The Habitants Summer

A poem by William Henry Drummond

O, who can blame de winter, never min' de hard he 's blowin'
'Cos w'en de tam is comin' for passin' on hees roun'
De firse t'ing he was doin' is start de sky a snowin'
An' mak' de nice w'ite blanket, for cover up de groun' .

An' de groun' she go a'sleepin' t'roo all de stormy season,
Restin' from her work las' summer, till she 's waken by the rain
Dat le bon Dieu sen' some morning, an' of course dat 's be de reason
Ev'ry year de groun' she 's lookin' jus' as fresh an' young again.

Den you geev her leetle sunshine, w'en de snow go off an' leave her
Let de sout' win' blow upon her, an' you see beeg changes now
Wit' de steam arisin' from her jus' de sam' she got de fever,
An' not many day is passin' w'en she 's ready for de plow.

We don't bodder wit' no spring-tam w'ere de rain she 's alway fallin' ,
Two, t'ree mont' , or mebbe longer, on de place beyon' de sea,
W'ere some bird he 's nam' de cuckoo, spen' de mos' hees tam a-callin'
But for fear he wet hees fedder, hide away upon de tree.

On de swamp beside de reever, mebbe jus' about de fly-tam
W'ere it 's very hard to see heem, we hear de wo-wa-raw,
Dat 's w'at you call de bull-frog, singin' "more rum", all de night-tam.
He 's only kin' of cuckoo we got on Cana-daw

No, we have n't got dat feller, but we got some bird can beat heem,
An' we hear dem, an' we see dem, jus' so soon de winter go,
So never min' de cuckoo for we 're not afraid to meet heem,
W'enever he was ready, wit' our own petits oiseaux.

An' dey almos' come togeder, lak de spring an' summer wedder,
Blue-bird wan day, pie-blanche nex' day, geevin' out deir leetle note,
Affer dat we see de robin', an' de gouglou on de medder,
Den le roi, de red bird 's comin' , dressim on hees sojer coat.

W 'en de grosbec on de pine tree, wak' you early wit' hees singin' ,
W'en you lissen to de pa'tridge a-beatin'on hees drum,
W'en de w'ole place roun' about you wit' musique is a-ringin' ,
Den you know de winter 's over, an' de summer day is come.

See de apple blossom showin', see de clover how it 's growin'
Watch de trout, an' way dey 're playin' on de reever down below,
Ah! de cunning leetle feller, easy see how well dey 're knowin'
We 're too busy now for ketch dem an' dat 's w'y dey 're jompin' so.

For de mos' fine summer season don't las' too long, an' we know it,
So we 're workin' ev'rybody, w'ile de sun is warm and clear,
Dat 's de tam for plant de barley, an' de injun corn we sow it,
W'en de leaf upon de maple 's jus' de size of squirrel's ear.

'Noder job is feexin' fences, if we don 't be lak de las' year,
W'en de Durham bull he 's pullin' nearly all de fence away,
An' dat sapree champion taureau let de cattle out de pasture
So dey 're playin' on de devil wit' de oat an' wit' de hay.

Yass, de farmer 's offen worry, an' it some-tam mak' heem snappy,
For no sooner wan job's finish, dan he got two t'ousan' more,
But he 's glad for see de summer, w'en all de worl' she 's happy,
An' ev'ryt'ing aroun' heem was leevin' out o'door.

Now de ole sheep 's takin' young wan up de hillside, an' dey feed dem
W'ere de nice short grass is growin' sweeter dan it grow below,
Ev'ry morning off dey're goin' an' it 's pleasan' t'ing to see dem
Lookin' jus' lak leetle snow-ball all along de green coteau.

Dere 's de hen too, wit' her chicken, O how moche dey mak' her bodder
Watchin' dem mos' ev'ry minute, fearin' dey was go astray
But w'en mountain hawk he 's comin' den how quick dey fin' de moder
An' get onderneat' her fedder till de danger 's pass away.

An' jus' see de turkey gobbler, an' lissen' to heem talkin'
No wonder he 's half crazee, an' spikin' out so loud,
W'en you meet heem on de roadside wit' hees wife an' chil'ren walkin',
It 's kipin' heem so busy lookin' affer such a crowd.

Dat 's about de way we 're leevin', dat 's a few t'ing we 're seein' ,
W'en de nice warm summer sun is shinin' down on Canadaw,
An' no matter w'at I'm hearin', still I never feel lak bein'
No oder stranger feller, me, but only habitant.

For dere 's no place lak our own place, don't care de far you 're goin'
Dat 's w'at de whole worl's sayin', w'enever dey come here,
'Cos we got de fines' contree, an' de beeges' reever flowin'
An' le bon Dieu sen' de sunshine nearly twelve mont' ev'ry year.

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