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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Duncan Campbell Scott 1862–1947

At the Cedars


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 Isaéc 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 logs 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 Isaé

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 that 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.