How Bateese Came Home

A poem by William Henry Drummond

W'en I was young boy on de farm, dat 's twenty year ago
I have wan frien' he 's leev near me, call Jean Bateese Trudeau
An offen w'en we are alone, we lak for spik about
De tam w'en we was come beeg man, wit' moustache on our mout'.
Bateese is get it on hees head, he 's too moche educate
For mak' de habitant farmerre, he better go on State,
An' so wan summer evening we 're drivin' home de cow
He 's tole me all de whole beez-nesse, jus' lak you hear me now.
"W'at 's use mak' foolish on de farm? dere 's no good chances lef'
An' all de tam you be poor man, you know dat 's true you'se'f;
We never get no fun at all, don't never go on spree
Onless we pass on 'noder place, an' mak' it some monee.
"I go on Les Etats Unis, I go dere right away
An' den mebbe on ten-twelve year, I be riche man some day,
An' w'en I mak' de large fortune, I come back I s'pose
Wit' Yankee famme from off de State, an' monee on my clothes.
"I tole you somet'ing else also, mon cher Napoleon
I get de grande majorité, for go on parliament
Den buil' fine house on borde l'eau, near w'ere de church is stand
More finer dan de Presbytere, w'en I am come riche man!"
I say "For w'at you spik lak dat? you must be gone crazee
Dere 's plaintee feller on de State, more smarter dan you be,
Beside she 's not so healtee place, an' if you mak' l'argent,
You spen' it jus' lak Yankee man, an' not lak habitant.
"For me Bateese! I tole you dis: I 'm very satisfy,
De bes' man don't leev too long tam, some day Ba Gosh! he die,
An' s'pose you got good trotter horse, an' nice famme Canadienne
Wit' plaintee on de house for eat, W'at more you want ma frien'?"
But Bateese have it all mak' up, I can't stop him at all
He 's buy de seconde classe tiquette, for go on Central Fall,
An' wit' two-t'ree some more de boy,, w'at t'ink de sam' he do
Pass on de train de very nex' wick, was lef' Rivière du Loup.
Wall! mebbe fifteen year or more, since Bateese go away
I fin' mesef Rivière du Loup, wan cole, cole winter day
De quick express she come hooraw! but stop de soon she can
An' beeg swell feller jomp off car, dat 's boss by nigger man.
He 's dressim on de première classe, an' got new suit of clothes
Wit' long moustache dat 's stickim out, de 'noder side hees nose
Fine gol' watch chain, nice portmanteau, an' long, long overcoat
Wit' beaver hat, dat 's Yankee style, an' red tie on hees t'roat,
I say "Helloe Bateese! Hello! Comment ça va mon vieux?"
He say "Excuse to me, ma frien' I t'ink I don't know you."
I say, "She 's very curis t'ing, you are Bateese Trudeau,
Was raise on jus' sam' place wit' me, dat 's fifteen year ago?"
He say, "Oh yass dat 's sure enough, I know you now firs' rate,
But I forget mos' all ma French since I go on de State.
Dere 's 'noder t'ing kip on your head, ma frien' dey mus' be tole
Ma name 's Bateese Trudeau no more, but John B. Waterhole!"
"Hole on de water 's" fonny name for man w'at 's call Trudeau
Ma frien's dey all was spik lak dat, an' I am tole heem so,
He say "Trudeau an' Waterhole she 's jus' about de sam'
An' if you go for leev on State, you must have Yankee nam'."
Den we invite heem come wit' us, "Hotel du Canadaw"
W'ere he was treat mos' ev'ry tam, but can't tak' w'isky blanc,
He say dat 's leetle strong for man jus' come off Central Fall
An' "tabac Canayen" bedamme! he won't smoke dat at all!,
But fancy drink lak "Collins John" de way he put it down
Was long tam since I don't see dat, I t'ink he 's goin' drown!,
An' fine cigar cos' five cent each, an' mak' on Trois-Rivières
L'enfant! he smoke beeg pile of dem, for monee he don't care!
I s'pose meseff it 's t'ree o'clock w'en we are t'roo dat night
Bateese, hees fader come for heem, an' tak' heem home all right
De ole man say Bateese spik French, w'en he is place on bed,
An' say bad word, but w'en he wake, forget it on hees head,
Wall! all de winter w'en we have soirée dat 's grande affaire
Bateese Trudeau, dit Waterhole, he be de boss man dere,
You bet he have beeg tam, but w'en de spring is come encore
He 's buy de première classe tiquette for go on State some more.
You 'member w'en de hard tam come on Les Etats Unis
An' plaintee Canayens go back for stay deir own contrée?
Wall! jus' about 'dat tam again I go Rivière du Loup
For sole me two t'ree load of hay, mak' leetle visit too,
De freight train she is jus' arrive, only ten hour delay,
She 's never carry passengaire, dat 's w'at dey always say,
I see poor man on char caboose, he 's got heem small valise
Begosh! I nearly tak' de fit,, It is, it is Bateese!
He know me very well dis tam, an' say "Bon jour, mon vieux
I hope you know Bateese Trudeau was educate wit' you
I 'm jus' come off de State to see ma familee encore
I bus' mesef on Central Fall, I don't go dere no more."
"I got no monee, not at all, I 'm broke it up for sure,
Dat 's locky t'ing, Napoleon, de brakeman Joe Latour
He 's cousin of wan frien' of me call Camille Valiquette,
Conductor too 's good Canayen, don't ax me no tiquette."
I tak' Bateese wit' me once more "Hotel du Canadaw"
An' he was glad for get de chance drink some good w'isky blanc!
Dat 's warm heem up, an den he eat mos' ev'ryt'ing he see,
I watch de w'ole beez-nesse mese'f, Monjee! he was hongree!
Madame Charette wat 's kip de place get very much excite
For see de many pork an' bean Bateese put out of sight
Du pain doré, potate pie, an' 'noder t'ing be dere
But w'en Bateese is get heem t'roo, dey go I don't know w'ere.
It don't tak' long for tole de news "Bateese come off de State"
An' purty soon we have beeg crowd, lak village she 's en fête
Bonhomme Maxime Trudeau hese'f, he 's comin' wit' de pries'
An' pass' heem on de "Room for eat" w'ere he is see Bateese.
Den ev'rybody feel it glad, for watch de embrasser
An' bimeby de ole man spik "Bateese you here for stay?"
Bateese he 's cry lak beeg bebè, "Bâ j'eux rester ici.
An if I never see de State, I 'm sure I don't care, me."
"Correc'," Maxime is say right off, " I place you on de farm
For help your poor ole fader, won't do you too moche harm
Please come wit' me on Magasin, I feex you up, bâ oui
An' den you 're ready for go home an' see de familee."
Wall! w'en de ole man an' Bateese come off de Magasin
Bateese is los' hees Yankee clothes, he 's dress lak Canayen
Wit' bottes sauvages, ceinture fléché, an' coat wit' capuchon
An' spik Français au naturel, de sam' as habitant.
I see Bateese de oder day, he 's work hees fader's place
I t'ink mese'f he 's satisfy, I see dat on hees face
He say "I got no use for State, mon cher Napoleon
Kebeck she 's good enough for me, Hooraw pour Canadaw."

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