De Papineau Gun

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From The Habitant and Other French-Canadian Poems By William Henry Drummond.



BON jour, M'sieu'—you want to know
       'Bout dat ole gun—w'at good she 's for ?
W'y! Jean Bateese Bruneau—mon pere,
       Fight wit' dat gun on Pap'neau War!

Long tam since den you say—C'est vrai,
       An' me too young for 'member well,
But how de patriot fight an' die,
       I offen hear de ole folk tell.

De English don't ack square dat tam,
       Don't geev de habitants no show,
So 'long come Wolfred Nelson
       Wit' Louis Joseph Papineau.

An' swear de peep mus' have deir right,
       Wolfred he 's write Victoriaw,
But she 's no good, so den de war
       Commence among de habitants.

Mon pere he leev to Grande Brule
       So smarter man you never see,
Was alway on de grande hooraw!
       Plaintee w'at you call " Esprit! "

An' w'en dey form wan compagnie
       All dress wit' tuque an' ceinture sash,
Ma fader tak' hees gun wit' heem
       An' marche away to Saint Eustache,

Were many patriots was camp
       Wit' brave Chenier, deir Capitaine,
W'en 'long come English Generale,
       An' more two t'ousan' sojer man.

De patriot dey go on church
       An' feex her up deir possibill;
Dey fight deir bes', but soon fin' out
       Canon de bois " no good for kill.

An' den de church she come on fire,
       An' burn almos' down to de groun',
So w'at you t'ink our man can do
       Wit' all dem English armee roun' ?

Poleon, hees sojer never fight
       More brave as dem poor habitants,
Chenier, he try for broke de rank
       Chenier come dead immediatement.

He fall near w'ere de cross is stan'
       Upon de ole church cimitiere,
Wit' Jean Poulin an" Laframboise
       An' plaintee more young feller dere.

De gun dey rattle lak' tonnere
       Jus' bang, bang, bang! dat 's way she go,
An' wan by wan de brave man 's fall
       An' red blood 's cover all de snow.

Ma fader shoot so long he can
       An' den he 's load hees gun some more,
Jomp on de ice behin' de church
       An' pass heem on de "noder shore.

Wall! he reach home fore very long
       An' keep perdu for many day,
Till ev'ry t'ing she come tranquille,
       An' sojer man all gone away.

An' affer dat we get our right,
       De Canayens don't fight no more,
Ma fader's never shoot dat gun,
       But place her up above de door.

An' Papineau, an' Nelson too
       Dey 're gone long tarn, but we are free,
Le Bon Dieu have 'em 'way up dere.
       Salut, Wolfred ! Salut, Louis!