The Hill Of San Sebastian

A poem by William Henry Drummond

I ought to feel more satisfy an' happy dan I be,
For better husban' dan ma own, it 's very hard to fin'
An' plaintee woman if dey got such boy an' girl as me
Would never have no troub' at all, an' not'ing on deir min'
But w'ile dey're alway wit' me, an' dough I love dem all
I can't help t'inkin' w'en I watch de chil'ren out at play
Of tam I'm jus' lak dat mese'f, an' den de tear will fall
For de hill of St. Sebastien is very far away!

It seem so pleasan' w'en I come off here ten year ago
An' hardes' work I 'm gettin' den, was never heavy load,
De roughes' place is smoot' enough, de quickes' gait is slow
For glad I am to foller w'ere Louis lead de road
But somet'ing 's comin' over me, I feel it more an' more
It 's alway pullin' on de heart, an' stronger ev'ry day,
An' O! I long to see again de reever an' de shore
W'ere de hill of St. Sebastien is lookin' on de bay!

I use to t'ink it 's fine t'ing once, to stan' upon de door
An' see de great beeg medder dere, stretchin' far an' wide,
An' smell de pleasan' flower dat grow lak star on de prairie floor,
An' watch de spotted antelope was feedin' ev'ry side,
How did we gain it, man an' wife, dis lan' was no man 's lan'?
By rifle, an' harrow an' plow, shovel an' spade an' hoe
De blessin' of good God up above, an' work of our own strong han'
Till it stan' on de middle, our leetle nes', w'ere de wheat an' cornfiel' grow.

An' soon de chil'ren fill de house, wit' musique all day long,
De sam' ma moder use to sing on de cradle over me,
I'm almos' sorry it 's be my fault dey learn dem ole tam song
W'at good is it tak' me off lak dat back on ma own countree?

Till de reever once more I see again, an' lissen it 's current flow
An' dere's Hercule de ferry man cmoin' across de bay!
Wat' s use of foolin' me lak dat? for surely I mus' know
de hill of St. Sebastien is very far away!

W'en Louis ketch me dat summer night watchin' de sky above,
Seein' de mountain an' de lake, wit' small boat sailin' roun'
He kiss me an' say - "Toinette, I'm glad dis prairie lan' you love
For travel de far you can, ma belle, it 's fine 's on top de groun'!"
Jus' w'en I 'm lookin' dat beeg cloud too, standin' dere lak a wall!
Sam' as de hill I know so well, home on ma own countree.

Good job I was cryin' quiet den, an' Louis can't hear at all
But I kiss de poor feller an' laugh, an' never say not'ing me.

W'at can you do wit' man lak dat, an' w'y am I bodder so?
De firse t'ing he might fin' it out, den hees heart will feel it sore
An' if he say "Come home Toinette," I 'm sure I mus' answer "No",
For if I 'm seein' dat place again, I never return no more!
So let de heart breakā€”I don't care, I won't say not'ing me,
I'll mak' dat promise on mese'f, an' kip it night an' day
But O! Mon Dieu! how glad, how glad, an' happy I could be
If de hill of St. Sebastien was not so far away!

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