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.

That for which millions prayed and sighed,
  That for which tens of thousands fought,
For which so many freely died,
  God cannot let it come to naught.

    John Wesley Holloway


  Hello dar, Miss Melerlee! 
Oh, you’re pretty sight to see! 
Sof brown cheek, an’ smilin’ face,
An’ willowy form chuck full o’ grace—­
De sweetes’ gal Ah evah see,
An’ Ah wush dat you would marry me! 
  Hello, Miss Melerlee!

  Hello dar, Miss Melerlee! 
You’re de berry gal fo’ me! 
Pearly teef, an’ shinin’ hair,
An’ silky arm so plump an’ bare! 
Ah lak yo’ walk, Ah lak yo’ clothes,
An’ de way Ah love you,—­goodness knows! 
  Hello, Miss Melerlee!

  Hello dar, Miss Melerlee! 
Dat’s not yo’ name, but it ought to be! 
Ah nevah seed yo’ face befo’
An’ lakly won’t again no mo’;
But yo’ sweet smile will follow me
Cla’r into eternity! 
  Farewell, Miss Melerlee!


Ah’m sick, doctor-man, Ah’m sick! 
Gi’ me some’n’ to he’p me quick,
  Don’t,—­Ah’ll die!

Tried mighty hard fo’ to cure mahse’f;
Tried all dem t’ings on de pantry she’f;
Couldn’ fin’ not’in’ a-tall would do,
  An’ so Ah sent fo’ you.

“Wha’d Ah take?” Well, le’ me see: 
Firs’,—­horhound drops an’ catnip tea;
Den rock candy soaked in rum,
An’ a good sized chunk o’ camphor gum;
Next Ah tried was castor oil,
An’ snakeroot tea brought to a boil;
Sassafras tea fo’ to clean mah blood;
But none o’ dem t’ings didn’ do no good. 
Den when home remedies seem to shirk,
Dem pantry bottles was put to work: 

Blue-mass, laud’num, liver pills,
“Sixty-six, fo’ fever an’ chills,”
Ready Relief, an’ A.B.C.,
An’ half a bottle of X.Y.Z. 
An’ sev’al mo’ Ah don’t recall,
Dey nevah done no good at all.

Mah appetite begun to fail;
’Ah fo’ced some clabber, about a pail,
Fo’ mah ol’ gran’ma always said
When yo’ can’t eat you’re almost dead.

So Ah got scared an’ sent for you.—­
Now, doctor, see what you c’n do. 
Ah’m sick, doctor-man.  Gawd knows Ah’m sick! 
Gi’ me some’n’ to he’p me quick,
  Don’t,—­Ah’ll die!


Jes’ beyan a clump o’ pines,—­
  Lis’n to ’im now!—­
Hyah de jolly black boy,
  Singin’, at his plow! 
In de early mornin’,
  Thoo de hazy air,
Loud an’ clear, sweet an’ strong
  Comes de music rare: 

  “O mah dovee, Who-ah! 
  Do you love me?  Who-ah! 
  An’ as ’e tu’ns de cotton row,
  Hyah ’im tell ‘is ol’ mule so;
    “Whoa!  Har!  Come’ere!”

Don’t yo’ love a co’n song? 
  How it stirs yo’ blood! 
Ever’body list’nin’,
  In de neighborhood! 
Standin’ in yo’ front do’
  In de misty mo’n,
Hyah de jolly black boy,
  Singin’ in de co’n: 

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