Sweet Maiden of Quoddy

Posted on August 30, 2010
Filed Under Poetry | Leave a Comment

I heard this once on CBC radio and have been looking for it. Catherine Reid, at the Miramichi West library graciously found it for me. I like that someone writing about 150 years ago wrote with wit and rhythm that seems perfectly appropriate today.

Sweet Maiden of Quoddy

James De Mille – 1833-1880

Sweet maiden of Passamaquoddy,
Shall we seek for communion of souls
Where the deep Mississippi meanders
Or the distant Saskatchewan rolls?
Ah no, in New Brunswick we’ll find it –
A sweetly sequestered nook
Where the swift gliding Skoodawabskooksis
Unites with the Skoodawabskook

Maduxnekeag’s waters are bluer;
Nipisquit’s pools are more black,
More green is the bright Oromocto,
And browner the Petitcodiac.
But colours more radiant in autumn
I see when I’m casting my hook
In the waves of the Skoodawabskooksis
Or perhaps in the Skoodawabskook.

Let others sing loudly of Saco,
Of Passadumkeag or Mistouche
Of Kennebecasis or Quaco,
Of Miramichi or Buctouche;
Or boast of the Tobique or Mispec,
The Musquash or dark Memramcook.
There’s none like the Skoodawabskooksis
Excepting the Skoodawabskook.

Think not that the Magaguadavic
Or Bocabec please the eye.
Though the Chiputneticook is lovely,
That to either of these we will fly.
No. When in Love’s union we’re plighted
We’ll build our log house by a brook
Which flows to the Skoodawabskooksis
Where it runs with the Skoodawabskook.

Then never of Waweig or Chamcook
I’ll think. Having you in my arms
We’ll reck not of Dideguash beauties;
We’ll care not for Pocologan’s charms.
But as emblems of union forever
Upon two fair rivers we’ll look,
While you’ll be the Skoodawabskooksis
I’ll be the Skoodawabskook.

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