Sketches of Southern Life
I remember, well remember,
That dark and dreadful day,
When they whispered to me, “Chloe,
Your children’s sold away!”
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.
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
Just then I heard the footsteps
Of my children at the door,
And I rose right up to meet them,
But I fell upon the floor.
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.
Then I had a mighty sorrow,
Though I nursed it all alone;
But I wasted to a shadow,
And turned to skin and bone.
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.”
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.
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.
Then he said “Just take your burden
To the blessed Master’s feet;
I takes all my troubles, Chloe,
Right unto the mercy-seat.”
His words waked up my courage,
And I began to pray,
And I felt my heavy burden
Rolling like a stone away.
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.
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.