In a previous post about Peregrine Acland’s time at the University of Toronto, I mentioned that he was part of a group of undergraduates who published a small literary magazine called Arbor.
Volume 1, Number 1 was issued in February of 1910, and according to the UofT library website, it ceased publication “sometime between April of 1913 and October of 1918.” They appear to have only the first issue in their collection.
Acland was the “associate editor” of Arbor from 1911-12, according to his write up in Torontoensis, the UofT yearbook.
I picked up this copy of the January, 1912 edition for $25.oo from Purpora Books in Comox, B.C., who have a knack for unearthing the obscure.
Some of the poems & articles contained in Arbor are attributed, others are not. There is nothing in this particular issue under Acland’s name, however, there is a cowboy poem similar in style and content to other Acland juvenilia that I am certain is his. So, here it is:
Grub Pile !
A Cow-Camp Ditty.
I. Hungry Cowboy.
When there’s never a hint of the dawning
When the sun yet rolls in his bed
You will crawl out from under the awning
And shake the dull dreams from your head;
When the stars glitter bright in their courses
Undimmed by the dawn in the east,
You will hark to the neighing of horses
And the cook’s shrill call to the feast.
Roll out you damned lazy young sinner,
And would you snore on till your dinner?
Ho, roll out, ho, roll out and roll up your bed,
For round-up’s no place for the sleep of the dead.
III. Hungry Cowboy.
When you’ve ridden beyond the horizon
And find that the desert’s no end,
Gaze on land that no man had set eyes on
And talk to your horse as your friend,
When you burn for a draught of fresh water
And hunger saws rough as a file
When you rave like a wolf for the slaughter
You’ll long for the sound of Grub “Pile.”
The smell of my hot steaks is charming
When the ache ‘neath your belt is alarming
So scan the brown buttes for the white of the tent
Then spur up! And quirt up! Come Dinnerward
V. Hungry Cowboy.
There are some that have talked of their dining
On frills and frogs’ legs in New York
Who are always a-fizz of their winhing [sic]
While I’ve lived on coffee and pork;
It’s the courses of fatted goose livers
Will bring to their jaws a sleek smile
But the French of the names gives the shivers
To boys who’ve heard only Grub Pile!
And aren’t you yet quit of your talking
God bless you! The lead horse is balking
So chuck in your sinner you idle young scamp
The horses are caught and we’re moving the camp.
……………………………………………A. Dinner Service
From Arbor. January 1912. Vol III, No. 3. Pages 148-149.
I’m not sure if “A. Dinner Service” suggests a continuation of the cowboy theme in a subsequent issue, or whether it’s a nom de plume (does the French of this phrase give him shivers too, I wonder?). The long line of dots in the final line is not the original; that is my addition, simply because the formatting of WordPress will not allow me (so far as I know) to get the last bit aligned as it should be. Apologies.