Sketches of Southern Life
Well, one morning real early
I was going down the street,
And I heard a stranger asking
For Missis Chloe Fleet.
There was something in his voice
That made me feel quite shaky,
And when I looked right in his face,
Who should it be but Jakey!
I grasped him tight, and took him home—
What gladness filled my cup!
And I laughed, and just rolled over,
And laughed, and just give up.
“Where have you been? O Jakey, dear!
Why didn’t you come before?
Oh! when you children went away
My heart was awful sore.”
“Why, mammy, I’ve been on your hunt
Since ever I’ve been free,
And I have heard from brother Ben,
He’s down in Tennessee.
“He wrote me that he had a wife.”
“And children?” “Yes, he’s three.”
“You married, too?” “Oh no, indeed,
I thought I’d first get free.”
“Then, Jakey, you will stay with me,
And comfort my poor heart;
Old Mistus got no power now
To tear us both apart.
“I’m richer now than Mistus,
Because I have got my son;
And Mister Thomas he is dead,
And she’s got nary one.
“You must write to brother Benny
That he must come this fall,
And we’ll make the cabin bigger,
And that will hold us all.
“Tell him I want to see ’em all
Before my life do cease:
And then, like good old Simeon,
I hope to die in peace.”