Lake Lyrics and Other Poems

by William Wilfred Campbell


 

DAN'L AND MAT.


 

HAINT never heard of the Renshaws?
    Two brothers, Dan’l and Mat,
Lived down the shores of Huron,
    On an island they called Big Hat;
Where the waves run high’rn mountains,
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    And the beaches is foggy and flat.

Dan’l was tall and strappin’,
    But Mat he was scraggy and lean:
Allus half-dead with the agy,
    Caused by the liver or spleen. 

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But the ’fection betwixt them two brothers
    Was a tarnal fine sight ter be seen.

They war’nt never properly edicated,
    Least not in the reg’lar way
Of colleges, churches, and meetins; 

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    But I bet they was a ’spletive long way
Ahead in livin’ and actin’
    Of mos’n of those who pray.

Histories, lies you might call them,
    But such stories them fellers could tell— 

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Beat old Robertson Cruiser,
    And ’Rabian nights as well;
An all of the gospellest truth, sir,
    As them as heerd em could tell.

Night after night, down at Masons’, 

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    As drinkin an smokin we sat;
’Magination, not lies, sir,
    For no un ud contradict flat,
When Mat ud coroborate Dan’l,
    An Dan’l ud swear by Mat. 
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An once when a half fool feller,
    Stood up an said t’was all rot;
Ef it had’nt a bin fer Dan’l
    (A tarnation fighter when hot),
I believe as the crowd in the barrom 
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    Would a murdered that chap on the spot.

Dead, yes, gone these years, sir,
    Out fishin and caught in a squall;
Each tried ter resky the other,
    But the lake as, is hard on us all, 

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Washed their bodies ashore next mornin,
    High and dry up, and that’s all.

But ef lovin yer brother means heaven,
    They’ve got it an mor’n that,
For you’ll find them away down the shore there, 

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    On the island that’s called Big Hat;
And Mat he lies close up to Dan’l,
    An Dan’l he’s sleeping by Mat.