(Source: Archivanet. Canadian Archives on the Internet.)
SELECTED POETRY OFWILLIAM HENRY DRUMMOND (1854 1907)
William Henry Drummond ( known until 1875 as William Henry Drumm),
telegraphist,physician,poet,professor and public lecturer, was born 13.April,1854
near Mohill (Republic of Ireland), son of George Drumm and ELIZABETH MORRIS SODEN;
married 18.April,1894 May Isobel Harvey in Savanna la Mar,Jamaica,and they had three sons
one of whom survived infancy,and one daughter;died 6.April,1907 in Cobalt,Ontario.
The eldest of four sons born to an officer in the Royal Irish
Constabulary,William Henry Drumm spent his early years in County
Leitrim. He attended school in Tawley,where his parents had stayed
shortly after his birth. Sometime in 1863-64 the family returned
briefly to Mohill. According to May Isobel Drumond,after George Drumm
was dismissed from the police force because of a quarrel with Lord
Leitrim over the Landlord system,he had a paralytic stroke from
which he never really recovered. Disgusted with conditions in
Ireland and worried about the familys future,he and his wife decided
to emigrate with their children to Lower Canada;they arrived in
Montreal in the summer of 1864.
In February 1866 Drumm died and his family,left without even his small pension,faced financial hardship.
In order to survive,Mrs.Drumm opened a store in the front room of
their house,the boys all sold newspapers and ,when he was 14,William
Henry left school and became an apprentice telegraphist........
....In 1875,having been convinced by a cousin that the name
Drumm was but a corruption of the name Drummond our ancient family
name,he officially changed his surname and that of his mother and
brothers to Drummond.
William Henry Drummond graduated with an M.D. from McGill University in 1884
and started practising in the eastern townships
(along the St. Lawrence River) to which his dialect poems so often refer.
In 1888 he moved to Montreal . it was ten years later,
well after his marriage May Isobel that Drummond published his first book of poetry,
the Habitant (1897) . He went on to publish five more books of poetry,
Phil o Rums Canoe (1848); Johnnie Courteau (1901) ; the Voyager (1905);
and the Great Fight (1908) and to become one of the most widely-read and
loved poets of his nation . he ws made Fello of the Royal Society of Canada in 1899
and received two honorary degrees ,the first from the University of Toronto in 1902,
and then from Bishops University in 1905.
See the CANADIAN BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY ; William Henry Drummond :
Poet in Patois by J.B.Lyons.
'De nice leetle Canadienne'
You can pass on de worl'w'ever you lak,
Tak' de steamboat for go Angleterre,
Tak' car on de State,an'den you come back,
An' go all de place,I don't care -
Ma frien' dat's a fack,I know you will say,
W'en you come on dis contree again,
Dere's no girl can touch,w'at we see ev'ry day,
De nice leetle Canadienne
(Lines 1 - 8)
Excerpted from the Toronto University Selection of Drummonds Poetry.
Archivanet. Canadian Archives on the Internet.
Canadian Biographical Dictionary, under Drummond
William Henry Drummond , Poet in Patois by J.B.Lyons
David Pease, Ontario, Canada, 2015
Margaret Laughton, St. Catherine's , Ontario, Canada, 1998
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