Mahsr John

by Irwin Russell

Irwin Russell

I HEAHS a heap o' people talkin', ebrywhar I goes,
'Bout Washintum an' Franklum, an' sech gen'uses as dose;
I s'pose dey's mighty fine, but heah's de p'int I's bettin' on:
Dere wuzn't nar a one ob 'em come up to Mahsr John.

He shorely wuz de greates' man de country ebber growed.
You better had git out de way when he come 'long de road!
He hel' his head up dis way, like he 'spised to see de groun';
An' niggers had to toe de mark when Mahsr John wuz roun'.

I only has to shet my eyes, an' den it seems to me
I sees him right afore me now, jes like he use' to be,
A-settin' on de gal'ry, lookin' awful big an' wise,
Wid little niggers fannin' him to keep away de flies.

He alluz wore de berry bes' ob planters' linen suits,
An' kep' a nigger busy jes a-blackin' ob his boots;
De buckles on his galluses wuz made of solid gol',
An' diamon's! — dey wuz in his shut as thick as it would hol'.

You heered me! 'twas a caution, when he went to take a ride,
To see him in de kerridge, wid ol' Mistis by his side —
Mulatter Bill a-dribin', an' a nigger on behin',
An' two Kaintucky hosses tuk 'em tearin' whar dey gwine.

Ol' Mahsr John wuz pow'ful rich — he owned a heap o' lan':
Fibe cotton places, 'sides a sugar place in Loozyan';
He had a thousan' niggers — an' he wuked 'em, shore's you born!
De oberscahs 'u'd start 'em at de breakin' ob de morn.

I reckon dere wuz forty ob de niggers, young an' ol,'
Dat staid about de big house jes to do what dey wuz tol';
Dey had a' easy time, wid skacely any work at all —
But dey had to come a-runnin' when ol' Mahsr John 'u'd call!

Sometimes he'd gib a Irolic — dat's de time you seed de fun:
De 'ristocratic fam'lies, dey 'u'd be dar, ebry one;
Dey'd hab a band from New Orleans to play for 'em to dance,
An' tell you what, de supper wuz a ' tic'lar sarcumstance.

Well, times is changed. De war it come an' sot de niggers free,
An' now ol' Mahsr John ain't hardly wuf as much as me;
He had to pay his debts, an' so his lan' is mos'ly gone —
An' I declar' I's sorry fur my pore ol' Mahsr John.

But when I heahs 'em talkin' 'bout some sullybrated man,
I listens to 'em quiet, till dey done said all dey can,
An' den I 'lows dot in dem days 'at I remembers on,
Dat gemman warn't a patchin' onto my ol' Mahsr John!

Last updated September 05, 2017