xt75dv1ck30b https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt75dv1ck30b/data/mets.xml Gordon, Armistead C. (Armistead Churchill), 1855-1931. 18931888  books b92-232-31280861 English C. Scribner's, : New York : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Black English.Page, Thomas Nelson, 1853-1922. Befo' de war  : echoes in Negro dialect / by A.C. Gordon and Thomas Nelson Page. text Befo' de war  : echoes in Negro dialect / by A.C. Gordon and Thomas Nelson Page. 1893 2002 true xt75dv1ck30b section xt75dv1ck30b 

 ero IDi Ie   

bjA'C-Gordon and
Thomz.s Nelson P& e

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NEWFOUND RIVER.     2ino, .   .   . X00
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"BEFO' DE WAR." Echoes of Negro Dia-
  !est.  By. A. C. Gordon and Thomas
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       A. C. GORDON


      NEW YORK
        I 893


      COPYRIGHT, ,888, BV


            lices 10ORK.







 This page in the original text is blank.


               C O N T E N T S.

               Thnomas Nelson Page.

ZEKYL'S INFIDELITY,  .     .    ,     .    .   17

ASiCAE,   .    .                              89

,iTTiE JACK,                                 II..     .     . 1

MARSE PHIL,    .                              117

ONE MOURNER,               .       .          127

                 A. C. Gordon.

NIGGER Twis',  .     .     .    .                6

KYARLINA JIM,        .     .    .     .    .   10

DE OLE 'OMAN AN' ME,            .          .   13

OLE LAUGHIN',  .                              21

X130,.         .    .     .     .    .     .  25

DEPARTED LUCK, .     .    .     .     .    .  30

IK EE,    .    .     .    .     .     .    .  34


MINE OYSTER,       .     .     .        .    .   38

POKE O' MOONSHINE.    .     .           .    .   43

THE LAMENT (IF ORPIIfEUS,   .     .     .     .  4S

LOFTY AND LOWLY,            .     .     .     .

GOD KNoWs,      .     .     .     .              56

VIRGINIA CREEPERS,    .    .     .     .     .   6o

BEFORE TIlE PARTY     ,     .       .     .     63

AT WHITEHALL,            .     .    .         .

MARS' RODNEYvS HAT,                              70

A NANIAS, .     .     .     .                    75

DEAD,     .     .     .     .     .    .     .   79

FESTINA LENTE,  .     .83

JUCKS,       .     .     .     .        .    .   86

ICHABOD,              .     .     .             94

SIMEON, F0.om GEORGY,            .              9S

DISAPPOINTMENT.    .     .     .    .        . 102

To You,                                           ;..   .           .    . 10

SWEET HOME,     .     ,           .    .     .o8

I TOME AGAIN,   ,     .        .    .           123



SARVENT, Marster ! Yes, sah, dat's me-

Ole Unc' Gabe's my name;

I thankee, Marster, I'm 'bout, yo' see.

" An' de ole 'ooman  " She's much de same,

Po'ly an' 'plainin', thank de Lord !

But de -Marster's gwine ter come back from 'broad.

"Fine ole place '" Yes, salh, 'tis so;

An' mighty fine people my white folks war-

But you ought ter 'a' seen it years ago.

When de Marster an' de Mistis lived tup dvah

When de niggers 'd stan' all roun' de do',

Like grains o' corn on de cornhouse flu'.



"Live mons'ous high  "  Yes, Marster, yes

Cut'n' onroyal 'n' gordly clash ;

Eat an' drink till you couldn' res'.

  Ma' folks war'n' none o' yo' po'-white-trash.

Nor, sah, dey was ob high degree-

Dis heah nigger am quality!

Tell you 'bout 'em  " You mus' 'a' hearn

  'Bout my ole white folks, sho' !

I tell you, stull, dey was gre't an' stern

D' didn' have nuttin' at all to learn

  D' knowed all dar was to know;

Gol' ober (le' head an' onder dey feet;

An' silber! dey sowed 't like folks sows wheat.

Use ter be rich  "  Dat warn' de wud!

  Jes' wallowed an' roll' in wealf.

Why, none o' my wvhite folks ever stir'd

Ter lif' a han' for d'self;



De niggers use ter be stan'in' roun'

Jes' d' same ez leaves when dey fus' fall down;

De stable-stalls up heah at home

Looked like teef in a fine-tzof comb;

De cattle was p'digious-mus' tell de fac'!

An' de hogs mecked de hill-sides look like black

An' de flocks ob sheep was so gre't ail' white

Dey 'peared like clouds on a moonshine night.
An' when my ole Mistis use' ter walk-

Jes' ter her kerridge (dat was fur

  Ez ever she walked)-I tell you, sir,

You could almnos' heah her silk dress talk

flit use' ter soun' like de mnornin' breeze,

When it wakes an' rustles de Gre't House trees.

An' de Marster's face !-de Marster's face,

  Whenever de Marster got right pleased-

Well, I 'clar' ter Gord, 'twculd shine wid grace

  De same ez his countenance had been greased.

De cellar, too, had de bes' ob wine,



4       UAC -iNl' GAL BE'S Ilf'ZJ1T /E AS.

An' bran(ly, an' sperrits dat yo' could fine

An' ev'ything in dvah rvas stored,

'Skusin' de Glory of de Lord !

"Warn' dvahl a son  " Yes, sah, voti knows

  ie's (le voung -Marster now

Btit we heah dat dey tooken he very clo'es

  Ter pay what ole Marster owe

He's done been gone ten year, I s'pose.

But he's comin' back some clay, of co'se

An' my ole 'ooman is altiz pyard,

  An' meckin' de Blute-Room baid;

An' ev'rv day dem sheets is ayard,

  An' will be till s/hs (laid

An' de styars she'll scour,

  An' dat roorm she'll ten',

  Ev'y blessed day dat (le Lord do sen'!

What say, Marster  Yo' say, you knows-

  He's voung an' slender-like an' fvah



Better-lookin' 'n you, of co'se !

Hi! you's lie  'Fo' Gord, 'tis him!

  'Tis de very voice an' eyes an' hyah,

An' mouf an' smile, on'y yo' ain' so slim-

I wonder whah-whah's de ole 'ooman 

Now let mny soul

  Depart in peace,

For I behol'

Dy glory, Lord !-I knowed you, chile-

  I knowed you soon's I see'd your face!

Whar has you been dis blessed while 

Done come back an' buy de place 

Oh, bless de Lord for all his grace

De ravins shell hunger, an' shell not lack

De Marster, de young Marster's done come back




RIGHT hard work while it lasts-dat's so-

  Worruming 'backer all day long;

Miz'ry gits in yer back, you know,

Speshly deni what ain't so strong.

Dat's my fix. But it seems ter me

  Ise paid fur it all when it comes ter dis

My long-stem pipe, little Jake on my knee,

An' my pocket chock full o' nigger-twis'.

"Corn-cob " Yes, sir. It ain't so fine

As dat 'hogany-colored one o' yourn;

But I gits as much out o' dis o' mine

As de fines' one you ever did own.



De juice all dries in de cob, you see-

  Dat's de philos'phy o' pipes like dis;

An' a reed-root stem is de stem fur me,

  An' de sweetes' 'backer is nigger-twis'.

Dem dar's cur'us things, sho' 'nuf-

  Dem little splinters what lights jes' so

Hit dey heads whar de box are rough

  A sort o' hard-an4 away dey go!

I never liked 'em. It seenis ter me

  De devil's in 'em some way. An' dis

Is jes' as good an' as true, you see-

  A red-hot coal on de nigger twis'.

"Wouildn' I like a cigar" you say.

  No, sir, I thank you. Ise tried dem dar-

Diff'rent, sir, as de night from day;

  Fur apart as a cuss an' pra'r



-G (,' GER- TI [IS',.

Hasn't no strength, it seems ter me

  Can't begin to compar' wid dis;

Nothin' onder de sun can be

  Sweet as a cob an' some nigger-twis'.

No-dat nuther ! Well, I'll declar'

  Dat is de beatenes' Ise seed yet !

What is de name dat you call dat 'ar 

  Say it again, please  " Cigarette "

Little Jake, what sets on my knee,

  'Ud turn up his nose at a thing like dis;

Ise gwine ter teach him ter do like me,

  An' suck de comfort from nigger-twis'.

Yes, dat's a fac'! 'Tis a lux'ry, sho',

  'Backer is, whatever you say.

Seems like I never wants nothin' mo',

  'Ceptin' ter set down here dis way,



            TIZGGERFTWIVIS'.            9

Take little Jake tip on my knee,

  Have me a corn-cob pipe like dis,

Wid a stem as long as from you ter me,

An' a pocket chock full o' nigger-twis'.



  (Fisherman's hft, ChJesapeake flatv, I876.)

WHEN you was here, some sixteen year

  Or so aback, you says,

A darkey named Kyarlina Jim

  He fished f'om dis here place 

Iat vonder's him-Kyarlinia Jim-

  On de bench (lar by de do'

lie lhavc been ole an' weak an' biine

  Sence dat long time ago.

Yes, dat's de -way lhe spen's each day

  O de blessed year, Idout fall

Wid face turned out'ards to'ds de Bay,

  Like watcblin fur a sail.



Eben when clouds 'till come in crowds,

  An' beatin' win's ull blow,

He still keeps settin' pashunt dar

  In his ole place by de do'.

An' de sweet sunlight, 'tis jes' like night

  Ter po' Kyarlina Jim;

He's weak an' bline, an' rain an shine

  Is all de same ter nim.

Dat chile you see dar on his knee,

  She never fails ter come,

About dis time o' ev'ry day,

  Ter fetch Kyarlina home.

I seldom cries; but when my eves

  Lights on de chile an' Jim,

Dar's sumpin' sort o' makes me feel

  Kind ter his gal atn' him.



12             K-YARLLNVA JIM.

     Another chile he los', long while

       Ago, Ise ficerd him say,

     Is out dar waitin' in a boat,

       On de blue waves o' de Bay.

     I 'spec's, beca'se o' what he says,

       Dat chile he los' 'ull come

     'Fo' Iong, jes' like dis here one does,

       An' fetch Kyarlina home.



WEF doesn't live as cnst we did

  De grub's done struck a change;
An' when I mentions ash-cake now,

  My wife she thinks it strange.

She's got sot-up dese las' few years,

An' wheat-bread's all de go;

But, somehow, seenms I'd like ter tas'e

Some ask-cake-pcne onst mo'.

De buttermilk has (lone give way

Ter tea an' coffee now;

"An' possum-fat," she always says,

  "Is low-flung grub, nohow!"



She doesn' ever foot it now,

  Like how she used ter do;

But drives my yaller mule ter town,

  An' wushes he was two!

She hasn' had a homespun coat

  For many a long day,

But V'ars de fines' sort o' clo'es,

  Made jes' de white folks' way.

She doesn' call me " Ichabod,"

  Or " Ich," or " Ole Fool," now

An' ef I mentioned " Anniky,"

  'T 'ud sartin raise a row.

'Tis " Mister Brown " an' " Mistis Brown,"

Ontwel it seems ter me
We's done gone changed our nat'rel selves

F'om what we used ter be.



"DE OLE 'OMA1N4-V AN' .il ." "

I know, beca'se a, how Ise tried

  An' never seed it gee,

It's awful hard ter teach new tricks

  Ter ole dogs sich as me.

Dat broad-clof coat she made me buy,

  It don't feel half so good

As dat ole jeans I used ter w'ar

  A-cuttin' Marster's wood.

An' beefsteak ain't for sich as me,

  Instid o' possu:;n-fat;

An' " Mister Brown " ain't " Ichabod

  I can't git over dat !

So Mistis Brown may go ter town,

  A drivin' o' dat mule,

Jes' when she likes; but, sartin sho',

I ain't gwi' play de fool !

I :


  "-, 011/ '0t1/. At AX' 1,_'."

An' as fur her insistin' how

  DaE I should try ter learn

Dem A B C's de chillun reads-

  'Tis no consarn o' her'n.

I doesn' keer what grub she eats,

Or what she calls herself,

Or ef she has a bofy now

  'Stid o' a cubbud-shelf;

I doesn' keer how fine her clo'es,

  May be, or what's de style-

I'm able fur ter pay fur dat,

  An' has been so some while.

Dar's only one o' all her ways

Gits over me fur sho'-

I p'int'ly hones fur possum-fat

An' ash-cake-pone onst mo'



MISTIS, I r'al'y wish you'd hole

  A little conversation

Wid my old Zekyl 'bout his soul.

  Dat nigger's. sitiwation
Is mons'us serious, 'deed 'n' 'tis,

'Skusin' he change clat co'se o' his.

Dat evil sinner's sot he face

  Gin ev'v wyid I know;

Br'er Gabrul say, he's fell from grace,

An' Hell is ;ot him sho'.

He don' believe in sperits,

  'Skusin' 'tis out a jug!



Say 'tain' got no mo' merits

  Den a ole half-cured lug;

'N' dat white cat I see right late,

One evelin' nigh de grave-yard gate,

Warn' nuttin' sep some ole cat whar

Wuz sot on suppin' off old l.yah.

He 'oont allow a rooster,

  By crowin' in folks' do',

Kin bring death dyah ; and useter

  Say, lie xvish mine would crow.

An' he even say, a hin mout try,

Sep wvomen-folks would git so spry,

An' wvant to stick deeselves up den,

An' try to crow over de men.

Say 'tain' no good in preachin'

  Dat ni-gers is sich fools-

Don' know no mo' 'bout teachin'

'N white folks does 'bout mules



/ZA'K-YL'  I J   1.\7T1ij,   19,Y,

An' whenl br'er Ga-brul's hollered tell

You mos' kin see righlt into Hell,

An' rambled Scriptures fit to bus',

Dat hard-mouf nigger's wus an' wuis.

Say quality (dis is mainer

  'N all Ise told you. yit)-

Savs 'tain' no better 'n 'arf-strainer

  An' dat hi's master'll git

Good place in Heaven-po' white folks, mark!-

As y'all whar comne right out de ark

An' dat-now jes' heah dis !-dat lhe,

A po'-white-folks' nigger's good as me!

He's gwine straighlt to de deble

An' sarve him ;jes' right, too

He's a outdacious rebel,

Arter all Ise done do !-

Ise sweat an' arguified an' blowed

Over dat black nigger mo'



20  /PK'I' IA, L  .N AL,/1TY

        'N Nvotild 'a' teck a c'inal-boat load

          Over to Canyan sho'!

        Ise tried ;-efeelion-'twarn' no whar!

        Ise wrastled wid de Lord in pra'r;

        Ise qtioiled tell I wuz mos' daid;

        Ise th'owed de spider at his haid-

        But he ole haid 'twuz so thick th'oo

        Hit btus' my skillit spang in two.

You kin dye black hyah an' meck it light;

You kin tu'n de Ethiope's spots to white;

You mout grow two or three cubits bigger-

But you carn't onchange a po'-white-folks' nigger.

When you's dwellin' on golden harps an' chunes,

A po'-white-folks' nigger's thinkin' 'bout coons;

An' when you's snifflin' de heaven'y blossoms,

A po'-white-folks' nigger's studyin' 'bout possums.




WHEN I was a boy in Ferginyer,

  At de plantation down on de Jeems,
Years aback 'fo' de war kim, an' freedom-

  What a long time ago it all seems!-
Mv Marster he owned an ole nigger

  Dat de wvhite folks, beca'sc o' his mouf,

Never called nothin' 'ceptin' " Ole Lauglhin',`

  Down dar in de Souf.

He had de mos' cur'uses' notions

'Botit jokin' an' havin' o' fun.

An' dar wasn't no stoppin' dat darkeA.

Hf cvur he onst had begun.



Ise seed him like bustin' his wveskit

  A-lagliin' at things dat most folk-

Spite o' whatever funny he foun' dar-

  Never 'sidered a joke.

He would laugh when his chillun was crvin',

  He wvould laug.h when de cryin' was done

Seems like evvything struck him ridic'1'Tus

  Dat de Lord has made onder de sun;

An whatever frolic dar happened

  '.Mongst de darkeys, ef Laug-hin' warn't dar

Things mos'ly wvent on purty solemn-

  For dey missed him, I 'clar'.

Ise seed folk whose laughin' was hurtin',

Seemin' like it was scornful some wny

But his'n warn't dat sort o' music-

As diff'rent as night-time f'oni dav.



OLE L;A UGIZIA'.                3

When he opened den- jaw-bones o' his'n

  An' let it all out in one ro',

EvvN body what heerd hinin lau-ghed wid him

  An' wanted some mo'.

Laughin' seemed ter take life sort o' cur'us,

  For I never did know him ter cry

But sometimes Ise noticed a misty

  Sort o' sorrowful look in his eve.

Ole Marster he said: "  philos'pher

  Ole Laughin' is, sartin an' sho';

He looks on de bri-ht side o' all thlings,

  An' who can do nm' 

When Marster got sick, an' deceasded,

  An' de coffin sot dar on de groun

By de grave, all de plantation darkeys

Kim weepin' an' moanin' aroun';



o24  LE .E-1 UGIIZN.

An' Laughin' was dar, but de devil,

  In spite o' de grief in his face,

Seemed ter have a grip on him as uIsual,

  Eben dar at dat place-

For when, arter de words, " Dus' ter ashes!

  De Preacher stood silent in pra'r,

Ole LaLghlin' he 'rupted de silence

Wid his reg'lar music, I 'clar'

But he didn' live long arter Marster,

An' he died wid a snmile on his mouf.

Dev bofe on 'era sleeps in Ferginver,

D)own dar in de Souf.




ALL o' dese here doin's

Don't suit me;

Ise an ole-time nigger-
  Don't you see 

Dis here eddication's

Humbug, sho';
It's done played de devil

Wid Ebo.

Somewhar Tout

Dicey she

Tuk'n' struck a

Don't you see

lars' summer,



26  i B.

Says she : " Ise been thinkin'."

  An' I says

"What you done thunk, honey '

  Says she: "Yes,

"Ise been thinkin' mons'ous

  'Bout Ebo;

Ile's fo'teen +ear ole now-

  Don't you know "

S'I: "Ole 'oman, you is

  Right, I 'spec'

Dar's fo'teen-he kim fus'-

  Dat's kerrec' !"

Says she: " He's a-growin

  Up a fool;

An' Ise gwinc tel scn' hilml

Ter (le school."




Bein's how it looked like

  She was bent

On de projick, Ebo

  Tuk 'n' went.

An' sence dat lars' summer-

  Don't vou see -

Dat 'ar boy have p'int'ly

  Outdone me!

Whe-ew! de norrations,

Dem o' his'n !

Urnph ! I 'busses laughin'

Jes' ter lissen !

What you think dat Ebo
  Come tell me 

Dat all dis here y'arth here-

  Flat, you see-




Dat it's roun', an' rolls jes'

  Like a ball!

  Ebo, dat's a lie," I

  Says, " dat's all !

"Don't you see yer Mammy,

  Evvy night,

Set de water-piggin

  Out o' sight

"Ob you chillun, up dar

  On de shelf -

Now, Mars' Spellin'-booker,

  'Splain yerself-

"Sunrise, dat 'ar water's

  In dar still;

Ef de y'arth turned over,

  It 'ud spill !"



EBO.                2

But he keeps resistin'

   It are so-

Eddication's done gone

  Sp'ilt Ebo.

He's forever tellin'

  Some sich lie;

He's gwi' fine out better


Ef Ebo keeps l'arnin'

  At dat school,

Nex' thing, he'll be provin'

  Ise a fool

I are p'int'ly gwine ter

  Take Ebo

Way f'oin dat ar school-'ouse,

Sartin sho' !




JOHN, put one nio' stick on de harf. Jes' one

    Well, lay it on;

An' den we'll freeze afo' we starve, beca'se de

    bread's all gone.

My trem'lin' lim's won't hole out long; an' what's

    de use ter pray 

Lord, pity dese po' niggers who has gin dere luck


You's been too sick ter do a bit o' work sence dat

    'ar time

I started down ter Denny's store, an' foun' dat silber




Jes' in de turnin' o' de road; an', like a fool dat day,

Instid o' keepin' it, I tuk an' gin my luck away.

John, don't you 'member, long ago, when iittle Bill

    was born,

We worked down at (le Edgeworth place, amongst

    ole Marster's corn 

De eatin's dat we used ter have, an' not a cent ter

Dat time when we wvas never 'feard ter give our

    luck away 

A little while aback, when you was layin' moanin'

I kep' a-thinkin' o' dem days, an' tried ter turn ter

Btit, somchow, evvy bit o' pra'r dis w'ared-out mouf
    could say

Was, " Lord, for dat 'ar time, afo' I gin my luck
   away! "

3 1



An' den it seemed like, sho' enuf, it had come back

    onst mo'-

Seemed like I seed Miss Ellen dar, a-standin' in

    de do',

Jes' like as how she used ter come each Chris'nius,

   wvid a tray

O' Chris'mus things, long, long afo' I gin my luck


Seemed like I heerd de music dat de white folks

   always had

Up at de Gre't House, Chris'mus-time, when evvy

   soul was glad;

Seemed like a gre't big fyer burned here on de harf,

   some way;

I thought we never had been po', an' gin our luck





An' you was settin' over dar, an' Bill

A playin' like he used ter play in


But den de cole gript on me, an' de

   den stay:

We're weak an' starvin', John, beca'se


wvas on de flu,

dat long time

dream it wud-

I gin my luck

But take it easy, John ! I know we never is gwi'


Sich days as dem ag'in; 'fo' long dey'il bury you

   an' me.

Bread gone, de little stick burnt out ; de embers

   gittin' gray-

Lord, fetch us whar we never mo' can give our

   luck away!




       MY boy Kree 

He played wid you when you was a chile 

       You an' lie

Growed up tergether  Wait! Lemme see!

Closer ! so I can look in yer face

       Mars' George's smilc !

       Lord love you, Marster!

Dar 'neaf dat cypress is whar Kree lays.

       Sunburnt an' grown

Mars' George, I shudden ha' knowed you, son

'Count o' de beard dat yer face has on,

But for dat ole-time smile (' your'n-


KAWEE.               3

         An' Kree  " you say.

       Hadn't you heerd, Marster,

He 'ceasded de year dat you wvent away 

       Kree an' you

How de ole times comes back onst mo'-

Moonlight fishin's, an' hyars in de sno';

  Squirrels an' jaybirds tip overhead,

In de oak-trees dat de sun shined through !-

       Look at w-e, Marster!

 Here is me livin' an' Kree, he's dead.

       'Pears ter me strange

Now, when I thinks on 'em, dose ole years:

Mars' George, sometimes de b'ilin' tears

       Fills tup my eyes,

'Count o' de mizery now, an' de change-

       De sun dims, Marster,

Ter an ole man, when his one boy dies.

3 5



        Did you say " Ilow "

Out in de dug-out, one moonshine night,

  Fishin' wvid your baby brother-he

Wid de curls o' yaller, like streaks o' light,

  An' de dancin' big blue eyes. Dead, now-.

       Kree died for him;

       An' yearnin' for Kree,

       De Lord tuk him, Marster:

De green grass kivers 'em bofe f'om sight.

       Heerd o' de tale 

Didn' know Kree was de one dat drowned

  Savin' Mars' Charley  Well, 'twere he.

  De boy waxed weaker, his face mo' pale,

Arter de corpse o' poor Kree were found.

       Two months later he went, you see:

       God bless you, Marster!

Nine years has rolled over bofe onder ground.



                  k-REE.                 37

        Worn out an' gray,

Here I sets waitin', Mars' George, alone.

        All on 'em's gone-

Marster an' Mistis, an' Charley an' he.

  You an' me only is lef'. Some day,
When you's gone 1)ack ter yer ship on de sea,

       I'll hear h.m say,

Jes' as he used ter, a-fishin', ter me:

  " Daddy, come offer! " An' passin' away,

Dat side de river, again I'll be

       Wid my boy Kree.



No, it never did agree wid de likes o' dis here nig-


  For de a'r is sort o' stiflin' twix' dese mountains,

      Eas' an' Wes'

Evvy blessed year 1 lives here, seems dese hills is

      growin' bigger

  Ter de miz'ry in my knee-j'ints an' de trouble in

      my ches'.

Ise a Tuckahoe Ferginyan f'om Tide-water of Fer-


 Whar de oshters am delishus an' de fish is hard ter




Lord, I hasn' seed an oshter, in de time dat I has

      been here,

  Dat dis nigger have cornsidered fittin' any ways

      ter eat.

Dey fetches 'em in cans tip, dese here railroad sojer-


  An' it takes a good day's workin' ter perkture an


Dese ain't nothin' but runt-oshters; yet de reste-

      ranters tell us

  Dat dey come f'onm Mobjack Bay, sir. Pshaw!

      I know dat can't be true

I lived down dar myself onst, an' I think I l'arnt de


 O' dem oshters in dat water-shape, an' size, an'

      ta'se, an' all;



" 4il/ME 0 I'STEAe'. "

Dis here darkey may be ign'ant, an' widout no ed'


  But a Mobjack oshter p'int'ly is beknownst ter

      Uncle Saul.

You may brag o' roasted possum an' de glories o'


  You can 'numerate de hom'ny, you can shout de

     ole ash-cake;

But one dish o' Mobjack oshters, an' ole Saul is

     p'int'ly willin'

  Ter denounce de other eatin's for de Mobjack

      oshters' sake!

Umph! dis mouf o' mine jes' waters at de thought

     o' dem dar critters-

 Fried, an' baked, an' stewed, an' raw ones-how

     we 'stroyed 'em down dar;



" AI11VA" 0 YSTER.           4

Soft as mush, an' f'arly better dan merlasses on yer


  But de glory am departed, an' dem oshters ain't


I have trabbled through Ferginyer sence Mars'

      Linkum sont de freedom;

  I have cotch 'em, an' I've eat 'em, Norf an' Souf

      an' Eas' an' Wes'.

Oh, dey's prime at Glcrster P'int ; dar it's mighty

      hard ter beat 'enm;

  But de oshters fo'm ole Mobjack am de sugares'

      an' bes'.

It is seben year, an' ober, sence I 'zided in dat sec-


 An' I'm 'feared dis hil.y Valley 'ull lay on me when

      I die;



42, -1A7A 'L 'ST'ERA'."

But I holds de ole Tide-water in my warmes' ree-


  An' I'd like ter slip down dar onst nmo' an' make

      dem oshters fly.

I would like ter eat demn oshters 'twel I perish jes'

      f'om eatin';

  Dat's de kind o' death dat seems like it 'ud suit

      yer Uncle Saul.

Yes, I'd ruther go dat way, sir, dan ter drap down

      dead in meetin';

  Fur ter die f'om eatin' osliters is de sweetes'

      death o' all.




     MOONSHINE  Yes, sir,

Right smart ahead;

     Ten mile, at bes', sir.

     Git down an' res', sir,

     Outen de rain.
Onder dat shed

     Is a good place ter tie him,

     Or Joe can stan' by him

'Twel you's readv ter set out again.

     " Know Poke o' Moonshine 

Yes, sir, I docs.

     -Marster, you won't fine

     Many o' his kine



     'Roun' dis here way!-

Much as he was

     Sence I remember;

     Ole John's December

Is haler dan mos' folkses' May.

     Moonshine  Played outi

When dey was rich,

     'Twas widout doubt
     De fines' about-

     Pictur's an' things,

Flowers an' sich-

     All sorts o' doin's:

     Now it's in ruins-

But dat's what wvar gen'tilly brings.

     Moonshine 'bout den

'Longed ter Mars' Sidney.

     All o' de men

     O' dat family's been



POKE O' MOO-NSZh1VE.         45

     Purty good grit-

Folks o' fine kidney;

     So, when de war kim,

     Nothin' could Lender him

But what he mus' go inter it.

     John Poke, o' co'se,

Went in dar, too;

     Mis' Agnes stays

     Home, jes' beca'se

     Wimen can't b'ar

What men goes through-

     Lovely an' young she were,

     When Mars' Sid went f'om her

Ter be shot in dat turrible war.

     Home kim John Poke

Wid de lad dead:

     " In all de smoke

     An' de fightin' he spoke




      Ter me only," says he,
"An' here's what he said:

      'John, take good keer o' her-

      Guard de welfare o' her--

Ef death comes betwix' heran' me.'

     All dese here years

John Poke have been

      True ter dem tears.

      Moonshine affairs

      Mars' Sid' lef' bad;

John's been a frien'-

      So he has keered fur her,

      What he's had, spared fur her,

All fur de sake o' dat lad.

     Dat's a fine hoss!

Lead him out, Joe!

     Rain's over, boss;

     Not much time los'



IPOA'E 60 ' Af 0 c-iWSfiXA.V   4

     Stoppin' wid me-

Gently, dar! whoa!

     Marster, in passin' by

     On yer way back, sir, I

 Hope you'll tell me how John

Poke may be,

     Switch, sir  I says

 You'll hardly fine

      Sich, nowadays;

      'Speshly dey's skase

      'Roun' dis here way,

  Men o' his kine.

      I'm de man orter know

      Better dan mos' folks, sho'.

My daddy, sir  Yes, sir. Good-day!




BEEN travellin' " Don't you see I is

  " Whar ter," hey  Ole Green Su'phur:

I tried it for my rheumatic,

  An' never knowed it rougher.

I used ter go dar long ago,

When I was young an' healthy:

It ain't like what it was, you know,
When Souvern folks was wealthy.

Wel], yes; I s'pose as many now

Goes dar, as used ter go dar:

But seems like it have changed somehow-

Sersi'ty's gittin' low dar.



Ise knowed de time de F. F. V.'s

  An' none else run it, honey:

  But things is changed; an' so, you sees

  All goes dat's got de money.

When Marster sot out evvy June,

  Sometime about de middle,

I always went ; an' many a chune

  Ise played dar on dis fiddle:

But fiddlin' now is done gone out,

  An' brass ban's is de fashion,

An' Garmnins ; riot a night widout

  De Garmin like de nation!

You never seen de Garmin, hey 

  You orter seen it, honey;

Jes' take an' go down dar, some day;

  It's p'int'ly wmlti de money.



50       THE LAME'1VT OF OAi'IL US.

You never seed a monkey-show

  Could ever stan' a-showin'

Ter one o' dem things all ago,

  WVid all de ban' a-blowin'.

You knows de ole Ferginyer Reel,

  Whar two goes down de middle 

I never think o't 'daut I feel

  A hankerin' fur dis fiddle.

Dat was a dance an F. F. V.

  .Mought well be proud ter dance in;

But dis here Garmin-I can't see

  How white folks stan's sich prancin'!

"How does dey dance de Garmin " Well,

  De ban' it 'gins ter sizzle;

An' den, befo' you's time ter tell,

  A fellow blows a, whistle;



An' den de ladies an' de men

  Dey takes an' grabs each other,

An' spins an' whirls an' spins agen-

  An' never lets go, nuther!

I know de white folks knows a heap,

  An' Ise jes' an ole nigger

Wid brains 'bout big enough ter keep

  F'om gittin' hurt-no bigger;

But, somehow, it do look ter me

  Like things had. got alarinin',

Ter see an ole-time F. F. V.

  A-dancin' dis new Garmin.

Well, sence my trip down dar I feel

Like hangin' up de fiddle.

Dey's done forsook de fine ole reel,

Whar two goes down de middle;

5 1


;2       TfFH LA MENT Of' ORPI! F'1S.

     An' ole-time folks an' ole-time chunes

       Is woted miighty slow dar-

     For monkey ban's an' whistlin' l(-Kons

       Has run sersi'ty low dar'



DE white man's got de 'vantage

  O' le cullud pusson, sartin:

You's done been free

Longer dan mne-
An' dat's one thing in startin'.

You never worked terbarker,

  Bta tuLk it out at college;

I never looks

Inter de Books-

You has me on sich knowledge.

I ain't got no high notions,

Let 'lone de eddication;



Nor money 'twel

You can't stan' still-

  As much as all creation!

My wife don't play de panny,

  Nor drive brash hosses, nuther

Nor w'ar fine clo'es,

Like she o' your's-

  Mine's some below dat, ruther!

But lissen at me, Marster:

  I knows all dese things fits you

0' co'se, you ought

Ter have dis sort-

But dar's one place I gits you

I don't have harf de worry
What troubles your life, honey;




De bank, you see,

MIought bus' for me-

  I wudden lose no money!

Ef all your bocks an' pictur's

  Was somehow ter git 'stroyed,

Marster, I know

Dat, sartin sho',

  You'd mourn for what you's 'joyed.

You never is contented

You wants yer big pile bigger;

Ain't I kerrec',

Den, when I 'spec'

You's outdone by a nigger 



TEL1L you a tale, eh  Bless de chillun!

  It's been sich a very long time ago

Dat I don't know whether I ain't forgotten

  All o' dem tales dat I used ter know.

Your daddy was always axin' fur 'em,

  When he was a chap, jes' like you two.

Ise tole him lots; but I disremember-

  It's been so long-all de bes' I knew.

'Twas a wile March mont', an' de win' was blowin'-

  Blowin' great guns, de sailors say;

De water was foamin', an' all de riggin