The Book of American Negro Poetry eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 148 pages of information about The Book of American Negro Poetry.

Dey is times in life when Nature
  Seems to slip a cog an’ go,
Jes’ a-rattlin’ down creation,
  Lak an ocean’s overflow;
When de worl’ jes’ stahts a-spinnin’
  Lak a picaninny’s top,
An’ yo’ cup o’ joy is brimmin’
  ’Twell it seems about to slop,
An’ you feel jes’ lak a racah,
  Dat is trainin’ fu’ to trot—­
When yo’ mammy says de blessin’
  An’ de co’n pone’s hot.

When you set down at de table,
  Kin’ o’ weary lak an’ sad,
An’ you’se jes’ a little tiahed
  An’ purhaps a little mad;
How yo’ gloom tu’ns into gladness,
  How yo’ joy drives out de doubt
When de oven do’ is opened,
  An’ de smell comes po’in’ out;
Why, de ‘lectric light o’ Heaven
  Seems to settle on de spot,
When yo’ mammy says de blessin’
  An’ de co’n pone’s hot.

When de cabbage pot is steamin’
  An’ de bacon good an’ fat,
When de chittlins is a-sputter’n’
  So’s to show you whah dey’s at;
Tek away yo’ sody biscuit,
  Tek away yo’ cake an’ pie,
Fu’ de glory time is comin’,
  An’ it’s ‘proachin’ mighty nigh,
An’ you want to jump an’ hollah,
  Dough you know you’d bettah not,
When yo’ mammy says de blessin’
  An’ de co’n pone’s hot.

I have hyeahd o’ lots o’ sermons,
  An’ I’ve hyeahd o’ lots o’ prayers,
An’ I’ve listened to some singin’
  Dat has tuck me up de stairs
Of de Glory-Lan’ an’ set me
  Jes’ below de Mastah’s th’one,
An’ have lef my hea’t a-singin’
  In a happy aftah tone;
But dem wu’ds so sweetly murmured
  Seem to tech de softes’ spot,
When my mammy says de blessin’,
  An’ de co’n pone’s hot.


Lay me down beneaf de willers in de grass,
Whah de branch’ll go a-singin’ as it pass
  An’ w’en I’s a-layin’ low,
  I kin hyeah it as it go
Singin’, “Sleep, my honey, tek yo’ res’ at las’.”

Lay me nigh to whah hit meks a little pool,
An’ de watah stan’s so quiet lak an’ cool,
  Whah de little birds in spring,
  Ust to come an’ drink an’ sing,
An’ de chillen waded on dey way to school.

Let me settle w’en my shouldahs draps dey load
Nigh enough to hyeah de noises in de road;
  Fu’ I t’ink de las’ long res’
  Gwine to soothe my sperrit bes’
If I’s layin’ ’mong de t’ings I’s allus knowed.

    James Edwin Campbell


O, de light-bugs glimmer down de lane,
  Merlindy!  Merlindy! 
O, de whip’-will callin’ notes ur pain—­
  Merlindy, O, Merlindy! 
O, honey lub, my turkle dub,
  Doan’ you hyuh my bawnjer ringin’,
While de night-dew falls an’ de ho’n owl calls
  By de ol’ ba’n gate Ise singin’.

O, Miss ‘Lindy, doan’ you hyuh me, chil’,
  Merlindy!  Merlindy! 
My lub fur you des dribe me wil’—­
  Merlindy, O, Merlindy! 
I’ll sing dis night twel broad day-light,
  Ur bu’s’ my froat wid tryin’,
’Less you come down, Miss ’Lindy Brown,
  An’ stops dis ha’t f’um sighin’!

Project Gutenberg
The Book of American Negro Poetry from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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