Bateese And His Little Decoys

A poem by William Henry Drummond

O I'm very very tire Marie,
I wonder if I'm able hol' a gun
An' me dat 's alway risin' wit' de sun
An' travel on de water, an' paddle ma canoe
An' trap de mink an' beaver de fall an' winter t'roo,
But now I t'ink dat fun is gone forever.

Wall! I'm mebbe stayin' long enough,
For eighty-four I see it on de spring;
Dough ma fader he was fellin' purty tough
An' at ninety year can do mos' ev'ry t'ing,
But I never know de feller, don't care how ole he come,
Dat is n't sure to t'ink he 's got anoder year, ba gum!
Before he lif' de anchor for de las' tam!

It 's not so easy lyin' on de bed,
An' lissen to de wil' bird on de bay,
Dey know dat poor bateese is nearly dead,
Or dey would n't have such good fun ev'ry day!
Put ma gun upon de piller near de winder, jus' for luck,
Den bring w'ere I can see dem, ma own nice leetle duck
So I have some talk wit' dem mese'f dis morning.

Ah! dere you 're comin' now! mes beaux canards!
Dat 's very pleasan'day, an' how you feel?
Of course you dunno w'at I want you for,
Wall! lately I've been t'inkin a good deal
Of all de fuss I 'm havin' show you w'at you ought to do
W'en de cole win' of October de blin' is blowing t'roo
An' de bluebill 's flyin' up an' down de reever.

O! de bodder I 'm havin' wit' you all!
It 's makin' me feel ole before ma tam!
Stan' over dere upon de right again de wall,
Ma-dame Lapointe - I'm geevin' you Ma-dame
'Cos you walk aroun' de sam' way as ma cousin Aurelie
An' lak youse'f she 's havin' de large large familee,
Now let us see you don 't forget your lesson!

Qu a-a-ck! you 're leetle hoarse to-day, don't you t'ink?
Quack! quack! quack! dat 's right Mam- zelle Louise!
You go lak dat, an' quicker dan a wink,
It 'll ring across de lake along de breeze,
Till de wil' bird dey will lissen up de reever far an' near,
An' tole de noder wan too, de musique dey was hear
An' dey 'll fly aroun' our head before we know it.

Come here, Francois, an' min' you watch yourse'f!
You can 't forget de las' day we was out,
Your breat'dere's very leetle of it lef'
An' tole you it was better shut your mout'
W'en you start dat fancy yellin', for it soun' de sam' to me
Lak de devil he was goin' on de beeges' kin' of spree,
Francois! dat 's not de way for mak'de shootin' !

Wan-two-t'ree, -now let us hear you please,
It is n't vey hard job if you try,
Purten' you 're feelin' lonesome lak Louise
An' want to see de sweetheart bimeby,
Quack! quack! quack!
O! stop dat sreechin', don 't never spik no more
For if anyt'ing, sapree, tonnerre! you're worser dan before,
I wonder w'at you do wit' all your schoolin'!

Come out from onderneat' de bed, Lisette,
I believe you was de fattes' of de lot;
It 's handy too of course, for you never feel de wet,
An' w'en you lak to try it, O! w'at a voice you got!
So let us play it's blowin' hard, an' duck is up de win'
An' you want to reach dem- sure- now we're ready for begin,
Hooraw! an' never min' de noise dat you 're makin'.

Quack! quack! quack! quack! O! let me tak' de gun
For I would n't be astonish w'en Lisette is get de start,
Roun' de house dey 'll come a-flyin', an' den we 'll have de fun!
Yass, yass, kip up de flappin' , O! ain 't she got the heart!
Not many duck can beat her, an' I wish I had some more,
Can mak'de song lak dat upon de water!

Dat 's very funny how it ketch de crowd!
An' now dey 're goin, all de younger wan!
But if you don 't stop singin' out so loud,
I 'm sorry I mus' tole you all begone,
'Cos I want to go to sleep. for I ', very very tire,
An' de shiver 's comin' on me! so Marie poke up de fire
An' mebber I 'll feel better on de morning.

De leetle duck may call on de spring tam an' de fall
W'en dey see de wil' bird flyin' on de air
Dey may cry aroun' hees door, but he 'll never come no more
For showin' dem de lesson! ole Jean Bateese Belair.

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