(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Ben King's verse"

I 




Sf>^fl 



c / 






KJ. I .4-vUa.u^ 



Ben King's Verse 




p^'% 



BEN KING'S VERSE 

EDI I ED BY NIXON WATERMAN #««♦ 
INTRODUCTION BY JOHN McGO\ ERN 
BIOGRAPHY BY OPIE READ ««»»«««« 



I 



t 




BOSTON & 
CHICAGO 
FORBES & 

COMPANY 

1903 <»M^<»^ 



Copyright, 1894, 1898 
By Aseneth Bell Kino 



Ben King's Versb 
Second Edition, with Additions 

First Printing, August, 1898 
Second Printing, November, 1898 

Third Printing, April, 1899 

Fourth Printing, November, 1899 

Fifth Printing, September, 1900 

Sijcth Printing, December, 1900 

Seventh Printing, November, 1901 

Eighth Printing, November, 1903 

Ninth Printing, April, 1903 

Completing Twenty-first Thousand 



rJ \^T'Z^' '" ^"" '^''•■""^ ^"^ CONTRIBUTBD BY ChAS. A. 

? x* mV °^''^'-°*' «• G. Maratta, Ray Brown, F. Holme. 
J. T. McCutcheon, Horace Taylor, Wm. Schmedtgen, T E 
Powers, and Harry O. Landers. Covbr and Title-Page Designed 
by Howard Bowen. 



INTRODUCTION 

OO FAR as we know, this young man, now so 
suddenly dead, was the drollest mimic and gen- 
tlest humorist of cur region. He existed as the 
welcome and mirthful shadow of conventional and 
tiresome things. 

He began as the expositor of "The Maiden's 
Prayer" on the piano, where each accented note was 
flat or sharp, and the music flowed rapidly, or over 
great difficulties, as the score might determine. He 
arose, and looking half-witted, recited with unap- 
proachable modesty the stammering delight which he 
would feel "if he could be by Her!" He frowsled his 
hair and became Paderewski, who forthwith fell upon 
the piano tooth and nail, tore up the track, derailed 
the symphony, went down stairs and shook the fur- 
nace, fainted at the pedals, and was carried out rigid 
by supers — the greatest pianist of any age. He wrote 
•*If I Should Die To-night" — a parody that was 
accepted as the true original, the sun, the center of the 



Introduction 

great If-I-should- die-to-night system of thought and 
poetry. He wrote the poet's lament — that there was 
nothing to eat but food, and nowhere to come but off. 
The artists of the newspaper world generously sprang 
to his side; they placed him pictorially before the 
people, and determined, with almost prophetic spirit, 
that our small circle should not alone dwell with undi- 
minishing laughter upon the gambols of Ben King. 
He was coldly, then not coldly, then warmly received 
by the church fairs, the clubs, and the Elks, where he 
got a supper — if any were left. At last he charged 
a small sum for appearing publicly, and this sum was 
rapidly enlarging and his fortune was in sight, when 
the hotel porter found him dead in his room at Bowl- 
ing Green, Kentucky. 

During the years we knew him, he never spoke to 
us in a disparaging way concerning any other person, 
and unless Paderewski's comb was ruffled by Ben's 
exhibition of hair and haste in piano-playing, no 
parody, or perk, or prank of Ben King ever depended 
for its success upon the wounding of another creature's 
feelings. 

We all accounted him a genius, and while we could 
not guess what he would do next, we awaited his per- 
formances with complacence, laughing as if we 
vi 



Introduction 

owned him and had ourselves ordered his latest jeu 
d" esprit. 

We deplored the untimely moment of his end; we 
held beautiful, solemn and impressive memorial serv- 
ices over his body, with music by the sweet singers 
whom he had loved when he was alive, and touching 
words by ministers of the gospel; we buried him affec- 
tionately, as one who could least be spared from our 
circle; and as we were the witnesses of what he did, 
we now charge ourselves to be the testimonies of his 
rare talents. John McGovern. 



vfl 



BIOGRAPHY 

"D ENJAMIN FRANKLIN KING, JR., was born 
■^ at St. Joseph, Michigan, March 17, 1857, and 
died at Bowling Green, Kentucky, April 7, i 894. He 
was married Nov. 27, 1883, to Aseneth Belle Latham, 
of St. Joseph, Michigan, by Professor David Swing at 
his residence in Chicago. The wife and two sons, 
Bennett Latham King and Spencer P. King, survive 
him. 

While yet a child, music came to Ben King as an 
inspiration. His infant fingers touched the keys of a 
piano and a ripple of notes, strange and sweet, startled 
his parents into the consciousness that a great talent 
had been given unto him. How odd a boy he was — 
no one understood him. On the edge of the marsh 
he would sit during hours at a time, under the spell 
of the weird music amid the rushes. As he grew up, 
lacking the instincts that make men successful in busi- 
ness, he was pronounced a failure — not by those who 
had warmed themselves in the glow of his poetic 
ix 



Biography 

nature, but by the man who believed that to turn over 
a dime and thereby to make a dollar of it was the 
most gracious faculty that could be bestowed upon a 
member of the human family. But when Ben King 
died, St. Joseph became more widely known in one 
day than hundreds of excursions and a thousand 
orchards had served to advertise it in the past. On 
that April morning, people living in the far East and the 
far West asked the question: "Where is St. Joseph ?" 

Ben King was not only a man of music; he was a 
poet, a gentle satirist, and a humorist of the highest 
order. Every company was brightened by his coming, 
every man felt better for having heard his quaint re- 
marks. There was about him a droll, a charming 
irresponsibility — a Thomas Hood from Michigan. 

I find, as I have found for the fiftieth time while 
striving to write these lines, that I am still too much 
under the shock caused by his death to write dispas- 
sionately of him. My judgment, the common sense 
that one should bring to bear upon such a subject, is 
obscured by the vivid picture of an early morning; 
and down a dark hallway I still hear a violent knock- 
ing — and then comes a throbbing silence, and out of 
that silence comes an excited whisper — ** Ben King 
is dead." Opie Read. 



CONTENTS 

PAGB 

After Weidenfeller Goes 191 

Angeliny 157 

Appearances 94 

Asphodel 29 

Baby Up at Battenberg's 40 

Benton Harbor, Mich 25 

Beulah Land 163 

Biography ix 

Blackbird and the Thrush, The 165 

Bung Town Canal 184 

But Then 178 

Casual Observation, A 72 

Cat O' Nine Tails, The 125 

'Cause It's Gittin' Spring 202 

Chautauquan Maid, The 62 

Cleopatra and Charmian 175 

Comin' Christmas Morn 233 

CooNiE In De Holler 189 

Cow Slips Away, The 272 
xi 



Contents 

Cultured Girl Again, The 211 

Day and The Shingle, The 262 

De Blackbird Fetch De Spring 91 

De Bugle On De Hill 56 

De Circus Turkey i 30 

De Clouds Am Gwine Ter Pass 102 

De Cushville Hop 213 

De Eyarfquake i 59 

De Good Ship 71 

De Massa 187 

De Ribber Ob Life 122 

De Spring-House 167 

De Sun's Comin' Back 34 

De Watah Mellen Sploshun 267 

Decorate De Cabin 204 

Didn't We, Jim? 147 

Down in Walhallalah 248 

Down the Mississippi 85 

Dreamy Days 208 

Ec-A-LEC-Tic Fits 152 

Elopement 13 

Evolution 5 

Fates, The 45 

Flower's Ball, The 30 

Frog's Thanksgiving, A 113 
xii 



i'5 
254 



Contents 

Gedder In V'o' Grain 8 

Girl With the Jersey, The 95 

Gittin' Mv Soul Inter Shape 3 

GoRD Only Knows 215 

Grave Matters 23 1 

Hair-Tonic Bottle, The 128 
Hank Spink 
Heart ok Hearts 

Her Folks An' Hiz'n 17 

How Hank Died 22 

How Often 24 

HuccuM IT so ? 265 

I Fed THE Fishes 108 

If I Can Be by Her 50 

If I Should Die i 

If My Wife Taught School 96 

I'm a Bluejay 65 

Injun Summah 200 

Introduction vi 

Jane Jones 10 

Jes' Take My Advice 217 

Keep Him a Baby 155 

Lef' de Ole Hoss Out 150 

Legend of the St. Joseph 240 

Like De Ole Mule Bes' i 19 



Contents 

Like the New Friends Best 73 

Little Jude 244 

Little Pucken Singer 246 

Little 'Rasmus 78 

LovEY- Loves 114 

Mary Had a Cactus Plant 261 

Mermaid, The 89 

Miss Bahtholamew 270 

Negro Song of Home, A 75 

Nile, The 1 17 

Nobody Knows 80 

No Harm Done 41 

Old Musician's Fate, The 220 

Old Spinning Wheel, The 98 

Old St. Joe 58 

Ole Bossie Cow hi 

Owl and the Crow, The 100 

Paraphrase 47 

Patriotism and a Pension 21 8 

Pessimist, The 225 

Pinkey 180 

Post-Driver, The 149 

Presque Isle 161 

'Rastus King 67 

Record F'om 'Way Back, A 227 
xiv 



Contents 

Retrospection, A I96 

River St. Joe, The 36 

Sad Fate of Yim Yonson 237 

Santa's Presents Fo' De Good 250 

Say When, and Say It 2 

She Does not Hear 83 

SoFiE Jakobowski 133 

S'posin' 77 

St. Patrick's Day 198 

Summer's Afternoon, A 104 

Sunrise 144 

Sycamore 255 

Thanksgibbin' in Ole Virginny 229 

That Cat 1 1 2 

That Valentine 70 

Tramp, The 61 

Toboggan 54 

Ultimatum ,The 206 

Under Obligations 171 

Vi ViGUERS 273 

VOLAPUK 259 

When the Stage Gits In 209 

WooDTicKs, The I45 

Yaller Jackets' Nest, The 20 

Zaccheus 193 



IF I SHOULD DIE 

TF I should die to-night 

And you should come to my cold corpse and say. 

Weeping and heartsick o'er my lifeless clay — 

If I should die to-niglit. 
And you should come in deepest grief and woe — 
And say: " Here 's that ten dollars that I owe," 

I might arise in my large white cravat 

And say, "What 's that?" 

If I should die to-night 
And you should come to my cold corpse and kneel. 
Clasping my bier to show the grief you feel, 

I say, if I should die to-night 
And vou should come to me, and there and then 
Just even hint 'bout payin' me that ten, 

I might arise the while. 

But I 'd drop dead again. 



SAY WHEN, AND SAY IT 

ATZRITE me a poem that has n't been writ. 

Sing me a song that hasn't been sung yet. 
String out a strain that has n't been strung. 

And ring me a chime that has n't been rung yet. 

Paint me a picture but leave out the paint. 
Pile up a pile of old scenes of my schoolery. 

Leave me alone ; I would fain meditate 

And mourn o'er the moments I lost in tomfoolery. 

Tell me a tale that dropped out of a star. 
Push me a pun that is pungent, not earthy. 

I must have something sharp, strident, and strong 
To eke out a laugh or be moderately mirthy. 

Give me a love that has never been loved. 

Not knowing the glance of the bold and unwary, 

A cherub abreast with the saints up above. 
And I '11 get along and be passably merry. 

But come on the fly to me, come on the jump. 

Do n't hang around on the outskirts and walk to me; 

Throw out your chest well, and hold up your head ; 
Say when, and say it, or else do n't you talk to me. 

a 



GITTIN' INTER SHAPE 

13 ECKON de angel what rolled 'way de stone. 

An' let de good shepherd escape. 
Some day '11 fly down to dis prison ob sin 
An' lib'rate all dat's prepahed to come in; 

So I 'se gittin' my soul inter shape, 
Gittin' my soul inter shape, fo' yo' see 
Hit's a mighty big stone dat's layin' on me. 

Mighty big stone! Yes, indeedy! 

I hope de good angel will hab heaps o' strength. 

Or else bring old Samson along, 
Kase the sin on my soul 's mo' 'en fo'ty foot deep ; 
Yd' see, I bin one ob dese wanderin' sheep. 

An' hit 's gwine ter need somebody strong, 
Gwine ter need somebody strong, doan yo' see ; 
Hit 's a mighty big weight dat 's a restin' on me. 

Pow'ful big weight ! Yes, indeedy! 

I 'se gittin' my soul inter shape fo' de day 

When Peter 'gins takin' 'is toll ; 
Ready ter lay down my burden an' rest. 
Ready ter take up de cross ob de blest. 

Ready ter entah de fol'. 

3 



Gittin' Inter Shape 

Gittin' my soul inter shape, doan yo' see ; 
Dar's a big load ob sin bin restin' on me^, 
Big load ob sin ! Yes, indeedy! 
Yes, indeedy! 



EVOLUTION 

TT ZE seem to exist in a hazardous time, 
Driftin' along here through space ; 
Nobody knows just when we begun 

Or how fur we 've gone in the race. 
Scientists argy we're shot from the sun. 

While others we're goin' right back. 
An' some say we've allers been here more or less. 

An* seem to establish the fact. 
O' course 'at's somepin' 'at nobody knows. 

As far as I 've read or cun see ; 
An' them as does know all about the hull scheme. 

Why, none of 'em never agree. 

Now, why I think it 's a perilous time, — 
What do we know 'bout them spots 

Up there on that glorious orb of the day ? 
Smart men has argyed an' lots 

Of the brainiest folks has been cypherin' out. 
An' all sorts of stories has riz 



Evolution 

'Bout what the sun 's made of or how it 's composed. 

An' lots of 'em think that it is. 
O' course 'at 's somepin' 'at nobody knows — 

Nobody under the sun ; 
Nary a body or bein', I s'pose; 

Nary a bein' but One. 

Take Eva Lution, an' what does she say 

'Bout how we all sprung from a ape ? 
An' there's the goriller and big chimpanzee. 

Patterned exactly our shape. 
An' I've seen some folks, an' I guess so have you. 

An' it ain't none of our bizness neither. 
That actually looked like they sprung from a ape. 

An' did n't have fur to spring either. 
Course 'at's somepin 'at every one knows ; 

I don't see how you folks can doubt it ; 
S'posin' they have some resemblance to us. 

No use in a-writin' about it. 

If a feller '11 take a geology book 

An' not go a rushin' long through it. 
But jes' sort o' figger the thing out hisself — 

What I mean is: 'ply hisself to it — 
He'll see we 've dug up folks ten thousand years old. 

Built on a ponderous plan ; 
6 



Evolution 

Somehow this knocks Mr. Moses all out. 

An' Adam, the biblical man. 
O' course 'at 's somepin 'at nobody knows. 

Nobody under the sun ; 
Nary a body or bein' I s'pose. 

Nary a bein' but One. 



i 



GEDDER IN YO' GRAIN 

"T^E ole plow hoss is busy 
■^^^Breshin' flies off wid his tail, 
De ole dog's got a move on him 
Dat's zackly like a snail. 
De meddeh grass is noddin' 
En off yondah in de lane 
I kin hyar de tree toads warnin' 
"Bettah gedder in yo' grain." 

Doan yo' hyar de frogs a-gurglin' 
Dar out yondah in de pond ? 
What's de mattah wid de catbird, 
Doan yo' hyar his voice respond .' 
Ain't de hull of 'em a-tellin' yo' 
In language mighty plain, 
"Doan be frivlin' way yo' moments, 
Bettah gedder in yo' grain." 

Ain't de bumble bee a-hummin' 
'Mongst de clovah tops an' flowahs, 
8 



Gedder in Yo' Grain 



Whilst dc ole clock am a-tickin' 'way 
De minutes an de houahs ? 
Chile, yo's got to be a-hus'lin* 
To ketch de wisdom train. 
Doan waste no opportunities. 
But gedder in yo' grain. 



JANE JONES 

JANE JONES keeps talkin' to me all the time. 
An' says you must make it a rule 
To study your lessons 'nd work hard 'nd learn. 
An' never be absent from school. 
Remember the story of Elihu Burritt, 
An' how he clum up to the top. 
Got all the knowledge 'at he ever had 
Down in a blacksmithing shop ? 
Jane Jones she honestly said it was so! 
Mebbe he did — 
I dunno ! 
O' course what's a-keepin' me 'way from the top. 
Is not never havin' no blacksmithing shop. 

She said 'at Ben Franklin was awfully poor. 

But full of ambition an' brains ; 

An' studied philosophy all his hull life. 

An' see what he got for his pains ! 

He brought electricity out of the sky. 

With a kite an' a bottle an' key, 

lO 



^e^f^Vs-^ox^ 




■^rif>^ 



Jane Jones 

An' we're owing him niore'n any one else 
For all the bright lights 'at we see. 
Jane Jones she honestly said it was so ! 
Mebbe he did — 
I dunno ! 
O' course what's allers been hinderin' me 
Is not havin' any kite, lightning, er key. 

Jane Jones said Abe Lincoln had no books at all 
An' used to split rails when a boy ; 
An' General Grant was a tanner by trade 
An' lived way out in IH'nois. 
So when the great war in the South first broke out 
He stood on the side o' the right. 
An* when Lincoln called him to take charge o' things. 
He won nearly every blamed fight. 
Jane Jones she honestly said it was so ! 
Mebbe he did — 
I dunno ! 
Still I ain't to blame, not by a big sight. 
For I ain't never had any battles to fight. 

I She said 'at Columbus was out at the knees 
When he first thought up his big scheme. 
An' told all the Spaniards 'nd Italians, too. 
An' all of 'em said 'twas a dream. 



Jane Jones 

But Queen Isabella jest listened to him, 
'Nd pawned all her jewels o' worth, 
'Nd bought him the Santa Maria 'nd said, 
"Go hunt up the rest o' the earth I" 
Jane Jones she honestly said it was so ! 
Mebbe he did — 
I dunno ! 
O' course that may be, but then you must allow 
They ain't no land to discover jest now ! 



14 



ELOPEMENT 

T 'M out at the home of my Mary, 
■*■ Mary so young and so fair. 
But her father and mother 
And sister and brother 

And all of the family are there. 

I 'm now on the sofa with Mary, 

Mary with bright, golden hair; 

But her father and mother 

And sister and brother 

And all of the family are there. 

I 'm way up the river with Mary, 
Picnicking in the cool air; 

But her father and mother 

And sister and brother 

And all of the family are there. 

I 'm in the surf bathing with Mary; 
Her form is beyond compare; 
*5 



Elopement 

But her father and mother 
And sister and brother 

And all of the family are there. 

I 'm down at the parson's with Mary; 

It 's rather a private affair; 
But her father and mother 
And sister and brother 

Well — none of the family is there. 



x6 



L 



HER FOLKS AN' HIZ'N 

T TF. maird her 'cause she had money an' some 

Property left from 'er husband's income; 
But both of the families was awfully stirred. 
An' said the worst things 'at the town ever heard. 

En her folks an' hiz'n, 

Er hiz'n an' her'n. 

Never spoke to each other. 

From what I can learn. 

His folks begun it an' jest said 'at she 

Was the worst actin' thing they ever did see; 

An' ought to be ashamed fcr bein' so bold, 

'Cause her husband he had n't had time to get cold. 

En her folks an' hiz'n, 

Er hiz'n an' her'n. 

Never spoke to each other. 

From what I can learn. 

Her folks they all set up 'at he was no good. 

An' if 'twas n't for her — well, he'd have to saw wood. 

17 



Her Folks An' Hiz'n 

Then all of her kin, every blasted relation. 
Said she 'd lowered herself in their estimation. 

So her folks an' hiz'n, 

Er hiz'n an' her'n. 

Never spoke to each other. 

From what I can learn. 

The sisters they told — this is 'tween you and I — 
'At they thought she wanted her husband to die: 
An' they whispered around — but don't you lisp a 

word — 
The awfulest things that a soul ever heard. 

So her folks an' hiz'n, 

Er hiz'n an' her'n. 

Never spoke to each other. 

From what I can learn. 

They said that a travelin' man er a drummer. 
Who stopped at the hotel a long time last summer. 
That he — no it wasn't that now — let me see — 
That she — er something like that, seems to me. 

Well, her folks an' hiz'n, 

Er hiz'n an' her'n. 

Never spoke to each other. 

From what I can learn. 



Her Folks An' Hiz'n 

I hear 'at the families keep up the old fight, 
A-roastin' each other from mornin' till night; 
But the young maird couple they 've moved to the city, 
Where gossip do n't go; but I think it a pity 

That her folks an' hiz'n. 

An' hiz'n an' her'n. 

Never speak to each other. 

From what I can learn. 



19 



THE YALLER JACKETS' NEST 

TFI could only wander back 
To boyhood jest one day. 
So' St' I could have my chice agin 

Of games we used to play, 
I 'd let the kites an' marbles go. 

An' say, •* Come on, boys ! let 's 
All go out a-huntin' fer 

The yaller jackets' nest." 

Jest to lay up in the shadder 

Of the fence once agin 
Of the old vacant lot 

'At the cows pastured in. 
Where the dandelions were bloomin', 

'N there take a rest. 
While you listen to the music 

'Round the yaller jackets' nest. 

There was one 'at allers went along 
An' romped with us 'n raced, 
20 



The Yaller Jackets' Nest 

With her sun-bonnet a-hangin' back 
'N curls down to 'cr waist. 

In the checkered little frock she wore 
Of gingham, — what a pest 

She was to us when huntin' fer 
The yaller jackets' nest. 

It 's the prime of the blossoms 

'At 's a-hangin' from the trees 
An' the music of the buzzin' 

'At brings lonesome memories, 
Fer it seems as if I heerd her say 

" You better look out, lest 
They all swarm out and sting yeh 

From the yaller jackets' nest." 

Sometimes I think I hear 'er voice 

An' see 'er eyes of blue. 
That borried all their color from 

The sky 'at peeks at you 
Between the clouds in summer 

After rain has fell an' blessed 
The flowers an' openin' blossoms 

'Round the yaller jackets' nest. 



HOW HANK DIED 

44 TV /T OTHER, the shadows are gatherin' in. 

Shadows o' sunshine and shadows o' sin. 
Shadows o' sorrow and shadows o' gloom, 
All of 'em gatherin' now in my room. 
See over there near the mantel-place wall 
Is the darkest shadow. What 's that — a call? 
Oh, let in the light, keep that shadow away. 
The one with the sickle that cuts to-day. 
And far over there in the sunlands' West 
I '11 work in the pastur' after I rest. 

" Oh, to get out o' this valley o' sin 

Up in the cool o' the hillside agin ! 

Where are the boys .-' All away? Where's M'liss? 

Who 's holdin' my hand, an' whose arm is this ? 

Oh, here comes the shadow that beckons — what pain ! 

It must not come near me! Hear that ? That rain 

On the windows? See, down by the foot-board, where 

The curtain moves ! A shadow is there, 

Comin' on tiptoe ! It 's after the light. 

Oh, don't give it welcome, that shadow of night! 

22 



How Hank Died 

"Don't leave me waitin' here now in the dark 
The shadows are entering. What — music? Hark! 
Can that be the soft winds of summer that send 
Their sighs o'er the fields for the loss of a friend ? 
So cold? I am getting so cold, so cold. 
Oh, why are the shadows so bold, so bold ? 
Here comes the grim shadow, the shadow of Death ; 
The cavern-eyed shadow that asks for my breath." 

:}; 5}c ;}c if: :}; 

"Good-bye," said the toiler ; "good-bye every one." 
Then somebody whispered: **The reaper is done." 
His head fell back, and down by his side 
His white hand dropped. That 's how Hank died. 



2T, 



HOW OFTEN 

' I ^HEY stood on the bridge at midnight. 

In a park not far from town ; 
They stood on the bridge at midnight 
Because they did n't sit down. 

The moon rose o'er the city 

Behind the dark church spire ; 

The moon rose o'er the city 

And kept on rising higher. 

How often, oh ! how often 

They whispered words so soft ; 

How often, oh ! how often. 
How often, oh! how oft. 



24 



BENTON HARBOR. MICH. 

OOMETIMES I ain't a thing to do, an' so jist for 

the nonce, 
1 think of things 1 did n't see out on Midway 

Plaisance. 
Although they claimed 'at every tribe an' nation, 

seems to me. 
Was represented, yit there 's some I simply did n't 

see. 
I went all through the Cairo Street, an' saw the Luxor 

great, 
I saw the South Sea Islanders an' them from Congo 

State, 
1 saw the Patagonians, but, durn it all, my wish 
Was more to see them funny folks from 

Benton Harbor, Mich. 

I took in all the bildin's that was prom'nent on the 

grounds, 
Got in with a C'lumbian guard and we jist went the 

rounds. 

25 



Benton Harbor, Mich. 

I says to him, "I 'm here this week to take the hull 

thing in ; 
I might not git a chance to go against the thing agin. 
Outside o' horterculture an' some o' the smaller fruits 
I want to see them Wolverines at 's still a-wearin' 

boots. 
So don' show me no minin' er animals er fish, 
I 'd rather see them curios from 

Benton Harbor, Mich." 

What d' I care for foreign folks 'at come from pagan 

lands ? 
I 've heerd an' read enough of Paig, an' heerd the 

tom-tom bands. 
I 've seen enough of Egypt, 'n Algiers, 'nd ancient 

Rome, 
An' now I 'm jist a-spilin' for somepin' right 'round 

home. 
Why, gosh all Friday ! Take yer Turks an' all yer 

foreign kit, 
I want to see them Wolverines, an' I ain't seen 'em 

yit; 
Old Michigan I 'm after; seems as if I heerd the 

swish 
Of breakers like I used to in 

Benton Harbor, Mich. 
26 



Benton Harbor, Mich. 

So comin' out from there I says, "We Ml take another 

route ; 
Course you may know your bizness, but I know what 

I 'm about. 
I 'm on a hunt fcr friends jist now, not Japs er 

Javanese, 
Or sore-eyed Esquimaux, er Coons, er bias-eyed 

Chinese. 
I 've hecrd enough of • Hot ! hot ! hot ! ' got frightened 

at the roar 
'Round Hagenbeck's, an' shook hands with the Sultan 

of Johore, 
Until I 'm simply tired out, an' now my only 

wish 
Is jist to see them old-time folks from 

Benton Harbor, Mich." 

I walked till I got dusty an' thought I 'd like to 
wash. 

When lookin' up I saw a tower — 't was Michigan, 
by gosh ! 

"Come on," I says, "I'll show you now some 
folks you never saw. 

Human bein's from Muskegon, Dowagiac, an' Sagi- 
naw : 



a? 



Benton Harbor, Mich. 

Them folks 'at raises celery 'way out in Kal'mazoo, 

Cassopolis, an' Globeville, an' Ypsilanti, too — 

St. Joe an' Berrien Centre." I guess I got my 

wish, 
I jined the jays an' we went back to 

Benton Harbor, Mich. 



28 



ASPHODEL 

/BAREST thou naught for me, lone Asphodel ? 
^^Oh, flower ! Shall all the summer days long gone 
Roll into space remembered not ? What spell. 
Nay, more, what dream, what fantasy is this ? 
E'en one small hour to gaze and love. 'Tis bliss 
Like Gygcs knew behind the chamber door 
In days of old. Those mellow days of yore. 

Ah, no, sweet flower, say not farewell, I pray ; 
But let thine odor loiter yet a while. 
And linger thou beside my lonely way, 
Spreading thy perfume. And each tender leaf. 
Sparkling with dew, like tears in eyes of grief; 
Eager am I to pluck thee from thy stem, 
To have thee near, and in thy fragrance dwell. 
Trusting thee ever, fairy Asphodel. 



29 



THE FLOWERS' BALL 

'T'HERE is an olden story, 

'Tis a legend, so I'm told. 
How the flowerets gave a banquet. 

In the ivied days of old; 
How the posies gave a party once 

That wound up with a ball. 
How they held it in a valley, 

Down in "Flowery Kingdom Hall." 

The flowers of every clime were there. 

Of high and low degree, 
All with their petals polished. 

In sweet aromatic glee. 
They met down in this woodland 

In the soft and ambient air. 
Each in its lolling loveliness, 

Exhaled a perfume rare. 

An orchestra of Blue Bells 
Sat upon a mossy knoll 
30 



The Flowers' Ball 

And pealed forth gentle music 
That quite captured every soul. 

The Holly hocked a pistil 
Just to buy a suit of clothes. 

And danced with all the flowerets 
But the modest, blushing Rose, 

The Morning Glory shining 

Seemed reflecting all the glow 
Of dawn, and took a partner ; 

It was young Miss Mistletoe. 
Miss Maggie Nolia from the South 

Danced with Forget-me-not ; 
Sweet William took Miss Pink in tow 

And danced a slow gavotte. 

Thus everything went swimmingly 

'Mongst perfumed belles and beaux. 
And every floweret reveled save 

The modest, blushing Rose. 
Miss Fuchsia sat around and told 

For floral emulation. 
That she had actually refused 

To dance with A. Carnation. 



3« 



The Flowers' Ball 

The Coxcomb, quite a dandy there. 

Began to pine and mope. 
Until he had been introduced 

To young Miss Heliotrope, 
Sir Cactus took Miss Lily, 

And he swung her so about 
She asked Sweet Pea to Cauliflower 

And put the Cactus out. 

Miss Pansy took her Poppy 

And she waltzed him down the line 
Till they ran against old Sunflower 

With Miss Honeysuckle Vine. 
The others at the party that 

Went whirling through the mazy 
Were the Misses Rhodo Dendron, 

Daffodil and little Daisy. 

Miss Petunia, Miss Verbena, Violet, 

And sweet Miss Dahlia 
Came fashionably late, arrayed 

In very rich regalia. 
Miss Begonia, sweet Miss Buttercup, 

Miss Lilac and Miss Clover ; 
Young Dandelion came in late 

When all the feast was over. 



The Flowers' Ball 

The only flower that sent regrets 

And really could n't come. 
Who lived in the four hundred, was 

The vain Chrysanthemum. 
One floweret at the table 

Grew quite ill, we must regret. 
And every posy wondered, too. 

Just what Miss Mignonette. 

Young Tulip chose Miss Orchid 

From the first, and did not part 
With her until Miss Mary Gold 

Fell with a Bleeding Heart. 
But ah ! Miss Rose sat pensively 

Till every young bud passed her 5 
When just to fill the last quadrille. 

The little China Aster. 



33 



DE SUN'S COMIN' BACK 

TTUSH ! chillun, hush! 

Kase de sun's done come back agin. 
Back agin a-shinin' on de ole cypress tree; 
Hush ! chillun, hush ! 
Hit shuahly am a fac' agin, 
De sun's done come back agin. 
Back agin to me. 

Hush ! chillun, hush ! 

Foh de sun's done come back agin, 
Pushin' yaller glory roun' in ebbery spot it finds, 

Dancin' on de cradle 

An' old Chloe wid de ladle. 

An' coaxin' out de blossoms on 
De honeysuckle vines. 

Hush ! chillun, hush ! 
Kase de sof winds come back agin. 
Back agin, a-bringin' all de glory ob de spring; 

34 



De Sun's Comin' Back 

My heart's jes' a-throbbin' 
For off yondah is de robin. 
An' de blackbird am a-cluckin' 
An* I 'low I heerd 'im sing. 

Hush ! chillun, hush ! 

Kase de sun's done come back agin, 
Bringin' back de fac' agin 1 'sc gittin' mighty old; 

I often sit and pondah, 

An' I wondah, an' I vvondah. 

How many times it 's comin' back 
Befo' I reach de fold. 



35 



THE RIVER ST. JOE 

TX/HERE the bumblebee sips and the clover is red. 
And the zephyrs come laden with peachblow 
perfume. 
Where the thistle-down pauses in search of the rose 
And the myrtle and woodbine and wild ivy grows ; 
Where the catbird pipes up and it sounds most divine 
Off there in the branches of some lonely pine ; 
Oh, give me the spot that I once used to know 
By the side of the placid old River St. Joe ! 

How oft on its banks I have sunk in a dream. 
Where the willows bent over me kissing the stream. 
My boat with its nose sort of resting on shore. 
While the cat-tails stood guarding a runaway oar; 
It appeared like to me, that they sort of had some 
Way of knowing that I would soon get overcome. 
With the meadow lark singing just over the spot 
I did n't care whether I floated or not — 
Just resting out there for an hour or so 
On the banks of the tranquil old River St. Joe. 
36 



The River St. Joe 

Where the tall grasses nod at the close of the day. 
And the sycamore's shadow is slanting away — 
Where the whip-poor-will chants from a far distant 

limb 
Just as if the whole business was all made for him. 
Oh! it's now that my thoughts, flying back on the 

wings 
Of the rail and the die-away song that he sings. 
Brings the tears to my eyes that drip off into rhyme. 
And I live once again in the old summer time ; 
For my soul it seems caught in old time's under-tow 
And I 'm floating away down the River St. Joe. 



39 



BABY UP AT BATTENBERG'S 

TTEERD 'bout what 's happened ? 

Why o' course ye has ; 
Baby up at Battenberg's, 
Hope it tain 't the las' ! 

Doctor come at eight o'clock. 
Rig all spleshed with clay ; 
Dad a trampin' up the hall, 
Skeery ? — I sh'd say ! 

Kind o' still 'roun' the house. 
Folks on tiptoe walk 
Tell the door is open 
An' we hear a squawk ! 

Doctor whispers suthin' — 
Daddy hollers: ''No!" 
Doctor says, " Twelve pounder ! " 
Daddy whoops out : " Sho ! " 

Daddy — happier 'n a clam ! 
Mother doin' well ; 
Baby up at Battenberg's, 
Haven't ye heerd tell ? 

Upon the death of the late Lord Tennyson, Mr. King fancied him- 
self an applicant for the position of Poet Laureate and produced this 
poem as his recommendation to the Appointing Power. 

40 



NO HARM DONE 

TTXCUSE me, Mr. Handy, for a-droppin' you a 

^ line. 

But the fact is, I 've arrived in town and feelin' 

mighty fine ; 
■f 'm stoppin* at the Press Club, er that 's where I 

take my meals. 
An' I must say 1 'm agitatin' some colossal Heals; 
But what I want to ask you is, 'at seems a-botherin' 

me. 
Is your hippodrome at Jackson Park, that 's what I 

want to see ; 
I 'd lay all careful pains aside an' wear a steady grin 
'F I thought 'at you could work some scheme 
Of gittin' of me in. 
Course, if you say they isn't, 

I '11 say I 's just in fun. 
An* we '11 just let it go at that — 
They 's no harm done. 
41 



No Harm Done 

Say, Handy, what I want is so 's I can push my phiz 
All 'round the hull World's Fair grounds an see 

everything they is. 
An' when a C'lumbian guard comes up unmannerly 

and gruff, 
I '11 flash the pass you give me. Handy, that '11 be 

enough. 
An' passin' on an' mirrorin' my face in the lagoon 
Where that fellow is a-standin' — now what 's his 

name ? — Neptune. 
I want to see you. Major, yes, I want to grasp your 

fin, 
'Cause I know 'at you could work some scheme 
Of gittin' of me in. 
Course, if you say they is n't, 

I '11 say I 's just in fun. 
An' we '11 just let it go at that — 
They 's no harm done. 

I want to see the state buildin's an' all ther' is there, 
I want to see that queer machine that turns out com- 
pressed air, 
Th' Administration Buildin' an' th' Agricultural Hall — 
I tell you, Major, hones' ly, I want to sec it all. 
I '11 be alone mos' of the time an' nothin' 's goin' to 
please 

42 



No Harm Done 

Me better than to get acquainted with those Javanese. 
Do n't say a word! Say, Handy, I must brace you 

agin: 
Is they any possibility 

Of gittin' of me in ? 
Course, if you say they is n't, 

I '11 say I 's just in fun. 
An' we '11 just let it go at that — 
They 's no harm done. 

I 've read the weekly papers. Major, out at old 

St. Joe, 
They ain't been nothin' in 'em 'at the country folks 

do n't know. 
Some wants to see machinery, some paintin's, an' 

some fish, f 
Some want to hear the music, too, but I tell you my 

wish 
Is just to see them foreign girls from Spain an' sunny 

France, 
An' Abdul Something, what-'s-his-name, that 's got 

them girls *at dance 
Out there in Midwav Plaisance, an' the Sultan an' 

his kin. 
Oh, Handy, you must fix some scheme 
Of gittin' of me in. 
43 



No Harm Done 

Course, if you say they is n't, 
I '11 say I 's just in fun. 

An' we 'II just let it go at that- 
They 's no harm done. 



iW 



THE FATES 

TT^ORTUNE came to a youth one day and dressed 

'im 
Up in his best. While Society smiled and caressed 

'im, 
Along came Toil with a hammer and saw to test 'im — 
And all three pressed 'im. 

Manhood came, as it usually does, to beard 'im ; 
Virtue stole in and sat by his side, but feared 'im; 
Ambition came with wonderful schemes and steered 
'im— 

But all three queered 'im. 

Wisdom came and knocked at his door ; he spurned 

'im. 
Frivolity came on bicycle wheels and turned 'im; 
Remorse at last came up and stung 'im and burned 

•im— 

And all three churned Mm. 

45 



The Fates 

Poverty opened his door and found 'im and sought 

'im ; 
Paralysis, crouched in a corner, had finally caught 

'im ; 
Idleness claimed the prize because she 'd taught 'im — 
But all three got 'im. 

Old Charon rowed up in Time's canoe and ferried 'im 
Over the creek, when an undertaker hurried 'im. 
Dropped sand on his box, while a parson talked and 
worried 'im — 

But the whole crowd buried 'im. 



PARAPHRASE 

r*HE master of the manor house each morn 

Upon his shining steed through arbored gates 
Rides forth and out upon the dusty road 
To yon small hamlet smiling on the hill. 
At eve rides back with swaying form ; he meets 
The faithful footman, and, his charger placed. 
He wends his way into the mansion hall. 
While I, down here in meadow lands all day, 
I only s-s-stack the hay. 

The opulent lord when mellow days are come. 
At the high note of the red-combed chanticleer. 
With horse and hound and merry crowd now bent 
Upon the chase. Swift through fox-scented roads. 
Stopping, perchance, at many a wayside inn, 
The music of the jingling glass is his. 
While I down here in perfumed clover fields. 
Hear but the music of the lark and jay. 
I only s-s-stack the hay. 

47 



Paraphrase 

Lone is the mansion on the sunlit hill. 

Save for the daughter of the chivalric lord. 

Who comes now, finger-kissed by high-topped 

sheaves 
(Pausing the while, half startled by the quail) 
To where the haycocks dot the sallow fields ; 
Comes in the roseate flush of maidenhood ; 
Comes with a truant smile upon her lips. 
And romping up to me exclaiming: "Say!" 
B-b-but I — I only s-s-stack the hay. 

Then spake she soft as runs a summer brook 
Or novel of some scribe of amorous mind : 
" How far the huntsmen must be on the road, 
Because the sun comes through my window-blind ; 
Within — strange creakings 'bout the halls : with- 
out — 
The scurrying leaves. So lonely am I now 
I've wandered here to ask whate'er betide. 
Wouldst cease thy work ? Pray, must you toil 

to-day?" 
'< W-w-well, yes," I s-s-say, ** I have t-t-to s-s-stack 
the hay." 

" Ah, sir ! " she then replied : "A banquet spread 
But yesternight for me with many guests 
48 



Paraphrase 

And suitors gathered 'round the festal board 
Sought ardently my hand ; and one forth brought 
A golden cup in memory of my birth. 
Yea, each in quest of all these lands. Kind sir, 
How now ; wouldst thou not drink from out my 

cup ? 
Prithee, come solace me ! Live while you live, 

for aye." 
" I c-c-ca-ca-can't," I s-s-say. " I have to s-s-stacl 

the hay." 

The days roll on and now a blase youth 
Rides by the manor house. A reaper he 
In wisdom's fields. No importuning maid 
Bade him alight. She beckons. Quick he opes 
The gates, and, hastening to the banquet halls. 
He drinks to her, and, pledging endless love. 
They fly to distant parish. Now the hills 
And vales and lands that roll away are his. 
While I, down here in meadow-lands all day, 
I only s-s-stack the hay. 



49 



IF I CAN BE BY HER 

T D-D-DO N'Tc-c-c-are how the r-r-r-obin sings, 

Er how the r-r-r-ooster f-f-flaps his wings, 
Er whether 't sh-sh-shines, er whether 't pours, 
Er how high up the eagle s-s-soars. 
If I can b-b-b-be by her. 

I don't care if the p-p-p-people s-say 
'At I 'm weak-minded every-w-way. 
An' n-n-never had no cuh-common sense, 
I 'd c-c-c-cuh-climb the highest p-piclcet fence 
If I could b-b-b-be by her. 

If I can be by h-h-her, I '11 s-s-swim 
The r-r-r-est of life thro' th-th-thick an' thin ; 
I '11 throw my overcoat away. 
An' s-s-s-stand out on the c-c-c-oldest day. 
If I can b-b-b-be by her. 

You s-s-see sh-sh-she weighs an awful pile, 
B-b-b-but I d-d-d-do n't care — sh-she 's just my style, 

50 



If I Can Be By Her 

An' any f-f-fool could p-p-p-lainly see 
She'd look well b-b-b-by the side of me. 
If I could b-b-b-be by her. 

I b-b-b-braced right up, and had the s-s-s-and 

To ask 'er f-f-f-father f-f-fer 'er hand ; 

He said: •' Wh-wh-what p-p-prospects have vou 

got?" 
I said : "I gu-gu-guess I 've got a lot. 
If I can b-b-b-be by her." 

It 's all arranged f-f-fer Christmas Day, 

Fer then we're goin' to r-r-r-run away. 

An' then s-s-some th-th-thing that cu-cu-couldn't be 

At all b-b-efore will then, you s-s-see, 

B-b-b-because I'll b-b-b-be by her. 



53 



TOBOGGAN 

T^OWN from the hills and over the snow 
■^^^ Swift as a meteor's flash we go. 

Toboggan ! Toboggan ! Toboggan ! 
Down from the hills with our senses lost. 
Jealous of cheeks that are kissed by the frost. 

Toboggan ! Toboggan ! Toboggan ! 

With snow piled high on housetop and hill. 
O'er frozen rivulet, river, and rill. 
Clad in her jacket of sealskin and fur, 
Down from the hills I 'm sliding with her. 
Toboggan ! Toboggan ! Toboggan ! 

Down from the hills, what an awful speed ! 
As if on the back of a frightened steed. 

Toboggan ! Toboggan ! Toboggan ! 
Down from the hills at the rise of the moon. 
Merrily singing the toboggan tune, 

*• Toboggan ! Toboggan ! Toboggan ! " 

SI 



Toboggan 

Down from the hills like an arrow we fly. 
Or a comet that whizzes along through the sky; 
Down from the hills ! Oh, is n't it grand ! 
Clasping your best winter girl by the hand. 
Toboggan ! Toboggan ! Toboggan ! 

Down from the hills and both growing old, 
Down from the hills we are nearing the fold: 

Toboggan ! Toboggan ! Toboggan ! 
Close to the homestead we hear the ring 
Of children's voices that cheerily sing, 

"Toboggan! Toboggan! Toboggan!" 

Down from the hills and we hear the chime 
Of bells that are ringing out Old Father Time; 
Down from the hills we are riding away, 
Nearing the life with its endless day ; 

Toboggan ! Toboggan ! Toboggan ! 



55 



DE BUGLE ON DE HILL 

T DOAN like de noise ob de marchin' ob de boys. 

An' I 'low doan s'pose I evah will ; 
Er de trampin' ob de feet to de drum's wild beat, 

Er de sound ob de bugle on de hill. 
Hit 'minds me ob de day when Gabe marched away 

En ole missus stood beside de cabin do'; 
Somepin' whispahed in my ear 'bout my little vol- 
unteer. 

An' said he nevah will come back no mo'. 

I 'membah now de day jes' how he marched away, 

Wid de bright sun er climbin' up de sky. 
Marched out en down de street to de drum's wild 
beat. 
Den dey fotched him home to die. 
Oh, de sad en moanful way, po' old missus kneeled 
ter pray. 
When Gabe said: ** Hit's gittin' mighty still." 

It is an interesting fact to note that this is the first poem by a 
Chicago author to be printed in "The Century Magazine." 

56 



De Bugle On De Hill 

But I rise en jine de boys when I hear de cannon's 
noise, 
Er de blowin' ob de bugle on de hill. 

Hit 'pears es if I seen de ole plantation green. 

En sometimes I sho'ly think I hear 
De regiment pars by, en 'low I hear de cry 

En de moan ob my little volunteer. 
En I see de moanful way po' ole missus kneel to pray, 

En sometimes when all aroun' is still, 
I kin hear de tread ob feet to de drum's wild beat 

En de blowin' ob de bugle on de hill. 

Dar's a spot mighty dear to dis ole darky here, 

Whar de sunlight is peepin' froo de palms, 
Wid his hands 'pon his breast, dar my soldier's gone 
to rest, 

Jes' peacefully er sleepin' in de calms. 
En de drum's wild beat er de tread ob marchin' feet 

No mo' kain't disturb 'im now until 
De Lord gibs command, den I know he '11 rise en 
stand 

At de sound ob de bugle on de hill. 



S7 



OLD ST. JOE 

/^F all the towns that jest suits me 
^^From Stevensville to Manistee, 
There 's one old place I can't fergit : 
It ain't a great ways off, and yit 
From here it 's sixty miles or so 
In a bee line — that 's Old St. Joe, 

I don't p'tend to write, an' ain't 
One of them air chaps 't paint ; 
'F I was I 'd tell of scenes 't lie 
Stretched out afore a feller 's eye ; 
Er when the sun was hangin' low 
I 'd paint it right from Old St. Joe. 

I 've seen folks gether thare in crowds 
Jist fer to watch the golden clouds 
Changin' shapes, and sort o' windin' 
Into figgers, never mindin' 
That old lake spread out below, 
Reflectin' 'em at Old St. Joe. 



Old St. Joe 

Underneath them cedar trees 

'S where I used to take my ease. 

Birds a-singin' all along 

The hedge, an* each one had a song 

An' sung its best to let you know 

They jist got back to Old St. Joe. 

They ain't no purtier site tome — 
That is, 'cordin' to my idee — 
Than jist to watch the gulls 'at fly 
Round that old pier ; an' hear 'em cry 
An' circle round. It 'pears they know 
Fishin's good at Old St. Joe. 

Course the people over there 
They don't notice 'em or care — 
What they 're worry in' 'bout is frost, 
'N whether strawberries is lost ; 
Yet they 'pear to take things slow, 
Jist the same as Old St. Joe. 

'Ceptin' rheumatiz, their health 
Is middlin' good, an' as fer wealth 
They got that, an' lots o' land ; 
'Course the sile is mixed 'ith sand ; 
But that's what makes the berries grow 
Over there at Old St. joe. 

59 



Old St. Joe 

Take it gener'ly, as a rule, 
A feller likes where it 's cool. 
Where he can sleep, an' drink in air 
That comes perfumed from orchards where 
The peach trees jist begin to blow ; 
Then where 's a place like Old St. Joe ? 

Such cool breeze blowin' back 
Keeps the skeeters makin' tack 
'N the flies they mostly stay 
Up round Pipestone creek, they say. 
Tell you what, one thing I know — 
They ain 't no flies on Old St. Joe. 



bo 



THE TRAMP 

T TE came from where he started 

And was going where he went. 
He had n't had a smell of food. 

Not even had a scent. 
He never even muttered once 

Till he began to talk. 
And when he left the kitchen door 

He took the garden walk. 

He said : "There 's no one with me. 

Because I am alone ; 
I might have scintillated once ; 

My clothes have always shone. 
I got here 'fore the other ones 

Because I started first : 
The reason I look shabby is 

Because I 'm dressed the worst." 

Then I asked him where he came from — 
This was just before we parted. 

And he muttered indistinctly, 

" Oh, I come from where I started !" 
6i 



THE CHAUTAUQUAN MAID 

OHE had studied every ology — 
Ichthyology, zoology. 
Philology, geology, conchology, and more ; 
Knew the bones of every mammal. 
From the mouse up to the camel. 
And the mollusks and crustaceans that crept on every 
shore. 

To think her up in history 

Was not at all a mystery ; 
She could name you any ruler from old England to 
Sumatra. 

It would certainly amaze you 

What she said about Aspasia 
And the little unsophisticated maiden, Cleopatra. 

She had studied Greek and Latin, 
Hebrew, Sanscrit (please put that in); 
Read Xenophon and Horace, Ovid, Virgil and the 
rest. 

62 



The Chautauquan Maid 

She did n't say, " I MI learn yuh," 
But ** teach you" that Calphurnia 
Sewed fifty-seven buttonholes in Julius Caesar's vest. 

She loved to pull the petals 
From a flower. The baser metals. 
She doted on their study, and for nuggets she would 
bone you. 
She loved the dromedary. 
And the docile cassowary. 
And the feathers of the emu she had stuck in her 
" chiffonier." 

She had studied evolution. 
And arrived at the solution 
How long our first appendage was ; of course, I 
did n't ask her. 
But she said that she 'd resolved from 
What she knew, that I evolved from 
A carrot-haired chimpanzee she had seen in Mada- 
gascar. 

She could scan iambic meter. 
And she knew each Roman praetor. 
And surprised me when she told the way the empire 
came to fall. 

63 



The Chautauquan Maid 

The Huns sneaked in the forum. 
And the Romans tried to floor 'em. 
But they got themselves in trouble, and, of course, 
got whipped, by Gaul. 



64 



I 'M A BLUEJAY 

T 'M a bluejay, *nd never mind 
'F my toe does stick out behind. 

When I ketch on a limb 

I 'm there for keeps — 

'Lesn I let go. 
Of course I must eat. 

Sometimes, you know, 

I have to jes' let go 

O' that hind toe. 

I 'm a dead sure thing in spring. 

As soon 's the weather 's kind o' warm 

You '11 notice me on a fence. 

I feel immense 

In my blue suit. 
The woods can ketch my chirp ; 

You hear my toot 
From then out 'f you do n't shoot 

At my blue suit. 
6S 



I 'm a Bluejay 

I put ripe cherries in my face. 
Same place I wedge all the bugs ; 
An' do n't you ever think 
'At I 'm no good 
An' sponge my way. 
Do I? I guess I '11 fool yuh, 
I eat yer durn "circulia.** 
I guess I work my way 
*F I am a jay. 



&!t 



'RASTUS KING 

\ S you happen jcs' to mention 

Old time friends 'at sort o' bring 
Mcm'ries back, I'd like to ask 

What 's become o' 'Rastus King ? 

Did he go out west prospectin' 

Far on Californy 's rim ? 
Did he settle with the Injuns, 

Or did the Injuns settle him ? 

What a great big-hearted feller 

'Rastus was, and how he 'd sing ! 

Sometimes tears '11 start to rollin' 
When I think o' 'Rastus King. 

Where is he an' what 's come of him ? 

Is he toilin' hard fer bread ? 
Is he prosperous and wealthy ? 

Is he livin' still, or dead ? 

How my heart recalls the mornin' 
That I met him. Splittin' wood, 
67 



'Rastus King 

Payin' fer his school tuition, 
Earnin' thus a livelihood. 

Allers boarded at the neighbors. 
Turned his hand at anything ; 

Faithful, honest ; well the farmers 
Simply swore by 'Rastus King. 

Find him down to meetin' Sundays 
Sittin' in the deacon's pew ; 

Talk about yer knowledge ; he had 
Read the Bible through and through. 

When the choir would jine together 
An' with the congregation sing. 

Way above all other voices 

You could hear 'im — 'Rastus King. 

Did you ever come to meet 'im ? 

Do you think he 's livin' here ? 
Say, he ain't much older 'n I am ; 

Reckon now he 's sixty year. 

Last I heerd he's doin' splendid. 
Rich, fast horses, everything. 

Jest like him, a regular schemer ; 
Oh ! I knew him, 'Rastus King. 
68 



'Rastus King 

Then the hackman I 'd been asking 

All these questions thus did say : 
" Rastus livin' purty quiet ; 

Don't go out at all, they say." 

" Don't go out at all — why, stranger ? 

What's the matter? Did he fail ?" 
" Well," said he, " nothin 's the matter, 

Stephen, only he 's in jail." 



69 



THAT VALENTINE 

/^NCE, I remember, years ago, 

^^ I sent a tender valentine ; 

I know it caused a deal of woe. 

Once, I remember, years ago. 

Her father's boots were large, you know. 

I do regret the hasty line. 
Once, I remember, years ago 

I sent a tender valentine. 

I know I never can forget 

I sent the tender valentine ; 
Somehow or other I regret. 
But how I never can forget. 
But then, I know, I know I met 

Her father. Oh, what grief was mine. 
I know I never shall forget 

I sent a tender valentine. 



70 



DE GOOD SHIP 

T 'SE bin watchin' long fer de Good Ship, 

De Good Ship de Lo'd sent ter me ; 
An' it 'pears dat liit 's had a long voyage 
Crossin' life's troublesome sea. 

I 'se spected it 'long in de moh'nin'. 
When nary a sail was in sight. 

An' I 'se looked fer it 'long about noonday. 
'N watched fer it way in de night. 

Till I cast my eye ovah de boun'less 
Ole ocean, an' what did I see ? 

Off der in de hush ob de distance 
De Good Ship a-comin' to me. 

So I laid my haid down on my pillow, 
Fo'gettin' life's worry an' sin ; 

An' when I awoke in de moh'nin'. 
My Good Ship had done got in. 



71 



A CASUAL OBSERVATION 



D 



|AR'S nuffin' hyar but vanity 
An' riches an' insanity; 
De dollah seems to be de people's god. 
Dar 's a heap too many 'Scariots 
A-ridin' 'roun' in chariots. 
While de po' man am a-carryin' de hod. 

Dar 's too much haste an' hurryin'. 
An' too much wealth at buryin'. 

An' dis hyar t'ing am gettin' worse and worse. 
Hit takes all ob de rakin's, 
De scrimpin's an' de scrapin's 

To liquidate de 'spenses ob de hearse. 

Dar 's heaps ob care an' worry ; 

Ebberybody's in a hurry. 
An' de few am growin' richer ebbery day ; 

But de most of us must shovel 

For de children in de hovel 
An' silently await de judgment day. 

72 



LIKE THE NEW FRIENDS BEST 

"T^O N'T talk to me o' old time friends, 

-^^^ But jcs give me the new. 

The old friends may be good enough. 

But somehow they won't do, 

I do n't care for their old time ways ; 

Their questions you '11 allow 

Are soulless as a parrot's gab: — 

" Well, what you up to now?" 

That 's one thing I 've agin 'em, 

'Cause that with all the rest. 

Like hintin' 'bout some old time debt; 

1 like my new friends best. 

I meet an old friend in the street. 

As oftentimes I do. 

Mechanically he stops to shake 

An' say: "Well, how are you?" 

Then drawin' down his face, as if 

His cheeks was filled with lead, 

He says: ** I spose you 've heard the news ? " 

73 



Like the New Friends Best 

' No ! " "Eli Stubbs is dead. 
An' 'fore he died he ast for you — 
Seemed sorry you was gone. 
An' said 'at what he 'd let you have 
He hoped would help you on." 
Now that 's why I do n't like 'em much. 
You prob'bly might have guessed. 
I aint got much agin' 'em, but 
I like the new friends best. 

Old friends are most too home-like now. 

They know your age, and when 

You got expelled from school, and lots 

Of other things, an' then 

They 'member when you shivereed 

The town an' broke the lights 

Out of the school 'nen run away 

An' played "Hunt Cole" out nights. 

They 'member when you played around 

Your dear old mommy's knee ; 

It 's them can tell the very date 

That you got on a spree. 

I do n't like to forget 'em, yet 

If put right to the test 

Of hankerin' right now for 'em, 

I like the new friends best. 

74 



A NEGRO SONG OF HOME 

9 ' I *AIN'T berry many people wat Ml listen to a 
niggah 
Un 'low dey's enny sense in wot he say. 
But I'se gwine ter guv de 'sperience of mah feelin's, 
and I figgah 
Dat dey's quite a smart o' people tinks mah way. 
W'en a man begins a-shoutin' 'bout de good tings dat 
he 's missin' 
Kickin' kase dey ain't a fortune in his job. 
Let 'im go home to his kitchen, an' set down a while 
an' listen 
To de singin' ob de kettle on de hob. 

I've hayrd de strains ob "Home, Sweet Home" 
when Patti was a-singin' 
An' de aujience was a-spillin' ob deir tears ; 
But I did n't mind the singah, fo' a different tune 
kep' ringin' 
Wif hits ha'nty kin' ob music in mah ears. 

75 



A. Negro Song of Home 

An' I reckernized de melerdy so powerful bewitchin' 
Dat made mah heart like sixty fo' ter t'rob. 

An' I mejiate felt a hank'rin' fo' my cozy little kitchen 
An' de singin' ob de kettle on de hob. 

De rich man can inhabitate a palace ef he wishes, 

Wif brick-er-brack and pictuahs on de wall ; 
An' kin lay on velvet sofers an' eat ofPn golden dishes. 

But I would n't swap mah kitchen fo' his all ; 
Fo' hit would n't be like home ter me but 'ceptin' I 
could listen, 

A-puffin' at de backy in mah cob. 
While de good Lawd seemed a-speakin' ob a home- 
like kin' ob blessin' 

Frough de singin' ob de kettle on de hob. 



76 



S'POSIN* 

■^T THAT if the new San Francisco should sail 

To Chilian waters away. 
With the Boston and Yorktown afar in the east, 

'Nd the Lancaster off in Bombay ; 
'Nd the big Philadelphia — s'posin' she wuz 

A-loadin' with tea in Japan, 
With the Concord and Bennington flyin' so gay 

Their colors around Hindostan ; 
'Nd s'posin' the Charleston wuz in Bering Sea, 

With the Newark in Pamlico Sound, 
'Nd the Miantoncmah's big bilers should bust, 

*Nd the Baltimore run hard aground ; 
Then s'posin' we got in a fight right away 

With Chili or even Peru, 
'Nd England should work the shell game on New 
York, 

Say — what in the deuce would we do ? 



n 



LITTLE 'RASMUS 

I AE Great Good Speret come down from above 
■^■^ An' took leetle 'Rasmus away; 
Took my leetle 'Rasmus dat played peep wid me. 
En rode out to Banbury Cross on my knee, 

Took po' leetle 'Rasmus away. 
Took my leetle 'Rasmus dat played roun' de do' 
An' danced at de sunbeams dat fell on de flo'. 
Took my leetle 'Rasmus away. 

Dat 's why I 'se down-hearted an' kain't fin' relief. 
An' ol' an' bent over; I 'se loaded with grief 

Kase 'Rasmus has done gone away. 
De Great Good Speret comes down from de sky 
An' hovahs aroun' ebbery day. 
An' hit 'pears what yo 's lovin' a leetle too much, 
De Good Speret takes it away, 

Kase He took leetle 'Rasmus away. 

But I know de Good Speret mus' be mighty glad. 
But dis darky's heart am jes' mounfal an' sad 
Since 'Rasmus has done gone away. 
78 



Little 'Rasmus 

An' mos'ly at morn, when dc whimperin' breeze 
Am loiterin' up in de sycamore trees. 
An' at noon when de sun dances roun' on dc flo' 
Dis ole darky's heart am jcs' burdened wid woe. 
An' at night twixt de win' an' de patterin' rain. 
My po' soul an' body am restless wid pain 
Since 'Rasmus has done gone away. 

But I know de Good Speret comes down from de sky 
An* hovahs aroun' ebbery day. 
An' hit 'pears what yo' worship a leetle too much 
De Good Speret takes it away, 
Kase He took leetle 'Rasmus away — 
Took po' leetle 'Rasmus away. 



79 



NOBODY KNOWS 

■^yOBODY knows when de col' winds am blowin', 
"*" Whar all de po' little chillun am a-goin'. 

Nobody knows when de night time's hoverin' 
How many little ones am des'tute ob coverin'. 
Nobody sees, but de Lo'd done see 'em. 
An' bime-by de Lo'd '11 tell humanity ter free 'em. 

Nobody knows jes' how many am in rags, 

A-sleepin' in de hot blocks an' 'roun' on de flags. 

Nobody sees all dis poverty an' woe, 

A-livin' on de emptyin's an' not a place ter go. 

Nobody sees, but de Lo'd done see 'em. 

An' bime-by de Lo'd '11 tell humanity ter free 'em. 

Nobody knows whar dis poverty all comes — 
How many po' folk am sleepin' in de slums. 
Nobody knows jes' how few am befriendin'. 
But de good Lo'd knows dar mus* soon be an endin'. 
Nobody sees, but de Lo'd done see 'em. 
An' bime-by de Lo'd '11 tell humanity ter free 'em. 
So 



SHE DOES NOT HEAR 

QH-SH-SH-SH-SHE does not hear the r-r-r-r-robin 

sing, 
Nor {-{-i'-f-kel the b-b-b-b-balmy b-b-breath of 

Spring ; 
Sh-sh-sh-she does not hear the p-p-pelting rain 
B-b-b-beat ta-ta-tat-t-t-toos on the vv-w-vvinder 

p-p-pane. 

Sh-sh-sh-she cuc-cuc-cannot see the Autumn s-s-sky, 
Nor hear the wild geese s-s-s-stringing b-b-by; 
And, oh ! how happy t-t-t- 'tis to know 
Sh-sh-she never f-f-feels an earthly woe ! 

I s-s-spoke to her; sh-sh-she would not speak. 
I kuk-kuk-kuk-kissed her, but c-c-cold was her cheek. 
I could not twine her w-w-w-wondrous hair — 
It w-w-was so wonderf-f-f-fully rare. 

B-b-beside her s-s-stands a v-v-v-vase of flowers, 
A gilded cuc-cuc-cuc-clock that t-t-tells the hours ; 

83 



She Does Not Hear 

And even now the f-f-fire-light f-f- f-falls 
On her, and d-d-dances on the walls. 

Sh-sh-she's living in a p-p-pup-purer life. 
Where there 's no tu-tuh-turmoil and no strife ; 
No t-t-t-tongue can m-m-m-mock, no words em- 
barrass 
Her b-b-b-b-by g-g-gosh ! she 's p-p-plaster paris ! 



84 



DOWN THE MISSISSIPPI 

/^H, de ole plantation landin', 
^"^ On de Mississippi sho', 
'Pears es if I seed ole massa 

Standin' waitin' dar once mo' — 
Back aways to whar de cabin's 

Almos' hid by lilac trees — 
Seems es ef I h'yard po' missus 

Singin' old-time melodies. 

Hollyhocks en honeysuckles 

Grow en bloom along de way, 
Leadin' up dar to de cabin ; 

But de ole folks, whar are dey ? 
An' de winin' path a-leadin' 

Roun' de house ; sometimes, a spell. 
Seems es ef I h'yard de win'less 

H'istin' watah Pom de well. 



8S 



Down the Mississippi 

Cap'n, kain yo' stop de boat, sah ? 

Stop de boat, lease well I know 
I has done gone down dis rivah 

'Bout es far 's hi keah ter go. 
You kin Ian' me soon 's yo 's ready. 

En I 'low I '11 fin' mah way 
Back to dat ole shattah'd homestead 

Whar de sun shines froo to-day. 

Massa Lincoln's gunboats let' it 

Jais dat way in sixty-three ; 
Cose dey did some monsus damage. 

But dey set us dahkies free. 
How I 'membah po' ole missus 

Standin' n'yah de cabin do' 
En she say : " Yo' gwine off, 'Rasmus ? 

Ain' yo' gwine come back no mo' ? " 

Den I sade : ** Not zackly, missus ; 

Somepin 's done ketched ontah me. 
Dar's a big stampede ob darkies 

From Kaintuck en Tennessee, 
When de boat comes up de ribbah 

Whistlin' 'roun' de lower bow 
I mus' leebe de ole plantation — 

Yas, must say good-bye en go." 
86 



Down the Mississippi 

Massa so't o' bowed his haid, sah, 

Sittin' in 'is ole-ahm-chair ; 
Missus, standin* on dc do'step 

Caught de sunlight in her hair ; 
An' de breezes from de orchard 

'Peared to rustle froo de trees. 
En I h'yard old Judy weepin' 

Wid de chillun 'roun' her knees. 

Tale yo' I was mighty sad, sah. 

But I sort o' walked away. 
Years en years ago it was, sah ; 

Now I 'se wanderin' back to-day. 
'Deed I 'se lookin' back en gazin' 

Mos'ly now each side de stream. 
Lan'marks gittin' mighty natch'l, 

'Clar hit 'pears jais like a dream. 

Dar 's de place ! Dat 's hit, dar, cap'n, 
Dis yere side de ole ho'n bow ; 

'Low yo' need n't stop de steamah ; 
Jais slack up a leetle — slow. 

He ^ :4: ^ :{( 

Dar 's de same ole steps a-climbin' 
F'om de landin' to de h'll. 



87 



Down the Mississippi 

La n' ob goodness ! Ef de bushes 
Ain't a-growin' thickah still. 

In de Ian' ob de forgotten ; 

Not a soul along de hill ; 
Not a voice to wake yo' gladness ; 

Everything do 'pear so still; 
Not an echo to a footstep ; 

Not an ansah to a call 
'Sep' a mockin'-bird a-singin' 

To de lonesomeness — dat 's all. 



88 



THE MERMAID 

OWEET mermaid of the incomparable eyes, 
^^ Surpassing glimpses of the April skies. 
Thy form, ah, maid of the billowy deep ! 
So rare and fair, but to possess I 'd creep 
VV'here the old octopus deep in his briny haunts 
Comes forth to feed on anything he wants ; 
Where mollusks crawl and cuttlefish entwine. 
There on crustaceans be content to dine. 
What ecstacies in some calcareous vallev. 
Had I but scales like thee 'tis there we 'd dally. 
There seek each peak and let no other bliss 
Be more enchanting than one salt-sea kiss ; 
There sit and bask in love, and sigh, and feel 
Each other's fins throb, or perhaps we'd steal 
To some lone cavern. I suppose you know a 
Place where we could pluck the polyzoa. 
Or in your boudoir by your mirror there 
I 'd comb the seaweed from your auburn hair. 
b9 



The Mermaid 

But hush ! A red-haired mermaid sister comes this 
way. 

And lashing with her tail the wavelets into spray. 

Cometh she alone o'er yonder watery pampas? 

Oh, no. By Jove ! There comes the white hippo- 
campus. 



90 



DE BLACKBIRD FETCHED DE 
SPRING 

XT 7HEN de autumn leabes was twistin* 

An' a tryin' ter git loose. 
An' de apples in de cidah press 

Had done turned inter juice ; 
When de blackbird got down-hearted 

An' made up his mind ter go. 
Hit was den de time dis dahky's heart 

Was jes' pahboiled wid woe. 

He was wid me in de furries 

In de summah fields ob co'n. 
An' aroun' a-hookin' cherries — 

'Deed he was, mos' ebbery mo'n. 
An' he he'p me dribe de horses, 

Cluckt an' cluckt ter make 'em go. 
Dat 's why I 'low dis dahky's heart 

Was jes' pahboiled wid woe. 



91 



De Blackbird Fetched De Spring 

But he notice dat de yellerin' 

Was a-comin' on de leabes. 
An' de win' was so't o' whinin', too, 

Jes' like a dog dat grebes. 
An' wid nuffin' in de cherry tree, 

Exceptin' wintah's bref. 
One day in fall he 'lowed he 'd go 

En jes' skip out himself. 

Hi kain't persarsely blame 'im, 

Kase I 'd went ef I was him ; 
'Low he knew de wintah wedder 

Would done freeze 'im to de limb, 
Kase he could n't ha'dly navigate, 

Er could n't cluck er sing, 
En so he said: "Good-bye, ole man, 

I 'se comin' back in spring." 

Dis mohnin', honey, 'deed I heerd. 

When ebberyt'ing was calm, 
A song dat tetched mah po' ole heart 

Like oil of gladdest balm. 
An' who should I see settin' dar 

Upon de ole hay rack, 
But mah blackbird, shuah, mah blackbird. 

An' 'e said, "I'sejes' got back." 

Q2 



De Blackbird Fetched De Spring 

Den he opened up his warble. 

When de gentle winds so soft 
Came dancin' from de hill-tops dar. 

An' o'er de meddah croft. 
An' down hyar bv mah cabin do' 

He sang an' flashed his wing. 
An' I praised de Lo'd of glory, 

Kase my blackbird fetched de spring. 



93 



APPEARANCES 

TAE man dat wahs de slickest tile 
^^ Doan draw de bigges' check ; 
De riches' lookin' kin' ob sile 

Doan yiel' de bigges' peck. 

De hoss dat 's highes' in de pool 
Doan always win de race, 

Kase sometimes he 's a little off, 
An' sometimes held fo' place. 

De bulldog wid de orn'ry jaw 
Ain' half so bad to meet 

As dat dar yaller mungril cur 
Dat's layin for yo' meat. 

De mooley cow dat hists her leg 

An' makes de milkmaid scream. 

Am jes' de bossie cow dat gives 
De riches' kin' ob cream. 

De mule dat hab de wicked eye 

Ain' half so bad, now min' — 

Look out for dat ole sleepy mule 
Yo' 's walkin' 'roun' behin'. 

94 



THE GIRL WITH THE JERSEY 

XT'OU can sing of the maid 
■*• Who, in faultless attire. 
Rides out in her curtained coupe ; 
Her robes are exquisitely fashioned by Worth — 
At eve they are decollete ; 
But I, I will sing of a maiden more fair. 
More innocent, too, I opine ; 
You can choose from society's crust, if you will. 
But the girl with the jersey is mine. 

I know her by all that is good, kind and true. 

This modest young maiden I name ; 

I 've walked with her, talked with her. 

Danced with her, too. 

And found that my heart was aflame ; 

I 've written her letters, and small billet-doux. 

Revealing my love in each line : 

You can drink to your slim, satin-bodiced gazelle. 

But the girl with the jersey is mine. 



95 



IF MY WIFE TAUGHT SCHOOL 

TF I had a wife 'at taught school I would go 

To far-away countries. I 'd fish from the Po 
In a gondola gay, and the splash o' my oar 
Would be heard by the natives around Singapore 

If my wife taught school, 

I would, would n't you ? 

Er would n't yuh ? 

Enny way, what would you do? 

If I had a wife 'at taught school I would get 
Something fine in the shape of a furniture set ; 
If I could pay my board and she could pay hern. 
There 's a good many nice little things I could earn. 

If my wife taught school, 

I would, would n't you ? 

Er would n't yuh ? 

Enny way, what would you do ? 

If my wife taught school you can bet I would fly 
Like a condor, I 'd roost pretty middlin' high; 



If My Wife Taught School 

I 'd wear a silk tile and own hosses, I vow. 
And do lots of things I ain't doin' now. 

If my wife taught school, 

I would, would n't you ? 

Er would n't yuh ? 

Enny way, what would you do ? 

If my wife taught school like some women do. 
And I could n't earn quite enough for us two, 
I 'd go in the barnyard, without any fuss, 
I would blow out my brains with a big blunderbuss. 

If my wife taught school, 

I would, would n't you ? 

Er would n't yuh ? 

Enny way, what would you do ? 



97 



THE OLD SPINNING WHEEL 



D 



O you remember the old spinning wheel 
That stood in the attic so many years ago, 
'Twas covered o'er with dust, and our mother used 

to say 
'Twas an old family relic of our grandmother's 
day. 
How the spinning wheel would creak 
As if it tried to speak. 
Recalling tender memories of yore ; 
How, back in other years. 
Her eyes would fill with tears 
As she heard the hum upon the attic floor. 
Creak, creak, how it would creak. 
When up to the attic we 'd steal. 
But mother would say : 
" Boys, come away 
From grandmother's old spinning wheel." 

Do you remember the cobwebs that clung 
To the old oaken beams in the house we were born, 
98 



The Old Spinning Wheel 

And there from the rafters how memory brings 
Back the sage and catnip and the dried apple strings. 

But ah ! no other joys 

Compared, when we were boys. 
When we played upon the dear old attic floor. 

To slowly turn the wheel — 

And the spindle and the reel 
Would sing the dear old song it sang of yore 

Creak, creak, how it would creak. 

When up to the attic we 'd steal. 

But mother would say : 

*• Boys, come away 
From grandmother's old spinning wheel." 



99 



THE OWL AND THE CROW 

'INHERE was an old owl. 

With eyes big and bright. 
Who sung in a treetop 

One calm summer night. 
And the song that he sung 

I will now sing to you — 
'♦ To whit ! To vvhoo, hoo ! 

To whit ! To whoo, hoo ! " 

He sang there all night 

Till early next morn. 
When a crow came along 

That was looking for corn. 
The crow heard him singing, 

" To whit ! To whoo, hoo ! " 
And offered to sing 

A few notes that he knew. 

Just then the old owl 
In the treetop so high, 

lOO 



The Owl and the Crow 

With his classical shape 
And his big staring eye. 

Requested the crow. 
In the deepest of scorn. 

To sing his old chestnut 
About stealing corn. 

** Caw ! Caw ! " said the crow, 

•♦ Well — my deeds are by light. 
I do n't steal young chickens 

And sit up all night. 
With dew on my feathers ; 

When I break the laws 
In looking through cornfields 

It *s not without caws " 



DE CLOUDS AM GWINE TER 
PASS 



D 



|E wedder's mighty waum. 
An' I gase it 's gwine ter staum, 
Doan yo' see de svvaller flyin' to de thatch ? 
Black clouds a-sweepin' by, 
Jes' a-skimmin* long de sky, 
Dar's a-hustlin' in de huckleberry patch. 

Dar's Zeke and Hezekiah, 

Jane Ann an' ole Maria, 
Mighty skeery when dey see de lightnin' flash. 

How dey hustle to de cabin, 

Whar ole Dinah am a-blabbin' 
An de hoe cake am a-bakin' in de ash. 

I tole yo' kase I know, 

Jes' what make it thundah so, 
Dat's de way Gord shake derain out ob de sky ; 

An' when yo' hyar de soun' 

Like a shubbin' tables roun' 
Yo' can see de pigs a-runnin' to de sty. 

I02 



De Clouds Am Gwine Ter Pass 

But de clouds am gwine ter pass. 

An' de sun shine out at las'. 
While de pickaninnies play aroun' de do' ; 

An' froo de windah blinds. 

Hid by mornin' glory vines, 
Hit 's er gwine to flicker down upon de flo'. 

Gord moves in many a way. 

So de ole Bible say, 
Fo' He counts de drops and all de grains obsan'; 

An' when de darkness falls 

'Pon dese hyar cabin walls 
Hit am jes' de break ob day in uddah lands. 

Den hurry, chillun, hustle while you may, 
Kase yo' know dar 's gwine ter come a rainy day. 

But de gloomerin' will pass. 

An' de sun shine out at las'. 
An' de darkies' clouds ob sorrer pass away. 



103 



A SUMMER'S AFTERNOON 

' ' I "• WAS the close of a summer's day. 

The sound of the flail had died away. 
The sun was shedding a lingering gleam. 
And the teakettle sung with its load of steam. 
The old clock ticked that hung on the wall 
And struck 'ith the same old cuckoo call ; 
Then oft I could hear the mournful bay 
Of some watch-dog far away. 
Then all ter onct piped in a jay. 
I just sot there with my senses gone. 
And the shadders of twilight a-creepin' on. 
With the eerie hum of the small pee-wees. 
Over there in the cedar trees. 
And the tinkle of bells in the marshy loam 
'At told me the cows were coming home. 
And the sighing breeze came o'er the croft. 
But ah ! comes a melody far more soft 
Than the troubled notes of a lydian lute 
Or the echoing strains of a fairy's flute; 
104 



A Summer's Afternoon 

It bids me awaken and live and rejoice, 
'Tis only the sound of Elviry's voice — 
Like an angel's whisper it comes to me : — 
"Wake up, you fool, and come to tea." 
An' it ain't in the spring er it ain't in the fall. 
But the close of a summer's day. 

That's all. 



107 



I FED THE FISHES 

ONE day a big excursion sailed afar out in the 
lake. 
All bent upon an outing with their sandwiches and 

cake. 
They sought the upper deck until the wind began to 

blow. 
When all engaged in different things as every one 
must know ; 

While I fed the fishes, 
I fed the fishes, 
I fed the fishes clear to Old St. Joe. 

Good Captain Stines went up on deck to cast his 

weather eye ; 
A woman sadly, badly prayed, *• Oh, Father, let me 

die!" 
The cabin-boys ran back and forth in staterooms all 

around. 
While voices shrieked: "Oh, mercy — oop ! Oh — 

oop ! wish I were drowned." 
loS 



I Fed the Fishes 

But I fed the fishes, 
I gave them my best wishes, 
I fed the fishes clear to Old St. Joe. 

The pilot boldly held the wheel as through the wave* 

we sped. 
While Purser Hancock ran abaft to hold some woman't 

head ; 
One fellow sat him down and sang: "Good-bye, 

sweetheart, good-bye ; ' ' 
Most every one seemed occupied, and, sad to say, 

then I — 

I fed the fishes, 

I fed the fishes, 

I fed the fishes clear to Old St. Joe. 

The "Chicora" rose up in the air and then came 

down **kcrsock;" 
She wibble-wobbled in the sea and once she struck a 

rock ; 
The purser wore a pallid look, the women all turned 

pale. 
While calmly I sat out on deck and hung over the rail ; 
For I fed the fishes, 
I gave them my best wishes, 
I fed the fishes clear to Old St. Joe. 
109 



I Fed the Fishes 

Some tried to eat their sandwiches, some staggered, 

reeled and laughed. 
While others went below to smile, and there the 

brown ale quaffed. 
The steward, Richard Waters, rushed about with 

whisky slings ; 
Most every one seemed occupied, and all did different 

things. 

But I fed the fishes, 
I fed the fishes, 
I fed the fishes clear to Old St. Joe. 



no 



OLD BOSSIE COW 

T)0' o]# bossie cow 's down in de marsh, 

•*• Down in de marsh where de col' winds am 

blowin*, 
Eb'ry now an' den when de staum dies away 
Seems if I hyard ole bossie cow a-lowin'. 

So out by de cabin do' I stan' on de sweep. 

An' listen in de win* an' dampnin' weddah. 

An 't 'pears dat I hear ole bossie cow agin, 

An' I low dat she say, "Come down in de meddah." 

Den down froo de marsh land trampin' along, 
Down froo de gloom an' de night rains a-fallin*, 
Pickin* my way through the whisperin' reeds, 
"Co-boss, co-boss, co-boss" a-callin'. 

Den all ob a sudden I come to a stop. 

An* dar ole bossie cow so gentle an' so kyind ; 

An* I coax up ole brindle, an' I lead her by de ho'n; 

A wee little bossie cow comes follerin' on behin', 

A wee little bossie comes follerin' on behin*. 



THAT CAT 

' I "TIE cat that comes to my window sill 

When the moon looks cold and the night is still- 
He comes in a frenzied state alone 
With a tail that stands like a pine tree cone. 
And says : "I have finished my evening lark. 
And I think I can hear a hound dog bark. 
My whiskers are froze 'nd stuck to my chin. 
I do wish you 'd git up and let me in." 
That cat gits in. 

But if in the solitude of the night 
He does n't appear to be feeling right. 
And rises and stretches and seeks the floor. 
And some remote corner he would explore. 
And doesn't feel satisfied just because 
There 's no good spot for to sharpen his claws, 
And meows and canters uneasy about 
Beyond the least shadow of any doubt 
That cat gits out. 



A FROG'S THANKSGIVING 

T 'M a frog with a shanty built over each eye. 

And a terrible push when I get on a hump ; 
There 's very few reptiles that 's one-half so spry 
Or can come up along side o' me on the jump. 

I 'm a frog when the other birds take to the wing 
And wander away beneath balmier skies ; 
I belong to the bloated batrachian ring 
With a pneumatic palate for coaxing in flies. 

I 'm a frog in the fall and a frog when the frost 
Spreads over the land, and the forests are gray. 
I 'm a frog keepin' house at a very small cost 
In a dug-out I *ve built out o' cat-tails and clay. 

I 'm a frog with a green overcoat and a voice 
That tickles the woods, when the winter 's no more. 
The old folks are glad and children rejoice. 
At the first tap o' thunder, I let out a roar. 

I 'm a frog living down in the lush of the swale ; 
You all know my voice when I 'm looting for game. 
They call me a cannibal — what a sad tale. 
Well, maybe I am ; I 'm a frog just the same. 

113 



LOVEY-LOVES 

/^H, love ! let us love with a love that loves, 

^-'^ Loving on with a love forever ; 

For a love that loves not the love it should love — 

I wot such a love will sever. 
But, when two loves love this lovable love. 

Love loves with a love that is best ; 
And this love-loving, lovable, love-lasting love 

Loves on in pure love's loveliness. 

Oh, chide not the love when its lovey-love loves 

With lovable, loving caresses ; 
For one feels that the lovingest love love can love. 

Loves on in love's own lovelinesses. 
And love, when it does love, in secret should love — 

'Tis there where love most is admired ; 
But the two lovey-loves that do n't care where they love 

Make the public most mightily tired. 



114 



HANK SPINK 

TJ ANK SPINK, he said— er Bob did, his brother- 
At he hit a man once for somepin or other. 

An' after he hit 'im — I got this from Bob — 

He simply went right out an' give up his job ; 

Not Hank er Bob, 

But the feller 'at got hit 

Give up his job. 

See ? 

He said 'at the wind, er the force of his blow, 
Er somepin like that, somehow — I do n't know 
Just now what it was — I got it from Bob, 
'At he got a good swat ; not Hank er Bob, 
By a long shot. 

But the feller 'at got hit 
Got a good swat. 

See ? 

He said he *d be blamed, 'at he did n't know 
How he came to strike such an all-fired blow. 



Hank Spink 

'Cept he guarded his right an' threw the hull heft 
Of his weight an' his science, an' hit with his left ; 
That lost 'im his job ; not Hank er Bob, 

But the feller 'at got hit. 
Lost him his job. 

See? 



ii6 



THE NILE 

"^TOT a single cloud bedims the sky. 

Not a shadow falls below. 
But crocodiles creep, enfeebled by heat. 

Through the lotus flowers that grow 
On the banks of the Nile, the placid Nile, 

The Nile of ages ago. 

So sluggish and wan it wanders on 

Where the citron and doum palms grow. 

Where Sphinxes stare, through the lurid air, 
At the sun in its molten glow ; 

That's called the Nile, the tranquil Nile, 
Of ages and ages ago. 

On the purple sheen of its mirror heart 

Her galleys bend and row. 
And Egypt's queen can still be seen. 

Of olden lands the toe. 
Ah ! this was the Nile, the ancient Nile, 

The Nile of the long ago. 
117 



The Nile 

By ashen banks of the ancient stream 

The acacia tree bends low. 
The ibis stands in this tomb of lands. 

As if in a pallor of woe. 
On the banks of the Nile, the sacred Nile, 

The Nile of ages ago. 



ii8 



LIKE DE OLE MULE BES' 

SOME folks is so't o' pa'shal to de cattle roun' 5c 
fa'm. 
Ter make a pet ob animals dey find hit so't of balm. 
While odders 'fer de poultry stock ; de goose, en duck, 

en hen 
Is often made de mos' ob by de vvisess kind ob n;eti. 
Some like de brindle mooley cow 'nd 'low dey hab 

de sense 
Ter pear ter know dere massa we'n dey see 'im at de 

fence. 
Some like the yearlin' colt ; I *ve raly seed men stand 

aroun* 
An' pet a hoss all day, 'nd rub his legs en fetlocks 

down ; 
But gibbin all de animals de faires' kind ob tes' 
I so't o' like de ole mule bes'. 

Some pet de mockin' bird en robin redbress' an' de 

linnit ; 
Some like de gobbler kase he's struttin' roun' mos' 

ebery minute. 

119 



Like De Ole Mule Bes* 

Some like de peacock fo' his pride, an' den some like 

de dog. 
Whilst odders fo companionship have prefunce fo' de 

hog. 
Some fa'mers like de wedder slieep, en some de little 

lam', 
De billy-goat, an' nanny-goat, whilst odders 'fer de 

ram. 
Some like de little week-ol' calf w'en buntin' roun' 

hits mudder. 
An' some folks dey like one thing an' den some folks 

like anudder ; 
But 'fall de stock I'se raised wid in de Souf, er Eas' 

er Wes' 

I so't o' like de ole mule bes'. 

Dars sompin' meekly 'bout 'im, hits de fac' he is n't 

bold 
An' de 'spression on 'is face is like de holy saints ob 

old; 
When he sort o' histe 'is heel up like 's gwine ter hit 

de sky 
He 's simply exahcisin' jes ter pestervate a fly. 
An' de why he 'pears embarrass'd is kase nature had 

ter fail 



Like De Ole Mule Bes* 

An' made 'im sort o' long on cars, en kind o' short 

on tail ; 
But den he's mo den 'tatched ter me, and know I is 

his frien' 
An' we done made up our mind ter stick tergedder 

ter de end ; 
So dar's no use ob yo' axin' me, yo's done had time 

ter guess 

I so't o' like de ole mule bes'. 

I used ter like Lucindy, but den 'Cindy could n't 

stay. 
An' little Sim, I worshiped so, de angels coaxed 

away. 
An' Lize Anne, an' br'er Zeph dere up dar on de hill, 
I pa'shley think I hear 'em, too, w'en all aroun' is 

still ; 
Yo' see I'se mo' den lonesome heah, wid nobody ter 

talk, 
Er hide behin' de lilac trees adown de garden walk, 
Dat w'en I look at dat ole mule I feel so full ob woe 
'Bout little Sim 'at rode on 'im, an 'taint so long ago, 
Ob all de frien's dat's lef ' me now, I 'raly mus' 

confess 

I so't o' like de ole mule bes'. 



DE RIBBER OB LIFE 

T DREAMT dat I saw de ribber ob life 
Dat flows to de Jaspah Sea. 

De angels war wadin' to an' fro. 
But none ob 'em spoke to me. 

Some dipped dere wings in de silb'ry tide :; 

Some war alone an' some side by side. 

Nary a one dat I knew could I see 
In dat ribber ob life, 
De ribber ob life 
Dat flows to de Jaspah Sea. 

De ribber was wide, dat ribber ob life ; 

De bottom I plainly could see. 
De stones layin' dar was whiter dan snow; 

De sands looked like gold to me. 
De angels kep' wadin' to an' fro ; 
Whar did dey come from ? 
Whar did dey go ? 
None ob 'em sinnahs like me, I kno', 

122 



De Ribber Ob Life 

In dat ribbcr ob life, 
De ribber ob life 
Dat flows to de Jaspah Sea. 

De watah was clear as de "well by de gate,' 

Whar Jesus de light first see. 
De sofes' ob music Pom angel bands 
Come ober dat ribber ob golden sands, 

Come ober dat ribber to me. 
An' den I saw de clouds break away, 
Revealin' de pearly gates ob day, 
De beautiful day dat nebber shall cease. 
Where all is joy, an* lub, an' peace. 
An' ovah dem gates was written so clear: 
** Peace to all who entah here." 
De angels was gedderin' 'roun' de frone, 
De gates done closed, I was lef alone. 
Alone on de banks ob a darkenin* stream. 
But when I awoke I foun' 'twas a dream. 

I 'se gwine to ford dat ribber ob life 

An' see de eternal day. 
I 'se gwine to hear dem heavenly bands. 
An' feel de tech ob ole-time hanas 

Dat long hab passed away. 
Dar 's crowns ob glory for all, I 'm told, 
123 



De Ribber Ob Life 

An' lubly harps wid strings ob gold. 
An' I know ef dar 's peace beyond dat sea, 
Wid res' fo' de weary, dar 's res' fo' me-- 
Beyond dat ribber, dat ribber ob life, 
Dat flows to de Jaspah Sea. 



«*4 



THE CAT O' NINE TAILS 

'TPHE old cat o' nine tails is comin' 'round agin. 
And the way he worries children sometimes is 
a sin ; 
He grabs 'em by the collar, an' he yanks 'em by the 

clothes 
And reaches for a tender place. Why, what do you 

suppose 
Will happen if you 're impident an' set aroun' an' 

grin ? 
Well, I 'II have to call the cat o' nine tails in — 
Have to call him in ; yes, have to call him in ; 

in. 
tails 
cat o' nine 
old 
I *11 have to call the old cat o' nine tails in. 
old 

cat o' nine 

tails 
in. 

125 



The Cat O' Nine Tails 

Are you sassy to yer father, are you fibbin' to yer 

mother ? 
Are you quarrelin' with yer sister an' a-pinchin' of 

yer brother. 
Do you "ring around the rosey " till you have a dizzy 

feelin'. 
And you think yer goin' 'roun' an' 'roun' an' walkin' 

on the ceilin' ? 
Well, you better stop yer screechin' an' a-makin' such 

a din, 
Er I *11 have to call the old cat o' nine tails in — 
Have to call him in ; yes, have to call him in ; 

in. 
tails 
cat o' nine 
old 
I '11 have to call the old cat o' nine tails in. 
old 

cat o' nine 

tails 
in. 

Do you allers mind your manners when company is 

come ? 

Er do you git upstairs 'nd yell, 'nd stomp around 'nd 

drum ? 

126 



The Cat O' Nine Tails 

Do you show off at the table, too, 'nd try to act up 

smart, 
*Nd p'int yer fingers at the things 'nd say : *♦ Gimme 

a tart?" 
If some one doesn't dress you down I think h is a 

sin ; 
So I 'II have to call the old cat o* nine tails in — 
Have to call 'im in ; yes, have to call *im in ; 

in. 
tails 
cat o' nine 
old 
I '11 have to call the old cat o' nine tails in. 
old 

cat o' nine 

tails 
in. 



"7 



THE HAIR-TONIC BOTTLE 

T TOW dear to my heart is the old village drug- 
store. 
When tired and thirsty it comes to my view. 
The wide-spreading sign that asks you to "Try it," 

Vim, Vaseline, Vermifuge, Hop Bitters, too. 
The old rusty stove and the cuspidor by it. 

That little back room. Oh ! you 've been there 
yourself. 
And ofttimes have gone for the doctor's prescription. 
But tackled the bottle that stood on the shelf. 
The friendly old bottle. 
The plain-labeled bottle. 
The " Hair-Tonic " bottle that stood on the shelf. 

How oft have I seized it with hands that were glowing. 

And guzzled awhile ere I set off for home ; 
I owned the whole earth all that night, but next 
morning 
My head felt as big as the Capitol's dome. 
128 



The Hair-Tonic Bottle 

And then how I hurried away to receive it. 

The druggist would smile o'er his poisonous pelf. 
And laugh as he poured out his unlicensed bitters. 
And filled up the bottle that stood on the shelf. 
The unlicensed bottle. 
The plain-labeled bottle. 
That " Hair-Tonic" bottle that stood on the shelf. 



129 



DE CIRCUS TURKEY 



H 



E 'S de worst I evah see, 
Dat old turkey up 'n de tree, 
I bin pesta'n him 'n punchin' him saince mohnin'. 
I nev' saince I was bo'n 
See de way he do stick on. 
En he 'pears to look down at me 's if he scornin'. 

He does n't seem to 'pear 

Ter hab a bit ob fear, 
Kase I 'se wasted all mah strength 'n bref upon 'im. 

It may be he 's in fun. 

But I '11 scah 'im wid dis gun, 
I 'se boun' ter git 'im down some way, dog on 'im. 

I 'se fro'd mos' all de sticks 

In de yard, 'n all de bricks; 
Ef yo' was me whut under d' sun 'ud yo' do ? 

He does n't seem ter change, 

'N' 'pears ter act so strange, 
I d'clar he mus' be pestah'd wid a hoodoo. 
130 



De Circus Turkey 

I tale yo' hit 's cr fac' 

I nearly broke mah back 
Er histin' shoes 'n brickbats up dar to 'im 

'Pon dis Tanksgibbin' day. 

I hate ter shoot, but say — 
I bleebe a gun 's de only thing '11 do 'im. 

I 'low I '11 make 'im think 

He kaint gib me de wink 
An' sait upon dat limb en be secuah. 

BifF!— ! Bang!—! I '11 make 'im sing; 

Mah goodness, watch 'im swing. 
Wy he 's a reg'lah circus turkey, suah. 

Hi see de hull thing now — 

Dat Rasmus boy, I 'low. 
Has done gone tied 'is feet up dar wid strings. 

No wondah dat he tried 

Ter come ofF; he was tied 
'N' all what he could do was flap 'is wings. 

Come hyar, yo' Rasmus, quick, sah ! 

I 'se min' ter use dis stick, sah ! 
Come hyar, from ovah dar, from whar yo' stood. 

I 'low I ought to lay yo' 

Down on dat groun' en flay yo' 
I 'se tempted mos' ter use a stick o' wood. 



De Circus Turkey 

Yo' kaint go de meetin'. 

An' w'en it comes ter eatin' 
Yo' mudder sais yo' kaint come to de table. 

I bet yo '11 sing er tune, 

Kase all dis aftahnoon 
We 's 'cided dat we '11 lock yo' in de stable. 

Yo' kaint hab none de white meat. 
An' yo' kaint hab none de brown meat. 

An' yo' jes' hearn whut yer po' ole mudder sade ; 
Yo' kaint hab none de stuffin' 
Er de cranber' sauce er nuffin'. 

An' 'cisely at six o'clock yo' go ter baid. 



132 



SOFIE JAKOBOWSKI 

T ITTLE Sofie Jakobowski, 
"^"^ Handsome as a forest flower. 
Dwelt alone with Gokstad Pfouski 
Ivan Ruric Romanowski, 
In the palace of the tower. 
Of the ancient tower of Ivan, 
Dwelt she in the long ago. 
Near by where the frozen Volga 
Sleeps beneath its weight of snow. 

Now, it seems old Gokstad Pfouski 
Ivan Ruric Romanowski 
Had a passion for the maid. 
And was very much afraid 
That perhaps she might get frisky — 
Fall in love with John Zobiesky ; 
So he locked her in the tower 
Oft for many a weary hour. 
He, the old decrepit sinner, 
133 



Sofie Jakobowski 

Kept her locked up growing thinper. 

Many a week and month she staid 

In that tower, and often laid 

Down to rest upon the cold 

Marble floor, so I am told 

By an old Slavonic story 

That is gray and bald and hoary ; 

'Tis a legend that 's so weird 

Soft winds gently comb its beard. 

Little Sofie Jakobowski 

Was the fairest of the fair ; 

Eyes that seemed halfway confessing^ 

Yet would keep you coldly guessing. 

Hair that in each wavy fold 

Tales of witchery unrolled — 

Being that old Angelo 

Traced in cloisters long ago ; 

Lips, those liquid lips whose dew 

Is tinctured with the rose's hue ; 

Cheeks afire with the glow 

Of maidenhood ; a neck of snow. 

Hoping, grieving, sighing, praying 

For her lover, disobeying 

When she dared old Gokstad Pfouski 

Ivan Ruric Romanowski, 

134 



Sofie Jakobowski 

Even hoping to the end 
For her little Polish friend. 
Now it might be said if any 
Maid had lovers she had many ; 
Old traditions name a score. 
Put perhaps a dozen more 
On the little maiden's list. 
For her charms who could resist ? 
She could bring them from Siberia, 
Hindostan, or far-off Syria, 
From the Deutscher Zuyder Zee 
To the rat-rice-fed Chinee. 
There was little Moses Khan 
From the village of Kasan, 
Vadlimir, and Max Pulaski, 
Peter Ulrich, and Hydrasky, 
Isaac Ozam of Torique, 
One Jim Bogado, a Greek, 
And a soldier, Peter Hensky, 
Of the noted Prebojenski ; 
Kutusoff and Fedorovitch, 
Little No Account von Storitch, 
Seizendorf, and Jake Zebatzki, 
Romanoff and Ruffonratzsky, 
This is but the half of them — 
135 



Sofie Jakobowski 

Herr von Freitag Stobelpem, 

And a Jew that sent her Rhine wine, 

Moses Aaron Eiffel Einstein ; 

He from Hong Kong, Sam Wing Lee, 

Drinkee AUee Samee Tea ; 

Isawwiskey and Tschenimsky, 

Waronetski and Chewbimsky, 

And two nase a yentlemen, 

Yohn and Ole Petersen. 

She could bring them, I presume. 
From the far-off land of doom. 
Each with one intent to woo her. 
Ardent, doing homage to her. 
Sending presents from Australia, 
Nuggets from the Himalaya 
Mountains, rings and souvenirs 
Enough to last a hundred years ; 
Arrows almost every hour 
Carried presents to the tower. 
Do n't you think it quite a sin 
They had to shoot their presents in ? 
Think of how a despot's power 
Kept her locked up in a tower. 
She the fairest little maiden 
136 



Sofie Jakobowski 

Dwelling on this side of Aidin ; 
Would n't any lover plunge in 
To the deepest Russian dungeon. 
Or become a serf and work 
Out his life at Nedjikerk 
To kidnap from yonder tower 
That sweet little Russian flower ? 
So I would, so did the frisky 
Nihilist, young John Zobiesky. 
Now the father of Zobiesky 
Manufactured awful whisky. 
But young John took more delight 
In making bombs and dynamite. 
And he entertained the Russians 
With a series of concussions 
Till they wanted him so bad 
That it made all Russia sad. 
Once I think he came not far 
From blowing up " the only " czar. 
But he had a most surprising 
Way of hiding and disguising — 
Never man as yet had found him. 
Never army could surround him. 
Probably he had a mascot — 
Born a regular Russian Tascott. 

137 



Sofie Jakobowski 

John Zobiesky seemed contented 
When he had them all fermented 
'Round the palace. Near the gate 
Cossack soldiers stood up straight. 
Guarding with their guns and sabers 
One another from their neighbors ; 
Over there one can't resist 
The thought to praise the nihilist. 
Every day and every hour 
You feel the despot's potent power ; 
Every day you want to shoot 
Some old potentate and scoot ; 
So with John. One day he saw 
Another way to break the law. 
Listen ! John was discontented. 
And his smart brain soon invented 
With saltpeter and corrosives 
Something awful in explosives. 
Then with heart chuck full, elated. 
Little John sat down and waited — 
Waited for the somber curtain 
Of the night to make him certain 
That he might not be discovered 
Or his hellish plans uncovered. 
Waited till a cloudy pall 
138 



Sofie Jakobowski 

Hung its mantle over all, 

And Stygian darkness reigning far 

Hid each peeping, tell-tale star. 

That lately had begun to nod 

From Omsk to Nijni-Novgorod. 

Then he stole up to that tower. 

Just beneath his lady's bower. 

Fearlessly he placed enough 

Of that paralyzing stuff 

In the chinks and the foundation 

Of that tower to blast a nation. 

Then he sat him down and wrote 

Forty letters — make a note. 

He wrote forty, understand. 

Wrote them in a woman's hand. 

" I love only — only you ; 

Come to-night, sweet love. Adieu ! " 

Signing with a heart aflame, 

Sofie Jakobowski' s name. 

One dark night when all was still 
On frosty turret, dome and hill. 
Forty suitors came in season. 
Knocked, and — I do n't know the reason- 
Walked right in the door ; it swung 
139 



Sofie Jakobowski 

Open, then it dosed and sprung ; 
Every lover seemed to fare 
The same, for they were prisoners there 
They were in beyond a doubt. 
With no chance of getting out. 
Now the risky John Zobiesky 
Had the Cossacks drunk on whisky. 
And guards with their long sabers. 
Rested sweetly from their labors. 
Sofie Jakobowski, frisky. 
Looked down on her John Zobiesky ; 
John Zobiesky gazed at Sofie 
And he longed to gain the trophy. 
Sofie, up there in the casement. 
Throwing kisses towards the basement — 
John Zobiesky at the basement 
Hurling kisses to the casement. 
But he has no time to lose ; 
Fixing up that deadly fuse. 
Now he hurls a line up till 
It reaches Sofie's window sill. 
Scarcely had she made it fast 
When the maiden stood aghast ! 
Startled at what stood before her — 
John Zobiesky, her adorer. 
1 40 



Sofie Jakobowski 

Don't get anxious ; I must own 

John and Sofie were alone. 

And I know a Russian kiss 

Is not such hard-frozen bliss. 

'Twas the first in years that they 

Had thus embraced — the time that way— 

So they occupied the present 

Till the night had grown senescent ; 

And they wondered oft how fared 

The lovers down below that shared 

The palace of old Gokstad Pfouski 

Ivan Ruric Romanowski. 

" Hark ! " cried Sofie, " 'tis the hour 
When Moscow's bell in yonder tower 
Peals a knell, and we must fly. 
Or else together we must die. 
Ah, look ! through yonder gate I see 
That demon — and he comes to me — 
The wretch that locks and keeps me here 
From month to month and year to year." 
Up jumps the risky little frisky 
Nihilist, young John Zobiesky. 
A kiss upon her lips, his hand 
Upon his breast as if to brand 
141 



Sofie Jakobowski 

His vow : " You say, 'He comes to me ; ' 
You cry : * He comes ! He comes ! To thee 
I swear by yonder moonlit snow 
He comes !' Just watch and see him go." 
Then with Sofie on his shoulder — 
Never fear that he can't hold her — 
Through the window, down the rope. 
The nihilist and maid elope. 
Not a moment do they lose. 
Save to stop and light the fuse. 
Slowly on its path it crawls 
Toward the gray old castle walls. 
Past the Cossacks with their sabers. 
Still at rest from recent labors. 
And the noble body guard — 
They are snoring just as hard. 
A flash ! A roar ! and Moscow rumbles. 
And the tower of Ivan tumbles. 
Up skyhigh went Godstad Pfouski 
Ivan Ruric Romanowski, 
Also little Moses Khan 
Of the village of Kazan ; 
Vadlimir and Max Pulaski, 
Peter Ulric^ and Hydraski ; 
Isaac Ozam of Torique, 
142 



Sofie Jakobowski 

One Jim Bogado, a Greek, 

And a soldier, Peter Henski, 

Of the noted Prebojenski ; 

Kutuseff and Fedorovitch, 

Little No Account von Stovitch, 

Seizendorf and Jake Zebatzski, 

RemanofF and RuiFonratzski, 

This is but the half of them, 

Herr von Freitag Stobelpem 

And a Jew that sent her Rhine wine, 

Moses Aaron Eiffel Einstein, 

Drinkee Allee Samee Tea — 

He from Hong Kong — Sam Wing Lee, 

Isawwiskey and Tschenimsky, 

Waronetzski and Chewbimsky, 

And two nase a yentlemen, 

Yohn and Ole Petersen. 



143 



SUNRISE 

'T^HE dim light to the sou' ward 

■^ Is the beacon of the coast. 
But the white light to the leeward 

The mariner loves most. 
And whether 'tis the dim light 

Or the white light to the lee. 
That great big hunk of daylight 

Is light of lights for me. 
But what it is of all lights 

That fills my soul with glee. 
Is when that hunk of daylight 

Climbs up out of the sea. 



144 



THE WOODTICKS 

THERE 'S things out in the forest 
That 's worser an' 'n owl, 
'At gets on naughty boys 'n girls 

'At allers wears a scowl. 
There 's things out in the forest 

'At 's worser 'n a lion, 
'At gets on wicked boys 'n girls 

'At's quarrelin' an' a-cryin'. 
There 's things out in the forest, mind. 

An' if you do n't take care. 
The woodticks — the woodticks — 

Will be crawlin' thro' yer hair. 

An' they say as boys is naughty. 
An' their hearts is full o' sin. 

They '11 crawl out in the night time 
An' get underneath yer skin. 

An' the doctor '11 have to take a knife 
An' cut 'em off jes' so, 

H5 



The Woodticks 

An' if a bit of 'em is left 

Another one '11 grow. 
An' mebbe you won't feel 'em, too, 

Er ever know they 're there. 
But by and by they '11 multiply 

And crawl up in yer hair. 

The devil's darnin' needle too, 

'111 come and sew yer ear. 
An' make a nest inside like that. 

An' then you '11 never hear; 
An' the jigger bugs gets on you. 

An the thousand-legged worm 
'111 make you writhe, an' twist, an' groan. 

An' cry, an' yell, an' squirm; 
But the worst things 'at '11 git you 

If you lie, or steal, or swear. 
Is the woodticks — the woodticks — 

A-crawlin' thro' yer hair. 



146 



DIDN'T WE, JIM? 

XT'ES, sir; we lived home till our mother died, 

■'■ An' I 'd go a-walkin' with Jim, cause he cried. 
Till night time 'ud come, 'nd we 'd go up to bed 
An' bofe say the prayers 'at she taught us ter said — 
Did n't we, Jim ? 

An' pa 'ud stay late, an' we uster call, 

'Cause we thought we heard 'im downstairs in the 

hall: 
An' when he come home once he fell on the floor. 
An' we run'd an' hid behind ma's bedroom door — 
Did n't we, Jim ? 

She told us, our ma did, when she 's sick in bed. 
An' out of the Bible some verses read. 
To never touch wine, and some more I can't think ; 
But the last words she said was never to drink — 
Did n't she, Jim ? 

But our other ma, what our pa brought home there. 
She whipped little Jim 'cause he stood on a chair 

H7 



Did n't We, Jim ? 

An' kissed our ma's picture that hung on the wall. 
An' struck me fer not doin' nothin' at all — 
Did n't she, Jim ? 

She said 'at we never had no bringin' up. 
An' stayed 'round the house an' eat everything up. 
An' said 'at we could n't have no more to eat. 
An' all 'at we 's fit for was out in the street — 
Did n't she, Jim ? 

We said 'at we hated her, did n't we, Jim ? 
But our pa — well, we did n't say nothin' ter him. 
But just took ma's picture and bofe run'd away; 
An' that 's what Jim's cryin' 'bout out here to-day- 
Did n't we, ain't it, Jim ? 

Mister, do n't feel bad — 'cause Jim's cryin' — too ; 
Fer we 're goin' ter hunt an' git somethin' ter do ; 
'Cause our ma 'at died said ter work an' ter pray. 
An' we 'd all be together in glory some day — 
Did n't she, Jim ? 



148 



THE POST-DRIVER 

'TpHE lingering loon flies over the marsh 

And the night bird nestles in dew. 
The river is cold and the winds are harsh. 

But what is it that goes cuhchoo ? 

What is it that goes cuhchoo, cuhchoo ? 

Oh, what is it that goes cuhchoo ? 

Then the rail comes up from his lushy bed 

And wings to the realms of blue ; 
Wild lilies soak where the bullfrogs croak. 

But what is it that goes cuhchoo ? 

What is it that goes cuhchoo, cuhchoo ? 

Oh, what is it that goes cuhchoo ? 

O'er the whispering reeds the rice-hen speeds. 

And the meadow-lark singing anew. 
And I know in the swail the song of the rail. 

But what is it that goes cuhchoo ? 

What is it that goes cuhchoo, cuhchoo ? 

Oh, what is it that goes cuhchoo ? 
149 



LEF DE OLE HOSS OUT 






'WEEN de gusts ob de win' 
Comes a winner an' a soun' 
Like de trampin' ob hoofs on de col', col' groun'. 
I 'se 'spicious ob a staum. 
An' dere ain't no doubt 
But somebody 's gone an' leP de ole hoss out. 

I 'membah now de sheep 

Come a-runnin' to de shed. 
An' de ole bossie cow was a-standin' in 'er bed. 

An' de chickens on de roos' ; 

But what was I 'bout 
When I done went to bed an' lef de ole hoss out? 

Well, I mus'n lay heah 
An' hab de col' win's blow — 
When de keyhole whistles dar 's gwine tcr come 
snow — 
I jes' oughter 'rise 
An' wandah right out. 
An' cuah myself ob leebin' de ole hoss out. 
150 



Lef De Ole Hoss Out 

Mah goodness, what er night ! 

Wondah what 's dat soun' ? 
Dat's de ole hoss, jes' comin' on de boun'. 

I 'se ashame' ob myse'f ! 

Well, what was I 'bout, 
Ter go ter bed ter res' an' leebe de ole hoss out ? 



151 



EC-A-LEC-TIC FITS 

T 'M only jes' a little chap. 

An' my ma says I 'm frail ; 
I got ec-a-lec-tic fits, 

'At 's why I 'm lookin' pale. 
Once I had a ague chill. 

An', oh, how I did shake 
'Cause aunty would n't give me any 

Jelly tarts an' cake ! 

Once when it was summer 

Once, an' nice an' warm, nen me 
An' Jennie went in our back yard 

'Nd climbed a cherry tree. 
An' she ate all the cherries, too. 

An' fed me all the pits. 
An' my ma said 'at 's jes' what give 

Me ec-a-lec-tic fits. 

When bad girls comes to our house 
They must n't scare me, too, 

152 



Ec-a-lec-tic Fits 

An' romp up quick against me 

Like they 's playin' peek-a-boo, 

'Cause ma she '11 say right out to 'em: 
"See here, now, children, quit ! 

I guess you '11 have to run right home 
'Fore Wadsworth has a fit." 

Sometime I '11 be strong' nd well 

An' big like Uncle Dan, 
An' he '11 be little jes' like me. 

When I 'm a grown-up man, 
'Nd nen I won't be scarin' people 

Almost out their wits, 
'Cause 'en I won't go 'round a-havin' 

Ec-a-lec-tic fits. 

When you see me turnin' blue 

An' when my hands gits cold. 
Don't you git afraid o' that ; 

But jes' you git a hold 
Of me, an' rub my hands, 

'Nd rub my neck 'nd head 
Till I "come out " — 'cause if you do n't 

I 'm li'ble to git dead. 

I would n't care if I should die 
'Nd go up there, would you, 

153 



Ec-a-lec-tic Fits 

Where the sun is peekin' 'round 

The clouds, up where it 's blue? 

'Cause there they ain't no worry. 
An' they 's lots o' little bits 

Of fellers, an' they 's none of 'em 
Got ec-a-lec-tic fits. 



15* 



KEEP HIM A BABY 

"I^EEP him a baby as long as you can ; 

■'-^ Bless him, the dear little, cute, cunning man ! 

Keep him in dresses, and apron, and bib ; 

Rock him to sleep in his own little crib. 

Keep him a baby enjoying his toys — 
Soon enough he will be one of the boys ; 
Keep him a baby and keep him at home — 
Manhood will very soon cause him to roam. 

Ofttimes at night when he wakes for a frolic. 
Do n't get excited — it 's only the colic ; 
When he has reason your slumbers to mar. 
Get up and walk with him, just as you are. 

First it is Winslow and then it is squills. 
Then you will find one or two doctor's bills. 
Though he 's a trouble at times, it is true. 
When he grows up he will take care of you. 

Keep him a baby still taking his nap. 
Do n't you chastise him for any mishap ; 

^55 



Keep Him a Baby 

When he falls ofF a sofa or chair. 

Do n't stop his crying by calling a bear. 

Keep him a baby and do as I say ; 

Take him to ride in his carriage each day ; 

Show him the bossie, the horse and the bow-wow ; 

Soon you will hear him say "moo !" to the cow. 

Keep him a baby : he '11 soon be a boy. 
Then he '11 forsake every plaything and toy; 
Keep him a baby — he '11 soon be a man. 
Keep him a baby as long as you can. 



156 



ANGELINY 

COME right hyar, yo' Angeliny ; 
Chile, yo' jes' gib me de bUies. 
What yo' doin' ? tryin' to try me 

Warin' out dem bran new shoes ? 
Yase yo' is, 'deed yo' is, 

Doan yo' dar talk back to me, 
Kase I know yo' is. 

Whar' yo' gwine to play dis tennis ? 

Who yo' playin' tennis wid; 
Playin' wid dat Irish Dennis, 

Well fo' yo,' chile, dat yo's hid. 
Come right squar out Pom dar. 

Out Pom dar hin' dat dar bed ; 
Now, go comb yo' har. 

Angeliny ! Angeliny ! 

Doan yo' hyar me callin' yo' ? 
Need n't tink dat yo' slip by me, 

Min', gal, I 'se daid on tah yo'. 
157 



Angeliny 

Come right squar in t'om dar, 

Yo' kaint play wid dem low white trash. 
Now, my gal, see hyar. 

Whar's yo' music edgecashun ? 
Git to dat piannah dar 
Play dat lubly strabaganzah 

Dat yo' calls de Maiden's Pra'r. 
Lan' a-libin', chile, do yo' 

Want de folks in dis hyar neighbo'hood 
Tink yo 's Irish too ? 



IS8 



DE EYARFQUAKE 

T^E eyarfquake a-shakin' 
-^-^ Jes' a short time ago 
Was Belzabub a-pullin' 

Out de clinkers down below. 
So yo' bettah drap yo' sinnin', 
Kase ol' Satan he 's a-grinnin', 
Bime-by de big saxafhone 

Am shuahly gwine to blow. 

Cose yo 's laffin now, 

Bekase it 's mighty still. 
Bime-by she gwine ter shake 

Wid a pow'ful heavy chill; 
An' de ole bell in de towah 
'S gwine to fall down wid de powah. 
An' de millstones go dancin' 

Roun' de bottom ob de mill. 

Some day dar 's gwine ter open 
De bigges' kin' ob crack, 
159 



The Eyarfquake 

An' dis hyar coon 's a-hopin' 

Dat de Lord won't hoi' yo' back, 
'Speshly Jaspah Jones McClellan, 
'Yo 's de one I 'se bin a-tellin' 
'But de use of bad profanity 
An' also plug terbac. 

'Fore de debbil shake 

De furnace down agin, 
Yo' bettah ask de Lord 

To rid yo' ob yo' sin, 
Kase when Satan wants some fuel 
To warm up his brimstone gruel 
He '11 ope de furnace do' 

An' de draP '11 suck yo' in. 

Doan be loafin' now 

An' shootin' craps aroun' ; 

Yo' bettah be a-tryin' on 

De white probashion gown ; 

Fus' yo' know all ob a sudden 

Mos' yo' coons '11 take to scuddin' 

An' dose cushun feet 

Dey '11 nevah tech de groun'. 



i6o 



PRESQUE ISLE 

T TOW well I remember the day that I spent 

On that far away island where all is content ; 
When sweet from the woodland, 'midst bramble and 

brake. 
The birds caroled on — it seemed just for our sake. 
Oh, where on this orb is a spot that we feel 
The rapture of loving as on the Presque Isle ? 

I laved in her looks and I bathed in her smiles. 

Nor thought of the nook where the serpent beguiles ; 

I watched the calm glow of her passionate cheek. 

As in maidenhood only those blushes can speak. 

How I ardently knelt at her feet to reveal 

The love that was born far away on Presque Isle. 

When the stars had come out in the clear noi-thern 

skies 
They but beamed on my soul, ah ! less bright than 

her eyes. 
And I turned in despair from the orbs up above 
To gaze in the eyes of an angel of love. 
i6i 



Presque Isle 

Our lips met, oh ! why should we longer conceal 
Our love on that rapturous, star-lit Presque Isle ? 

I 'm still looking back on that island to-day. 

But my lips they are mute — I have nothing to say. 

Except that my soul I claim as my own, 

Tho' my soft auburn hair is all scatter'd and strown. 

And after each cyclone in silence I kneel 

And pray for an earthquake to sink the Presque Isle. 



162 



BEULAH LAND 

/^BER de ribber in Beulah Lan' 
^^^ De lubly angels in white robes stan'j 
Dey beckon me dar, I kin hyar de ban', 
Ober de ribber in Beulah Lan'. 

Ober de ribber what sights I see ! 
Somebody Stan's dar a-waitin' fo me; 
Stan's on de sho' ob dejaspah Sea, 
A-callin'; he says dar 's res' fo' me. 

Ober de ribber I soon mus' go. 
Weary ob waitin' fro' all dis woe ; 
An' when my journey is ended I know 
Dat de Good Shepherd will open de do'. 

Ober de ribber my soul takes wing, 

De songs ob Zion I hyar 'em sing; 

When tuned to de harps how our voices will ring 

Close 'roun' de frone ob de Hebenly King. 

Ober de ribber dey beckon to me, 
De ribber dat flows to de Jaspah Sea ; 
163 



Beulah Land 

Ober de ribber you all mus' know 

Dat de Good Shepherd will open de do'. 

Den we '11 shout glory an' praise 'im an' sing 
*Long up de golden streets, how it will ring; 
Close to de Massa fo'evah we '11 stan', 
Ober de ribber in Beulah Lan'. 



164 



THE BLACKBIRD AND THE 
THRUSH 

44 TT 'S my idee," a blackbird said. 
As he sat in a mulberry bush, 
*'It 's my idee, it seems to me, 
I can warble as well as a thrush." 

•' Let 'er go, let 'er go," said a carrion crow. 
As he swung on an old clothesline, 

"For I won't budge, but I '11 act as judge. 
And the winner I '11 ask to dine." 

In a minor key the thrush sang he, 

'Way up in an elm remote. 
And twice and thrice like paradise 

Songs welled from the warbler's throat. 

Then a rooster he, in his usual glee. 

Flew up on the barnyard fence. 
And he crowed and he crowed ; then he said : 
"I '11 be blowed 
If that is n't simply immense." 
-<5S 



The Blackbird and the Thrush 

Then the blackbird, well, he listened a spell 

And began in garrulous run. 
But he was n't admired, for a farmer tired — 

Well, he up and fired a gun. 

Then the black crow said, as he rested his head 
** I want to go somewhere and die." 

And a young cock-a-too said: ** I do, too," 
And a partot said : ** So do I." 



(66 

\ 



DE SPRING-HOUSE 

I A OWN to de spring-house am whar I long to 
^-^ wandah — 

De ole do' a-creakin' as hit swings to en fro, 
Down to de spring-house standin' ovah yondah, 
Standin' ovah yondah in de long time ago. 

Down by de spring-house de lilacs am a-bloomin' ; 
Hollyhocks a-noddin' an' honeysuckles thick. 
Down by de spring-house I listen to de lowin'. 
An' reckon de ole brindle cow am wadin' up de 
creek. 

Down by de spring-house once again I 'm walkin'; 
Yellah cream 'pon de shef, kain't let it be. 
Down in de spring-house no use in talkin' — 
Col' greens an' hog-jole's good enufF fo' me. 

Down to de spring-house missus comes a-callin', 
or hound 's a-bahkin an' massa 'gins ter shout. 
Down in de spring-house what a caterwaulin' — 
Jais sort a-waitin' fo' de niggah to come out. 
167 



De Spring-House 

Down by de spring-house blackbirds eat de cherry. 
Wasp suck de honeysuckle, clovah feed de bee. 
Down in de spring-house niggah nevah worry — 
Down in de spring-house am good enufF fo' me. 



1 68 



UNDER OBLIGATIONS 

A NEGRO parson's CHRISTMAS SERMON. 

T NOTICE dat de weddah 's rathah chilsome, mo' 

or less. 
An' I notice dat de back-log so't o' crackles. Lor' 

bress ? — 
Ole Crimp is on de tuhnpike an' de fross is on de 

faince 
An' Sant' Claus '11 soon be hyah, so chillun, hab 

saince. 

I seed 'im on Ole Massa's rufF; twar jais de oddah 

night, 
Wid a span ob balky reindyahs, bofe um dapple gray 

an' white. 
Dey war hitched to a monsus lookin' alligatah sleigh. 
An' filled wid gifts fo' de chillun, piled ebery which 

un way. 

Hab any ob yo' chillun bin a-sinnin' ? 
Or a-sassin' yo' suppearyahs, or a-grinnin' ? 
Yo' bettah read yo' Bible 'bout ole Moses an' delaws, 
Foh yo's undah obligashuns to Ole Santa Claus, 
171 



Under Obligations 

How many ob yo' chillun bin a-tendin' to de church ? 
An' done made up yo' minds to leabe de debbil in de 

lurch, 
Hab yo' tended up to Sunday-school, an' listen' d to 

yo' teachah ? 
Does yo' always drap a nickel to try an' spote yo' 

preachah ? 

Am yo' wilful to yo' faddah or yo' muddah ? 
Does yuh pestervate yo' sistah or yo' bruddah ? 
Yo' bettah change yo' tacticks cause, well, jess be- 
cause 
Yo's undah obligashuns now to Ole Santa Claus. 

Kin yo' ansuah all dese questions dat yo' pastah has 

perferd ? 
Ef yo' kaint, yo' bettah hang yo' haids en nevah say 

a word ; 
Foh yo' pastah sort ob reckons dat de debbil' s bin bo' n 

in yuh 
An' when ole Santa Claus comes roun' he '11 surely 

be agin yo'. 

So, ef any ob yo' chillun bin a-sinnin'. 
Or a-sassin' yo' suppearyahs, or a-grinnin', 
Yo' bettah read yo' Bible, do n't yo' hesitate or pause, 
Kase yo's undah obligashuns to Ole Santa Claus. 
172 



CLEOPATRA AND CHARMIAN 

T 'M dying, yes, Charmian, dying, 
I'm dying to stroll out awhile. 
This eve we '11 go down to the Cydnus 
And scare up some old crocodile. 

I swear by the Priests of Serapis 
This Egypt just gives me the blues. 

It seems that my only companions 
Are crocodiles, storks, and emus. 

I 'm so melancholy and stupid. 

Sweet maid should I drop in a doze, 

I pray you loosen my sandals 

And pull ofF these long silken hose. 

Bring me the asp in the lattice box 
That Tony caught down in the Nile. 

Pinch up his tail with a small carob stick 
And then let him wiggle awhile. 

Last night my pet lion, Augustus, 
Was howling for something to eat — 

175 



Cleopatra and Charmian 

Why under the sun do n't they feed him 
That slave with the pigeon-toed feet ? 

To-day you must polish those idols. 
The buhl-headed idols — and more. 

Just see that those lubberly eunuchs 
Do n't spit on my porphry floor. 

You 're getting infernally lazy 

And looking so peeked and white. 

See here, miss ! Does that jay from Memphis 
Think you can sit up every night ? 

I vow, I believe you 're weak-minded. 
Your brain seems to be in a whirl. 

Next week I '11 go down to Miletus 
And look up a new hired girl. 

Go bring me my old mother hubbard. 

And also those Indian balms ; 
Come, let us go down in the gardens 

And bask 'neath those lovely dhoum palms. 

Bring also my pearl brooch and necklace. 

Dear, lazy, old Ethiope girl ! 
Some wine of Ramesian vintage 

I '11 mix up a nectar of pearl. 
176 



Cleopatra and Charmian 

We' U drink to Osiris and Isis 

The great Sphinx of Theban renown. 

Old Cheops, the father of pyramids. 
The Ptolemies, then to the crown. 

By Pthah ! let us try the new poison 
On some of our new Roman stock. 

I 'd like to tip over some pyramid 
And give the old mummies a shock. 

What 's that ? Who seeks for admission ? 

Was that a fog horn I heard blow ? 
Can Tony be nearing the castle ? 

Just look, Charmian dear, ere you go. 

Have something good, dearie, for breakfast. 
But you know what pleases me most — 

Some pelican's eggs, a la Cairo, 
And fried phenicopters on toast. 

Remember about rising early. 
Get up with the wagtail at four. 

So smother the glim in the hallway. 
And lock up the back kitchen door. 



177 



BUT THEN 

JOHN OSWALD MuGUFFIN he wanted to die 
'Nd bring his career to an end ; 
Of course, well — he did n't say nothin' to me — 

But that 's what he told every friend. 
So one afternoon he went down to the pier, 
'Nd folks saw him actin' most terribly queer ; 
He prayed 'nd he sung, put his hand up to cough 
An' every one thought he was a-goin to jump off — 
But he did n't. 
He may jump tomorrer 
Mornin' at ten — 
Said he was goin' to 
Try it again — 
But then. 

John Oswald he said he was tired of the earth — 
Of its turmoil and struggle and strife— 

'Nd he made up his mind a long, long time ago 
He was just bound t' take his own life ; 

'Nd the very next time 'at he started to shave, 
1 78 



But Then 

Determined to die, he wus goin' t' be brave ; 
So he stood up 'nd flourished the knife in despair 
'Nd every one thought 'at he 'd kill himself there — 

But he did n't. 

He says 'at tomorrer 

Mornin' at ten 

He has a notion to 

Try it again — 

But then. 

He went and bought arsenic, bought paris green, 

*Nd cobalt 'nd all kinds of stuff 
'Nd he took great delight in leaving it 'round — 

Of course that was done for a bluff — 
Then he rigged up his room with a horrible thing. 
That would blow his head off by pullin' a string. 
Folks heard the explosion — rushed up — on his bed 
John Oswald was lyin'. They whispered, ** He 's 
dead." 

But he was n't. 

He riz up 'nd said : 

Could n't say when 

He 'd fully decide to 

Try it again 

But then. 



179 



PINKEY 

T RECKON wintah's goin' 

It 's rainin' 'sted of snowin'. 
I tale yo* dar's no knowin' 
Jes' whar dis chile '11 go. 

Might go to Souf Kyarlina, 
An' summah dar wid Dinah ; 
I guess I 'd cut a shine 

Among de coons I know. 

Den dar 's my good ol' massa 
'Way down in Tallahassie. 
He ain't fo'got dis sassie 
Chile dat used to sing. 

De why he call me **Pinkey" 
Was de colluh ob my crinkey 
Frock I wore so shrinky 

When I use to dance de flinj 
i8o 



Pinkey 

We gals out in de moonshine 
Would dance de good ol' coonjine. 
An' dreckly den we 'd soon fin' 
Dat missus heah de noise. 

Den mighty quick she 'd hurry 
Down dar all in a flurry. 
An' fin' dis huckleberry 

A-dancin' fo' de boys. 

An' den de way she 'd take me. 
An' land ob goodness, shake me ! 
or missus raised an' brake me. 
No wondah I 'se so good. 

or missus used to tell me 
Dat like de cows she 'd bell me. 
Or else she 'd done go sell me 
To Yankees, I 'se so rude. 

I 'membah Rasmus Biddle, 
As black as auntie's griddle; 
He used to play de fiddle. 

An' feet ! umh ! a holy show. 

An' dar was Luke an' Jaspah, 
Lucindy, Jude an' Caspah, 
i8i 



Pinkey 

Dat ignominyus, 'aspah- 

Ratin', on'ry lookin' moke. 

Dat ol' cush-footed, cramp-back, 
Dat essence ob ol' lampblack, 
Dat inside yih ! yih ! ob a smokestack. 
Us gals we called 'im smoke. 

An' dat new coon f 'om Cuba, 
Dat use to play de tuba. 
He used to pat de juba. 

While I dance de Mobile buck. 

De ole banjo was a-pingin' 
An' dat pink frock a-swingin', 
Dis yaller chile a-wingin', 

Jes' hoein' down fo' luck. 

I ain't no Mobile niggah, 

I cut no Mobile figgah. 

But when yo' pull de triggah 

Yo' pestah dese heah shoes. 

An' when de fiddle's scrapin', 
Dar 's too much music 'scapin', 
I 'sc got to git to shapin' 
Myself or git de blues. 
182 



Pinkey 

Yo' wondah dat I 'se weary 
Fro all dese days so dreary, 
Dar ain't one fing dat 's cheery 
'Bout Shcawgo life fo' me. 

Dat 's de raison dat I 'se goin', 
Jes' as soon 'zit quits a-snowin'. 
An' de col' win' stops a-blowin'. 
Back to ole Kyarlina State. 

Dar de ivy am a-creepin' ; 
Whar my po' ole muddah 's sleepin' ; 
Missus — 'scuse me kase I 'se weepin'.. 
Seems as if I could n't wait. 



183 



THE BUNG TOWN CANAL 

"r^O you remember, Tom, Billy, and Sal, 

^^ The old swimmin' days in the Bung Town Canal ? 

The big millin' logs fast asleep on its banks. 

We used to jump ofF of and cut up odd pranks 

In our tropical costume. We used to make Sal 

Go home when we swum in the Bung Town Canal. 

I never '11 forget it, an' 'tween you an' me. 
You 'member the place where the mill uster be? 
We had a long spring-board out there 'n we 'd scud 
An' jist go head foremost clean inter the mud. 
I may fergit some things, but I never shall 
Fergit them old times 'round the Bung Town Canal. 

Nobody need never say nothin' to me 
'Bout the Blue Danube River er banks of the Dee, 
They can 't perduce sights like some 'at I 've seen 
Crawlin' up on its banks and off in the green 
Old marsh where the scum and malarier are, 
'S the pizenest things in the world out in there. 
184 



The Bung Town Canal 

Me an' John Price caught the gol blamedest thing. 
With six legs an' four fins 'n a yaller-jack sting. 
Two eyes in its head an' two horns in its tail. 
An' it carried a shell on its back like a snail. 
So we tuck it home an' skeer'd mother an' Sal 
'Ith what we fished out of the Bung Town Canal. 

Once they 's a stranger 'at jest took a drink 

From the BungTown Canal, an' course he didn't think 

What he was doin', an' after awhile 

He went an' turned yeller, as yeller as bile; 

So doctors all went to perscribin' fer him, 

Makin' his chances a blamed sight more slim. 

What they all said was that he had a snaik 
Way down in his stummick an' he better take 
One or two whiskeys 'fore eatin' each meal. 
Then in a week er two mebbe he 'd feel 
Better. So natcherly he tuck to drink, 
Usin' rye whiskey 'bout three months, I think. 

Course havin' snaiks in the stummick is tough. 
But snaiks is a-knowin' when they 've got enough. 
So gittin' dissatisfied, most of 'em fled. 
Some hid in his boots and some got in his bed. 
I argied the pint 'at he never 'd a died 
If they 'd a jest let 'em be on the inside. 
i8s 



The Bung Town Canal 

We buried him there where the low grasses creep. 
In a bed of pond-lilies we put him to sleep, 
Where the meddy-larks sing and the cry of the loon. 
An' the rice-hen is singin' a dolefuller tune. 
We left him alone, after writin' his gal 
Concernin' his death an' the Bung Town Canal. 

Oh, them barefooted days an' the spot where I 'd lay 
An' jest steeped my hide in the glory o' day, 
A-hearin' the bulrushes whisper an' sigh. 
An' watchin' the shadder-clouds hurryin' by. 
How I long to go back there, with some old-time pal, 
'N dive off once agin in the Bung Town Canal. 



i86 



DE MASSA 

I ^E Massa to de shepa'd say : 
■^■'^Go call de sheep dat's gone astray. 
De night is col' I hear de win', 
A shakin 'gin my winder blin' ; 
Dars some po' sheep dat's gone astray. 
Go call 'em in, Cu-dey ! Cu-dey ! 
Cu-dey ! Cu-dey ! Cu-dey ! 

De shepa'd said de night was col'. 
But all de sheep was in de fol'. 
** I called 'em in at set ob sun ; 
Dey all come runnin' sep de one 
Dat 's always wanderin' away. 
An' never minds de call Cu-dey ! 
Cu-dey ! Cu-dey ! Cu-dey ! " 

De massa then went fro' de gloom, 
Ob medder fields. De autumn moon 
Was dodgin' roun' behin' a cloud. 
But still he goes a-callin' loud. 
For dat one sheep dat 's gone astray. 
I hyar him call, " Cu-dey ! Cu-dey ! 
Cu-dey ! Cu-dey ! Cu-dey 1" 
187 



De Massa 

He listens long to hyar de soun', 
F'om some ole wedder pokin' roun', 
Dat's gone to res' down in de dell, 
An' wanderin' roun' has los' his bell ; 
Tho' softer now so far away, 
I hyar him call, "Cu-dey ! Cu-dey ! 
Cu-dey ! Cu-dey ! Cu-dey !" 

But furder on in gloom an' damp. 
Upon de border ob de swamp ; 
So chill' d by dew and autumn win's. 
Right dar de po' los' sheep he fin's ; 
He lifts him up, an leads de way, 
Yit I hyar massa's echo say, 
*• Cu-dey ! Cu-dey ! Cu-dey ! Cu-dey ! 
Cu-dey ! Cu-dey ! Cu-dey ! " 

An' all night long de win' an' rains. 
An' hail against de winder panes. 
In dreams I hyar de massa call 
De wanderin' sheep, he knows 'em all. 
He pints de road, an' shows de way 
An' ever Stan's an' calls, ** Cu-dey ! 
Cu-dey ! Cu-dey ! Cu-dey ! Cu-dey ! 
Cu-dey ! Cu-dey ! Cu-dey !" 

iSS 



COONIE IN DE HOLLER 

/^OONIE in de holler hidin' hin' de logs, 
^^ Little picaninies ketchin' pollywogs. 
Banjo am a ping ping pingin'out a tune, 
Ebery t'ing am lubly as a day in June. 

Ping, ping, ping, banjo am a-pingin'. 

Sing, sing, sing, yaller gals a-singin'. 
Wing, wing, wing, ain 't dat wingin' fine ? 

De same ole step in de ole coonjine. 

Cindy in de kitchen tryin' out de lard, 
Jusy in de do' way, rakin' up de yard, 

Jaspah am a-pickin' on de ole banjo 

An' he am a-singin' ** I'se gwine home to Clo." 

Coonie in de holler done gone up a tree. 
An' he am a-hidin' whar no one can see. 

But he know his bizness nuff not to come down, 
Kase he know him likely meet dat frocious houn*. 

Coonie in de holler, hark, I hyar a gun. 
Git a-goin' Rasmus, Jube git up an' run, 
189 



Coonie In De Holler 

All de foolish niggahs runnin' till dey pant. 
Bet my bottom dollah Rube has treed an ant. 

'* Pee, wee, wee," pee wees in de cedars. 
Bluebirds come, robins an' de leaders, 

Cudder-rudder-rung, bullfrog just now sung, 

Hyar dat distant thundah ; guess dat spring am 
sprung. ^ 



190 



AFTER WEIDENFELLER GOES 

TT 's goin' to be blamed lonesome after Weiden- 

feller goes ; 
Catastrofies are follerin' right and no one knows 
What's goin' to happen next, for banks are bustin' 

every day 
An' now we hear the woeful news that Weid's agoin' 

away. 

Weid agoin' ! think o' that ! not goin' up above. 
Nor out upon Midway Plaisance, that spot the boys 

all love. 
Or goin' to Californy or out to Idaho, 
But yet they say he 's goin' away, that 's why we 're 

filled with woe. 

O' course he ain't goin' to die or anything like that, 
He 's simply got his sal'ry raised and kind o' 

•'standin' pat" 
With — I believe it 's with the boss; I 'm bamed if I 

can tell ; 
But I know Weid 's goin' away — know that mighty 

well. 

191 



After Weidenfeller Goes 

I know the Club '11 miss 'im lots; so all the fellers here 
Are gathered 'round the festal board to-night to give 

'im cheer. 
An' send 'im off in proper shape, which only goes 

to show 
We 're mighty glad he 's prosperin' but sad to see 

'im go. 

I 've stood upon the wild sea banks, afar in Michigan, 
Just left its sandy shores this morn to be here once 

again — 
Back here to meet our dear old friend, with heart chock 

full of woe — 
An' do n't that show I 'm mournin', too, cause Weid 

has got to go ? 

God bless 'im, and let fortune smile and cheer 'im 
on each day. 

Suckers and fame still tag 'im on an' get right in 
his wav. 

So if the Club 'pears lonesome when the frosts are 
comin' on. 

We '11 sit around an' say it 's jest 'cause Weidenfel- 
ler' s gone. 



193 



ZACCHEUS 

r^ ACCHEUS dim' up de sycamo' tree, 
^~^ A-waitin' fo' de good Lo'd ter come. 
Den' 'e looked up de road jes' fur as he could see, 

A-waitin' fo' de good Lo'd ter come. 
Oh, Zaccheus knew he could done see de bes', 
Ef 'e dim' up de tree he could ovahlook de press. 
An' 'haps 'e could sleep an git a leetle res', 

While a-waitin' fo' de good Lo'd ter come, 
Waitin' fo' de good Lo'd ter come elong come, 

A-waitin' fo' de good Lo'd ter come. 
He could ovahlook de press. 
An' 'e git a leetle res' 
While a-waitin' fo' de good Lo'd ter come. 

Ole Zaccheus set on de bow ob de tree 
Waitin' fo' de good Lo'd ter come, 

A long time ago in de ole Judee, 

A-waitin' fo' de good Lo'd ter come. 

Along about noontime en ebbery ting clear. 

Word went around dat de Lo'd was drawin' near, 
193 



Zaccheus 

En de press begun to jostle en de multitude to cheer 

While a-waitin' fo' de Lo'd ter come, 
Waitin' fo' de good Lo'd to come elong come, 
A-waitin' fo' de good Lo'd ter come. 
When de Lo'd was drawin' near. 
How de folks begun to cheer. 
While a-waitin' fo' de good Lo'd ter come. 

When de Lo'd come elong 'e said to Zach, 

Waitin' fo' de Lo'd ter come, 
** I 'se pow'ful glad yo 's heah, I am, fo' a fac'," 

Waitin' fo' de Lo'd ter come. 
"So come right down hyah outen dat tree, 
Yo *s jes' de berry pusson I 'se lookin' fo' ter see. 
Dis day I abide at de house wid thee," 

Waitin' fo' de good Lo'd ter come. 
Waitin' fo' de Lo'd ter come elong come, 

A-waitin' fo' de good Lo'd ter come, 
De republican an' sinnah. 
Took de Lo'd home to dinnah, 
Waitin' fo' de Lo'd ter come. 

Now Zaccheus he was an Israelite, 

Waitin' fo' de good Lo'd ter come. 

En he lived in a mansion way out o' sight 
While waitin' fo' ide Lo'd ter come. 
194 



Zaccheus 

En Zach knew de Lo'd knew he had stuff" 
Enhewondah'd ef de Lo'd was dun makin' 'im a bluff. 
But de Lo'd went home wid Zach shuah enuff", 

A-waitin' fo' de Lo'd ter comCo 
Waitin' fo' de good Lo'd ter come elong come, 
A-waitin' fo' de good Lo'd ter come — 
Oh, Zaccheus de sinnah. 
Took de good Lo'd to dinnah — 
A-waitin' fo' de good Lo'd ter come. 

Ole Zaccheus he was a shuah nuff" sinnah, 

Waitin' fo' de good Lo'd ter come. 
An' back in dem days was a seven time winner, 

A-waitin' fo' de Lo'd ter come. 
But de Lo'd told Zach he mus' gib to de po' 
En neber let a beggah man pass his do'. 
Den Zach he said: "I will Lo'd, sho'," 

While a-waitin' fo' de good Lo'd ter come. 
Waitin' fo' de good Lord ter come elong come. 

A-waitin' fo' de good Lo'd ter come. 
So gib me de po' 
Dat pass by yo' do'. 
While a-waitin' fo' de good Lo'd ter come. 



I9S 



A RETROSPECTION 

T 'SE a sittin' neaf de ole magnolia tree 

So't o' thinkin' ob de times dat used to be. 

In de huckleberry patches 

When we heah'd the steamah Natchez, 
An' de white folks all u'd hustle down to see. 
Dar was Missy Elenor an' Julie Ann, 
An' Haidee Lee, who lived wid Uncle Dan. 

But she went and run'd away. 

An' de folks set up an' say 
Dat she 'loped off wid a wicked no' then man. 

Po' Cindy she is daid, and Aunty Mary 
Doan do nuffin' now but sate aroun' en worry; 

En ebery night she say 

She 'specks to go next day. 
But her disease ain' one dat 'pears to hurry. 
De doctors seems es ef dey had n't made out 
What 't is das makes ole aunty look so played out; 

But de time she will consume 

Turnin' Heaven into gloom 
Will make de Lo'd repent when sh 's done laid out. 
196 



A Retrospection 

Missie Elenor she married Col. Paxton, 

An' de scandal 'bout the colonel do n't be axin*. 

But dey say, I undahstan', 

Dat he done shot off his han', 
Jes' to keep from jinin' good ole Stonewall Jackson. 
An' Julie Ann dat talk like she was hoarse, 
Dat huzzy she 's done gone an' got divorce. 

Dey lived in Chicamauga 

Till she moved up to Chicagah, 
Kase tings is mighty cheap up dar ob course, 

Yo' 'membah Haidee Lee ? I undahstan' 

Dat she 's trablin' roun' de country wid a band. 

An' heah she sort o' prances 

Wid a skirt an' thinks she dances. 
Did you evah, evah, goodness land ! 
Wid de 'vantages dey used to hab en' see 
How dem girls was all turned out. Now can it be 

Dat cussidness is sown. 

Or is it in de bone ? 
Well, hit mus' be in de family, seems to me. 



197 



ST. PATRICK'S DAY 



M 



"AVOURNEEN, swate Isle, 
'I am lonely widout thee, 
I sigh for your hills an' your calm sky so blue ; 
Share I niver had cause 
One shmall moment to doubt thee. 
An' whin I 'm not thinkin' I 'm dhreamin' of you- 

Chorus. 

So lads, whin I call ye's. 

Come sing your •* Come all Ye's," 
Ah ! here 's to ould Ireland, byes, ivery toime : 

Och, coleens, be aisy. 

Your dhrivin' me crazy. 
What day of our counthry is one half so foine ? 

St. Patrick's the day, shure. 

It was in the mornin', 
An' oh ! how it graved me, Mavourneen, to part ; 

But I left ye's, as I 

Left me mother, a-mournin' 
An' kissin' the shamrock she placed near me heart. 
198 



St. Patrick's Day 



I 'm oorry I left ye's 

To cross the deep wather. 
For the game that I 've played wid misfortune's v 
draw ; 

But do n't ye be ailin', 

I '11 soon be a-sailin' 
Away to the Isle of swate ** Erin go Bragh." 

Then lend me the harp 

And I'll wake ♦* Tipperary," 
Sing "By Killarney " wid " Noreen Maureen" ; 

The shamrock I 'm pressin'. 

An' while I 'm confessin' 
I'mpraisin' St. Patrick an' "wearin' the green." 



J99 



INJUN SUMMAH 

"F^E Injun summah's comin', 
"^^^De bees is all froo hummin', 
De watah-mellon thumbin' 

Has passed long time ago. 
De ole clock in de kitchen 
Is tickin* mos' bewitchin'. 
While Gabe is out unhitchin' 

Just kase it looks like snow. 

De lambs is runnin' over 
De aftahmath ob clovah. 
An' yondah comes de drovah ; 

I 'spec he ' got a yahn 
About de ole bell-weddah 
Dat's wand'rin roun' de meddah 
An' wants ter git togeddah 

Wid de sheep up roun' de bahn„ 

Some days de sun is shinin'. 
Some days de win' is whinin', 

2CX) 



Injun Summah 

An' den I'se after fin'in' 

Big pippins on de groun' ; 
De birds hab all stopped singin', 
Wil' geese is soufward wingin', 
Jes' look an' see 'em stringin' 
Whar warmah weddah's foun'. 

De yaller cat is nappin' 

En layin' roun' an' gappin' ; 

Bimeby he will be slappin' 

Some tom-cat on de wall. 
Dar's a mellah, yellah glory 
Kase de yeah is ol' an' ho'ry. 
An' a melancholy story 

So't o' hangin' roun' us alL 



20I 



'CAUSE IT'S GITTIN' SPRING 

' I "*HE medder lark is pipin' forth a sweeter note to 

me. 
And I hear the pewees over yonder in the cedar tree ; 
The popple leaves is quiv'rin' 'cause the wind is in 

the west. 
And the robin's 'round a-hookin' straws to build his- 

self a nes' ; 
The blackbird he 's a-flashin' up the crimson on his 

wing. 

What 's the reason ? 

Oh, the reason's 'cause it's gittin' spring. 

The old man's got therheumatiz an' stiff as he can be ; 
Why it do n'tgit settled weather's moah'n he can see ? 
But when it clears off splendid, then he's feared the 

crops is lost. 
An' he reckons jest a little wind 'ud keep away the 

frost. 
The kitchen door is open ; I can hear Elmiry sing. 
What 's the reason } 

Oh, the reason's 'cause it's gittin' spring. 
202 



'Cause It's Gittin' Spring 

The air is kind o' soft'nin' and you think it's goin* 
to storm ; 

Sometimes it's kind o' chilly, then again it comes ofF 
warm ; 

An' jest when it 's the stillest you can hear the bull- 
frog's note. 

An' it 'pears as if he wonder'd how the frost got in 
his throat. 

The ducks and geese are riotous, an' strainin' hard to 
sing. 

What 's the reason ? 
Oh, the reason's cause it 's gittin' spring. 



203 



DECORATE DE CABIN 

T *SE done gwine ter decorate mah cabin, 

Wid all de brick-er-brack I 'se been a-habbin'. 

Den I 'se boun' ter hunt er wife, 

'Deed I is, yo' bet yo' life. 
Dar 's nuffin like a woman roun' er blabbin'. 

I 'se gwine ter hang a coon skin on de do'. 
En hab some Turkey rugs roun' on de flo'; 

An' I nevah yet hab seen 

De ole cabin look ser clean, 
Ef yo' peep in dar some time yo '11 fin' it so. 

I los' mah wife las' summah, Jane Safras, 
Kase she done got up 'n blew out de gas. 

An' eber since her leabin' 

I 'se been a sort o' greebin. 
But I hope de one I 'se ketchin' now '11 las'. 

We 's gwine ter start right in to decoratin'. 
An' yo' '11 be surprised at what I 'm statin', 
204 



Decorate De Cabin 

She 's six feet high en taperin'. 
En out ob sight in paperin', 
I'se mighty glad I 'se been so long a-waitin'. 

We's gwine ter 'range de pictures on de wall — 
Yo' talk about a fine reception hall — 

Yo' ought to see de flowahs. 

En de chromios in ours, 
W'v, de white man's house ain' in de thing at all. 



205 



THE ULTIMATUM 

^^XT'OU can decorate your office 

•*■ With a thousand gilded signs. 
And have upholstered furniture 

In quaint antique designs ; 
Have the latest patent telephone 

Where you can yell * Hello ! ' 
But," said she, " I just made up my mind 

That typewriter must go. 

''You can stay down at the office. 

As you have done, after hours; 
And, if you are partial to bouquets, 

I '11 furnish you with flowers. 
You can spring the old club story 

When you come home late, you know. 
But, remember, I 've made up my mind 

That typewriter must go. 

'• You can let your bookkeepers lay off 
And see a game of ball ; 
206 



The LFltimatum 

The office-boy can leave at noon 

Or not show up at all. 
There — what is this upon your coat ? 

It is n't mine I know. 
I think I know a thing or two — 

That typewriter shall go." 



2C7 



DREAMY DAYS 

/^H ! the dreamy days of youth, 

^"■"^ In appearance how uncouth. 

As we waded through the frog ponds and 

The ditches. 
With big patches on each knee. 
And where they had n't ought to be. 
Oh ! the days when one suspender 

Held our breeches. 

Oh ! the dreamy days of yore. 

And the slippery cellar door. 

Oh ! that cherry tree whose fruit we oft 

Were testing. 
Then wc 'd wait till after tea. 
When we 'd sing with doleful glee. 
Oh ! how often mother made it 

Interesting. 



208 



WHEN THE STAGE GITS IN 

■pAP 'LL git a letter, 'nd Uncle Zed a book, 
•^ 'Nd Aunty Jane expects er magazine; 

'Nd school' II all be out, 

'Nd the children run 'nd shout. 
While a-playin' "one-old-cat" out on the green. 

An' the men 'at 's in the grocery store 

'LI come outside 'nd stand 
'Nd talk, 'nd look around 'nd grin ; 

Fer the folks down at the post-office 

A-standin' all around 
Are happy when the stage gits in. 

Ma has done the bakin', 'nd made some patty cakes, 
'Nd Lizzie has done the sweepin' all alone ; 

An' she 's dustin' up the furniture 

'Nd settin' things about, 
'Cause tomorry we 're expectin' Aunt Se'phrone. 

Nan has had 'er hair did up 

In papers all night long, 
209 



When The Stage Gits In 

'Nd to-day she 's a-frizzin' it agin ; 

I bet you any money she 's expectin' some one, too, 

'At '11 be here when the stage gits in. 

When you see the yaller cat begin a-washin' up. 
An' 'er hind leg pinted over that way, some 

Folkses aliens say it is 

The surest kind o' sign 
'At company is liable to come. 

'Nd when the parlor's opened a sort o' funny smell 
Comes 'cause the fire 's kindled up ag'in; 

We 're goin' to have a high old time 

'Nd all our relatives 
'111 be here when the stage gits in. 



THE CULTURED GIRL AGAIN 

OHE was so esthetic and culchud. 

Just doted on Wagner and Gluck ; 

And claimed that perfection existed 

In some foreign English bred duke. 

She raved over Browning and Huxley, 

And Tyndal, and Darwin, and Taine ; 

And talked about flora and fauna. 

And many things I can't explain. 

Of Madame Blavatski, the occult, 
Theosophy, art, and then she 

Spoke of the Cunead Sibyl 

And Venus de Med-i-che. 

She spoke of the why and the wherefore. 
But longed for the whither and whence ; 

And she said yclept, yip, yap and yonder 
Were used in alliterative sense. 

Well, I like a fool sat dumfounded. 

And wondered what she did n't know 

211 



The Cultured Girl Again 

'T was lo when I bade her good evening, 
I thought it in season to go. 

I passed her house yesterday evening, 
I do n't know, but it seems to me. 

She was chasing around in the kitchen. 
And getting things ready for tea. 

I heard her sweet voice calling : " Mother," 
It was then that I felt quite abashed. 

For she yelled, "How shall I fix the 'taters. 
Fried, lionized, baked, biled, or mashed ?" 



9t9 



DE CUSHVILLE HOP 

T 'SE gwine down to de Cushville hop 

An' dar ain' no niggahs gwine ter make me stop ; 
Missus gwine to deck me all up in white. 
So watch de step dat I 'se gettin' in ter night. 
Um-hm, my honey, tain' no use ; 
Um-hm, my honey, turn me loose, 
Um-hm, my honey, watch me shine 
When mah foot am a-shakin' in de ole coonjinc. 

No black niggahs come foolin* roun' me, 

I 'se jes' to look at, anyone can see ; 

I 'se jes' a orniment, an' I mus' 'fess 

No niggah put 'is ahm roun' mah snow-white dress 

Um-hm, niggah, keep away, understand ? 

Um-hm, niggah, look out fo' yo' hand ; 

I 'se jes' ter gaze at I must 'fess. 

So do n't put yo' ahm roun' mah snow-white dress. 

Bring out de banjo, plunk-plank-pling. 
Watch de motion of mah step 'an mah swing; 
213 



De Cushville Hop 

Do n't yo' pestah me or make me stop 
When I git in motion at de Cushville hop. 
Um-hm, niggah, keep away, keep away ! 
Um-hm, niggah, not ter day ! 
Keep away from me kase I done kain't stop : 
I 'se jes' caught mah motion fo' de Cushville hop. 



314 



I 



GORD ONLY KNOWS 

SAW an old beggar dis mawnin', Lucindy, 
De weathaw was col' an' bleak an' windy. 
An' de fros' took hold 
Ob de end ob his nose. 
Whar wus he goin' ? 
Gord only knows, chile, 
Gord only knows. 

All he had on was an ole woolen jacket. 

An* pants dat had done seed a mighty ha'd racket. 

His shoes war all out, 

Kase I saw his toes. 

Whar wus he goin' ? 

Gord only knows, chile, 

Gord only knows. 

He said his gran'chillun had turned him away, 
Wid nuffin' to eat on las' Thanksgibin' Day. 

Wid no ovahcoat. 

He looked about froze. 

Whar was he goin' ? 

Gord only knows, chile, 

Gord only knows. 

215 



Gord Only Knows 

He lifted his ban's, day was bony an' blue. 
An* axed me was dis hyar de main avenue. 

Den walked ovah dar 

To dose ten'ment rows. 

Had he friends in dar ? 

Gord only knows, chile, 

Gord only knows. 

I doan bleb in treatin' a gran' fader so, 

Kase some day it 's comin' right squar back yer know. 

An' when we grow ole 

An' come to de snows. 

Den who '11 keer fo' us? 

Gord only knows, chile, 

Gord only knows. 

Gord keeps account ob de sparrers dat fall. 
We Stan' a-waitin' we soon hyar him call. 

Gord brings de wintah, 

De rain an' de snows, 

Gord makes de win' blow. 

But jes' whar it goes, 

Gord only knows, chile, 

Gord only knows. 



216 



JES' TAKE MY ADVICE 

JES' a little sunshine, jes' a little rain, 
Jes' a little happiness, jes a little pain. 
Jes' a little verselet sounds mighty nice 
'Bout some oddah business; jes' take my advice. 

es' a little chicken-coop standin' neah de fence; 
es' a little dahkey, too, widout a bit ob sense ; 
es' a little pressin' by de fahmer on de triggah, 
es' a little 'splosion, den a perforated niggah. 

es' a little lazy coon 'roun' a-shootin' craps. 
Den a-buyin' policies 'roun' de lottery traps ; 
es' a little out ob cash, jes' a little stuck ; 
es' a little hungry, jes' a niggah's luck. 

es' a little bettin' on de faverite in de race ; 
es' a little ways behin', workin' hard fo' place; 
es' a little money won by dat oddah moke, 
es' a little ting like dat lef dis dahkey broke. 

es' a little pressin' on de latch, wid no one in ; 
es' a little jewelry, jes' a diamond pin; 
es' a little sheriff on a niggah's trail, 
es' sech little tings as dat got dis coon in jail. 
217 



PATRIOTISM AND A PENSION 

/^LE Fo'th objuly 
Am mighty close by, 
Kase I done smell powdah in de ahr ; 

An' de beatin' ob de drums 

When de regiment comes 
Sort o' 'minds me ob de times in de wah. 

I was chief ob a division 

Dat furnished de pervision. 
An' 1 done looked wid pride on mah troops; 

I haid em so well drilled 

Dat none ob dem got killed — 
Ouah bizness was inspectin' chicken coops. 

I was shot froo de lip. 

An' wounded in de hip. 
En fractuah'd mo' er less about de haid; 

At de trouble 'roun' Fo't Pickens 

I was skirmagin' fo' chickens. 
When mah foot slipt an' I fell oft" de shaid. 
218 



Patriotism and a Pension 

Gen'l Sherman gib us right 

To forage mos' de night. 
So dat 's why I 'se trompin' on dis paig. 

I was out abductin' salt. 

When somebody hollahed "halt!" 
An' de fool up an' shot me in de laig. 

Jais what I want ter mension 
Is, I want increase ob pension. 

An' I make mah affidavit fo' de judge 
Dat 1 was in comman' 
When a shell bust in mah hand. 

An' fo' fohty-seben days I could n't budge. 

I '11 stop, en hoi' mah peace, 

Ef I get a good increase ; 
I want mah pension bill increased to five ; 

Foh mah lip, en hip, an' hand. 

En mah haid, yo' unde'stan'. 
An' one jes' fo' comin' out alive. 



219 



THE OLD MUSICIAN'S FATE 

T TE played so many instruments 

A thousand won't express 
The number that he handled — why 

'Twas mor 'n that, I guess; 
An' when he got to playin' hard 

We couldn't make 'im stop; 
It seemed he did n't want to rest 

Er ever take a drop. 
He 'd look around fer things to play. 

Then walk up to the viol 
As if he 'd suddenly forgot. 

An' touch up that awhile. 
The mandolin was his best holt — 

He jest took the diploma 
With his Philomela, Tierra 

Del Fuego, La Paloma. 
He played an upright planner forte, 

A concert grand, or square. 
And he imitated Paddy 

Roofski, all accept the hair. 
220 



The Old Musician's Fate 

You should have heard him when he played 

Upon an old trombone 
That song about the moments when 

One wants to be alone. 
He played upon an ^olian. 

Told us how he used to roam 
An' play "Little Sally Waters" 

Ten thousand miles from home. 
He played a big church organ great. 

Played with his hands and feet. 
And often played the choir, too. 

Oh, it was just a treat. 
He played the jewsharp, hit the pipe. 

And worked the organette ; 
He played not only instruments. 

But everyone he met. 
He played 'em all; you should have heard 

Him jerk a grewsome tune 
And play those eozoic notes 

Upon a long bassoon. 
He played the soft guitar an' scraped 

The tuneful violin ; 
Old *' number five " was his best holt. 

He used to sit and grin. 
An' jest ketch up the instruments 

221 



The Old Musician's Fate 

One right after another ; 
It didn't make no difference. 

For one was good as t'other. 
Strange instruments — the lyre and lute 

And others that he tooted. 
You took your choice. He did n't care 

Whether he fifed or fluted. 
He'd rather play 'an anything. 

Unless it was to drink. 
Because he said it rested 'im 

An' gave 'im time to think. 
He made some curious instruments 

That nobody could play. 
And said 'at he would jest about 

Surprise us all some day. 
And so one time he fetched 'er out, — 

Of all the lookin' things. 
With harps an' horns attached to 'er 

An' run criss-cross with strings. 
He brought 'er forth an' sat 'er down 

As if he knew his biz. 
And when we asked him what it was ? 

He answered, " What it is." 
We laughed as we were seated. 'round ; 

I recollect 'twas June ; 

222 



The Old Musician's Fate 

It rained that spring, rained all this morn. 

And rained that afternoon. 
There seemed a touch of magic in 

The deftness of his hand ; 
A look about his pallid face 

We did n't understand. 
The instrument we noted much. 

It had such curious stringin'. 
The frets arranged in such a way ; 

He'd made it so for singin'. 
Then touching on a happy theme 

That carried us remote. 
To sunset lands, for melody 

Divine was in each note. 
We listened to the lullabies 

Till all were silent, stilled. 
In memory of the bygone days. 

The eyes of all were filled. 
Then on to sterner manhood and 

Old age. Ah ! how he played ! 
We saw again life's pathway, too ; 

But oh ! how far we'd strayed. 
Then on to sunken cheeks we pass. 

From life then on to glory. 

223 



The Old Musician's Fate 

O song ! O dirge ! O sainted theme ! 
Sad requiem to life's story. 

That pallid look now comes again. 

The tremors o'er him creep. 
His head falls back. Dead ? No, my friend. 

He 's simply gone to sleep. 



324 



THE PESSIMIST* 

TOOTHING to do but work, 
-^^ Nothing to eat but food. 
Nothing to wear but clothes 

To keep one from going nude. 

Nothing to breathe but air . 

Quick as a flash 'tis gone ; 
Nowhere to fall but off. 

Nowhere to stand but on. 

Nothing to comb but hair. 

Nowhere to sleep but in bed. 

Nothing to weep but tears. 

Nothing to bury but dead. 

Nothing to sing but songs. 

Ah, well, alas ! alack ! 
Nowhere to go but out. 

Nowhere to come but back. 

♦Sometimes published under the title "The 
Sum of Life."— Pubs. 
22S 



The Pessimist 

Nothing to see but sights. 

Nothing to quench but thirst. 

Nothing to have but what we've got; 
Thus thro' life we are cursed. 

Nothing to strike but a gait ; 

Everything moves that goes. 
Nothing at all but common sense 

Can ever withstand these woes. 



22(t 



A RECORD F'OM WAY 'BACK 

"\/'0' spose I'se gwine ter cuh-comb 
An' boddah wid dis nag 
Ef I low'd he was n't evah gwinter go ? 

Why chile, yo' make me tiahed ! 

Dis ve'y hoss was siahed 
By Pokehontas fohty yeahs ago. 

I 'se doctahed up his wheezin'. 

An' done stopped him ob his sneezin' ; 
En pahsley cuahed de spavin on his baik ; 

Ef he was n't quite so bulky, 

I'd put him 'foah de sulky. 
An' lait yo' see his motion on de traik. 

'Ceptin' froo de wintah, las' yeah 

I haid him out to pastuah ; 
But de famah said he did n't hab no saince. 

Dar 's nufBn '11 keep 'im quiet 

When he gits down on 'is diet. 
An' once 'e eat a whole bahb-wiah faince. 
227 



A Record F'om Way 'Back 

De way I come to buy 'im 

Was, de day I come to try 'im 
I 'se dumb-foundered wid de way he tuk de bit. 

An' as I was on mah way baik. 

He kerlided wid a hay stack. 
An' hi could n't coax 'is tenshun ofFen hit. 

Yo' notice dat he winks, sah. 

He 's comin' out de kinks, sah ; 
An' mine yo' doan go nyah his heels at all, 

Kase 'e's nuhvas an' 'e's dangus. 

An' speshly so to strangus. 
An' hi nevah 'low no pusson 'roun' 'is stall. 

He 's pow'ful fond ob grazin' 

An' his appytite's amazin' ; 
Dat 's a sho sign dat 'e's got good bottom to 'im. 

When I bought 'im 'e's so thin 

Dat 'e couldn't ketch 's win'. 
An' Rasmus, yo' could read a papah thro' 'im. 

I tale yo' he 's a hummah, 

'Low I '11 show de folks dis summah, 

Kase jes' now he aint feelin' zackly bright. 
When he gets 'is second win' sah, 
Yo' ought to see him spin, sah. 

Why, chile, dat hoss's reckod 's out ob sight. 
228 



THANKSGIBBIN IN OLE VIR- 
GINNY 

npER-DAY 'S Thanksgibbin', 
■*■ En good Ian' er libbin'. 
Go gib de old hoss er double mess o' co'n. 
Ole pot bubble 
Possum 's in trouble. 
An' we 's gwine ter feas' upon 'im sho 's yo' bo'n. 
Nigger wid de long straw he git de possum ; 

Nigger wid de nex' straw de jack rabbit ; den 
Nigger wid de nex' one he gets de turkey. 

But de short straw done draw de little Guinea hen. 
De little speckle' hen, 
De little Guinea hen. 
Little pickaninny has ter eat de Guinea hen. 

Ter-day 's Thanksgibbin', 
Good Ian' er libbin'. 
Po' ole beggah-man comes knockin' at de do' ; 
Gib 'im oiF yo' table 
Long as yo' is able, 
229 



Thanksglbbin In Ole Virginny 

Kase poverty an' hunger may sometime come to yo'. 
Darky wid de long straw he git de possum. 

Darky wid de nex' straw de jack rabbit ; den 
Darky wid de nex' one he git de turkey. 

But de short straw done draw de litttle Guinea hen. 
De little speckle' hen, 
De little Guinea hen, 
De short straw done draw de little Guinea hen. 



330 



GRAVE MATTERS 

"1X7 'EN dis ole man comes ter die. 

Death is mos' unsightly ; 
Doan' yo' lay me in no room 
Wid de pull-down curtain gloom ; 
'Taint de place de dead should stay 
Wen de spirit's gone away. 

Off ter where hit 's brightly. 

'Struct de pa' son 'fore he 'gins, 

Tetch the subject tritely ; 
Kase hit 's gen'ly undahstood 
I hain't been so pow'ful good; 
An' fo' him ter shout an' groan 
'Bout me settin' roun' de frone, 
'Low hit won't look rightly. 

Wen de fun'al 'gins ter start. 
Shove mah box in tightly. 
'Membah I is in de hearse; 
Yo' am comin', but I 'se firs'. 
33X 



Grave Matters 

Ef de mo'ners grieve and mope. 
So 's ter make de bosses lope. 
Keep de team up sprightly. 

Lowah me slowly in de grave ; 

Drap de earf down lightly. 
Needn't linger long, and, say, 
'Spense wid prayer 's de better way; 
Don't keer ef nobody sings. 
Jes' ter know de chu'ch bell rings 

'S gwine ter please me might'ly. 



as* 



COMIN' CHRISTMAS MORN 

T 'M goin' to start next Saturday; 

It won't take more 'n a day 
To visit the United States 

In my new toboggan sleigh. 
I 've sent Jack Frost ahead o' me 

To sort o' find a road. 
So my deers '11 find it easy 

'Cause I 've got an awful load. 

But they 've had lots o' exercise. 

An' know the way by sight ; 
I 've speeded them to Baffin's Bay 

An' back here 'fore 't was night. 
An' once I drove to Puget's Sound 

An' once to Behring Sea ; 
I had ter make a trip up there 

To get a Christmas tree. 

I wish 't you all could see my house. 
Built out o' cakes 'o ice ; 

233 



Comin' Christmas Morn 

I guess you think it cold inside. 
But no, it 's awful nice. 

All carpeted with sealskin rugs. 

An' ermine, mink and sable ; 

I 'm going to keep it furnished so 
As long as I am able. 

An' no gomphobers in the north 

Can steal 'round unawares. 
Because my castle 's guarded by 

Two great big polar bears. 
So if a burglar man should come 

An' try to break into it 
They 'ud squeeze his life out in a jif, 

I 've taught 'em how to do it. 

Just right around behind my house 

Is where I keep the toys, 
'At I am comin' south'ard with, 

Fer all good girls an' boys. 
My big cold storage warehouse stands 

Right by a frozen tarn. 
An' right along aside o' it 

I have my reindeer's barn. 

So never mind, they 're both piled full 
Of everything on earth, 

234 



Comin' Christmas Morn 

With Christmas gifts till you can't rest.. 

I do n't know what they 're worth. 
An' four big sea dogs set outside 

Two walruses, a seal 
That knows so much if you 'd come nigh 

He 'd be the first to squeal. 

The purtiest sight you ever saw, 

'S when things is lit up nights — 
You know we do n't have gas up here. 

But use the Northern Lights. 
An' forth from every icicle 

A dazzle spreads away 
That turns the hull big frozen zone 

Into one mighty day. 

From where I live I 'd have you know. 

It 's truth upon my soul, 
I do n't have very far to go 

To see the big North Pole, 
Where Uncle Sam has pinned his flag. 

There 's where the cold wind pipes. 
And flaunts the emblem of the brave. 

The proud old stars and stripes. 

I 'm coming, children, coming, yes. 
You ought to see my sleigh, 

235 



Comin' Christmas Morn 

And hear the tinkle, tinkle, as 

I speed along the way. 
Through forests bare, o'er snowy plains. 

As sure as you are born. 
Old Santa Claus is coming, and 

Will be here Christmas morn. 



336 



SAD FATE OF YIM YOHNSEN 

A Y been har een deese country 
Fern yar go laist week ; 
Ay been smart Norwehians — 
Ay keets on pooty quvick. 

Ven Ay kem har Ay see beg krode 

Of fallers, en Ay tal 
Ay vants mae go pooty bad 

To da Stockholm hotal. 

De bus mans say vere you kem fram ? 

Ay say by Kopenhagen. 
Hae puss mae rate troo krode 

An' get mae in his vagen. 

Next day get yob in engine-hus ; 

Dae fomans he like mae. 
Hae rase mae vadgses leeta vile ; 

Ay tank Ay stay vade hae. 

Ay get mae quainted nice gal. 

Her nam is Christina Yohnsen ; 

237 



Sad Fate of Yim Yohnsen 

She been har bote hawixteen yar. 
She kem hare bay Visconsen. 

She say she verk Saidgeveck street 
By da Norway hotel ; 

She got blue eye en some rade hair- 
Ay laka hare pooty val. 

Ay ask hare dake a street-car rade. 
She say she tank she voke ; 

Ay voke by hare to Lincoln Park 
En have a pooty good talk. 

She call mae hare partickley frande 

En den I tank she say, 
"Who vill be my papie 

Ven Yim is gone avay?" 

Pooty quvick she see vooman frande 
En den she say to mae : 

** Mister Yohnsen, please excoosemae. 
Ay vill meed yo' after tea." 

En leeta vile Ay tank Ay go 
To da Stockholm hotel. 

Ay meese mae money, vatch en chain ; 
Ay feel mae not real veil. 
23S 



Sad Fate of Yim Yohnsen 

Ay drink mae alcoholen. 

Bote fifteen glass, en svair ; 

Ay fight mae two policemans 

Ay tank Ay soon gets squair. 

Dae call patrolen vagen 

En Ay rade to da yail ; 

Ay stay mae dare 'bout fern day. 
Den Ay kem out on bail. 

Ay tell da yustice man abote 

De rade-head gal Ay seen ; 

Da krode of fallens laugh en say 
Dat ya is pooty green. 

Chicago konty vare bad place. 
Ay loose mae vadgses all ; 

Ay take mae trunk to depot train 
En go mae by Santa Pol. 



339 



LEGEND OF THE ST. JOSEPH 

'TpHERE 'S a place, 'pon my soul, 
-■' Called the " Old Devil's Hole," 
By the Chippewa chief. Black Otter, 
Who, when business was damp. 
Went into his camp. 
And filled up with fierce fire water. 

Then over the river 

Over the river 

He called to his squaw, Maumee, 

'• Go get my canoe. 

And you may come too, 

And bring little Walle-wo-ge." 

So off to the river 
They all flew the ground, 
''Black Otter" as brave as could be. 
And the little pappoose — 
He could n't get loose — 
Was strapped to the back of Maumee. 
240 



Legend of the St. Joseph 

They floated till dark. 

When the wolf's weird bark 

Frightened the wits of Maumee ; 

So she loosened the sack. 

Tied fast to her back. 

That contained little Walle-wo-ge. 

" Black Otter" bent low 

And reached for his bow. 

When the boat tipped up on its side. 

And in fell he, with his squaw Maumee ; 

And the boat set free, with Walle-wo-ge, 

Sped swiftly along with the tide. 

Down the swift river's tide 

The pappoose took a ride ; 

The canoe shot along like a rocket. 

But he lay there as snug 

As a bug in a rug. 

Or an old woolen glove in a pocket. 

On, on, out to sea 

Drifted Walle-wo-ge, 
With his face pointed up to the skies; 
And history says. 
Which is true, more or less. 
That the gray sea gulls pecked out his eyes. 
241 



Legend of the St. Joseph 

Black Otter was drowned 

And never was found ; 

But they say that old Squaw Maumee 

Waded back thro' the damp 

Of the marsh to the camp 

In search of her Walle-wo-ge. 

Came back thro' the swale. 

And the rain and the hail. 

By the side of the waters so blue. 

In search of her baby. 

To pick him up, may be, 

I wish this would all come out true. 

Her spirit distressed. 

She beat on her breast. 

For the poor old squaw's grief knew no bound; 

But Monets so swift. 

Bore her off in a skifF, 

To the land of the famed hunting ground. 

On the ninth of November, 
I hope you'll remember, 
A phantom one plainly can see 
Walk down from the hole. 
In search of the soul 
Of poor little Walle-wo-ge. 
242 



Legend of the St. Joseph 

Now, this is the legend 

Of this old-time region. 

And the tale of the Squaw Maumee, 

Likewise old Black Otter, 

Who fell in the water. 

And poor little Walle-wo-ge. 



343 



LITTLE JUDE 

"PO' little Jude, why, doan' yo' know 
■*■ Dat little chile ? A yeah ago 
Her muddah died. I reckon now 
'Twais jais las' spring I' se tellin' yo' 
'Bout little Jude. 

Po' little waif indeed she war ; 
An' how she cried, jes' out de crib 
Dat baby war an' her muddah died. 
Could walk an' run an' jabbah some, 
Dat little Jude. Hit make me cry. 
Tale yo' hit do, jes' when I tink 
'Bout little Jude. 

De fun'al day she war asleep, 
Tuckt in de crib, dat little chile 
Had on her bib — dat orfin Jude. 
De mo'ners come ; an' when dey pray 
Dat little Jude waked up an' say : 
" Mammie ! Mammie !" jes' dat way. 
Nobody know jes' what to do 
Wid little Jude. 
244 



Little Jude 

She cry so ha'd dey lif her down ; 
F'om room to room she toddled roun* 
A-cryin' : "Mammie ! come an' take 
Yo' little Judy dat 's awake — 
Yo' little Judy's wide awake." 
My Ian' ! de teahs come in my eyes ! 
But when she foun' her own high chaih, 
Dat had been hid an' pushed it up 
'Long side ob whah her muddah was. 
An' den climbed up an' pounded on 
De coffin-lid, I couldn't stan' 
De awful grief — de sobs an' teahs — 
An' little Jude, a-lookin' roun' 
Foh one dat now at las' she 's foun' — 
While, chile I kain't — I nevah will 
Fo'get dat day. 



245 



LITTLE PUCKEN SINGER 

\ E tank Ae gal bae *♦ ote a sate," 
She bae Little Pucken singen. 
Har eyes bae bright, lake stars bae nate. 
An bae gol, mae ears bae ringen 
Vare much, 
Ven Ae lave dae teeter hus. 

pes var fane gal bae drass in vate — 
She bae des contraldo singen. 

4e tank sometime sha bae yust lak 
Dere fairies tengs, vid clingen 
Drasses on, 

Ven Ae lave dae teeter hus. 

Des Bongs sha sings bae '* Do Ce Las," 

Bae des Spanish langvage written 
Dae pootiest teng, Ae tank, der vas 

En al des vorld. Ae tank Ae smitten 
Ved har 
Ven Ae lave dae teeter hus. 
246 



Little Pucken Singer 

Ae go an see har avry nate, 

(Ae vonder vot sha tanks bae mae ?) 
An sit al time bae dae front sate. 

An look bae har. Ae tank Ae bae 
Beg fools, 
Ven Ae lave dae teeter hus. 

But al de same Ae go vonce more, 

Yust for von glance bae har pooty eyes, 

Dae make mae heart stop. Den Ae fale sore 
Vare much. Ae tank ets al lies — 
Dose eyes, 

Ven Ae lave dae teeter hus. 

Ae tank des gale bae " ote a sate : " 

She bae Little Pucken singen, 
Har eyes bae bright, like stars bae nate. 
An bae gol, mae ears bae ringen 
Vare much, 
Ven Ae lave dae teeter hus. 



247 



DOWN IN WALHALLALAH 

T PUT flowers on Leeda's grave 
"*■ Down in Walhallalah ; 

Flowers that in the spring she gave. 
Asking me to cherish, save. 
Still I placed them on her grave 
Down in Walhallalah. 

Tender rains came down at night, 

Down in Walhallalah, 
Took the flowers I had pressed 
Tenderly to earth and blessed ; 
They returned, ah ! newly dressed, 

Down in Walhallalah. 

But one flower I had pressed 

Down in Walhallalah, 
Did not find its way up through 
With the violets so blue 
And the marigolds that grew 

Down in Walhallalah. 
248 



Down in Walhallalah 

Ah ! farewell for evermore ; 

Farewell, Walhallalah, 
Tender rains from ashen skies 
Never more can ope the eyes 
Of the angelhood that lies 

Cold in Walhallalah. 

Withered hopes, how like my soul, 
Down in Walhallalah, 

Never more shall rise and bloom ; 

Such the fate of love. The doom 

Of all is but the tombed gloom 
Down in Walhallalah. 



249 



SANTA'S PRESENTS FO' DE 
GOOD 

T ISTEN, chil'un, en I '11 tale yo' 
"^"^ What I seed de odder night 
When de snow had so't o' cover' d 

All de house top up in white. 
'Way off yonder in de distance 

'Pear'd es ef I seed a road. 
En I heard de raindeers rassle 

Wid de bigges' kind o' load. 
Den I heard ole Santie whistle. 

En I low I heard 'im sing. 
But I know I heard 'is sleigh bells 

Wid a so't o' 'culiah ring. 
Den 'e stopt 'is sled a minute 

En I listen' d well 's I could. 
En 'e sang : ** I 'm on mah journey. 

But hit's only fo' de good." 



250 



Santa's Presents fo' de Good 

Den jingle, jingle, jingle, 

I could heah de sleigh bells ring. 
Hit was jingle, jingle, jingle. 

Den I heard ole Santie sing : 
" I am on mah Chris'mus journey. 

En I 'spose hit's undahstood 
Dat I only 'stribute presents 

Whar de chil'un mighty good. 

"I ride ovah de house-tops 

En I listen to de noise, 
Ef I hear de leastes' trouble dere 

Twix little girls en boys, 
Ef I heah 'em quarrelin', cryin', 

Er see 'em wear a frown, 
I jes take out my mem'rand 

En chalk dere number down. 
Den I so't o' tech mah reindeers 

En I ride ter ebery house. 
En I linger neah de chimblys 

Whar hit 's quiet as a mouse, 
Kase I like it whar hit's peaceful. 

Wen I heah 'em go upstairs 
En "kneel down by de trundle bed 

En say dere ebenin' pray'rs, 

251 



Santa's Presents fo' de Good 

Den I listen, listen, listen, 

Kase yo' see hit 's undahstood 

Dat I 'mleabin' presents mos'ly 
Whar de chil'un mighty good. 

Hit was jingle, jingle, jingle, 

I could heah de sleigh bells ring. 
Hit was jingle, jingle, jingle, 

Jes' jingle, jingle, jing. 
**I am on mah Chris'mus journey. 

En I 'low hit 's undahstood 
Dat I 'm only leavin' presents 

Whar de chil'un mighty good." 

Yo' kain't beleebe it, chil'un. 

But hit 's hones' as de day, 
De monsus load ob presents 

Dat is piled up in dat sleigh. 
Dar was little pony hosses, w'y, 

I gase dar was a million. 
En little sleds, en dolls, en beds, 

Dar mus' a bin a billion ; 
En blocks, en games, en an'mul names. 

En monkey on a stick, en 
'NufF ob lasses kandy dar 

To make de hull worl' sick ; 
252 



Santa's Presents fo' de Good 

En little dogs en nanny goats — 
Ef yo' mus' heah me talk, 

I saw a little bogie man 

Dat ac'chley could walk. 

En ostriches, en singin' birds, 

A-standin' on a wiah ; 
En little hose cyart enjines, too, 

Fo' puttin' out a fiah. 
En Noah en his an'muls. 

All gwine into de ark ; 
En devil feesh, en scuttle feesh. 

I jes' want yo' ter haik 
About a little hoo-doo man 

Dat had a funny tail ; 
En den I saw a Jonah man 

A-swallerin' a whale. 
Yo' nevah can imagine jes' 

What Santie could o' had. 
En none at all fo' chil'un 

Dat is impident en bad ; 
But all dat go to school en learn. 

En try ter ach up good 
Will sholy git a present. 

En he wants hit undahstood. 

253 



o 



HEART OF HEARTS 

H, heart of hearts, how heartily thou beatest ; 

Each tender beat beats all the rest. Thou 

greetest 
Me each morn with ever-constant thumping — 
'Tis thou, dear heart of hearts, that keeps me 

humping. 

Oh, brow of brows ! By thy cold sweat I 'm 

browsing ; 
Each wipe 1 give thee gives the children housing ; 
The sturdy arm each day sets thee to sweating — 
Both thee and heart get all the gets I 'm getting. 

Oh, will of wills ! Oh, wilt thou not or will'st 
Thou push me on ? With grand endeavor iiU'st 
Thou my soul, the while ambitions blasting 
Shake out the deeds that shall be everlasting. 



354 



SYCAMORE 

pECOOLIARITY of his bark, 
■*■ An' yit not only that. 
We found 'im every mornin' on 

The front peazzer mat. 
So Cenath got ter likin' 'im, 

'N' one day says ter me, 
** I 'm goin' ter call 'im Sycamore, 

He sticks so cluss," says she. 

She used ter sic 'im on the tramps 

That come aroun' the place, 
'N' book agents 'n' other scamps. 

He 'd give 'em all a chase — 
He scooted over fences, an* 

Aroun' the farm he 'd run, 
'N' then come back 'n' wag his tail 

'S if he 'd bin havin' fun. 

I never had ter sic 'im on 
Ter any livin' thing, 
255 



Sycamore 

I 've seed that dog take arter birds. 
Yes, birds 'at 's on the wing, 

'N' chase 'em 'bout a mild er so, 

Ter see 'f they would n't light ; 

Then he 'd sit down 'n' watch 'em till 
They flew clean out er sight. 

The dangdest dog he was t' hunt, 

'N' had the keenes' scent ; 
One day he smell' d an animile. 

An' after him he went. 
To'rds dark he come a-laggin' back, 

'N' any one could tell 
That Sycamore had captured 'im. 

We knew it mighty well. 

He pulled out every rooster's tail 

I had aroun' the coop, 
'N' kept our yaller Thomas cat 

Hid underneath the stoop. 
An' when a vehicle druv by 

He 'd skoot out thro' th' door 
'N* sic 'em down the dusty road 

A half a mild er more. 

He 'd lay behin' the hottest stove 
'N' bark out in his sleep, 
256 



Sycamore 

'N' work his jints 'n' try ter run 

'S if he was chasin' sheep. 
Till last he took a fit one day 

'N' stagger'd 'roun' the floor ; 
We thought one time he would n't live 

Ter sic 'em any more. 

He had fun with a peddler onct. 

An' chased 'im 'round the well. 
I wish as you 'd a just bin there 

An' heerd that feller yell : 
" Git out ! Git out ! Call off yer dog !" 

He thought his jig was up. 
Says I : " Do n't be afraid o' him. 

He's nothin' more 'n a pup." 

He used ter sic the thunder, too. 

An 't used ter give us pain 
Ter see him set out in a storm 

'N' bark up at the rain. 
He'd shift his head t' one side 

When he 'd hear the thunder roar, 
'N' then bark all the harder 'f I 'd say : 

** Sic 'em. Sycamore ! " 

He sict all of my neighbor's sheep, 
'N' did a pile o' harm ; 
257 



Sycamore 

He took my horses and my colts 

'N' raced 'm 'roun' the farm. 

I jist can see him runnin' yit. 
His tail a-flyin' high. 

But why it is we 're mournin' now 
Is how he come ter die. 

I sold 'im to a farmer 'cause 

He got so cross an' mean. 
When one day long in harves' time 

He jumpt a thrash machine. 
They said he give one little yelp — 

'N' then went up the spout. 
Poor Sycamore got harvested. 

That 's what we 're sad about. 

We mourn to think our dear old friend 

At last got "squeezed in wheat." 
They found his collar — tail — some hair — 

The rest was sausage meat. 
His gentle bark had sailed away 

Far to some canine shore. 
My wife shed tears 'n' said, " Poor dog. 

He never '11 sic 'em more." 



258 



VOLAPUK 

"ITTHEN I can speak 

' ^ Volapuk, 

Away to India's clime's I '11 sneaky 
And on my adamantine cheek 
I '11 sell a piano to a sheik. 

I '11 sell the French and Dutch, 

And lease 
Pianos to the Portuguese ; 
Then I'll drive over and explain 
The new^ installment plan to Spain, 

I '11 journey south as far 

As Cadiz, 
And sell fair Andalusia's ladies 
Or I '11 exchange ; the mandolin 
I '11 take, and put an upright in. 

I '11 hie me then 

To Baltic strand. 
And sell Miss Boskovitch a grand ; 

259 



Volapuk 

And shovel off old Peter Katzski, 
Romanoff and RufFonratsky. 

Then far to Greenland 

I will go. 
And sell the sawed oiF Esquimaux ; 
I '11 eat snow soup and Polar bear. 
And try and work 'em on a square. 

Of course by this time 

I '11 have a 
Cheek as hard as Hecla's lava ; 
I '11 travel West, go through Alaska, 
Drop down and talk with Mrs. Chaska<, 

I '11 court the Fijis 

On their isle. 
The old chief's daughter I '11 beguile. 
And talk piano by her side 
While I am waiting to be fried. 

When I can speak 

Volapuk. 



260 



MARY HAD A CACTUS PLANT 

TV^ARY had a cactus plant. 

So modestly it grew. 
Shooting its little fibers out 
It lived upon the dew. 

Her little brother often heard 

Her say it lived on air. 
And so he pulled it up one day 

And placed it in a chair. 

Placed it in a chair he did. 

Then laughed with ghoulish glee — 

Placed it in the old arm-chair 
Under the trysting tree. 

Nor thought of Mary's lover. 

Who called each night to woo. 

Or even dreamed they 'd take a stroll. 
As lovers often do. 

The eve drew on. The lover came. 
They sought the trysting tree. 

Where has the little cactus gone ? 
The lover — where is he ? 
261 



THE DAY AND THE SHINGLE 

(A PARODY.) 

' I ■'HE day is done and the spanker. 

So oft in the hands of mother. 
Is soon to be wafted downward 
On little red-headed brother, 

I can hear the fall of the shingle 

And poor little brother's refrain. 

And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me 
That seems to resemble a pain. 

A feeling of sadness and sorrow 

That must be akin to pain. 
It resembles a seated sorrow 

That boyhood can only explain. 

So I hie me away to the attic 

And put on a few pair of pants. 

And wedge in a big paper bustle 

Belonging to one of my aunts. 
262 



The Day and the Shingle 

I can see the lights of the village. 
And also the deep muddy pool, 

Where often I ducked little brother 
After the close of school. 

But she calls me down from the attic 

And asks me to take off my clothes. 

With her able-bodied assistance 
I get myself ready to pose. 

I take a recumbent position. 

The shingle then comes into play, 
Johnnie sits down in a corner 

And watches the sad matinee. 

As she presses her thin lips together 

I feel that at every rebound 
She puts on a vermilion finish 

Where my back forms sort of a mound. 

Such things have power to quiet 

The restless pulse of care. 
But it makes it rather uneasy 

To sit on a hard-bottom chair. 

Come read to me some poem. 

Some "Favorite Prescription" lay, 
263 



The Day and the Shingle 

That will soothe this restless feeling 
And take the stinger away. 

Read from some humbler poet 

A poem that relieves — 
Something that 's cold and frigid. 

From Wilcox or Amelie Rives. 

And the kitchen shall cease its sobbing. 
And the cares that infest the day- 
Will quietly fold their breeches 
And silently steal aw^ay. 



264 



HUCCUM IT SO? 

TTUCCUM de cows so early home, 
■*" ■*• Befo' de milkin' houah ? 
Bekase dey hyard it thundah, an' 

Knew las' night's milk was souah. 

Huccum de she cat in de bahn. 
Up in de ole hay mow ? 

Bekase she 's intuhrested some 
In raisin' kittens now. 

Huccum de darkes' hoss to win 
Dat great big derby race ? 

Bekase he had de stuff in him 
An' wasn't held fo' place. 

Huccum dat sobah bank casheah 
To pack his trunk and get ? 

Bekase he knew dat Montreal 
Laid ovah Joliet. 

Huccum dat gal so shapely 
Dat fas' nates ebery lad ? 
265 



Huccum It So 

Bekase she 's got de sugah 

An' knows jes' how to pad. 

Huccum dat han'some No'th Side girl 
To make de public scofF? 

Bekase her uppah story it 
Was jes' a little off. 

Huccums de eyarf a shakin' up 

An' scarin' people so ? 
Bekase dat 's jes' how Belzebub 

Remin's us ob below. 

Huccums de trees a-glis'nin' an' 
De grass all wet wid dew ? 

Bekase why, chile, de atmosfeah 
Had nuffin' else to do. 

Huccum dese metafizicks 

A-healin' people so ? 
Do n't ask me no mo' questions, chile, 

I tole yo' I do n't know. 



266 



DE WATAH MELLEN 
SPLOSHUN 

*P\AR 'S one fing dat Hi would n't do 
^-^ Ef I had any common sense. 

Go sneakin' up to massa's fence 
An' steal a watah mellen fro. 
Would you ? 

Hi kno' dat mos'ly fro de day 

He 's layin' out dar in de sun 
Behin' dat haystack wid a gun. 

Hit 's loaded wid rock salt, an' say — 
You jay ! 

Don't fool aroun' dem mellens dar, 

Torpeders grow dar 'pon dat vine ; 
One busted las' night long 'bout nine. 

An' lifted some po' niggah's har. 
See hyar — 

Hi saw de sploshun when it 'cur'd ; 
Hi saw dat coon a-flyin' hence 
267 



De Watah Mellen Sploshun 

Off yondah ovah dat rail fence. 
Of course, I would n't say a word. 
I hyard 

Dat mos' de fahmers 'tach'd a line 
To mellens filled with dinahmite. 
Yo' coons dat 's gwine out dar to-night 

Jes' scuse me ; gase I '11 stay behin'. 
Now, min' ! 

You kno' Ole Birch, dat had one eye, 
Dat always got to church so soon. 
An' 'clar'd de eyarf went 'roun' de moon. 

An' said dat jes' de reason why 
De sky 

In night time needed bettah light. 

Was jes' 'cause wicked coons would steal 
From ebbery watah mellen fiel'. 

But Gord would burn 'em up some night. 
Dat 's right. 

He was n't to de church to-day ; 

A bran new coon stood in de spot 
An' set right whar he always sot. 
He was n't dar to shout an' pray, 
Dat 's what. 

26S 



De Watah Mellen Sploshun 

Hi doan s'pose none yo' niggahs hyard 
De reason dat I laft in church 
When some coon ast fo' Bruddah Birch. 

'T was jes' las' night dat, 'pon my word, 
De sploshun 'cur'd. 

No, sah! Hit 's neva gwine ter do 
Fo' any coon wid common sense 
To sneak up now to any fence 

An' try to steal a mellen fro, 
Dat 's shuah. 



269 



MISS BAHTHOLAMEW 

OPECKS we 's gwine to hab a time 
'Bout dat free mile fishin' line. 

Dar 's a ring 

'Roun' de moon. 
Sign dat trouble 's comin' soon. 

We 's been layin' 'roun' so long, 
Gettin' rich an' growin' strong ; 

Reckon 't won't 

Be much fun 
Stoppin' balls dat weigh a ton. 

Specks de vey fus' ting dey do, 
Dey '11 shoot at Miss Bahtholamew ; 

Po' ole gal, 

Standin' dar, 
Squintin' o'er de sea so far. 

Ris up, den, ole Uncle Sam ; 
Punch 'em wid a batterin' ram ; 
270 



Miss Bahtholamew 

Hit 'em lef. 
Hit 'em right. 
Blow 'em up wid dinahmite. 

Long as Miss Bahtholamew 
Casts 'er shaddah on de blue. 

Let us Stan', 

One an' all, 
Waitin' fo' de kentry's call. 

Hise de flag dat made us free 
When de boys marched to de sea ; 

Jine an' sing, 

Ebery man. 
Hail Columby ! Happy Ian'. 

Keep Miss Libahty in sight, 
Holdin' out de mighty light ; 

Gib free cheers, 

A tigah, too, 
'Rah fo' Miss Bahtholamew ! 



271 



THE COW SLIPS AWAY 

* I "*HE tall pines pine. 
The pawpaws pause. 

And the bumble-bee bumbles all day ; 
The eavesdropper drops. 
And the grasshopper hops. 

While gently the cow slips away. 



27a 



VI VICUCRS. 



Words by Ben: P. King Jn 
Moderalo. 



CoApMed by t>.E.M^Kee. 



/r^*rr-3q 






"VtT 




^^%^ 


ffl4 




B^i 


^ffyi 


] II 


Jolee. 

«y'ilii,/> > — 




► ^ 


r ■ rfr 










-p-. 


zvyuu— 


@ 




L^UiJ 


^ 


ga^— i. 


iH 


tii 


iMt 


=i=J 


h. 



/.There'sa deep tan-gled path.... in the wild - wood. Where a 

^. When' at e - ven - tide up - on her grave re • din - • ing^ When the 




phao'tom voice comes whis • per - ing to me. And it' 

birds have ceased to sing a - - bove her tomb; Will my 




Copyright, 1886, by The John Church Co. Used by permission of The 
John Church Co., owuers of the copyright. 




,0>i, K K- 


K N— 


u -■ — 








^ 




K-f>-i 


fv r y — J' i. ^D B — B >' N f J'^l 


phan- torn 
stt ■ aph 


voice still 
an . gels 

J i _ 


fills 
lis ■ 


me 
teo 


w/th 
to 


de - 
my 


spalr, 
prayer', 

.III. 


A. it 
Tberels 

— -'^ 


T ' d " I I I I 
l^ji, ^ — ij^ — t-^ — i — 1 « 


=^ 




4H= 
— 1 — 1 


T 1 


=%=^ 


=^ 








■« 


■ --J 





274 



comes just from out a headstone shadow, And it whispers to me an -gel Vi Vi - 
one that cv-er whispers stiU I love thee. And my answer is I worship Vi Vi . 




guers. \ There's a deep tangled path in the wild - 'wood Where a 

guers. ' '^ " '^ 




p"hanlom voice comes whispering to me. And it seems tg me like a dream of 




275 



CHORUS. 




276 



BOOKS BY NIXON WATERMAN 

Editor of Ben Kings Verse 

"Nixon Waterman needs no introduction to the 
American public. One of our most natural and 
musical singers, his verses have been quoted in 
every newspaper in the land and have gone straight 
to the heart of the great army of 'just common 
folks.' He is always an optimist. The world is 
better — both happier and better — for such verses as 
these of Nixon Waterman." — The Chicago Record- 
Herald. 

IN MERRY MOOD 

A Book of Cheerful Rhymes. i2mo, cloth, gilt top, 208 pp., $1.25. 

"Genuine poems, aglow with high and pure senti- 
ment and sparkling with fetching humor." — The Congre- 
gationalist (Boston). 

" Nixon Waterman's verses touch the heart; they are 
the kind people love, and the kind that will live. He 
teaches the philosophy of garnering sunshine and his 
religion is the gospel of brotherly love and kindness." — 
The Worcester Gazette. 

A BOOK OF VERSES 

i2mo, cloth, gilt top, 226 pages, $1.25. 

"It will be impossible for those who love verse to 
read 'A Book of Verses ' without enjoyment, and more 
than one who ordinarily prefers to limit himself to prose 
will be beguiled by such numbers as these of Mr. Water- 
man." — The Chicago Tribune, 

"The simple form of domestic love outlasting all the 
ills, sorrows and wrongs of a long married life was never 
more sincerely and touchingly sketched in verse. Mr. 
Waterman sings of mother and motherhood in the sweet- 
est and most sympathetic tenderness. Of childhood, of 
youth, of love — his Muse plays with the young and com- 
forts the old." — The Independettt (New York). 

No poems are duplicated in the two volumes. Both 
books are choicely printed and handsomely bound. 



FORBES & COMPANY, Publishers 

BOSTON AND CHICAGO 



BOOKS BY 

FRED EMERSON BROOKS 

The Popular Poet-Humorist 

"Brooks is a great poet and a genius of great 
ability. Humor and pathos abound throughout 
his poems, and many partake of the inspiration of 
the war-drum, but he is thoroughly at home in 
whatever strain of melody he chooses to adopt." — 
The Atlanta Constitution. 

PICKETT'S CHARGE AND OTHER 
POEMS 

Cloth i2mo, gilt top, 214 pages, $1.25. 

'"Pickett's Charge' is the grandest heroic poem I 
ever heard." — General Miles. 

"With a wide variety of theme, Mr. Brooks blends 
humor and pathos in all he writes. Many of his verses 
have the brightness of the California sunshine and the 
sweetness of its flowers. Brimful of humor as they are, 
they point some homely morals." — The New York 
Observer. 

OLD ACE AND OTHER POEMS 

Cloth, i2mo, gilt top, 208 pages, $1.2$. 

"There is in Brooks' poems the dash of the un- 
expected, like a cavalry charge." — General Phil 
Sheridan. 

"There is a freshness and music and joyousness and 
jollity and naturalness in Fred Emerson Brooks' poems 
that make them charming. In the handsome volume 
the reader can find something for every mood and con- 
dition. He can shed tears or laugh ; he can be jolly or 
sad." — 77^1? hiter Ocean (Chicago). 



No poems are duplicated in the two volumes. Both 
books are tastefully printed and beautifully bound. 

FORBES & COMPANY, Publishers 

BOSTON AND CHICAGO 



THIS BOOK WAS PRINTED BY 
R. R. DONNELLEY AND SONS 
COMPANY AT THE LAKESIDE 
PRESS, CHICAGO, FOR FORBES 
AND COMPANY, PUBLISHERS. 



0* 






XH 



\J> 



A 



■!i8iilfc»3S5S»3MlWltfd^^^ 



lilill^ 



■| Vv./'.if:....j: % 



'iffl5;!;i:ii'H;;;t:ai!i!i5«i!5i!!:'