McIntyre, James

Scotland/Canada (1827-1906)

Hints to Cheese Makers

  1. Addressed to Jonathan Wingle, Esq.
  3. All those who quality do prize
  4. Must study color, taste and size,
  5. And keep their dishes clean and sweet,
  6. And all things round their factories neat,
  7. For dairymen insist that these
  8. Are all important points in cheese.
  10. Grant has here a famous work
  11. Devoted to the cure of pork.
  12. For dairymen find that it doth pay
  13. To fatten pigs upon the whey,
  14. For there is money raising grease
  15. As well as in the making cheese.

James McIntyre. Poems of James McIntyre. Ingersoll, ON: The Chronicle (1889).

Bacon, Hogg, Lamb and Shakespeare

  1. Bacon, philosopher profound,
  2. With mighty thoughts his works abound,
  3. Reflections did his mind engage
  4. Were in advance of his own age.
  6. And Hogg the Ettrick shepherd bard,
  7. High honors all do him award,
  8. Great fame and glory he did reap
  9. While tending to his flock of sheep.
  11. And Lamb, the gentle and the good,
  12. His works all show a happy mood;
  13. About these names there is no waste,
  14. Pleasing to fancy and to taste.
  16. Some critics think they do make clear
  17. The fact that Bacon wrote Shakespeare,
  18. But a gent lives in New York
  19. Asks what effect will it have on pork.
  21. Of course it would quick awaken
  22. A higher estimate of Bacon,
  23. But it is folly for to rear
  24. His fame on ruins of Shakespeare.
  26. Though Will was not college bred,
  27. With Greek they did not cram his head,
  28. But he well knew by translations
  29. The history of the ancient nations.
  31. And mingled daily in the strife
  32. With people in all walks of life,
  33. His plays they are to nature true
  34. Because he wrote of what he knew.
  36. “Alas that I have wandered here and there”
  37. He does cry out in his despair,
  38. While he did lead a wandering life
  39. And left alone his loving wife.

James McIntyre. Poems of James McIntyre. Ingersoll, ON: The Chronicle (1889).

Adventures With Bears

  1. I bought of land two miles square,
  2. I knew not it contained a bear,
  3. I never thought there would be any,
  4. But alas, I found many;
  5. The bush was thick and mat and tangle,
  6. It made it a perfect jungle,
  7. But one mile square of good dry land
  8. Was enough for me to take in hand;
  9. Swamp I could reach but when frozen,
  10. Then I saw bears by the dozen,
  11. Thick as monkies in Africa,
  12. And many a strange trick I saw,
  13. Gamboling with the greatest ease,
  14. High up the trunks of the big trees,
  15. While some were swinging from branches
  16. And hanging on them with their haunches;
  17. But quietly I then tilled my farm,
  18. The bears at first done me no harm,
  19. Till one night I was roused by dogs,
  20. And found a bear was at my hogs,
  21. He threw a pig across each shoulder
  22. And there I was a sad beholder,
  23. But to the house I quickly run
  24. For to procure my loaded gun,
  25. And as he could not run but slow,
  26. So heavy laden through the snow,
  27. I him full soon did overtake,
  28. And his courage quick I did shake,
  29. For by the leg my good bold dog
  30. He bravely caught the thievish rogue,
  31. And this move made him soon fork o’er
  32. To me at once the largest porker,
  33. For moment squeeze it did pig stun,
  34. But up he rose and quick he run,
  35. The bear now scared his only hope,
  36. To let at once the other pig drop,
  37. I shot the bear right through the eyes
  38. And secured a valued prize,
  39. There’s nothing I love so to eat
  40. In winter time as the bear’s meat,
  41. So a victory I soon won
  42. And sold for high price grease and skin…

James McIntyre. Poems of James McIntyre. Ingersoll, ON: The Chronicle (1889).

The Evolution of the Hog

  1. In these days of evolution
  2. There’s a wondrous revolution;
  3. The hog is coming to the front,
  4. And he can now contented grunt.
  6. For every day he gets to eat
  7. The very choicest kinds of wheat;
  8. No more it pays wheat for to sell,
  9. Only 50 cents a bushel.
  11. Farmers find that the best combine
  12. Is to raise good cows and fatten swine.
  13. For on this point each one agrees,
  14. There’s nothing pays more like pork and cheese.
  16. Hundreds of pigs you now behold
  17. Where none were seen in days of old,
  18. And little hogs now roam all over,
  19. Happy, rooting ‘mong the clover.
  21. And merrily they do dance jigs,
  22. So playful are these little pigs;
  23. And dairymen it well doth pay
  24. To fatten them upon the whey.
  26. For the people love to dine
  27. On young, sweet and tender swine;
  28. For the hog doth lead the van
  29. As the favourite food of man.
  31. Some say land’s going to the dogs,
  32. But it’s going into cows and hogs,
  33. And there is no cause to mourn,
  34. For they give good and quick return.
  36. Small pigs, more playful than young lambs,
  37. Soon they do make the sweetest hams;
  38. When they are a few months older,
  39. Delicious is their shoulder.
  41. So, ’tis no wonder that the hog,
  42. He is coming into vogue,
  43. For he doth cheerful pay his way
  44. And is entitled to his whey.

James McIntyre. from a letter published in the Globe and Mail, 7 August, 1894.

Signals from Mars

  1. What is the matter with Mars?
  2. Is it excited o’er the wars?
  3. Between the Japs and the Chineese
  4. Now raising (Cain) instead of teas.
  6. They’re warning us we’re in’a fog.
  7. And do not see the ravenous hog
  8. Devouring all our goodly wheat.
  9. His greed they wish for to defeat.
  11. They do not know hogs doth take on
  12. Flesh to make the best of bacon
  13. When they’re only six months old,
  14. And do repay the wheat in gold.
  16. A feed of corn, peas and barley,
  17. The pig doth enjoy it rarely.
  18. But nofirst-class pork-packing work
  19. Will buy soft bean or beach-nut pork.
  21. ‘Mong grass or roots or kitchen slops,
  22. He doth fondly lick his chops.
  23. And never yet hat he said nay
  24. To a big troughful of good whey.

James McIntyre. from a letter published in the Globe and Mail, 15 September, 1894.
Editor’s Note:

So how did McIntyre start with Martians and end with hogs? Here are some details to consider:

Eighteen hundred and ninety-four, in which this poem was written, is remembered by aresologists as the year in which Percival Lowell studied and sketched the canals of Mars. Could it be that the Cheese Poet was just a tad confused? Whatever the answer, Mars provided an opportunity to touch upon the First Sino-Japanese War, then in its first month, before turning yet again to the ravenous hog.

— Brian Busby at The Dusty Bookcase

Thanks to Brian for calling attention to “The Evolution of the Hog” and “Signals from Mars”. Brian has a wealth of information on James McIntyre and discusses many other fascinating subjects as he explores Canada’s “suppressed, ignored and forgotten.”

About the Poet:

James McIntyre (1827-1906), Canada, poet and businessman operating a furniture factory and a retail store which sold furniture, along pianos and coffins. An emigrant from Scotland, McIntyre settled in Ontario in 1841 at the age of fourteen.

McIntyre used his poesy and oratorical skills to promote his business, local agriculture and to celebrate the proud history of Canada – the natural beauty and industry of the region, and especially its cheese. He published two volumes of poetry: Musings on the Canadian Thames (1884) and Poems of James McIntyre (1889).

McIntyre, often called “The Cheese Poet” or “The Chaucer of Cheese“, is now accepted by the academic and literary community in the generous spirit in which it was intended by its eccentric author. However, McIntyre was forgotten after his death for a number of years, until his work was rediscovered and reprinted by William Arthur Deacon, the literary editor of the Toronto Mail and Empire and its successor the Globe and Mail, in his book The Four Jameses (1927). [DES-06/14]

Additional information:

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