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The Rose Delima

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 could
n'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
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
An' de leetle Rose Delima she 's doin' not-
'ing dere
Only pullin' on her chain, an' wishin' once
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
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

'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
De Rose Delima schooner an' Captinne

De Captinne cry out den, so de house is shake
'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

'No, no, ma fader dear, you 're better stayin'
Till de cherry show her blossom on de
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
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

'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

'An' I know your fader well, he 's fine man
too, Noël,
An' hees nam' was comin' offen on ma
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
You bring de leetle schooner safely home
From St. Pierre de Miquelon to de port of St.
You can marry on my daughter, Pierre Guil-

An' Pierre he answer den, 'Ma fader was your
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'
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
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.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

4:28 min read

William Henry Drummond

William Henry Drummond April 13 1854 April 6 1907 was an Irish-born Canadian poet He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature of the United Kingdom in 1898 and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1899 more…

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    "The Rose Delima" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 23 Jan. 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/40747/the-rose-delima>.

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