St. Héliers


Poetry in Jersey


(Fancies suggested by "Ansted's Guide")

Mean, unsightly, crowded streets,
Narrow, shunn'd in June's moist heats,
Through which, as gay trav'llers fly,
Near the Royal Court they sigh,
Drawing a reluctant cork
At the Union or the York,
Laughing, arrogant and cold,
At a statue, faded gold,
Relic of the glorious days,
Sneer'd at in old MARVELL'S lays,
So that they but little care
For Caesarea's fam'd square,
“Royal Square,” that took its name
From a monarch void of shame,
Loyal Jersey's precious hero,
Not a Titus, not a Nero ;
Churches, where folks huddle snugly,
Some are old and all are ugly,
While from lips of rare divine
Issue truths, line after line,
Half a roar and half a whine.
Hélier's heavy fane defies
Howling storms and wat'ry skies,
Nay! by plast'rers left alone,
Ivy covers each gray stone.
Dazzling shops your need supply,
There are stands for cab and fly,
Liv'ry stables, fine horse-flesh,
Luxuries from England fresh.
Oh! what a servile pecus,
Imitators, not fastidious!
Every fantasy to please,
Staring, roomy dens of ease,
Freaks and whims charm that small nation
Fondling each denomination.
Of Rome's chapels there are two,
And a kâhal for the Jew,
And a royal, grand new school,
Bowing to the solemn rule
Of a Don, come from some U-
niversity that Falle knew,
Libraries that hardly pay, -
In one I ne'er spent a day ;
As to clubs, my club is home,
All is there; why should I roam ?
To Fort-Regent I'm a stranger;
Calm old France now fears no danger
From a Castle, mould'ring pile,
Guardian of a simpler isle;
ELIZABETH did her best,
DON and CUPPAGE did the rest,
And, as they espy a flaw.
Sly intruders curse good law.
Meek young hermit, faithful one,
Who the martyrs crown there won,
HELLER, son of truth and light,
Whose Austrasian name was BRIGHT,
On yon rude rock shed warm tears,
And, though thirteen hundred years
Have spung'd o'er his deathless glory,
Gaul has treasur'd his rare story.
Still, red Vandals, source of woes,
With their Low-Dutch hideous hoes,
And vile powder, without awe,
Blew up Notre Dame des Pas.
Sad it is, if it were true,
That, in that isle, honour due
Is not rendered to the toil
Of the men who own the soil;
Strollers flourish at their cost;
All their influence is lost.


Georges Métivier




Poetry in Jersey





La Société Jersiaise

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