Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I Can't Believe it's Christmas


Chrismus On The Plantation
Paul Laurence Dunbar

It was Chrismus Eve, I mind hit fu’ amighty gloomy day
—Bofe de weathah an’ de people—not a oneof us was gay;
Cose you ‘ll t’ink dat’s mighty funny ‘twell Itry to mek hit cleah,
Fu’ a da’ky’s allus happy when de holidays isneah.

But we was n’t, fu’ dat mo’nin’ Mastah ‘d tol’ uswe mus’ go,
He’d been payin’ us sence freedom, butcould n’t pay no mo’;
He wa’n’t nevah used to plannin’ ‘fo’ he got sopo’ an’ ol’,
So he gwine to give up tryin’, an’ de homesteadmus’ be sol’.

I kin see him stan’in’ now erpon de step ezcleah ez day,
Wid de win’ a-kind o’ fondlin’ thoo his haih allthin an’ gray;
An’ I ‘membah how he trimbled when he said,
“It ‘s ha’d fu’ me, Not to mek yo’ Chrismus brightah, but I ‘lowit wa’n’t to be.”

All de women was a-cryin’, an’ de men, too, onde sly,
An’ I noticed somep’n shinin’ even in ol’ Mas-tah’s eye.
But we all stood still to listen ez ol’ Ben comef’om de crowd
An’ spoke up, a-try’n’ to steady down his voiceand mek it loud:

—“Look hyeah, Mastah, I’s been servin’ you’ fu’lo! dese many yeahs,
An’ now, sence we ‘s got freedom an’ you’s kindo’ po’, hit ‘pears
Dat you want us all to leave you ‘cause youdon’t t’ink you can pay.
Ef my membry has n’t fooled me, seem datwhut I hyead you say.

“Er in othah wo’ds, you wants us to fu’git datyou’s been kin’,
An’ ez soon ez you is he’pless, we’s to leaveyou hyeah behin’.
Well, ef dat ‘s de way dis freedom ac’s on peo-ple, white er black,
You kin jes’ tell Misatah Lincum fu’ to tek hisfreedom back.

“We gwine wo’k dis ol’ plantation fu’ whatevahwe kin git,
Fu’ I know hit did suppo’t us, an’ de place kindo it yit.
Now de land is yo’s, de hands is ouahs, an’ Ireckon we’ll be brave,
An’ we’ll bah ez much ez you do w’en we hasto scrape an’ save.”

Ol’ Mastah stood dah trimblin’, but a-smilin’thoo his teahs,
An’ den hit seemed jes’ nachul-like, de placefah rung wid cheahs,
An’ soon ez dey was quiet, some one sta’tedsof’ an’ low:
“Praise God,” an’ den we all jined in, “fromwhom all blessin’s flow!”

Well, dey was n’t no use tryin’, ouah min’s wassot to stay,
An’ po’ ol’ Mastah could n’t plead ner baig, nerdrive us ‘way,
An’ all at once, hit seemed to us, de day wasbright agin,
So evahone was gay dat night, an’ watched deChrismus in.



Anonymous said...

Now, you made this day so very well sweet, Miz troothy,I will say it again.

2Truthy said...

Have a great new year anon!