Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AT THE CEDARS, by DUNCAN CAMPBELL SCOTT

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

AT THE CEDARS, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: You had two girls, baptiste
Last Line: Is not known to me.
Alternate Author Name(s): Scott, D. C.
Subject(s): Canada; Heroism; Tragedy; Canadians; Heroes; Heroines

You had two girls -- Baptiste --
One is Virginie --
Hold hard -- Baptiste!
Listen to me.

The whole drive was jammed,
In that bend at the Cedars;
The rapids were dammed
With the logs tight rammed
And crammed; you might know
The devil had clinched them below.

We worked three days -- not a budge!
"She's as tight as a wedge
On the ledge,"
Says our foreman:
"Mon Dieu! boys, look here,
We must get this thing clear."
He cursed at the men,
And we went for it then;
With our cant-dogs arow,
We just gave he-yo-ho,
When she gave a big shove
From above.

The gang yelled, and tore
For the shore;
The logs gave a grind,
Like a wolf's jaws behind,
And as quick as a flash,
With a shove and a crash,
They were down in a mash.
But I and ten more,
All but Isaac Dufour,
Were ashore.

He leaped on a log in the front of the rush,
And shot out from the bind
While the jam roared behind;
As he floated along
He balanced his pole
And tossed us a song.
But, just as we cheered,
Up darted a log from the bottom,
Leaped thirty feet fair and square,
And came down on his own.

He went up like a block
With the shock;
And when he was there
In the air,
Kissed his hand
To the land.
When he dropped
My heart stopped,
For the first log had caught him
And crushed him;
When he rose in his place
There was blood on his face.

There were some girls, Baptiste,
Picking berries on the hillside,
Where the river curls, Baptiste,
You know, -- on the still side.
One was down by the water,
She saw Isaac
Fall back.

She did not scream, Baptiste!
She launched her canoe;
It did seem, Baptiste,
That she wanted to die too,
For before you could think
The birch cracked like a shell
In the rush of hell,
And I saw them both sink --

He had two girls,
One is Virginie;
What God calls the other
Is not known to me.

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