African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

D. Webster Davis, "Jes' Gib Him One Ub Mine" (1901)

A LITTLE urchin, ragged, black, an old cigar "stump" found,
And visions of a jolly smoke began to hover 'round,
When finding that he had no match, a big store he espied,
And straightway for it made a bolt, to have his wants supplied.

"We have none here to give away; and even if we do,
We have no match," the owner said, "for such a thing as you."
Down in the ragged pantaloons the little black hand went,
And forth it came, now grasping tight a big, old-fashioned cent.

"Gib me a box!" the urchin said,---his bosom swelled with joy,
And calmly lighted his "cigar," a radiant, happy boy;
Then handing back the box, he said, while his face with pride did shine,
"Nex' time a genl'mun wants a match, jes' gib him one ub mine."

Published in Colored American Magazine, March 1901

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