Tour Abroad of Wilfrid the Great

Original Text: 
Poems of A. MacGregor Rose (Gordon), ed. Robert Dey (London: John Heywood, no date): 137-42. British Library
By Jean Baptiste Trudeau.
3She sen' for men from all de worl' --
4   And from her colonie.
5But mos' of all, she sen' dis word
6   To dis Canadian shore,
8   I will be glad no more."
9Den Wilfrid not hard-hearted, he
11An' say, "Ma reine, you mus' not fret,
12   For little t'ing lak' dat.
13"To Londres, on de day in June
14   You mention, I will come,
15And show you w'at is lak' de French-
16   Canadian gentilhomme."
17So Wildred sailed across de sea,
18   An' Queen Victoria met,
19An' w'en she's see him, ah! she is
20   Jus' tickle half to deat'!
21An' w'en he's kneel, as etiquette
22   Demand, for be correc',
23She tak' a sword into her han'
24   An' hit him on de neck.
25An' w'en she do, she smile on him,
26   An' dese de words she say:
27"Rise up, my true Canadian Knight --
28   Sir Wilfrid Laurier!
29"An' on dose grand Imperial plans
30   Which I have now in view,
31For guidance, counsel, an' advice
32   I'll always look to you."
33Den Wilfrid kiss de Royal han',
34   An' back off on de door,
35An' bow as only Frenchman can,
36   An' smile an' bow some more.
37Nex' day, it was a glorious sight,
38   At half-pas' twelve o'clock,
39To see Sir Wilfrid ride in state,
43Were w'at you call "not in it," for
44   Sir Wilfrid was de boss.
45Oui, certainement, excep' de Queen
46   Herself dat glorious day,
47De greates' man on Angleterre
48   Was Wilfrid Laurier.
49Sir Wilfrid cross de Channel den,
51An' mak' fine speeches two or three
52   In de city of Paree.
53An' shak' de han', an' drink de vin
55An' show him what de kin' of man
56   Dis contrie represen'.
57An' w'en Dir Wilfrid's voice dey hear,
58   An' his fine shape dey see,
59De men of France was hall surprise,
61Den Monsieur Faure he rise an say,
62   "Sir Wilfrid Laurier,
63In de Legion d'Honneur you are
64   Un grand officier."
65An' to Sir Wilfrid, front dem hall,
66   He mak' some fine address,
67An' den ribbon wit' de star
68   He pin upon his breas'.
69En bref, our Wilfrid capture France,
70   He's capture Anglan', too;
71I t'ink he will annex dem both
72   To Canada -- don' you?
73Sir Wilfrid, tired of Jubilee
75He says, "Dese contrie dey ees not
76   Lak' my own Canada.
77"I wan' my own dear lan' for see
79An' hear again de French he spik
81Den to the Queen an' Monsieur Faure
82   Hees "au revoirs" he say,
85"An' I mus go an help toujours,
88   De safe in Ottawa.
92   From play some crooked trique."
93So, on de "Labrador" he sail,
94   On Canada he come,
95We hall be glad his face to see,
96   An' he ees glad be home.
97An' hall de Angleesh, Ireesh, Franch
98   'Roun hees triomphan' car,
99Say, "Bienvenu! Come, spok to us
101Sir Wilfrid tole us dat he drink
104   Us on de Champ de Mars.
105Den hall de peup' dey mak' big cheer,
106   De cannon dey mak' shoot,
107We hall be on one grand hoorau,
108   De steamboats on a toot.
109So we hall sing, "God bless de Queen!
110   An' Monsieur Faure, alway!
111Because dey treat all same lak' prince,
112   Our Wilfrid Laurier."


1] Jean Baptiste Trudeau: Rose's pseudonym, a historical allusion to the French-Canadian of the same name who founded a school in St. Louis and explored the Upper Missouri River in 1793. (It does not seem likely that Rose means the French-Canadian who was a member of the Donner Party in 1845.)
Queen Victoria, Queen of England, who reigned from 1837 to 1901. Back to Line
2] Jubilee: Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. June 20-22, 1897. Back to Line
7] Sir Wilfrid Laurier (1841-1919), French-Canadian leader of the national Liberal party from 1887 until his death, and Prime Minister of Canada, 1896-1911. Back to Line
10] He lifted (doffed) his hat. Back to Line
40] chapeau de coque: turned-up (`cocked') hat, sometimes called a "cock-up." Back to Line
41] Lords Solsby, Roberts, and Cecil Rhodes: Rhodes (1853-1902) was Prime Minister of Cape Colony in 1890 but resigned in 1896 in disgrace. He established the Rhodes Scholarships later. The other two are unidentified. Back to Line
42] Chamberlain: Joseph Chamberlain, British Colonial Secretary. Back to Line
50] La Patrie: as one might say, "the old country." Back to Line
54] Félix Faure, President of the Third Republic of France (1895-1899). Back to Line
60] hall epris: "all smitten, charmed." Back to Line
74] eclat: pomp. Back to Line
78] the great St. Lawrence river. Back to Line
80] "My good-fellow the [French-Canadian] habitant." Back to Line
83] ole Kebec: old Quebec City. Back to Line
84] Montreal. Back to Line
86] John Campbell Gordon, 1st marquess of Aberdeen and Temair, Governor General of Canada from 1893 to 1898. Back to Line
87] boodler: caboodle, crowd. Back to Line
89] Sir Olivair: perhaps Frank Oliver, elected to Parliament in 1896, a loyal Liberal.
Sir Deek: not identified. Back to Line
90] Tarte: Joseph-Israël Tarte (1848-1907), Minister of Public Works in the 1896 Laurier government. Back to Line
91] Sir Tuppair: Sir Charles Tupper (1821-1915), Conservative Prime Minister in 1896-97 and leader of the Opposition until 1901. Back to Line
100] Champ-de-Mars, a great public square in Montreal that borders on the old fortifications. Back to Line
102] Dose vins: those wines (French). Back to Line
103] Windsor Castle, one of the palaces of the British monarchs. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Montreal Herald July 12, 1897.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2001