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

Raymond Garfield Dandridge, "Penciled Poems" (Full Text, 1917)

Penciled Poems 
  Ray G. Dandridge 
 Cincinnati, Ohio 

 Men often long for gems so rare, 
 And sometimes for a maiden fair ; 
 Some crave wealth to give them power, 
 So they may be called— "men of the hour" ; 
 But while we strive to reach so high, 
 We find the Gems we cannot buy— 
 The fairest ones on God's green earth, 
 The precious mothers that gave us birth. 

To Whom It May Concern — 
 Having been confined to bed since July 4, 1912, Raymond Garfield Dandridge is not only an invalid, but also a bound-down "shut in," unable 
 to use either limb or right arm. 
 In spite of this great handicap, he penciled these verses, remained optimistic, and says, " 'Tis good to make the best of it." 
 Cincinnati, December 1, 1917 Printers. 

 With flying rein, a frothing steed, 
 Bearing an empty saddle ; 
 Dashed to and fro along the line, 
 Amid the din of battle. 
 The hand that guided him for years, 
 That stroked his flowing mane ; 
 Still clutching to a saber hilt, 
 Lies cold out on the plain. 
  A roaring hell on every side. 
  Like hail, the shot fell round ; 
  A blinding flash, a piercing neigh ; 
  Ned trembled ; then went down. 
  The bugle sounded loud, "The Charge !" 
  He raised his gallant head, 
  Then laid it on the sod again, 
  Another soldier — dead. 

 All earth is a Circus Ground, 
 The sky above a tent. 
 And everyone a part must play 
 While Life is being spent. 
A vast host make the audience, 
  Who laugh at the merry rounds ; 
  While many are Life's Acrobats, 
  Life's Ring masters, and Clowns. 
  Life's Circus has the widest scope 
 Of freaks, at her command ; 
 She has the greatest animals. 
 She has the largest band. 
 All Carnivals and Pageants grand. 
 When they have been arrayed, 
 Must bare' their heads in reverence to 
 Life's Circus, on parade. 

 Why's you tryin' to kick ole Robah, 
 Whut on earf he done to you ? 
 Bettah thank yore stars you mist him 
 Else yo'd had to kick me, too ; 
 He cain't talk to maik etscuses, 
 But, I's heah to taik his part; 
 An' yore pickin' on a po' dawg 
 Sho's de meanness in yore heart. 
 Shet yore mouf ! don' you dar say it ! 
 Yo's ez good a man ez me ; 
 Yo's a ha'f raised, uncouf buzzard, 
 Jes ni' nothin' ez kin be. 
 I know well I stoops to fight you, 
 But, it's hi' ni' stoopin' time. 
 Wen a lo' down, ornree scoundell. 
 Tries to kick dat dawg ob mine. 
 Dat houn' pup jes big an' playful 
 He thought you wor playful, too, 
 But, w'en you com'enst yore kickin' 
 Thin's tuk on a difTern' view. 
 You sho's plain yo's out fo' battle, 
 'Speck it won't be hard to fine, 
 Hebbin knows yo's bidin' fo' it 
 W'en you kick dat dawg ob mine. 
 Whuts you say? Yo's onlee funin'; 
 Ef you wuz, I's mighty glad ; 
 Kaze I lub to lub mah neighbah. 
 An' Stan' 'hole heaps fo' I's mad. 
 Lets shake ban's lak good ole Buddies, 
 Evahthin' done turnt out fine ; 
 We'll all three go home togeddah, 
 You, me, an' dat dawg ob mine. 

Aftah we done ett our suppah, 
 Tipped off wid a tater pie ; 
 Talk, it drifted sorta sad lak, 
 'Bout Heah Aftah, bye an' bye ; 
 Remuss sed, "we'd know each uddah, 
 In dat Meetin' House, sublime" ; 
 An' I growed rail melonkolee, 
 Thinkin' 'bout dat dawg ob mine. 
 Wondah, ef I ast St. Peter 
 VVoulden he let Robah in? 
 Ef I 'splain dat he's bin hones' 
 An' his heart am free frum sin ; 
 Wondah, how he'd look aflyin' 
 Thoo dem Holy Realms, divine ; 
 An, 'ef dar's a Golden Kennel 
 Waitin' fo' dat dawg ob mine? 
 When you were but a little child 
 With many faults to cover ; 
 Who hid them all behind her smile? 
 Your mother, your dear mother. 
 When out in this cold world, unkind. 
 You fall, can go no further; 
 Who picks you up, shakes off the grime? 
 Your mother, your dear mother. 
 Proud sister turns her back, 'tis true. 
 So does your dad and brother ; 
 Who never fails to welcome you? 
 Your mother, your dear mother. 
 Your mother's praise forever sing! 
 You'll never have another ; 
 They duplicate most everything, 
 Except your darling mother. 

 There's gladness in the sunshine, 
 There's gladness in the rain ; 
 From yonder tree the little bird 
 Chirps out a glad refrain. 
 All things of earth know happiness, 
 There's nothing always sad. 
 And everything contains some good. 
 There's naught that's wholly bad. 
 Try taking good from goodness. 
 Take gladness from the glad, 
 And ere long you will find yourself 
 Taking much good from bad. 
 Kin dat be Miss Mandy Jenkins 
 Cumin' yondah thoo de gate? 
 Might ni white ez airy white chile. 
 Hair alayin' slick an' straight ; 
 Wen I lef her, she wuz broun skin, 
 An' her haid wuz flufee, too; 
 Mebbe it's mah eyes dat's failin' 
 She nufif Mandy, am dat you? 
 You sho walks jes lak Miss Mandy, 
 An' you jes Miss Mandy's size, 
 An' yore figgah 'zembles Mandy's, 
 Dem eyes dance lak Mandy's eyes; 
 Bust em back an' show dem ivories! 
 You kaint fool me ef you smile ; 
 Neb your mind, dem feets betrays you. 
 Cose you is mah angel chile. 

Mandy, darlm', whut's de mattah? 
 Honey baby, don' you cry ; 
 Did whut I sed hu't yore feelin's? 
 Diden aim to ; hope to die. 
 Bless yore heart, I's onlee kidin' 
 'Bout yore 'plexshun, an' yore hair 
 Be ez striped ez de rain bo'. 
 So it's you, dat's all I care. 
 Say dem words agin. Bill Bundyl 
 Say you lub me, kaze it's me ! 
 Seems lak dey put new life in me, 
 Maik mah heart beat fas' an' free. 
 I etniits et furst you peeved nre, 
 I wuz so', an' so' fo' true, 
 Kaze I spent mah dollah, six bits, 
 Beautifyin', jes' fo' you. 
 But, it's worth all dat I spended. 
 It's worth mo' to heah dem words, 
 Fo' dey's much mo' sweetah music 
 Dan de chune ob hummin' birds ; 
 You lub Mandy, kaze it's Mandy ! 
 Week days, an' a Sunday, too; 
 Well, den listen 'till I tells you 
 How much Mandy thinks ob you. 
 Billie, I jes lubs an' lubs you ! 
 Yo 's so dififern' frum de res'. 
 An' dar's somethin' 'bout you draws me. 
 It's yore winnin' ways, I guess. 
 All de day long yo's befo' me, 
 An' et night you hant mah dreams, 
 Wild erbout you dressed on Sunday, 
 Crazy 'bout you in yore geans ! 

 Stop dat racket! Whar's yore mannahs? 
 don' you heah dat minor part? 
 Seems jes lak deni kords am bindin' 
 blesset sweetness to mah heart ; 
 Watch old Jerry press de cat gut, Goo' Lawd ! 
 how he draw dat bo ; 
 Wondah do de harps in Glorj^, play 
 dat sweet, an' sof, and lo'? 
 Heah dat 'lodious mouf orgin, ain" it sweetnin? 
 tell de truf ! 
 An' it sets de 'hole place ringin' 
 frum de callah to de roof ; 
 Rufus Simpson knows his banjo, knows 
 it ebah string an' fret ; 
 Maiks it almos' beg fo' mercy, 
 maiks it pant, an' bio', an' sweat. 
 You kin talk erbout Gran' Opra, 'bout de 
 concerts, an' de birds ; 
 But, w'en Carolina warbles; 'tain't 
 no 'spressin' it in words ; 
 She kin sing de "Swanee Ribbah," till 
 you see it flowin' by. 
 An' she sings "Asleep in Jesus," till 
 de tears stan' in yore eye. 
 Hopes dat you ain' 'fended Sambo, kase I 
 lef you to de las', 
 Wid yore rattlin' bones, an' tambo, ain' 
 no way to let you pass ; 
 Man ! you adds de rip, de tip, tip ! 
 an' you ancer fo' de drums. 
 Why, dey c'u'den do widout you, 
 w'en de Gran' Finale cums. 

 Alas, the willing hands are stilled 
 In death ; their toil on earth is done. 
 From plow to pen a task they filled, 
 Well earned repose, they won. 
 Long years he struggled uphill amid strife, 
 On, on to the wave crest of fame, 
 And stood at the Zenith of useful life, 
 When the Grim Reaper's summons came. 
 The messenger found him at work in the field 
 Of progress, where long he had lead. 
 With harvest time nigh, and a bountiful yield, 
 They whispered — he is dead. 
 In dead hours of night when my oil burns low, 
 Jesus will pilot me ; 
 When the thunder peals and the wild winds blow, 
 Jesus will pilot me ; 
 All through the night and all through the day, 
 No matter where I may be. 
 He Tightens my footsteps, lest I stray away, 
 Jesus will pilot me. 
 When lost on the deep and the waves run high, 
 Jesus will pilot me; 
 My compass is broken ; my mast goes by ; 
 Jesus will pilot me ; 
 When it seems my bark to the bottom must go 
 And I shall be lost in the sea, 
 I placed my faith in Him, for I know 
 Jesus will pilot me. 
 Down the road going down, a man stumbles on, 
 Lax of spirit and sadly dismayed. 
 No one to console him ; 'ere long he is gone ; 
 In the shadow he lurks half afraid. 
 The future holds naught, the past barren lies, 
 Sobs take his breath, tears dim his eyes ; 
 He stumbles, he falls; can he do otherwise. 
 On the down, down road? 
 If you see a man on the down, down road, 
 Try to brace him with kindness and cheer ; 
 Your smile and your presence will lighten his load, 
 It may aid him to know you are near. 
 It is easy to smile when the outlook is bright. 
 It is easy to run when the impost is light, 
 But we find it hard to do just what is right. 
 On the down, down road. 
 The same circumstance that is keeping him down, 
 Might have put you or me in his place ; 
 Throw out the "Life Line," don't let him drown ! 
 Give him a chance to retrace. 
 The man worth while does not criticize, 
 There is hope for the one underneath, 'till he dies 
 Lend him a hand and perhaps he will rise, 
 From the down, down road. 
 Forward, every son and daughter 
 Born of Ethiopia's hue ! 
 Band yourselves in mighty union, 
 To be or not, depends on you. 
 Harken to the call of "Freedom !" 
 Marshal in "Ambition's' tread. 
 Let no crafty foe retard you 
 'Till you're marching at the head ! 
Set your "Goal Post" in the "Zenith," 
 Seek the shining- spots on high, 
 Swear to be no other's bondman, 
 Ere you cringe — resolve to die. 
 Crown each moment with your effort, 
 From the dawn to setting sun, 
 Every one must do his duty 
 Ere the "Victory" is won ! 
 When oppressed on every side. 
 Or caught in the receding tide, 
 Or dashed along, to who knows where ; 
 With naught in sight but blank despair. 
 When sorrow's shadow hovers round, 
 There is no sunshine to be found ; 
 Complaining does not help a bit. 
 Try hard to make the best of it ! 
 When everything piles up on you, 
 Your health is gone, your money too ; 
 The undercurrent drags you down. 
 No help is nigh, seems you must drown. 
 Those who promised to be true. 
 When trouble came, deserted you ; 
 All else has fled, cling to your grit — 
 You have to make the best of it. 
 Lo! at last the dark clouds sever, 
 No good or bad can live forever ; 
 See your horizon clear again. 
 And all the brighter since the rain ; 
 While good fortune smiles on you, 
 Be honest, upright, staunch and true, 
 And to your fellow-men admit 
 'Tis good to make the best of it. 
 Lavvd, Howdy boy ! whar hab you bin ? 
 Goo'ness ! but yo's lookin' thin, 
 An' it's bin two yeah or mo' 
 Since you darked yore mammie's do'. 
 Now, yo's done cum back to me, 
 Stranded, huntin' sympathee; 
 Hongree, ragged, tired an' busted, 
 Heavy hearted, plum' disgusted. 
 Wen you lef yore deares' fren', 
 Diden I, diden I tole you den, 
 Dat you nevah fine anuddah, 
 Stick clos' to you lak yore muddah? 
 Ain' I sed, "dat Sallie Cain 
 Lub you wid her might an' main, 
 Go long wid you all thoo life 
 Han' in han' yore fai'fful wife?" 
 You sed, "dis ole burg wuz small," 
 Loud, you heard de city's call ; 
 You knowed 'zac'lee whut to do, 
 De city's life ; de life fo' you. 
 Yore hard head done tuk you away. 
 Tired feets brung you back to-day, 
 'Spect now yo'U be satisfied 
 Right heah on de countree side. 
 Ain' you sed, "dat yo'd return 
 Totin money nuff to burn?" 
 An' all yo's brung is baggin' knees. 
 An' a fringe on yore coat sleeves. 
 Dat dar looseness roun' yore wais', 
 An' dem hollahs in yore face, 
 Don' sho' no prosperitee 
 Les' de sign's deceivin' me. 
Mebbe you foun' out by now 
 Dat dar's pleasure hine de plow, 
 Lis'nin' to de Jinnee squeal, 
 While you harrah up de feil'. 
 Whut's it mattah 'bout yore ban's, 
 Ef yore heart meets all deman's, 
 An' yore conscience clear an' bright, 
 Lets you sleep in peace et night? 
 Sail's still got her maiden name, 
 Talks heaps ob you jes de same, 
 Turnt down Lafe, an' Rastus, too ; 
 Satisfied to wait on you. 
 Gals lak Sail am hard to fine, 
 Nowdays, lub ain' ha'f so bline ; 
 Bettah lead her by de han' 
 To de squire, or preachah man. 
 Cryin' ! is you cryin', son? 
 Cum heah, kiss yore mammie, hon ; 
 Squar' dem shoulders, up yore face ! 
 You ain' done no rail disgrace. 
 Don' you know yore maw lub you 
 Maik no difi^ur whut you do. 
 An' dat "Welcome" on de wall, 
 Means you, sonny, fust ob all? 
 If the generous God of Fortune has delt you a sunny sky. 
 And your lot is free from sorrow, pain and strife, 
 Straightway seek your brother, who the world is passing by ; 
 Tell him there is hope while there is life ! 
 Secretly and tenderly go aid the fault'ring one, 
 'Twill do you good to see his spirit mount; 
 The show you make don't demonstrate the good that you have 
 done ; 
 So often it's the "little things" that count. 
 Whar's I bin, who wants to know? 
 No one's bissness whar I go ; 
 I's three sebens, an' den sum, 
 Plenty ole to go an' cum 
 Whar I wants, an' when I please, 
 'Sides you hab a heap ob cheese, 
 Ax me mo' dan mah own kin, 
 None yore bissniss ! whar I bin ! 
 Since you think dat you so smart, 
 I'll jes tell you fo' you start, 
 Ain' no chance to pick frum me, 
 Whar I's bin, or gwine to be; 
 When I leab yo'll know de same 
 Dat you did befo' I came ; 
 Keen on pickin' yo'll git fat 
 Tryin' to figgah whar I's at. 
 Ef you jes sed, look heah Phil, 
 Ain' you bin down hine de mill, 
 Tryin' to coax de little bones 
 To de seben, leben tones? 
 'Stead you used yore strategy, 
 Tried to pick it out ob me. 
 Set yore cunnin' little trap. 
 Thought I'd say, I's shootin' crap. 
 Figgahed you c'u'd git frum me, 
 Dat Sol, an' Gabe, an' Honey Lee, 
 An' me, an' tightwad Henree Lane, 
 Had a little social game ; 
 Thought I'd tell you, Honey Lee 
 Skint de 'hole croud, 'sepin' me, 
 An' dat po' ole Henree Lane, 
 Eben hocked his watch an' chain. 
Wise ole fox, jes keep on pickin'. 
 Whut you git frum dis heah chicken 
 Yo'll be welcome to, I guess ; 
 Bettah go try some de res'. 
 Broach ole Sol or Gabriel Jones, 
 He de man dat own de bones; 
 Else, ast Hen or Honey Lee, 
 Dey'll 'fess, long fo' close' mouf me. 
 Fancy bore me on her wing 
 Far away ; 
 To fond haunts, where mem'ries cling; 
 Far away. 
 Loving tenderness and grace 
 Shown on every smiling face, 
 'Round that dear familiar place, 
 Far away. 
 I could see the shady dell, 
 Far away ; 
 See my little Pardner, Nell, 
 Far away; 
 See my sister and my brother. 
 Yes, God bless her, see another. 
 With her arms outstretched, my Mother; 
 Far away. 
 I could hear the church bell ringing 
 Far away ; 
 Hear the choir sweetly singing, 
 Far away ; 
 See my final place of rest, 
 'Mid the ones that I love best, 
 In the church yard on the crest ; 
 Far away. 
 (Apologies to Harry and Murdock Williams) 
 Dat ar triflin' trash ain' nothin', 
 Wid no sence ob decencee ; 
 Stan' right up befo' de company, 
 Shibbah — Shibbah — Shib — bah— ree ; 
 Why, it kaint keep still a minute, 
 Wiggle, wabble, ebah chance, 
 Nervuss don' begin to 'scribe it. 
 Ax mo' lak "St. Vitus Dance." 
 Some folks maik it differn colors, 
 Some calls it a differn name, 
 But de chance am slim to fool 3^ou 
 Kaze it all ax jes de same. 
 W'en yo 's ett it, yo 's ez empty 
 Ez you would be, uddahwise ; 
 Less you got some satisfackshun 
 Goin' thoo de exercise. 
 I sho laks mah pies an' puddin's, 
 Lubs mah custard an' mah float ; 
 Crazy 'bout good cake an' cookies. 
 Ice cream captalvates mah goat. 
 But heah late de "Ji^" is on me, 
 Else I's got some black cat's luck, 
 Kaze mos' ebah whar Is 'vited, 
 Dey han' me dat "tremblin' truck." 
 An ounce of sunshine, one of rain. 
 An ounce of pleasure and of pain, 
 An ounce of faith, an ounce of fears, 
 An ounce of mirth, an ounce of tears. 
 An ounce of love and one of care. 
 An ounce of hope, one of despair. 
 Of laughter, heartache, comfort, strife ; 
 The total sum — "a pound of life." 
 Awake, my sleeping Ethiopia; 
 Proclaim inheritance thine own ! 
 Fan thy smold'ring embers 
 Into quick'ning flame, to rid the dross 
 And purify thy better self. 
 Ever onward mighty millions 
 Mount, yon elevated plane ! 
 Within thyself, thou hast 
 The power to rise, and risen 
 Stand ! in union firm. 
 Behold! fullfilment of His promise; 
 Thy- "Triumphant Star" ascendeth in the sky. 
 The Ermine, Crown and Sceptre are awaiting 
 Thy "Coronation Day" is drawing nigh. 

 Evah feal a sicknin' fright. 
 In de wee, wee hours ob night. 
 Wen dar's nary soul in sight, 
 'Cept de spook, dat's in yore mine? 
 Evah hab yore heart stop, still, 
 An' yore back bone all a chill, 
 Wen de shadah on de hill, 
 Match de spook dat's in yore mine? 
 Hab you evah quicked yore pace. 
 Wen you pass a lonesome place, 
 Lak you gwine to run a race, 
 Wid de spook dat's in yore mine? 
 Den agin, hab you felt brave, 
 Loud to be no mo' a slave. 
 To de daid dat's in de grave. 
 An' de spook, dat's in yore mine? 

 Jes two strapin' he'lfee boys, 
 Bob an' me ; 
 Full ob fun an' full ob noise 
 Bob an' me. 
 Lubed to rip, an' rant, an' play, 
 Always happy, free an' gay. 
 In de mo'nin' ob Life's day 
 Bob an' me. 
 On to-geddah, all thoo school. 
 Bob an' me ; 
 Honah pupils, ez a rule, 
 Bob an' me. 
 On de fiel', or in a tes', 
 We would do our lebel bes' 
 An' we'd one, two, all de res'. 
 Bob an' me. 
 Woulden' cheat an' diden' try. 
 Bob an' me ; 
 Diden' fight, or argufy. 
 Bob an' me. 
 Diden' squabble, diden' cuss, 
 Nevah had a single fuss, 
 Dat we diden' patch, 'tween us, 
 Bob an' me. 
 We wuz well ni' 'bout eighteen. 
 Bob an' me ; 
 W'en de furst strife cum between 
 Bob an' me. 
 To our town dar came a girl, 
 Dat chile's name wuz Mattie Pearl, 
 An' she set us bof a whirl. 
 Bob an' me. 

We thought she wuz nighty sweet, 
 Bob an' me ; 
 Loud she wuz a dream, complete ; 
 Bob an' me. 
 In her eyes de lub light shown, 
 Neadah would let her erlone. 
 We bof claimed her fo' our own. 
 Bob an' me. 
 Den we called on her one day, 
 Bob an' me ; 
 Jes to heah whut she'd to say, 
 Bob an' me. 
 Bof cain't win you, one mus' lose, 
 One mus' hab de "weary blues" ; 
 So we's cum fo' you to choose. 
 Bob an' me. 
 On her lips we seed a smile, 
 Bob an' me ; 
 We bof sed, "God bless dat chile," 
 Bob an' me. 
 Seemed her eyes shown lak de sun, 
 We'n she sed, "dar's no harm done, 
 Woulden' hab you, eaddah one," 
 Bob an' me. 
 Time done made us bof ole men, 
 Bob an' me ; 
 But, we's still each uddah's fren. 
 Bob an' me. 
 Guess we made a rail good match, 
 'Ten's our little garden patch, 
 Libes togeddah, an' we batch ; 
 Bob an' me. 

 I 'ten'ed a campane speakin' 
 Et de Town Hall uddah night. 
 Heard de canadate fo' office, 
 Frail his 'ponett lef an' right. 
 He called him a lo' down scoundrel, 
 A graftah, fraud an' bum ; 
 Tole us ef he gits elected 
 Sho nuff hard time boun' to cum. 
 He sed, "he'd be po' man's fren', 
 He'l 'up fo' capital, too ; 
 Loud ef he gits elected 
 He would put de issue thoo." 
 Sed, "he would ile de turn pike, 
 Remodel de ole jail. 
 Put mo' dough in de envelope, 
 An' cram de dinnah pail." 
 "He gits mah vote," I sez, sez I, 
 An' lef dar, satisfied ; 
 But on mah way agoin' home, 
 Annuddah crowd I spied ; 
 Dey had a brass ban' an' red fire, 
 Right in de Market Square ; 
 An' dar de uddah canadate 
 Spoke in de open air. 
 Wid bof his feets, he jumped right on 
 De fellah, I jes heard, 
 An' called him ebahthin' dats bad, 
 Omittin' nary word. 
 He sed, "a man dat vote fo' Smif 
 Be sorry ebah mo', 
 An' tole us dat he got his start. 
 By preyin' on de po'." 
He sed, "he knuckled to no man, 
 No special set, or creed ; 
 An' felt lak all dem dats oppressed, 
 An' boun' down, should be freed." 
 He promised us prosperity, 
 De mills run day an' night. 
 An' loud he had no aim in life 
 'Cept treatin' uddahs right. 
 I walked rail slo' agoin' home, 
 Tried hard to dope it out ; 
 Fo' Smif had sho painted Jones black, 
 Jones blacken Smif, no doubt ; 
 I went to bed an' slep' on it, 
 Riz wid de mo'nin' sun. 
 An' figguhed it jes waistin' time. 
 To vote fo' eaddah one. 
 Trus' you wid mah secret, Eli ; ain' nobody else I'd tell ; 
 I's bin ten'in' Publick Night School, de teachah sez, I does 
 right well ; 
 I finds Fissack Kulcher easy, I kin write, an' I kin draw. 
 But in Grammah I's de biges' lunatic wid in de Law. 
 Wen we hab a class in Readin', I banks on a rail good mark ; 
 Figgahs ! figgahs calls me Pappy ! an' dey know me in de dark. 
 An' de Spellin's made to order, I's de king ob "Spellin' Bee"; 
 But de pro'nouns an' dem adverbs hab a heap ob fun wid me. 
 Las' night I sed, " 'twas he an' me," dat's I called mahse'f, me. 
 De teachah sed, dat I wuz wrong; I should sed I, you see; 
 Ob course, I knows de teachah know, so I inten' to try, 
 Aldough it sho hurts me to say, please han' it heah to I. 
 Stand exalted! martyred Lincoln 
 Example of triumphant march 
 From humble birth, 
 To First Chair of the land. 
 Your deeds, a glowing tribute 
 To success ; honorably achieved. 
 By honest man 
 Despite the overwhelming odds. 
 Your words, like Phoenix, 
 Rise, o'er and o'er again. 
 From embers just their own. 
 And herald wisdom broadcast unto all. 
 Ve jes pushed back frum our suppah, sweeten taters baked 
 wid poke, 
 V^'en somebody started beggin', deah Ant Dina, 'tell a joke ; 
 )r, else spin a yarn dat's frightin', or some strange out lan'ish 
 3out de mystic spooks an' goblins, or how Jonah fooled de 
 )en Ant Dina 'tole de chill'en, ef dey gaddah roun' reel clos', 
 he would tell dem de true story, 'bout Lem Lawson an' his 
 ghost ; 
 .n' she started et de 'ginnin', tole how Lem, a se'fish crank, 
 )iden' trus' a soul aliben, woulden' eben trus' de bank. 
 [e libed fo' se'f, all by hisse'f, way down in Jackson's hollah, 
 .n' in a ches' beneaf de fio' he hid 'way many a dollah. 
 rill finelee bad men cumed one day an' foun' his hidden' place ; 
 >ey tuk his money, ches, an' all, an' nevah lef no trace^ 
 •at night w'en po' Lem cum home, he brung a kupple mo', 
 o hide 'way ermong de res', in de ches' beneaf de flo' ; 
 ut, w'en he foun' his money gone, he cussed bof lef an' right ; 
 'is hair turned frum a raven black to snowy white dat night. 
He tuk a chair, sot right down, crossways ob de do', 
 Sleabs rolled up an' on his lap dar lay a fo'tee-fo' ; 
 He sot thar twenty days an' nights, dat's whut de neighbahs 
 sed ; 
 An' nevah ett or drunk a drap ; one day dey foun' him, dead. 
 Aftah while some strangah folks moved on Lawson's place, 
 An' w'en we tole em 'bout Lem's ghost, dey laff right in our 
 face ; 
 Called us fogey, tole us we bes' keep de 'vise we's gibin', 
 Dat dey had no feah fo' de dead ; an' much less fo' de libin. 
 Dem sma't Ellicks went to bed, but jes long 'bout midnight, 
 Ole Lem's ghost cum prowlin' 'roun' — it certnee served 'em 
 right ; 
 An' w'en dat ghost in low tone sed, "you thief, put back mah 
 De joke tuk on a differn look, an' thin's warn't ha'f so funny. 
 Aldough dey wuz so all fired brave an' diden' feah de dead, 
 Dey lef mos' ebahthin' behine, dat mo'nin' w'en dey fled ; 
 An' I knows well an' certain' dat dey tuk de furstes' train. 
 An' swo' dey'd nevah sot a foot in dese heah parts again. 
 Nex' day de Sheriff hanged a sign down in de Market Space, 
 Reward in gold, fo' airy man dat stays on Lawson's place ; 
 Since den a many man hab tried, but nary singel soul 
 Has evah stayed dar all night long, so dey c'u'd get de gold. 
 In kase yo's out reel late et night an' Lem's ghost do appeah, 
 Tain't no use hollahin' he'p ! or drapin' dead ob feah ; 
 But jes' you walk straight backwards 'till you has counted 
 Den maik a cross, turn reel slo' roun' ; dat am de voodoo sign. 
 An' den you go right on yore way, an' don* you feah no harm. 
 No powah on earf kin hurt you w'en po'tected by de charm ; 
 An' now dat I has tole a tale accordin' to yore wishes, 
 Heah, Hezikiah ! talk dis towel an' dry yore auntie's dishes ! 

 I had a rail good, easy job, 
 valet fo' Mr. Lee ; 
 An' trabeled wid him mos' de time, 
 in style an' luxury ; 
 It looks lak I'd be satisfied, but 
 somehow I'd get blue, 
 Athinkin' 'bout mah country home, 
 an' mah dead muddah, too. 
 I's bin to London, seed de Thames, 
 aslippin' to de sea. 
 An' frum de Mediterranean, seen 
 sunny Italy ; 
 Done saw de Alpine's snow-capped 
 peaks, de Cata Combs ob Rome ; 
 But sabe mah soul, I jes' kaint find 
 no place lak mah home. 
 Done bin to China, India, too ; met 
 Japs, an' Senghaleese, 
 In Turkey saw de Sultan pass 
 his subjects on dere knees ; 
 Seen palaces wid golden tho'nes, 
 whar monarchs reign supreme ; 
 Still in de th'one room ob dis heart, 
 mah muddah am de queen. 
 Bin mong de wheat fields ob de norf, 
 down souf seed sugah cain ; 
 Done bin frum California's slopes to 
 chilly sho's ob Maine ; 
 In fact, I's bin mos' ebah whar, 
 furst one place, den anuddah. 
 Still I ain't foun' no place lak home, 
 an' no one lak mah muddah. 

 Soiled and stained, a page in l.ifc's Book, 
 I tore from its place : 
 Next, I found a chapter smirched ; 
 It, too, I would erase. 
 Those shady spots have spoiled my book, 
 Can I the wrongs undo, 
 If, in rewriting, I omit 
 The ugly parts, I rue? 
 If I go where I am unknown. 
 To some strange distant land. 
 Where no one knows of "wild oats" sown, 
 Where I know not a man : 
 Should I deceive a world of men, 
 And bury deep my sin. 
 Am I not loser in the end? 
 It is not hid from Him. 
 Conscience cried, "Replace that leaf! 
 Before I brand you, liar, thief, 
 Withdraw your cloven hoof and naked tooth ! 
 Lay your false thought on yonder shelf, 
 Be honest with the world and self. 
 Far fairest of all virtue is the Truth." 
 They tell me I have lived before. 
 Trod this old earth in days of yore. 
 An elephant, or garter snake. 
 Can this be true, for goodness sake? 
 If spirits flit from things to things, 
 From insects into hearts of kings ; 
 Perhaps I may have been a whale, 
 Or just a creeping slimy snail. 
 Once a porupine, then horse, now man. 
 Far more than I can understand. 
 Though my past forms are naugh to me, 
 The rub is what I next will be. 

 In Revolutionary days 
 A struggling nation, young, 
 Sent out a call for volunteers 
 With powder-horn and gun ; 
 When Betsy Ross unfurled the flag 
 They vowed to die or do, 
 And marched with Green in Jersey, 
 A few brave Blacks in Blue. 
 In the "War of Eighteen-twelve," 
 With Perry they stood well. 
 To save the day at New Orleans 
 They fought, they bled, and fell ; 
 In "Indian Wars" they took a part, 
 Helped make the "Iron clad's" crew, 

 They never took a backward step ; 
 Courageous Blacks in Blue. 

 In the "War of the Rebellion," 
 Ethiopia's son were there ; 

 Readily they served their country. 
 Willingly they did their share. 

 Their battle cry was "Victory !" 
 They knew no Waterloo ; 

 They cheered aloud 'mid bursting shell, 
 Fearless Blacks in Blue. 

 In the cruel "Civil War," 
 Far worse than all others ; 

 Fathers fought against their sons, 
 And brothers fought their brothers. 

 At Gettysburg and Bloody Run, 
 Their bleeding bodies strew 

 The battlefield, to others free ; 
 Unflinching Blacks in Blue. 
In Cuba and the Philippines 
 Their deeds of valor won, 

 Remember how they rescued 
 The Colonel, at San Juan ; 

 Above a block house on the hill 
 They raised their "colors true," 

 Then lent aid to the shattered "Sixth" — 
 Gallant Blacks in Blue. 
 In Nineteen-sixteen with Old Glory 
 They marched into Mexico; 

 And at Carrizal, outnumbered, 
 Bravely faced a deadly foe ; 

 The acid test of time has tried them, 
 Tried and found them solid, through. 

 And there never was a traitor 
 Found among the Blacks in Blue. 
 Broad-minded, far-seeing champion so brave, 
 A nation sheds hot tears for you ; 
 The Pilot, who boarded a doomed ship to save. 
 The soul of an awe-stricken crew. 
 Scholar, guardian, brother to men. 
 His whole life embedded in work; 
 For others he labored to life's very end, 
 No man ever knew him to shirk. 
 Gallant, courageous, unselfish in thought. 
 Foremost in his mind dwelt the cause ; 
 Around us we see many wonders he wrought, 
 Never ceasing 'till death bade him pause. 
 Composed, alert, unafraid on that day. 
 Watched the shadows of earth growing dim ; 
 Heard a voice from afar calling, "Come, don't delay !" 
 Saw a finger above beckon him. 

 Las' Sunday mo'nin', ha'f pas' eight, 
 Wid fishin' pole an' can ob bait, 
 I met de good ole decon, Jackson Bole ; 
 Sez he to me, "look heah, youn' man, 
 Whut has you hab in dat ar' can. 
 An' whar you gwine wid dat bamboo pole ?" 
 I stood dar feelin' mighty small, 
 Kaze I had nary 'scuse et all ; 
 De decon he done cotched me dead to right ; 
 Inste'd ob'tentin' Sunday School, 
 Aslippin' to de fishin' pool. 
 He tole me dat I stood in mah own light. 
 Den in his slo' offhan'ed way. 
 De right an' wrong befo' me lay, 
 An' tole me whut a man mah pap had bin ; 
 Lowd he knowed well mah pap would rave, 
 Would turn plum obah in his grave, 
 Ef he knowed I comited sech a sin. 
 Den he sed, "Sonny, if you wish, 
 Dar's six 'hole days dat you kin fish. 
 An' onlee one dat breaks de Marstah's rule ; 
 So, why not cum go 'long wid me 
 An' git salvashun while it's free. 
 Or would you raddah be de debbel's tool?" 
 I grabed holt Jackson by de han', 
 Tole him dat I laked his stan', 
 Draped mah fishin' pole an' can ob bait ; 
 Ax him please take me erlong 
 Wid him to jine dat do right throng 
 Dats marchin' onward to de Golden Gate. 

 Give us a man ! who takes a stand and fights ; 
 Who cringes not, contending for his rights. 
 Who holds his Cause above all personal gain, 
 And boldly bids for place in world's acclaim. 
 Give us a man ! who looks beyond to-day, 
 Who finds the hidden haunts where dangers lay ; 
 Who leaves no stone unturned, 'till he 
 Has lead his forces on, triumphantly ! 
 Give us a man ! who sees be3^ond his nose, 
 Who wails not o'er spilt milk or passing woes ; 
 Whose courage spark no flaunter's threat can dim, 
 And we will gladly follow after him. 
 Lost far beyond voice of recall, lost is Life's richest prize ; 
 The merry song in discord falls, the sunlight dims and dies. 
 Fond precious treasure, priceless Love ! naught e'er can take 
 your place ; 
 The field of pleasure you were once, to-day is barren waste. 
 Like midnight's pleasant dream you fled, you left me thus, 
 alone ; 
 With my eyes welled in scalding tears and heavy heart of 
 stone ; 
 O cruel Fate ! please tell me why you dealt the wicked blow ; 
 Why did you give me it to lose ; why did you treat me so? 
 Ls there no place for weary souls, who would no longer stay, 
 Where all they ever sought to hold, was rudely torn away? 
 W'hen Love's bright fire is cold and dead, ashes remain, no 
 doubt ; 
 Remain to mock an aching heart ; "Ashes of Love" burned out. 

 Sorrow, suffering, 
 Misery, pain ; 
 Soul-racking torture, 
 Again, and again. 
 Near stifling sobs. 
 Deep piercing sighs. 
 Fast falling tears 
 Burning my eyes. 
 Alas — it is broken, 
 I hold the parts ; 
 Is there a tinker 
 Who mends broken hearts? 
 "While enlarging the capital "I" remember, the tops of to- 
 day are often the bottoms of to-morrow." 
 "When you have aimed high, aim higher ; when you have 
 done your duty, do a bit more." 
 I sho' dislak a man dat feels 
 Lak he's aturnin' all de wheels, 
 An' ef his little mill shets down. 
 Den dis 'hole worl' quit goin' roun' ; 
 Dar's plenty good men cumin' on. 
 An' heaps dat's done bin heah, an' gone, 
 So I ain' bragin', undahstan', 
 I's meerlee talkin', man to man. 
 I taiks good care ob whut I git, 
 Does mah bes' to maik en's fit; 
 Patch mah klose, ha'f sole mah shoes, 
 Don' wais' nothin' I kin use ; 
 Ain' no slabe to grub or drink, 
 Ain' no miser, don' you think 
 Dat I is se'fish, kaze I's not; 
 Glad to he'p dem whut ain' got. 
'Ten's mail church nios' all de time, 
 Ob each dollah gibs a dime ; 
 Lubs to len' a he'pin' han' 
 To mos' airy 'zerbin' man. 
 Mah barn lof plum' full ob hay, 
 Got a few cents tucked erway ; 
 Sun ain' gwine to shine always, 
 Boun' to be some rainy days. 
 Jes' a word 'bout Emeline, 
 She dat faifful wife ob mine ; 
 Putty, no sah ! bless yore sole. 
 She's de las'in' kine whut hole ; 
 Good an' hones' gal lak yores, 
 Heart ez big ez all out doors ; 
 "She kin cook, man ! She kin bake 
 Co'nbread, taste lak angel cake. 
 I nevah brag on whut I own, 
 Sellem speak erbout mah home ; 
 Six rooms, toilet, baf complete ; 
 Koncrete cellahs, furnace heat. 
 All mah stock am fit an' fine, 
 Ain' fur frum de tractshun line ; 
 Dar's no finah place erroun'. 
 An' bless you, paid fo' ebah poun'. 
 You notice how dem wid de mos' 
 Has no time to brag or boas', 
 While dem dat jes' do barlee lib. 
 Plenty free etvice kin gib ; 
 Aldough Ps shame to menshun it, 
 Ps 'cumulated quite a bit; 
 Ps room to brag ez sho' yo's born 
 But Ps no han' to blow mah horn. 
 "Don't discord ; if you can't harmonize, don't sing." 
 "Death is but a tunnel between Life uncertain and Life 

 Wen I wuz jes a little lad 
 On de Hill; 
 I cut pranks bof good an' bad, 
 On de Hill ; 
 In de "Rabbit Grass,'' or lot, 
 Or some uddah precious spot. 
 Far too deah, to be fo'got ; 
 On de Hill. 
 Aftah while thin's grew rail dry. 
 On de Hill; 
 Same ole cronnies, woods, an' sky, 
 On deHill; 
 Huntin' fo' de busy whirl, 
 I w'en out into de worl', 
 Lef mah muddah, an' mah girl ; 
 On de Hill. 
 I seed thin's I nevah seen, 
 On de Hill ; 
 Lak de grass I sho wor green, 
 On de Hill; 
 W'en dey opened up mah eyes, 
 Made me sho nuff worl'ly wise, 
 I cud miss de tendah ties. 
 On de Hill. 
 A feelin' cum I nevah had 
 On deHill; 
 I nevah thought ob feelin' bad, 
 On de Hill; 
 Feets hanged heavy in dair track, 
 Helf an' strength begun to crack ; 
 Mighty glad to amble back. 
 On de Hill. 
I find honey in de breeze, 
 Onde Hill; 
 Find rail 'holesome rest an' ease, 
 On de Hill; 
 Dar is somethin' I cain't tell, 
 Gibs me hopes ob gettin' well, 
 Mebbe its de home lak smell, 
 On de Hill. 
 If God is not, then who is He, 
 Who reigns above, majestically. 
 Who sees us through the night and day. 
 Who leads us safely all the way? 
 Who makes the moon shine from afar. 
 Who controls each twinkling star. 
 Who gives us day, and who the night, 
 Who fills the sun with radiant light? 
 Who placed the coolness in the breeze, 
 Who hung the fruit upon the trees. 
 Who put the fish in yonder brook. 
 Who planted wild flowers in the nook? 
 Who fills the field with golden grain. 
 Who causes draught, who sends the rain, 
 Who towers the lofty mountains high. 
 Who made the earth, the sea, and sky? 
 Who sends the rushing rivers on. 
 Who gave the little bird his song, 
 Who scattered islands in the sea. 
 Who gave this life to you and me ? 
 If God is not, then who is He — 
 E'er at the helm doth pilot thee? 
 Who destines us as on we plod ? 
 'Tis just Thy power, Almighty God ! 

 Mearch de fiff, nineteen an' two ; 
 Mah Honey Babe : How does you do? 
 Wid pen in han' I drops a line, 
 To let you know I's feelin' fine, 
 An" ast you, how's yore Maw an' Paw, 
 Yore Bruddah, an' yore Sister'n-law ? 
 I's gitin' on right well out heah, 
 Ob co'se I misses you, mah deah ; 
 But I works on an' grin an' grin, 
 Kaze time ain' long ez it has been, 
 An' fo' long yo'll be heah wid me — 
 Mrs. Jasper Amos Lee ! 
 I 'fess, I sometimes hab de blues, 
 So w'en you writes, tell all de news ; 
 A hearin' 'bout de folks frum you, 
 Sorta he'ps a fellah thoo ; 
 Tell me who's up an' who am down. 
 An' all erbout de deah ole town. 
 Ain't nothin' much out heah to do, 
 Etcept to sit an' dream ob you ; 
 Jes dream ob you an' Tennessee, 
 De faires' ob de fair to me ; 
 Mah mine an' heart am evah dair, 
 Po'tected by yore lubin care. 
 'Speck I'll close, it's gitin' late, 
 Please ancer et en early date ; 
 Gib kine regards to all de res'. 
 Do wid mah lub whut you knows bes', 
 Be a good gal, dream ob me, 
 Frum yore faififul, Jasper Lee. 
 P. S. — Sadday's yore berfday, 
 Somethin' rail nice on de way ; 
 'Tain't no dimon' lanvenleer. 
 But yo'll prize it jes ez deah ; 
 An' Hon, dem crosses stan' fo' kisses, 
 In de place ob dose I misses. 

 Merry bells since daybreak pealed, 
 The sun is shining bright ; 
 Fair lillies blooming in the field 
 Bedeck the earth in white. 
 Sweet strains from a distant choir 
 Fall softly on my ear, 
 The Anthem sets my soul afire 
 With Easter's loving cheer. 
 I'm wafted back long years ago 
 To where my Savior died ; 
 To save soul from eternal woe. 
 The Lord was crucified. 
 I seem to see the silent tomb. 
 Where Redeemer lay, 
 'Till angels had dispelled the gloom 
 And rolled the stone away. 
 I venture to the entrance dim, 
 I seek Him in His prison. 
 An angel's voice speaks from within, 
 "Behold, the Lord is risen !" 
 With joy all earth and heaven sing, 
 Bid trumpeters proclaim. 
 All hail ! unto the risen King, 
 The Savior lives again ! 
 Where I was before here I came, I know not ; 
 Nor does it worry me now that I am ; 
 But where I go when here I leave, puzzles me ; 
 The groping in that vast uncertainty. 
 O ! seething brain, dispel all thoughts of fear ; 
 Borrow not from doubt those dreams so weird ; 
 Go ! buckle on your coat of faith and with a trust renewed, 
 Unflinchingly embrace eternity ! 

 Whar I growed up dar wor no school, 
 'twuz je' a lonesome wood ; 
 An' all de learnin' dat I got, 
 I got bes' way I c'u'd ; 
 By watchin' rail close now an' den 
 I'd cotch a little bit, 
 An' den I'd add some commin' senses, 
 erlong wid muddah wit. 
 I nevah had no Gogofee, ain' 
 seed no Rifmatick, 
 To 'splain de layin' ob de Ian', 
 an' how to count up quick ; 
 But, w'en I wuz jes' 'bout so big, 
 mebbe a leetle biggah, 
 Mah muddah wit cum to mah 
 aid, an' learnt me how to figgah. 
 I ain' had no Victroll to show 
 me how to sing, 
 Nor music book wid lines an' 
 dots, an' dat ar' sort a t'ing; 
 Sitin' neaf de pariah windah, I 
 would ketch de words rail soon, 
 Den muddah wit would cvim erlong 
 an' 'sply me wid de tune. 
 Dat eddiecashun sho am fine, 
 I's willin' to etmit ; 
 Still, I conten's you ain' much force, 
 wid out yore muddah wit ; 
 'Sides, dar is 'hole heaps dat you learn. 
 dat's writ in no man's books ; 
 An' some dat don' know, A frum B ; 
 make mighty fus' class cooks. 

 We must work well the soil in the Garden of Life, 
 From the best in our store we must sow ; 
 With love's honest toil 
 We must then till the soil 
 So the fruit of our labor will show. 
 With pure, honest thoughts let us fertilize, 
 From fond loving hearts, irrigate ; 
 With care, let us hoe 
 Every row as we go ; 
 Let us uproot the rank weed of hate. 
 When "harvest time" comes and the golden grain's ripe, 
 For a duty well done. He will bless us ; 
 And sweet flowers we grew 
 Will be waiting, 'tis true, 
 At the end of the road to refresh us. 
 Toil, toil, toil, the days goes by, 
 And what have I ? 
 A dull abode, a single loaf, a solid cot, 
 On which I lie. 
 Toil, toil, toil, 'till night shades fall ; 
 What have I won? 
 A bit of rest, then rise to toil anew 
 'Neath blazing sun. 
 Toil, toil, toil, 'till honest sweat 
 In beads, upon my brow does stand ; 
 And my reward — a tattered coat, 
 A cobbled shoe, a blistered hand. 
 On I will toil, a willing toiler; 
 In usefulness true worth is shown ; 
 Had I not better wear out toiling. 
 Than to rust, an idle drone? 
 "Perseverance is the mother of success." 

 Sebenth daughtah ob de sebenth, 
 Born beneaf de mistick vail ; 
 On lebenth day ob month de lebenth, 
 Marked wid signs dat nevah fail. 
 She kin tell yore future histree, 
 'Deed, dar's nothin' she doan know, 
 An' de darkist hidden mistree, 
 Ain' no mistree 'tall to Chloe. 
 I care not for the clash of steel. 
 Nor, for a blood drenched battlefield ; 
 I find no music in the cannon's roar, 
 I do not fancy shrieking shell, 
 That falls, to burst a blinding Hell ; 
 Would I might dwell in peace for evermore. 
 Although peace loving, I admit, 
 I also boast some sand and grit. 
 And hate a coward like a coiling snake. 
 A man is no man who won't fight 
 When Honor, Freedom, Home and Right, 
 And Liberty and Justice are at stake. 
 I's sebenty-two an' feelin' good, 
 Kin jump plum' ofif de groun' ; 
 Does enythin' I evah could, 
 Speals now an' den up town ; 
 De tem'pence folks maik et appeah 
 Lak it's a powahful sin ; 
 Jes let em rave, I has no feah ! 
 To-night, I talks on Gin. 

I minds mah bissness all de time, 
 Don' bothah nary soul ; 
 Mah disposishun sho am fine, 
 Mah hearts ez pure ez gold. 
 I nevah tries to gib etvice, 
 Jes does de bes' I kin ; 
 An' nevah argues 'bout de price, 
 De gin man ast fo' Gin. 
 I does not borrie, nevah len', 
 Tries hard to do whut's right ; 
 I knows I is mah own bes' fren'; 
 An' keeps dat fack in sight. 
 Wen Small Pox circlin' roun' erbout 
 An' Moanah's in de win', 
 I 'tects mahse'f fo' I goes out 
 By takin' on some Gin. 
 Gin am a tonic, good an' true, 
 Sho brace you up, alright! 
 But, ef it gits de bes' ob you, 
 Yo's in a sad, sad plight ; 
 So, ef you kain't kintrol yorese'f, 
 Stop now ! fo' you begin ; 
 An' leabs dat bottle on de she'f, 
 You dar not fool mid Gin ! 
 I always keeps it ni' et han', 
 De vera bes' dat's sold, 
 Kaze it has he'ped a many man. 
 Breaks up a rail bad cold ; 
 An' ef you talks a sip et night. 
 You nevah will grow thin, 
 Yo'll fine Gin deals wid you alright, 
 Ef you deals right wid Gin. 

 At a hi' tone berfday party, 
 Giben fo' Miss Winnie Lane, 
 Lonnie Johnson, Winnie s sweetheart, 
 Mist his bran' new watch an' chain. 
 Backed his se'f up in de do'way, 
 Grim determin' on his face ; 
 Sed, "he mus' hab his belongin's 
 'Fo'e a sole c'u'd leab de place." 
 "I ain't got it!" Jeff Blue shouted. 
 "You kin search me, ' Dode Smif sed. 
 Some de uddahs got ixcited, 
 Uddahs stood an' shuck dai'r head. 
 Den up speaks ole Bruddah Homah, 
 "I kin Stan' it! kin de res'? 
 Fetch de roostah an' de ine pot 
 An' we'll all go thoo de tes'. 
 Right erway de hostess, Winnie, 
 Furm de kitchen brung a pot; 
 In de meantime, Winnie's Pappy 
 Ushered in his prize Wine Dot. 
 Den Bur Homah sed, "de Scriptahs 
 Tole how Petah cum to grief. 
 An' dat ebah liben' roostah 
 Knowed a liar an' a thief." 
 Put de roostah 'neaf de ine pot, 
 In de middle ob de flo' ; 
 W'en de thievin' villin tech it 
 Dat ar bird am boun' to cro'. 
 Fall in line an' put de light out, 
 Start to marchin' frum de spot ; 
 An' let ebah body passin' 
 Lay a han' erpon de pot. 
 Aftah dey had all marched by it, 
 Bruddah Homah lit de light; 
 Ast deni hole dair han' pams upward, 
 So de charm c'u'd work out right. 
 Den, he sed, "de roostah tells me 
 Jeff Blue am de guilty man. 
 An' he knows it jes bekazen 
 Dar's no smut erpon his han'." 

 Tears are falling, I am sad, 
 Little Girl ; 
 You were everything I had, 
 Little Girl ; 
 To your grave alone, I steal. 
 Bare my head and humbly kneel, 
 While I tell Him how I feel, 
 Little Girl. 
 Every joy on earth in one, 
 Little Girl ; 
 Sweetheart, wife, companion, chum, 
 Little Girl ; 
 Seems I see your dear face still. 
 Seems I feel that same old thrill, 
 I believe I always will. 
 Little Girl. 
 Ere long He will call me, too. 
 Little Girl ; 
 Call me Home, to Him, and you, 
 Little Girl ; 
 Everlasting peace we'll share. 
 Free from sorrow, pain and care ; 
 There will be no parting there. 
 Little Girl. 
 Black America! In Fame's Hall go place 
 This group ; where naught can e'er erase 
 A single noble character, or dim one glorious deed ; 
 For they were sowers of the seed — 
John Brown, at Harper's Ferry, amid his gallant boys : 
 Elijah Lovejoy, who gave all, at Alton, Illinois; 
 And Lincoln, martyred Lincoln ! Felled by a traitor's blow ; 
  Douglass, Phillips, Garrison, 
 and Harriet Beecher Stowe. 

 It's purfeck scanluss how de chillen 
 Pleges de oldah folks now days ; 
 Go way w'en you mos' do need em, 
 Go way an' jes stays, an' stays. 
 Why! de younstars run yore bissness, 
 Bosses you an' dat's a fack, 
 Tells you whut dey will an' won't do, 
 Han's you up back talk an' slack. 
 I sent Samson to de grocery, 
 Sakes alibe ! dat boy am slo' ; 
 'Speck he's somewhar playin' marbles, 
 Me heah ; mah han's in de dough. 
 'Sides, I tole him fo' to hurry 
 Wid de shortnin' fo' de bread, 
 See him creepin' yondah, don't you, 
 Lak a snake whut's 'bout to shed. 
 Boy ! pick up dem feets yo's dragin', 
 Cum arunin' w'en I calls ! 
 Ef I has to git behine you, 
 I'll unseat dem obbah halls ; 
 Is you got dem thin's I tole you? 
 Yas ! is dat whut you sed, Sam? 
 Guess I'll taik you to de smoke house, 
 See ef you kain't say, yas mam. 
 Mammy lak, I lub mah chillen. 
 Does all airy mammy c'u'd, 
 W'en I scold em or correck em. 
 It am fo' to do em good ; 
 Dey say: "I is antdelouvin. 
 An' dat dey's fruni modern schools," 
 But, I tells em sometimes learnin' 
 Turns sma't Ellicks into fools. 
Wondah whar mah baby, Linda? 
 Look up yondah et de clock! 
 Ni' two hours since school has lef out 
 An' it's jes erroun' de block; 
 Dat chile spiled kaze she de baby, 
 She thinks she is cute an' smart. 
 Dough I doesen' lak to do it, 
 I mus' stop her, fo' she start. 
 Arabella, jes' turned sixteen, 
 Growed up lady, havin' bows ; 
 Runnin' roun' in dead ob Avintah 
 Mos' time wid out propah kloze ; 
 Dat gal am so' hi' fo'lutin'. 
 She calls cookin' "mestic-signs," 
 Wen she quit her job las' Toosday, 
 She sed, "Boss man, I resigns!" 
 Chillen now is fresh an' fo'stee. 
 Gals is women w'en deys ten ; 
 Boys dat jes am twelve an' thirteen. 
 Smokes an' chews de same ez men ; 
 W'en I see 'em blundah bustin', 
 I jes turns mah head an' smile, 
 Kaze I knows dese se'f same chillen 
 Be de ole folks aftah while. 

advance: subscribe:rs 
 Mrs. J. C. Adams 
 Mr. Alfred G. Allen 
 Mr. Horace H. Allen 
 Mr. J. H. Allen 
 Mrs. Buena Anderson 
 Mr. L. Anderson 
 Mrs. Larz Anderson 
 Mrs. John W. Appleton 
 Mr. Thos. O'Banion 
 Mr. C. W. Bartler 
 Mr. Allie Baxter 
 Mr. Harry Beasley 
 Mrs. Bessie B. Beaty 
 Mrs. William Beck 
 Mr. Carl Beckwith 
 Rev. J. N. Samuels Belboden 
 Mrs. R. E. Belsinger 
 Mrs. T. B. Berry 
 Miss Eleanora Birnbryer 
 Mr. William Bishordson 
 Mrs. Mabel Mack Blackburn 
 Mrs. J. Emil Blunden 
 Mr. Chas. E. Boden 
 Mr. H. W. B. Bowman 
 Miss J. Bowman 
 Mrs. Ida Borger 
 Mrs. Gertrude Boyd 
 Mr. Jno. J. Brady 
 Mr. J. C. Bramlette 
 Rev. and Mrs. W. L. Brean 
 Mr. Robert J. O'Brien 
 Mrs. Busina G. Brown 
 Mrs. Dora Brown 
 Mrs. Mamie Brown 
 Mr. Ross Brown 
 Mrs. Idella Bryant 
 Mr. John Buckner 
 Mr. Geo. W. Burris 
 Mrs. Pearl Butler 
 Mrs. a B. Byrd 
 Mr. DeWitt McCaleb 
 Mrs. J. T. Cameron 
 Mrs. Leamos Carpenter 
 Mr. J. C. Carson 
 Miss M. P. Chastine 
 Mrs. May Day Chavies 
 Mr. Melvin J. Chisum 
 Mr. A. C. Conrad 
 Mrs. William Copeland 
 Mr. Eugene Cox 
 Mr. M. McCray 
 Mrs. John Crooke 
 Mr. James Custard 
 Mr. W. P. Dabney 
 Mr. Lewis Dale 
 Mr. C. P. Dandridge 
 Mr. R. B. Dandridge 
 Mrs. Annabelle Davis 
 Mrs. Estella R. Davis 
 Mrs. L. D. Drewry 
 Mr. Jackson Dillahay 
 Mrs. Lilly Dixon 
 Mrs. Rosa Douglas 
 Mrs. Delia Dotson 
 Mr. H. S. Dunbar 
 Mrs. Ella Duncan 
Mr. Sidney C. Durst 
 Mrs. Amelia Duwel 
 Miss Mazie A. Earhart 
 Miss L. V. Edmondson 
 Mrs. John Elliott 
 Mrs. Chas. Fleischmann 
 Mr. John S. Fielding 
 Mr. James Fields 
 Miss Lillian B. Finch 
 Mr. and Mrs. Howard E. Finley 
 Mr. John H. Finley 
 Mr. Clifford H. Fisher 
 Mr. Eugene Foertmeyer 
 Miss Emma T. Ford 
 Mrs. Mary C. Ford 
 Mr. Wm. H. Ford 
 Mrs. Ella Fowler 
 Mrs. Nannie Fulkerson 
 Mr. E. M. Galbraith 
 Miss Eliza Garforth 
 Miss Julia Garner 
 Mrs. Bessie G. Gee 
 Mrs. S. O. George 
 Mrs. Ella Goodloe 
 Rev. Chas. Frederick Goss 
 Mr. S. W. McGrath 
 Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Grandison 
 Mr. James Griffin 
 Mrs. R. A. Green 
 Mr. Howard T. Greer 
 Mr. Charles Grieser 
 Mr. B. W. Hall 
 Mr. Frank A. B. Hall 
 Mrs. N. M. Hain 
 Mr. Newell H. Hargrave 
 Mrs. Anderson Harris 
 Miss Willa Louise Harrison 
 Mr. Daniel Hatmaker 
 Mr. Geo. W. Hays 
 Mrs. J. M. Hays 
 Mrs. Hannah Henderson 
 Mr. Roy Hensley 
 Miss Jessie Higginbothem 
 Mrs. Clifford Hill 
 Mrs. Minnie Hogan 
 Mrs. Sarah Holley 
 Mrs. Rebecca D. Horner 
 Mrs. Minnie Hughes 
 Mrs. W. Hughes 
 Mr. A. Franklin Hull 
 Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Hull 
 Mr. H. Hannibal Hull 
 Mr. C. E. Hunt 
 Mr. and Mrs. A. L. Imes 
 Miss Alice Jackson 
 Miss Anna Jackson 
 Mr. James Jackson 
 Mr. Carl M. Jacobs 
 Miss Marguerite Jacobs 
 Mr. Roger C. James 
 Mrs. Evelyn Jones 
 Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Jones 
 Mr. J. T. Jones 
 Rev. W. Augustus Jones 
 Mr. Harry Jordon 
 Mr. Wm. Kirbe 
 Mr. Richard Kirk 
 Mrs. Judge Knott 
 Mr. Robert Laidlaw 
 Mrs. Wm. H. Lawrence 
 Miss Elma C. Leach 
 Mrs. Lucy C. Lee 
 Mr. Francis Lesley 
 Mr. Robert Lesley 
 Mr. H. L. Lewis 
 Mr. L. Lewis 
 Mr. Walton C. Levi 
 Mr. John Uri Lloyd 
 Mrs. Annie Love 
 Mrs. Theo. Luth 
 Mr. John Lutie 
 Mr. S. C. Lutie 
Mr. JeflFerson Macgown 
 Mr. and Mrs. Robert Mallory 
 Mrs. Robert Marsh 
 Mrs. Stanley Marsh 
 Mrs. Bessie Marshall 
 Mrs. Mattie Marshall 
 Mr. Harry M. Martin 
 Mr. Clark H. Mason 
 Mr. and Mrs. Ed Mason 
 Mr. J. Masterson 
 Miss Ethel R. LaMay 
 Mr. and Mrs. Harry Meyer 
 Mrs. Belle Miller 
 Mr. Thos. Monroe 
 Mrs. Carter A. Moore 
 Mrs. W. B. Morrow 
 Mrs. Nancy Montgomery 
 Mr. G. M. Murphy 
 Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Nance 
 Mr. W. T. Nelson 
 Mr. Marshall Nixon 
 Mrs. E. C. Nunn 
 Mrs. Cora Oliver 
 Rev. and Mrs. E. H. Oxley 
 Mrs. Anna Patterson 
 Mr. Ambrose Dent Penn 
 Mrs. Lucy Penn 
 Mrs. Ella Perry 
 Miss Julia Pomodore 
 Mr. E. A. Powell 
 Mr. Pherrel DePrad 
 Mrs. Georgia Prather 
 Mrs. Benj. Price 
 Miss Willa Mae Prothro 
 Mr. Geo. Puchta 
 Mr. Felix H. Rains 
 Mr. C. Ratcliff 
 Miss Flora Rechel 
 Mr. A. L. Reilly 
 Miss Ruth Reilly 
 Mrs. Eula Rice 
 Mrs. Beatrice Richardson 
 Miss Myrtle L. Richardson 
 Mrs. Polly Richardson 
 Mrs. Ross Rivers 
 Mr. Geo. Roberson 
 Mr. James H. Robinson 
 Mrs. Minnie Robinson 
 Mrs. L. C. Rose 
 Mrs. S. O. Ross 
 Mr. Wm. Ross 
 Mr. John Roy 
 Mr. J. L. Rump 
 Mrs. Rachel Russell 
 Mrs. Zenobia C. Russell 
 Mr. William Rutledge 
 Mrs. Katherine Samples 
 Miss Mahala Saunders 
 Mr. Percy P. Saunders 
 Mrs. William Saunders 
 Mr. Fred Schneller 
 Mr. James Scott 
 Mrs. R. Seaborn 
 Mr. E. L. Shedd 
 Mr. William Sheely 
 Mrs. Chas. F. Shiels 
 Mrs. Chas. Shotwell 
 Miss Selmarita Shorter 
 Mr. Leander A. Simms 
 Mrs. Myra Sims 
 Mrs. Chas. G. Skirner 
 Mrs. Belle Smith 
 Miss Hannah Smith 
 Mrs. James Smith 
 Mr. Wiley Smith 
 Mrs. J. R. Steward 
 Mr. W. S. Strickland 
 Mr. Horace Sudduth 
 Mrs. Laura Summers 
 Mr. N. O. Swan 
 Miss M. Wyolene Swanson 
 Mrs. Ed Taylor 
Mrs. John J. Taylor 
 Mrs. J. W. Taylor 
 Mrs. N. A. Taylor 
 Mrs. William Taylor 
 Mrs. Geo. H. Thayer 
 Mr. Frank Thomas 
 Mrs. Warren Thomas 
 Mr. Robert Tivis 
 Mrs. Kate Tolbert 
 Miss Bessie Tompkins 
 Mr. Jas. H. Tompson 
 Mr. H. J. Toian 
 Mr. D. R. Turner 
 Miss K. Vandever 
 Mr. W. Vonhagen 
 Miss Annie Walker 
 Rev. J. Franklin Walker 
 Mr. Robert Wallace 
 Mrs. Sarah Wallace 
 Mr. Wm. Wallace 
 Mr. Morris Walton 
 Mr. Stephen Warren 
 Mr. Thos. Preston Warren 
 Mrs. E. Mary Washington 
 Mrs. Katie Webb 
 Miss Fannie West 
 Miss Gayla K. West 
 Miss Mabel West 
 Miss Edythe M. Weston 
 Mr. Fred Wheeler 
 Mrs. A. L. Whitaker 
 Mr. E. F. White 
 Miss Elizabeth White 
 Mrs. W. V. Wihite 
 Mrs. Edna J. Wiekins 
 Mr. Joe Wilbon 
 Mr. Fred Wiley 
 Mr. E. A. Williams 
 Mr. Green Williams 
 Mr. H. T. Williams 
 Miss Nellie E. Williams 
 Miss Sallie E. Williams 
 Miss Alice E. Wilson 
 Mr. W. L. Wilson 
 Miss Martha Winkfield 
 Mrs. Eva Woods 
 M. Wilbur C. Woodson 
 Mr. W. B. Young 
 Mr. Harry C. Zeller 
 To THE Advance Subscribers — 
 Dear Friends : 
 I wish to acknowledge your advance subscription, the foundation, upon 
 which the success of this edition was laid. Please believe my appreciation 
 of your kind favor, unlimited ; and accept my everlasting gratitude. 
 Ray G. Dandridge. 

 Ante Bellum Symphony 12 
 A Pound of Life 20 
 Awake 21 
 Abraham Lincoln 26 
 A Ghost Story 26 
 A Leader 33 
 Ashes of Love S3 
 Almighty God 37 
 A Letter 38 
 Booker T. Washington 13 
 Bachelors 22 
 Blacks in Blue 30 
 Coffee Groun" Chloe 42 
 Dr. Mason 31 
 De Tes" 44 
 Easter Morn' 39 
 Emancipators 45 
 Fo' Yoreself 10 
 Forward 14 
 Fifty-Fifty 24 
 Faith 39 
 Fighting Time 42 
 Good Everywhere 10 
 Granimah 25 
 Ginology 42 
 Home 19 
 Home and Mother 28 
 Heartbroken 34 
 Jello 20 
 Life's Circus 7 
 Little Things 17 
 Little Girl 45 
 Late Day Chill'en 46 
 Mah Dawg 8 
 Mother 9 
 My Pilot 13 
 Muddah Wit 40 
 Price Hill 36 
 Reincarnation 29 
 The Dumb Soldier 7 
 The Down Road 14 
 The Best of It 15 
 The Prodigal 16 
 Thinkin' Spooks 21 
 Truth 29 
 Turn't Errown' 32 
 The Braggard 34 
 The Garden of Life 41 
 The Toiler 41