George Métivier
Aux Crapauds

Salut, nos chers cousins, honorables crapauds!
Lentement vous rampez ; en êtes-vous moins beaux?
Que d’amis indulgents, ce n’est pas qu’ils vous flattent,
Admirent vos grands yeux ! ils brillent, ils éclatent,
Et votre robe humide aux reflets enchanteurs
Plaìt à l’homme éclairé, séduit les amateurs.
Même dans vos crachats, âme sublime et pure,
L’heureux naturaliste admire la nature,
Et l’altière Jersey, mère qui vous nourrit,
Balance en main, vous pèse ; ah ! comme elle sourit !
D’allégresse les mains à St. Laurens on frotte,
Et l’île boit rogomme à l’honneur de CHARLOTTE.
Que de baudets chez nous ! que de jolis badauds !
Vive à CÆSAREA la danse des crapauds ! 


To the Crapauds!

Greetings to our dear cousins, the honourable toads!
Slow you crawl, though are you any less beautiful?
Don’t indulgent friends always flatter you?
Admire your great eyes ! they sparkle,
And your sodden clothes have an enchanting shiny sheen,
To delights the enlightened man, and seduce lovers.
And even when you’re gobbing, soul sublime and pure,
The naturalist will admire you as wildlife,
And haughty Jersey, the mother feeds you,
Balance in hand, weighs you; Ah! How she smiles!
With lightness of touch, one strokes St. Laurence's hands,
And the isle drinks itself silly in CHARLOTTE's honour.
What donkeys there are here ! What lovely loafers !
Long live the dance of the toads in CÆSAREA ! 




George Métivier (1790-1881) apparently known as the "Guernsey Burns", and was the 'national poet' of the island. He was born in Fountain Street, and was of French descent. He famously prepared the first Dictionnaire Franco-Normand, the first dictionary of Guernsey French. He wrote fluently in Guernesiaise, French and English. Aux Crapuads clearly is about the good folk of Jersey, known as crapauds (toads) in Guernsey.

Baudets has been here translated as donkeys, but if anyone thinks this is wrong - let us know! This poem was from Les Fantaisies Guernsesiaise, which I found in the Guille-Allès Library at St Peter Port, this first translation was done by Ken Goodwin and Peter Kenny. But if anyone can improve on it... Please do!

Here is a link to the Priaulx Library page where there is good information about the poet and his family.