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Puzzlin' which side wuz preudentest to pin to, Which wuz th' ole homestead, which the temp'ry
leanto; Et fust he jedged 't would right-side-up his pan To come out ez a 'ridge'nal Union man, “But now,” he sez, “ I ain't nut quite so fresh ; The winnin' horse is goin' to be Secesh; You might, las' spring, hev eas’ly walked the
course, 'fore we contrived to doctor th' Union horse ; Now we 're the ones to walk aroun' the nex' track : Jest you take hol' an' read the follerin' extrac', Out of a letter I received last week From an ole frien' thet never sprung a leak, A Nothun Dem'crat o'th' ole Jarsey blue, Born copper-sheathed an' copper-fastened tu."
“ These four years past it hez ben tough
To say which side a feller went for;
Guideposts all gone, roads muddy 'n' rough,
An' nothin' duin' wut 't wuz meant for;
Pickets a-firin' left an' right,
Both sides a lettin' rip et sight,
Life war'n't wuth hardly payin' rent for.
Columby gut her back up so,
It war'n't no use a-tryin' to stop her, -
War's emptin's riled her very dough
An' made it rise an' act improper;
'T wuz full ez much ez I could du
To jes' lay low an' worry thru, ,
'Thout hevin' to sell out my copper.
“Afore the war your mod’rit men
Could set an' sun 'em on the fences,
Cyph'rin' the chances up, an' then
Jump off which way bes' paid expenses ;
Sence, 't wus so resky ary way,
I did n't hardly darst to say
I 'greed with Paley's Evidences.
[Groan from Deac'n G.]
“ Ask Mac ef tryin' to set the fence
War n't like bein' rid upon a rail on 't,
Headin' your party with a sense
O' bein' tipjint in the tail on 't,
An' tryin' to think thet, on the whole,
You kin' o' quasi own your soul
When Belmont 's gut a bill o' sale on't ?
[Three cheers for Grant and Sherman.)
“Come peace, I sposed thet folks ’ould like
Their politics done ag'in by proxy
Give their noo loves the bag an' strike
A fresh trade with their reg'lar doxy;
But the drag 's broke, now slavery 's gone,
An' there 's gret resk they 'll blunder on,
Ef they ain't stopped, to real Democ'cy.
“ We've gut an awful row to hoe
In this 'ere job o' reconstructin’;
Folks dunno skurce which way to go,
Where th' ain't some boghole to be ducked in;
But one thing's clear; there is a crack,
Ef we pry hard, 'twixt white an' black,
Where the ole makebate can be tucked in.
“ No white man sets in airth's broad aisle
Thet I ain't willin' t' own ez brother,
An' ef he's heppened to strike ile,
I dunno, fin'ly, but I'd ruther;
An' Paddies, long 'z they vote all right,
Though they ain't jest a nat’ral white,
I hold one on 'em good ’z another.
“ Wut is there lef' I'd like to know,
Ef 't aint the defference o' color,
To keep up self-respec' an' show
The human natur' of a fullah ?
Wut good in bein' white, onless
It's fixed by law, nut lef' to guess,
We're a heap smarter an' they duller ?
“Ef we're to hev our ekle rights,
't wun't du to ’low no competition ;
Thi ole debt doo us for bein' whites
Ain't safe onless we stop th' emission
O’ these noo notes, whose specie base
Is human natur', 'thout no trace
O'shape, nor color, nor condition.
6 So fur I'd writ an' could n' jedge
A board wut boat I'd best take pessige,
My brains all mincemeat, 'thout no edge
Upon 'em more than tu a sessige,
But now it seems ez though I see
Sunthin' resemblin' an idee,
Sence Johnson's speech an’ veto message.
“ I like the speech best, I confess,
The logic, preudence, an' good taste on ’t,
An' it's so mad, I ruther guess
There's some dependence to be placed on 't;
It's narrer, but 'twixt you an' me,
Out o' the allies o' J. D.
A temp’ry party can be based on 't.
" Jes' to hold on till Johnson's thru
An' dug his Presidential grave is,
An' then! — who knows but we could slew
The country roun' to put in ?
Wun't some folks rare up when we pull
Out o' their eyes our Union wool
An'larn 'em wut a p’lit'cle shave is !
Oh, did it seem 'z ef Providunce
Could ever send a second Tyler ?
To see the South all back to once,
Reapin' the spiles o' the Freesiler,
Is cute ez though an ingineer
Should claim th' old iron for his sheer
Coz 't was himself that bust the biler!"
Thet tells the story! Thet's wut we shall git
By tryin' squirtguns on the burnin' Pit;
For the day never comes when it ’ll du
To kick off Dooty like a worn-out shoe.
I seem to hear a whisperin' in the air,
A sighin' like, of unconsoled despair,
Thet comes from nowhere an' from everywhere,
An' seems to say, Why died we ? war n't it,
then, To settle, once for all, thet men wuz men ? Oh, airth's sweet cup snetched from us barely
The grave's real chill is feelin' life wuz wasted !
Oh, you we lef', long-lingerin' et the door,
best, coz we loved Her the more, Thet Death, not we, had conquered, we should
Ef she upon our memory turned her heel,
An' unregretful throwed us all away
To flaunt it in a Blind Man's Holiday!”
My frien's, I've talked nigh on to long enough.
I hain't no call to bore ye coz ye 're tough;
My lungs are sound, an' our own v'ice delights
Our ears, but even kebbige-heads hez rights.
It's the las' time thet I shell e'er address ye,
But you 'll soon fin' some new tormentor: bless
[Tumult'ous applause and cries of “Go on!” “Don't stop!”]