Bluegrass Ballads

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NEGRO DIALECT VERSES             221
Some say I'se cross an' cranky, too,
An' mebbe dat I am, I'se had enough to worry thoo
To aggervate a lamb.
I'se had nine chillun in my day,
An' nary one is lef ; Dey all was tuck an' kyard away,
An' I'm here by myse'f.
Ole master died when I wuz grown,
An' stated in his will, Dat I mus' be Miss Susie's own—
Me an' de water-mill.
My chillun, dey wuz lotted out— An' mind you, 'fo' dey's bawn,
Fur I wuz healthy, strong and stout, An' sho' as las' year's cawn.
De fus' wuz Tom, dey tuck him when
He jis' wuz fo' year old. An' folPrin' him wuz little Ben
An' den my Jane wuz sold,
An' Lu an' Bob and Tip an' Jim— An' Sam, my crippled son,