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

Daniel Webster Davis, "Stickin' To De Hoe" (1895)

Dar's mighty things agwine on,
   Sense de days when I wuz young;
An' folks don' do ez dey did once,
   Sense dese new times is kum;
Dey gals dey dresses pow'ful fin',
   An all am fur a show;
But enny how dis nigger
   Am a-stickin' to de hoe.

Larnin is a blessed thing,
   An' good cloze mighty fin',
But I likes to see de cullud gal
   What knows jes how to ine,
Gimme de gal to wash an' scrub,
   An' keep things white an' clean,
An' kin den go in de kitchin,
   An' cook de ham an' greens.

I ain't got no edekashun,
   But dis I know am true,
Dat raisin' gals too good to wuck,
   Ain't never gwine to do;
De boys dat look good nuf to eat,
   But too good to saw de logs,
Am karrin us ez fas' ez smoke
   To lan us at de dogs.

I spoze dat I'm ole fashun,
   But God made man to plow,
An git his libbin by de sweat
   Dat trickles down his brow;
While larnin an' all dem things
   Am mighty good for sho',
De bes way we kin make our pints,
   Is---stickin' to de hoe.

Published in Idle Moments, 1895
Also published in Colored American Magazine, April 1901

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