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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Irwin Russell (1853–1879)


YOU, Nebuchadnezzah, whoa, sah!

Whar is you tryin’ to go, sah?

I’d hab you fur to know, sah,

I’s a-holdin’ ob de lines.

You better stop dat prancin’:

You’s pawful fond ob dancin’,

But I’ll bet my yeah’s advancin’

Dat I’ll cure you ob yo’ shines.

Look heah, mule! Better min’ out:

Fus’ t’ing you know you’ll fin’ out

How quick I’ll w’ar dis line out

On your ugly stubbo’n back.

You needn’t try to steal up

An’ lif’ dat precious heel up:

You’s got to plow dis fiel’ up,—

You has, sah, fur a fac’.

Dar, dat’s de way to do it!

He’s comin’ right down to it;

Jes’ watch him plowin’ troo it!

Dis nigger ain’t no fool.

Some folks, dey would ’a’ beat him:

Now dat would only heat him;

I know jes’ how to treat him:

You mus’ reason wid a mule.

He minds me like a nigger;

If he wuz only bigger

He’d fotch a mighty figger,—

He would, I tell you! Yes, sah!

See how he keeps a clickin’!

He’s gentle as a chicken,

An’ nebber thinks o’ kickin’—

Whoa dar! Nebuchadnezzah!


Is dis heah me, or not me?

Or is de Debbil got me?

Wuz dat a cannon shot me?

Hab I laid heah more’n a week?

Dat mule do kick amazin’!

De beast wuz sp’iled in raisin’!

By now I ’spect he’s grazin’

On de oder side de creek.