The Rose Delima

A poem by William Henry Drummond

You can sew heem up in a canvas sack,
An' t'row heem over boar'
You can wait till de ship she 's comin' back
Den bury heem on de shore
For dead man w'en he 's dead for sure,
Ain't good for not'ing at all
An' he 'll stay on de place you put heem
Till he hear dat bugle call
Dey say will soun' on de las', las' day
W'en ev'ry t'ing 's goin' for pass away,
But down on de Gulf of St. Laurent
W'ere de sea an' de reever meet
An' off on St. Pierre de Miquelon,
De chil'ren on de street
Can tole you story of Pierre Guillaume,
De sailor of St. Yvonne
Dat 's bringin' de Rose Delima home
Affer he 's dead an' gone.


He was stretch heem on de bed an' he couldn't raise hees head
So dey place heem near de winder w'ere he can look below,
An' watch de schooner lie wit' her topmas' on de sky,
An' oh! how mad it mak' heem, ole Cap-tinne Baribeau.

For she 's de fines' boat dat never was afloat
From de harbour of St. Simon to de shore of New-fun-lan'
She can almos' dance a reel, an' de sea shell on her keel
Wall! you count dem very easy on de finger of your han'.

But de season 's flyin' fas', an' de fall is nearly pas'
An' de leetle Rose Delima she 's doin' not'ing dere
Only pullin' on her chain, an' wishin' once again
She was w'ere de black fish tumble, an jomp upon de air.

But who can tak' her out, for she 's got de tender mout'
Lak a trotter on de race-course dat's mebbe run away
If he 's not jus' handle so-an' ole Captinne Baribeau
Was de only man can sail her, dat 's w'at dey offen say.

An' now he's lyin' dere, w'ere de breeze is blow hees hair
An' he's hearin' ev'ry morning de Rose Delima call,
Sayin', "Come along wit' me, an' we 'll off across de sea,
For I'm lonesome waitin' for you, Captinne Paul.

"On Anticosti shore we hear de breaker roar
An' reef of dead Man's Islan' too we know,
But we never miss de way, no matter night or day,
De Rose Delima schooner an' Captinne Baribeau."


De Captinne cry out den, so de house is shake again,
"Come here! come here, an' quickly, ma daughter Virginie,
An' let me hol' your han', for so long as I can stan'
I'll tak' de Rose Delima, an' sail her off to sea."

"No, no, ma fader dear, you 're better stayin' here
Till de cherry show her blossom on de spring,
For de loon he 's flyin' sout' an' de fall is nearly out,
W'en de wil' bird of de nort' is on de wing.

"But fader dear, I know de man can go below
Wit' leetle Rose Delima on St.Pierre de Miquelon
Hees nam' is Pierre Guillaume, an' he 'll bring de schooner home
Till she 's t'rowin' out her anchor on de port of St. Simon."

"Ha!Ha! ma Virginie, it is n't hard to see
You lak dat smart young sailor man youse'f,
I s'pose he love you too, but I tole you w'at I do
W'en I have some leetle talk wit' heem mese'f.

"So call heem up de stair" : an' w'en he 's stannin' dere,
De Captinne say, "Young feller, you see how sick I be?
De poor ole Baribeau has n't very much below
Beside de Rose Delima, an' hees daughter Virginie.

"An' I know your fader well, he 's fine man too, Noël,
An' hees nam' was comin' offen on ma prayer,
An' if your sailor blood she 's only half as good
You can sail de Rose Delima from here to any w'ere.

"You love ma Virginie? wall! if you promise me
You bring de leetle schooner safely home
From St. Pierre de Miquelon to de port of St. Simon
You can marry on my daughter, Pierre Guillaume."

An' Pierre he answer den, "Ma fader was your frien'
An' it 's true your daughter Virginie I love,
Dat schooner she 'll come home, or ma nam' 's not Pierre Guillaume
I swear by all de angel up above."

So de wil' bird goin' out sout', see her shake de canvas out,
An' soon de Rose Delima she 's flyin' down de bay
An' poor young Virginie so long as she can see
Kip watchin' on dat schooner till at las' she 's gone away.

Ho! ho! for Gaspé cliff w' en de win' is blowin' stiff,
Ho! ho! for Anticosti w'ere bone of dead man lie!
De sailor cimetiere! God help de beeg ship dere if dey come too near de islan' w'en de wave she 's runnin' high.

It 's locky t' ing he know de way he ought to go
It 's locky too de star above, he know dem ev'ry wan
For God he mak' de star, was shinin' up so far,
So he trus no oder compass, young Pierre of St. Yvonne.

An' de schooner sail away pas' Wolf Islan' an' Cape Ray,
W'ere de beeg wave fight each oder roun' de head of ole Pointe Blanc
Only gettin' pleasan' win'. till she tak' de canvas in
An' drop de anchor over on St. Pierre de Miquelon.

We're glad to see some more, de girl upon de shore
An' Jean Barbette was kipin' Hotel de Sanssouci

He 's also glad we come, 'cos we mak' de rafter hum;
An' w'en we 're stayin' dere, ma foi! we spen' de monee free.

But Captinne Pierre Guillaume, might jus' as well be home,
For he don 't forget his sweetheart an' ole man Baribeau,
An' so he stay on boar', an' fifty girl or more
Less dey haul heem on de bowline, dey could n't mak' heem go.

Wall! we 're workin' hard an' fas', an' de cargo 's on at las'
Two honder cask of w'isky, de fines' on de worl'!
So good-bye to Miquelon, an' hooraw for St. Simon,
An' au revoir to Jean Barbette, an' don 't forget de girl.

You can hear de schooner sing, w'en she open out her wing
So glad to feel de slappin' of de sea wave on her breas'
She did n't los' no tam, but travel jus' de sam',
As de small bird w'en he 's flyin' on de evening to hees nes'.

But her sail 's not blowin' out wit' de warm breeze out de sout'
An' it 's not too easy tellin' w'ere de snow flake meet de foam
Stretchin' out on ev'ry side, all across de Gulf so wide
W'en de nor'- eas' win' is chasin' de Rose Delima home.

An' we 're flyin' once again pas' de Isle of Madeleine
An' away for Anticosti we let de schooner go
Lak a race-horse on de track, we could never hol' her back,
She mebbe hear heem callin' her, ole Captinne Baribeau!

But we 're ketchin' it wan night w'en de star go out of sight
For de storm dat 's waitin' for us, come before we know it 's dere,
An' it blow us near de coas' w'ere dey leev' de sailor's ghos'
On de shore of Dead Man 's Islan' till dey almos' fill de air.

So de Captinne tak' de wheel, an' it mak' de schooner feel
Jus' de sam' as ole man Baribeau is workin' dere hese'f
Well she know it 's life or deat', so she 's fightin' hard for breat'
For wit' all dem wave a chokin' her, it 's leetle she got lef'.

Den de beeges' sea of all, stannin' up dere lak a wall
Come along an' sweep de leetle Rose De- lima for an' af'
An' above de storm a cry, "Help, mon Dieu! before I die."
An' dere 's no wan on de wheel house, an' we hear dem spirit laugh.

Dey 're lookin' for dead man, an' dey 're shoutin' all dey can
Don 't matter all de pile dey got dey want anoder wan,
An' now dey 're laughin' loud, for out of all de crowd
Dey got no finer sailor boy dan Pierre of St. Yvonne!

But look dere on de wheel! a'at 's dat was seem to steal
From now'ere, out of not'ing, till it reach de pilot 's place
An' steer de rudder too, lak de Captinne used to do
So lak' de Captinne 's body, so lak de Captinne's face.

But well enough we know de poor boy's gone below,
W'ere hees bone will join de oder on de place w'ere dead man be,
An' we only see phantome of young captinne Pierre Guillaume
Dat sail de Rose Delima all night along de sea.

So we help heem all we can, kip de schooner off de lan'
W'ere bad spirit work de current dat was pullin' us inside,
But we fool dem all at las', an' we know de danger 's pas'
W'en de sun come out an' fin' us floatin' on de morning tide.

So de Captinne's work is done, an' nex' day de schooner run
Wit' de sail all hangin' roun' her, to de port of St. Simon.
Dat 's de way young Pierre Guillaume bring de Rose Delima home
T'roo de wil' an' stormy wedder from St. Pierre de Miquelon.

An' de leetle Virginie never look upon de sea
Since de tam de Rose Delima 's comin' home,
For she 's lef' de worl' an' all! but behin' de convent wall
She don 't forget her fader an' poor young Pierre Guillaume.

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