Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
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William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
 
Little Bateese
By William Henry Drummond (1854–1907)
 
YOU bad leetle boy, not moche you care
How busy you’re kipin’ your poor gran’ père
    Tryin’ to stop you ev’ry day
    Chasin’ de hen aroun’ de hay—
    W’y don’t you geev’ dem a chance to lay?        5
                Leetle Bateese!
 
Off on de fiel’ you foller de plough,
Den w’en you’re tire you scare de cow,
    Sickin’ de dog till dey jomp de wall,
    So de milk ain’t good for not’ing at all—        10
    An’ you’re only five an’ a half dis fall,
                Leetle Bateese!
 
Too sleepy for sayin’ de prayer to night?
Never min’, I s’pose it’ll be all right.
    Say dem to-morrow—ah! dere he go!        15
    Fas’ asleep in a minute or so—
    An’ he’ll stay lak dat till de rooster crow,
                Leetle Bateese!
 
Den wake us up right away tout de suite
Lookin’ for somet’ing more to eat,        20
    Makin’ me t’ink of dem long leg crane—
    Soon as dey swaller, dey start again;
    I wonder your stomach don’t get no pain,
                Leetle Bateese!
 
But see heem now lyin’ dere in bed,        25
Look at de arm onderneat’ hees head;
    If he grow like dat till he ’s twenty year
    I bet he’ll be stronger dan Louis Cyr,
    An’ beat all de voyageurs leevin’ here,
                Leetle Bateese!        30
 
Jus’ feel de muscle along hees back,
Won’t geev’ heem moche bodder for carry pack
    On de long portage, any size canoe;
    Dere ’s not many t’ing dat boy won’t do,
    For he ’s got double-joint on hees body too,        35
                Leetle Bateese!
 
But leetle Bateese! please don’t forget
We rader you’re stayin’ de small boy yet;
    So chase de chicken an’ mak’ dem scare,
    An’ do w’at you lak wit’ your ole gran’ père,        40
    For w’en you’re beeg feller he won’t be dere—
                Leetle Bateese!
 
 
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