Little Bateese

Original Text: 
William Henry Drummond, Johnnie Courteau and Other Poems (New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1901): 116-17.
1You bad leetle boy, not moche you care
2How busy you 're kipin' your poor gran'pere
3Tryin' to stop you ev'ry day
4Chasin' de hen aroun' de hay--
5W'y don't you geev' dem a chance to lay?
7Off on de fiel' you foller de plough
8Den w'en you 're tire you scare the cow
9Sickin' de dog till dey jomp the wall
10So de milk ain't good for not'ing at all--
11An' you 're only five an' a half dis fall,
12Leetle Bateese!
13Too sleepy for sayin' de prayer to-night?
14Never min' I s'pose it 'll be all right
15Say dem to-morrow--ah! dere he go!
16Fas' asleep in a minute or so--
17An' he 'll stay lak dat till de rooster crow,
18Leetle Bateese!
19Den wake us up right away toute suite
20Lookin' for somet'ing more to eat,
21Makin' me t'ink of dem long leg crane
22Soon as dey swaller, dey start again,
23I wonder your stomach don't get no pain,
24Leetle Bateese!
25But see heem now lyin' dere in bed,
26Look at de arm onderneat' hees head;
27If he grow lak dat till he 's twenty year
29An' beat all de voyageurs leevin' here,
30Leetle Bateese!
31Jus' feel de muscle along hees back,
32Won't geev' heem moche bodder for carry pack
33On de long portage, any size canoe,
34Dere 's not many t'ing dat boy won't do
35For he 's got double-joint on hees body too,
36Leetle Bateese!
37But leetle Bateese! please don't forget
38We rader you 're stayin' de small boy yet,
39So chase de chicken an' mak' dem scare
40An' do w'at you lak wit' your ole gran'pere
41For w'en you 're beeg feller he won't be dere--
42Leetle Bateese!


6] Bateese: Baptiste. Back to Line
28] Louis Cyr: world-famous French-Canadian weight-lifter (1863-1912), and champion of North America in 1885 and of the world in 1892. "In 1895 in Boston he lifted on his back a platform holding 18 fat men, weighing 1967 kg--believed the heaviest weight ever lifted by a man." Cyr wasa Montreal policeman beginning in 1882. See The Canadian Encyclopedia, 2nd. edn. (Edmonton: Hurtig, 1988): I, 560. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1997.