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AMERICAN BALLADS AND SONGS 179
I'll holler its praises, and sing of its fame, While starving to death on a government claim.
How happy I am as I crawl into bed,
The rattlesnakes rattling a tune at my head,
While the gay little centipede, so void of all fear,
Crawls over my neck, and into my ear;
And the gay little bed-bug so cheerful and bright,
He keeps me a-going two-thirds of the night.
My clothes are all ragged, my language is rough, My bread is case-hardened, both solid and tough, The dough it is scattered all over the room, And the floor would get scared at the sight of a broom.
The dishes are scattered all over the bed, ^JAII covered with sorghum, and government bread, —^Still I have a good time, and I live at my ease, \. On common sop sorghum, an' bacon an' cheese.
How happy I am on my government claim, I've nothing to lose, I've nothing to gain, I've nothing to eat and I've nothing to wear, And nothing from nothing is honest and fair.
Oh, here I am safe, so here I will stay, My money's all gone, and I can't get away, There's nothing to make a man hard and profane, Like starving to death on a government claim.