Pine, Rose and Fleur de Lis

by Susie Frances Harrison




Combien des enfans? Why, twenty-five!
       Now, by all the Gods and every Saint,
I wonder the woman is left alive

To tell the tale! How many survive?
       She answers me, calm and without constraint,

Combien? Mossieu? Why, twenty-five.”

Not one ever lost? Not one; they thrive,
       Do little ones in this parish quaint.
I wonder the woman is left alive,

Who has less than twelve. The bigger the hive,

       The greater the honour, no sign of complaint—
Combien des enfans? Why, twenty-five.

The men don’t care and the priests contrive
       At mass the duty of parents to paint,
But I wonder the women are left alive.


Her come Antoine, Josephte, Max, who drive
       The rest—fifteen. At the sight you faint.
Combien des enfans? Why, twenty-five!
I wonder the woman is left alive.



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