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Ebenezer Bain
Humorous


65 There's Nothing Too Good for The Scotch
66 Sandy McCraw
67 That's Montreal, or Lights and Shades of Montreal
68 Reciprocity
69 Domestic Squabbles
70 Proud Margery
71 Care
72 Cogitations on Animals (biped and quadruped)


65

THERE'S NOTHING TOO GOOD FOR THE SCOTCH!

You may say what you will, but it's true, I declare,
There is nothing too good for the Scotch ;
You may travel abroad, but just tell me where
You can find finer men, or women more fair,
With a record in history fit to compare,
Approaching to that of the Scotch?

There are many good things that Scotsmen can claim,
They claim nearly all, do the Scotch;
There is no use denying the facts, all the same,
Her illustrious sons have gained glory and fame,
For they've both got the muscle and also the brain;
That much can be said for the Scotch.

Some say that the Scot is ambitious and vain,
But, there's nothing too good for the Scotch;
That naught will prevent him his purpose to gain,
And that all opposition he meets with disdain ;
Though vanquished to-day, he will bob up again,
Perhaps, may be true of the Scotch.

They know a good thing when they see it, I'm told,
Well, there is nothing too good for the Scotch;
And once they have got it, they keep a good hold,
For you've all heard the chestnut, that's now rather old,
About keeping the Sabbath, as well as their gold.
A long-headed race are the Scotch.

Nearly every position of trust, or of skill,
Is monopolized now by the Scotch;
Not in England alone, but go where you will,
A Macdonald or Gladstone, or some other Bill,
Will be found the high-places of honour to fill.
My conscience! it's grand to be Scotch.

It's not the land only, but also the sea,
That's controlled by the terrible Scotch ;
The chief engineer, or skipper will be
In command of the vessel that's carrying thee ;
From ubiquitous Sandy you'll never be free;
So you'd better make friends with the Scotch.

To leave earthly things, and talk about heaven,
Even heaven's not too good for the Scotch.
They're the salt of the earth, and also the leaven,
And freely their time and their means have they given,
For its bliss and its glory have valiantly striven,
They want all, that's good, do the Scotch.


66

SANDY McCRAW

(Tune: "Tarn Glen")

I'll tell ye a funny wee story,
O' a Scotsman ca'ed Sandy McCraw;
And a thrifty, pawky Scotch leddy,
Wi' a braw house, an' siller, an' a'.

The grass on her lawn needed mawin,
So the leddy on Sandy did ca' ;
She kent he was handy and trusty,
And his charges were modestly sma'.

"Noo, Sandy, you'll mak* a good job o't,--
Very short, neat, an' trim in the crop;
For remember, an inch down below,
It is worth more than twa at the top."

"A' right, Mem," says Sandy, "I promise,--
Faith I'll please ye the best that I can;
And then ye'll allow in addition,
That it's weel worth a guid Highland dram."

"A' weel," quo' the leddy, "we'll see til't,
Tho' I'll no promise that jist the noo;
But aiblins I may, if I'm pleased wi't,
I will tell ye for sure when you're through."

The mawin at length it was finished,
And the leddy was pleased wi' McCraw:
She smilingly got out the bottle,
And right deftly the cork she did draw.

Then carefully poured out the whiskey,
But so niggardly, stingy and slow;
"To the top, Mem!" cries Sandy, "remember,
That one inch there's worth twa down below!"


67

THAT'S MONTREAL;
or,
LIGHTS AND SHADES OF MONTREAL.

There is in Montreal, 'tis true,
A band of men who dare and do;
The real Mackay, and the true blue,
That's Montreal.

But only they are hard to find,
Among a crowd so much inclined
To pilfer, cheat, oppress and grind,--
In Montreal.

For situation, grand and fine,
For scenery, almost sublime,
For ladies, lovely and divine,--
That's Montreal.

City of churches, priests and nuns,
City of palaces, and slums,
City of gentlefolks, and bums,--
That's Montreal.

For Colleges and Courts of Law,
Whose fame ambitious students draw,
And the expert, William McCaw,*
See Montreal.

There is a handsome Board of Trade,
There is a fighting Fire Brigade,
Police, good mostly for parade,--
That's Montreal.

The City Fathers, nearly all,
Controllers, Council, big and small,
For incompetence and gall,
That's Montreal.

We've many merchants, men of wealth,
Doctors and lawyers, men of stealth,
Something misnamed a "Board of Health,"---
In Montreal.

Our Street Railway have got the knack
Of bungling things along the track;
See thousands hanging by the strap,---
That's Montreal.

For filthy lanes and dirty streets,
For Church processions and gay ftes,
For pious fakirs and dead-beats, ---
That's Montreal.

In population, not a few,
Of every nation, every hue,
Chinese and German, Dutch and Jew,---
That's Montreal.

*A Montreal gentleman, an expert, whose advertisements invariably
have as their climax the words: "Talk with McCaw."


68
RECIPROCITY

(Tune: "The Laird o'Cockpen.")

Sir Wilfred, the laird, is clever and great,
His mind is ta'en up with affairs o' the state;
But he made a mistake, an' that he'll soon see,
In mounting his mare, Re-ci-pro-ci-tee.

One morning he mounted, and off he did ride,
And his henchman, Sir Fielding, he rode by his side;
They are bound for the border, as bold as can be,
For they know well the Yanks want Re-ci-pro-ci-tee.

When Wilfrid and Fielding to Washington came,
They were welcomed by Taft, for he well knew their game;
They were feasted and toasted, with mirth an' wi' glee,
So pleased were they all with Re-ci-pro-ci-tee.

The President smiled so benignly an' sweet,
The senators all Sir Wilfrid did greet;
They all were so happy, so jolly and free,
And the cause of it all was Re-ci-pro-ci-tee.

Taft said "he looked forward to happier days,"
The Dominion was now at "the parting of ways";
And a senator cried, "Without trouble or fee,
Annexation will follow Re-ci-pro-ci-tee."

Now, when Wilfrid and Fielding their exit had made,
The Yanks they reflected on what had been said ;
Some winked and some laugh'd, but all did agree --
'Twas a cute bit of business, Re-ci-pro-ci-tee.

As our heroes rode home, 'twas easy to tell,
They were pleased with themselves and mission as well ;
They said Borden might whistle or else he may flee,
But we'll carry the votes with Re-ci-pro-ci-tee.

The question at length to the country was given,
For weeks both the Grits and the Cons they had striven;
The result was, the votes, like the waves of the sea,
Swept out both the Grits and Re-ci-pro-ci-tee.

The next time that Fielding and Wilfrid were seen,
They were weeping and wailing and wiping their e'en;
Says Sir Wilfrid to Fielding, "We're all up a tree,
It was madness to think on Re-ci-pro-ci-tee."

Note.-- The above verses were published in the Montreal Gazette in August,
1911, a few weeks before the Canadian elections, when the question of
reciprocity between the United States and Canada was exciting the
people of both countries. They proved eminently prophetic, as Sir
Wilfrid Laurier and the Liberals were badly defeated.


69

DOMESTIC SQUABBLES

Says Tarn to Meg, "My lass, I see,
The bed's ower sma' for you an' me,
Sae frae this nicht, until I dee,
Ye's hae it a'.
'Tis better, since we canna gree,
I gang awa.

But mind, my lass, ye're getting auld,
An' faith ye'll find it unca cauld,
Nae kindly arms will now unfauld,
An' keep ye cosy,
As mine hae, gin the truth be tauld,
My rosy-posy.

For me, I winna tell a lee,
I own my faults an' failings free.
There's nane can tell as weel as me,
How much I grieve.
Still, when things seem to gang agley,
It's best to leave.

Sae fare ye weel, my bonnie doo,
Sound sleep and pleasant dreams to you,
But should your loneliness you rue,
Just let me ken,
I ablins may, if weel ye sue,
Ance mair come ben."


70

PROUD MARGERY

Oh! Margery, you need not try
Your silly airs as you pass by;
You mind me of a butterfly,
All on a Summer morning.

You think because you've got some cash,
In feathers fine to make a dash;
My pretty lass, you need not fash,
I give you timely warning.

An honest man of worth and heart,
You pass him by as he were dirt,
And with some empty coxcomb flirt,
All kindly counsel scorning.

All men of sense at you will smile,
Your antics they will not beguile,
Though some may fool you on awhile,
Then leave you sadly mourning.

So, Margery, take my advice,
Don't ape to be so wondrous nice,
For I will never pay the price
Of such a costly darling.

I'd rather have some maiden fair,
With loving heart to do and dare;
Though scant of cash, willing to share,
With me life's smiles and storming.

I'd judge myself as wondrous wise,
In finding such a costly prize;
Worth more than rubies in my eyes,
With all their bright adorning.


71

CARE

A Song.

Old Daddy Care, I pray forbear,
And let poor bodies be;
Gae kame your wig, or dance a jig,
Or go to France, for me.
When you are by, I groan and sigh,
Life's nae worth much to me;
Your weary load my footsteps goad,
I'd almost like to dee.

When you are gone I'm free to sing
Or laugh, or hae a crack,
But when your gruesome face appears,
Oh! then I'm on the rack.
When gay and happy hearts rejoice,
How can you e'er propose
To thwart Dame Nature's honest work
By poking in your nose?

You've got yon miser in your grip,
Poor de'il, I'm wae to see;
But health and ease of mind is mair
Than money bags to me.
So Father Care, it's true, I swear,
I'll no more partner be;
Go pack your traps and funeral wraps,
And fly away frae me !


72

COGITATIONS ON ANIMALS

Biped and Quadruped.

The pig's contented in his sty,
And so might you, and so might I
Be pleased with simple cot and fare,
Happy as princes anywhere;
But circumstances alter cases,
Like climates, atmospheres and places.
For instance: some, as I've heard tell,
Would be contented e'en in Hell.
Some more dainty in their livin',
Would not be content in Heaven.
Some live to grunt, and groan, and pray;
Some laugh and sing the livelong day.
Some at times are very jolly,
Sometimes they are melancholy.
Some live only to make money;
Clowns earn bread by being funny;
While some there are who live to eat,
And some would eat, but can't get meat.
And some do naught but watch and wait,
Micawber-like, on luck or fate;
Pay off their debts with I O U's,
Then smile away their fits of blues.

There's none so dull as to dispute
How much some men are like the brute,
In South Sea Isles, a cannibal,
And elsewhere mostly animal.
There are men stupid as the ox,
There are men cunning as the fox,
Many thousands like the monkey,
Just as many like the donkey.
There are some faithful as the dog,
And some as filthy as the hog;
While some, you'll find them everywhere,-
As rough and grisly as the bear.

I think 'twas Solomon who said :--
"Man's but a beast when he is dead ....
That man has no preeminence."
And Sol. was wise, and Sol. had sense.
So, pause and think, and then you'll see
In how much man and beast agree.
With natures and instincts the same,
Man only in degree can claim
A higher grade, or clearer brain.

Some men will kick, with both their feet,
Against the needful summer heat;
And then as vigorously scold
Against the bracing winter cold.
Around his humble cottage fire,
The peasant has his heart's desire;
While some, of more pretentious birth,
Would grumble if they had the earth.
There was an old man and his ass,
A sample of a numerous class,---
So slow to learn, do what you can,
You'll never please the average man.

I've often thought, how can it be,
This great divergence that we see,
In form and colour, size and face,
In what we call the human race?
Have all come from one common pair
Adam the first, and Eve the fair?
Descended or ascended, say?
Philosophers, come tell us, pray!
Some men are short, and some are tall,
And some are fat, and some are small;
While some are black, and some are white,
And some are doomed to endless night;
Some born with brains, and some without,-
The weak and feeble, strong and stout.

Confess I must, 'tis hard to see
How sovereign grace and this agree.
Heredity, I think, would show,
Environment explain also,
How all this wide divergence reigns
Supreme o'er earth's divergent plains.
But when I'm told, in solemn tone,
God made men so, and God alone,
I know and feel there's something wrong;
Go think it o'er, and jog along.

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