Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A RETROSPECTION, by BENJAMIN FRANKLIN KING

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A RETROSPECTION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I'se a sittin' neaf de ole magnolia tree
Last Line: Well, hit mus' be in de family, seems to me.
Alternate Author Name(s): King, Ben
Subject(s): Chicago

I'SE a sittin' neaf de ole magnolia tree
So't o' thinkin' ob de times dat used to be,
In de huckleberry patches
When we heah'd the steamah Natchez,
An' de white folks all u'd hustle down to see.
Dar was Missy Elenor an' Julie Ann,
An' Haidee Lee, who lived wid Uncle Dan.
But she went and run'd away,
An' de folks set up an' say
Dat she 'loped off wid a wicked no' then man.

Po' Cindy she is daid, and Aunty Mary
Doan do nuffin' now but sate aroun' en worry;
En ebery night she say
She 'specks to go next day,
But her disease ain' one dat 'pears to hurry.
De doctors seems es ef dey hadn't made out
What 't is das makes ole aunty look so played out;
But de time she will consume
Turnin' Heaven into gloom
Will make de Lo'd repent when sh's done laid out.

Missie Elenor she married Col. Paxton,
An' de scandal 'bout the colonel don't be axin',
But dey say, I undahstan',
Dat he done shot off his han',
Jes' to keep from jinin' good ole Stonewall Jackson.
An' Julie Ann dat talk like she was hoarse,
Dat huzzy she's done gone an' got divorce.
Dey lived in Chicamauga
Till she moved up to Chicagah,
Kase tings is mighty cheap up dar ob course,

Yo' 'membah Haidee Lee? I undahstan'
Dat she's trablin' roun' de country wid a band,
An' heah she sort o' prances
Wid a skirt an' thinks she dances,
Did you evah, evah, goodness land!
Wid de 'vantages dey used to hab en' see
How dem girls was all turned out. Now can it be
Dat cussidness is sown,
Or is it in de bone?
Well, hit mus' be in de family, seems to me.

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