down and count your costs and scars,

But guard your glorious Stripes and Stars,

    The proudest ’neath the sun.

Now peace the olive branch displays,

    And Commerce, by her side,

Goes smiling over land and seas,

And spreads her canvas to the breeze,

    Fresh comforts to provide.

Now listen to the cheering sound

    From factory, forge and mill, [page 75]

Where honest toil with wealth is crowned,

And crank and wheel revolve and bound,

    Their duties to fulfil.

Now mark what cheerful, gay delight

    Pervades the rural throng,

Where strength and youth with age unite,

To wage the useful healthy light,

    ’Midst harmless mirth and song.

Then turn we to the Marts of trade,

    Where enterprising men

Of every nation, creed and shade,

Are leagued together, heart and head,

    To make their dollar ten.

Here comes the powerful Iron Horse,

    With costly freight behind!

He bounds along his level course,

Almost with lightning speed and force,

    And far outstrips the wind.

Shall we despise the poet’s dream?

    Oh no! we’ll pass him by;

Nor criticise his humble theme,

While heaven vouchsafes to fan the flame

    That sparkles in his eye.

A MERRY CHRISTMAS

TUNE:—“We’re the noble Boys of Canada.”

 

        A Merry Christmas is the word

            In every month so civil;

        Don’t you wish to make it merry

            For the Printer and his Devil? [page 76]

        The way to make it merry

            Is to pay your dollar down;

        And you’ll have the Printer’s blessing,

            And avoid the Devil’s frown.

Chorus:—We’ll give you news impartially.

               And at an early date—

            Domestic—Foreign—well condensed;

                Nor meddle Church or State.

        With your barley three and ninepence,

            And your wheat as much again,

        Would you grudge a paltry dollar

            To the Printer and his men?

        Don’t we send your children riddles

            Of the very nicest kind?

        And the scholars have a column

            To exercise their mind.

Chorus:—And we’ll give you news, &c.

        Next August, when the rope is laid

            From Galway to Quebec,

        We’ll give you all the latest news,

            And send your answer back.

        We’ll tell you how the Fenians fought

            To set their country free;

        Or we’ll tell you why they didn’t fight;

            Just as the case may be.

Chorus:—And we’ll give you news, &c.

        Then we’ll give you all the funny news

            From every foreign place;

        For those telegraphic cables

            Circumscribe both time and place.

        We’ll whisper through the herring tub

            In spite of Neptune’s power, [page 77]

        And you’ll know the world’s market rates

            In less than half an hour.

Chorus:—And we’ll give you news, &c.

        In Religion we are neutral.

            Like the famous Pantheon;

        For our readers are of different creeds,

            And so we’ll anger none.

        But in the line of Politics,

            We’ll drive the eagle quill

        With or motto INDEPENDENCE,

            As your birthright is FREE-WILL.

Chorus:—And we’ll give you news, &c.


WINTER.

The snow is deep, and sharp the blast

    That sweeps the leafless bower;

        The autumn weather all is past,

        And driving sleet or biting frost

    Proclaim cold winter’s power.

At night, when darkness shrouds the earth

    And wraps the world in dreams,

        The hoary monarch marches forth,

        And calls his legions from the North

    To bridge the lakes and streams.

His veterans leave the Artic pole

    And mount a northern blast,

        In shining armour, quaint and droll,

        And flying squadrons onward roll

    T’obey the high behest. [page 78]

For three long months the despot rules

    With undisputed sway;

        Nor all the learning of the schools

        Can change the simplest of his rules,

    Or drive his troops away.

But when they spread their icy cloak,

    All verdure must depart.

        They breathe upon the royal oak,

        And like a wizard’s magic stroke,

    They burst him to the heart.

But when the sun has passed the line,

    The tyrant feels his power,

        And starts to go, but looks behind;

        Is still unwilling to resign,

    Till chased by April’s shower.

All you with peace and plenty blest,

    Go forth and help the poor;

        All you in furs and flannel dressed,

        Let charity pervade your breast,

    And Heaven will bless your store.


MARCH 17TH.

Again we have met, and the smile of good humour

    Is shining like sunbeams on each Irish face,

Though the spirit of Mars, like the genius of Homer,

    Too often peeps out through our National race.

                          But now we have met,

                          All grief to forget:

Our sorrows we’ll cast like old garments away: [page 79]

                         This morning is ours,

                         For two or three hours

We’ll try to enjoy it in full satisfaction;

    We’ll whistle and sing like our blackbird in May,

And there’s no other tune can wake up recollections

    So dear to our hearts as St. Patrick’s Day.

Old Ireland we know was a nation of heroes,

    And sometimes a poet appeared on the stage;

Though our harp is unstrung and misfortunes hang o’er us,

    You can’t find a stain on our history’s page.

                           When foemen came o’er,

                           Invading our shore,

They anchored their warp-ships and made a long stay;

                           These Danish brigands

                           Polluted our lands,

But we swept them at length in the day of our vengeance;

    We hunted the ruffians up hill and down brae;

We swept them like locusts to Beelzebub’s dungeons,

    To pay for their tricks on St. Patrick’s Day.

We also had statesmen and orators clever

    As e’er graced a Senate in Athens or Rome;    [her

But their labour was lost, and no pleadings could save

From foreign intruders and traitors at home.

                          The bargain was made,

                          The money was paid,

Our Parliament hurried from Dublin away.

                         Our members are few,

                         And what can they do?

They are bribed by the Whig or cajoled by the Tory,

    And join either party for pension or pay;

While Ireland plods on with her pitiful story

    From pulpit and press on St. Patrick’s Day. [page 80]

SPRING.

Hail, lovely Spring! your balmy breeze

    Has shook the hoary Despot’s throne,

And sent him off to Polar seas,

    Where Icebergs mark the frigid zone;

Where monstrous whales their strength display

    With uncouth gambols fierce and strong,

And spout their clouds of briny spray

    Through nights and days full six months long.

There crystal mountains heave and roll,

    Reflecting back a borrowed light;

We gaze in wonder towards the pole

    To view their flitting shadows bright.

Or lashed by furious storms the while

    In dire confusion scattered wide,

Or madly rushing pile on pile,

    To jam or crush their polished side.

Hush, gentle muse! nor soar so far;

    Let Campbell write of Arctic storms,

While we may touch the soft guitar,

    And sing of Spring in all his charms.

Now we see cock robin on the tree,

    Midst swelling buds he takes his seat,

And tunes his fondest notes with glee

    To court his shy but willing mate.

How sweet to stand on hill-top green,

    And view the smiling landscape wide,

Where lambs in sporting groups are seen,

    Or feeding by their mothers’ side.

Or see the farmer in the fields,

    Well skilled his plough and team to guide,

His children trotting at his heels,

    Their mother’s love and father’s pride.

Now mark yon crowd of hearty boys

    In healthy exercise employed: [page 81]

You’d think, to hear their shouts and noise,

    Their game was surely lives a-side.

Now see, they muster in a throng,

    And not a breath escapes the crowd,

Till up the flying ball is flung,

    Then “Mind your goal!” resounds aloud.

Come let us wander down the hill,

    Where streamlets flow with gentle force,

To see some engineering skills

    Where children stopp’d its onward course.

The little dam is all complete;

    The tiny wheel is made to whirl,

And only for the hackèd feet,

    There’s none so happy in the world.

To blooming meadows we’ll repair,

    Where opening flowers their fragrance shed,

We’ll find the little females there

    Entwining wreaths to deck their head.

All kinds of colours here we find,

    Some glossy black, and others curled;

But use them gently, treat them kind:

    They save or damn a future world.

’Tis now the farmers’ decent wives

    Will ply their magic brush and broom;

The dearest object of their lives

    Is centred in a happy home.

Some fancy colour must be used,

    To give the lime a pretty shade:

The house by flies and smoke abused

    Will soon be clean and healthy made.

O, wicked men! when will ye take

    Their gentle hints and kind advice,

To quit your foolish drunken freaks,

    Your playing cards and pitching dice?

Be wise in time! avoid the sting

    Of low unmanly broils and jars,

Then you’ll enjoy perpetual spring,

    Beyond the tomb above the stars. [page 82]

FENIANISM.

          James Stephens swore a solemn oath,

              To set his country free, man;

         And Mahoney was nothing loath

              To help the I. R. B., man.

          Then pikes were made, and rifles bought,

              And sent to Ireland, free, man;

          When Wodehouse took a loyal thought

              To crush the I. R. B., man.

Chorus:—Foolish Boys, stop your noise,

                      Britain rules the sea, man.

          But Johnny Bull had built a ship—

              A famous craft was she, man—

          And sold her to the Southern chap

              To shoot her Neutrality, man.

          Some of the crew were British tars,

              Who went just for a spree, man

          To send the Yankee Stripes and Stars

              Old Davy Jones to see, man.

Chorus:—Foolish Boys, &c.

          Then Andy asked a recompense;

              A shrewd old coon is he, man;

          But Johnny could not spare the pence,

              Not even one bawbee, man.

          Somebody spoke to Andy, then,

              About the I. R. B., man,

          And very soon a million men

              Were ready for the sea, man.

Chorus:—Foolish Boys, &c.

          Then Johnny Bull he scratched his head,

              And looked across the sea, man, [page 83]

          And saw a lot of Yankee lads

              Who call themselves F. B., man.

          But what these letters signify

              It matters not to me, man;

          Some think they stand for “Foolish Boy,”

              And so does Tom McGee, man.

Chorus:—Foolish Boys, &c.

          But Johnny still keeps up the noise;

              An angry lad is he, man,

          And says to Andy, “Keep your boys

              From throwing clods at me, man.

          Besides, I have a piece of ground

              That lies along your lee, man,

          The brightest jewel in my crown,

              Take care don’t make too free, man.”

Chorus:—Foolish Boys, &c.

          Now Andy’s cooks have spoiled the dish

              Called Reciprocity, man,

          But still they like to hook the fish

              Below at Miramichi, man;

          But Johnny tells them pat and plain,

              “You’ll fish no more on me, man,

          And if I catch you back again,

              I’ll blow you off the sea, man.”

Chorus:—Foolish Boys, &c.


LINES ON THE DEATH OF THE REV. J. SYNNOT, LATE OF ADJALA.

He scarce had reached the prime of life,

    When like an oak by tempests riven,

His spirit left this world of strife

    To mingle with the blest in Heaven. [page 84]

But why attempt, presumptuous bard,

    To lift thy dull untutored head,

When scholars found the task too hard

    To speak in presence of the dead?

Ah! well we knew what feeling strong

    Had ruled that dark, sad, gloomy hour,

And tied the Rev. Preacher’s tongue,

    So famed abroad for oral power.

That steady look and twitching chin

    Too plainly told their tale of woe,

How floods of sorrow surged within,

    Like swelling waves that ebb and flow.*

Dear friends, let fall that scalding tear;

    It gives the aching heart relief;

Nor cease to breathe the requiem prayer,

    The only solace in our grief.

Ah! tyrant Death, thy stroke was sure,

    And sharp they fatal pointed dart

That slew the father of the poor,

    And seldom pierced a nobler heart.

That heart so large and free from guile;

    The seat of truth and throne of peace,

Where bigotry in vain might toil

    To find a moment’s resting place.

His manly bosom glowed with zeal

    To guide and guard his loving flock,

And raise them in the social scale,

    With faith well anchored on the rock.


    * The sorrows so visibly depicted in the faces of the listeners so filled with emotion the heart of the Rev. Vicar-General, who was chosen to deliver his funeral sermon, that, after twice essaying to begin, he was unable to proceed, and bursting into tears left the pulpit.


[page 85]

All party politics were spurned

    As something mean below his thought—

While love of country brightly burned,

    Unstained by one ignoble blot.

Alas! no more his voice we hear

    Denouncing vice in all its forms,

Or softly whispering in our ear

    Consoling words to calm the storms.

And when we knelt with contrite hearts

    To show our wounds and ask the cure,

He gently probed the cankered parts

    And healed with more than angel’s power.

But why prolong the mournful scroll,

    With moistened eye and trembling pen?

May God have mercy on his soul!—

    Let each and all respond, Amen.


EXAMINATION.

Let Austria mount her quadrilateral strong,

    And watch with eagle eye the coming storm;

Let Fenians sound the tocsin loud and long,

    And run like cowards after doing harm.

Let us enjoy the pleasant happy hour,

    And mark the progress in the race of fame,

 Where boys and girls ascend the mystic tower

    To slake their thirst at Science’ crystal stream.

See how the junior classes fall in line,

    Like well-trained veterans waiting for the word;

Their clever answers prove the master kind

    Has nobly earned the parents’ fond regard. [page 86]

The little females, dressed so neat and clean,

    With native blushes mantling on their cheek,

Pronounce each word distinct and plain;

    For ladies all know how and when to speak.

Now Kirkham’s boys are coming, clear the track!

    Poor Lindley Murray’s squadrons must give way;

I grieve to see the heroes falling back,

    Who kept the foremost rank for many a day.

’Tis here we find the language pure and full

    As ever fell from Shakespeare’s famous tongue,

Unmixed with Yankee slang or English bull,

    Taught and explained to scholars, old and young.

Here pies and pastries of the choicest kind,

    By generous matrons for the feast supplied,

On china dishes, showing taste refined,

    And tea like nectar, flows on every side.

When all was done, three hearty cheers were given

    For ladies all of Section No. 1,

That echoes through the vaulted arch of Heaven,

    And all went home well pleased with Bonner’s plan.


ADDRESS TO A PEN.

Hail, glorious weapon! there you stand,

    Though scarce four inches long;

The test of worth in every land,

    The sire of wit and song.

The hope of slaves, the dread of fools,

    The Monarch’s strongest power; [page 87]

Without your aid, the best of rules

    Would scarcely last an hour.

Oh! for the days long past and gone,

    And for my comrades too.

But why complain? I’m not alone;

    I have one comrade true.

And though the world exerts its power

    To crush your master down,

With you I’ll spend the happy hour,

    And smile at fortune’s frown.

And should the critic dip his pen

    In green-eyed monsters’ gall,

I’ll press you to my lips again

    Despite the scribbler’s scrawl.

And when misfortune’s thunders crash

    My air-built castle’s dome,

’Tis then your lines, like meteors, flash

    Athwart the gathering gloom.

Let painters prize the skilful brush,

    With light and shade combined,

To make the silent canvas blush,

    Or show the master’s mind.

While blocks of marble almost speak

    Beneath the sculptor’s hand,

Who labours off each faulty speck

    To form the statue grand.

Nor painter’s brush nor sculptor’s skill,

    With all their polished art,

Can match thy powers, my humble quill,

    To paint the human heart. [page 88]

HARVEST HOME.

TUNE:—“Prussian Drum.”

Come here, my fine fellows, and join in the chorus;

    The harvest is safe and secure in the barn;

We’ll drink, dance, and sing, like our fathers before us,

    And they were the boys that could take a good horn.

                        We’ll thresh all our barley,

                        And team it out early,

    And wallop invaders whenever they come;

                        In spite of the thistles,

                        We’ll moisten our whistles,

    So toss off your bumpers the harvest is home.

Now we’ll prepare for the cold winter weather,

    And plaster the stables and chink up the byre;

Our hearts every night will be light as a feather,

    When singing old songs round a good blazing fire.

                        Our children clad warm,

                        Prepared for the storm

    By decent good wives, and I know where there’re some,

                        Who work like a Trojan

                        Without any dodging;

    So toss off your bumpers, the harvest is home.

Now here’s to our Queen in a full flowing bumper,

    And long may she live to adorn a throne;

If Jonathan comes he’ll go back with a scamper—

    We fight for our country and battle for home.

                        His breech-loading rifles

                        Are nothing but trifles,

    We’ll scare him away with the noise of our drum.

                        Though our heroes are few,

                        They’re loyal and true;

    So toss off your bumpers, the harvest is home. [page 89]

THE MUD.

There’s mud within and mud without;

The constant stream comes down the spout;

Each trough and barrel flows about,

    And every pond’s an Ocean;

In vain I try to tune my Lyre:

My muse is stuck in mud and mire,

I dare not ask one spark of fire

    To put the strings in motion.

I labour hard her smiles to gain;

But bows and scrapes are all in vain;

She turns her head in cold disdain,

    And says, “give up your bother;”

Secure your turnips if you can,

And quit your rhyming, honest man,

You’ll find it still the safest plan

    To sing in pleasant weather.

But Fagan lifts his trusty quill,

And swears he’ll hunt her to the hill,

And drive his pen with native skill,

    In spite of all her warning;

For let the turnips rot or freeze,

And mud and mortar reach his knees,

He’ll sing as merrily as the bees

    On April’s dewy morning.


[page 90]

INVITATION TO THE WOOD BEE.

Come on, my heroes, one and all,

And bring the axe and pond’rous maul;

Your worthy Pastor makes a call

                  For Thursday morning;

Come Morrow, Carrol, Colgan, Small—

                  I give you warning.

Your Pastor’s wood is wet and old,

Enough to make an angel scold,

When winter spreads his mantle cold,

                  O’er hill and valley;

And blows his nor’-west trumpet cold,

                  His troops to rally.

And when he blows it from the north,

To call his hoary legions forth,

We love to see the cheerful hearth

                 And blazing pile;

When old and young indulge in mirth

                 So free from guile.

I cannot promise Malt or Rye

Lest some rapscallion would get high

And scandalize the passers by

                  On this occasion;

’Twould leave a stain of blackest dye

                  On our persuasion.

The neighbours’ boys came there in crowds,

Across the fields and through the woods,

While veteran teamsters kept the roads

                  And dashed along;

And well they plied their blue-beech gads

                  Or sounding thong. [page 91]

All came determined to do their best,

With Irish courage in their breast;

From every section, east and west,

                  There came a throng;

And well they stood the woodman’s test,

                  Both old and young.

And now the tug of war began

To carry out the given plan,

And fell the maples one by one,

                 Along the border;

Old Fagan was the chosen man,

                 Kept all in order.

He marshall’d off the men in squads

To fell the trees and make the roads,

And clear away the brush and scuds

                 With prudent care;

And place the useful rolling skids

                 At front and rear.

At length you Hammell took his place,

Good nature beaming in his face,

And proved the merits of the case

                 Without a flaw;

For Tom’s an honour to his race,

                 To guide the saw.

Then round and round the horses drew;

The track was good, the saw was new,

And went for maples three feet through,

                 With lightning speed;

At length the horn for dinner blew

                 For all to feed. [page 92]

THE FENIAN PRISONERS.

TUNE:—“The trick was played at Chester gate.”

Come, Calcraft, soap your English rope,

And swing the Yankee Fenians up;

Judge Wilson says you need not hope—

    Perhaps his Honour’s joking, O;

For, though they’re in the lion’s power,

Old Æsop’s mouse was there before,

And yet the Royal brute forbore

    To give the mouse a choking, O.

The Priest was there, the Parson too,

And had no foul design in view;

But saving souls, both green and blue,

    Was their determination, O;

Or bind the bleeding wounds of all

Who fell by bayonet, sword, or ball,

Would find them ready at a call

    To ply their grand vocation, O.

When Gotham’s council heard the news,

That Colonel Lynch would get the noose,

They ran without their coat or shoes

    To see the master tailor, O;

And when they reached the Eagle’s nest,

He said he’d do his very best

To save the Colonel and the rest

    From British hemp and jailor, O.

The Fenian says his native land

Is waiting for a helping hand

To drive the hateful alien band

    Across St. George’s Channel, O; [page 93]

Then hoist his sunburst to the breeze,

In all the pride of former days,

He says he’ll do it at his ease,

    And “right straight up the handle,” O.


JOHN BARLEYCORN.

John Barleycorn, my Jo, John,

    You are a noisy lad;

Sometimes you strike a blow, John,

    And break a neighbour’s head.

’Tis you can play the rowdy game

    At polling booth or show;

All creeds and classes are the same,

    John Barleycorn, my Jo.

John Barleycorn, my Jo, John,

    You fill the world with grief;

Of all the ills below, John,

    You are the ruling chief.

And well you lay your charming plans

    To set us on the go;

And then “a quarter treats all hands,”

    John Barleycorn, my Jo.

John Barleycorn, my Jo, John,

    You have the orphan’s curse;

You fill their cup with woe, John,

    You stole their father’s purse.

You left them cold and hungry, John,

    While Sisters of St. Jo.

Must beg for bread to feed them on,

    John Barleycorn, my Jo. [page 94]

John Barleycorn, my Jo, John,

    Poor Paddy loves you well;

And Englishmen also, John,

    Can take a little smell.

The Dutch, the Danes, the Frenchmen too,

    On you their smiles bestow,

But Scotchmen drink till all is blue,

    John Barleycorn, my Jo.

John Barleycorn, my Jo, John,

    Old Fagan knows your strength;

And labours hard you know, John,

    To keep at arm’s length.

But all his vows against the spree

    Are doomed to melt like snow;

And there are thousands worse than he,

    John Barleycorn, my Jo.

John Barleycorn, my Jo, John,

    Some cowards believe in ghosts,

And when their blood runs low, John,

    They’d frighten at a post.

But if they take the poet’s cure,

    And drain their goblets low,

They’d sleep on Hamlet’s grave secure,

    John Barleycorn, my Jo.


THE “KEY TO WEALTH.”

Cheer up your hearts, you careworn sons of toil;

Rejoice with me and welcome fortune’s smile;

Our pouch and purse no longer shall be scant

When Jemmie Sigsworth has the thing we want. [page 95]

Oh, yes! that enterprising Squire has found

A “Key” to wealth for all the neighbours round.

The price is only five and seventy cents,

And then a fig for mortgage, debts and rents.

This potent “Key” can break the charm of fate,

And raise a beggar’s heir to rule the state;

The prince who turns it wrong must soon come down,

Though born to rule and wear a royal crown.

Left-handed twists have thousands turned to beg;

Its sworn foes are bottle, glass and keg;

Forsake the jug and buy the “Key” in time;

The latter leads to wealth, the former crime.

The “Key to Wealth” is not the Key of Heaven,

For wealthy sinners seldom are forgiven;

No doubt but Dives used the engine well,

And when he died he was buried deep in hell.

While Lazarus poor, on crumbs and fragments fed,

In Abraham’s bosom found a happy bed.

Let worthy sons of fortune bear in mind

That faith and hope, with charity combined,

Are all can make us happy here below,

And save our souls from everlasting woe.


FAGAN’S REAPER.

Tune:—“Lanigan’s Ball.”

Come off to the fields, and no more of your capers;

    The midge-proof is ripe and as plump as a pea;

Or come and see Fagan’s new radical reaper,

    And there you’ll see something worth going to see. [page 96]

He sits like a Judge or a Justice of quorum,

    While Kitty and Joe go round with a glee;

Then down comes the wheat like a tropical storm.

    Old Fagan’s no Tory, nor ever shall be.

The seat is on springs, like a buggy or sulky;

    Well painted and varnished with best of copal;

It’s just like a butter-dish—not very bulky,

    But all things considered, it suits him right well.

His well-turned cranks are the pride of creation;

    His boxing is brass, and the sickle runs free;

He christened it Grit for the present occasion.

    Old Fagan’s no Tory, nor ever shall be.

Its tongue is white oak of the very best texture,

    And right on the point is a good metal ring;

It is painted with stripes of a beautiful mixture,

    And some little stars can be seen on the thing.

So friends and relations of high and low station,

    Your little persuasions are nothing to me:

Reversible coats would destroy our young nation.

    Old Fagan’s no Tory, nor ever shall be.


ODE TO MY BOOTS.

Although you’re wrinkled hard and dry,

    You shall not be forgot;

My comrades dear, I’ll leave you by

    In some secluded spot.

You never pinched my corns the least,

    But kept me warm and dry;

And well ye stood the trying test

    When mud was ankle high. [page 97]

And when the drifting snow beset

    Each pathway to the door,

You never brought it in to wet

    The hearth or kitchen floor.

But just a gentle tip you took

    On either heel or toe,

And then, like water off a duck,

    You shod the mud or snow.

And when you took me to the inn

    At public show or fair,

You brought me sober home again

    Instead of spunging there.

You often saw me treat a friend,

    Or take a jovial tot;

You seldom saw me on the bend

    When prudence is forgot.

When wrath would rise like thunder clouds,

    ’Twas then you showed me your pluck;

You always took me from the crowd

    For fear of some bad luck.

And, not that Fagan fears his skin,

    You know it’s not the case;

But still it shows you hate the din,

    And love the public peace.

And now I’ll leave you by awhile,

    To rest your faithful pegs,

But first I’ll rub with tanner’s oil

    Your well-shaped feet and legs. [page 98]

And when the summer weather’s past,

    I’ll draw you on again.

Farewell, old boots, you are the last

    From Fagan’s humble pen.


HON. T. D. MCGEE

When men of every class and creed

Denounce the vile atrocious deed,

And poets sing in mourning weed

                       From sea to sea,

Let Fagan tune his humble reed

                       For poor McGee.

Lament, ye noble-hearted men,

Who draw the sword or drive the pen;

All ye who have a heart or brain,

                       Come mourn with me—

The human race has lost a friend

                        In Tom McGee.

His head was bright, his heart was true,

He loved his GOD and country too;

And if he had a fault or two,

                       Like you and me,

He scorned a bigot, green or blue,

                       That same McGee.

He was an Irishman of worth,

As true as ever trod the earth,

And loved a bit of decent mirth

                       Or social glee.

Old County Louth may boast the birth

                    Of great McGee. [page 99]

Old Ottawa has got a stain,

Beyond her power to wash or clean,

And Satan chuckles in his den,

                       With hellish glee;

He says he’s sure of nine or ten

                        For Tom McGee.

He was the bright and ruling star,

Could guide our new Dominion car,

Perhaps his fate was plann’d afar,

                      At Miramichi,

And some Blue-nose might run ajar

                      Of Tom McGee.

Some think the Fenians are to blame;

Lord, save us from their deadly aim,

Perhaps the damning charge is lame;

                       We’ll shortly see.

’Twas a most ungodly shame

                       To shoot McGee.

But be the culprit who he will,

Who fired the hell-directed ball,

His neck should get a stretching pull,

                       From mercy free.

His chance of paradise is dull

                       Who shot McGee.  

Our legislative car is broke;

By that infernal bloody stroke

We lost the very soundest spoke

                       And axletree.

A polished gem of Irish oak

                       Was Tom McGee.

His purse was light, like all our class,

For poets seldom gather brass, [page 100]

But now he’s gone, alas! alas!

                        That soul is free.

Beyond the care of earthly dross,

                        My poor McGee.

O could our tears, that fall like rain,

Revive that honoured form again,

We’d call him from that boundless plain,

                        Eternity.

Lord, let not our prayers be vain

                        For Tom McGee.


TO OLD AGE.

I feel you coming, old decrepit thing!

Unwelcome guest! no cheerful news you bring.

You love to speak of exploits long ago;

But now your joints are stiff, your steps are slow.

Those signs are patent as your rainbow’s form,

So well developed in the waning storm;

When shining drops descend like pearly dew,

And spring the Royal Arch of green and blue,

The specs. you wear, your failing sight betray,

And plainly tell the optic nerve’s decay.

You tell of favourite dogs the game to trace,

Or how you rode the well contested race,

And spurred your noble steed through mud and mire,

Outstripping some conceited country squire.

Your comrades now are dead or God knows where,

Who often saw you lift the panting hare,

And ere your rivals in the chase came up,

The envied trophy grac’d your hunting cup.

Your sunken cheeks, so wrinkled, pale and thin,

Bespeak a woeful want of teeth within,

While those in front are loose and black to boot;

I have my doubts they’ll closely follow suit. [page 101]

THE NEW YEAR.

Last night, at twelve, I heard the voice of fate

Commanding sixty-seven to abdicate,

And leave the world in peace for sixty-eight.

In peace, ye gods! heard ye that ill-timed word,

When freedom’s sons have stretched a felon’s cord.

And vengeance grim has clutched his trusty sword?

In peace, forsooth! we might as well command

Yon rolling planets in their orbs to stand,

Or stem the tide with schoolboy’s tiny hand.

O, no, my friends, the fatal die is cast;

Revenge has nailed his colours to the mast,

And blood for blood comes booming on the blast.

The books were closed with disappointed rage,

And ’67 came limping off the stage,

When ’68 had marked the virgin page.

The hoary sage delivered up the keys,

Then vanished off upon the midnight breeze;

His dark foreboding mind was ill at ease.

Young ’68 sprang on the vacant throne,

To rule this wicked world from zone to zone;

To mark each tyrant’s act and victim’s groan.

He sympathizes with the distant Crete,

Where Moslem bigots seem to court their fate,

By persecuting Christians through their state.

He sees the angry Eagle whet his beak,

And mourn the brood who died for freedom’s sake;

We doubt at length he’ll pull the tether’s stake,

And let his noisy chickens take the wing,

And dance the jig they call the “Fenian fling,”

To “Yankee Doodle” and the “Rifle’s ring.”

The Fenian says he fears and honours God,

And venerates his native, verdant sod;

But swears he’ll break oppression’s iron rod. [page 102]

He says he feels for Ireland’s plaintive moan,

Supporting creeds that never were her own,

Who grasp her purse and mock her hungry groan.

And when she dares to lift her voice or hand,

The war dogs prowl throughout the famished land;

Then mercy weeps, when tyrants hold command.

Go where you will, you’ll meet that ancient race,

With truth and honour stamped upon their face;

But, woe is me! they never live at peace,

But rival Pandemonium’s noisy crew;

One damns the green, another damns the blue;

And while they fight, a third puts on the screw.

We hear a loyal party crave and beg

For leave to march with Orange drum and flag;

But Derby says they must not move a peg,

But watch the Yankee Fenians night and day,

Who prowl like tigers watching for their prey;

I doubt we’ll shortly have Old Nick to pay.

Those Alabama claims are up again;

I don’t know what the deuce the Yankees mean;

They ought to know Britannia rules the main.

They look across at us with jealous eye,

To see our Union banners floating high;

They’ll see the Royal standard by and by.

We’ll build an empire right beside their nose,

To test that famous doctrine of Monroe’s;

We think they know enough to keep from blows.

“May favouring gales impel our bark of state,

And truth inspire both Tory, Whig and Grit,

To steer her safe through breakers, shoal and strait.

May commerce flourish through our favoured land,

And wisdom guide our legislative band,

Till native genius holds supreme command.

May peace and plenty flow on ev’ry side,

And healthy breezes fan our forests wide,

And nerve our sons with independent pride. [page 103]

And may our daughters live without a stain,

Till each will captivate her fav’rite swain,”

Is Fagan’s prayer for evermore.—Amen.


A MEDLEY.

The doctors sing of drop and pill,

But never mention who they kill;

The soldiers sing of warlike skill,

        And how they fight for glory, O.

The lawyers pluck their clients well,

And many a lie the weavers tell;

While preachers threaten all with hell,

        Both Fenian, Grit and Tory, O.

The sailor sings the gentle breeze

That drives his bark across the seas;

The ladies sing their beaux to please,

        And all sing blythe and gaily, O.

The ploughman sings a cheerful song,

And drives his noble team along,

While Paddy swears he’s governed wrong,

        And grips his old shillelagh, O.

The Quaker sings a friendly strain,*

And so does Yankee Francis Train;

I doubt they’ll turn poor Johnny’s brain

        With all the botheration, O.

For loud the Yankee Eagle screams,

Demanding Alabama claims,

And fostering all the Fenian schemes

        To rob a friendly nation, O.


* John Bright.


[page 104]

The hero of Caprera sings

A doleful note for Popish kings;

But Louis holds the leading strings

        That keep the lads in order, O;

And Garry eats his humble pie;

The shirt should get another dye;

For Victor’s boys are rather shy

        To cross the Roman border, O.

The woodman sings about his log;

The shepherd sings his crook and dog;

The burglar sings his roguish prog,

        And steals the costly treasure, O.

The thresher sings about the run;

The huntsman sings his dog and gun;

But Fagan always sings for fun,

        And writes it at his leisure, O.


JESSY AND HER PUPS.

Come back, my gentle muse, come back again;

My ink is good, my paper white and clean;

I know you left me in a sulky rage,

Disgusted with my ink and musty page,

Enough to make a miser’s heart relent,

To see me squeeze the blue-bag for a tent,

When writing articles for decent men,

That should be written on silk with golden pen;

When men of science hail you from afar,

Make haste and yoke Pegasus to the car;

And while he canters smoothly, let him slide;

But if he baulks, lay thousands on his hide.

So now for Jessy and her puppies two—

Let’s see what FAGAN’S sulky muse can do. [page 105]

When Jessy’s pups had just begun to bark

At lambs or calves, around the yard or park,

And hunt the laying hens with all their might,

For fun to see them fly with cackling fright;

But one old clocking hen would try their mettle,

And spread her wings to give the jokers battle,

And make the curly hair fly from their backs,

With many an angry thump around the stacks,

And then return, half crowing like a cock,

To gather up her little scattered flock,

And scratch the ground in search of useful food;

For well she knows what suits the cheeping brood.

O nature’s law of instinct! what thou art

Might often teach or shame the human heart.

Alas! we find our heads of legislation

Are framing laws to save the English nation

From that foul stain abhorred by God and man

Since jealous Cain the bloody work began;

Who, wild with passion, poised the fatal brand,

And spill’d his brother’s blood to drench the sand.

But now we find the cruel English mother,

To hide her shame, will poison, drown or smother

Her smiling babe with cool deliberation;

There must be something wrong about the nation.

Meanwhile the pups had found a safe retreat,

With hanging lugs and tails among their feet,

And told their mother how the clocking hen

Had run them breathless to the very den,

With fearful beak and talons like an Eagle,

Enough to tear a bull-dog or a beagle;

But Jessy lay and heard their story through,

And kept non-intervention strong in view.

Said she, “I’ll keep aloof from all your fights,

But recognize your belligerent rights.

I’m burning with the shame, I do declare,

To see your tricks, ye foolish graceless pair! [page 106]

What business have ye with the hens at all?

I hate to see ye beat or hear ye bawl.

It’s you, you little good-for-nothing hizzy;

From day to dark, you’re not a minute easy;

But out of one mischief, you’re in another,

A nice example for your witless brother.

I had a mind to call you something nice—

Some handsome Pagan goddess was my choice;

But now you restless yelping little monkey,

Instead of Venus I will call you Flunkey,

And when you go again, I’ll take my oath,

I’d like to see the gobbler tramp you both.

The master paid the tax for me and Drummer;

He knows we’ll both be useful through the summer,

To keep the thieving pigs from doing harm;

The fence is poor in spots about the farm:

But you could never manage pig or steer;

You’ll not be worth your board the coming year:

So if you’re wise, you’ll take a friend’s advice;

You’ll quit the chickens and attack the mice;

Then Frank and Tom will give you bits and sups;

For little boys are very fond of pups.”

The pups had slept and wakened up again,

And asked the mother if she saw the hen.

“Ah me!” says Jessy, in a tone morose,

“The clocking hens are not our direst foes;

For sinful men have launched a sentence dread,

And many a valiant watchful mastiff’s head

Has been snapp’d off as boys would snap a button,

And thousands fell who never tasted mutton.

In bonnie Scotland, laws so low and base

Were never framed against our useful race.

I cannot tell what brought my grandsires here,

Or why they wandered from a land so dear;

That land immortalized by chief and bard.

No less by Burns’ pen that Bruce’s sword. [page 107]

O Scotland! Scotland! land of cakes and song,

You once had valiant hearts and arms strong;

But fate, resistless fate, has crushed you down.

Where are your Scottish chiefs and Scottish crown?

Where are your Highland clans, with bonnets blue,

Whose stalwart arms the trusty claymore drew,

The dread of foemen, but the friend sincere.

Alas! where are they?  Echo answers, ‘where?’”

“O, mother!” the astonished twain reply,

As if they scarce could credit ear or eye,

“O, mother! will your offspring ne’er require

Untrammelled freedom such as dogs desire?

Will wrongs so cruel never be avenged—

Our present situation ne’er be changed?”

“Hush, hush, my pups, our betters dare not speak

In such bold language of this British freak;

But hist, in strictest secret it be said,

I hear some talking of another raid.

’Twas but last night I heard the master say

That if the Yankee Fenians get their way,

And cross the border with their vengeful steels,

Not long the clogs will dangle at our heels.

Perhaps your mother only dotes or raves;

What part has she with freedmen or with slaves?

Instead of blaming bigotry or vice,

’Twere meet for her to give you good advice;

With maxims pure your tender minds to fill,

And loyalty, with truth and worth instil.

My daughter, let your rule of conduct be

Good nature, watchfulness, fidelity!

For though the males must sometimes be corrected,

More wisdom from the females is expected.

Let moderation all your acts pervade:

Remember that is reputation made;

And when you chance to meet a hungry dog,

Just share your bit of tripe or other prog. [page 108]

Don’t ask where he came from or his breed,

Enough for you to know the dog’s in need;

Nor snap nor snarl to drive him from your door:

It’s never lucky to insult the poor.

Take care what kind of company you keep,

And shun the cur who’d hunt or worry sheep;

For if you run in company with such,

You’ll soon be rotting in some dirty ditch,

With hangman’s rope your foolish neck around,

And stone attached to keep your carcass down

Then you may tug and pull, but all in vain:

Some bubbles floating on the muddy drain

Will, for a moment only, mark the spot

Where luckless Flunkey lies to swell and rot;

Where pois’nous toads and snapping turtles crawl,

And spotted lizards, hatefullest of all,

On your foul corpse will make their loathsome feed,

And leave your bones to shame your mother’s breed.

Now you and Drummer both may go and play,

And send your little brother in straightway;

I’d like to whisper something in his lug;

For if he lives he’ll be a famous dog.

I’ll call him Bounce, his honour’d father’s name;

For all his shapes and features are the same.

A child could see poor bounce’s image there—

His noble bearing and his curly hair;

And though he’s numbered now among the dead,

A kinder brute ne’er broke the world’s bread;

His manly bark rang out both clear and loud,

A terror to the yelping pigmy crowd;

No lion bounded with a lighter spring,

With courage equal to the forest king,

Could tear the livers out of wolf or bear,

And run as nimble as an Irish hare;

Could jump a fence and never touch a rail

Of eight large cedars from the famous ‘swale.’ [page 109]

I often saw him at the village fair,

When all the neighbour dogs were gathered there,

Both large and small, of every shape and breed;

Some famed for fighting, others famed for speed.

And when some ugly curs would snap and snarl,

And do their very best to raise a quarrel,

Poor Bounce would only lift his lip a little,

And rise his tail in attitude of battle;

And when they’d see his ivory grinders bare,

The de’il a bark you’d hear around the fair.

He’d turn his back on nothing but a skunk;

For Bounce was pull of pure Tipperary spunk;

He first saw light beside the ‘Devil’s Bit,’

Where Cashel’s famous rock would nicely fit.

When hungry Satan found the bit too hard,

He dropped it there, so sung the Munster bard.

On Slievnamon he’d snuff the morning breeze,

Or for his pastime range the wild Galtees,

To start the fox or badger from their lair,

Or make his breakfast on a mountain hare,

Where Fenian cohorts march and drill by night,

Preparing for the last decisive fight.

Then many a horse and rider both must fall

By murd’rous pike or deadly rifle-ball—

Where Celt and Saxon both will try their skin;

I’d give my lugs to know which side will win.

I fear these Irish ‘sentimental ills’

Will never yield to ‘habeas corpus’ pills.

As long as Paddy has to pay the tithes,

So long he’ll dream of pitchforks, pikes and scythes,

To rip and gut and mow somebody down,

And snap the chain that binds him to the Crown.

He does his best to pay his lawful dues,

Although his wife and child are wanting shoes;

He b’lieves that prayer can help to save his soul

From Purgatory’s brimstone, burning hole; [page 110]

He knows the parson says that when he dies,

Just like a tree that falls, so there it lies

To north or south, according to the storm—

One side is pleasant, t’other rather warm;

But whether north or south be Heaven or Hell,

I’ll leave it to Colenso’s dogs to tell.

Perhaps the tithe when added as a rental

Should be considered purely ‘sentimental.’

But Paddy’s sentiments are all astray

In spite of all his friends or foes can say;

And vows he’ll never pay’t with decent grace,

While planets roll through Heaven’s boundless space.”

Old Fagan, with a wattle they espied,

And so the canine conversation died.


OUR NATIVE LAND.

O yes, there is a fairer land

    Far off beyond the sea,

Where Nature spreads with lavish hands

    Her beauties fair to see;

But strangers rule that fertile spot,

    Who hate the ancient race,

And native traitors plan and plot

    To keep it low and base.

No doubt your royal oaks are strong,

    Your giant pines are high,

Your noble rivers large and long,

    Where floating castles fly;

Your lakes, the pride of inland seas,

    Where British tars delight

To spread their banners to the breeze

    And check the eagle’s flight. [page 111]

Vain thought, to mar the onward stride

    Of Freedom’s earnest friend,

The cause for which an Emmet died

    Will triumph in the end.

I love the young Canadian race,

    Those children of the soil,

Where early manhood stamps the face;

    So brown with honest toil;

Who laugh to scorn the bigot’s law

    In either Church or State;

Who’d make a rival creed the cause

    Of ridicule or hate.

The air that fans their forests green

    Can nerve their manly arm,

To draw the sabre sharp and keen,

    And guard their home from harm.

O yes, your free Canadian air

    Imparts a manly tone,

And prompts your loyal hearts to share

    Their homage with the throne.

No wonder ye are loyal here,

    When no usurper dare

Demand the tithe from year to year,

    With bayonets in the rear.

I’d laugh to see a preacher come,

    No matter what his creed,

And ask that “sentimental” sum

    From your Canadian breed.

I doubt your pious sons would curse,

    And tell him to skedaddle,

Or mount him on a cedar horse

    Without a spur or saddle. [page 112]

Your statesmen all, both green and blue,

    Extol Confederation,

But FAGAN thinks a year or two

    Will turn up Annexation;

Not by rebellious sword or ball,

    Or blood-stained revolution,

But by the free consent of all,

    Both Queen and Constitution.

Your neighbours had the thing in view,

    But missed their object fairly;

They found they could not bake or brew

    Without your wheat or barley;

Your fertile fields and hardy boy

    Can raise the beef and bread;

’Tis not on rye nor pumpkin pies

    Your volunteers are fed.

When duty calls them to the front

    With knapsacks on their backs,

They march to meet the battle’s brunt,

    Those fearful O’s and Mac’s.

And long may peace and plenty flow,

    And nerve each valiant hand

To strike the foe the conquering blow,

    And guard your native land.


THE LAST DAY.

When wars and famine run their dreadful race,

And earthquakes heave the mountains from their base,

Expiring nature quits her tott’ring throne,

And sable shrouds envelope nature’s sun;

Red meteors flash athwart the awful gloom,

And ghastly spectres leave their silent tomb. [page 113]

Then wretched sinners stand, appalled with dread,

And call on rocks to hide their guilty head.

Where shall they run, their guilty heads to hide?

The Ocean bursts its bounds on ev’ry side,

And forward rolls a tide of liquid fire,

Consuming all that sinners most admire.

Confusion staggers through the burning leaven,

And wild disorder wrecks the vault of heaven;

Through boundless space the blazing comets fly,

While ceaseless peals of thunder rend the sky;

The whirlwind rushes with tremendous sound,

While showers of hail and blood are falling round.

Beneath their feet they see a burning pool,

A seething vortex gaping for their soul;

Above their head, where thunders roar aloud,

They see an angry God beyond the cloud,

Whose wrath can fold the heavens like a book,

Nor earth nor hell can stand His angry look.

From out His mouth proceeds a two-edged sword;

His name is King of kings and Lord of lords.

Behind Him rides a heavenly cavalcade,

In all the panoply of war arrayed;

And down they sweep like eagles on their prey,

Where wilt thou stand, my soul, that awful day?

And now a mighty angel takes his stand,

And holds a trumpet in his outstretched hand,

And waits a moment when the signal’s given

To wake the dead and pierce the highest heaven.

Stretch, Armageddon, stretch from east to west;

Thy plains are destined for the last contest;

When Gog and Magog all their powers unite

To meet the Lord of hosts in mortal fight.

A countless host are ranged on either side;

Here stand the just, and there the sons of pride,

Who mock the cross and shun the narrow road

That leads to life, where all the saints have trod. [page 114]

High o’er their heads the rebel standards fly,

Where roaring demons swear, blaspheme and lie;

The prince of darkness cheers with all his might,

Whilst hell, unchained, advances to the fight.


FAGAN TO HIS PIPE!

(An Indian curiosity from Labrador.)

No grand Seignior beneath the eastern sky,

Though clad in royal robes of Tyrean dye,

Can send the curling fumes with better grace

Than thou art sending round my head and face!

O could’st thou speak, my little priceless gem,

Or even whisper through thy polished stem,

How fondly would I hear thy wigwam tale

Of forest life through mountain, glen or vale.

Far, far away, ten hundred miles or more,

You came to me from stormy Labrador,

Where arctic billows lash that rocky shore,

Where monstrous whales amongst the icebergs keep

Eternal spouting through the misty deep.

Secure they play their leviathan pranks,

No dread harpoon can ever thin their ranks,

Beyond the range of mortal stroke and power,

Where England’s fleet would perish in an hour.

Where towering rocks in dizzy grandeur rise,

To mock the storms that howl in northern skies,

Around their base some stunted brushwood grow,

While on their summits rests eternal snow.

For countless leagues, around that dreary coast,

Where famous Franklin and his crew were lost.

No royal oak, or giant pines are there,

Or bird or beast, except the polar bear, [page 115]

Nor scarce a trace of human life or law,

Except perhaps the pigmy Esquimaux.

Whose low unmanly form and shrivelled face

Bespeaks the rigour of that wretched place.

O, blessed Erin, when I think of thee,

Thy blooming meadows and thy flowery lea,

I bless the potent arm and power divine,

Who spread the daisies on that land of mine,

Where healthy breezes fan the fertile plain,

Or rustle gently through the waving grain.

And nature spreads her greenest carpet there,

And breathes his incense on the fragrant air,

Where Christian men of every class and creed,

Assist their neighbours in the hour of need.

And lovely women, pious, pure and clean,

Are only equal’d by our gracious Queen.

Long may you flourish, fairest spot on earth,

Thou home of virtue, love and moral worth.


THE NEW YEAR.

Will Johnny Bull look calmly on,

    And see the Czar advancing?

Oh, no, by Jove, that’s not in John;

    He’ll quickly strap his knapsack on,

And down through Egypt take a run

    To set the Cossacks dancing.

And where is Jimmy Stephens fled?

    Or is the Sunburst floating?

Old Abercorn winked and said,

    “I’ll give a thousand for his head,

Just bring him here, alive or dead.”

    The Marquis must be doting. [page 116]

I would not give an old trente sous

    For all the corporation;

But if we believe the noisy crew,

    They’ll shortly rival Bryan Boru,

And hunt their foes like whillelu,

    With fearful desperation.

How long will Bright pursue his course

    Of peaceful agitation?

Perhaps his famous hobby-horse

    Would shortly turn to something worse,

And revolution’s blighting curse

    Upset the English nation.

How long will Doctor Pusey keep

    The Ritualists in motion

Before he wakes up from his sleep,

    And takes the final manly leap,

Then Rome a harvest rich shall reap

    From Anglican devotion.

See how that noble Cretan band

    Has met its deadly foe;

Two hundred was its whole command,

    With match and firelock well in hand,

Against twelve thousand: Lord, how grand!

    That host to overthrow.

Dare we contemn that soldier’s hand,

    To desperation driven,

Who dared to drop the fatal brand,

    Despising death for fatherland,

Let others give the reprimand

    I hope he’s gone to heaven.

Where are ye, base degenerate sons

    Of noble Christian sires? [page 117]

How can you look supinely on,

    When Moslem hordes are on the run?

Go strap your Crusade harness on

    And light the ancient fires.


THE SONG OF THE WHIRLWIND.

I’m coming from my caves in the west,

    Prepare for my visit straightway;

Your strongest inventions I’ll test,

    Or scatter them round in my play.

When duty impels me to ride,

    I mount on the wings of the storm,

And wrap my invisible plaid

    Around my dark aerial form.

I want neither canvas nor steam,

    To drive my invincible smack;

While sea-fowl must dive with a scream,

    And scarcely escape from my track.

My mission I gladly fulfil

    When whirling the ocean along;

I laugh at the mariner’s skill,

    And shiver his timbers so strong.

He sees my approach with alarm,

    And lashes the helm a lee,

Still hoping to weather the storm,

    Nor sink in the trough of the sea. [page 118]

I twist his tall mast like a reed,

    And snap his chain cables like straw;

Then whistle and laugh at the deed;

    His bark is a shattered faux pas.

I carry no compass or chart;

    I fear neither shallow nor strand;

Well skilled in the nautical art,

    I rush with a roar to the land.

I level the oak and the pine,

    Though boasting a century’s growth,

As giants would pull up a vine,

    Or trample it down in their wrath.

Then woe to the hamlet or town

    That lies on my terrible path,

I level their factories down

    With a blast of my sulph’rous breath.

I scatter their grand merchandise

    Like handfuls of stubble around;

Or whirl them aloft to the skies,

    With a horrible murmuring sound.

In a moment I’m off to the plains

    To practise my terrific force;

And where are the fences or drains

    Would turn me an inch from my course.

The husbandman sees with surprise

    The fruits of his labour and care

Toss’d up like a kite in the skies,

    Or whirling around in the air. [page 119]

But when I am ordered to rest

    By that Being whom all must obey,

I fly to my home in the west,

    And wait for a boisterous day.


FAGAN’S OLD MUSKET.

        TUNE:—“Whack for the land of shelalah.”

        A fig for the Fenians and raiders;

            A fig for the stripes and the stars!

        We’ll meet the first rank of invaders,

            And teach them the science of war.

        Their new needle guns we despise,

            And their Sniders are not worth a flea;

        Their breech-loading rifles are toys

            When compared to my famous fusee.

Chorus :—Huzza for the maple and beaver!

            Huzza for the flag of the free!

        Three cheers for our country forever

            And Fagan’s old-fashioned fusee.

        I’ll clean up your lock, stock, and barrel,

            And screw on your bayonet of steel,

        And off to the front for a quarrel

            To capture the famous O’Neil.

        Our brave volunteers are preparing

            Like lions to pounce on the prey,

        We’ll hang them all up like a herring,

            Or blow them in fragments away.

Chorus :—Huzza, &c. [page 120]

        My forefathers bore you with honour,

            When Europe was almost a slave,

        And the eagle’s proud Corsican banner

            Menacing the home of the brave.

        With the flag of your country before you,

            You held it aloft on the breeze,

        And your voice was the key-note of glory

            That burst from your throat in a blaze.

Chorus :—Huzza, &c.


THE POST BOY.

        The hurricane blew with a vengeance,

            And drifted the snow and the hail,

        When whom did I meet but the post-boy

            That carries Her Majesty’s mail.

        And another respectable neighbour,

            Who kindly consented to come,

        And join with the post-boy and Fagan

            To try Mr. Tomlinson’s rum.

Chorus :—A fig for the wind and the weather

                      A fig for the cold and the storm;

                  We’ll have a few bumpers together,

                      For Tomlinson’s parlour is warm.

        We talked of our happy Dominion,

            The Grits and the Tories and all,

        And Fagan gave in his opinion

            That Tories should go to the wall. [page 121]

        Said he “We’re the cream of creation,

            The glory and pride of our age,

        The champions of wide legislation,

            Despising the old narrow-gauge.”

Chorus :—A fig, &c.

        We talked of the Yankees’ assertion;

            They tell us a few British tars

       Sailed out on a cruise of diversion

            And ruined their stripes and their stars.

        And now they refuse arbitration

            To settle their claims on the sea;

        They can’t find a man in creation

            Who’d give them a single bawbee.

Chorus :—A fig, &c.

        We scarce had a moment of pleasure—

            The post-boy can never delay;

        While others can sit at their leisure,

            He’s driving by night and by day;

        His duties are never neglected,

            Except for a moment to pray;

        If merit were duly respected

            He’d soon have a rise in his pay.

Chorus :—A fig, &c.


[page 122]

A NEW SONG TO AN OLD TUNE.

I.

Lesbie dwells across the sea,

    Her pomp and power the world alarming—

Poor Nora leans the other way,

    Not half so rich, but doubly charming.

The Frenchman has an eye on both—

    Perhaps he’d like to keep her sentry—

But Lesbie daily takes her oath

    That she’s afraid he’ll robe her pantry.

        Yes, my Nora Creina, dear

        Keep still awhile, my Nora Creina,

    There’s something due since Waterloo,

        Remember that, my Nora Creina.

II.

When Lesbie has a mind to scalp

    And wants to do it smart and handy,

She calls on Nora’s boys for help,

    Along with fiery Frank and Sandy.

Poor Nora sends her valiant sons

    Wherever Lesbie picks the quarrel,

For well she knows they’ll fight and win,

    Though very seldom wear the laurel.

        Oh, my Nora Creina, dear,

        My fair but simple Nora Creina,

    They should not roam so far from home

        To look for work, my Nora Creina. [page 123]

III.

Young Les. and Nora bargained once,*

     But Nora rues that bargain sorely;

I doubt poor Nora played the dunce—

     The other kept her word but poorly.

Since Lesbie fixed the screws that day,

     She takes delight to pinch and squeeze her,

But Nora thinks ’twas not fair play

     To first outwit and then to teaze her.

         Oh, my Nora Criena, dear,

         My honest hearted Nora Creina,

     When Pat went off you took the cough—

         You’re wheezing yet, my Nora Creina.

IV.

Lesbie pays her clergy well,

    Because they please her in their preaching—

They seldom shock her ears with Hell,

    And Purgatory’s not their teaching;

But Nora firmly b’lieves in both,

    And prays for Lesbie like a neighbour:

I have my doubts, but yet I’m loth

    To think she’d lose her pious labour.

         Oh, my Nora Creina, dear,

         My true and faithful Nora Creina,

     Your priests are poor, your creed is pure,

         The more it’s old, my Nora Creina.


* The Union.                                                                                                      † Patrick Sarsfield.



[page 124]

BATTLE OF FINGAL AND LODA.

A blast came from the mountain’s height,

And on its wings a phantom sprite,

                   To chill the soul with fear;

’Twas Loda, spirit of the night,

Who dared Fingal to mortal fight,

                   And shook his dusty spear.

He came in terrors to the place;

His eyes, like flame, shone in his face;

                   His voice like thunders dire.

Fingal advanced his mighty spear,

And raised his voice with manly cheer—

                   “Son of night, retire!

Call on thy winds, and mount the storm!

Shall Fingal fear thy gloomy form?

                   Spirits of Loda, fly!

Why dost thou come to raise alarms?

Weak is thy shield, and shadowy arms,

                   Like vapours passing by;

And feeble is that meteor sword,

Its master’s misty breast to guard,

                   The blast turns all awry;

And thou thyself art lost to sight.

Fly from my presence, son of night!

                   Call all thy winds, and fly.”

“Does Fingal force me from my place?

With fury kindling in his face,”

                   Replied the hollow voice;

“I turn the battles on the brave,

And smile upon a nation’s grave,

                   And in my power rejoice.

My nostrils blow the blast of death;

’Midst howling winds I make my path,

                   And tempests are my feast; [page 125]

My happy home is far above—

The highest cloud-capp’d towers of Jove—

                   ’Midst fields of pleasant rest.”

“Dwell in thy pleasant fields,” said he;

“Let Comhal’s son forgotten be—

                   Have I provoked the storm?

Have I ascended from my hills

To seize thy pleasant fields or rills,

                   Or sought to do thee harm?

Has Fingal met thee with a spear?

Upon thy clouds, high up in air,

                   Thou dismal Loda, say!

I never knew that thing call’d fear;

Behold my sword! behold my spear!

                   Thy threats are thrown away.

I never fled from warlike hosts;

Shall Morven’s king desert his post

                   For sons of wind or sky?

I scorn the weakness of their arms,

Their dusty spears and meteor forms;

                   Fly!” said the shadow, “fly!

The hollow of my hand contains

Each roaring blast that sweeps the plains.

                   Fly! son of Comhal, fly;

Or feel my bitter, burning wrath,

For mine’s the dark and stormy path;”

                   Then lifts his spear on high,

And forward bent his dismal height;

Fingal, advancing to the fight,

                   With dark brown Luna bare,

The gleaming path of steel winds through—

The gloomy ghost, so thin and blue,

                   Dissolved in shapeless air.


[page 126]

NEW YEAR’S ADDRESS.

A happy new year to our Patrons,

    Who pay for the STAR in advance;

We’ll give them the latest despatches

    From Germany, Britain, and France.

We’ll tell them the rates of the markets

    At Liverpool, Paris and all

The principal centres of commerce

    Around this terrestrial ball.

We’ll tell of the Burkes and the Froudes,

    Who are blowing a venomous blast,

And teaching the young generation

    What bigots have done in the past.

We’ll give you the last bloody murder,

    And keep you well posted on fires;

Our telegraph lines are in order—

    A regular network of wires.

What happens in Berlin or Madrid

    Comes here with a dash and a dot;

But men of the STAR can decipher

    The Bismarck or Carlist plot.

We’ll tell you how Rome is advancing

    In civilization and vice;

Where some are a little down-hearted,

    And others in triumph rejoice.

We’ll not say a word about Fish,

    Or the boundary line at the west;

Though Emperor William decided

    That we should come off second best.

Perhaps we shall counsel the Ballot

    To punish some low-minded men,

Who grumble to vote for a “Five,”

    When their neighbouring Tory gets “Ten.”

We’ll tell you of loads of cheap goods;

    They are lying in piles on our shelves; [page 127]

For Alliston merchants are willing

    To say a good word for themselves.

We’ll do all we can to discourage

    Intemperance, folly and sin;

Our motto is, “Upward and onward!”

    We scorn to look back with a grin.

Our columns are open for “Fagan;”

    He writes without favour or fear;

And so we conclude as we started,

    And wish all a Happy New Year.


WRITTEN FOR THE KEENANSVILLE DEBATING CLUB.

FIRST VOICE.

O! beardless debaters, beware of the night!

When a champion will meet you, prepared for the fight;

For his tongue is as sharp as a blast from the north,

When the Ice-king has ordered his messengers forth.

More dreadful his voice than the voice of the deep,

When its billows are roused by the hurricane’s sweep;

And his eloquence flows like the nightingale’s song,

Or a flood from the Alps, irresistibly strong.

His logic is sound and the pyramid’s base,

While the genius of Cicero beams in his face;

O! fly from the contest, presaging defeat.

SECOND VOICE.

Hush! timid false prophet, thy warning’s too late.

Would you counsel retreat, so ignoble and mean,

On account of the beard that adorns his chin? [page 128]

Go preach to the eagle that soars through the skies,

Of the heron’s long bill, or the woodpecker’s noise;

Or tell the young lion to stand on his guard,

For the goat is approaching, with beard like a pard.

When the king of the forest will falter or run,

We’ll haul down our colours and fire a lee gun;

But our young hearts are bounding with hopeful delight,

And our forces are marshall’d secure in their might;

And perish the youth, so degraded and low,

Who’d fly at the sight of the sound of a foe.

And our leaders, untainted, are sound to the core.

FIRST VOICE.

O! beardless debaters, your fate I deplore;

For I tell you this Hall is the grave of your fame,

And the glare of its lamps will throw light on your shame,

When the hero of Cardwell will tear into shreds

Every flimsy pretension that falls from your heads;

And you’d reel from the rostrum, unwept and forlorn,

When your airy-built castles in fragments are torn.

O! woe to the youth whom no vision of fate

Can retard from advancing to certain defeat;

Till the voice of the victor exultingly rolls

To crush the last glimmer of hope from their souls.

O! Keenansville, mourn in the garb of despair,

Let sackcloth and ashes thy sorrow declare;

For the pride of thy youthful aspirants has flown,

Like the shadows of night from the glare of the sun;

And I see in my vision the dark hand of fate

Marking down with a vengeance their shameful retreat.

SECOND VOICE.

Cease, gloomy alarmist, thy croaking forbear;

We have Shell for a leader, and Brown in the chair; [page 129]

And defeat and disaster have never yet fell

On the ranks that were led by a Towns or a Shell.

With Hollands and Hamiltons leagued on our side,

We are sure of fresh laurels to foster our pride;

While Keenans and Mitchells unconquered shall stand,

Like the Sibyls of old, who h ad words at command.

And our Colgans, like stars in the firmament, shine

With a native refulgence, so marked in their line;

And our Burkes of the present, like Burkes of the past,

Are prepared for the grand oratorical blast,

And woe to the wretch who’d encounter or dare

The fire of old France in the eyes of Declare.

Our legions are panting, impatient to hear

The shout of triumph, and cheer upon cheer,

That will ring through the Hall and bewilder the crowd,

Like a thunder-clap bursting the dark rolling cloud,

From our Towns and our Tomlinsons, train’d for the charge,

And our Wrights and our Medleys, true sons of St. George.

They have arguments pointed, like death-dealing darts;

And let foemen beware of our Hughes’s and Harts,

Like beacon-lights planted, a warning to all,

To mind how they spout about Keenansville Hall.


POETICAL CORRESPONDENCE WITH A YOUNG FRIEND.

Dear Billy, I’m glad that you call me a friend,

    For I think there’s no blarney about you;

And when you go back to your studies again,

    Dear knows I’ll be lonesome without you. [page 130]

I own, to my grief, I have musical bumps;

    But my brains, like my pockets, are shallow:

’Twere better for me I was grubbing out stumps,

    And drawing the stone off my fallow.

But you, my young friend, are endowed with a skill

    That’s seldom to boyhood accorded,

And the soft thrilling strains from your musical quill

    Has my poor little fortress bombarded.

You have mounted your friend on that classical steed;

    Do you think would the nag carry double?

You may jump on behind (I’m determined to lead),

    For I’m tough if we meet any trouble.

I hope we will never dispute, my dear friend,

    Or provoke one another to battle;

Lest the shafts of satire from each well-balanced pen

    On the helmets of poets might rattle.

Then up through the regions of fancy we’ll dash,

    Despising this world and its bother,

When sparks of true genius will mutually flash

    From hearts that are light as a feather.

My name is already established, dear Bill,

    On the face of the SIMCOE OBSERVER,

And long may that journal its mission fulfil,

    To propagate Science with fervour.

Adieu! my dear friend; but remember the fact,

    We are joined in a holy alliance,

And trusting the friendship established in tact

    May be fully developed in science. [page 131]

JANUARY 1ST, 1873.

Last night, at twelve, young ’73 came in,

To rule a world of sorrow, shame, and sin;

His youthful face was blooming, fresh and fair,

The glow of health had full possession there;

His brow, unfurrowed yet with care or toil,

Was smooth as marble, while a cherub smile

Play’d o’er his features, like the breath of spring,

From rosebuds wafted on the zephyr’s wing.

His royal robes bespoke his high estate,

While in his hand he held the book of fate.

That book was sealed to all the sons of clay,

Poor finite mortals—creatures of a day.

In vain we try to look beyond the veil

That mercy spreads to hide both woe and weal.

One bright Omniscient eye alone can see

The boundless future—vast eternity,

Where countless ages in succession roll,

To bless, or punish, man’s immortal soul.

The meanest, lowest wretch since Adam’s time,

With soul and body steep’d in nameless crime,

Must live for ever—such is God’s decree—

In endless bliss or endless misery.

Ye drinking, sporting, gambling boys, beware—

Your life depends upon a single hair;

The sword suspended may descend on you,

But when, or where, no mortal ever knew,

The present time to you and me is given

To make our peace with God, and purchase heaven;

But if we gamble, drink, and swear away,

Neglect our prayers by night, and sleep by day,

I have my doubts our chance is poor indeed,

No matter what our colour, church, or creed. [page 132]

GAMBLING.

All ye boys who delight

To be gambling by night,

    For old women’s turkeys and fowl,

Don’t you know the Old Boy

Goes around on the sly,

    To throw a trump card for your soul?

But a duck or a hen

Will be little use then

    If once you get under his claws,

He will drag you down stairs

For neglecting your prayers,

    Or laughing at God’s holy laws.

Do you ever feel shame,

At the end of the game,

    For drinking, or swearing, or both?

Don’t you know there’s an eye

Looking down from the sky,

    And ears that can hear the least oath?

Have you lost all your pride,

And thrown honour aside?

    Then preaching is all of no use;

You will go down below

To the regions of woe,

    And never see turkey or goose:

Where black devils will grin,

As they peel off your skin,

    And roll you in brimstone and fire;

For all wretches that swear

Will be sure of a share

    Along with the drunkard and liar.

Then take heed, my brave boys,

And you will, if you’re wise,

    Throw drinking and cursing aside. [page 133]

You may trust me a trick;

Throw the cards to Old Nick;

    The tail most go ’long with the hide.


THE WINTER OF 1873.

I feel you now, bold seventy-three!

And many a humpy back I see

                   Around the lumpy yard.

The trees are bending to the blast,

The pump is frozen hard and fast—

                   By Jove! the weather’s hard.

The pigs come roaring like the wind,

The weakly shoats are far behind,

                   Like cowards on the charge;

The peas were scarce a quarter crop,

And pigs will never thrive on slop;

                   Their heads are getting large.

The moment old or young goes out,

The nine will rise and “Murder” shout,

               Would vex a saint to hear.

And strangers, passing on the line,

Will stop to hear the famous nine,

                   And ill-bred boys will cheer.

I’m burning at the bone with shame,

To hear their wild, untuneful scream

               Like twenty dying goats.

I see they’ve turned against the drink,

And what to do I cannot think;

                   Confusion seize the shoats!

For if I feed the brutes on bran,

They’d turn as brown as hemlock tan,

                   In spite of all my care. [page 134]

One month of such astringent feed

Would send them through a weaver’s reed;

                   And never touch a hair.

I think I’d pen them close and tight,

In some dark corner out of sight,

                   With plank and double ten:

And when I hear the robins sing,

I’ll let the creatures have their fling.

                   Along the Queen’s domain.

Come let us see where cattle lie,

Beneath the cold inclement sky;

                   They scarcely lie at all:

For if they try to rest their bones,

They might as well lie down on stones

                   Or piles of cannon balls.

I had a mind to make a sale,

Before the Durham breed would fail;

                   But every STAR and SUN

Were full of credit auction sales,

Where whiskey circled round in pails,

                   To keep the business on.


FAGAN’S ADVICE TO BACHELORS—GRATIS.

What’s done in a hurry is often done well:

    So, boys, if you’re ready to double,

Don’t wait for an angel, a saint, or a swell,

    Unless you are proof against trouble.

The tongue of an angel is wonderful keen;

    A saint is no match for a sinner;

A high-minded swell must have dress like a queen,

    Or else you will find her a skinner. [page 135]

Go in for an equal, as near as you can,

    And if she is willing and ready,

Go on with the business, my hearty young man,

    And try and keep sober and steady.

It’s not such a difficult thing as you think

    To keep on smooth terms with your woman:

She’d be your best friend if you keep from the drink

    If not, she’d be sour as a lemon.

But if you’re a cankersome, humoursome curse,

    And take no advice from your betters,

She’ll give you a hint about making a purse

    Of a thing that we see in the gutters.

Your patience betimes may be put to the test;

    But try and avoid the first quarrel;

Don’t speak a loud word for a twelvemonth at least,

    Or gather your brows in a snarl.

You must bid adieu to the dances and sprees,

    Or else you’ll get into hot water;

Your mother-in-law is the woman to please,

    And then you’ll have peace with her daughter.

Whenever your mother-in-law comes along,

    I hope you will show your good breeding;

The cakes should be sweet, and the tea should be strong,

    With all other sorts of good feeding.

Let nothing induce you to boast of your aunt,

    Or brag of your sisters or mother;

For peace and contentment are just what you want,

    Instead of confusion and bother.

A cistern is good, or a trough, if you’re poor,

    To catch the soft water for washing,

And pumps, as a rule, should be close to the door,

    Or else we deserve a tongue-thrashing.

Don’t speak of old sweethearts; the subject is dry,

    And totally useless at present;

There is an old maxim, ‘Let sleeping dogs lie,’—

    You’ll find it both useful and pleasant. [page 136]

Don’t show you thick wit about naming the weans,

   If Providence blesses the union;

But leave that to her, or she’ll bother your brains,

   In spite of John Knox or John Bunyan.

Go with her on Sunday wherever she goes—

   She’ll go, if she has a new bonnet;

If once you rebel, you’ll see that in her nose

   As long as you live on this planet.

Keep plenty of over-year wood at the door,

   Good maple, or beech if you’re able;

And don’t stagger in when she’s scrubbing the floor,

   Or throw your old duds on the table.

If baby is restless by night or by day,

   And wants to be carried, or dandled,

She’ll teach you your duty, and show you the way

   The poor little dear must be handled.

You must get a bottle, the first time you’re out,

   Of something that sounds like carbolic;*

You can’t raise an infant the same as a trout,

   For children are subject to colic.

Speak well of her brothers and sisters, and all

   Her friends to the fourth generation;

One ignorant word, and you’ll go to the wall,

   Along with your friends and relations.

Dear boys! I have scribbled this friendly advice;

   For, be you a prince or a peasant,

The maxims are sound, and the subject is nice—

   Farewell, my young friends, for the present.


* Paregoric.



[page 137]

WRITTEN FOR THE USE OF SCHOOLS.

Delightful task, the tender thought to rear,

And train the young idea up with care,

To breathe religion’s spirit through the whole,

And plant truth’s standard in the youthful soul.

Here stands a cheerful, interesting group:

Their mothers’ darlings, and their fathers’ hope!

Above them Science waves her fearless wand,

And emulation spurs the little band;

Some ply the chalk or pencil with delight,

And through the field of numbers take a flight;

Where Euclid’s knotty problems, long concealed,

Are, on the ready black-board, clear revealed.

Some tell the names of kings and warlike men,

What heroes conquered, where they fought and when;

How Ajax flung the ponderous rocks on high,

And prayed the gods to give him light to die;

When Jove, in anger with the Grecian host,

From his dread arsenal, dusky vapours toss’d,

To blind the victors in their martial pride,

And check the carnage on the Trojan side.

Some trace the Jordan’s course with pointing rod,

Whose stream ran backward, at the voice of God!

Or point the spot where Moses struck the rock,

And gave fresh water to his thirsty flock.

Some wield the pen with systematic skill—

That mighty weapon, charged for good or ill;

Like Archimedean levers, on the rest,

To lift the world, and make us truly blest;

Or sink us lower than the grovelling swine,

And rob our spirit of the stamp Divine.

O! could we see the future fate of all,

Though none are destined for the wretched fall—

The fall of sin, that hurls us down from grace,

Insure our ruin and destroys our peace. [page 138]

O fathers! mothers! masters! guardians! all

Who hear our voice, on you we loudly call,

To nip the germ of evil in the bud,

And teach the rising world the law of God.

Without religion, all our science fails

To save the bark; when passion trims the sails,

Instead of reason, pride usurps command,

And snaps the compass from the feeble hand,

Despising prudent counsel or control,

And runs the craft on some forbidden shoal.

But leave religion free to play her part,

For she alone can teach the holy art

To navigate, with chart and compass free,

And steer us safe through life’s tempestuous sea.


LINES WRITTEN IN THE CAUSE OF TEMPERANCE.

Just look at him now, coming staggering in

    To murder the heart-broken woman:

The beer-froth hangs down from the hair on his chin,

    Disgusting to everything human.

His breath is as foul as a vapour from hell,

    Where millions of drunkards are broiling;

His lungs must be rotten, I know, by the smell,

    Like steam from a carrion boiling.

His eyes, like a maniac’s, vacantly roll;

    His words are the oaths of a demon;

His children, like rats, are concealed in a hole—

    And now he has seized on the woman.

The struggle was short, but a struggle for life

    Is marked by a wild desperation; [page 139]

The oaths of the brute and the screams of the wife

    Were horrid beyond contemplation.

Look down, Mighty God! can you witness the blows

    He strikes without mercy or honour?

The blood gushes out from her mouth and her nose—

    The savage is stamping upon her.

The delicate body is tramp’d out of shape;

    The ribs are drove in through the liver;

At length her poor soul made a final escape—

    The limbs settle down with a quiver.

Come, look at her now, as she lies on the floor,

    And think of your wife or your daughter;

And answer me plain, is your conscience secure,

    Or had you a hand in the slaughter?

You know, if you drink, you encourage the vice,

    And, be you a man or a woman,

’Twixt God and the devil you must make a choice—

    There’s nothing between them in common.

Huzza for the soldiers of honour and worth—

    Those heroes of every persuasion—

Whose Teetotal banners encourage the earth

    To hope for a grand reformation.

Come, join in the ranks of that patriot band,

    True soldiers of virtue and order,

And shun the vile stuff that is cursing the land

    With poverty, tumult and murder.

Don’t tell me you never intend to get “tight,”

    Or murder your wife, or maltreat her;

I never thought boasting was lucky or right—

    Remember what happened St. Peter.

King Solomon, too, was far wiser than you,

    But lost it by liquor and women; [page 140]

In spite of his wisdom he often got blue—

    They tell me he drank like a salmon.

But whether he neighbours with Judas or Paul,

    That vessel of holy election,

One terrible truth is quite patent to all—

    He fell from a state of perfection.

The very first glass is the point of the wedge

    That Satan inserts in your gullet,

And no other plan but the Teetotal pledge

    Can baffle the blows of his mallet.


ODE TO WISDOM.

Where shall we seek thee, priceless pearl?

    Where is thy blest abode?

Is not thy everlasting home

    Beside the throne of God,

Where untold bliss and happiness

    Are thine for evermore;

Where cherubim thrice holy cry,

    And prostrate thrones adore?

Before the sun and moon were form’d

    To cheer the darksome earth,

Ere yet the morning star was made,

    Thou hadst a noble birth!

Thy bright refulgent beams were cast

    Athwart chaotic space,

To mark the flying comet’s path,

    Or guide his boundless race.

Thy lines were laid around the deep,

    When all was drear and dark; [page 141]

The crested billows heard thy voice,

    Nor dares to cross the mark.

You guide the whirlwind on its path,

    Or check the tempest’s power,

Or teach the pearly drops of dew

    To scent the opening flower;

You teach the crawling worm his way,

    Or train the eagle’s wing;

The braying ass is taught by thee

    To ape the forest king.

We scarcely think the slimy snail,

    So humble, weak and slow,

Can claim to be a sterling link

    In thy vast chain below;

But when we see the mighty whales,

    Like moving mountains roll,

We recognize thy sovereign power,

    And bow the humble soul.

Before the solid earth was called

    To rise above the flood,

Each fertile plain and barren waste

    By thee were understood.

But that one spot we call our own,

    No matter where it lies,

Is still the dearest spot on earth

    Beneath the brightest skies.

And where our fathers’ bones were laid,

    We’d like to leave our own;

Till rous’d by that tremendous call

    Of Gabriel’s trumpet-tone.

This feeling must descend from thee,

    By all so keenly felt—

It sparkles in the Saxon’s soul

    And blazes in the Celt.

Like some undying lamp it burns

    In that mercurial race;

His love of country, after God,

    Assumes the highest place. [page 142]

POTATO DIGGING.

The hurry is on us again,

    And we’ll soon have the frost and the snow;

Come Billy, and Johnny, and Jane,

    Come on with your basket and hoe.

The Flukes and the Roses are ready,

    We’ll never delay for the rest;

The weather is rather unsteady,

    And “Streamers” appear in the west.

The Roses and Chilies are chief,

    And the Chilies are long as my shoe;

But give me the Cups and roast beef,

    And I’ll leave all the others to you.

We’ll pull all the stalks as we go,

    And throw them in heaps on the sod;

I’ll make an example of Joe,

    For I see he’s beginning to clod.

Come, Billy, you impudent romp, you—

    You must let the girls alone;

You’re early beginning, you scamp, you,

    To show what is bred in your bone;

But I’ll watch you, my lad, while you’re here,

    And I’ll keep you in under my eye;

You are well worth a watching, I fear,

    Although you are looking so shy.

Put down your two hands, Master Jack,

    You are like an old wife of four score;

Come bend that unfortunate back,

    For it never was bended before.

See Billy is down on his knees,

    With a visage as mild as a nun,

And Jack says his fingers will freeze,

    And he wonders what happen’d the sun.

He thinks that the horn is lost,

    Or his mother gone off in a swoon, [page 143]

And he talks about making a roast,

    For he knows it is long after noon.

And Billy would far rather dig

    Than be picking raw Cups, as a rule,

And he longs for the day he’ll be big,

    And get rid of his studies at school.

Thus few are content with the plan

    Of the Infinite Ruler on high;

The boy often envies the man,

    And the man would again be a boy.


WHO DRINKS?

No class, from the King to the Beggar, is free,

Or creed or profession but gets on the spree;

While Lords, Dukes and Earls indulge in champagne,

Why not the poor Peasant when harvesting grain?

Some Lawyers and Doctors must own to the fault,

A strong inclination for brandy or malt;

And sometimes the Butcher will get on the go,

And Bakers, to match him, will moisten their dough.

Some Farmers get tight on the day they wash sheep,

And Sailors drink grog as they plough through the deep;

Some Printers delight in the pure mountain dew,

And Devils, no doubt, often take a drop too.

Some Poets, who soar like the eagles on high,

Acknowledge a wound by a shot from old rye;

The strength of the liquor combined with the gloom

Sent somebody sporting through Achill and Tuam. [page 144]

At length when the day-star appeared in the East,

Like other John Gilpins, he blamed a strange beast;

Thus Adam blamed Eve, and poor Eve blamed the snake;

From that day to this human nature is weak.

The Clergy and Ladies are all you can trust;

The rest, more or less, will be found on the burst;

And hypocrite tipplers, who drink on the sly,

Are loudest declaimers on questions of rye;

And turn up their eyes, like blind cods, to the clouds

When grand sculls of herring surround them in crowds;

The Sons of St. Crispin can take it with pleasure,

And Tailors are ready to take a full measure.

The hard-working Blacksmith will swallow his tot,

Since Nature has planted a spark in his throat;

The Indian will drink it in spite of the law,

And when he gets squibby,* I pity his Squaw.

And others who boast of a civilized life

Will show a shut fist to a temperate wife—

Wild Negroes will take it and lie down to sleep,

Then Slave-dealers hurry them off to the deep,

And sell them like cattle, a damnable sin—

Because the poor Negro is dark in the skin.

O! Civilization, what vices untold

You still perpetrate by your liquor and gold!

O! ye who have power or a mission sublime

To train us in virtue or guard us from crime,

Leave nothing undone with the pen or the tongue

To help the poor sinner, the old and the young.


* Drunk.


[page 145]

A NEW SONG.

        Dear friends, we have matches galore,

            And a “cead mille failthe” for you,

        Havanas a reasonable store,

            And a drop of the pure mountain dew.

        There’s not a headache in a barrel,

            Our liquors are all the best brands,

        You’re welcome to drink, but don’t quarrel,

            At Foy’s or Edwards’, or Hand’s.

Chorus:—Huzza for our clear shining glasses,

                    All waiting for you in the bar;

                 Huzza for our Alliston lasses,

                    Who shine like our Alliston STAR.

        You’ll find a fresh STAR on our tables,

            With all other news of the day,

        And ostlers attending the stables

            With lots of fine timothy hay.

        Our oysters are fresh as the breezes

            That blow in our own native lands,

        And brandy to cure all diseases

            At Foy’s, or Edwards’, or Hand’s.

Chorus:—Huzza, &c.

        We’ve all kinds of rations in reason,

            The seasons afford as they roll,

        And lots of fine fish for the season,

            When pork would endanger your soul.

        We’ll roast you a herring, my hearty,

            When beefsteak would break the commands;

        We honour each well-meaning party

            At Foy’s, or Edwards’, or Hand’s, [page 146]

        We keep something soft for your daughters;

            Your boys as a rule take it hard;

        And Sons who believe in cold water

            Will find a good pump in the yard.

        And jokers who venture to knock up

            A row in our village so grand,

        Will soon find their way to the lock-up

            From Foy’s, or Edwards’, or Hand’s.

Chorus:—Huzza, &c.


LINES ON RECEIVING THE PRESENT OF AN INKSTAND.

Dear friends, your present is too grand,

    And cordially I thank you;

And high among the chosen band

    Of bosom friends I rank you.

I’ll hold the givers and the gift

    In fond consideration,

Until this heart, of life bereft,

    Shall cease its palpitation.

And when the tyrant, Death, at last

    Shall stop this tuneful throttle,

I’ll look with pleasure on the past,

    And grieve to part my bottle.

All men must own some venial fault

    To keep them low and humble,

And those who shun the Rye and Malt

    Have little cause to grumble. [page 147]

Avoid the liquor as you would

    The small-pox and the fever;

MCKENNA says it spoils the blood,

    And MAC. is no deceiver.

When Fortune turns away her head,

    And seems to frown upon you,

Just snap your fingers at the jade,

    And say “I’d scorn to own you.”

Her fickle wheel may take a twist

    As quick as Vulcan’s nailrod,*

And send us Californian dust

    Along the Junction Railroad.

To-day she smiles on all her sons

    Who advocate the Junction;

To-morrow tramples ancient thrones

    Without the least compunction.

When troubles thick as hail shall flock

    Around your habitation,

Let faith repel or bear the shock

    With pious resignation:

Still let the golden rule preside

    O’er all your public dealings,

Nor suffer bigotry or pride

    To wound a neighbour’s feelings.

Remember, all are born free

    To practise good or evil;

But some are always on the spree,

    And that’s what plays the d—l.

Though belted knights may join in war

    To win a Star or Garter,

Let Honour be your guiding Star,

    And Honesty your charter.


* Lightning.


[page 148]

No Monarch then on gilded throne

    Can sit with lighter conscience,

Or drouthy toper left alone

    To guard Jamaica’s puncheons.

May peace and plenty, day and night,

    Attend you till you’re doating;

While you can print and Fagan write,

    We’ll keep the COMET floating.


THE ALABAMA CLAIMS.

PATRIOTIC.

I doubt these nasty Alabama Claims

Will light a torch and set the world in flames;

I thought the thing was settled long ago,

Without a noisy word or angry blow,

By men of judgment sound on every part

Of legal lore and diplomatic art.

But now, it seems, our hopes were built on sand,

For every day brings forth a fresh demand;

The Bank of England scarcely could avail

To meet these Yankee Claims; but I’ll go bail

They’ll change the music to a milder tune,

Or get their pay in dumplings pretty soon.

I’m not the man to advocate a fight,

Or “blow the coals” to kindle latent spite;

But when I read that shameless balderdash,

Three Hundred Million Pounds of ready cash,

I swore a horrid oath, “By Bloody Mars,”

I’d run my poker through the “Stripes and Stars.”

Three Hundred Million Pounds are hard to get—

We’ll try would baser metal pay the debt. [page 149]

Instead of one, we’ll send a full half score

Of “Alabamas” round their sea-girt shore,

Well mann’d, and loaded to the water-line

With something else instead of sterling coin;

We’ll pay the “bill” with interest in advance,

And keep a little still for Spain or France.

Some Yankees say we broke the neutral laws,

And ran blockades to aid the Southern cause,

And recognized their rights to soon by far,

And thus prolong’d the dreadful scourge of war.

To this we answer, Catch, and kill, and cure

Both Cod and Herring at their very door,

And make a highway of Canadian streams,

But speak no more of “Alabama Claims.”

YOUNG CANADA, INDIGNANT.

What right have Yankees to our fish, because

Some English sailors cropt the Eagle’s claws?

If I had men enough on land and sea,

The d—l a Horney-bang they’d get from me.


SPRING.

What pen can paint the balmy breeze of Spring,

Except a feather from an angel’s wing,

When genial Nature all her works renew,

And rosebuds open in the morning dew?

How sweet to wander in the twilight hour,

And muse on Nature’s all-reviving power,

Or turn our minds aloft to Nature’s God,

Who rules the spheres and fructifies the sod. [page 150]

The same Almighty mind pervades the whole—

Blooms at the South, or freezes at the Pole.

His perfect works, obedient to his will,

Roar in the storm or murmur in the rill;

Vile man alone would thwart the general plan—

Poor narrow-minded, fickle, selfish man!

His finite reason, clouded since the fall,

But dimly shines, or scarcely shines at all;

His mind engrossed with some financial scheme,

And money, money all his end and aim.

Both heat and cold alternate come and go,

Like Ocean tides, a constant ebb or flow;

Such agitation purifies the air,

And, for our lungs, the healthy draught prepare.

Both wind and wave fulfil the grand design,

And move obedient to a power divine.

Come let us walk among the budding trees,

And learn a lesson from the busy bees,

When Nature’s instinct guides them to the wood

In search of pollen for their youthful brood.

Mark how they kept the straight unerring line,

Perhaps for miles from some old giant pine

Whose hollow trunk has been their happy home

For many years, and may for years to come;

Unless some Nimrod, famous in the chase,

Will set his traps to find their hiding-place.

With scented oils he lures them from afar,

A box and torch implements of war;

With smoke of burning comb he scents the breeze,

And coaxes down the unsuspecting bees,

And every one he captures in detail,

He dusts some whitish powder on his tail:

And when the powder’d gentry venture back,

The hunter knows them and pursues his track.

No swamp or swale can turn him from his course,

Through mud and mire he canters like a horse; [page 151]

And when at length he trees the flying game,

With prudent care he marks his honoured name.

Both day and date appear so full in sight,

His prior claim protects the finder’s right.

Hark! how the robin sings, so loud and clear,

And seems to say, “I know I’m welcome here.

The children love to see my ruddy breast,

And no good child would rob a robin’s nest;

For if they put their hand upon my eggs,

I’ll send the hawks to fix their feet and legs,

And laugh to hear them whining in their pain,

When tears are running down their cheeks like rain.”

Now, when you pass your neighbour’s cattle yard,

Pass no remarks; the winter has been hard;

And hay was short, to make the matter worse,

And oats and turnips both were very scarce.

The Durham breed were all lifting first,

Though some maintain the Devons are the worst.

See here’s a Durham, just the skin and bone,

And there’s a Devon scarce can rise alone.

I wish we had the hardy Kerry breed,

Those English brutes will never stand the feed;

And when they fall, it takes a bee of men

To get a Durham on her legs again.


FAGAN’S APPEAL TO THE MEN OF SOUTH SIMCOE.

Come on my heroes, one and all,

And do your duty at the POLL

                       To help the Junction Road. [page 152]

South Simcoe men are just the whack—

They have a broad and manly back,

                       Well fit to bear the load.

What signifies the trifling sum

To him who has a happy home,

                       Where peace and plenty float?

And countless thousands yet unborn

Will hold the wretch in utter scorn

                       Who casts the beggar’s vote.

There’s not a sober man so low,

Would grudge a paltry pound or so

                       To aid the grand design;

And those who drink would surely win—

The CARS would bring both rum and gin,

                       And pure imported wine.

Some lads are nearly ruined now

By drinking stuff would kill a sow,

                       Or give a mule the bots.

’Twould tax McKenna’s matchless skill

To name the drug or mix the pills

                       Would cure their parboil’d guts.

Let honest Tories lead the van,

And VOTE THE BONUS every man;

                       I doubt the girls are shy.

Perhaps they think the Hog Bay road

Would rise them high above the mud—

                       Say “How is that for high?”


THE DEATH OF GOLIATH.

The Philistines marhsall’d their hosts on a hill,

And swore by their gods they would slaughter and kill

The few chosen heroes who stood like a wall,

Commanded by Abner, the captain of Saul. [page 153]

No hostile engagements took place for a time,

Though all were imbued with a courage sublime,

Determined to conquer or die in the fight,

Till Giant Goliath appeared in his might.

Each morning and evening he strode to the plain,

And shouted defiance to Saul and his men;

Saying, “Choose out a man to do battle with me,

And if he can conquer, your people are free;

But if I prevail, as I certainly shall,

Your people shall serve us in slavery’s thrall.”

His boasting for forty long days was the same,

Till at length came a stripling, one David by name.

He came with provisions, a staff and a sling,

And spoke like a man to the people and king.

“Have courage, my brothers, let none be afraid,

I’ll cut off his baseborn Philistine’s head;

And leave his foul carcase a prey to the beast,

And the blood-sucking vulture shall share in the feast.

It’s not long ago since I conquered a pair

Of saucy intruders, a lion and bear;

I throttled them both, and I rescued the ram,

Sustained by the God of our sire Abraham.

The God of our fathers is worthy of trust,

But I’ll have a few stones if it comes to the worst.”

So David ran down to the brook in great haste,

And chose five smooth bullets, the size of his fist;

Then off to the field, without buckler or sword,

Put a stone in his sling, in the name of the Lord,

And sent it off whizzing like screw rifle ball

And sank it an inch in the Philistine’s skull.

Then down fell Goliath, his face to the ground,

With a howl like a lion, that echoed around.

Then David advanced, and we honour his spunk,

And he severed the Philistine’s head from the trunk;

And he got the King’s daughter—she paid him for all,

Her name being Michal, the daughter of Saul. [page 154]

THE RHEUMATIC BELT.

I often read of magic wands

Performing feats in Pagan lands,

When used by necromantic hands

                          Of hellish breed,

Who laugh to scorn the ten commands

                           And Christian creed.

But Rose’s Belt I mean to sing—

It cures the worst rheumatic sting

That ever struck you, Fall or Spring,

                           In hip or thigh.

Let cripples dance the Highland Fling,

                           And jump for joy.

Beware of Alopathic skill,

Their powerful drugs may cure or kill;

But try the mild Eclectic pill,

                          Or healing weeds,

That Nature spreads on every hill

                           For all our needs.

Did Providence ordain the dose

Of Mercury, that fatal dross,

To stretch its victims by the gross

                           For friends to bury,

And send poor souls in scores across

                           Old Charon’s ferry?

Give ear to those who wish you well,

And shun the deadly calomel,

But use the Belt before you swell

                           About the knee,

And you’ll be sound as any bell—

                           So may it be. [page 155]

The belt is filled, I understand,

With something powerful, great and grand,

Surpassing far the golden sand

                           Of Eldorado,

And men of science through the land

                           All whisper credo.

Some chemists tried their skill in vain,

And ripp’d a belt with might and main;

To analyse it grain by grain

                           They done their best.

A sovereign antidote to pain,

                           It stood the test.

You’ll want a pocket in your shirt

To hold the alum near your heart,

It gathers pain from every part,

                           Both front and rear.

Then fires it off just like a dart

                           Through vacant air.


TEMPERANCE LECTURE, BY FAGAN.

Celestial nymphs, who chant around Apollo’s awful throne,

Where all is harmony of sound, and sweet melodious tone,

Behold, a mortal seeks your aid, nor let him seek in vain,

But hasten, ever welcome maids, and guide my humble pen; [page 156]

To sing the faults of raving John and hold him up to scorn,

I’ll strap my rhyming harness on, and trounce John Barleycorn.

O, whiskey, scourge of social bliss, thou strongest arm of hell,

That dark and bottomless abyss where sin and horror dwell,

’Tis you can tempt on wicked hands to deeds of blackest dye,

And urge our vile, unstable tongues to swear, blaspheme and lie.

To numerate thy stains and blots, well might the poet say

’Twould take a thousand brazen tongues until the judgment day.

At first the beardless youth but sips the poison from the bowl;

As years advance and virtue slips, the man will drain the bowl.

Thus step by step he staggers on that road where thousands fell,

Despising all for raving John, who leads him down to hell;

For soon he seeks the haunts of vice, his shame and honour fled;

He scorns to take his wife’s advice, but bids her shut her head;

And when he falls the last sad time on life’s mysterious path,

He sinks a victim to his crime, a butt for Heaven’s wrath.

O, ye who wish your children well, come join the holy war,

And drive John Barleycorn to hell, where Dives keeps the bar. [page 157]

WHERE ARE THE IRISH?

Where’er the flag of Britain soars,

    You’ll find an Irishman;

And when the storm of battle roars,

    You’ll find him in the van.

You’ll find him in his native land

    As healthy as a trout,

With willing heart and ready hand

    To give the foe a clout.

Perhaps you’ll find him sometimes poor,

    But honest all the while;

Or driving in a coach and four

    In all the royal style.

You’ll find him loyal, firm and true

    To emperors and Kings;

And, if you look, you’ll find a few

    Beneath the Eagle’s wings.*

You’ll find him in the Torrid Zone

    Fulfilling some design,

And toiling in a broiling sun

    Beneath a Tropic Line.

You’ll find him crossing Labrador;

    An Irishman was he,

You can’t forget the brave McClure,

    Who found a Polar Sea.

You’ll find him steadfast as a yew,

    And full of pious zeal,

For let his creed be green or blue,

    He’ll back it up with steel.


* The neighbouring republic.


[page 158]

You’ll find him in the felon’s dock,

    A victim to the laws;

Some bigot got his cranium broke,

    And Paddy knows the cause.

You’ll find him on the ocean blue,

    In search of honest gain,

But never with the pirate crew

    Or in the Mormons’ train

You’ll find him writing for the STAR,

    That brilliant orb of light,

Where Science drives her flaming car

    With energy and might.

And there he makes a loyal call,

    To son as well as sire,

To guard their country like a wall

    Of adamant or fire.

He calls on men of every creed

    To try his patent plan,

The grandest rig for sowing seed

    Invented yet by man.

It sows so even, sure and low,

    Beneath the Roller frame—

No matter how the winds may blow,

    It always sows the same.


MUSINGS.

Observe the ladies—bless their loving heart!

They always play a most important part:

Their boilers must be hung secure and well—

Perhaps the soap grease has begun to smell. [page 159]

When large blue flies disturb the public peace,

They must have lye to regulate the grease;

Don’t say a word—you won’t if you have sense—

But fill the leach and fix the garden fence.

You know yourself the pigs are rather thin,

A five inch crack would let the runners in;

I’ll never keep so many stores again—

It does not pay to fatten pork on grain.

Come, rake the rubbish from the kitchen door,

There’s no excuse for dirt; and if you’re poor,

You should be honest, clean and sober too,

And have more comfort than a wealthy Jew.

When all is tidy round the house and yard,

Yoke up the plough to turn the grassy sward;

The ploughman’s steady and the horses keen:

The plough is matchless—Butterfield’s thirteen.

The stumps are gone, and so are many sins;

We used to curse the roots that broke our shins:

When Buck and Bright would make the splinters fly,

And haw, or gee, to pass the hemlocks by.

Instead of stump, or root, or barsbeer plough,

We have the thistles to content with now;

They represent the curse that struck the land

When Eve and Adam broke the Lord’s command.

And though our horses reap, and thrash and mow,

We were as happy forty years ago,

When clearing timber from the virgin soil,

With youthful hearts we met our manly toil,

And neighbours then were social, kind and free,

And ever ready to attend a bee;

With four good rollers and myself to plan,

Old Buck and Bright have often led the van.

With rolling skids I gave the lads a chance

And every bee would finish with a dance;

With jig and reel we’d make the shanty ring,

And those who could not dance would jilt and sing. [page 160]

With decent Irish jigs we beat the floor,

And practised hands would dance the old French four;

The name of polka then was never heard,

And only Jews would wear a lengthy beard.

But times are chang’d, and every year is worse,

And beardless boys, like Irish jigs, are scarce.

The dirty polka now is all the go;

The thing was planned by him who rules below;

All decent boys should cry the nuisance down,

And leave the polka to the lads in town.

The dust is flying now on every hill,

Some sow by hand and some prefer the drill;

But those who sow with Colgan’s patent plan,

Can sow and roll and save a working man.


A BIT OF FUN.

Three million dollars of the people’s money

Are under lock and key with Sandfield Johnny;

And Johnny Sandfield is a canny man

To gather money, honest if he can;

For well he knows the value of the dimes—

They help a body at election times.

Some noisy Grits are shouting for a share,

They think the thing should be divided fair;

But de’il a cent the Grits will get, I know,

Until they wheel about and jump Jim Crow;

And, when they turn their jackets inside out,

They’ll get an honest share, I have no doubt;

And Johnny knows that scores would turn their coat,

Or sell their King and country for a groat.

Poor fallen nature plays the knave or fool,

And Grits are no exception to the rule. [page 161]

But Johnny Sandfield is too cute a man

To scatter siller on the Grittish plan,

And sow it blindly broadcast, north and south,

To please the Blakes and stop McKenzie’s mouth.

Give me the Donalds from the land o’ cakes,

I’m always great with those who hold the stakes;

A fig for all the Dunkins, Browns and Blakes.

’Twas them, confound them, taxed our malt and rye,

I wish they may repent before they die,

For if they don’t I have suspicious strong

They’ll call on Lazarus to cool their tongue.

I mind the time, a few short years ago,

We only paid our twopence for a throw,

And for a quarter we could treat the bar;

Is that correct, my Allistonian STAR?

And liquor then was twice as good as now,

And some keep stuff would poison rats, I vow.

But for a swig we pay our threepence down,

And if we treat the bar, it’s half a crown.

Confusion smite the humbugs, hip and thigh,

Who taxed the Poet’s comfort, malt and rye.

I hear the tax is struck off coal and coke,

And coalition members turned the yoke.

Some starboard hands jumped to the larboard side—

Unlucky Tories, have ye lost your pride?

O, Jamie Beaty, have you lost your wits

And cast your vote among the shining Grits,

To hold your shaky seat another term,

Lest Brown and Blake would burst the patent firm?


[page 162]

ALLISTON.

Hail! Alliston, centre of commerce and trade,

Young Queen of Tecumseth, where fortunes are made;

The sound of thy engines is heard from afar,

Like the onset of battle or clangour of war.

They fair, graceful daughters our homage command,

And thy temperate sons are the pride of our land;

No Loafer or Rowdy can flourish or thrive

Where all are as busy as bees in a hive—

Some driving the plane, others guiding the saw,

And some make a living expounding the law.

Thy elegant stores are a credit to thee,

Where merchants are fam’d for the best flavour’d tea,

And tropical spices direct from the line,

And clothes of all textures, the best superfine;

Silks, satins, and doeskins, to suit all our wants,

And tweeds of all colours, for jackets and pants,

And ready-made clothing our limbs to adorn,

And plaids patronized by the Marquis of Lorne.

And if you want something to cover your cloots,

Step into the Temple and look at our boots:

Our boots, shoes and gaiters, can boast a new wrinkle;

They don’t go aside or give out at the ankle;

No matter how crooked and shambling you go,

Our boots will keep straight, and our prices are low.

For hardware or stoves go to honest P. D.,

A man of sound judgment, no bigot is he,

Well fit for the office of Warden or Reeve—

He writes a good hand and would scorn to deceive.

Some honest Reformers are here to be found,

And some loyal Tories are scattered around;

But all are determined like brothers to join,

And vote a fair Bonus to help the loop-line.

Some jokers will say there’s a trick in the loop,

And call it a Government ticket for soup, [page 163]

To gain a few votes for the time-serving crew

Who sail with Sir John in his piebald canoe.

A fig for such bigots, who level their spleen

At Johnny so Orange, and Cartier so Green;

If some use the left foot and others the right,

Is that just a reason why neighbours should fight?

Hold on Mr. Fagan, in mercy come back,

Thy neat little engine will run off the track.

Quick! whistle down brakes, you’ll have wigs on the green—

Huzza for the loop-line, and God save the Queen.


SONG.

            Let soldiers take care of the nation,

                And boast of their conquering wars,

            While we sing the Alliston station,

                And cheer for the Narrow Gauge cars.

Chorus:—Huzza for the Maple and Beaver,

                    A fig for the stripes and the stars,

                 Our motto is progress for ever—

                    Huzza for the Narrow Gauge cars.

            Don’t call it wild speculation

                Concocted by Nolan and Jones,

            Or the curse of the whole congregation

                Will fall on your rotten old bones.

Chorus:—Huzza, &c.

            Don’t talk of the ills of to-morrow—

                Let no one attempt to complain— [page 164]

            Our reeves and our council can borrow,

                And cash will be plenty again.

Chorus:—Huzza, &c.

            Our farmers are strong in the shoulder,

                And willing to carry the load,

            And before they are seven years older

                Their daughters can pay for the road.

Chorus:—Huzza, &c.

            Our ladies raise fowl every season,

                And trade them for dress in the fall;

            The storekeepers call it high treason

                To pay out a copper at all.

Chorus:—Huzza, &c.

            But soon as the Narrow Gauge whistle

                Comes sounding to Alliston vale,

            Our gents will be all in a bustle,

                And gobblers be cash on the nail.

Chorus:—Huzza, &c.


FAREWELL LINES TO A FRIEND.

Dear friend of my youth, let us whisper goodbye

With a manly “shake hands” and a smile in our eye;

No crocodile tears shall appear as we part,

Nor a hypocrite sigh from this old honest heart. [page 165]

Though early we met, on true Friendship’s domain,

Still each year as it rolled forged a link in the chain;

And as manhood emerged from the visions of youth,

Every link was cemented in honour and truth.

On that sterling pedestal, the fabric was plann’d

On foundations as deep as the structure was grand;

It was firm as the mountain’s immovable form,

And as strong as the rocks that can laugh at the storm;

It was fair to behold in each feature sublime,

Undisturbed by the tempest uninjured by time,

Till the Angel of Death, that invincible foe,

Flung his dart, and our dearest succumbed to the blow.

Then we saw a bleak through the vista of years,

And how sharp was our grief and how scalding our tears,

Till the clouds of affliction were scattered afar,

And a fresh ray of sunshine peep’d out like a star.

Thus our lives have been checkered by sorrow and bliss;

But a monarch might envy a moment like this.

See the tables are groaning in Brazille’s best style,

And the rosy wine blushing, our cares to beguile;

And the worth and the talent of Cardwell agree

To pay a just tribute to the famous P. D.

Hark! the programme is opened and charming the scene—

Every goblet is filled to “The Health of our Queen,”

While Fagan keeps time with a “Hip, hip, hurra,”

Till the three loyal cheers die in silence away.

Then the National Anthem is played with a grace

That would exorcise treason a league from the place.

“Our Governor’s Health” is the next on programme,

And the Laureate is called to respond to the same;

And the way he explained the most delicate part

Gave his audience a taste of an Irishman’s heart.

Every word like a sledge-hammer fell from his tongue,

And the sound was a proof of the strength of his lungs.

“The Press” in due time was proposed from the chair,

And mercy to printers a master was there, [page 166]

With a speech like a Grattan and voice like a lark,

He’s in eloquence matchless—our worthy Town Clerk.

“The Learned Professions” rang out through the hall,

And a doctor was there to respond to the call.

Not a bull nor a brogue from beginning to end,

Could a Murray detect in our medical friend.

Come, fill up your bumpers, ye lads who know how,

“Agriculture” is toasted, so God speed the plough;

And our President Kelly responds to the same

With a logic and eloquence worthy the name.

When ladies were mentioned, a dozen or more

Were ready to speak who had ne’er spoke before;

For women and wine can unfetter the tongue

Of the timid and bashful, the old and the young.

So the fair ones were cheered till the ceiling was rent,

But the boys were the loudest whatever they meant.

Three cheers for the chairman, and three for the vice,

And three cheers for “Our Guest,”—he’s the man of our choice;

And may he live long as that famous old pair,

And his fame shine as bright as the Alliston STAR.


COMPLIMENTARY TO KEENANSVILLE.

Rise, happy Keenansville; hold up your head!

Bright constellation of commerce and trade,

Where masters, untrammelled, delight to impart

The grandest achievements of science and art;

And fair are thy daughters, all Queens in disguise,

And fatal the darts that escape from their eyes.

Let strangers beware, there are dangers around,

Where smiles without number and graces abound. [page 167]

Though virtue triumphant assumes the command,

Some dangers are hidden they don’t understand.

Fly, wretched bachelor, fly for your life,

Or wake up bewildered and blest with a wife.

Thy SENTINEL shines with a bright native flame,

Undisturbed, unconvinced of the Hamilton scheme;

It floats like a buoy on the turbulent main,

Where rocks are concealed from all mariners’ ken.

Thy sons are the pride of the alley, where all

Delight to encounter the quick bounding ball,

And strangers who venture to challenge the boys

Will soon lose their honour (and maybe their eyes);

For far be it from me to say there is one

Would run from a rowdy or fire a lee gun.

Your boys are as game as the Cavan Black Reds,

No thought of defeat ever enters their heads,

But mild as a nun if you only play fair;

If not, you’ll be sorry you ever played there.

Your handy mechanics are up to the dodge,

And earn their living by winding the sledge;

While others have faith in the compass and square,

And if you want land-rollers call on Declair.

The Browns will pay cash for your wool by the load,

But have little faith in the Hamilton Road.

They say our American cousins will sweep

Like wolves from the forest on sheepskins and sheep.

Perhaps you require a well-fitting pair

Of calfskin or kip that a monarch might wear;

Then call upon Curran, and show him your foot,

For Barney’s the boy for a neat fitting boot.

If hungry or dry is must be your own fault

When Holland and Hart can supply you with malt,

And Hughes keeps a drop that would tune up your lyre,

And a line from McKenna is all you require.

But if you drop in either hungry or not,

And say “Truly Rural,” you’re sure of a tot. [page 168]

You’ll find Mr. towns on a par with the rest;

A true loyal Grit if he’s put to the test.

His goods are all fresh, and he’s willing to sell;

You might travel further and not do as well.

And who dare say beans to the man of all work,

That genius unequalled, the famed Arthur Burke?

When fiddles get faulty, you’ll know where to call;

North Main Street, next door to the MEDICAL HALL.

Perhaps you’re a farmer and have a large flock,

And wish to dispose of your overplus stock?

Just whisper to Burke all the terms of your sale,

And, trust me, he’ll sell every hair in their tail.

O, thrice happy Keenansville! long may you thrive!

Where all are as busy as bees in a hive;

And long may your valleys, so fertile and green,

Re-echo with cheers for our country and Queen.


THE PRINTER’S APPEAL TO MAMMON.

Where are you all, you little bits

    Of silver, gold and brass?

You must come to your owner’s hands,

    Whatever comes to pass.

You’re scattered round in every spot,

    From Beersheba to Dan;

I wish I had a conjuring rod

    Or a wizard’s magic wand:

I shortly would collect you all

    And bring you up to time;

How can I pay my washing bill

    Without a single dime? [page 169]

The baker looks me in the face—

    I know there’s something due—

Come home, you lazy, creeping dimes,

    The blame is all on you.

The butcher has a lengthy bill

    For mutton chops and veal;

Come home, you vagrant dollars, come,

    Before I go to jail!

I owe the tailor for a coat,

    The thing was cheap enough;

’Twas made of silk and monkey’s wool—

    The very best of stuff;

I have it now for twenty months,

    And every Sabbath day

The tailor sees it in the church,

    But never saw his pay!

You know the winter’s coming on,

    And fuel’s rising higher;

The devil must give up his work

    Without a blazing fire.

The poet’s case is rather worse—

    Lord, save us from his fate!—

He never gets a nickel cent

    From either church or state.

Although he writes to please the crowd

    Of honest-minded men,

They never think he has a mouth

    Except to lick his pen.

I hope he’ll never starve or steal,

    I’m sure he’ll never beg,

But drive an independent quill

    And never miss a peg.


[page 170]

FAGAN’S APPEAL FOR HELP TO STRAIGHTEN THE TOWN LINE.

The evening star was shining clear and bright,

Except when passing clouds obscured its light;

And for the moment held supreme control,

Like gusts of passion when they blind the soul;

Till scattered wide by reason’s God-like power,

Then truth’s high standard rules the happy hour.

The western horizon was tinged with red,

Reflecting glories from the monarch’s bed;

Who ran his daily course and sank to rest

Beyond the glowering mountains of the west.

All nature lay in tranquil, calm repose,

And scarce a zephyr skimmed the waste of snow,

When off I stroll’d to woo the tuneful nine,

And took my course along the Cardwell line,

Where cedar boughs exclude the cheerful light,

And weary travellers lose their way by night—

Where luckless Hall the crooked pathway lost,

And ’midst the howling storm gave up the ghost.

Beside that tall old tree he breathed his last,

And gave his spirit to the midnight blast;

Blind superstition sees his wandering form,

Or hears him moaning in the passing storm;

Even grave suspicion wears a lengthy face,

When business calls us past the dreary place;

And Fate and Fagan both were heard to say,

He’ll haunt that swamp until the judgment day;

Unless the Reeves on either side combine,

And grant a little sum to straight the line.


[page 171]

GLOOMY THOUGHTS FOR NOVEMBER.

When howling winds disturb our sleep,

And muddy roads are ankle deep,

And wild-geese, screaming, southward sweep,

                                    I’d like to die,

And leave my coffin six feet deep

                                    In gravel dry.

When all our bones are rack’d with pain,

And fevers scorch our broiling brain,

And gout assails each nerve and vein,

                                  How sweet to die,

And break this wretched mortal chain,

                                  And upward fly!

When all our honest debts are paid,

And not a cause of fear or dread

Remains to keep our souls afraid,

                                   How calm to die,

With one kind friend beside our bed

                                  To close our eye!

When friends or neighbours prove untrue,

Or do their best to injure you

By acting Judas—nothing new—

                                   It’s time to die,

And leave the wretches, green or blue,

                                   To Him on high.

When those we love have passed away

To mingle with their kindred clay

Until the last accounting day,

                                  We’d like to die;

Then let us ever watch and pray—

                                  Our time is nigh. [page 172]

Our life on earth is but a dream;

The prince and peasant all the same

Are gliding down that silent stream,

                                  And when they die

The world will soon forget their name,

                                   Like you and I.

When youth and manhood both have flown,

And second childhood claims the throne

Where Reason’s star once brightly shone,

                                  Then let me die,

And leave the world without a groan,

                                  Without a sigh.

Then may my unchain’d spirit soar

With kindred shades for evermore,

Or prostrate round the throne adore,

                                  Where angels fly,

And floods of light incessant pour

                                  Eternally.


ST. PATRICK’S DAY, 1873.

The day was delightful, and so were our banners

    That fluttered aloft on the wings of the breeze,

And Sons of the Shamrock, with pious good manners,

    All prayed from their hearts on their two bended knees.

                           We prayed that our land

                           May soon take her stand

     In the order of nations, still blooming and gay;

                           May blessings descend

                           On each loyal friend [page 173]

Who pleads the just cause of our down-trodden brothers,

    Against the vile bigots who bluster for pay—

Our Burkes and our Mitchels, and thousands of others,

    Are dear to our hearts on St. Patrick’s Day.

For three hundred years we have suffer’d oppression,

    Since wife-killing Henry fell out with the Pope;

But, firm as a rock in our holy profession,

    We stood all the broadsides of Bibles and soup.

                           Like Spartans we stood

                           Through famine and blood,

    Despising the dupes who would lead us astray;

                           The soup was too thin;

                           To lure us to sin,

And the Bible a failure, a worthless translation

    Got up by King James for a Protestant play;

It does very well for a beef-eating nation,

    Who never kept Lent or St. Patrick’s Day.

The Fraud has gone off, like a wandering planet,

    To curse Wendell Phillips, and Mitchel, and Tom;*

They sent him away with a bee in his bonnet,

    To lecture his Saxon clod-hoppers at home.

                           His preaching was lost

                           On Jonathan’s coast,

    Where the Irish have friends who delight in fair play.

                           Those freemen, I think,

                           Gave Froudy a wink

To pick up his traps without more hesitation;

    And so he skedaddled—the best of his play.

The Stripes and the Stars are no foes to our nation—

    We’ll give them three cheers on St. Patrick’s Day.


* Very Rev. Thomas N. Burke.


[page 174]

FIRESIDE MUSINGS IN LENT.

I see the herring on the coals,

    And well I know the reason—

The Pope demands all Christian souls

    To fast this holy season.

I often think I will rebel

    In spite of priest and deacon,

And if I thought there was no hell,

    I’d go for beef and bacon.

My neighbour Luther eats his fill,

    And laughs at our tradition;

While neighbour Calvin, better still,

    Despises superstition.

And pious Wesley sings a hymn—

    Long may his lungs be able;

I’d like to go to heaven with him—

    He keeps a splendid table.

The Quakers have not much to say—

    May Providence direct me,

For I keep rhyming night and day,

    I doubt they would reject me.

Perhaps I’ll enter Brigham’s fold,

    I like a loving sermon,

But, after all, I’m rather old

    To make a hearty Mormon.

I’d like to join some easy plan;

    I never liked confession;

The Pope must be a stiff old man—

    He never makes concessions.


[page 175]

THE ROSE OF ALLENDALE.

Let others sing of racing breeds,

    The pride of foreign lands;

Or boast of wild Arabian steeds,

    That fly o’er burning sands;

Be mine the task to paint with care

    Each feature in detail;

And sing of Terry’s famous mare,

    The Rose of Allendale.

The mare is sound in limb and wind,

    Without a scar or stain,

And never yet was left behind

    When Terry held the rein:

For when he mounts with martial grace

    And true Hibernian zeal,

She always wins a steeplechase,

    The Rose of Allendale.

Not far from that delightful spot

    Where Simcoe’s waters flow,

She spent her youth, and learn’d to trot

    Some fifty years ago.

When Red men held supreme control

    O’er mountain, lake, and swale,

Some Chieftain owned that famous foal,

    The Rose of Allendale.

But who can trace her pedigree,

    All veiled in misty gloom?

Her comrades roamed the forest free,

    A continent their home. [page 176]

Perhaps she left the Frigid Zone,

    Where Polar storms prevail;

Now peace and plenty smile upon

    That Rose of Allendale.

Some say she wandered from the west,

    While others still maintain

She cantered from the distant east,

    In search of hay or grain.

But whether from the east or west,

    Her well-developed tail

Proclaims her no ignoble beast,

    That Rose of Allendale.

Her speed is only equally by

    That spark of mystic fire

That speaks in cyphers to the eye,

    Through countless leagues of wire.

And when she goes to show or fair,

    The Judges, I’ll go bail,

Will recognize that trotting mare,

    The Rose of Allendale.

Come, fill your bumpers every man,

    And toast the son of Mars,

And long may Bessy lead the van,

    And trot before the cars.

And may our flag for ever fly

    Triumphant o’er the gale!

And sportsmen drain their goblets dry,

    To Rose of Allendale.


[page 177]

A NEW SONG FOR THE “SENTINEL.”

    I want a good man for a month at the least,

    A chunky, stout lad who can handle a beast;

    I’ll pay him good wages, all cash on the nail,

    In case he is willing to lift on the tail.

Chorus :—With my Tady I A, Whack fol lol la,

                 My blessing be with you, old Erin go Bragh.

    The fodder was scarce and the winter was long;

    No wonder the Durhams are not very strong.

    I wish they were all in the depths of the sea;

    The light Kerry breed are the cattle for me.

Chorus :—With my, &c.

    A Kerry would thrive on a thistle a day,

    When Durhams would fail on good timothy hay;

    They must have a bran mash or else they’ll go down;

    There’s no meaner quadruped under the crown.

Chorus :—With my, &c.

    Now, to conclude and to finish my song,

    I hope all the Kerrys are hearty and strong;

    But all who have Durhams to lift by the tail

    Would wish they were anchored in Canavan’s Swale.

Chorus :—With my, &c.


[page 178]

WRITTEN FOR THE “SENTINEL.”

My bones are aching, one and all,

The brain is boiling in my skull,

My taste is worse than dragon’s gall

                            Or bitter tansey;

I doubt I have what Dutchmen call

                            The flying ansey.

My appetite, no longer good,

Refuses all substantial food;

And through my veins are the vital flood,

                            On this occasion,

Betrays a fever in my blood,

                            With quick pulsation.

My cough is like the rumbling sound

Of distant earthquakes, under ground,

When Titans roll large rocks around

                            Some deep volcano.

I must consult that leech profound,

                            The famed McKenna.

The Priest and Doctor both were here,

And gave me words of friendly cheer;

Of course I lent a willing ear

                            When they were speaking;

But O, my friends, I fear, I fear,

                            The craft is breaking.

Long time it bravely stood the blast,

With every thew and sinew fast,

And colours floating from the mast

                            In manly glee; [page 179]

But now the sky is overcast,

                            And rough the sea.

My timbers now are rather frail

To stand against the stormy gale,

When time’s corroding hands assail

                            Both hull and rigging;

I creep about, a worthless snail,

                            Around the digging.

Between the rocking chair and bed

I beat the rounds with weary tread,

While time of lazy limbs of lead

                            Goes slowly by,

And, worse than all, my muse has fled

                            With tearful eye.

But if I live to see the spring,

And hear the lark and linnet sing,

My gentle muse will plume her wing

                            And chant her lays,

As happy as an Irish king

                            In former days.


LINES ON THE DEATH OF MRS. ROE.

Dear friends, you would not grudge a tear,

    If tears would give relief;

For, O! my friends, I fear, I fear,

    This heart will break with grief. [page 180]

This world is now a dreary waste

    Of universal gloom,

Since death has dragg’d her from my breast

    And laid her in the tomb.

Her gentle voice, so mild and sweet,

    Is now for ever flown;

That loving heart has ceased to beat

    That throbb’d for me alone.

Those modest eyes are closed and dim,

    And pale that visage fair;

The ghostly King of Terrors grim

    Has stamp’d his image there.

Her ruby lips are cold and pale,

    And mute that friendly tongue,

Whose words could cheer the old and frail,

    Or teach the gay and young.

Alas! I was the only foe

    She ever had in life,

And so my scalding tears shall flow

    To mourn my loving wife.

O! Thou who bore Thy heavy cross,

    And fell beneath the load,

Teach me and mine to bear the loss,

    And meekly kiss the rod.


[page 181]

ADVICE TO LADIES.

Dear ladies, I’ll give you some friendly advice,

    (In case you’re not married already,)

Let nothing induce you to think of a splice

    Unless he is sober and steady.

No matter how tall he may stand in his vamps,

    Perhaps he’s a dangerous wattle;

So keep far away from those clever young scamps

    Whose creed is the jug and the bottle.

I know you are bothered by day and by night,

    So many young fellows are teasing;

And when you shake hands they will grip it so tight

    You’d think they had a license for squeezing.

The first time he comes, if he looks rather shy,

    And talks of the crops or the weather,

You’ll guess what he means—if he throws a sheep’s eye

    And talks a good deal to your mother.

When two or three sparks happen in on the run,

    I hope you will treat them like brothers;

And never pay too much attention to one,

    Or else you will anger the others.

Keep all in good humour, and never despise

    A hard-working lad if he’s steady;

For nobody knows where a blister may rise;

    I hope it is rising already.


[page 182]

WOMAN’S RIGHT.

To have the last word is a right

    That no female can ever forego,

While the least fading glimmer of light

    Shall illumine this planet below;

Till the stars from the firmament fly,

    And this earth from its axis be flung,

No soft-headed Solon may try

    To contend with the rights of our tongue.

Our husbands may bluster and rave

    Till the hair turns grey on their chins;

Our bodies must lie in their graves

    Ere we think to give up, or give in.

Remember, our tongues have been given

    To train the young mind for the skies,

And point out a pathway to heaven,

    To all who aspire to that prize.

When sickness or troubles appear,

    We are there, like the Ready Relief,

With words of condolence to cheer

    Every heartbroken subject of grief.

Our tongues are the weapons we use

    To encourage, instruct, or condemn;

And when we have dogmatic views,

    We endeavour to propagate them.

We often get anger for words

    That we slip at our coffee or wine;

Remember, our tongues are our swords,

    And our swords we will never resign.


[page 183]

COMIC POETICAL LECTURE.

I’m sure all loyal hearts, like mine, are sore,

Who read the Times, or hear the Thunderer roar;

He says, “Cannucks!” as plain as A B C,

“Go set up shop—you’re long enough with me.

I raised you well and tenderly, no doubt,

Though oftentimes you well deserved a clout;

In Thirty-six and Seven you made a noise,

And then I slapp’d your ears to make you wise,

And hung up two or three to scare the rest,

And plant paternal love within their breast.

I had a notion then, and have it still,

To let you go, but not against my will.

No boy should quit his father’s house too young,

But now you’re old enough, and pretty strong;

The farm you have extends from sea to sea,

And blood relations all along your lee.

They’re first-rate neighbours all, but rather keen—

I’m glad that broad Atlantic rolls between.

They have an eye on every fish that swims—

A good fat cod would tempt them to the Thames.

They had a chap not very long ago,

I think his name was something like Monroe;

He had a horrid spite at kings and queens,

And, strange enough, his doctrine still obtains.

All round the globe it flies on eagles’ wings,

And where it lights, God help the luckless kings

Some think it shortened Maximilian’s life,

And had a bad effect upon his wife:

Her royal mind was shatter’d, broke and riven,

Like oaks when blasted by the bolts of heaven.

It spoke in France! the Vendome Column fell,

And coward Frenchmen raised the demon yell;

And, later still, it hunted poor Plom-Plom,

To mourn his uncle’s fate and empty throne. [page 184]

It grumbles round the ancient throne of Spain,

Where King Amadeus holds a feeble rein;

The royal Carlists fire a random shot,

And round the Guadalquiver plan and plot

To drive the stranger from their native lands;

Not much unlike the Irish Fenian bands.

Your Yankee neighbours hold the cursed creed,

So mind yourselves! I tell ye you have need!

Don’t make a king, unless you’d have a foe

You’d rather shoot than either fox or crow.

Your Anglo-Saxon friends will not endure

A royal neighbour at their very door;

The very air ye breathe would poison all

The royal lungs around this earthly ball,

Like toads or snakes; you know the Paddies swear

No snake can live and breathe the Irish air.

So take advice, and act the boy no longer,

And every year you’ll be a little stronger.

You have the best of iron, oak and pine,

And all material for a fleet like mine.

You know our wooden walls, of warlike fame,

Have cast a halo round our English name;

Our noble navy and our British tars

Are still a terror to the Stripes and Stars.”


SONG—KILLING THE CAT.

There was a cat of a Maltee breed,

Who did on hens and roosters feed,

She did not care what was their creed—

            She believed in fowl sincerely. [page 185]

When Mrs. W. missed her fowl,

She blamed it on some plund’ring owl,

And Tommy swore, upon his soul,

            He’d shoot it late or early.

But Barney Doyle was not so slack;

He left the blame on Maltee’s back;

He said that she and Fagan’s black

           Were both one of persuasion.

Then guns and powder were prepared,

The neighbours all put on their guard

To watch the roosts and barn-yards

           From further depredation.

Bill Kennedy in ambush lay

For three whole weeks, both night and day;

With Walker’s gun he blazed away—

           I think the gun was faulty.

But shot or shell would not avail,

He never grazed her, head or tail;

If Dan got near her with his flail,

           One skelp would settle Maltee.

At length a day was settled on

To shoot the cat with Fagan’s gun,

Joe Shepherd was the chosen man,

           For he was steady handed.

Then balls and shot of every size

Went whizzing through the smoky skies,

All strangers marvelled at the noise,

           And thought the Fenians landed.

Frank Morrow’s dog got on her trail—

No better dog could wag a tail—

And Tommy Williams took a rail;

           Each symptom looked alarming. [page 186]

When Barney and his ’prentice boy

Both threw their leather aprons by,

Young roosters clapped and crowded with joy,

           The prospect was so charming.

’Twas then poor Maltee took the fence,

To her a fatal consequence,

But neck or nothing was her chance,

           And she was young and able;

When Williams thus addressed his men,

“Close up, my boys, we number ten;

She’ll neither leave me cock or hen

            If she gets to the stable.”

Then at the signal of command,

Each hero grasped his battle brand,

While Tom, with pond’rous club in hand,

           The stable pass defended.

Poor Maltee made one final spring

To clear the well-closed warlike ring,

Tom dealt her one Herculean bang,

           And so my song is ended.


SONG—CANAVAN’S SWALE.

Ye Muses, who dwell on the top of Parnassus,

    Assist an old teamster to handle his pen,

And to sing how red cedar all timber surpasses,

    To make a sure fence round the garden and grain. [page 187]

The English may sing of their red and white roses,

    While Irishmen boast of their shamrock clad vale;

Let Scotland delight in her haggis and broses,

    While we sing the glories of Canavan’s swale.

In Adjala swamp lives one Mr. Canavan,

    There’s where the choicest of cedars abound,

And all the wild beasts you would see in a caravan,

    Playing their antics and prowling around.

But he plays them a tune on his flute so melodiously,

    Bears and wild tigers come wagging their tails,

And lie down to sleep at his feet, so commodiously—

    Nothing but comfort in Canavan’s swale.

And now is the time to get rails for your farm,

    To baffle the pigs and the breech big steers;

A couple of thousand will save you from harm,

    A good stake and rider has nothing to fear.

Go down through Loretto, and call at Mick Ellard’s,

    He keeps the best liquor, wholesale and retail;

Then up with your horn, and down with your three-pence—

    It shortens the road to Canavan’s swale.

Loretto’s the spot you’ll find doctors and lawyers,

    Who practise their calling in exquisite style,

And other lay members, both blacksmiths and sawyers,

    Who earn a living by hard honest toil.

And there you will find jolly subjects of Bacchus,

    Discussing the merits of whiskey or ale,

So take my advice, and keep out of a fracas

    When going or coming from Canavan’s swale.

But if you want rails, you must certainly work for them—

    Flynn or John Haffey can show you the road— [page 188]

You may chop them yourself—he’ll take flour or pork for them,

    Help you count them, and help you to load.

And Canavan’s rails are the best in the nation;

    They’re all of one length to the black of your nail;

So hitch up your horses without hesitation,

    And follow old Fagan to Canavan’s swale.

There’s one little pinch, just at the stonemason’s,

    Will try if your horses are baulky or true;

If baulky, you must give them two or three lacings,

    And then they’ll go up with a queer whillaloo.

There’s no use in cursing, but lay on the bud to them,

    Stand to your colours and never say fail;

Keep them sharp shod, and be otherwise good to them;

    Don’t take them hungry to Canavan’s swale.

You’ll find the two Lawlors obliging and civil,

    To lend you a handspike, an axe or a maul,

And the crossway, just there, is both solid and level,

    No fear that your horses will stumble or fall.

The logs are so straight and so well put together,

    The sleigh goes along like a ship in full sail;

Dick Hanley should ay them without any bother,

    For opening the road to Canavan’s swale.


[page 189]

SONG—THRESHING FAGAN’S BARLEY.

I had some barley, oats and wheat,

To pay my honest lawful debt,

And called on Paul McCabe, to wit,

           To thresh one morning early;

And Paul came here without delay,

On Monday morn, by break of day,

And he’s the boy that showed us paly

           When threshing Fagan’s barley.

He anchored down his ten-horse power,

And braced his cleaner on the floor,

Then chaff and straw went out in store—

           The wind was blowing fairly.

The track was good, the horses strong,

And Jehu’s whip was large and long,

And well he plied that fearful thong

           When threshing Fagan’s barley.

The neighbours’ boys came here in crowds,

Some crossed the fields, some kept the roads,

While thistle-downs went off in clouds,

           And left the township fairly;

Sometimes there came a curling blast,

To blind the men with smut and dust,

But Johnny Brown still kept his post,

           And carried off the barley.

Jim Shelly’s famous blacks were there,

That took the premium at the fair,

And Fagan’s splendid trotting mare

           Was hitch’d with sporting Charley; [page 190]

The ’prentice boy put on the string,

The horses laboured round the ring,

And twisted off the knuckle spring,

           When threshing Fagan’s barley.

Now let us toast our noble Queen,

And drink success to Paul’s machine,

Both crank and wheel and barley screen.

           But why prolong the parley?

Success attend the neighbours all—

Carmichael, Carrol, Eaton, Small—

They’ll find me ready at a call

           To help them at their barley.

[illustration]

[page 191]

[blank page]

[illustration]

INDEX.


PAGE.

The Iron Horse

9

Fagan’s Farewell to the “Observer”

11

An Editor’s Confession

14

The Nativity

16

The Picking Bee

17

Song for the Times

19

Elegy on the Death of a Farmer’s Wife

20

A Word in Season

21

The Seven Deadly Sins

24

The Chickens Come Home to Roost

26

The Father’s Plea

28

Extremes Meet

29

Vote by Ballot

31

Lines to a Steam Saw Mill

32

Tottenham

33

Serious Thoughts

35

The Eagle’s Lament for its Mate

36

Five Dollars Reward

38

[unnumbered page]

Power of Love

39

The Races

41

The Hairy Ghost

43

The Muse’s Gift

46

Death of Jim Allen’s Ram

48

A Farmer’s Soliloquy

49

To a Decanter of Bad Whiskey

50

Epitaph for Emmet

52

The Ladies’ Appeal to Fagan

52

To “Emma”

53

The Ship Canal

54

The Adjala Pic-nic, and Presentation

56

Address to the Sword of Sir William Wallace, on its

       Return to Loudoun castle

59

A Song for the Hamilton and N.W. Railway

60

The Irish Pike

61

“A Sober Address to Whiskey”

62

On “The Sun”

63

The Ten Commandments

64

Ode to Sleep

66

The Pacific Scandal

67

Scanlon’s Corners

68

School Examination

69

St. Patrick’s Day, ’67

73

Counterfeit Wine

74

Peace

75

A Merry Christmas

76

Winter

78

March 17th

79

[page 194]

Spring

81

Fenianism

83

Lines on the Death of the Rev. J. Synnot, late of

       Adjala

84

Examination

86

Address to a Pen

87

Harvest Home

89

The Mud

90

Invitation to the Wood Bee

91

The Fenian Prisoners

93

John Barleycorn

94

The “Key to Wealth”

95

Fagan’s Reaper

96

Ode to My Boots

97

Hon. T. D. McGee

99

To Old Age

101

The New Year

102

A Medley

104

Jessy and her Pups

105

Our Native Land

111

The Last Day

113

Fagan to his Pipe!

115

The New Year

116

The Song of the Whirlwind

118

Fagan’s Old Musket

120

The Post Boy

121

A New Song to an Old Tune

123

Battle of Fingal and Lodi

125

New Year’s Address

127

Keenansville Debating Club

128

[page 195]

Poetical Correspondence with a Young Friend

130

January 1st, 1873

132

Gambling

133

The Winter of 1873

134

Fagan’s Advice to Bachelors—Gratis

135

Written for the Use of Schools

138

Lines Written in the Cause of Temperance

139

Ode to Wisdom

141

Potato Digging

143

Who Drinks

144

A New Song

146

Lines on Receiving the Present of an Inkstand

147

The Alabama Claims

149

Spring

150

Fagan’s Appeal to the Men of South Simcoe

152

The Death of Goliath

153

The Rheumatic Belt

155

Temperance Lecture, by Fagan

156

Where are the Irish?

158

Musings

159

A Bit of Fun

161

Alliston

163

Song

164

Farewell Lines to a Friend

165

Complimentary to Keenansville

167

The Printer’s Appeal to Mammon

169

Fagan’s Appeal for Help to Straighten the Town Line

171

Gloomy Thoughts for November

172

St. Patrick’s Day, 1873

173

Fireside Musings in Lent

175

[page 196]

The Rose of Allendale

176

A New Song for the “Sentinel.”

178

Written for the “Sentinel.”

179

Lines on the Death of Mrs. Roe

180

Advice to Ladies

182

Woman’s Right

183

Comic Poetical Lecture

184

Song—Killing the Cat

185

Song—Canavan’s Swale

187

Song—Threshing Fagan’s Barley

190

[illustration]

[page 197]

[6 blank pages]

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