Thank God For Little Children

Thank God for little children,
Bright flowers by earth's wayside,
The dancing, joyous lifeboats
Upon life's stormy tide.

Thank God for little children;
When our skies are cold and gray,
They come as sunshine to our hearts,
And charm our cares away.

I almost think the angels,
Who tend life's garden fair,
Drop down the sweet wild blossoms
That bloom around us here.

It seems a breath of heaven
Round many a cradle lies,
And every little baby
Brings a message from the skies.

Dear mothers, guard these jewels.
As sacred offerings meet,
A wealth of household treasures
To lay at Jesus' feet.

Out In The Cold

Out in the cold mid the dreary night,
Under the eaves of homes so bright:
Snowflakes falling o'er mother's grave
Will no one rescue, no one save?

A child left out in the dark and cold,
A lamb not sheltered in any fold,
Hearing the wolves of hunger bark,
Out in the cold! and out in the dark

Missing to-night the charming bliss,
That lies in the mother's good-night kiss;
And hearing no loving father's prayer,
For blessings his children all may share.

Creeping away to some wretched den,
To sleep mid the curses of drunken men
And women, not as God has made,
Wrecked and ruined, wronged and betrayed.

Church of the Lord reach out thy arm,
And shield the hapless one from harm;
Where the waves of sin are dashing wild
Rescue and save the drifting child.

Wash from her life guilt's turbid foam,
In the fair haven of a home;
Tenderly lead the motherless girl
Up to the gates of purest pearl.

The wandering feet which else had strayed,
From thorny paths may yet be stayed;
And a crimson track through the cold dark night
May exchange to a line of loving light.

There was grief within our household
Because of a vacant chair.
Our mother, so loved and precious,
No longer was sitting there.

Our hearts grew heavy with sorrow,
Our eyes with tears were blind,
And little Jamie was wondering,
Why we were left behind.

We had told our little darling,
Of the land of love and light,
Of the saints all crowned with glory,
And enrobed in spotless white.

We said that our precious mother,
Had gone to that land so fair,
To dwell with beautiful angels,
And to be forever there.

But the child was sorely puzzled,
Why dear grandmamma should go
To dwell in a stranger city,
When her children loved her so.

But again the mystic angel
Came with swift and silent tread,
And our sister, Jamie's mother,
Was enrolled among the dead.

To us the mystery deepened,
To Jamie it seemed more clear;
Grandma, he said, must be lonesome,
And mamma has gone to her.

But the question lies unanswered
In our little Jamie's mind,
Why she should go to our mother,
And leave her children behind;

To dwell in that lovely city,
From all that was dear to part,
From children who loved to nestle
So closely around her heart.

Dear child, like you, we are puzzled,
With problems that still remain;
But think in the great hereafter
Their meaning will all be plain.

The Drunkard's Child

He stood beside his dying child,
With a dim and bloodshot eye;
They'd won him from the haunts of vice
To see his first-born die.
He came with a slow and staggering tread,
A vague, unmeaning stare,
And, reeling, clasped the clammy hand,
So deathly pale and fair.

In a dark and gloomy chamber,
Life ebbing fast away,
On a coarse and wretched pallet,
The dying sufferer lay:
A smile of recognition
Lit up the glazing eye;
"I'm very glad," it seemed to say,
"You've come to see me die."

That smile reached to his callous heart,
It sealed fountains stirred;
He tried to speak, but on his lips
Faltered and died each word.
And burning tears like rain
Poured down his bloated face,
Where guilt, remorse and shame
Had scathed, and left their trace.

"My father!" said the dying child,
(His voice was faint and low,)
"Oh! clasp me closely to your heart,
And kiss me ere I go.
Bright angels beckon me away,
To the holy city fair --
Oh! tell me, Father, ere I go,
Say, will you meet me there?"

He clasped him to his throbbing heart,
"I will! I will!" he said;
His pleading ceased -- the father held
His first-born and his dead!
The marble brow, with golden curls,
Lay lifeless on his breast;
Like sunbeams on the distant clouds
Which line the gorgeous west.

A Little Child Shall Lead Them

Only a little scrap of blue
Preserved with loving care,
But earth has not a brilliant hue
To me more bright and fair.

Strong drink, like a raging demon,
Laid on my heart his hand,
When my darling joined with others
The Loyal Legion band.

But mystic angels called away
My loved and precious child,
And o'er life's dark and stormy way
Swept waves of anguish wild.

This badge of the Loyal Legion
We placed upon her breast,
As she lay in her little coffin
Taking her last sweet rest.

To wear that badge as a token
She earnestly did crave,
So we laid it on her bosom
To wear it in the grave.

Where sorrow would never reach her
Nor harsh words smite her ear;
Nor her eyes in death dimmed slumber
Would ever shed a tear.

"What means this badge?" said her father,
Whom we had tried to save;
Who said, when we told her story,
"Don't put it in the grave."

We took the badge from her bosom
And laid it on a chair;
And men by drink deluded
Knelt by that badge in prayer.

And vowed in that hour of sorrow
From drink they would abstain;
And this little badge became the wedge
Which broke their galling chain.

And lifted the gloomy shadows
That overspread my life,
And flooding my home with gladness,
Made me a happy wife.

And this is why this scrap of blue
Is precious in my sight;
It changed my sad and gloomy home
From darkness into light.

Nothing And Something

It is nothing to me, the beauty said,
With a careless toss of her pretty head;
The man is weak if he can't refrain
From the cup you say is fraught with pain.
It was something to her in after years;
When her eyes were drenched with burning tears,
And she watched in lonely grief and dread,
And startled to hear a staggering tread.

It is nothing to me, the mother said;
I have no fear that my boy will tread
In the downward path of sin and shame,
And crush my heart and darken his name.
It was something to her when that only son
From the path of right was early won,
And madly cast in the flowing bowl
A ruined body and sin-wrecked soul.

It is nothing to me, the young man cried:
In his eye was a flash of scorn and pride;
I heed not the dreadful things ye tell:
I can rule myself I know full well.
It was something to him when in prison he lay
The victim of drink, life ebbing away;
And thought of his wretched child and wife,
And the mournful wreck of his wasted life.

It is nothing to me, the merchant said,
As over his ledger he bent his head;
I'm busy to-day with tare and tret,
And I have no time to fume and fret.
It was something to him when over the wire
A message came from a funeral pyre­ -
A drunken conductor had wrecked a train,
And his wife and child were among the slain.

It is nothing to me, the voter said,
The party's loss is my greatest dread;
Then gave his vote for the liquor trade,
Though hearts were crushed and drunkards made.
It was something to him in after life,
When his daughter became a drunkard's wife
And her hungry children cried for bread,
And trembled to hear their father's tread.

Is it nothing for us to idly sleep
While the cohorts of death their vigils keep?
To gather the young and thoughtless in
And grind in our midst a grist of sin?

It is something, yes, all, for us to stand
Clasping by faith our Saviour's hand;
To learn to labor, live and fight
On the side of God and changeless light.

The Night Of Death

Twas a night of dreadful horror, --
Death was sweeping through the land;
And the wings of dark destruction
Were outstretched from strand to strand

Strong men's hearts grew faint with terror,
As the tempest and the waves
Wrecked their homes and swept them downward,
Suddenly to yawning graves.

'Mid the wastes of ruined households,
And the tempest's wild alarms,
Stood a terror-stricken mother
With a child within her arms.

Other children huddled 'round her,
Each one nestling in her heart;
Swift in thought and swift in action,
She at least from one must part.

Then she said unto her daughter,
"Strive to save one child from death."
"Which one?" said the anxious daughter,
As she stood with bated breath.

Oh! the anguish of that mother;
What despair was in her eye!
All her little ones were precious;
Which one should she leave to die?

Then outspake the brother Bennie:
"I will take the little one."
"No," exclaimed the anxious mother;
"No, my child, it can't be done."

"See! my boy, the waves are rising,
Save yourself and leave the child!"
"I will trust in Christ," he answered;
Grasped the little one and smiled.

Through the roar of wind and waters
Ever and anon she cried;
But throughout the night of terror
Never Bennie's voice replied.

But above the waves' wild surging
He had found a safe retreat,
As if God had sent an angel,
Just to guide his wandering feet.

When the storm had spent its fury,
And the sea gave up its dead
She was mourning for her loved ones,
Lost amid that night of dread.

While her head was bowed in anguish,
On her ear there fell a voice,
Bringing surcease to her sorrow,
Bidding all her heart rejoice.

"Didn't I tell you true?" said Bennie,
And his eyes were full of light,
"When I told you God would help me
Through the dark and dreadful night?"

And he placed the little darling
Safe within his mother's arms,
Feeling Christ had been his guardian,
'Mid the dangers and alarms.

Oh! for faith so firm and precious,
In the darkest, saddest night,
Till life's gloom-encircled shadows
Fade in everlasting light.

And upon the mount of vision
We our loved and lost shall greet,
With earth's wildest storms behind us,
And its cares beneath our feet.

The Present Age

Say not the age is hard and cold-
I think it brave and grand;
When men of diverse sects and creeds
Are clasping hand in hand.

The Parsee from his sacred fires
Beside the Christian kneels;
And clearer light to Islam's eyes
The word of Christ reveals.

The Brahmin from his distant home
Brings thoughts of ancient lore;
The Bhuddist breaking bonds of caste
Divides mankind no more.

The meek-eyed sons of far Cathay
Are welcome round the board;
Not greed, nor malice drives away
These children of our Lord.

And Judah from whose trusted hands
Came oracles divine;
Now sits with those around whose hearts
The light of God doth shine.

Japan unbars her long sealed gates
From islands far away;
Her sons are lifting up their eyes
To greet the coming day.

The Indian child from forests wild
Has learned to read and pray;
The tomahawk and scalping knife
From him have passed away.

From centuries of servile toil
The Negro finds release,
And builds the fanes of prayer and praise
Unto the God of Peace.

England and Russia face to face
With Central Asia meet;
And on the far Pacific coast,
Chinese and natives greet.

Crusaders once with sword and shield
The Holy Land to save;
From Moslem hands did strive to clutch
The dear Redeemer's grave.

A battle greater, grander far
Is for the present age;
A crusade for the rights of man
To brighten history's page.

Where labor faints and bows her head,
And want consorts with crime;
Or men grown faithless sadly say
That evil is the time.

There is the field, the vantage ground
For every earnest heart;
To side with justice, truth and right
And act a noble part.

To save from ignorance and vice
The poorest, humblest child;
To make our age the fairest one
On which the sun has smiled;

To plant the roots of coming years
In mercy, love and truth;
And bid our weary, saddened earth
Again renew her youth.

Oh! earnest hearts! toil on in hope,
'Till darkness shrinks from light;
To fill the earth with peace and joy,
Let youth and age unite:

To stay the floods of sin and shame
That sweep from shore to shore;
And furl the banners stained with blood,
'Till war shall be no more.

Blame not the age, nor think it full
Of evil and unrest;
But say of every other age,
'This one shall be the best.'

The age to brighten every path
By sin and sorrow trod;
For loving hearts to usher in
The commonwealth of God.

"Build me a nation," said the Lord.
The distant nations heard the word,
Build me a nation true and strong,
Bar out the old world's hate and wrong;
For men had traced with blood and tears
The trail of weary wasting years,
And torn and bleeding martyrs trod
Through fire and torture up to God.

While in the hollow of his hand
God hid the secret of our land,
Men warred against their fiercest foes,
And kingdoms fell and empires rose,
Till, weary of the old world strife,
Men sought for broader, freer life,
And plunged into the ocean's foam
To find another, better home.

And, like a vision fair and bright
The new world broke upon their sight.
Men grasped the prize, grew proud and strong,
And cursed the land with crime and wrong.
The Indian stood despoiled of lands,
The Negro bound with servile bands,
Oppressed through weary years of toil,
His blood and tears bedewed the soil.

Then God arose in dreadful wrath,
And judgment streamed around his path;
His hand the captive's fetters broke,
His lightnings shattered every yoke.
As Israel through the Red sea trod,
Led by the mighty hand of God,
They passed to freedom through a flood,
Whose every wave and surge was blood.

And slavery, with its crime and shame,
Went down in wrath and blood and flame
The land was billowed-o'er with graves
Where men had lived and died as slaves.
Four and thirty years -- what change since
Beings once chattles now are men;
Over the gloom of slavery's night,
Has flashed the dawn of freedom's light.

To-day no mother with anguish wild
Kneels and implores that her darling child
Shall not be torn from her bleeding heart,
With its quivering tendrils rent apart.
The father may soothe his child to sleep,
And watch his slumbers calm and deep.
No tyrant's tread will disturb his rest
Where freedom dwells as a welcome guest.

His walls may be bare of pictured grace,
His fireside the lowliest place;
But the wife and children sheltered there
Are his to defend and guard with care.
Where haughty tyrants once bore rule
Are ballot-box and public school.
The old slave-pen of former days
Gives place to fanes of prayer and praise.

To-night we would bring our meed of praise
To noble friends of darker days;
The men and women crowned with light,
The true and tried in our gloomy night.
To Lundy, whose heart was early stirred
To speak for freedom an earnest word;
To Garrison, valiant, true and strong,
Whose face was as flint against our wrong.

And Phillips, the peerless, grand and brave,
A tower of strength to the outcast slave.
Earth has no marble too pure and white
To enrol his name in golden light.
Our Douglass, too, with his massive brain,
Who plead our cause with his broken chain,
And helped to hurl from his bloody seat
The curse that writhed and died at his feet.

And Governor Andrew, who, looking back,
Saw none he despised, though poor and black;
And Harriet Beecher, whose glowing pen
Corroded the chains of fettered men.
To-night with greenest laurels we'll crown
North Elba's grave where sleeps John Brown,
Who made the gallows an altar high,
And showed how a brave old man could die.
And Lincoln, our martyred President,
Who returned to his God with chains he had rent.*
And Sumner, amid death's icy chill,
Leaving to Hoar his Civil Rights Bill.
And let us remember old underground,
With all her passengers northward bound,
The train that ran till it ceased to pay,
With all her dividends given away.
Nor let it be said that we have forgot
The women who stood with Lucretia Mott;
Nor her who to the world was known
By the simple name of Lucy stone.
A tribute unto a host of others
Who knew that men though black were brothers,
Who battled against our nation's sin,
Whose graves are thick whose ranks are thin.
Oh, people chastened in the fire,
To nobler, grander things aspire;

In the new era of your life,
Bring love for hate, and peace for strife;
Upon your hearts this vow record
That ye will build unto the Lord
A nobler future, true and grand,
To strengthen, crown and bless the land.
A higher freedom ye may gain
Than that which comes from a riven chain;
Freedom your native land to bless
With peace, and love and righteousness,
As dreams that are past, a tale all told,
Are the days when men were bought and sold;
Now God be praised from sea to sea,
Our flag floats o'er a country free.

I remember, well remember,
That dark and dreadful day,
When they whispered to me, "Chloe,
Your children's sold away!" 1.
It seemed as if a bullet
Had shot me through and through,
And I felt as if my heart-strings
Was breaking right in two. 1.
And I says to cousin Milly,

"There must be some mistake;

Where's Mistus?" "In the great house crying --

Crying like her heart would break. 1.

"And the lawyer's there with Mistus;

Says he's come to 'ministrate,

'Cause when master died he just left

Heap of debt on the estate. 1.

"And I thought 'twould do you good

To bid your boys good-bye --

To kiss them both and shake their hands,

And have a hearty cry. 1.

"Oh! Chloe, I knows how you feel,

'Cause I'se been through it all;

I thought my poor old heart would break,

When master sold my Saul." 1.

Just then I heard the footsteps

Of my children at the door,

And then I rose right up to meet them,

But I fell upon the floor. 1.

And I heard poor Jakey saying,

"Oh, mammy, don't you cry!"

And I felt my children kiss me

And bid me, both, good-bye. 1.

Then I had a mighty sorrow,

Though I nursed it all alone;

But I wasted to a shadow,

And turned to skin and bone. 1.

But one day dear uncle Jacob

(In heaven he's now a saint)

Said, "Your poor heart is in the fire,

But child you must not faint." 1.

Then I said to uncle Jacob,

If I was good like you,

When the heavy trouble dashed me

I'd know just what to do. 1.

Then he said to me, "Poor Chloe,

The way is open wide:"

And he told me of the Saviour,

And the fountain in His side. 1.

Then he said "Just take your burden

To the blessed Master's feet;

I takes all my troubles, Chloe,

Right unto the mercy-seat." 1.

His words waked up my courage,

And I began to pray,

And I felt my heavy burden

Rolling like a stone away. 1.

And a something seemed to tell me,

You will see your boys again --

And that hope was like a poultice

Spread upon a dreadful pain. 1.

And it often seemed to whisper,

Chloe, trust and never fear;

You'll get justice in the kingdom,

If you do not get it here. [2] The Deliverance 2.
Master only left old Mistus
One bright and handsome boy;
But she fairly doted on him,
He was her pride and joy. 2.
We all liked Mister Thomas,
He was so kind at heart;
And when the young folkes got in scrapes,
He always took their part. 2.
He kept right on that very way

Till he got big and tall,

And old Mistus used to chide him

And say he'd spile us all. 2.

But somehow the farm did prosper

When he took things in hand;

And though all the servants liked him,

He made them understand. 2.

One evening Mister Thomas said,

"Just bring my easy shoes;

I am going to sit by mother,

And read her up the news." 2.

Soon I heard him tell old Mistus

We're bound to have a fight;

But we'll whip the Yankees, mother,

We'll whip them sure as night!" 2.

Then I saw old Mistus tremble;

She gasped and held her breath;

And she looked on Mister Thomas

With a face as pale as death. 2.

"They are firing on Fort Sumpter;

Oh! I wish that I was there! --

Why, dear mother! what's the matter?

You're the picture of despair." 2.

"I was thinking, dearest Thomas,

'Twould break my very heart

If a fierce and dreadful battle

Should tear our lives apart." 2.

"None but cowards, dearest mother,

Would skulk unto the rear,

When the tyrant's hand is shaking

All the heart is holding dear." 2.

I felt sorry for old Mistus;

She got too full to speak;

But I saw the great big tear-drops

A running down her cheek. 2.

Mister Thomas too was troubled

With choosing on that night,

Betwixt staying with his mother

And joining in the fight. 2.

Soon down into the village came

A call for volunteers;

Mistus gave up Mister Thomas,

With many sighs and tears. 2.

His uniform was real handsome;

He looked so brave and strong;

But somehow I could'nt help thinking

His fighting must be wrong. 2.

Though the house was very lonesome,

I thought 'twould all come right,

For I felt somehow or other

We was mixed up in that fight. 2.

And I said to Uncle Jacob,

"How old Mistus feels the sting,

For this parting with your children

Is a mighty dreadful thing." 2.

"Never mind," said Uncle Jacob,

"Just wait and watch and pray,

For I feel right sure and certain,

Slavery's bound to pass away; 2.

"Because I asked the Spirit,

If God is good and just,

How it happened that the masters

Did grind us to the dust. 2.

"And something reasoned right inside,

Such should not always be;

And you could not beat it out my head,

The Spirit spoke to me." 2.

And his dear old eyes would brighten,

And his lips put on a smile,

Saying, "Pick up faith and courage,

And just wait a little while." 2.

Mistus prayed up in the parlor,

That the Secesh all might win;

We were praying in the cabins,

Wanting freedom to begin. 2.

Mister Thomas wrote to Mistus,

Telling 'bout the Bull's Run fight,

That his troops had whipped the Yankees

And put them all to flight. 2.

Mistus' eyes did fairly glisten;

She laughed and praised the South,

But I thought some day she'd laugh

On tother side her mouth. 2.

I used to watch old Mistus' face,

And when it looked quite long

I would say to Cousin Milly,

The battle's going wrong; 2.

Not for us, but for the Rebels. --

My heart would fairly skip,

When Uncle Jacob used to say,

"The North is bound to whip." 2.

And let the fight go as it would --

Let North or South prevail --

He always kept his courage up,

And never let it fail. 2.

And he often used to tell us,

"Children, don't forget to pray;

For the darkest time of morning

Is just 'fore the break of day." 2.

Well, one morning bright and early

We heard the fife and drum,

And the booming of the cannon --

The Yankee troops had come. 2.

When the word ran through the village,

The colored folks are free --

In the kitchens and the cabins

We held a jubilee. 2.

When they told us Mister Lincoln

Said that slavery was dead,

We just poured our prayers and blessings

Upon his precious head. 2.

We just laughed, and danced, and shouted

And prayed, and sang, and cried,

And we thought dear Uncle Jacob

Would fairly crack his side. 2.

But when old Mistus heard it,

She groaned and hardly spoke;

When she had to lose her servants,

Her heart was almost broke. 2.

'Twas a sight to see our people

Going out, the troops to meet,

Almost dancing to the music,

And marching down the street. 2.

After years of pain and parting,

Our chains was broke in two,

And we was so mighty happy,

We didn't know what to do. 2.

But we soon got used to freedom,

Though the way at first was rough;

But we weathered through the tempest,

For slavery made us tough. 2.

But we had one awful sorrow,

It almost turned my head,

When a mean and wicked cretur

Shot Mister Lincoln dead. 2.

'Twas a dreadful solemn morning,

I just staggered on my feet;

And the women they were crying

And screaming in the street. 2.

But if many prayers and blessings

Could bear him to the throne,

I should think when Mister Lincoln died,

That heaven just got its own. 2.

Then we had another President, --

What do you call his name?

Well, if the colored folks forget him

They would'nt be much to blame. 2.

We thought he'd be the Moses

Of all the colored race;

But when the Rebels pressed us hard

He never showed his face. 2.

But something must have happened him,

Right curi's I'll be bound,

'Cause I heard 'em talking 'bout a circle

That he was swinging round. 2.

But everything will pass away --

He went like time and tide --

And when the next election came

They let poor Andy slide. 2.

But now we have a President,

And if I was a man

I'd vote for him for breaking up

The wicked Ku-Klux Klan. 2.

And if any man should ask me

If I would sell my vote,

I'd tell him I was not the one

To change and turn my coat; 2.

If freedom seem'd a little rough

I'd weather through the gale;

And as to buying up my vote,

I hadn't it for sale. 2.

I do not think I'd ever be

As slack as Jonas Handy;

Because I heard he sold his vote

For just three sticks of candy. 2.

But when John Thomas Reeder brought

His wife some flour and meat,

And told he had sold his vote

For something good to eat, 2.

You ought to seen Aunt Kitty raise,

And heard her blaze away;

She gave the meat and flour a toss,

And said they should not stay. 2.

And I should think he felt quite cheap

For voting the wrong side;

And when Aunt Kitty scolded him,

He just stood up and cried. 2.

But the worst fooled man I ever saw,

Was when poor David Rand

Sold out for flour and sugar;

The sugar was mixed with sand. 2.

I'll tell you how the thing got out;

His wife had company,

And she thought the sand was sugar,

And served it up for tea. 2.

When David sipped and sipped the tea,

Somehow it didn't taste right;

I guess when he found he was sipping sand

He was mad enough to fight. 2.

The sugar looked so nice and white --

It was spread some inches deep --

But underneath was a lot of sand;

Such sugar is mighty cheap. 2.

You'd laughed to seen Lucinda Grange

Upon her husband's track;

When he sold his vote for rations

She made him take 'em back. 2.

Day after day did Milly Green

Just follow after Joe,

And told him if he voted wrong

To take his rags and go. 2.

I think that Samuel Johnson said

His side had won the day,

Had not we women radicals

Just got right in the way. 2.

And yet I would not have you think

That all our men are shabby;

But 'tis said in every flock of sheep

There will be one that's scabby. 2.

I've heard, before election came

They tried to buy John Slade;

But he gave them all to understand

That he wasn't in that trade. 2.

And we've got lots of other men

Who rally round the cause,

And go for holding up the hands

That gave us equal laws, 2.

Who know their freedom cost too much

Of blood and pain and treasure,

For them to fool away their votes

For profit or for pleasure. [3] Aunt Chloe's Politics 3.
Of course, I don't know very much
About these politics,
But I think that some who run 'em,
Do mighty ugly tricks. 3.
I've seen 'em honey-fugle round,
And talk so awful sweet,
That you'd think them full of kindness
As an egg is full of meat. 3.
Now I don't believe in looking

Honest people in the face,

And saying when you're doing wrong,

That 'I haven't sold my race.' 3.

When we want to school our children,

If the money isn't there,

Whether black or white have took it,

The loss we all must share. 3.

And this buying up each other

Is something worse than mean,

Though I thinks a heap of voting,

I go for voting clean. [4] Learning to Read 4.
Very soon the Yankee teachers
Came down and set up school;
But, oh! how the Rebs did hate it, --
It was agin' their rule. 4.
Our masters always tried to hide
Book learning from our eyes;
Knowledge did'nt agree with slavery --
'Twould make us all too wise. 4.
But some of us would try to steal

A little from the book,

And put the words together,

And learn by hook or crook. 4.

I remember Uncle Caldwell,

Who took pot liquor fat

And greased the pages of his book,

And hid it in his hat. 4.

And had his master ever seen

The leaves upon his head,

He'd have thought them greasy papers,

But nothing to be read. 4.

And there was Mr. Turner's Ben,

Who heard the children spell,

And picked the words right up by heart,

And learned to read 'em well. 4.

Well, the Northern folks kept sending

The Yankee teachers down;

And they stood right up and helped us,

Though Rebs did sneer and frown. 4.

And I longed to read my Bible,

For precious words it said;

But when I begun to learn it,

Folks just shook their heads, 4.

And said there is no use trying,

Oh! Chloe, you're too late;

But as I was rising sixty,

I had no time to wait. 4.

So I got a pair of glasses,

And straight to work I went,

And never stopped till I could read

The hymns and Testament. 4.

Then I got a little cabin

A place to call my own --

And I felt as independent

As the queen upon her throne. [5] Church Building 5.
Uncle Jacob often told us,
Since freedom blessed our race
We ought all to come together
And build a meeting place. 5.
So we pinched, and scraped, and spared,
A little here and there:
Though our wages was but scanty,
The church did get a share. 5.
And, when the house was finished,

Uncle Jacob came to pray;

He was looking mighty feeble,

And his head was awful gray. 5.

But his voice rang like a trumpet;

His eyes looked bright and young;

And it seemed a mighty power

Was resting on his tongue. 5.

And he gave us all his blessing --

'Twas parting words he said,

For soon we got the message

The dear old man was dead. 5.

But I believe he's in the kingdom,

For when we shook his hand

He said, "Children, you must meet me

Right in the promised land; 5.

"For when I done a moiling

And toiling here below,

Through the gate into the city

Straightway I hope to go." [6] The Reunion 6.
Well, one morning real early
I was going down the street,
And I heard a stranger asking
For Missis Chloe Fleet. 6.
There was something in his voice
That made me feel quite shaky.
And when I looked right in his face,
Who should it be but Jakey! 6.
I grasped him tight, and took him home --

What gladness filled my cup!

And I laughed, and just rolled over,

And laughed, and just give up. 6.

"Where have you been? O Jakey, dear!

Why didn't you come before?

Oh! when you children went away

My heart was awful sore." 6.

"Why, mammy, I've been on your hunt

Since ever I've been free,

And I have heard from brother Ben, --

He's down in Tennessee. 6.

"He wrote me that he had a wife,"

"And children?" "Yes, he's three."

"You married, too?" "Oh, no, indeed,

I thought I'd first get free." 6.

"Then, Jakey, you will stay with me,

And comfort my poor heart;

Old Mistus got no power now

To tear us both apart. 6.

"I'm richer now than Mistus,

Because I have got my son;

And Mister Thomas he is dead,

And she's nary one. 6.

"You must write to brother Benny

That he must come this fall,

And we'll make the cabin bigger,

And that will hold us all. 6.

"Tell him I want to see 'em all

Before my life do cease:

And then, like good old Simeon,

I hope to die in peace."