In Mrs. Potter’s latest play
The costuming is fine;
Her waist is made decollete—
Her skirt is new design.
Nay, why discuss this summer heat,
Of which vain people tell?
Oh, sinner, rather were it meet
To fix thy thoughts on hell!
The punishment ordained for you
In that infernal spot
Is het by Satan’s impish crew
And kept forever hot.
Sumatra might be reckoned nice,
And Tophet passing cool,
And Sodom were a cake of ice
Beside that sulphur pool.
An awful stench and dismal wail
Come from the broiling souls,
Whilst Satan with his fireproof tail
Stirs up the brimstone coals.
Oh, sinner, on this end ’tis meet
That thou shouldst ponder well,
For what, oh, what, is worldly heat
Unto the heat of hell?
Friend, by the way you hump yourself you’re
from the States, I know,
And born in old Mizzourah, where the ’coons in plenty grow;
I, too, am a native of that clime, but harsh, relentless fate
Has doomed me to an exile far from that noble state,
And I, who used to climb around and swing from tree to tree,
Now lead a life of ignominious ease, as you can see.
Have pity, O compatriot mine! and bide a season near
While I unfurl a dismal tale to catch your friendly ear.
My pedigree is noble—they used
my grandsire’s skin
To piece a coat for Patterson to warm himself within—
Tom Patterson of Denver; no ermine can compare
With the grizzled robe that democratic statesman loves to wear!
Of such a grandsire I have come, and in the County Cole,
All up an ancient cottonwood, our family had its hole—
We envied not the liveried pomp nor proud estate of kings
As we hustled around from day to day in search of bugs and things.
And when the darkness fell around, a mocking
bird was nigh,
Inviting pleasant, soothing dreams with his sweet lullaby;
And sometimes came the yellow dog to brag around all night
That nary ’coon could wollop him in a stand-up barrel fight;
We simply smiled and let him howl, for all Mizzourians know
That ary ’coon can beat a dog if the ’coon gets half a show!
But we’d nestle close and shiver when the mellow moon had ris’n
And the hungry nigger sought our lair in hopes to make us his’n!
Raised as I was, it’s hardly strange
I pine for those old days—
I cannot get acclimated or used to German ways;
The victuals that they give me here may all be very fine
For vulgar, common palates, but they will not do for mine!
The ’coon that’s been used to stanch democratic cheer
Will not put up with onion tarts and sausage steeped in beer!
No; let the rest, for meat and drink, accede to slavish terms,
But send me back from whence I came and let me grub for worms!