Cherries, by Metivier
The poet George Métivier's family home, St George in the Câtel (the painting of the house is by Young, 1821), was planted with cherry trees, about which he fondly reminisced, along with the birds that feasted on them. Here are some excerpts from the Guernsey Magazine of November 1884 about cherries, taken from a series called 'Guernsey Popular Names of Plants, as compared with those in other places,' No. 8, 'Based on Mr Métivier's Glossaire.'
28. Baguio. The fruit of the cherry-tree. The word is derived from the colour of the fruit (as we say, a bay-horse), and answers to the Spanish bayo, French bai, Latin Badius, or in the corrupted Latin of the Middle Ages, Bagius. This Guernsey word for the cherry may also be found in the interesting old dictionary of Valmont Bomare.
Mr Métivier then quotes a verse of his own:
Garce, garçon, j'niche et viau,
En airon-ju du baguio,
Lâ sous les chlisiers de Saint George,
Ecoutant l'chant d'la rouâge-gorge?
Which may, perhaps, be translated,
Young and old and girl and boy,
Shall we the baguio ripe enjoy,
'Neath St George's cherry grove,
Hearing the red-breasts' songs of love?
From the word bai, originally signalling red or reddish-brown, like the Italian bago and Spanish bayo, seems to have originated the French name baie for berries of any colour.
29. Brocole, or Brocólus, Brocoli. Italian brocoli, tendril or their stalk of cabbage, from the Italian brocco, Picard and old French broc. In Normandy the word Bricoli signifies cabbage on the point of flowering, as well as brocoli. In Brittany, brous-kaol signifies cabbage-sprouts.
Mr Métivier quotes the verse, evidently, we should think, his own:
En avous-ju dans notre ilot,
Des brocolûs, d'cidre, au Villot,
Fort et doux, comme i' n'y en a guerre,
L'frit cis nous est jûtaeux et bel,
Et l'cieu d'nos periers d'Chaumontel,
Il est rinourumai dans la grànd terre."
Which may be translated:
There grow, within this isle of ours,
Good brocoli and cauliflowers,
Our cider's everywhere renowned,
Our fruit is rich, as all know well,
And our fine pears of Chaumontel,
Are famous all the whole year round.
30. Chelise, or Chlise. Cherry. Italian Ciliegia, Irish Shilin—and Chelisier, or Chlisier. Cherry Tree. Here Mr Métivier quotes a verse in Guernisiais [sic].
Quànd les chilisièrs, provnus d'la Normàndie,
Bllàncs coum la née, épanirent tant d'fleurs.
L'nouvé soleil, source de jouaie et d'sie,
Dans la rousâie étalait ses couleurs.
Which may be translated:
When the cherry-trees of Norman birth,
Donned their lovely blossoms white as snow,
And the sun, the source of life to earth,
Filled the morning dews with tints and glow.