John Spearn - Riel (The Batoche Campaign)
Riel (The Batoche Campaign)
We arrived near Batoche that day, with chains to take Riel away.
Our orders from Middleton were clear: "Rout the Metis . . . right here!"
The Saskatchewan River, on a steam paddlewheeler, we sailed.
With our cannons and horses, provisions and tack,
And a fine eight hundred, we'd surely prevail.
And those men of Dumont were a ragged brigade,
God wouldn't allow them to lose! Riel said, and they stayed . . .
With our scarlet and polish, we smelled of the English,
They could see us from miles away.
And in the trenches the Metis started to pray . . . they started to pray!
We had the finest of rifles and ammo' in our revelry.
With one gun, made by Gatling, let loose! The devil to see!
And the two hundred Metis had muskets for shot,
And for three remarkable days, they fought, and they fell . . .
"Stop the madness! Stop killing! Stop in God's name!"
We could hear the priest yell . . .
Speaking: I was first up to the church . . . Riel looked my soul right through.
He said "Oh, Lord forgive them, for they know not what they do!"
I squirmed and started shaking when he looked me in the eye,
And I knew deep down in my soul that this great man. . . would have to die.
And in chains we took Riel away
And the little church rang its bell.
And dozens of men lay dead on the ground . . .
With a tale they never could tell.
With a tale they never could tell!
And the little church rang its bell . . .