Classic and Contemporary Poetry
KENTUCKY PHILOSOPHY, by HARRISON ROBERTSON
First Line: You wi'yam, cum 'ere, suh, dis minute
Last Line: "ef you don't want a lickin' all over, be sho dat dey allers go ""punk""!"
Alternate Author Name(s): Robertson, T. H.
YOU Wi'yum, cum 'ere, suh, dis minute. Wut dat you got under dat box?
I don't want no foolin' -- you hear me? Wut you say? Ain't nu'h'n but rocks?
'Peahs ter me you's owdashus perticler. S'posin' dey's uv a new kine.
I'll des take a look at dem rocks. Hi yi! der you think dat I's bline?
I calls dat a plain water-million, you scamp, en I knows whah it growed;
It come fum de Jimmerson cawn fiel', dah on ter side er de road.
You stole it, you rascal -- you stole it! I watched you fum down in de lot.
En time I gits th'ough wid you, nigger, you won't eb'n be a grease spot!
I'll fix you. Mirandy! Mirandy! go cut me a hick'ry -- make 'ase!
En cut me de toughes' en keenes' you c'n fine anywhah on de place.
I'll larn you, Mr. Wi'yum Joe Vetters, ter steal en ter lie, you young sinner,
Disgracin' yo' ole Christian mammy, en makin' her leave cookin' dinner!
Now ain't you ashamed er yo'se'f, suh? I is. I's 'shamed you's my son!
En de holy accorjun angel he's 'shamed er wut you has done;
En he's tuk it down up yander in coal-black, blood-red letters --
"One water-million stoled by Wi'yum Josephus Vetters."
En wut you s'posin' Brer Bascom, yo' teacher at Sunday school,
'Ud say ef he knowed how you's broke de good Lawd's Gol'ry Rule?
Boy, whah's de raisin' I give you? Is you boun' fuh ter be a black villiun?
I's s'prised dat a chile er yo' mammy 'ud steal any man's water-million.
En I's now gwiner cut it right open, en you shain't have narry bite,
Fuh a boy who'll steal water-millions -- en dat in de day's broad light --
Ain't -- Lawdy! it's GREEN! Mirandy; Mi-ran-dy! come on wi' dat switch!
Well, stealin' a g-r-e-e-n water-million! who ever heered tell er des sich?
Cain't tell w'en dey's ripe? W'y, you thump 'um, en w'en dey go pank dey is
But when dey go punk, now you mine me, dey's ripe -- en dat's des wut I
En nex' time you hook water-millions -- you heered me, you ign'ant young
Ef you don't want a lickin' all over, be sho dat dey allers go "punk"!
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