University of Virginia Library






He loved her, and through many years,
Had paid his fair devoted court,
Until she wearied, and with sneers
Turned all his ardent love to sport.
That night within his chamber lone,
He long sat writing by his bed
A note in which his heart made moan
For love; the morning found him dead.


Like him, a man of later day
Was jilted by the maid he sought,
And from her presence turned away,
Consumed by burning, bitter thought.
He sought his room to write—a curse
Like him before and die, I ween.
Ah no, he put his woes in verse,
And sold them to a magazine.


When first of wise old Johnson taught,
My youthful mind its homage brought,
And made the pond'rous crusty sage
The object of a noble rage.
Nor did I think (How dense we are!)
That any day, however far,
Would find me holding, unrepelled,
The place that Doctor Johnson held!
But change has come and time has moved,
And now, applauded, unreproved,
I hold, with pardonable pride,
The place that Johnson occupied.
Conceit! Presumption! What is this?
You surely read my words amiss;
Like Johnson I,—a man of mind!
How could you ever be so blind?
No. At the ancient “Cheshire Cheese,”
Blown hither by some vagrant breeze,
To dignify my shallow wit,
In Doctor Johnson's seat I sit!


Men may sing of their Havanas, elevating to the stars
The real or fancied virtues of their foreign-made cigars;


But I worship Nicotina at a different sort of shrine,
And she sits enthroned in glory in this corn-cob pipe of mine.
It 's as fragrant as the meadows when the clover is in bloom;
It 's as dainty as the essence of the daintiest perfume;
It 's as sweet as are the orchards when the fruit is hanging ripe,
With the sun's warm kiss upon them—is this corn-cob pipe.
Thro' the smoke about it clinging, I delight its form to trace,
Like an oriental beauty with a veil upon her face;
And my room is dim with vapour as a church when censers sway,
As I clasp it to my bosom—in a figurative way.
It consoles me in misfortune and it cheers me in distress,
And it proves a warm partaker of my pleasures in success;
So I hail it as a symbol, friendship's true and worthy type,
And I press my lips devoutly to my corn-cob pipe.


When August days are hot an' dry,
When burning copper is the sky,
I 'd rather fish than feast or fly
In airy realms serene and high.
I 'd take a suit not made for looks,
Some easily digested books,
Some flies, some lines, some bait, some hooks,
Then would I seek the bays and brooks.
I would eschew mine every task,
In Nature's smiles my soul should bask,
And I methinks no more could ask,
Except—perhaps—one little flask.
In case of accident, you know,
Or should the wind come on to blow,
Or I be chilled or capsized, so,
A flask would be the only go.
Then could I spend a happy time,—
A bit of sport, a bit of rhyme
(A bit of lemon, or of lime,
To make my bottle's contents prime).
When August days are hot an' dry,
I won't sit by an' sigh or die,
I 'll get my bottle (on the sly)
And go ahead, and fish, and lie!



Oh, what shall I do? I am wholly upset;
I am sure I 'll be jailed for a lunatic yet.
I 'll be out of a job—it 's the thing to expect
When I 'm letting my duty go by with neglect.
You may judge the extent and degree of my plight
When I 'm thinking all day and a-dreaming all night,
And a-trying my hand at a rhyme on the sly,
All on account of a sparkling eye.
There are those who say men should be strong, well-a-day!
But what constitutes strength in a man? Who shall say?
I am strong as the most when it comes to the arm.
I have aye held my own on the playground or farm.
And when I 've been tempted, I have n't been weak;
But now—why, I tremble to hear a maid speak.
I used to be bold, but now I 've grown shy,
And all on account of a sparkling eye.
There once was a time when my heart was devout,
But now my religion is open to doubt.
When parson is earnestly preaching of grace,
My fancy is busy with drawing a face,
Thro' the back of a bonnet most piously plain;
‘I draw it, redraw it, and draw it again.’
While the songs and the sermon unheeded go by,—
All on account of a sparkling eye.
Oh, dear little conjurer, give o'er your wiles,
It is easy for you, you 're all blushes and smiles:
But, love of my heart, I am sorely perplexed;
I am smiling one minute and sighing the next;
And if it goes on, I 'll drop hackle and flail,
And go to the parson and tell him my tale.
I warrant he 'll find me a cure for the sigh
That you 're aye bringing forth with the glance of your eye.


You 'll be wonderin' whut 's de reason
I 's a grinnin' all de time,
An' I guess you t'ink my sperits
Mus' be feelin' mighty prime.


Well, I 'fess up, I is tickled
As a puppy at his paws.
But you need n't think I 's crazy,
I ain' laffin' 'dout a cause.
You 's a wonderin' too, I reckon,
Why I does n't seem to eat,
An' I notice you a lookin'
Lak you felt completely beat
When I 'fuse to tek de bacon,
An' don' settle on de ham.
Don' you feel no feah erbout me,
Jes' keep eatin', an' be ca'm.
Fu' I 's waitin' an' I 's watchin'
'Bout a little t'ing I see—
D' othah night I 's out a walkin'
An' I passed a 'simmon tree.
Now I 's whettin' up my hongry,
An' I 's laffin' fit to kill,
Fu' de fros' done turned de 'simmons,
An' de possum 's eat his fill.
He done go'ged hisse'f owdacious,
An' he stayin' by de tree!
Don' you know, ol' Mistah Possum
Dat you gittin' fat fu' me?
'T ain't no use to try to 'spute it,
'Case I knows you 's gittin' sweet
Wif dat 'simmon flavoh thoo you,
So I 's waitin' fu' yo' meat.
An' some ebenin' me an Towsah
Gwine to come an' mek a call,
We jes' drap in onexpected
Fu' to shek yo' han', dat 's all.
Oh, I knows dat you 'll be tickled,
Seems lak I kin see you smile,
So pu'haps I mought pu'suade you
Fu' to visit us a while.


Summah night an' sighin' breeze,
'Long de lovah's lane;
Frien'ly, shadder-mekin' trees,
'Long de lovah's lane.
White folks' wo'k all done up gran'—
Me an' 'Mandy han'-in-han'
Struttin' lak we owned de lan',
'Long de lovah's lane.
Owl a-settin' 'side de road,
'Long de lovah's lane,
Lookin' at us lak he knowed
Dis uz lovah's lane.
Go on, hoot yo' mou'nful tune,
You ain' nevah loved in June,
An' come hidin' f'om de moon
Down in lovah's lane.
Bush it ben' an' nod an' sway,
Down in lovah's lane,
Try'n' to hyeah me whut I say
'Long de lovah's lane.
But I whispahs low lak dis,
An' my 'Mandy smile huh bliss—
Mistah Bush he shek his fis',
Down in lovah's lane.


Whut I keer ef day is long,
Down in lovah's lane.
I kin allus sing a song
'Long de lovah's lane.
An' de wo'ds I hyeah an' say
Meks up fu' de weary day
W'en I 's strollin' by de way,
Down in lovah's lane.
An' dis t'ought will allus rise
Down in lovah's lane;
Wondah whethah in de skies
Dey 's a lovah's lane.
Ef dey ain't, I tell you true,
'Ligion do look mighty blue,
'Cause I do' know whut I 'd do
'Dout a lovah's lane.


Who say my hea't ain't true to you?
Dey bettah heish dey mouf.
I knows I loves you thoo an' thoo
In watah time er drouf.
I wush dese people 'd stop dey talkin',
Don't mean no mo' dan chicken's squawkin':
I guess I knows which way I 's walkin',
I knows de norf f'om souf.
I does not love Elizy Brown,
I guess I knows my min'.
You allus try to tek me down
Wid evaht'ing you fin'.
Ef dese hyeah folks will keep on fillin'
Yo' haid wid nonsense, an' you 's willin'
I bet some day dey 'll be a killin'
Somewhaih along de line.
O' cose I buys de gal ice-cream,
Whut else I gwine to do?
I knows jes' how de t'ing 'u'd seem
Ef I 'd be sho't wid you.
On Sunday, you 's at chu'ch a-shoutin',
Den all de week you go 'roun' poutin'—
I 's mighty tiahed o' all dis doubtin',
I tell you cause I 's true.


[O li'l' lamb out in de col']

O li'l' lamb out in de col',
De Mastah call you to de fol',
O li'l' lamb!
He hyeah you bleatin' on de hill;
Come hyeah an' keep yo' mou'nin' still,
O li'l' lamb!
De Mastah sen' de Shepud fo'f;
He wandah souf, he wandah no'f,
O li'l' lamb!
He wandah eas', he wandah wes';
De win' a-wrenchin' at his breas',
O li'l' lamb!


Oh, tell de Shepud whaih you hide;
He want you walkin' by his side,
O li'l' lamb!
He know you weak, he know you so';
But come, don' stay away no mo',
O li'l' lamb!
An' af'ah while de lamb he hyeah
De Shepud's voice a-callin' cleah—
Sweet li'l' lamb!
He answah f'om de brambles thick,
“O Shepud, I 's a-comin' quick”—
O li'l' lamb!


Little brown baby wif spa'klin' eyes,
Come to yo' pappy an' set on his knee.
What you been doin', suh—makin' san' pies?
Look at dat bib—you 's ez du'ty ez me.
Look at dat mouf—dat 's merlasses, I bet;
Come hyeah, Maria, an' wipe off his han's.
Bees gwine to ketch you an' eat you up yit,
Bein' so sticky an sweet—goodness lan's!
Little brown baby wif spa'klin' eyes,
Who 's pappy's darlin' an' who 's pappy's chile?
Who is it all de day nevah once tries
Fu' to be cross, er once loses dat smile?
Whah did you git dem teef? My, you 's a scamp!
Whah did dat dimple come f'om in yo' chin?
Pappy do' know you—I b'lieves you 's a tramp;
Mammy, dis hyeah 's some ol' straggler got in!
Let 's th'ow him outen de do' in de san',
We do' want stragglers a-layin' 'roun' hyeah;
Let's gin him 'way to de big buggah-man;
I know he 's hidin' erroun' hyeah right neah.
Buggah-man, buggah-man, come in de do',
Hyeah 's a bad boy you kin have fu' to eat.
Mammy an' pappy do' want him no mo',
Swaller him down f'om his haid to his feet!
Dah, now, I t'ought dat you 'd hug me up close.
Go back, ol' buggah, you sha'n't have dis boy.
He ain't no tramp, ner no straggler, of co'se;
He 's pappy's pa'dner an' playmate an' joy.


Come to you' pallet now—go to yo' res';
Wisht you could allus know ease an' cleah skies;
Wisht you could stay jes' a chile on my breas'—
Little brown baby wif spa'klin' eyes!


Summah's nice, wif sun a-shinin',
Spring is good wif greens and grass,
An' dey 's some t'ings nice 'bout wintah,
Dough hit brings de freezin' blas;
But de time dat is de fines',
Whethah fiel's is green er brown,
Is w'en de rain 's a-po'in'
An' dey 's time to tinker 'roun.
Den you men's de mule's ol' ha'ness,
An' you men's de broken chair.
Hummin' all de time you 's wo'kin'
Some ol' common kind o' air.
Evah now an' then you looks out,
Tryin' mighty ha'd to frown,
But you cain't, you 's glad hit 's rainin',
An' dey 's time to tinker 'roun'.
Oh, you 'ten's lak you so anxious
Evah time it so't o' stops.
W'en hit goes on, den you reckon
Dat de wet 'll he'p de crops.
But hit ain't de crops you 's aftah;
You knows w'en de rain comes down
Dat 's hit 's too wet out fu' wo'kin',
An' dey 's time to tinker roun'.
Oh, dey 's fun inside de co'n-crib,
An' dey 's laffin' at de ba'n;
An' dey 's allus some one jokin',
Er some one to tell a ya'n.
Dah 's a quiet in yo' cabin,
Only fu' de rain's sof' soun';
So you 's mighty blessed happy
W'en dey 's time to tinker 'roun'!


Folks is talkin' 'bout de money, 'bout de silvah an' de gold;
All de time de season 's changin' an' de days is gittin' cold.
An' dey 's wond'rin' 'bout de metals, whethah we'll have one er two.
While de price o' coal is risin' an' dey 's two months' rent dat 's due.
Some folks says dat gold 's de only money dat is wuff de name,
Den de othahs rise an' tell 'em dat dey ought to be ashame,


An' dat silvah is de only thing to save us f'om de powah
Of de gold-bug ragin' 'roun' an' seekin' who he may devowah.
Well, you folks kin keep on shoutin' wif yo' gold er silvah cry,
But I tell you people hams is sceerce an' fowls is roostin' high.
An' hit ain't de so't o' money dat is pesterin' my min',
But de question I want answehed 's how to get at any kin'!


Lucy done gone back on me,
Dat 's de way wif life.
Evaht'ing was movin' free,
T'ought I had my wife.
Den some dahky comes along,
Sings my gal a little song,
Since den, evaht'ing 's gone wrong,
Evah day dey 's strife.
Did n't answeh me to-day,
W'en I called huh name,
Would you t'ink she 'd ac' dat way
W'en I ain't to blame?
Dat 's de way dese women do,
W'en dey fin's a fellow true,
Den dey 'buse him thoo an' thoo;
Well, hit 's all de same.
Somep'n's wrong erbout my lung,
An' I 's glad hit 's so.
Doctah says 'at I 'll die young,
Well, I wants to go!
Whut 's de use o' livin' hyeah,
W'en de gal you loves so deah,
Goes back on you clean an' cleah—
I sh'd like to know?


Whut dat you whisperin' keepin' f'om me?
Don't shut me out 'cause I 's ol' an' can't see.
Somep'n's gone wrong dat 's a-causin' you dread,—
Don't be afeared to tell—Whut! mastah dead?
Somebody brung de news early to-day,—
One of de sojers he led, do you say?
Did n't he foller whah ol' mastah lead?
How kin he live w'en his leadah is dead?
Let me lay down awhile, dah by his bed;
I wants to t'ink,—hit ain't cleah in my head:—
Killed while a-leadin' his men into fight,—
Dat 's whut you said, ain't it, did I hyeah right?


Mastah, my mastah, dead dah in de fiel'?
Lif' me up some,—dah, jes' so I kin kneel.
I was too weak to go wid him, dey said,
Well, now I 'll—fin' him—so—mastah is dead.
Yes, suh, I 's comin' ez fas' ez I kin,—
'T was kin' o' da'k, but hit 's lightah agin:
P'omised yo' pappy I 'd allus tek keer
Of you,—yes, mastah,—I 's follerin',—hyeah!


It was Chrismus Eve, I mind hit fu' a mighty gloomy day—
Bofe de weathah an' de people—not a one of us was gay;
Cose you 'll t'ink dat 's mighty funny 'twell I try to mek hit cleah,
Fu' a da'ky 's allus happy when de holidays is neah.
But we was n't, fu' dat mo'nin' Mastah 'd tol' us we mus' go,
He 'd been payin' us sence freedom, but he could n't pay no mo';
He wa'n't nevah used to plannin' 'fo' he got so po' an' ol',
So he gwine to give up tryin', an' de homestead mus' be sol'.
I kin see him stan'in' now erpon de step ez cleah ez day,
Wid de win' a-kind o' fondlin' thoo his haih all thin an' gray;
An' I 'membah how he trimbled when he said, “It 's ha'd fu' me,
Not to mek yo' Chrismus brightah, but I 'low it wa'n't to be.”
All de women was a-cryin', an' de men, too, on de sly,
An' I noticed somep'n shinin' even in ol' Mastah's eye.
But we all stood still to listen ez ol' Ben come f'om de crowd
An' spoke up, a-try'n' to steady down his voice and mek it loud:—
“Look hyeah, Mastah, I 's been servin' you' fu' lo! dese many yeahs,
An' now, sence we 's got freedom an' you 's kind o' po', hit 'pears
Dat you want us all to leave you 'cause you don't t'ink you can pay.
Ef my membry has n't fooled me, seem dat whut I hyead you say.


“Er in othah wo'ds, you wants us to fu'git dat you's been kin',
An' ez soon ez you is he'pless, we's to leave you hyeah behin'.
Well, ef dat 's de way dis freedom ac's on people, white er black,
You kin jes' tell Mistah Lincum fu' to tek his freedom back.
“We gwine wo'k dis ol' plantation fu' whatevah we kin git,
Fu' I know hit did suppo't us, an' de place kin do it yit.
Now de land is yo's, de hands is ouahs, an' I reckon we 'll be brave,
An' we 'll bah ez much ez you do w'en we has to scrape an' save.”
Ol' Mastah stood dah trimblin', but a-smilin' thoo his teahs,
An' den hit seemed jes' nachul-like, de place fah rung wid cheahs,
An' soon ez dey was quiet, some one sta'ted sof' an' low:
“Praise God,” an' den we all jined in, “from whom all blessin's flow!”
Well, dey was n't no use tryin', ouah min's was sot to stay,
An' po' ol' Mastah could n't plead ner baig, ner drive us 'way,
An' all at once, hit seemed to us, de day was bright agin,
So evahone was gay dat night, an' watched de Chrismus in.


When de fiddle gits to singin' out a ol' Vahginny reel,
An' you 'mence to feel a ticklin' in yo' toe an' in yo' heel;
Ef you t'ink you got 'uligion an' you wants to keep it, too,
You jes' bettah tek a hint an' git yo'self clean out o' view.
Case de time is mighty temptin' when de chune is in de swing,
Fu' a darky, saint or sinner man, to cut de pigeon-wing.
An' you could n't he'p f'om dancin' ef yo' feet was boun' wif twine,
When Angelina Johnson comes a-swingin' down de line.
Don't you know Miss Angelina? She 's de da'lin' of de place.
W'y, dey ain't no high-toned lady wif sich mannahs an' sich grace.
She kin move across de cabin, wif its planks all rough an' wo';
Jes' de same 's ef she was dancin' on ol' mistus' ball-room flo'.
Fact is, you do' see no cabin—evaht'ing you see look grand,
An' dat one ol' squeaky fiddle soun' to you jes' lak a ban';
Cotton britches look lak broadclof an' a linsey dress look fine,
When Angelina Johnson comes a-swingin' down de line.


Some folks say dat dancin 's sinful, an' de blessed Lawd, dey say,
Gwine to punish us fu' steppin' w'en we hyeah de music play.
But I tell you I don' b'lieve it, fu' de Lawd is wise and good,
An' he made de banjo's metal an' he made de fiddle's wood,
An' he made de music in dem, so I don' quite t'ink he 'll keer
Ef our feet keeps time a little to de melodies we hyeah.
W'y, dey 's somep'n' downright holy in de way our faces shine,
When Angelina Johnson comes a-swingin' down de line.
Angelina steps so gentle, Angelina bows so low,
An' she lif' huh sku't so dainty dat huh shoetop skacely show:
An' dem teef o' huh'n a-shinin', ez she tek you by de han'—
Go 'way, people, d' ain't anothah sich a lady in de lan'!
When she 's movin' thoo de figgers er a-dancin' by huhse'f,
Folks jes' stan' stock-still a-sta'-in', an' dey mos' nigh hol's dey bref;
An' de young mens, dey 's a-sayin', “I 's gwine mek dat damsel mine,”
When Angelina Johnson comes a-swingin' down de line.


Seems lak folks is mighty curus
In de way dey t'inks an' ac's.
Dey jes' spen's dey days a-mixin'
Up de t'ings in almanacs.
Now, I min' my nex' do' neighbour,—
He 's a mighty likely man,
But he nevah t'inks o' nuffin
'Ceptin' jes' to plot an' plan.
All de wintah he was plannin'
How he 'd gethah sassafras
Jes' ez soon ez evah Springtime
Put some greenness in de grass.
An' he 'lowed a little soonah
He could stan' a coolah breeze
So 's to mek a little money
F'om de sugah-watah trees.
In de summah, he 'd be waihin'
Out de linin' of his soul,
Try 'n' ca'ci'late an' fashion
How he 'd git his wintah coal;
An' I b'lieve he got his jedgement
Jes' so tuckahed out an' thinned
Dat he t'ought a robin's whistle
Was de whistle of de wind.
Why won't folks gin up dey plannin',
An' jes' be content to know
Dat dey 's gittin' all dat 's fu' dem
In de days dat come an' go?
Why won't folks quit movin' forrard?
Ain't hit bettah jes' to stan'


An' be satisfied wid livin'
In de season dat 's at han'?
Hit 's enough fu' me to listen
W'en de birds is singin' 'roun',
'Dout a-guessin' whut 'll happen
W'en de snow is on de groun'.
In de Springtime an' de summah,
I lays sorrer on de she'f;
An' I knows ol' Mistah Wintah
Gwine to hustle fu' hisse'f.
We been put hyeah fu' a pu'pose,
But de questun dat has riz
An' made lots o' people diffah
Is jes' whut dat pu'pose is.
Now, accordin' to my reas'nin',
Hyeah 's de p'int whaih I 's arriv,
Sence de Lawd put life into us,
We was put hyeah fu' to live!


I don't believe in 'ristercrats
An' never did, you see;
The plain ol' homelike sorter folks
Is good enough fur me.
O' course, I don't desire a man
To be too tarnal rough,
But then, I think all folks should know
When they air nice enough.
Now there is folks in this here world,
From peasant up to king,
Who want to be so awful nice
They overdo the thing.
That 's jest the thing that makes me sick,
An' quicker 'n a wink
I set it down that them same folks
Ain't half so good 's you think.
I like to see a man dress nice,
In clothes becomin' too;
I like to see a woman fix
As women orter to do;
An' boys an' gals I like to see
Look fresh an' young an' spry,—
We all must have our vanity
An' pride before we die.
But I jedge no man by his clothes,—
Nor gentleman nor tramp;
The man that wears the finest suit
May be the biggest scamp,
An' he whose limbs air clad in rags
That make a mournful sight,
In life's great battle may have proved
A hero in the fight.
I don't believe in 'ristercrats;
I like the honest tan
That lies upon the healthful cheek
An' speaks the honest man;
I like to grasp the brawny hand
That labor's lips have kissed,


For he who has not labored here
Life's greatest pride has missed:
The pride to feel that yore own strength
Has cleaved fur you the way
To heights to which you were not born,
But struggled day by day.
What though the thousands sneer an' scoff,
An' scorn yore humble birth?
Kings are but puppets; you are king
By right o' royal worth.
The man who simply sits an' waits
Fur good to come along,
Ain't worth the breath that one would take
To tell him he is wrong.
Fur good ain't flowin' round this world
Fur every fool to sup;
You 've got to put yore see-ers on,
An' go an' hunt it up.
Good goes with honesty, I say,
To honour an' to bless;
To rich an' poor alike it brings
A wealth o' happiness.
The 'ristercrats ain't got it all,
Fur much to their su'prise,
That 's one of earth's most blessed things
They can't monopolize.


Ef dey 's anyt'ing dat riles me
An' jes' gits me out o' hitch,
Twell I want to tek my coat off,
So 's to r'ar an' t'ar an' pitch,
Hit 's to see some ign'ant white man
'Mittin' dat owdacious sin—
W'en he want to cook a possum
Tekin' off de possum's skin.
W'y dey ain't no use in talkin',
Hit jes' hu'ts me to de hea't
Fu' to see dem foolish people
Th'owin' 'way de fines' pa't.
W'y, dat skin is jes' ez tendah
An' ez juicy ez kin be;
I knows all erbout de critter—
Hide an' haih—don't talk to me!
Possum skin is jes lak shoat skin;
Jes' you swinge an' scrope it down,
Tek a good sha'p knife an' sco' it,
Den you bake it good an' brown.
Huh-uh! honey, you 's so happy
Dat yo' thoughts is 'mos' a sin
When you 's settin' dah a-chawin'
On dat possum's cracklin' skin.
White folks t'ink dey know 'bout eatin',
An' I reckon dat dey do
Sometimes git a little idee
Of a middlin' dish er two;


But dey ain't a t'ing dey knows of
Dat I reckon cain't be beat
W'en we set down at de table
To a unskun possum's meat!


I's boun' to see my gal to-night—
Oh, lone de way, my dearie!
De moon ain't out, de stars ain't bright—
Oh, lone de way, my dearie!
Dis hoss o' mine is pow'ful slow,
But when I does git to yo' do'
Yo' kiss 'll pay me back, an' mo',
Dough lone de way, my dearie.
De night is skeery-lak an' still—
Oh, lone de way, my dearie!
'Cept fu' dat mou'nful whippo'will—
Oh, lone de way, my dearie!
De way so long wif dis slow pace,
'T 'u'd seem to me lak savin' grace
Ef you was on a nearer place,
Fu' lone de way, my dearie.
I hyeah de hootin' of de owl—
Oh, lone de way, my dearie!
I wish dat watch-dog would n't howl—
Oh, lone de way, my dearie!
An' evaht'ing, bofe right an' lef',
Seem p'int'ly lak hit put itse'f
In shape to skeer me half to def—
Oh, lone de way, my dearie!
I whistles so 's I won't be feared—
Oh lone de way, my dearie!
But anyhow I 's kin' o' skeered,
Fu' lone de way, my dearie.
De sky been lookin' mighty glum,
But you kin mek hit lighten some,
Ef you 'll jes' say you 's glad I come,
Dough lone de way, my dearie.


Lay me down beneaf de willers in de grass,
Whah de branch 'll go a-singin' as it pass.
An' w'en I 's a-layin' low,
I kin hyeah it as it go
Singin', “Sleep, my honey, tek yo' res' at las'.”
Lay me nigh to whah hit meks a little pool,
An' de watah stan's so quiet lak an' cool,
Whah de little birds in spring,
Ust to come an' drink an' sing,
An' de chillen waded on dey way to school.
Let me settle w'en my shouldahs draps dey load
Nigh enough to hyeah de noises in de road;
Fu' I t'ink de las' long res'
Gwine to soothe my sperrit bes'
Ef I 's layin' 'mong de t'ings I 's allus knowed.



De axes has been ringin' in de woods de blessid day,
An' de chips has been a-fallin' fa' an' thick;
Dey has cut de bigges' hick'ry dat de mules kin tote away,
An' dey 's laid hit down and soaked it in de crik.
Den dey tuk hit to de big house an' dey piled de wood erroun'
In de fiah-place f'om ash-flo' to de flue,
While ol' Ezry sta'ts de hymn dat evah yeah has got to soun'
When de back-log fus' commence a-bu'nin' thoo.
Ol' Mastah is a-smilin' on de da'kies f'om de hall,
Ol' Mistus is a-stannin' in de do',
An' de young folks, males an' misses, is a-tryin', one an' all,
Fu' to mek us feel hit 's Chrismus time fu' sho'.
An' ouah hea'ts are full of pleasure, fu' we know de time is ouahs
Fu' to dance er do jes' whut we wants to do.
An' dey ain't no ovahseer an' no othah kind o' powahs
Dat kin stop us while dat log is bu'nin thoo.
Dey 's a-wokin' in de qua'tahs a-preparin' fu' de feas',
So de little pigs is feelin' kind o' shy.
De chickens ain't so trus'ful ez dey was, to say de leas',
An' de wise ol' hens is roostin' mighty high.
You could n't git a gobblah fu' to look you in de face—
I ain't sayin' whut de tu'ky 'spects is true;
But hit 's mighty dange'ous trav'lin' fu' de critters on de place
F'om de time dat log commence a bu'nin' thoo.
Some one 's tunin' up his fiddle dah, I hyeah a banjo's ring,
An', bless me, dat 's de tootin' of a ho'n!
Now dey 'll evah one be runnin' dat has got a foot to fling,
An' dey 'll dance an' frolic on f'om now 'twell mo'n.
Plunk de banjo, scrap de fiddle, blow dat ho'n yo' level bes',
Keep yo' min' erpon de chune an' step it true.
Oh, dey ain't no time fu' stoppin' an' dey ain't no time fu' res',
Fu' hit 's Chrismus an' de backlog 's bu'nin' thoo!



Bedtime's come fu' little boys.
Po' little lamb.
Too tiahed out to make a noise,
Po' little lamb.
You gwine t' have to-morrer sho'?
Yes, you tole me dat befo',
Don't you fool me, chile, no mo',
Po' little lamb.
You been bad de livelong day,
Po' little lamb.
Th'owin' stones an' runnin' 'way,
Po' little lamb.
My, but you 's a-runnin' wil',
Look jes' lak some po' folks chile;
Mam' gwine whup you atter while,
Po' little lamb.
Come hyeah! you mos' tiahed to def,
Po' little lamb.
Played yo'se'f clean out o' bref,
Po' little lamb.
See dem han's now—sich a sight!
Would you evah b'lieve dey's white?
Stan' still twell I wash 'em right,
Po' little lamb.
Jes' cain't hol' yo' haid up straight,
Po' little lamb.
Had n't oughter played so late,
Po' little lamb.
Mammy do' know whut she 'd do,
Ef de chillun's all lak you;
You 's a caution now fu' true,
Po' little lamb.
Lay yo' haid down in my lap,
Po' little lamb.
Y' ought to have a right good slap,
Po' little lamb.
You been runnin' roun' a heap.
Shet dem eyes an' don't you peep,
Dah now, dah now, go to sleep,
Po' little lamb.


See dis pictyah in my han'?
Dat 's my gal;
Ain't she purty? goodness lan'!
Huh name Sal.
Dat 's de very way she be—
Kin' o' tickles me to see
Huh a-smilin' back at me.
She sont me dis photygraph
Jes' las' week;
An' aldough hit made me laugh—
My black cheek
Felt somethin' a-runnin' queer;
Bless yo' soul, it was a tear
Jes' f'om wishin' she was here.
Often when I 's all alone
Layin' here,
I git t'inkin' 'bout my own
Sallie dear;
How she say dat I 's huh beau,
An' hit tickles me to know
Dat de gal do love me so.
Some bright day I 's goin' back,
Fo' de la!


An' ez sho' 's my face is black,
Ax huh pa
Fu' de blessed little miss
Who 's a-smilin' out o dis
Pictyah, lak she wan'ed a kiss!


Hyeah come Cæsar Higgins,
Don't he think he 's fine?
Look at dem new riggin's
Ain't he tryin' to shine?
Got a standin' collar
An' a stove-pipe hat,
I 'll jes' bet a dollar
Some one gin him dat.
Don't one o' you mention,
Nothin' 'bout his cloes,
Don't pay no attention,
Er let on you knows
Dat he 's got 'em on him,
Why, 't 'll mek him sick,
Jes go on an' sco'n him,
My, ain't dis a trick!
Look hyeah, whut 's he doin'
Lookin' t' othah way?
Dat ere move 's a new one,
Some one call him, “Say!”
Can't you see no pusson—
Puttin' on you' airs,
Sakes alive, you 's wuss'n
Dese hyeah millionaires.
Need n't git so flighty,
Case you got dat suit.
Dem cloes ain't so mighty,—
Second hand to boot,
I 's a-tryin' to spite you!
Full of jealousy!
Look hyeah, man, I 'll fight you,
Don't you fool wid me!


De breeze is blowin' 'cross de bay.
My lady, my lady;
De ship hit teks me far away,
My lady, my lady;
Ole Mas' done sol' me down de stream;
Dey tell me 't ain't so bad 's hit seem,
My lady, my lady.
O' co'se I knows dat you 'll be true,
My lady, my lady;
But den I do' know whut to do,
My lady, my lady;
I knowed some day we 'd have to pa't,
But den hit put' nigh breaks my hea't,
My lady, my lady.
De day is long, de night is black,
My lady, my lady;
I know you 'll wait twell I come back,
My lady, my lady;
I 'll stan' de ship, I 'll stan' de chain,


But I 'll come back, my darlin' Jane,
My lady, my lady.
Jes' wait, jes' b'lieve in whut I say,
My lady, my lady;
D' ain't nothin' dat kin keep me 'way,
My lady, my lady;
A man 's a man, an' love is love;
God knows ouah hea'ts, my little dove;
He 'll he'p us f'om his th'one above,
My lady, my lady.


I done got 'uligion, honey, an' I 's happy ez a king;
Evahthing I see erbout me 's jes' lak sunshine in de spring;
An' it seems lak I do' want to do anothah blessid thing
But jes' run an' tell de neighbours, an' to shout an' pray an' sing.
I done shuk my fis' at Satan, an' I 's gin de worl' my back;
I do' want no hendrin' causes now a-both'rin' in my track;
Fu' I 's on my way to glory, an' I feels too sho' to miss.
W'y, dey ain't no use in sinnin' when 'uligion 's sweet ez dis.
Talk erbout a man backslidin' w'en he 's on de gospel way;
No, suh, I done beat de debbil, an' Temptation 's los' de day.
Gwine to keep my eyes right straight up, gwine to shet my eahs, an' see
Whut ole projick Mistah Satan 's gwine to try to wuk on me.
Listen, whut dat soun' I hyeah dah? 'tain't no one commence to sing;
It 's a fiddle; git erway dah! don' you hyeah dat blessid thing?
W'y, dat 's sweet ez drippin' honey, 'cause, you knows, I draws de bow,
An' when music 's sho' 'nough music, I 's de one dat 's sho' to know.
W'y, I 's done de double shuffle, twell a body could n't res',
Jes' a-hyeahin' Sam de fiddlah play dat chune his level bes';
I could cut a mighty caper, I could gin a mighty fling
Jes' right now, I 's mo' dan suttain I could cut de pigeon wing.
Look hyeah, whut 's dis I 's been sayin'? whut on urf 's tuk holt o' me?
Dat ole music come nigh runnin' my 'uligion up a tree!


Cleah out wif dat dah ole fiddle, don' you try dat trick agin;
Did n't think I could be tempted, but you lak to made me sin!


I 've journeyed 'roun' consid'able, a-seein' men an' things,
An' I 've learned a little of the sense that meetin' people brings;
But in spite of all my travellin', an' of all I think I know,
I 've got one notion in my head, that I can't git to go;
An' it is that the folks I meet in any other spot
Ain't half so good as them I knowed back home in Possum Trot.
I know you 've never heerd the name, it ain't a famous place,
An' I reckon ef you 'd search the map you could n't find a trace
Of any sich locality as this I 've named to you;
But never mind, I know the place, an' I love it dearly too.
It don't make no pretensions to bein' great or fine,
The circuses don't come that way, they ain't no railroad line.
It ain't no great big city, where the schemers plan an' plot,
But jest a little settlement, this place called Possum Trot.
But don't you think the folks that lived in that outlandish place
Were ignorant of all the things that go for sense or grace.
Why, there was Hannah Dyer, you may search this teemin' earth
An' never find a sweeter girl, er one o' greater worth;
An' Uncle Abner Williams, a-leanin' on his staff,
It seems like I kin hear him talk, an' hear his hearty laugh.
His heart was big an' cheery as a sunny acre lot,
Why, that 's the kind o' folks we had down there at Possum Trot.
Good times? Well, now, to suit my taste,—an' I 'm some hard to suit,—
There ain't been no sich pleasure sence, an' won't be none to boot,
With huskin' bees in Harvest time, an' dances later on,
An' singin' school, an taffy pulls, an' fun from night till dawn.
Revivals come in winter time, baptizin's in the spring,
You 'd ought to seen those people shout, an' heerd 'em pray an' sing;


You 'd ought to 've heard ole Parson Brown a-throwin' gospel shot
Among the saints an' sinners in the days of Possum Trot.
We live up in the city now, my wife was bound to come;
I hear aroun' me day by day the endless stir an' hum.
I reckon that it done me good, an' yet it done me harm,
That oil was found so plentiful down there on my ole farm.
We 've got a new-styled preacher, our church is new-styled too,
An' I 've come down from what I knowed to rent a cushioned pew.
But often when I 'm settin' there, it 's foolish, like as not,
To think of them ol' benches in the church at Possum Trot.
I know that I 'm ungrateful, an' sich thoughts must be a sin,
But I find myself a wishin' that the times was back agin.
With the huskin's an' the frolics, an' the joys I used to know,
When I lived at the settlement, a dozen years ago.
I don't feel this way often, I 'm scarcely ever glum,
For life has taught me how to take her chances as they come.
But now an' then my mind goes back to that ol' buryin' plot,
That holds the dust of some I loved, down there at Possum Trot.


Jes' lak toddy wahms you thoo'
Sets yo' haid a reelin',
Meks you ovah good and new,
Dat 's de way I 's feelin'.
Seems to me hit's summah time,
Dough hit 's wintah reely,
I 's a feelin' jes' dat prime—
An' huh name is Dely.
Dis hyeah love 's a cu'rus thing,
Changes 'roun' de season,
Meks you sad or meks you sing,
'Dout no urfly reason.
Sometimes I go mopin' 'roun',
Den agin I 's leapin';
Sperits allus up an' down
Even when I 's sleepin'.
Fu' de dreams comes to me den,
An' dey keeps me pitchin',
Lak de apple dumplin's w'en
Bilin' in de kitchen.
Some one sot to do me hahm,
Tryin' to ovahcome me,
Ketchin' Dely by de ahm
So 's to tek huh f'om me.
Mon, you bettah b'lieve I fights
(Dough hit 's on'y seemin');
I 's a hittin' fu' my rights
Even w'en I 's dreamin'.


But I 'd let you have 'em all,
Give 'em to you freely,
Good an' bad ones, great an' small,
So 's you leave me Dely.
Dely got dem meltin' eyes,
Big an' black an' tendah.
Dely jes' a lady-size,
Delikit an' slendah.
Dely brown ez brown kin be
An' huh haih is curly;
Oh, she look so sweet to me,—
Bless de precious girlie!
Dely brown ez brown kin be,
She ain' no mullatter;
She pure cullud,—don' you see
Dat 's jes' whut 's de mattah?
Dat 's de why I love huh so,
D' ain't no mix about huh,
Soon 's you see huh face you know
D' ain't no chanst to doubt huh.
Folks dey go to chu'ch an' pray
So 's to git a blessin'.
Oomph, dey bettah come my way,
Dey could lu'n a lesson.
Sabbaf day I don' go fu',
Jes' to see my pigeon;
I jes' sets an' looks at huh,
Dat 's enuff 'uligion.


Caught Susanner whistlin'; well,
It 's most nigh too good to tell.
'Twould 'a' b'en too good to see
Ef it had n't b'en fur me,
Comin' up so soft an' sly
That she didn' hear me nigh.
I was pokin' 'round that day,
An' ez I come down the way,
First her whistle strikes my ears,—
Then her gingham dress appears;
So with soft step up I slips.
Oh, them dewy, rosy lips!
Ripe ez cherries, red an' round,
Puckered up to make the sound.
She was lookin' in the spring,
Whistlin' to beat anything,—
“Kitty Dale” er “In the Sweet.”
I was jest so mortal beat
That I can't quite ricoleck
What the toon was, but I 'speck
'T was some hymn er other, fur
Hymny things is jest like her.
Well she went on fur awhile
With her face all in a smile,
An' I never moved, but stood
Stiller 'n a piece o' wood—
Would n't wink ner would n't stir,
But a-gazin' right at her,
Tell she turns an' sees me—my!
Thought at first she 'd try to fly.
But she blushed an' stood her ground.
Then, a-slyly lookin' round,
She says: “Did you hear me, Ben?”
“Whistlin' woman, crowin' hen,”
Says I, lookin' awful stern.
Then the red commenced to burn
In them cheeks o' hern. Why, la!
Reddest red you ever saw—
Pineys wan'n't a circumstance.


You 'd 'a' noticed in a glance
She was pow'rful shamed an' skeart;
But she looked so sweet an' peart,
That a idee struck my head;
So I up an' slowly said:
“Woman whistlin' brings shore harm,
Jest one thing 'll break the charm.”
“And what 's that?” “Oh, my!” says I,
“I don't like to tell you.” “Why?”
Says Susanner. “Well, you see
It would kinder fall on me.”
Course I knowed that she 'd insist,—
So I says: “You must be kissed
By the man that heard you whistle;
Everybody says that this 'll
Break the charm and set you free
From the threat'nin' penalty.”
She was blushin' fit to kill,
But she answered, kinder still:
“I don't want to have no harm,
Please come, Ben, an' break the charm.”
Did I break that charm?—oh, well,
There 's some things I must n't tell.
I remember, afterwhile,
Her a-sayin' with a smile:
“Oh, you quit,—you sassy dunce,
You jest caught me whistlin' once.”
Ev'ry sence that when I hear
Some one whistlin' kinder clear,
I most break my neck to see
Ef it 's Susy; but, dear me,
I jest find I 've b'en to chase
Some blamed boy about the place.
Dad 's b'en noticin' my way,
An' last night I heerd him say:
“We must send fur Dr. Glenn,
Mother; somethin 's wrong with Ben!”


Tek a cool night, good an' cleah,
Skiff o' snow upon de groun';
Jes' 'bout fall-time o' de yeah
W'en de leaves is dry an brown;
Tek a dog an' tek a axe,
Tek a lantu'n in yo' han',
Step light whah de switches cracks,
Fu' dey 's huntin' in de lan'.
Down thoo de valleys an' ovah de hills,
Into de woods whah de 'simmon-tree grows,
Wakin' an' skeerin' de po' whippo'wills,
Huntin' fu' coon an' fu' 'possum we goes.
Blow dat ho'n dah loud an' strong,
Call de dogs an' da'kies neah;
Mek its music cleah an' long,
So de folks at home kin hyeah.


Blow it twell de hills an' trees
Sen's de echoes tumblin' back;
Blow it twell de back'ard breeze
Tells de folks we 's on de track.
Coons is a-ramblin' an' 'possums is out;
Look at dat dog; you could set on his tail!
Watch him now—steady,—min'—what you 's about,
Bless me, dat animal 's got on de trail!
Listen to him ba'kin now!
Dat means bus'ness, sho 's you bo'n;
Ef he 's struck de scent I 'low
Dat ere 'possum 's sholy gone.
Knowed dat dog fu' fo'teen yeahs,
An' I nevah seed him fail
W'en he sot dem flappin' eahs
An' went off upon a trail.
Run, Mistah 'Possum, an' run, Mistah Coon,
No place is safe fu' yo' ramblin' to-night;
Mas' gin' de lantu'n an' God gin de moon,
An' a long hunt gins a good appetite.
Look hyeah, folks, you hyeah dat change?
Dat ba'k is sha'per dan de res'.
Dat ere soun' ain't nothin' strange,—
Dat dog 's talked his level bes'.
Somep'n' 's treed, I know de soun'.
Dah now,—wha 'd I tell you? see!
Dat ere dog done run him down;
Come hyeah, he'p cut down dis tree.
Ah, Mistah 'Possum, we got you at las'—
Need n't play daid, laying dah on de groun';
Fros' an' de 'simmons has made you grow fas',—
Won't he be fine when he 's roasted up brown!


Dear Miss Lucy: I been t'inkin' dat I 'd write you long fo' dis,
But dis writin' 's mighty tejous, an' you know jes' how it is.
But I 's got a little lesure, so I teks my pen in han'
Fu' to let you know my feelin's since I retched dis furrin' lan'.
I 's right well, I 's glad to tell you (dough dis climate ain't to blame),
An' I hopes w'en dese lines reach you, dat dey 'll fin' yo' se'f de same.
Cose I 'se feelin kin' o' homesick—dat 's ez nachul ez kin be,


W'en a feller 's mo'n th'ee thousand miles across dat awful sea.
(Don't you let nobidy fool you 'bout de ocean bein' gran';
If you want to see de billers, you jes' view dem f'om de lan'.)
'Bout de people? We been t'inkin' dat all white folks was alak;
But dese Englishmen is diffunt, an' dey's curus fu' a fac'.
Fust, dey 's heavier an' redder in dey make-up an' dey looks,
An' dey don't put salt nor pepper in a blessed t'ing dey cooks!
W'en dey gin you good ol' tu'nips, ca'ots, pa'snips, beets, an' sich,
Ef dey ain't some one to tell you, you cain't 'stinguish which is which.
W'en I t'ought I 's eatin' chicken—you may b'lieve dis hyeah 's a lie—
But de waiter beat me down dat I was eatin' rabbit pie.
An' dey 'd t'ink dat you was crazy—jes' a reg'lar ravin' loon,
Ef you 'd speak erbout a 'possum or a piece o' good ol' coon.
O, hit 's mighty nice, dis trav'lin', an' I 's kin' o' glad I come.
But, I reckon, now I 's willin' fu' to tek my way back home.
I done see de Crystal Palace, an' I 's hyeahd dey string-band play,
But I has n't seen no banjos layin' nowhahs roun' dis way.
Jes' gin ol' Jim Bowles a banjo, an' he 'd not go very fu',
'Fo' he 'd outplayed all dese fiddlers, wif dey flourish and dey stir.
Evahbiddy dat I 's met wif has been monst'ous kin an' good;
But I t'ink I 'd lak it better to be down in Jones's wood,
Where we ust to have sich frolics, Lucy, you an' me an' Nelse,
Dough my appetite 'ud call me, ef dey was n't nuffin else.
I 'd jes' lak to have some sweet-pertaters roasted in de skin;
I 's a-longin' fu' my chittlin's an' my mustard greens ergin;
I 's a-wishin' fu' some buttermilk, an' co'n braid, good an' brown,
An' a drap o' good ol' bourbon fu' to wash my feelin's down!
An' I 's comin' back to see you jes' as ehly as I kin,
So you better not go spa'kin' wif dat wuffless scoun'el Quin!
Well, I reckon, I mus' close now; write ez soon's dis reaches you;
Gi' my love to Sister Mandy an' to Uncle Isham, too.
Tell de folks I sen' 'em howdy; gin a kiss to pap an' mam;
Closin' I is, deah Miss Lucy,
Still Yo' Own True-Lovin' Sam.


P. S. Ef you cain't mek out dis letter, lay it by erpon de she'f,
An' when I git home, I 'll read it, darlin', to you my own se'f.


Bones a-gittin' achy,
Back a-feelin' col',
Han's a-growin' shaky,
Jes' lak I was ol'.
Fros' erpon de meddah
Lookin' mighty white;
Snowdraps lak a feddah
Slippin' down at night.
Jes' keep t'ings a-hummin'
Spite o' fros' an' showahs,
Chrismus is a-comin'
An' all de week is ouahs.
Little mas' a-axin',
“Who is Santy Claus?”
Meks it kin' o' taxin'
Not to brek de laws.
Chillun 's pow'ful tryin'
To a pusson's grace
W'en dey go a pryin'
Right on th'oo you' face
Down ermong yo' feelin's;
Jes' 'pears lak dat you
Got to change you' dealin's
So 's to tell 'em true.
An' my pickaninny—
Dreamin' in his sleep!
Come hyeah, Mammy Jinny,
Come an' tek a peep.
Ol' Mas' Bob an' Missis
In dey house up daih
Got no chile lak dis is,
D' ain't none anywhaih.
Sleep, my little lammy,
Sleep, you little limb,
He do' know whut mammy
Done saved up fu' him.
Dey 'll be banjo pickin',
Dancin' all night thoo.
Dey 'll be lots o' chicken,
Plenty tukky, too.
Drams to wet yo' whistles
So 's to drive out chills.
Whut I keer fu' drizzles
Fallin' on de hills?
Jes' keep t'ings a-hummin'
Spite o' col' an' showahs,
Chrismus day 's a-comin',
An' all de week is ouahs.



Whut you say, dah? huh, uh! chile,
You 's enough to dribe me wile.
Want a sto'y; jes' hyeah dat!
Whah' 'll I git a sto'y at?
Di'n' I tell you th'ee las' night?
Go 'way, honey, you ain't right.
I got somep'n' else to do,
'Cides jes' tellin' tales to you.
Tell you jes' one? Lem me see
Whut dat one 's a-gwine to be.


When you 's ole, yo membry fails;
Seems lak I do' know no tales.
Well, set down dah in dat cheer,
Keep still ef you wants to hyeah.
Tek dat chin up off yo' han's,
Set up nice now. Goodness lan's!
Hol' yo'se'f up lak yo' pa.
Bet nobidy evah saw
Him scrunched down lak you was den—
High-tone boys meks high-tone men.
Once dey was a ole black bah,
Used to live 'roun' hyeah somewhah
In a cave. He was so big
He could ca'y off a pig
Lak you picks a chicken up,
Er yo' leetles' bit o' pup.
An' he had two gread big eyes,
Jes' erbout a saucer's size.
Why, dey looked lak balls o' fiah
Jumpin' 'roun' erpon a wiah
W'en dat bah was mad; an' laws!
But you ought to seen his paws!
Did I see 'em? How you 'spec
I 's a-gwine to ricollec'
Dis hyeah ya'n I 's try'n' to spin
Ef you keeps on puttin' in?
You keep still an' don't you cheep
Less I 'll sen' you off to sleep.
Dis hyeah bah 'd go trompin' 'roun'
Eatin' evahthing he foun';
No one could n't have a fa'm
But dat bah 'u'd do' em ha'm;
And dey could n't ketch de scamp.
Anywhah he wan'ed to tramp.
Dah de scoun'el 'd mek his track,
Do his du't an' come on back.
He was sich a sly ole limb,
Traps was jes' lak fun to him.
Now, down neah whah Mistah Bah
Lived, dey was a weasel dah;
But dey was n't fren's a-tall
Case de weasel was so small.
An' de bah 'u'd, jes' fu' sass,
Tu'n his nose up w'en he 'd pass.
Weasels 's small o' cose, but my!
Dem air animiles is sly.
So dis hyeah one says, says he,
“I 'll jes' fix dat bah, you see.”
So he fixes up his plan
An' hunts up de fa'merman.
When de fa'mer see him come,
He 'mence lookin' mighty glum,
An' he ketches up a stick;
But de weasel speak up quick:
“Hol' on, Mistah Fa'mer man,
I wan' 'splain a little plan.
Ef you waits, I 'll tell you whah
An' jes' how to ketch ol' Bah.
But I tell yow now you mus'
Gin me one fat chicken fus'.”
Den de man he scratch his haid,
Las' he say, “I'll mek de trade.”
So de weasel et his hen,
Smacked his mouf and says, “Well, den,
Set yo' trap an' bait ternight,
An' I 'll ketch de bah all right.”


Den he ups an' goes to see
Mistah Bah, an' says, says he:
“Well, fren' Bah, we ain't been fren's,
But ternight ha'd feelin' 'en's.
Ef you ain't too proud to steal,
We kin git a splendid meal.
Cose I would n't come to you,
But it mus' be done by two;
Hit 's a trap, but we kin beat
All dey tricks an' git de meat.”
“Cose I 's wif you,” says de bah,
“Come on, weasel, show me whah.”
Well, dey trots erlong ontwell
Dat air meat beginned to smell
In de trap. Den weasel say:
“Now you put yo' paw dis way
While I hol' de spring back so,
Den you grab de meat an' go.”
Well, de bah he had to grin
Ez he put his big paw in,
Den he juked up, but—kerbing!
Weasel done let go de spring.
“Dah now,” says de weasel, “dah,
I done cotched you, Mistah Bah!”
O, dat bah did sno't and spout,
Try'n' his bestes' to git out,
But de weasel say, “Goo'-bye!
Weasel small, but weasel sly.”
Den he tu'ned his back an' run
Tol' de fa'mer whut he done.
So de fa'mer come down dah,
Wif a axe and killed de bah.
Dah now, ain't dat sto'y fine?
Run erlong now, nevah min'.
Want some mo', you rascal, you?
No, suh! no, suh! dat 'll do.


When I come in f'om de co'n-fiel' aftah wo'kin' ha'd all day,
It 's amazin' nice to fin' my suppah all erpon de way;
An' it 's nice to smell de coffee bubblin' ovah in de pot,
An' it 's fine to see de meat a-sizzlin' teasin'-lak an' hot.
But when suppah-time is ovah, an' de t'ings is cleahed away;
Den de happy hours dat foller are de sweetes' of de day.
When my co'ncob pipe is sta'ted, an' de smoke is drawin' prime,
My ole 'ooman says, “I reckon, Ike, it 's candle-lightin' time.”
Den de chillun snuggle up to me, an' all commence to call,
“Oh, say, daddy, now it 's time to mek de shadders on de wall.”
So I puts my han's togethah—evah daddy knows de way,—
An' de chillun snuggle closer roun' ez I begin to say:—
“Fus' thing, hyeah come Mistah Rabbit; don' you see him wo'k his eahs?


Huh, uh! dis mus' be a donkey,—look, how innercent he 'pears!
Dah 's de ole black swan a-swimmin'—ain't she got a' awful neck?
Who 's dis feller dat 's a-comin'? Why, dat 's ole dog Tray, I 'spec'!”
Dat 's de way I run on, tryin' fu' to please 'em all I can;
Den I hollahs, “Now be keerful—dis hyeah las' 's de buga-man!”
An' dey runs an' hides dey faces; dey ain't skeered—dey 's lettin' on:
But de play ain't raaly ovah twell dat buga-man is gone.
So I jes' teks up my banjo, an' I plays a little chune,
An' you see dem haids come peepin' out to listen mighty soon.
Den my wife says, “Sich a pappy fu' to give you sich a fright!
Jes, you go to baid, an' leave him: say yo' prayers an' say good-night.”


I has hyeahd o' people dancin' an' I 's hyeahd o' people singin'.
An' I 's been 'roun' lots of othahs dat could keep de banjo ringin';
But of all de whistlin' da'kies dat have lived an' died since Ham,
De whistlin'est I evah seed was ol' Ike Bates's Sam.
In de kitchen er de stable, in de fiel' er mowin' hay,
You could hyeah dat boy a-whistlin' pu'ty nigh a mile erway,—
Puck'rin' up his ugly features 'twell you could n't see his eyes,
Den you 'd hyeah a soun' lak dis un f'om dat awful puckah rise:

When dey had revival meetin' an' de Lawd's good grace was flowin'
On de groun' dat needed wat'rin' whaih de seeds of good was growin',
While de othahs was a-singin' an' a-shoutin' right an' lef',
You could hyeah dat boy a-whistlin' kin' o' sof' beneaf his bref:


At de call fu' colo'ed soldiers, Sam enlisted 'mong de res'
Wid de blue o' Gawd's great ahmy wropped about his swellin' breas',
An' he laffed an' whistled loudah in his youfful joy an' glee
Dat de govament would let him he'p to mek his people free.
Daih was lots o' ties to bin' him, pappy, mammy, an' his Dinah,—
Dinah, min' you, was his sweet-hea't, an' dey was n't nary finah;
But he lef' 'em all, I tell you, lak a king he ma'ched away,
Try'n' his level bes' to whistle, happy, solemn, choky, gay:

To de front he went an' bravely fought de foe an' kep' his sperrit,
An' his comerds said his whistle made 'em strong when dey could hyeah it.
When a saber er a bullet cut some frien' o' his'n down,
An' de time 'u'd come to trench him an' de boys 'u'd gethah 'roun',
An' dey could n't sta't a hymn-tune, mebbe none o' dem 'u'd keer,
Sam 'u'd whistle “Sleep in Jesus,” an' he knowed de Mastah 'd hyeah.
In de camp, all sad discouraged, he would cheer de hea'ts of all,
When above de soun' of labour dey could hyeah his whistle call:

When de cruel wah was ovah an' de boys come ma'chin' back,
Dey was shouts an' cries an' blessin's all erlong dey happy track,
An' de da'kies all was happy; souls an' bodies bofe was freed.
Why, hit seemed lak de Redeemah mus' 'a' been on earf indeed.
Dey was gethahed all one evenin' jes' befo' de cabin do',
When dey hyeahd somebody whistlin' kin' o' sof' an' sweet an' low.
Dey could n't see de whistlah, but de hymn was cleah and ca'm,
An' dey all stood daih a-listenin' ontwell Dinah shouted, “Sam!”


An' dey seed a little da'ky way off yandah thoo de trees
Wid his face all in a puckah mekin' jes' sich soun's ez dese:


De times is mighty stirrin' 'mong de people up ouah way,
Dey 'sputin' an' dey argyin' an' fussin' night an' day;
An' all dis monst'ous trouble dat hit meks me tiahed to tell
Is 'bout dat Lucy Jackson dat was sich a mighty belle.
She was de preachah's favoured, an' he tol' de chu'ch one night
Dat she travelled thoo de cloud o' sin a-bearin' of a light;
But, now, I 'low he t'inkin' dat she mus' 'a' los' huh lamp,
Case Lucy done backslided an' dey trouble in de camp.
Huh daddy wants to beat huh, but huh mammy daihs him to,
Fu' she lookin' at de question f'om a ooman's pint o' view;
An' she say dat now she would n't have it diff'ent ef she could;
Dat huh darter only acted jes' lak any othah would.
Cose you know w'en women argy, dey is mighty easy led
By dey hea'ts an' don't go foolin' 'bout de reasons of de haid.
So huh mammy laid de law down (she ain' reckernizin' wrong),
But you got to mek erlowance fu' de cause dat go along.
Now de cause dat made Miss Lucy fu' to th'ow huh grace away
I 's afeard won't baih no 'spection w'en hit come to jedgement day;
Do' de same t'ing been a-wo'kin' evah sence de worl' began,—
De ooman disobeyin' fu' to 'tice along a man.
Ef you 'tended de revivals which we held de wintah pas',
You kin rickolec' dat convuts was a-comin' thick an' fas';
But dey ain't no use in talkin', dey was all lef' in de lu'ch
W'en ol' Mis' Jackson's dartah foun' huh peace an' tuk de chu'ch.
W'y, she shouted ovah evah inch of Ebenezah's flo';
Up into de preachah's pulpit an' f'om dah down to de do';
Den she hugged an' squeezed huh mammy, an' she hugged an' kissed huh dad,
An' she struck out at huh sistah, people said, lak she was mad.


I has 'tended some revivals dat was lively in my day,
An' I 's seed folks git 'uligion in mos' evah kin' o' way;
But I tell you, an' you b'lieve me dat I 's speakin' true indeed,
Dat gal tuk huh 'ligion ha'dah dan de ha'dest yit I 's seed.
Well, f'om dat, 't was “Sistah Jackson, won't you please do dis er dat?”
She mus' allus sta't de singin' w'en dey 'd pass erroun' de hat,
An' hit seemed dey was n't nuffin' in dat chu'ch dat could go by
'Dout sistah Lucy Jackson had a finger in de pie.
But de sayin' mighty trufeful dat hit easiah to sail
W'en de sea is ca'm an' gentle dan to weathah out a gale.
Dat 's whut made dis ooman's trouble; ef de sto'm had kep' away,
She 'd 'a' had enough 'uligion fu' to lasted out huh day.
Lucy went wid 'Lishy Davis, but w'en she jined chu'ch, you know
Dah was lots o' little places dat, of cose, she could n't go;
An' she had to gin up dancin' an' huh singin' an' huh play.—
Now hit 's nachul dat sich goin's-on 'u'd drive a man away.
So, w'en Lucy got so solemn, Ike he sta'ted fu' to go
Wid a gal who was a sinnah an' could mek a bettah show.
Lucy jes' went on to meetin' lak she did n't keer a rap,
But my 'sperunce kep' me t'inkin' dah was somep'n' gwine to drap.
Fu' a gal won't let 'uligion er no othah so't o' t'ing
Stop huh w'en she teks a notion dat she wants a weddin' ring.
You kin p'omise huh de blessin's of a happy aftah life
(An' hit 's nice to be a angel), but she 'd ravah be a wife.
So w'en Chrismus come an' mastah gin a frolic on de lawn,
Did n't 'sprise me not de littlest seein' Lucy lookin' on.
An' I seed a wa'nin' lightnin' go a-flashin' f'om huh eye
Jest ez 'Lishy an' his new gal went a-gallivantin' by.
An' dat Tildy, umph! she giggled, an' she gin huh dress a flirt
Lak de people she was passin' was ez common ez de dirt;
An' de minit she was dancin', w'y dat gal put on mo' aihs
Dan a cat a-tekin' kittens up a paih o' windin' staihs.


She could 'fo'd to show huh sma'tness, fu' she could n't he'p but know
Dat wid jes' de present dancahs she was ownah of de flo';
But I t'ink she 'd kin' o' cooled down ef she happened on de sly
Fu' to noticed dat 'ere lightnin' dat I seed in Lucy's eye.
An' she would n't been so 'stonished w'en de people gin a shout,
An' Lucy th'owed huh mantle back an' come a-glidin' out.
Some ahms was dah to tek huh an' she fluttahed down de flo'
Lak a feddah f'om a bedtick w'en de win' commence to blow.
Soon ez Tildy see de trouble, she jes' tu'n an' toss huh haid,
But seem lak she los' huh sperrit, all huh darin'ness was daid.
Did n't cut anothah capah nary time de blessid night;
But de othah one, hit looked lak could n't git enough delight.
W'en you keeps a colt a-stan'nin' in de stable all along,
W'en he do git out hit 's nachul he 'll be pullin' mighty strong.
Ef you will tie up yo' feelin's, hyeah 's de bes' advice to tek,
Look out fu' an awful loosin' w'en de string dat hol's 'em brek.
Lucy's mammy groaned to see huh, an' huh pappy sto'med an' to',
But she kep' right on a-hol'in' to de centah of de flo'.
So dey went an' ast de pastoh ef he could n't mek huh quit,
But de tellin' of de sto'y th'owed de preachah in a fit.
Tildy Taylor chewed huh hank'cher twell she 'd chewed it in a hole,—
All de sinnahs was rejoicin' 'cause a lamb had lef' de fol',
An' de las' I seed o' Lucy, she an' 'Lish was side an' side:
I don't blame de gal fu' dancin', an' I could n't ef I tried.
Fu' de men dat wants to ma'y ain't a-growin' 'roun' on trees,
An' de gal dat wants to git one sholy has to try to please.
Hit 's a ha'd t'ing fu' a ooman fu' to pray an' jes' set down,
An' to sacafice a husban' so 's to try to gain a crown.
Now, I don' say she was justified in follerin' huh plan;
But aldough she los' huh 'ligion, yit she sholy got de man.
Latah on, w'en she is suttain dat de preachah 's made 'em fas'
She kin jes' go back to chu'ch an' ax fu'giveness fu' de pas'!