Home  »  A Library of American Literature  »  De ’Sperience ob de Reb’rend Quawko Strong

Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

De ’Sperience ob de Reb’rend Quawko Strong

By Frederick Henry Pilch (1842–1889)

[Born in Newark, N. J., 1842. Died at Bloomfield, N. J., 1889. Homespun Verses. 1882.]

SWING dat gate wide, ’Postle Peter,

Ring de big bell, beat de gong,

Saints an’ martyrs den will meet dair

Brudder, Reb’rend Quawko Strong.

Sound dat bugle, Angel Gabriel!

Tell de elders, loud an’ long,

“Cl’ar out dem high seats of Hebben,

Here comes Reb’rend Quawko Strong.”

Turn de guard out, Gineral Michael,

Arms present de line along;

Let de band play “Conkerin’ Hero,”

For de Reb’rend Quawko Strong.

Den let Moses bring de crown an’

Palms an’ weddin’ gown along,

Wid percession to de landin’;

Here’s de Reb’rend Quawko Strong.

Tune your harpstrings tight, King David,

Sing your good Ole Hunderd song,

Let de seraphs dance wid cymbals

’Roun’ de Reb’rend Quawko Strong.

Joseph, march down wid yer bredderen,

Tribes an’ banners musterin’ strong—

Speech ob welcome from ole Abram;

Answer, Reb’rend Quawko Strong.

Angels, hear me yell Hosanner!

Hear my dulcem sperritool song;

Halleluyer! I’m a-comin’!

I’m de Reb’rend Quawko Strong!

Make dat white robe rudder spacious,

An’ de waist-belt ’stronery long,

‘Cause ’twill take some room in glory

For de Reb’rend Quawko Strong.

What! No one to de landin’?

’Pears like suffin’-nudder’s wrong;

Guess I’ll gib dat sleepy Peter

Fits—from Reb’rend Quawko Strong.

How am dis? De gates all fastened;

Out ob all de shinin’ frong

Not a mulatter cherub eben

Greets the Reb’rend Quawko Strong!

What a narrer little gateway!

My! dat gate am hard to move.

“Who am dat?” says ’Postle Peter

From de parapet above.

Uncle Peter, don’t you know me—

Me, a shinin’ light so long?

Why, de berry niggers call me

Good ole Reb’rend Quawko Strong.

Dunno me, de shoutin’ preacher?

Reg’lar hull-hog Wesleyan, too;

Whar in de woods you been a-loafin’?

Some ole rooster’s boddered you,

I reckon. Wy! I convarted

Hunderds o’ darkies in a frong!

Dunno me, nor yit my Masser!

Deny Deacon Quawko Strong!

Hark to dat ar cur’us roarin’

Far away, but a-rollin’ nigher;

See de drefful dragon flyin’,

Head like night, an’ mouf ob fire!

’Tis de berry King of Debbils,

An’ he’m rushin’ right along.

O, dear Peter, please to open

To Classleader Quawko Strong.

Ole Nick’s comin’. I can feel it

Gettin’ warmer all about.

O, my good, kind Kurnal Peter,

Let me in, I’m all too stout

To go ’long wid Major Satan

Into dat warm climate, ’mong

Fire an’ brimstone. Hear me knockin’,

Ole Churchmember Quawko Strong.

Dat loud noise am a-comin nearer—

Drefful smell, like powder smoke;

Nudder screech! Good Hebben help me!

Lor’ forgib dis pore ole moke.

Allers wuz so berry holy,

Singin’ an’ prayin’ extry long;

Now de Debbil’s gwine to cotch me,

Pore ole nigger, Quawko Strong.

Hi! dat gate swing back a little,

Mighty squeezin’ to git froo!

Ole Apollyon howlin’ louder,

Eberyting aroun’ am blue.

Bang de gate goes! an’ Belzebub,

Bunch ob wool upon his prong,

Goes ’long home widout de soul ob

Mis’abul sinner, name ob Strong.