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Alexander MacGregor Rose 1846 (Tomantoul, Banffshire) – 1898 (Montreal)

I live on Canada en Bas —
  De fines' lan' you see —
  An' Oncle Sam, a fr'en of mine,
  He live nex' door to me.

  Now, long tam' Sam an' me mak' trade,
  W'enever that we meet,
  An' Sam, he drive de bargain hard,
  Sometime bigarre! he sheat.

  I not say mooch about it, me,
  I never t'ink no harm
  Before I fin' mon Oncle Sam
  He wan' my little farm.

  An' w'en I not to heem will give
  De lan' my fader hown,
  Den Sam get mad an' say to me,
  'I'll play my hand alone.

  You kip away; I not will trade,
  Don' come my place about!'
  Ah! den I see hees leetle game
  Was w'at you call 'freeze-hout.'

  Mais, I can stan' de fros', for hice
  To me is not'ing new;
  Sir John mak' freeze agains' de Yanks
  See if dey lak' it, too.

  But w'en Sir John t'row up his han'
  An' die, 'twas change indeed;
  No par'ner lef' could follow up
  De fin' ole chieftain's lead.

  An' de Canadian peup' was tire,
  For dey was not mooch please
  For pay big price for jus' to nurse
  Les enfants industries.

  Dey say, 'We wan' to buy our t'ing
  On some mooch sheaper shop,
  Dose enfants industries are sure
  Long tam' for growing hup.'

  For eighteen year dey pull l'argent
  From bottom of de purse,
  We t'ink it ees long tam' enough
  For dem to be on nurse.

  Den Tories try for bargain mak'
  To trade wit' Sam again,
  But was shok off as soon dey spik'
  By Monsieur Jacques G. Blaine.

  He say, 'My fren's, before we will
  Wit you reciprocate,
  You mus' agains' ole England mak'
  One sharp discriminate.'

  Dat took dem Tory breat' away,
  Dey dropp de bees'ness den,
  No more dey go on Washington
  Nor write dere wit' de pen.

  By'mbye last year, our Canada
  T'en she know w'at she wants,
  An' wit' her toe, de mont' of June,
  She kick de Tory pants.

  She sen' for Laurier, an' at once
  Immediatement he comes,
  She say, 'Instead of one boule-dogue
  I'll have one gentilhomme.'

  Sir Wilfrid, soon he tak' de chair,
  An' dis he plainly state:
  'For Anglan' — not agains' her — I
  Will mak' discriminate.

  'If Oncle Sam, from out his lan'
  Will keep Canadian men,
  We'll do de sam' to Yankee, too —
  An' w'at will he do den?

  'We'll play de game all sam' lak' heem,
  An' mak' wan alien law,
  An' more, bigarre! we'll hear him squeal
  When he ees `hors de bois.''

  Den Oncle Sam, he scratch hees head
  An' say, 'Dat's quit' enuff,
  I see Sir Wilfrid Laurier's vat
  You might call `up on snuff!''

  So w'en Sir Wilfrid go to talk
  'Bout dem Pacific seal,
  Mon Oncle Sam tak' heem one side,
  An' mak' some smoot' appeal.

  'I lak' Canadian, yes, for sure,
  I wan' for be your fren'.'
  'We lak' you, too,' Sir Wilfrid say,
  But only now an' den;

  'For we'en you kick Canadian hout,
  An' tink to mak' a fuss
  Agains' de Mother Lan', we say —
  `You cannot bully us.''

  'Jes so,' say Sam, 'we mak hall right,
  We tak' de whole dat pack,
  Wit' me an' you an' Anglan' too,
  It mus' be give an' tak'.'

  'Correc',' Sir Wilfrid rise an' say,
  Den Sam an' he shak' hands,
  To live no more lak' chat et chien,
  But lak' les bons voisins.

  Den Wilfrid, he come home again,
  An' t'ings go well partout,
  De markets rise, de trade increase —
  Prosperitie renew.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

3:07 min read

Alexander MacGregor Rose

Alexander Macgregor Rose was a 19th century Scottish-born poet, journalist, Free Church minister and teacher who lived the last twenty years or so of his life in first New York City and then in two Canadian cities. He moved first to Toronto and then spent the last two years of his life in Montreal. He was born on the 17th August 1846 in the small town of Tomantoul, Banffshire which is in the far north of Scotland. He received a good education and attended the University of Aberdeen, graduating from there at the age of 21. Within three years he was Master of the Free Church School in the Ross-shire town of Gairloch. His faith though was strong enough to fuel ambitions to be a minister of the church and he gave up teaching, returning to Aberdeen for a four-year course of study in Divinity. Tragedy struck in 1898 when Rose suffered a suspected paralytic stroke. He died at the Notre Dame hospital in Montreal on the 10th May 1898, aged 51. more…

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