At the Cedars

Original Text: 
The Poems of Duncan Campbell Scott (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1926): 14-16. PS 8487 C6 A17 1926 Robarts Library.
1You had two girls -- Baptiste --
2One is Virginie --
3Hold hard -- Baptiste!
4Listen to me.
5The whole drive was jammed
6In that bend at the Cedars,
7The rapids were dammed
8With the logs tight rammed
9And crammed; you might know
10The Devil had clinched them below.
11We worked three days -- not a budge,
12'She's as tight as a wedge, on the ledge,'
13Says our foreman;
14'Mon Dieu! boys, look here,
15We must get this thing clear.'
16He cursed at the men
17And we went for it then;
19We just gave he-yo-ho;
20When she gave a big shove
21From above.
22The gang yelled and tore
23For the shore,
24The logs gave a grind
25Like a wolf's jaws behind,
26And as quick as a flash,
27With a shove and a crash,
28They were down in a mash,
29But I and ten more,
30All but Isaàc Dufour,
31Were ashore.
32He leaped on a log in the front of the rush,
33And shot out from the bind
34While the jam roared behind;
35As he floated along
36He balanced his pole
37And tossed us a song.
38But just as we cheered,
39Up darted a log from the bottom,
40Leaped thirty feet square and fair,
41And came down on his own.
42He went up like a block
43With the shock,
44And when he was there
45In the air,
46Kissed his hand
47To the land;
48When he dropped
49My heart stopped,
50For the first logs had caught him
51And crushed him;
52When he rose in his place
53There was blood on his face.
54There were some girls, Baptiste,
55Picking berries on the hillside,
56Where the river curls, Baptiste,
57You know -- on the still side
58One was down by the water,
59She saw Isaàc
60Fall back.
61She did not scream, Baptiste,
62She launched her canoe;
63It did seem, Baptiste,
64That she wanted to die too,
65For before you could think
66The birch cracked like a shell
67In that rush of hell,
68And I saw them both sink --
69Baptiste ! --
70He had two girls,
71One is Virginie,
72What God calls the other
73Is not known to me.

Notes

18] cant-dogs arow: hooked hand-spikes, one after another. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1893
Publication Notes: 
The Magic House and Other Poems (1893).
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.