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NEGRO FOLK RHYMES
corded in our collection under the caption of "Antebellum Courtship Inquiry"—
(He)—"Is you a flyin' lark, or a settin' dove?" (She)—"I'se a flyin' lark, my Honey Love." (He)—"Is you a bird o' one fedder, or a bird o'
two ?" (She)—"I'se a bird o' one fedder, w'en it comes to
you." (He)—"Den Mam:
"I has desire an' quick temptation To jine my fence to yo' plantation."
This is primitive courtship; direct, quick, conclusive. It is the crude call of one heart, and the crude response of another heart. The two answering and blending into one, in the primitive days, made a rhymed couplet—one. It is "call" and "sponse," born to vibrate in complementary unison with two hearts that beat as one. "Did all Negroes carry on courtship in this manner in olden days?" No, not by any means. Only the more primitive by custom, and otherwise used such forms of courtship. The more intelligent of those who came out of slavery had made the white man's customs their own, and laughed at such crudities, quite as much as we of the present day. The writer thinks his ability to