Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CHANT OF THE CROSS-BEARING CHILD, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY



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THE CHANT OF THE CROSS-BEARING CHILD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I bear dis cross dis many a mile
Last Line: "de cross-bearin' chile!"
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Children; Crosses; Life; Childhood


I BEAR dis cross dis many a mile.
O de cross-bearin' chile --
De cross-bearin' chile!

I bear dis cross 'long many a road
Wha' de pink ain't bloom' an' de grass done mowed.
O de cross-bearin' chile --
De cross-bearin' chile!

Hit's on my conscience all dese days
Fo' ter bear de cross 'ut de good Lord lays
On my po' soul, an' ter lif my praise
O de cross-bearin' chile --
De cross-bearin' chile!

I's nigh 'bout weak ez I mos' kin be,
Yit de Marstah call an' He say, -- "You's free
Fo' ter 'cept dis cross, an' ter cringe yo' knee
To no n'er man in de worl' but Me!"
O de cross-bearin' chile --
De cross-bearin' chile!

Says you guess wrong, ef I let you guess --
Says you 'spec' mo', an'-a you git less: --
Says you go eas', says you go wes',
An' whense you fine de road 'ut you like bes'
You betteh take chice er any er de res'!
O de cross-bearin' chile --
De cross-bearin' chile!

He build my feet, an' He fix de signs
Dat de shoe hit pinch an' de shoe hit bines
Ef I on'y w'ah eights an'-a wanter w'ah nines;
I hone fo' de rain, an' de sun hit shines,
An' whilse I hunt de sun, hit's de rain I fines. --
O-a trim my lamp, an'-a gyrd my lines!
O de cross-bearin' chile --
De cross-bearin' chile!

I wade de wet, an' I walk de dry:
I done tromp long, an' I done clim' high;
An' I pilgrim on ter de jasper sky,
An' I taken de resk fo' ter cas' my eye
Wha' de Gate swing wide an' de Lord draw nigh,
An' de Trump hit blow, an' I hear de cry, --
"You lay dat cross down by an' by! --
O de Cross-bearin' Chile --
De Cross-bearin' Chile!"





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