The Canadian Magpie

A poem by William Henry Drummond

Mos' ev'ryman lak de robin
An' it's pleasan' for hear heem sing,
Affer de winter 's over
An' it 's comin' anoder spring.
De snow 's hardly off de mountain
An' it's cole too among de pine
But you know w'en he sing, de sout' win'
Is crowdin' heem close behin' .

An' mebbe you hear de grosbec
Sittin' above de nes',
An' you see by de wayhe 's goin'
De ole man 's doin' hees bes'
Makin' de wife an' baby
Happy as dey can be,
An' proud he was come de fader
Such fine leetle familee.

De gouglou of course he 's nicer
Dan many bird dat fly,
Dunno w'at we do widout heem,
But offen I wonder w'y
He can't stay quiet a minute
Lak res' of de small oiseaux
An' finish de song he's startin'
Till whish! an' away he go!

Got not'ing to say agen dem,
De gouglou an' all de res',
'Cept only dey lak de comfort,
An' come w'en it suit dem bes',
For soon as de summer 's passin'
An' leaf is begin to fall,
You'll wálk t'roo de wood an' medder
An' never hear wan bird call.

But come wit' me on de winter
On place w'ere de beeg tree grow
De smoke of de log house chimley
Will tole you de way to go,
An' if you 're not too unlucky
De w'iskey jack dere you'll see
Flyin' aroun' de shaintee
An' dat was de bird for me.

You 'll mebbe not lak hees singin'
Dough it 's better dan not'ing too,
For affer he do hees bes', den
W'at more can poor Johnnie do?
It 's easy job sing on summer
De sam ' as de rossignol,
But out of door on de winter
Jus' try youse'f -dat 's all.

See heem dere, now he's comin'
Hoppin' an' hoppin' aroun'
W'en we start on de morning early
For work till de sun go down,
T'row heem hees piece of breakfas'
An' hear heem say "merci bien",
For he's fond on de pork, ba golly!
Sam ' as de Canayen.

De noise of de axe don't scare heem
He stay wit' us all de day,
An' w'en he was feelin' lak' it
Ride home wit' de horse an' sleigh.
Den affer we reach de shaintee
He 's waitin' to see us back
Jompin' upon de log dere
Good leetle w'iskey lack!

So here 's to de bird of winter
Wearin' de coonskin coat,
W'enever it 's bird election
You bet he can get ma vote,
Dat 's way I be feel about it,
Voyageurs let her go today!
W'iskey jack, get ready,we drink you
Toujours à vot' bonne santé!

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