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Thursday, November 16, 2006

University receives lost Louis Riel poem - Metafilter - globeandmail.com

From the text of the poem, I wonder if he was trying to
shame his jailer or gain some advantage.

"Let virtue be our soul's food'

A poem and introduction written by Louis Riel for his jailer about three weeks before Riel was hanged for treason.
Robert Gordon! I beg your pardon for so having kept you waiting after some poor verses of mine. You know, my English is not fine. I speak it; but only very imperfectly.

The snow,

Which renders the ground all white,

From heaven, comes here below:

Its pine frozen drops invite us all

To white -- keep our thoughts and our acts,

So that when our bodies do fall,

Our merits, before God, be facts.

How many who, with good desires,

Have died and lost their souls to fires?

Good desires kept unpractic'd

Stand, before God, unnotic'd.

O Robert, let us be fond

Of virtue! Virtues abound

In every sort of good,

Let virtue be our soul's food.

Louis (David) Riel Oct. 27, 1885 Regina Jail

(via metafilter)

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