Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LONGIN' FUR TENNESSEE (A LAMENT FROM YANKEE LAND), by JOHN TROTWOOD MOORE



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

LONGIN' FUR TENNESSEE (A LAMENT FROM YANKEE LAND), by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O, I'm longin' jes'er longin' fur a sight ob / tennessee
Last Line: Fur er grabe in tennessee.
Subject(s): Farm Life; Homesickness; Plantation Life; Sheep; Slavery; Tennessee; Agriculture; Farmers; Serfs


O, I'M longin', jes' er longin' fur a sight ob Tennessee,
Fur de cabin in de valley 'neath de shady ellum-tree,
Fur de purple on de hill-top, an' de green upon de plain,
An' dat hazy, lazy sweetness jes' ter fill my bones ergain.
Do de colts all cum a-pacin' lak dey useter cum fur me?
Do de fiel'-lark sing es sweetly frum de shugar-maple tree?
Will de chilluns cum to meet me, an' my wife, dat's dead an' gone,
Will she sing, jes' lak she useter, in de cotton an' de cohn?

O, chilluns, I'm cummin',
Fur de ole man's almos' free,
An' I'm longin', jes' er longin'
Fur er sight ob Tennessee.

O, I'm longin', jes' er longin' fur er breath ob Tennessee,
Fur de wind frum off de mount'in made foreber fur de free,
Fur de lesson an' de blessin' in de blue sky up erbove,
An' de locus'-blossoms bloomin' on de grabes ob dem I lub.
Am de 'possum still house-keepin' 'mong de grapes ob Bigby Creek!
An' young mistis—do she kerry still de grape-bloom in her cheek?
Ken you heah de sheep-bell tinkle, tinkle, on de blue-grass hill,
While de water jine de chorus frum de ole wheel at de mill?

Yes, marster, dat's er fac' you say,
De ole man he am free—
But I'd be er slave ergin
Fur jes' er bref ob Tennessee!

O, I'm longin', jes' er longin' fur er home in Tennessee,
Fur de cabin dat ole marster built fur Dinah an' fur me,
Whar de chillun cum an' left us lak de dew-drap leab de grass—
All withered up an' yearnin' fur de little things dat's pas'.
I kno' dey dead—but still I feel ef I'd go dar onc't mo',
Mebbe dey'd cum ergin sum day an' play befo' de do'.
Mebbe my mammy'd cum ergin her little boy to take
An' sing fur him dat lullerby from which he'd never wake.

O, mammy, I'm er cummin',
Sabe dat lullerby fur me—
Fur I'm longin', jes' er longin'
Fur er grabe in Tennessee.





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